7 Things This Week, 2021-12-05
A weekly list of things I found interesting, posted on Sundays. Sometimes themed, often not.
1️⃣ Dropping Off a Cliff with Jimmy Chin, the World’s Greatest Adventure Filmmaker | GQ
For more than 20 years now, the mountains have been the crucible in which Chin has forged his singular life. He is a professional climber, sponsored by The North Face; a mountain photographer, sponsored by Canon; a filmmaker with National Geographic. He shoots big-budget commercials for blue-chip companies like Ford. More recently, of course, he’s also become the codirector of nail-biting, award-winning documentaries–Meru (2015), Free Solo (2018), and The Rescue (2021)– that reevaluate the limits of human potential. Through that multifaceted success, Chin has become a citizen of two worlds: He’s a Manhattanite and a Jackson local, a dirtbag climber who’s at home on the red carpet. More than anything, perhaps, he’s the consummate generalist whose constellation of skills has never aligned in quite the same way for anyone ever before. Plus, there’s the snow-melting smile.
I’ve long admired Jimmy Chin. His drive, his professionalism, his raw talent, and his balance of the things he loves. This was an excellent feature. Really inspirational. I can’t wait to check out his upcoming book, There and Back: Photographs from the Edge.
Oh, and he’s an awe-inspiring follow on Instagram!
2️⃣ Tom Holland on Spider-Man’s Future, Zendaya, and His Paparazzi Nightmares | GQ
When Holland started making it in Hollywood–a debut in 2012’s The Impossible, followed by small parts in Wolf Hall and In the Heart of the Sea–he leaned in to his balletic talents, literally throwing himself into every job. (This approach is written in the subtle S-bend of his nose, which he has broken twice, once on the set of The Lost City of Z, and again on Chaos Walking.) “I’m like a Duracell battery. I’m the bunny,” Holland says. It’s that energy that comes through onscreen, whether he’s doing backflips as Spider-Man, or pulling on fishnets and grinding to Rihanna on Lip Sync Battle: determination bordering on desperation. “Anytime I’ve ever watched him work, he does it 150 percent,” his Spider-Man costar Zendaya says. “It’s incredible to watch.”
Another feature in the ‘Men of the Year’ issue, Tom Holland has impressed me over the past few years as an actor. He’s excellent as Spider-Man, but I also really enjoyed him in Cherry. Beyond acting, though, he’s always come across as a genuinely nice guy. From what everyone quoted in this article says, that seems to be true. And intensely dedicated to his craft.
I can’t wait to check to No Way Home in a few weeks. It’ll be my first time in a theater in two years.
3️⃣ And what’s up with celebrities longing for woodworking? From those two GQ articles:
He’s certain of something: “I definitely don’t think I want to be an actor for the rest of my life.” Before Hollywood, Holland briefly trained as a carpenter, a craft he still loves. “I’ve always been really good with my hands. If something’s broken, I can always figure out a way of fixing it.” He has this romantic idea of “buying apartment buildings and renting them out cheaper than they need to be, because I don’t need the money.” (Tom Holland)
In between the packing, Chin takes a moment to sit out on the deck, his chair turned toward the sun. He looks like a surfer again, in shorts and flip flops, hugging his knee to his chest, an almond milk vanilla latte at his feet. “I’m very fortunate that I’ve found the things that I found in my life,” he tells me. “Climbing and skiing and surfing, and photography, and filmmaking, and telling stories. But I don’t know. I might’ve found a lot of satisfaction being a cabinet maker.” (Jimmy Chin)
Get you a celebrity who can do both. 😉 By the by, Nick Offerman seems like the most down-to-earth star. His books are all on my reading list.
4️⃣ Conversation About Junior vs. Senior | Accidental Tech Podcast
At timestamp 1:27:59, Casey, John, and Marco explore a listener question asking what differentiates a junior developer from a senior developer. I appreciated the nuance of the conversation, and wholeheartedly agree with where they landed. To me, putting the specific field aside, a junior position is for someone who mostly needs assistance to complete their core job. A senior position should be for someone who can, through the wisdom of experience, provide that assistance to others. The whole chapter is only a handful of minutes, and well worth a listen.
5️⃣ Kettleball Commercial | DocMorris - YouTube
You’ve probably seen this commercial make its rounds throughout the internet already (it’s actually from 2020!), but I wanted to link to it nonetheless. It hits all my feels. 10/10.
6️⃣ Billie Eilish: Same Interview, The Fifth Year | Vanity Fair - YouTube
“I’m so much more open to stuff now.” On the verge of 100 million followers, Billie Eilish is ready to step back into the world as the most comfortable version of herself. Filled with new life experience, two more Grammys than last year, and a few less of her infamous one-liners, Billie Eilish truly is happier than ever. From hosting the Met Gala to being the reason Oscar de la Renta no longer sells fur, watch to see how much Billie has grown since her first interview in 2017 with Vanity Fair.
I love that Billie Eilish keeps making these with Vanity Fair, though I wonder when she’ll eventually be unable to do it on the same date each year. It’s fascinating to watch her grow up, both physically and emotionally. It makes me wonder how I would answer such questions, and react to the time capsule-like versions of myself. Would I, too, disagree with my former self, or be on the same page year-to-year?
7️⃣ The Beauty of Bézier Curves | Freya Holmér - YouTube
Bézier curves - how do they do?
They’re used for animation, text rendering, and all sorts of curved shapes! But how do they actually work? well, like, that’s what the video is about, so, watch it to find out etc!!
And, finally, this video awoke the math nerd in me and brought me back to my AP Calc days. The animations are sublime. The explanations are (nearly) coherent even for someone a decade out of their last math class. And I always wondered what the bézier curve feature in graphics applications would do. Now I know!
Thanks for reading 7 Things! If you enjoyed these links, or have something else neat to share, please drop me a line on Twitter or shoot me an email!