NFB Online!

The National Film Board finally went online today. Canadian classics like The Log Driver’s Waltz, The Cat Came Back, and Neighbours are now in reach of the people they were created for, Canadians! (you other folks from around the world are welcome too).

They’ve included links to various social networking bookmark sites and enabled embedding. Here’s a 2008 movie by Murray Siple, Cart of Darkness, about “a group of homeless men in North Vancouver who’ve married their love of shopping-cart racing with their business of bottle picking.” (NSFW for language).

They still have some kinks to work out, like the embed code linked to the wrong video and it isn’t standards compliant by default (nobody else does that yet either) — but in general it looks like they’re on the right track.

Late Bloomers

Malcolm Gladwell’s new article Late Bloomers is up at the New Yorker.

Genius, in the popular conception, is inextricably tied up with precocity—doing something truly creative, we’re inclined to think, requires the freshness and exuberance and energy of youth. Orson Welles made his masterpiece, “Citizen Kane,” at twenty-five. Herman Melville wrote a book a year through his late twenties, culminating, at age thirty-two, with “Moby-Dick.” Mozart wrote his breakthrough Piano Concerto No. 9 in E-Flat-Major at the age of twenty-one. In some creative forms, like lyric poetry, the importance of precocity has hardened into an iron law.

Are you still a genius if it’s only later in life that you do anything truly brilliant?

Gladwell discusses the article in a podcast and will be answering reader questions about it later in the week.

Dave Weinberger’s Everything is Miscellaneous

If you’ve got an hour to spend, this Google Tech Talk by David Weinberger is worth a listen. In it he explains how the breakdown of categorization designed for physical objects when applied to digital or abstract objects (such as thoughts) can be overcome through new kinds of categorization—ie. tagging.