Every day Document has an agenda: news from the under read corners of the world, and the web, that might not end up crossing your path. Discoveries, curiosities, essential cultural dispatches—with this information, go forth.
Welcome to Wakaliwood: the heart of the Ugandan film industry.
With a population of 2,000, Wakaliwood is an unlikely place to bear a new film industry. But in 2005, Isaac Nabwana had an idea to transform the slum town into a creative hotbed. Nabwana, who grew up in Uganda during a brutal regime which saw the killing of hundreds of thousands of citizens, always had a passion for western films, which has led him to produce a whole array of films on a shoestring budget. In this photo essay, Al Jazeera documents what life is like living in the world’s most frugal film set.
“Here, low-budget films are produced by using everyday household items, such as frying pans, and PVC pipes as mock rocket launchers, and condoms filled with red dye for exploding squibs… The budget for producing a new film is $200; the cast is made up of relatives, friends and neighbors, and props are made of DIY materials.”
Watching how-to videos might make us feel like experts, but the reality is far from that.
As every amateur influencer tries to carve out their own piece of the infinite pie that is the world wide web, millions of viewers consume how-to content leaving them with a feeling of empowerment. Yet, this empowerment is much more fleeting than we may have realized. Psychological Science has published a report that details how DIY or informative videos make us feel about our own capabilities, and researchers found they tend to make us over inflate our own abilities.
“We see this as a potentially widespread phenomenon given that people have daily access to outlets for watching others perform,” says study author Michael Kardas of The University of Chicago Booth School of Business. “Anyone who goes online to look up tips before attempting a skill—from cooking techniques to DIY home repairs to X Games tricks—would benefit from knowing that they might be overconfident in their own abilities after watching, and should exercise caution before attempting similar skills themselves.”
We should listen to the female futurists, all the time—not just only on International Women’s Day.
As the world wises up to the role of women, we’re beginning to understand how their role throughout history has been undermined by patriarchial confines. On International Women’s Day, Wired has asked a selection of the world’s top female futurists about their pioneering academic research, shaping public policy and creating businesses to create a snapshot of their insights into what the future has in store for us. One of these voice, Cindy Frewen, an architect and urban futurist, addressed the bleak, futuristic visions of the male gaze.
“Blade Runner 2049 shows cartoon cities, pretty flat, bleak, a view of the worst way we can destroy our urban settings. Actually, when you quit maintaining things, it all goes back to nature. It becomes very beautiful and growing, cities become very biodegradable. It’s the humans who are at risk, not the environment.”
We may all soon have the legal right to repair our smartphones at the place of our choosing.
A California lawmaker is proposing The Right to Repair Act—a law that would allow consumers to get their electronic products and appliances fixed by a repair shop or service provider of their choice. This may not sound like a landmark piece of legislation, but as Motherboard points out, it could make hackers of us all.
“Right to Repair legislation has considerable momentum this year; 18 states have introduced it, and several states have held hearings about the topic. In each of these states, big tech companies such as Apple, Microsoft, John Deere, and AT&T and trade associations they’re associated with have heavily lobbied against it, claiming that allowing people to fix their things would cause safety and security concerns. Thus far, companies have been unwilling to go on the record to explain the specifics about how these bills would be dangerous or would put device and consumer security in jeopardy.”
The occult origins of the color orange.
Deep into the ancient histories of Europe, the color orange was constructed through a pigment found in a volcanic mineral. BBC Culture has pieced together how the highly toxic orpiment, rich in lethal arsenic, has had a hidden influence on history—from alchemists trying to concoct the philosopher’s stone to contemporary artists trying to create the elusive feeling of warmth.
“Expunge orange from the history of art and the whole thing collapses. The sky above Edvard Munch’s The Scream falls down and the fire that ignites Frederic Leighton’s famous Flaming June flames out. Take away orange, and everything from the warm eternal glow of Egyptian tomb painting to the troubled stubble of Vincent van Gogh’s smoldering self-portraits vanishes. A savvy arbiter between resolute red and unyielding yellow, orange is a pigment that pivots. It’s a hinge of a hue that enables a work of art to swivel between contrary states of being—this world and another, life and death… To dabble in the occult of orange was to flirt with mortality and immortality in equal measure.”
Are we finally witnessing the death of the MP3?
Audiophiles that are enamored by dense file formats have long been wishing the death of highly compressed files like Mp3, but it looks like their day of reckoning might finally be upon us. FLAC stands for Free Lossless Audio Codex and is a file format that’s a bit-perfect copy of CD quality but is half the size. EDM blog, magneticmag.com, have written a piece about why Mp3 is dead and how superfast internet is bringing in a new era of FLAC.
“FLAC files are like CD’s: once you have purchased them, you own them. However, you also need to be sure that you are storing them somewhere secure. There are many devices, many of them expensive, that support FLAC formats natively, but if something were to happen to your device, your music would be gone with it. Backups are as essential as with other files.”