Documentaries

Charles Ponzi and his scheme (2018)

Charles Ponzi and his scheme (2018)

One thing jumps out at me, just how completely incompetent Ponzi was his whole life. Kicked out of home because he was constantly getting caught stealing, then moved to America and lost his only job at a restaurant for stealing from the restaurant and/or customers. Then actually found a plausible and legal arbitrage financial opportunity but instead chose to build his infamous Ponzi scheme and collapsed in half a year, leaving himself permanently in debt and years in prison. While on bail instantly got caught trying to scam people in Florida. He was such a bad conman the whole time, and his big scheme barely did him any good before it fell apart and ruined the rest of his life, and the lives of all the working Italian immigrants who idolized and trusted him.

He should have skipped town with his millions before it all collapsed around him. At least life as a millionaire fugitive would have been more fun than prison.

That’s how most of the Ponzi scheme people get caught. They try to ride it out just a bit longer.

Edit: I’ve got fat thumbs

furiously takes notes.

Siphonophore (2018) Short documentary on arguably the strangest, most unearthly sea creature known to science [5 mins]

Siphonophore (2018) Short documentary on arguably the strangest, most unearthly sea creature known to science [5 mins]

If some sick fuck ever puts a jump scare in one of these deep sea documentaries, I might actually die

I love deep sea creatures, there's so many crazy alien like beings. Fascinating stuff, and still so much more to be found.

Such a beautiful and bizarre lifeform.

Apparently during the construction of the Los Angeles subway, they found 39 new fossils of aquatic life that was previously undiscovered

Dark Money (2018) - the shocking and vital truth of how American elections are bought and sold

Dark Money (2018) - the shocking and vital truth of how American elections are bought and sold

I like how it's Montana that is the screencap. They are infamous for having insane levels of corruption being an integral part of their history back from the very start. A lot of docs about money in politics shed a special light on Montana.

My favorite story was how William A. Clark, a prominent mining magnate, literally walked into the state office and slammed a bag of money on a desk and told them he was going to be Senator.

Mark Twain wrote a really scathing evaluation of him in one of his essays.

End citizens united, we need a constitutional assembly.

Funny that right before this documentary comes out, the Koch brothers "retire" from political involvement.

The book Dark Money is good too.

The Kochs have achieved an astonishing amount of the goals they set out to accomplish when they first started pouring money into manipulating public policy almost 50 years ago.

With help from a few other conservative-libertarian billionaire donors, they have created a network of think tanks and donor organizations bigger than the entire RNC.

They have poured hundreds of millions into pushing curriculums to the right all across the country, particularly when it comes to higher legal and economic university programs.

Through the creation of think tanks and public policy organizations like the Heritage Foundation and the Federalist Society they have helped pack the courts with incredibly conservative and corporatist judges. These two organizations are responsible for selecting all of Trump's judicial appointments. That will be hundreds of federal judges who see thousands of cases a year.

Their sponsored politicians like McConnell and Ryan have helped disseminate a disdain for government that is taking over public opinion. Through government obstruction they have crippled the public sector to such an extent as that large portions of the American public have lost all faith in government institutions.

They have employed people like Donald McGahn, currently chief White House Counsel, to cripple the Federal Election Commission and help bring about Citizens United, effectively ending all limitations on campaign finance.

With the Supreme Court and the 13 federal appeals courts moving sharly to the right since Trump's victory, they have achieved their most important goal: buying the judiciary for conservative and corporate America.

The Kochs alone have probably spent well in excess of a billion dollars on changing the political landscape in America. Their retirement is not a defeat; it is a declaration of victory.

I also strongy recommended reading Jane Mayer's Dark Money.

The Light Bulb Conspiracy (2010) - (extended version) Uncovers how the planned obsolescence of capitalism has shaped our lives and economy since the 1920’s, when manufacturers deliberately started shortening the life of consumer products to increase demand

The Light Bulb Conspiracy (2010) - (extended version) Uncovers how the planned obsolescence of capitalism has shaped our lives and economy since the 1920’s, when manufacturers deliberately started shortening the life of consumer products to increase demand

I used to work at a hardware store that has been open since the 1950s. In the back room was a storage area where they kept all the old merchandise. It was insane to see the quality of the 1950s and 60s items versus the plastic dogshit versions of today.

Wal-Mart epitomizes this drop in quality. Wal-Mart is a monopsony -- a retailer which is so powerful it controls many manufacturers and can set its own prices.

And so Wal-Mart does.

Wal-Mart often will refuse the price offered by a manufacturer and demand the cost be cheaper. The manufacturer needs to sell through Wal-Mart so what are they to do? Lower the quality so that manufacturing costs match the Wal-Mart-dictated price.

This is so prevalent that electronics (e.g. Sony, LG, etc.) in Wal-Mart often have slightly different model number (usually a suffix). This is done because the manufacturer has used cheaper components in the electronics in order to match Wal-Mart's price.

Reminds me of the CFL bulbs that were supposed to last 10x longer than standard bulbs...and then totally didn't.

Home Depot does the same shit but the manufacturers don't even give a different model number sometimes. It will just be different enough to be cheaper and super confusing when you try to get a replacement part that is for the better one and it doesn't go on the home depot one.

Restoring Automotive Freedom at The FCC (2018) - Rob Bliss bikes in front of the FCC for days to create "slow lanes" of traffic while trying to sell them "priority access passes" to the street.

Restoring Automotive Freedom at The FCC (2018) - Rob Bliss bikes in front of the FCC for days to create "slow lanes" of traffic while trying to sell them "priority access passes" to the street.

We all should start doing this. We cant let this man control the monopoly on this street

A simple, tangible context like this really drives home just how ridiculous Aji Pai's claims about net neutrality really are.

I love this guy. The cops are great too.

Just wait until he's able to buy hotels.

Slaves in Dubai (2017) - How women housemaids are treated in the middle east (11:24)

Slaves in Dubai (2017) - How women housemaids are treated in the middle east (11:24)

Dubai, such a beautiful place. Slave labour, forced marriage to rapists, misogyny, just perfect.

Definitely keep going on holiday to Dubai.

A Jordanian friend of mine told me a story once, while his aunt was traveling with the kids and the maid in London, the maid bailed in the night. She called the cops in the morning and said "my maid ran away"

The cops said "Ran away? She quit her job you mean?"

How's that for a wake up call.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MGr0ibxLmL4

No zoom:

Just a point, ITT people refer to foreigners in the middle east as "immigrants", we're not. We're all expats, from the bangadeshi construction worker and the filipina maid to the indian engineer and british manager, we can only ever get residency, not the nationality. We'll all have to leave eventually when we're not needed anymore, this isn't like western countries where you get a local passport after a few years (many people don't realise how generous western countries are). Like many other expats I am tied to my company, that means that if I lose my job I cannot look for another one, I have to leave. Same thing applies to the employees of all the shopping stores for example, they're brought in by the company, they depend on it entirely, if they close doors, they have to leave.

There is also a difference between people who grew up with maids and those who didn't (like the documentary mentions). In the west we don't have this mentality anymore of having human beings whose purpose is to serve us. As kids we didn't grow up in houses with adults paid to take care of us and clean after us. This isn't a normal situation for us. We're much more egalitarian with service and hospitality employees in general. At your local pub in the UK for example it's normal to see all kind of customers, like the waiter who served you food the previous night in another restaurant. No big deal, he's not working anymore, he's just another bloke, might even have a drink with him. In non western countries you'll never bump into people who serve you because you don't go to the same places and they can't afford to go where you go anyway. They're like an inferior caste. And this has a huge effect on the mentalities and culture of a country (in Asia and the middle east).

That's also why in my experience in the middle east, filipino maids prefer to work for westerners because we treat them like employees, and not like if they were servants part of furniture.

Poor Kids (2016) - 3.5 million children are growing up in poverty in the UK. It’s one of the worst rates in the industrialised world and successive governments continue to struggle to bring it into line. Struggling & without a voice, 'Poor Kids' shines a light on this pressing issue.

Poor Kids (2016) - 3.5 million children are growing up in poverty in the UK. It’s one of the worst rates in the industrialised world and successive governments continue to struggle to bring it into line. Struggling & without a voice, 'Poor Kids' shines a light on this pressing issue.
Poor Kids (2016) - 3.5 million children are growing up in poverty in the UK. It’s one of the worst rates in the industrialised world and successive governments continue to struggle to bring it into line. Struggling & without a voice, 'Poor Kids' shines a light on this pressing issue.

All those pay as you go meters remind me of the quote by James Baldwin "Anyone who has ever struggled with poverty knows how extremely expensive it is to be poor."

In the UK they have electricity and gas meters that you pre-pay for. When either one runs out you press emergency for an additional 2 quids worth of power or gas. Then you take your card/fob down to the corner shop put a fiver on it and get 3 quids worth of whichever because you’ve gotta pay back that emergency usage first.

Source: born and raised on council estates. It sucks to be that poor.

Edit: I wasn't expecting my answer to blow up like this. I just want to clarify quickly that I didn't mean all houses have the meters. They are seen more in council estates, though some privately rented residences will also have them because the landlord prefers it that way.

My first flat (apartment) had pre-pay as standard since it was also council provided housing. It was what was allocated to me after a stint of being homeless at 17/18 years old. I had no choice in the matter and I couldn't have requested quarterly billing, as some have suggested, because my mother ruined my credit and I was living on £42 p/w until I could get on my own two feet. Which never really happened until I met my now husband and moved to the USA.

Fuck pay as you go meters. Nothing worse than living with some friends and agreed rota on payment etc and Johnny hasn’t paid and isn’t even Home when you’re plunged into darkness trying to take a shower and it all goes freezing cold. Then having to get dressed go to the meter press the emergency button, realising there is no credit for the emergency and having to walk into town to get some credit on the fob with whatever money you have left. Fuck them and fuck Johnny.

Juliana: the girl with the new face (2015) - The story of juliana wetmore, the girl born without a face. [46:07]

Juliana: the girl with the new face (2015) - The story of juliana wetmore, the girl born without a face. [46:07]

I know I'm going to sound like an asshole but I couldn't watch this past 5 minutes.

This girl was born and badly deformed enough, and now she's going to have to live a long life of ridicule, pain and suffering. Mental and physical.

It's always such a surprise when you see someone with physical deformities this bad without the equivalent mental handicaps. From the clips of her she really seems to be a fully normal kid with perfectly normal movement patterns (she's honestly better at minigolf than most kids I've encountered) who doesn't really have any trouble understanding, only speaking and hearing, and that really throws you off guard.

And on a completely unrelated note, my god that moustache.

My son was born with TC. He's only six weeks old. We had no idea even though my wife had genetic screening during the pregnancy. It's so rare they don't even screen for it. Nothing was noticed on the ultrasound though.

Thankfully, he seems to have a pretty mild case. Nothing like this poor girl.

Man, I hope to god they figure out a sugar lattice of some kind, and re-create a new face using stem cells.

Once she hits teenage years, that suicidal depression is going to start and never end.

God, I hope the best for her.

Iceman (2015) - Documentary about Wim Hof who climbed Mount Everest in his shorts, resisted altitude sickness, completed a marathon in the Namibian Desert with no water and proven – under a laboratory setting – that he's able to influence his autonomic nervous system and immune system at will

Iceman (2015) - Documentary about Wim Hof who climbed Mount Everest in his shorts, resisted altit...

I once worked an 8-hr shift without drinking a cup of coffee

Hof claims that his Tibetan-based breathing method can help with or help alleviate symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis, arthritis, diabetes, clinical depression, anxiety, PTSD, bipolar disorder, cancer, etc.

I bet mainstream medicine will never accept that breathing prevents death.

Wim Hof has been blamed by relatives of four men who separately drowned in 2015 and 2016 when practising his breathing exercise.

Oh fuck.

Oh fuck.

Do not hyperventilate before diving under water... people think it gets more oxygen into your lungs, it does not, it depletes CO2. The urge to breathe comes from CO2 buildup, you won't feel anything when running out of oxygen if you don't also have an excess of CO2. By depleting CO2 to abnormal levels by hyperventilating you can hold your breath longer without getting the urge to breathe... but that doesn't mean you have enough oxygen, you can easily pass out without even knowing anything is wrong.

I don't even want to walk my trash to the can 25 feet from my house when it's 32 degrees outside.

9/11 (2002) - This is the infamous documentary that was filmed by French brothers Jules and Gedeon Naudet. The purpose of the film was originally going to be about the life of a rookie NY firefighter. To this day it is the only footage taken inside the WTC on 9/11. [REPOST]

9/11 (2002) - This is the infamous documentary that was filmed by French brothers Jules and Gedeon Naudet. The purpose of the film was originally going to be about the life of a rookie NY firefighter. To this day it is the only footage taken inside the WTC on 9/11. [REPOST]
9/11 (2002) - This is the infamous documentary that was filmed by French brothers Jules and Gedeon Naudet. The purpose of the film was originally going to be about the life of a rookie NY firefighter. To this day it is the only footage taken inside the WTC on 9/11. [REPOST]

One of my childhood friend's father was a FDNY firefighter who died on 9/11. He is briefly seen in this doc engaging in rescue operations shortly before being killed when one of the towers collapsed while he was inside it.

Prior to this doc being released the filmmakers sought out his family so they could show them the footage. His widow found a lot of peace in seeing that her husband was calm and determined during his last moments.

I've always thought that the filmmakers' decision to learn the identity and fates of the firefighters they filmed and to privately show the footage to their families prior to releasing this documentary to the public was an extremely decent way to go about it. I'm not sure how widely known that part of the story is, so I wanted to share.

(Note: I do not know if anyone from from the documentary was present when my friend's family viewed the footage, only that they reached out to them with it prior to its public release. I also do not know if they asked permission to include the footage in the documentary, though I do know that my friend's family was would have granted it if they were asked)

They filmed the only high quality footage of the first plane hitting the North Tower. IIRC they were originally filming a documentary on NY firefighters when they heard the plane overhead and filmed the crash in broad daylight. It boggles my mind because to me it still feels recent, but this event happened at a time when almost nobody had access to a camera every day. If 9/11 happened today there would be hundreds of phone videos of the first crash, jumpers, inside footage, etc.

Can confirm, they filmed my uncle running up the stairs of WTC 2 (South Tower). We never found any remains, so it was comforting to have some idea of where he was.

Try one of these subthreads