The Rambling Review: Ecosystems, Prisons, and Mr. Nobody

It’s another Friday! The weekend is on the way and to make your Friday filled with joy, I have given you several things I have found this week to brighten your day.

Spring is coming here to Holland, but rather than planting Tulips, I have been planting Garlic. Recently, I have used a garlic toe that was sprouting green and an old air freshener bottle, combined the two, and this is the product.


I think that’s kind of cool, but this is far better.


The bottle garden was planted 53 years ago and hasn’t been watered since 1972. The only maintenance is an occasional turning of the bottle, every week or so, so the plants grow towards the light. Here is the full link if you want to know the specifics of how it is a sealed ecosystem.

Now, speaking about self-contained ecosystems, let me introduce you to the Norwegian prison, Bastoy island.

An inmate sunbathes on the deck of his bungalow on Bastoy.

As you can see by the picture, it hardly looks like a prison; in fact, there aren’t even prison guards at night, yet at this prison there are criminals of all crimes: rape, murder, etc. The prison also boasts the lowest reoffending rate in Europe, at 17%; in England alone, the reoffending rate is around 1 in 4 prisoners. The approach that Bastoy takes is rehabilitation rather than retribution. The island acts like its own community; everyone lives in huts, there is a market store, everyone has jobs and responsibilities, but they are treated like adults and are given a sense of freedom. It brings us back to the question: what is the purpose of prison? To rehabilitate citizens who have committed a crime? Or seek retribution for crimes? This is an interesting case of changing the paradigm and receiving different results; if the status quo isn’t working, shouldn’t we seek new answers? Moreover to the economics of the argument, even though the prisons have a better lifestyle, if those people are continually running back into the system and repeating their crimes, it still costs the state money to keep them. The island isn’t exactly the same as society; there are no women, no drugs, no alcohol, but the prisoners do have a sense of community. Everyone in the community has a certain job to do, and in doing so, they learn valued trades they can use in the outside world. It’s the long-term approach.

Speaking about the long-term approach, here is one movie you will have to give your full attention to wrap your mind around all the possible realities: it’s Mr. Nobody, and it’s our Netflix flick of the week.


This movie is a 2009 film starring Jared Leto. It’s a very complex film based on the idea of chance and choice. The drama is beautifully shot, the directing and art style of this film are stunning and moving. The title comes from the main character’s name, Nemo, and makes more sense as the film goes on. Mr. Nobody doesn’t cater to the audience; most of the shots are non-linearly placed throughout the film. You could make diagrams trying to piece it together. However, about halfway through the film, each storyline is made clearer. The complexity and structure make the movie stand out, but the greatest strength is the directing style and cinematic flare, which makes the transitions seamless and powerful. In the mood for a complex mind blender, thought provoking film? Check Mr. Nobody out!

Well, that’s this week in review. Let me know what you thought and if there is something you want me to check out for next week.



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