Airbnb Produces Short Film Made Out Of 6-Second Vines

Think a 6-second video isn’t long enough to tell a story? How about 600 seconds?

Airbnb produced an impressive short film with their Hollywood & Vines project. Screenwriter Ben York Jones, known for the prize-winning film “Like Crazy” about a long-distance romance, came up with the simple concept of the journey of a piece of paper (lots of paper airplanes are involved). After the storyline was set, directions were sent over Twitter, and submissions were made entirely using 6-second Vine videos. More than 750 submissions were received, with 100 making the final cut, from Kansas to Kuwait.

Four Down Two Across: Coming Home From Alaska

Back home safe and sound in New York, where the sun rises and sets at “normal” times!

On my last night in Alaska, someone asked me what my favorite part of the trip had been. I thought hard … and couldn’t point out one day or thing above the rest. Robert had the same reaction. The whole trip was a blast – one of our best road trips ever.

Perhaps what we liked the most, though, was the people we met – gracious, interesting and incredibly hospitable. Maybe that’s because of the table tennis connection more than Alaska. But everyone we met, to a person, was intensely proud of their state, with a stronger sense of pride than I’ve experienced anywhere else. They say once you visit Alaska, you never come all the way back.

And now, after this trip, I can say I’ve been to all 50 states.

Regarding yesterday’s puzzle from the chancellor, the answer, not surprisingly, is Alaska – around July 15, give or take, depending on where exactly you are in Alaska. But how is it possible for the sun to set twice in the same place in one day?

Well, during the winter in northern Alaska, the sun actually sets after midnight (and rises a few hours later). Then after the summer solstice, around June 22, the sun starts setting earlier (and rising later) by a few minutes each day. On July 15 in Fairbanks, the sun sets at 12:01 a.m., and then sets again at 11:57 p.m. Voila! Two sunsets in one day.

Four Down Two Across: Arrival In Alaska

A wonderful, if long, start to Robert’s and my trip to Alaska – up at 5:30 a.m. in New York City, to bed at midnight in Juneau, which is itself four hours behind New York. A busy day, too.

Tim and Phil of the Juneau Table Tennis Club met us at the airport. The drive to our hotel downtown was spectacular, even with overcast skies. Snowcapped mountains rise straight up from the edge of town. Streams cascade down the sides almost vertically. I’ve never seen anything like it.

The Juneau Empire, the local paper, had a front-page article (with photos) about our trip. And KTOO, Juneau’s public radio station, has been promoting our visit for two weeks.

This evening Robert and I put on a table tennis exhibition at a local middle school, which more than 100 people attended. Then we played with as many others as we could, separately and together, both singles and doubles.

In the car earlier tonight I thought of a puzzle: name a U.S. state capital whose last two letters are the same as the first two letters of a second state capital – whose last two letters themselves are the same as the first two letters of a third state capital. What capitals are these?

I’ve thought of two answers, which I’ll reveal tomorrow.

Follow Will and Robert’s Trip across Alaska through next week at “Four Down Two Across.”