Community patrol

13 minutes

Love. Love. Love.

11 minutes

The infamous windmill problem

16 minutes

Lions in the corner

9 minutes

Tops

8 minutes

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A Detroit minister uses community policing to bust the drug house next to his church

‘Nobody’s coming on a magic carpet … we are the saviours, we are the redeemers, we are the deliverers, we are the answers that we’ve been seeking.’

The Detroit 300 is a 1,500-member community policing group cofounded by the forceful Minister Malik Shabazz with a mission to ‘fight and deter crime’ in the city’s residential areas. Launched in 2010, the initiative has received both praise and criticism for its efforts. These include directly intervening against suspected drugs houses – first with nonviolent confrontations, then with economic sanctions – and serving as an intermediary between authorities and communities that are under-policed or reluctant to approach formal law-enforcement. A companion piece to the US filmmaker Andrew James’s feature documentary Street Fighting Men, the short documentary Community Patrol employs an immersive cinéma vérité style to follow Shabazz during tense confrontations with suspected drug dealers operating near his church. It might be a brave deed, and perhaps even an act of ‘brotherly love’, as Shabazz claims, but can a volunteer, citizen-led group peacefully and successfully deter crime while keeping the community’s trust?

Director: Andrew James

Producers: Sara Archambault, Jolyn Schleiffarth, Katie Tibaldi

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‘When I first saw him, my heart skipped a beat.’ What Russian women think about love

Beautiful spies; cold femmes fatales; stooped babushkas: Western stereotypes of Russian women say more about the West than they do about anything else. But how do real Russian women view love? Against the backdrop of a harsh winter, this short documentary by the Indian director Sandhya Daisy Sundaram weaves voices ranging from young schoolgirls to a centenarian to describe the ways love evolves, reignites and surprises.

Love. Love. Love. debuted in 2014 as part of the awardwinning omnibus documentary Cinetrain: Russian Winter. An ambitious and inventive filmmaking initiative, the Cinetrain project sent 21 filmmakers from around the world to all corners of Russia to explore its culture through the spectrum of stereotypes – from mail-order brides and stalwart Ladas to heavy drinking. The project was inspired by the work of the influential Soviet Russian filmmaker Aleksandr Medvedkin (1900-89) who, in 1934, built a mobile film studio inside a train before setting out to document life across the country. As a standalone short, Love. Love. Love took home the Short Film Special Jury Award for Non-Fiction at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.

Director: Sandhya Daisy Sundaram

Producers: Tanya Petrik, Guillaume Protsenko

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Can you solve this slippery maths puzzle that doubles as a morality tale?

The International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) is an annual competition for the brainiest of high-school maths whizzes in the world. This animation from the US YouTuber Grant Sanderson, who creates maths videos under the moniker 3Blue1Brown, breaks down a question from the 2011 IMO that proved especially challenging to competitors. Between Sanderson’s methodical analysis and the nifty animations, the maths-minded might convince themselves that they would have come up with the answer all on their own. But Sanderson, ever the savvy instructor, crafts his lesson around how to find the solution as well as being mindful of how knowledge is obtained. In doing so, he transforms an algebra puzzle into a lesson on empathy, pedagogy and the nature of discovery.

Video by 3Blue1Brown

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‘I know it looks barbaric.’ Can a fight club curb street violence?

Chris ‘Scarface’ Wilmore has spent much of his life in Virginia facing violence and jail time. Despite an early opiate addiction and running with gangs, he’s made it to 40 years old. Many others haven’t been so lucky, getting caught up in small disputes that turned deadly. Hoping to curb the violence in his community, Wilmore has taken a unique, controversial approach: from his backyard in Harrisonburg, he runs ‘Streetbeefs’, a makeshift fight venue where disagreements can be settled in a controlled environment, with Mixed Martial Arts referees keeping watch. Wilmore believes in acknowledging and controlling the violence that the state-sanctioned alternatives fail to address; if his efforts save even two lives, it will have been worth it, he says. However, Streetbeefs isn’t condoned by local officials, nor is it clear if it has succeeded in reducing local homicides. The US director Paul Hairston’s short documentary profiles Wilmore and his unconventional fight club, raising broader questions about human nature and the role of violence in society.

Director: Paul Hairston

Producers: Jake Ewald, Tripp Kramer

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Watch Charles and Ray Eames put their 1969 spin on one of the world’s oldest toys

The oldest spinning top ever discovered dates back some 5,500 years, meaning that we’ve been entranced by these toys for nearly as long as human civilisation has existed. And if there’s any doubt about the contemporary appeal of all things centrifugal, look no further than the recent – and depending on your tolerance for flash-in-the-pan retail trends, annoying – ubiquity of the small handheld toys known as fidget spinners. In this short film from 1969, the legendary husband-and-wife US designers Charles and Ray Eames celebrate the crosscultural, millennia-spanning appeal of all things small, simple and spinnable. With an appropriately playful score from the celebrated US film composer Elmer Bernstein, the Eameses offer us 123 tops from around the world, a reminder of the simple satisfaction of watching something spin from initial twirl to final topple.

Directors: Charles Eames, Ray Eames

Score: Elmer Bernstein

Website: Eames Office

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A Detroit minister uses community policing to bust the drug house next to his church

‘Nobody’s coming on a magic carpet … we are the saviours, we are the redeemers, we are the deliverers, we are the answers that we’ve been seeking.’

The Detroit 300 is a 1,500-member community policing group cofounded by the forceful Minister Malik Shabazz with a mission to ‘fight and deter crime’ in the city’s residential areas. Launched in 2010, the initiative has received both praise and criticism for its efforts. These include directly intervening against suspected drugs houses – first with nonviolent confrontations, then with economic sanctions – and serving as an intermediary between authorities and communities that are under-policed or reluctant to approach formal law-enforcement. A companion piece to the US filmmaker Andrew James’s feature documentary Street Fighting Men, the short documentary Community Patrol employs an immersive cinéma vérité style to follow Shabazz during tense confrontations with suspected drug dealers operating near his church. It might be a brave deed, and perhaps even an act of ‘brotherly love’, as Shabazz claims, but can a volunteer, citizen-led group peacefully and successfully deter crime while keeping the community’s trust?

Director: Andrew James

Producers: Sara Archambault, Jolyn Schleiffarth, Katie Tibaldi

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Essay/
Education
The well-educated person

If we took Aristotle seriously we would revolutionise our educational systems to enable citizens to learn throughout life

C D C Reeve

Essay/
Animals and humans
Prison, spectacle, refuge

Modern zoos are proud of their contribution to animal conservation but will always be haunted by their histories

Nigel T Rothfels