Meanwhile a bold maximalism is achieved here, not so much by the amount of items as by the amount of bold colours and prints used throughout the place. It’s still not a big place, but it feels right. I guess that is all relative, but I love this.
For more, see This Manhattan Home Feels Like a Jewel Box | A Cup of Jo
(Image a link from the above article in A Cup of Jo)
August 31, 2019 in homes, new!
Tagged colour, cupofjo, decor, design, homes, Manhattan, newyork, smallspace, smallspaces, tinyhomes
Might be here: Under 200 Square Foot Studio Apartment in Hong Kong | Apartment Therapy.
Cozy and minimal is fine, but this is basically the space you find in a big camping tent. I am sure some people can adopt just fine, but I don’t know if I could live in such a space for long. I also wonder if this is the direction we are heading for cities other than Hong Kong. Higher property costs and lower incomes might cause this to happen in other cities. I don’t look forward to that.
Easier said than done, I know. But worth addressing. And not impossible. Good luck! Anxiety may seem like a tiger, but it can also be a horse: you can get a grip on it, break it, and use it to your advantage even.
How to Harness Your Anxiety – The New York Times
Can be seen here: Has the Sharp Decline in Philosophy Majors Hit Bottom? (guest post by Eric Schwitzgebel) – Daily Nous.
It is remarkable how much majors in history and philosophy have declined. I feel we need these things more than ever. That said, my bachelor degree is with a major in computer science. I have studied much philosophy and history since then, but not in an academic setting. It would be good to find a way to study them more formally without the commitment of getting a bachelor degree.
There are so many online sites teaching computer science topics. We need more that teach philosophy and history in the same way.
A very cool site that allows you to mess around with Gregorian chant music in all kinds of ways. Fun! And also great if you want to have it playing while you work Gregorian Voices • Relaxing Music Generator
Looks like autonomous robots have a way to go. So while Kiwi’s food delivery bots are rolling out to 12 more colleges (TechCrunch), they aren’t exactly autonomous robots. Instead…
The robots are what Kiwi calls “semi-autonomous.” This means that although they can navigate most sidewalks and avoid pedestrians, each has a human monitoring it and setting waypoints for it to follow, on average every five seconds. Iatsenia told me that they’d tried going full autonomous and that it worked… most of the time. But most of the time isn’t good enough for a commercial service, so they’ve got humans in the loop. They’re working on improving autonomy, but for now this is how it is.
The future is weird. Also, good luck with those in places with hostile weather, architecture, or people.
1. Visualize Your Life Without the Things You Love
“He robs present ills of their power who has perceived their coming beforehand.” —Seneca
2. Memento Mori — Meditate on Death
“Let us prepare our minds as if we’d come to the very end of life. Let us postpone nothing. Let us balance life’s books each day. . . . The one who puts the finishing touches on their life each day is never short of time.” —Seneca
3. Set Internal Goals and Detach Yourself From Outcomes
“Some things are within our power, while others are not. Within our power are opinion, motivation, desire, aversion, and, in a word, whatever is of our own doing; not within our power are our body, our property, reputation, office, and, in a word, whatever is not of our own doing.” —Epictetus
4. Welcome Discomfort
“Nature has intermingled pleasure with necessary things — not in order that we should seek pleasure, but in order that the addition of pleasure may make the indispensable means of existence attractive to our eyes. Should it claim rights of its own, it is luxury. Let us therefore resist these faults when they are demanding entrance, because, as I have said, it is easier to deny them admittance than to make them depart.” —Seneca
5. Vigorously Pursue Character and Virtue
“Every day I reduce the number of my vices.” —Seneca
via 5 Ancient Stoic Tactics for Modern Life | The Art of Manliness
(Image of Seneca)
It’s funny how certain tech ideas are bad and yet keep coming back, like zombies. Micropayments is one. Another is stores or establishments run without people: automats, in a sense. It’s a terrible idea in my opinion, and yet people keep trying them. Case in point, here’s some in China that came and went: China’s unmanned store boom ends as quickly as it began – Nikkei Asian Review.
I am sure these will pop up from time to time. Robots are becoming more prevalent, and the urge to keep putting more and more of them in establishments will continue. But like the old automats, I think they will only get so far before they fail.
Yes, nuking a hurricane is a bad idea. (duh.) There are better ideas,
but as Vox explains, even those are prone to problems. For example…
In one of the most infamous attempts to slay a hurricane, Nobel laureate Irving Langmuir led a US military experiment in 1947 to seed Hurricane King with ice in hopes of sapping its vigor. The storm at the time was sliding away from the United States and losing strength.
In an excerpt in the Atlantic from his book Caesar’s Last Breath, author Sam Kean explained Langmuir’s idea: Growing ice in the eye of the hurricane would make the eye grow wider and collapse the storm. But Hurricane King didn’t respond as expected. “To everyone’s horror, it then pivoted — taking an impossible 135-degree turn — and began racing into Savannah, Georgia, causing $3 million in damage ($32 million today) and killing one person,” Kean writes.
So yeah, it’s no small thing to stop hurricanes. But given that climate change may make things worse, it could be worth it.
Sure there are shorter and sweeter train trips, but the legendary Trans-Siberian Railway is a trip like no other, and Business Insider has a run down of what is like. I was surprised how relatively low key it was. It seems doable, which is something for a train ride that takes over 2 days. If you ever fantasized about going on such an adventure, the article is made for you. As for me, the longest I’ve ever been on a trip was from Sydney, N.S. to Toronto and that was around 36 hours. By the time it was done I was glad to be off the train.
(Image: link from article)
If this sounds morbid and unappealing, I recommend you overcome that and give it a read: Checking in with death – Austin Kleon.
Checking in with death lets you live better. If you are into mindfulness or dealing with mental health issues or just want to appreciate life more, I recommend checking in with death.
German Lopez from Vox makes it, here: America needs more unions – Vox.
As for me, many unions fall under the idea of countervailing power, which I am a strong proponent for. The countervailing power aspect is important. The worst unions are not that.
There are a million or so cookbooks for the Keto Diet. If you’ve been tempted to buy one and try it, read this first: What is the Keto Diet—And Does It Work? (Spoiler: Nope) | Chatelaine.
Sounds like a poor idea. Judge for yourself.
You might argue that spritzers and shandies are not cocktails, but that is just classist nonsense! 🙂 Besides, not everything needs to be prepared by a fancy mixologist. These cheap and cheerful mixes may be some of the best things to drink during these late great summer days.
Quite a lot! And it took quite a lot to figure it out! Did you know part of the mission of the space suit is just to filter out body odor? Or that the spacesuit of one astronaut can be used to help another astronaut with a failing suit? There’s lots of interesting facts about spacesuits, here: Apollo’s PLSS And The Science Of Keeping Humans Alive In Space | Hackaday
It’s debatable for sure, but there are a number of people who think he did. This piece (from a few years ago) titled The Mirrors Behind Rembrandt’s Self-Portraits in The New York Times looks into one paper that argues so
In a paper published Wednesday in the Journal of Optics, Mr. O’Neill lays out a theory that Rembrandt set up flat and concave mirrors to project his subjects — including himself — onto surfaces before painting or etching them.
By tracing these projections, the 17th-century painter would have been able to achieve a higher degree of precision, Mr. O’Neill said. His research suggests that some of Rembrandt’s most prominent work may not have been done purely freehand, as many art historians believe.
He is not the first to suggest that old master painters used optics for their famous portraits.
In 2001, David Hockney, a renowned British painter, and Charles Falco, an optical sciences professor at the University of Arizona, published a book in which they argued that master painters secretly used mirrors and lenses to create hyperrealistic paintings, starting in the Renaissance.
Their theory, known as the Hockney-Falco thesis, generated controversy among scientists and art historians, some of whom took the findings as an implication that old master painters had “cheated” to produce their works.
I’ve read Hockney on this and he makes a strong case too. Not everyone agrees though. It’s worth reading the article and get a better picture, pardon the pun.
My thought is it’s likely all artists of the time would have used them to some extent. But Rembrandt is such a remarkable painter that it can only account for some of his greatness, if any.
This is a remarkable story of literally The World’s Fastest (Old) Man, via The New York Times.
It’s almost inconceivable someone in their 70s can be that fast, let alone setting records. Well worth reading for inspiration.
(Photo link: CreditKristian Thacker for The New York Times)
Stratechery is always great and this piece is no different: The WeWork IPO – Stratechery by Ben Thompson.
What makes it good is that rather than just slamming WeWork superficially, as many takes have, it delves into what could possibly justify why WeWork is a good investment.
My take is that if WeWork had a different executive, it could be a successful company. I think the comparison to AWS is somewhat valid, and in the gig economy with lots of short term work, it could become very successful. (It worked really well for a recent project I was on).
That said, I believe the executive team of WeWork will not be able to handle any drying up of capital or a recession of any length. Or investors will wake up and ask themselves why WeWork should be valued way more than IWG/Regus. Time will tell, of course.
One last thing: my understanding is that WeWork had to start from scratch in terms of buying up / leasing real estate, but AWS did not start from scratch and took advantage of existing capacity Amazon currently had.
(Image link to the original piece in the article reference)
August 20, 2019 in ideas, new!
Tagged AWS, business, entrepreneur, ideas, investment, realestate, startup, strategy, WeWork
The nature of work is always changing, and if you want to think about how we work now, I recommend this piece: LARPing your job.
Work has always been performative. With more flexibility and less well defined jobs, this becomes more and more important. How do you show your value? How do you demonstrate you are working hard (or working at all)? That piece addresses that. As for the title, if you want to know what LARPing is, you’ll have to read the piece. 🙂
If you are like me and have too many half finished or unfinished notebooks and journals, you will want to read this: Why it’s so hard to finish a notebook or journal – Vox.
I can’t say reading that piece will help you finish them, but it will help you better appreciate some of the difficulty MANY of us have with doing so.
My take on it is: buy ones that are either small or have pages that are easy to tear out. After awhile go through old ones and tear out things of note and then toss them aside. And then go buy more! 🙂
This is great: A Field Guide to New York Workers – People in NYC | Topic.
All the people you typically see in NYC. Well worth a look.
I started thinking this when I read this: How Tech Bros Fell in Love With Baking Bread – Eater.
First thought, I think this is something tech bros do to any subject area they stumble into: they are the equivalent of European explorers “discovering” places that have been inhabited for ages. Second thought, there is something patriarchal about men discovering and improving something as basic as bread.
I love bread. I think everyone would get joy out of learning to make it. And while you can really do amazing things in breadmaking, it should not be seen as something only the rarest of bakers can do.
To get you started, here is a bunch of recipes that are simple and varied. Good luck!
If you have Philips Hue products or are thinking of getting them, then I recommend you read this: Philips Hue super guide: How to set up and use your Hue lights.
The Hue is a great product, but it may not be the easiest thing to set up. This guide will help.
Slack may not be the end of email, but some version of it is likely going to result in a decline in email. If it won’t be slack, it might be one of the ones mentioned here:
Speaking of Google, the company has a Slack alternative of its own, called Hangouts Chat, as does Facebook, in Workplace. Microsoft has Teams, which is bundled with its Office software and which the company says is being used by more than 500,000 organizations. This multi-front attack on email is just beginning, but a wartime narrative already dominates: The universally despised office culture of replies and forwards and mass CCs and “looping in” and “circling back” is on its way out, and it’s going to be replaced by chat apps.
I doubt email will go away forever: that’ not how tech works. Dominant tech tends to fade away rather than outright collapse. That’s likely what will happen with email.
Will Slack et all be better? Good lord, no. Just different. Some aspects of it are better, and many aspects will be worse than email.
For the curious, here’s more on this idea: Slack Wants to Replace Email. Is That What We Want? – The New York Times
This is fascinating: The Apollo 11 mission as told through the astronauts’ heart rates | Popular Science
A good reminder that even the best prepared and most cool can still have elevated heart levels under stress.
For fans of maximalism, you can get some good ideas on how to pull it off and still make your place feel orderly by checking out this post: A Book-Filled Manhattan Apartment Where Everything Tells a Story | A Cup of Jo.
If you love small spaces AND stuff, you need to learn to be a good maximalist. (Or buy storage.) That post in A Cup of Jo can help.
New York City has had skyscrapers for a long time. A new twist on the skyscraper is the super skinny ones popping up all over Manhattan. There’s plenty of reasons for that, and the Guardian well documents that, here: Super-tall, super-skinny, super-expensive: the ‘pencil towers’ of New York’s super-rich | Cities | The Guardian.
I don’t particularly like them, but like all buildings, I am sure they will grow on me over time. They seem too featureless. Their main feature seems to be the thinness. That hardly puts them in the same class as the Chrysler Building or the Empire State Building.
Regardless of your thoughts on them, the article in the Guardian is good.
The book of Job is one of my two favourite parts of the Bible (the other being Ecclesiastes). If you also have a keen interest in it, there is a new book out on it and The Atlantic has the goods on it, here: The Book of Job in a New Light.
The new book casts Job in a different light than other interpretations. It’s not a terrible interpretation, and worth thinking upon. After all, that is what the Book of Job is about.
For more on the strangeness that is the Book of Job, see this article.
You might need this: This desktop lightbox makes your lighting setup as advanced as your camera | Yanko Design.
Ok, you like do not need this. But it is a pretty cool lightbox. Worth checking out, if only to fantasize about.
Did you guess 50? No? If you didn’t you should read this: A Study of 2.7 Million Startups Found the Ideal Age to Start a Business (and It’s Much Older Than You Think) | Inc.com
And in general terms, a 50-year-old entrepreneur is almost twice as likely to start an extremely successful company as a 30-year-old. (Or, for that matter, a successful side hustle.)
It’s never too late to pursue that business dream.
If you think all mindfulness is the same, then read this: Different Types Of Meditation Change Different Areas Of The Brain, Study Finds.
a new study from the Max Planck Institute finds that three different types of meditation training are linked to changes in corresponding brain regions. The results, published in Science Advances, have a lot of relevance to schools, businesses and, of course, the general public.
Mindfulness can be helpful for many reasons. But how you pursue it can yield different results. Something to keep in…mind.
If you fitness routine is stuck or worse, then I highly recommend you read this: How to Stay Fit Forever: 25 Tips When Life Gets in the Way.
You should find something in that piece to help get you unstuck and get going again. So grab a towel and a water bottle and get moving!
Two pieces recently make the case for long recipes. This one, directly: The Case for Very Long Recipes | TASTE.
And this one, indirectly: Jerk Chicken So Good I’ve Been Making It Every Summer for 25 Years – The New York Times
The first one makes the direct case that long detail makes for a better recipe, and I agree with that. If you just need a list of ingredients and short steps, go to allrecipes.com and you can find it. If you want to know why things are done a certain way and why certain ingredients are used and how they should be cooked, then a long recipe is preferable.
The second one, by Gabrielle Hamilton, makes the case indirectly. The recipe comes at the end of a long essay that explains the origin of it. You could just read the recipe, but you’d be missing out on so much if you just did that.
I get why people hate long recipes. Not everyone who writes a long preamble before a recipe can writes as well as Hamilton. But it would be a shame if cooks stopped trying.
One site that does this really well is BudgetBytes.com. She has a button at the top that let’s you jump to the recipe, which is in the middle of the piece. At the top of the piece is her thoughts on the recipe. Then the recipe. Then detailed instructions on how to prepare the dish. Smittenkitchen.com also does long recipes, and they are also really worth reading through.
Image from here.
Is captured in that picture frame.
Found here: Hello Strawberries, Popsicles, Lemonade, Fresh Cut Lawns, Swimming & Starry Skies | Poppytalk
Sadly it doesn’t look like the person who originally made it exists. At least I get a 404 error when I click through. Maybe if you love it you can make it yourself!
Then read this Vice piece: How to Make a Phone Farm
I’ve seen pictures of Phone Farms in China, but I thought you needed some advanced tech to run them. Turns out, you just need a bit of work and some old phones, and…well for the rest, read the article.
For those who don’t know, Phone Farms are banks of cell phones automated to do the things you do manually with your phone.
P.S. I expect marketers will read this and start to come up with ways to defeat this, if they haven’t already started. This provides a threat to them, and a ramp up of this can be seriously deterimental.
Perfect for summer.
Actually, perfect for any time of the year.
Want one? Go here: Voilà l’Été: The French 75 Recipe on Food52
I love stories about colours and their origins, but this one on Paris Green is especially good: This Trendy But Toxic Shade of Green Left Thousands Dead in the Victorian Era.
Turns out 19th century patrons loved this tint that was produced using…arsenic. You can imagine how this turns out, but save your imagination and read the story.
Image and story from Town and Country, of all things. Not sure how I came across it, but I am glad I did.
This is a good piece: How to Be Thankful For Your Life by Changing Just One Word. I have thought about it often since I read it. You can get to read it too, but in short, write down all the things you “have to” do or “should” do and think differently. Key passage:
You have to wake up early for work. You have to make another sales call for your business. You have to work out today. You have to write an article. You have to make dinner for your family. You have to go to your son’s game.
Now, imagine changing just one word in the sentences above.
You don’t “have” to. You “get” to.
You get to wake up early for work. You get to make another sales call for your business. You get to cook dinner for your family. By simply changing one word, you shift the way you view each event. You transition from seeing these behaviors as burdens and turn them into opportunities.
Get. You get to. Better still, you are lucky to get to. Write down the inner dialog in your head and see if you can edit it this way.
The cliche, you don’t know what you got until it’s gone, holds here. Know what you got. Think about it in a new way.