I realize not everyone can do this, but if you are bored out of your gourd right now and are looking for a challenge, why not try to read an entire book in a single day.
If you think: there’s no way I can do that, then read this: How to Read an Entire Book in a Single Day.
As you can see, it’s quite possible to do it, and with that article, you have all kinds of advice on how to succeed.
The weekend is coming up. This could be just the thing you need to feel some sense of accomplishment.
Let me know what you read!
Fans of Bauhaus, take note: The Exuberant Postcard Art of the First Bauhaus Exhibition.
Lots of really good works by members of Bauhaus, including Klee (above).
Here’s a link to get you the information: 15 Places Online to Buy Reusable Face Masks That Comply with the CDC.
Style and safety. It’s a weird time, so might as well make the most of it.
Sometimes – ok, often – I will be down and despairing and I will strongly feel I will never be happy again. When I think that, I fall back on my six month rule.
For my six month rule, I think of the times in my life I’ve been happy and I picture that time. Then I picture the time six months earlier. In that earlier time, I think: could I have predicted that I would be happy six months later? The answer is no, I never could. Then I ask myself: is my ability to predict any better now? And the answer again is no. Then how can you predict you won’t be happy again in the future, I wonder? And I have to answer: I can’t. For me that is enough to break out of my negative fortune telling about the future.
Maybe I won’t be happy in six months. Maybe I will be worse. Who knows? I sure don’t. So I get in with things and hope and work for the best and I stop trying to predict the future and I stop letting this predictions determine the way I feel right now at this moment.
That is actual floor tile you can buy! The floor is flat underneath, but the different shaped tiles trick your eye into thinking otherwise.
For more on this trompe d’oeil, see: An Optical Illusion Tile System Designed by Casa Ceramica via Colossal
You might be thinking at this stage of staying home that there is no benefit of repitition. But Darius Foroux makes the case for the benefit of repetition here: All Strength Comes From Repetition.
I get it: you might be sick of the repetition you are currently undergoing. For me, part of that sickness is this pandemic repetition is forced and prolonged and with an unknown end date. But we are all stuck with it. Here’s a way of thinking of it and acting upon it in a positive manner.
Good luck. Get better.
Ok, fine, your workout routine right now might consist of opening the fridge thirty times a day. That’s fair. It’s hard to get motivated to exercise during a pandemic.
But you might be trapped in thinking that a) I am feeling crappy because I am not exercising but b) exercising makes me feel crappy. It’s a dilemma.
I think this article can help you out of the dilemma: Maybe You’d Exercise More If It Didn’t Feel So Crappy in FiveThirtyEight
I’d rather you read it then summarize it. I will say that one way to get out of the rut you are in is to reconsider what you are exercising for. You may have high goals, and if so, great. But if your goals are: “feel better” then there are plenty of ways to exert yourself (i.e. exercise) that are not crappy. A good long walk (preferably with a destination, at least for me), a bicycle ride, or running around the park with your dog (don’t just stand there) can all work. Stretching daily as a way to break from work is useful. Go to the dollar store and get a jump rope and get outside and skip again. Grab a garbage bag and go pick up some litter (I saw someone on twitter doing this). Do some woodworking or do a lot of batch baking (if you haven’t been exercising, you will find this tiring). Plenty of ways of being active. Or do things like the article says: start off hard into your exercise routine but gradually make it easier and easier.
Most importantly, find an easy way to track it so you stick with it. You will likely find yourself feeling better, or at least less crappy.
Can be found here: How to Have Fewer Regrets – The New York Times
People will say they have few or no regrets. I wonder how challenged they were in life to be that way. Chances are you have more than a few regrets. That’s ok. Read the piece and things better about that.
If you are a member of those people born between 1954 and 1965, you may never felt comfortable being associated with Boomers or Gen X. You may have felt a bit of both and a bit of neither. Congratulations, there is a gen for you now: Generation Jones.
Let me let Wikipedia explain:
Generation Jones is the social cohort of the latter half of the baby boomers to the first years of Generation X.
The term was first coined by the cultural commentator Jonathan Pontell, who identified the cohort as those born from 1954 to 1965 in the U.S.who came of age during the oil crisis, stagflation, and the Carter presidency, rather than during the 1960s, but slightly before Gen X. Other sources place the starting point at 1956 or 1957.
Unlike boomers, most of Generation Jones did not grow up with World War II veterans as fathers, and for them there was no compulsory military service and no defining political cause, as opposition to United States involvement in the Vietnam War had been for the older boomers.
Also, by 1955, a majority of U.S. households had at least one television set, and so unlike boomers born in the 1940s, many members of Generation Jones have never lived in a world without television – similar to how many members of Generation Z (1997–2012) have never lived in a world without personal computers or the internet, which a majority of U.S. households had by 2000 and 2001 respectively.
Unlike Generation X (1965–1980), Generation Jones was born before most of the Sexual Revolution of the 1960s and ’70s.
So, lots of reasons why you may feel unique. And you are. And also this generational explanations for how you are is slightly more accurate than horoscopes, but not much more, in my opinion.
For more on this, see Generation Jones – Wikipedia
Many of you have been working from home for several weeks now due to the pandemic. You may be getting fatigue for a number of reasons with your environment. Worse, you might have to keep doing it for some time to come.
Don’t fret. Here’s 10 Home Office Ideas That Will Make You Want to Work All Day from Real Simple magazine. Lots of good ideas in that piece, and nice photos to offer up some inspiration. Best of all, most of the ideas are affordable. If you can’t get out to shop and don’t want to shop online, consider “shopping your house” (i.e. take pictures, rugs, clocks, etc from other parts of your home and put them in your work space. Hey, you are there most of the time, why not make it shine). Also Google things like “home office gallery wall” or “home office decor ideas” for more visual ideas.
It’s tulip time. If you love them and buy them often too, here’s some advice on how to better take care of them: Tulips – Flower Care via Apartment Therapy
My first question is: really? Are you absolutely sure? Positive? Can’t just use some hair product or a hat?
Ok, if you are still determined to do the deed, then consider reading this: How to Cut Your Own Hair at Home (Long, Short, Wavy, Curly, Kids, Bangs) | WIRED.
Despite being in Wired, it is surprising detailed and gives lots of practical advice.
Good luck. And if you are using anything electric to cut or trim, make sure it is well charged and not old: you don’t want them giving out on you midcut.
It’s not a fun time, and it’s not an era for travel, but if you want a souvenir of your non-travels from the pandemic, head on over to Colossal and check out: Witty ‘Coronavirus Tourism’ Posters Advertise the Thrilling Adventures of Staying Home
Better still, if you like the one above, or any of the other ones, visit the artist’s commercial site and buy one!
Hey, what’s the point of (non) travel if you don’t get a souvenir or two.
According to this, it is shockingly good value. You might find that hard to believe, since if you think it looks an iPhone 8, you are right. As the Verge writes, the new SE has…
the iPhone 8’s body, the iPhone 11’s processor, and the iPhone XR’s camera system with a few new capabilities.
So a bit of a combo of different features, all adding up to something many people will be happy to move to.
I have always been happy when Apple puts out lower cost products, because they are never bad, and they put more Apple devices in the hands of people who otherwise might not be able to afford them. I think the new SE will be no exception.
Good phone to get if you are due for an upgrade.
Chances are your exercise routine has declined or even stopped with being inside for the pandemic. If you are thinking about running, but have never run before, then I highly recognize this: How to Start Running Outside If You’ve Never Run Before | Chatelaine
The audience for that article is women, but it can apply to men too (well, other than the sports bra part). I like that piece because it really makes running something low key that anyone can do. Which is good, because almost anyone can! (There are exceptions, but I am willing to guess you aren’t exceptional here.)
The weather is getting more conducive to running outdoors. Read the article, strap on your shoes, and go. Good luck!
There will be much discussion about social distancing in the future, and much of that discussion will center on whether or not it has been worth it. One of the ways to better discuss this is to be aware of what Sweden has done. Here’s some key points from this piece Coronavirus: Is Sweden have second thoughts on lockdown? | The Independent:
Sweden, in contrast with most of Europe, has not enforced a lockdown on its citizens. In the balmy Easter weather, people sit and soak in the spring sunshine.
Despite the mounting concerns of experts both at home and abroad, Sweden continues what Anders Tegnell, the country’s chief epidemiologist, has called a “low-scale” approach. He insists this “is much more sustainable” in the long run.
But Sweden’s cases are rising. The country of some 10 million now has more than 10,000 cases and 887 deaths. Its total death toll is higher than that of all the other Nordic countries put together.
The government has said repeatedly that the main cornerstone of their strategy is to protect the elderly. Since the beginning of the crisis, they have been asked to stay home but despite these measures, the virus has spread to one-third of nursing homes in Stockholm, which has resulted in a spike in fatalities.
Prime minister Stefan Lofven recently admitted in an interview with daily Svenska Dagbladet that “Sweden has not succeeded in protecting it’s elderly”. Mr Lofven also warned citizens to prepare for possibly up to “thousands” of deaths.
In the long term Sweden may ultimately have less deaths and suffering because of their hands off approach. Right now, they are doing much worse than other countries practicing social distancing.
It has been very hard for people to social distance but they have because they believe it is worth it. Sweden is now acting as a control in this global experiment and may save many lives globally by showing that social distancing is the way to go. I hope they end the experiment soon.
The first one is make art. It can be of anything with anything. Draw, make collages, do simple painting. Anything. Why? As David Hockney says:
“We need art, and I do think it can relieve stress,” he said. “What is stress? It’s worrying about something in the future. Art is now.”
And if you can find the ingredients, try and bake bread. It’s also good for getting you to focus on the now and stop worrying about the future.
Read both pieces I’ve linked to. Then get busy.
It’s a guide on… How to Keep Your Zoom Chats Private and Secure (WIRED)
I would recommend people consider safer and more private form of video conferencing, but if you are going to use Zoom, make sure you do it safely. A good way to do that is read and follow that guide.
I am guessing that
- your exercise routine has died (if not, kudos!)
- you feel like you should do some form of exercise
- you are feeling worried about doing workouts outdoors
If this is true, you need some workouts to do at home. Now you might be thinking that you don’t have room or equipment or even the energy to workout at home. Think again: these eight workouts below can be done by most people. There’s a combination of things to make yourself more active during the day, from stretching to exercising:
- Morning Stretching
- Morning Workout
- Energy Boost
- Reset Stretch
- Mini workout while watching TV
- Or while playing video games
- Office Yoga
- Simple workout before bed
All these workout comes from the DAREBEE website, which has an impressive and excellent database of exercises. You can find all the workouts here, and they are all easily searchable. You can find a workout for pretty much anything.
These days of staying at home during the pandemic are hard days. Being inactive can make it harder. Try lightening things up with a bit of physical activity.
This is a fine analysis of why people are still crowding on certain TTC routes despite everyone being told to stay home: Mapping TTC crowding during a pandemic | Marshall’s Musings.
Even during a pandemic, some people have to go in to work, and some people don’t have the money to have their own car to do so. Those are the people likely crowding still on the buses.
Maps are a great tool during breakouts of epidemics and pandemics, and this one is no exception (map above linked to in the article).
OK Soda is a product I never heard of before today, and reading about it in Wikipedia, I can see why. It had a short unsuccessful life, lasting from 1993 to 1995. It was targeted at the marketplace of Gen Xers and echoes so much of that era. The first sentence in the Ok Manifesto — it was a product with a manifesto! – sums up the viewpoint of many people at the time:
- What’s the point of OK? Well, what’s the point of anything?
It was fun reading about this failed product and the time it failed in. I can see why it may have developed a cult following.
For more on OK, see this good post or this piece in Buzzfeed.
For example, if you have space, do what good hotels do and make a lounging area, like this:
Let’s face it we all have more time these days to lounge.
For more such tips, see: 25 ways to make your master bedroom feel like a boutique hotel
David Lebowitz has a new book out now called “Drinking French”, and it possible that we need it more than ever. Here’s a recipe from it, a nice spin on the classic Manhattan. Enjoy: French Manhattan recipe
You can buy it everywhere, including here.
If you are tired of other streaming services, or if you want to improve the films you are watching, now is a good time to check out the high quality films on The Criterion Channel.
Right now they have a 14 day free trial. Now, if you are not a cinephile, the list of films they have could feel daunting. To make it simple, here is a list of 50 essential films you can watch there, with reasons why you want to see them.
If you aren’t sure, you can check out Criterion films streaming on Netflix, Apple TV and more. Consider giving them a try, though.
There’s already been some pundits claiming autocratic countries have been handling the pandemic better than democratic countries. This piece on the website for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace argues differently. It’s worth reading, but a key part of the piece is this:
Despite attempts by politicians to use the crisis to tout their favored political model, the record so far does not show a strong correlation between efficacy and regime type. While some autocracies have performed well, like Singapore, others have done very poorly, like Iran. Similarly, some democracies have stumbled, like Italy and the United States, while others have performed admirably, like South Korea and Taiwan. The disease has not yet ravaged developing countries, making it impossible to include poorer autocracies and democracies in the comparison.
Keep this in mind, especially afterwards, when writers and authorities argue that we need more controls on people to fight future pandemics.