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Free Picture Stencil Maker

This is a nice little tool if you want to turn a photograph into a stencil or drawing: Free Picture Stencil Maker.

If you wanted to simplify an image, this can help. For example, if you wanted to break down an image for painting or drawing, this could be really useful.

Give it a try!

 

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Two pieces on the Canadian pipeline protests, with no special insight from me…

Two pieces on the Canadian pipeline protests worth reflecting on are here in The Globe and Mail and here in Macleans. Obviously there has been much more written, but these seem to capture at least some of the differences.

It’s a complicated situation, to say the least, and I have no clear insight or recommendations on how to assess it. How you assess it depends on how you see the world and Canada’s place in it.

My general thoughts are we need to strongly move away from fossil fuels and all of Canada needs to strongly move towards  strengthening indigenous people so they have more autonomy and better relations with and within Canada. Underlying that, my cynical and skeptical view is that there is money and power involved and nothing is as it seems because of this.  So I am hoping for the best and expecting the worst and in the end I believe there will be progress however tarnished.

 

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How to keep an eye out for unwanted App Store subscriptions

App Store subscriptions can add up financially if you are not careful. They are also easier to sign up for than you might think. It can be especially bad if your kids have the ability to download apps on iPhones or iPads; kids will not even be aware they are signing up for subscriptions. (Heck, that is also true of adults.)

To check on and cancel subscriptions, follow this guide: How to Cancel App Store Subscriptions – MacRumors

If this saves you any money, let me know! 🙂

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Houseplants for people terrible with plants

If you are terrible with plants, like me, and want to get some plants regardless, then check this out: Houseplants You Can’t Kill – Dwell.

The plants are:

  1. Snake plant
  2. Cast iron plant
  3. Jade
  4. Aloe
  5. Rubber plant

Relatedly, my office recent had plants added, and the plants added were from this list. So far they are doing fine. Let’s see if I (and you) have similar results.

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What does Bong Joon-ho’s ‘Parasite’ win mean for the Oscars?

Likely nothing. On the surface, it might seem like it will. But step back: every year some pattern emerges from the Oscar winners, and this pattern is seized on as meaning something meaningful.

The only pattern I can see as meaningful is how Netflix has been steadily gaining more and more nominations over the last few years. There is a meaningful trend. It could end any time, but I think it means that more American films will come from new organizations (e.g. Netflix, Apple, Amazon).

I thought Parasite was a great movie, and Boon Joon-ho is a great director.  But look over the last 10 or 20 years and see if you can find a trend in which films are winning. If you can, I’d love to read about your analysis.

P.S. This is a good piece that got me thinking about the meaning of a film winning at the Oscars: Bong Joon-ho’s ‘Parasite’ makes Oscar history by repurposing the familiar – The Washington Post

 

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What is pink noise and why you might need it if you have trouble sleeping or relaxing

I was aware of white noise, but I didn’t realize there is a range of noises associated with colour:

Both pink and white noise are members of an entire color family of sound including black and brown noise. Sounds are assigned these colors based on how energy is distributed over several frequencies, according to Healthline.com. White noise, for example, is comprised of energy that is equally distributed across all audible frequencies. Brown noise, sometimes called red noise, consists of higher energies at lower frequencies—think thunder and deep, roaring sounds.

Pink noise, on the other hand, is a shade deeper than white noise. It’s similar to white noise in that it includes all audible frequencies; however, unlike white noise, energy is not distributed equally among them.

I have found that the rain sounds I listen to are more pink noise than white noise, and I prefer it for sleeping. If you are having trouble sleeping or relaxing, try listening to some pink noise.

For more on it, see: Pink Noise Sleep Benefits | Apartment Therapy

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For all of you performing (or interested in performing) mindfulness…

For all of you performing (or interested in performing) mindfulness, I recommend you read this: The Honest Guide to Mindfulness : zen habits.

If you have been doing mindfulness for awhile and you are getting frustrated or giving up, then it can help ease your frustration and prevent you from quitting. If you are new to mindfulness and concerned you won’t be able to do it effectively, then it can help give you some perspective.

Mindfulness has been good for me. I am looking forward to reading this from time to time whenever I find it difficult.