One of my favorite songs for years has been Nick Drake’s “One of these things first”. I first heard it on the soundtrack to movie The Garden State, as did many it seems, a film remembered for it’s music more than anything else.
I’ve been listening to a lot of country music this week: Here are some new ones I’ve been enjoying, courtesy of Greg Vandy’s 2019 best albums list:
Daniel Norgren – Wooh Dang
Jake Xerxes Fussell – Out of Sight
No one can explain why airplanes stay in the air:
I had no idea that there were competing theories that attempt to explain how flying works. Even Einstein has had a go at it to no avail:
In 1917, on the basis of his theory, Einstein designed an airfoil that later came to be known as a cat’s-back wing because of its resemblance to the humped back of a stretching cat. He brought the design to aircraft manufacturer LVG (Luftverkehrsgesellschaft) in Berlin, which built a new flying machine around it. A test pilot reported that the craft waddled around in the air like “a pregnant duck.” Much later, in 1954, Einstein himself called his excursion into aeronautics a “youthful folly.” The individual who gave us radically new theories that penetrated both the smallest and the largest components of the universe nonetheless failed to make a positive contribution to the understanding of lift or to come up with a practical airfoil design.
Favorite book excerpts this week:
Related to the article about flight above:
“…what exists within the area of “not knowing” is so much greater and more exciting than anything any one of us knows.” (Ray Dalio, Principles)
Potential explantation for why I don’t have a lot of close friendships at the moment 😉:
“You must have a good time meeting people if you expect them to have a good time meeting you.” (Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People)
How to not take things personally:
Cal Newport on the differentiation of YouTube as a platform for creatives:
YouTube, unlike its peers in the pantheon of social media giants, really can act like a platform. Though it still offers a purposefully addictive and creepily-surveilled user experience at YouTube.com (few rabbit holes run deeper than those excavated by their algorithmically-enhanced autoplay suggestions), the service also allows its videos to be embedded in third-party websites, enabling it to behave like an actual platform that can support a wide array of non-affiliated communities.
I was thinking about this the other day when visiting Tested.com, a technology-oriented web site, primarily built around original videos hosted on YouTube.
Tested.com is a cool site and an example of how smaller websites (even personal ones like this) can make a big impact by leveraging other platforms.
A reminder that we should treat our elders, and anyone else for that matter, well:
Five of the world’s weirdest auroras:
I had no idea that there were so many different types of nothing lights.
Handy list of icebreaker questions: From Rob Walker’s Art of Noticing newsletter.
Something I’m grateful for:
The way Kav always includes the kids in decision making. She’s always seemingly able to use deft judgement on how and when to include the kids in decisions large and small that we have to make that effect them. They learn by example.
Lastly, check out what we’re up to now.
When in doubt, tidy up. I did a lot of tidying this week as I find myself with some extra time off. The doldrums of the typical afternoon require that I do something with my hands to get unstuck and moving stuff around is a great antidote. Just remember, we don’t have to keep our spaces neat and tidy, just keep them ready for when we want to work (or play). That often means leaving things out, at the ready.
New music to work (and dance) to: From KEXPs excellent Midnight In a Perfect World series lands this crazy mix by Hot Chip: KEXP Presents Midnight In a Perfect World with Hot Chip
Rules of the studio from Austin Kleon and Kanye West: This inspired me to try doing some “studio time” at home, earmarking an hour (or however long it would last) for creating art with the kids. I want to expand it to include collage and sculpture, but for this first one we just had pens and pencils. Here are a couple of the outputs:
A book from Hemingway that was release posthumously: Islands in the Stream. I am in little bit of a reading rut and have been reading a lot of nonfiction on developing (good) habits and philosophies of life. This seems like a good antidote.
The first of Hemingway’s posthumously published novels (1970), Islands in the Stream was found by Hemingway’s widow after his death. Beautifully descriptive, he weaves together many of his signature narratives – love, loss, longing, adventure, and war. In three stories, Hemingway takes us through decades of the life of artist Thomas Hudson, in a semi-autobiographical depiction that begins with the joys of fatherhood and fishing before moving to suspenseful Nazi submarine hunting. This book has something for everyone, and is a worthwhile read for those only familiar with Hemingway’s more popular and earlier works.From FS.blog’s Brain Food #333
The only thing that allows me to sit quietly in the evening is the completion of a worthy day’s work. What work? The labor of entering my imagination and trying to come back out with something that is worthy both of my own time and effort and of the time and effort of my brothers and sisters to read it or watch it or listen to it.
Favorite book excerpt:
A practicing Stoic will keep the trichotomy of control firmly in mind as he goes about his daily affairs. He will perform a kind of triage in which he sorts the elements of his life into three categories: those over which he has complete control, those over which he has no control at all, and those over which he has some but not complete control. The things in the second category-those over which he has no control at all-he will set aside as not worth worrying about. In doing this, he will spare himself a great deal of needless anxiety. He will instead concern himself with things over which he has complete control and things over which he has some but not complete control. And when he concerns himself with things in this last category, he will be careful to set internal rather than external goals for himself and will thereby avoid a considerable amount of frustration and disappointment.A Guide to the Good Life, William B Irvine