April 20, 2018

Happy Poetry Month, everyone! And Earth Week, and Shakespeare’s birthday all wrapped up in one convenient span of time! Have you ever tried blackout poetry? I’m a new fan – something that gets me out of my old habits of creation and into something a little bit looser, daring, and potentially messy. Good stuff can come from a mess or two.

  1. Tired of Your Cubicle? Try a Trade, NYT. I know it’s not as simple as “leave your office job for a more romantic life sanding furniture” or anything, but it is really interesting that certain trades are going to have a great need for workers soon, or already, like nonresidential construction which by 2022 will “begin losing some 15,000 people over a five-year period to retirement.”
  2. Harvard Study: Clearing Your Mind Affects Your Genes and Can Lower Your Blood Pressure.
    Meditation has been shown to help lower blood pressure in this small study, and I really like the way this sentence connects relaxation techniques to other medical treatments: “His [Dr. Herbert Benson’s] goal is to
    establish the relaxation response and other techniques that calm the
    brain — yoga, t’ai chi, breathing exercises, repetitive prayer and other
    meditative practices – as a “third leg” of medical treatment, along
    with medication and surgical procedures.”
  3. How to Break Up with Your Phone. I might have shared a short excerpt from this book that was published in the New York Times a few weeks ago – the whole book is worth a read. First it briefly goes through the reasons we all need a “breakup,” from how our smartphone affects our sense of wellbeing and memory to how smartphone and app developers are deliberately tapping into addictive impulses in our brains. Then Price lays out a game plan for 30 days (or at your own pace), with practical steps for resetting and potentially taking a break from the tiny powerful computer at your side.
  4. Tattoos Are About Change, The Cut. I thought this short essay was sweet. “It took me a long time to learn that good tattooing, like all good art,
    is less about a yearning for permanence than about the desire to capture
    change. Not to arrest, but to see in the way of remembrance: Change is
  5. The Name of the Wind, Patrick Rothfuss. I finally got to this now-classic fantasy novel from 10 years ago. I have some qualms, as I usually do with male authors of fantasy, but I admire Rothfuss’s craft and the Tolkien-like deliberation with which he’s built this world. I also really enjoyed hanging out inside the brain of a narrator I don’t totally trust or like. This book pushed limits for me but I’m really glad I read it!

One bonus feature:

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