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November 23, 2018

However you are celebrating this holiday, I hope you find a moment for gratitude and another for cozy. 

  1. Know Your Squash: How They Look, How They Cook, NYT. This is a great guide to a wonderful vegetable!

  2. McMansion Hell (Williamson County, TN). This is a Tumblr that pokes fun at the real estate listings of enormous mansions – the tacky taste, the iffy architecture, and the sense of dread you get from looking at pictures of a house with no people in it. It’s all here, and I’ve snickered my way through many a house profile on her blog. This post, which covers an eyesore of a house from Tennessee, is representative of her humor.

  3. Why UX Designers Should Consider the Role of Sound Design, WIRED. This is interesting! Describes the phenomenon of “sonic trash,” like that grating noise when you need to remove your card from the chip reader at the grocery store. Some of their findings: “That credit card chip reader sound has an emotional appeal of 95.7, just slightly
    better than nails on a chalkboard. In that same range is the relentless
    beeping of a typical microwave when your food is done. The least
    appealing designed sound we tested was the government issued Emergency
    Broadcast Alert—with an Emotional Index of 93.1, it’s only marginally
    better than hearing a pained scream.

    Interestingly,
    the most appealing designed sound we tested was that of The Weather
    Channel’s Severe Weather Alert on its mobile app, which falls somewhere
    between an orchestra tuning and the sound of applause (Emotional Index =
    107.8).  Not far off, with an emotional index of 107, was Disney Now’s
    streaming media UX sounds.”

  4. Quitting Instagram: Why did one of the original employees of the social media platform quit the company and delete the app? Washington Post. “She was one of the 13 original employees working at
    Instagram in 2012 when Facebook bought the viral photo-sharing app for
    $1 billion. She and four others from that small group now say the sense
    of intimacy, artistry and discovery that defined early Instagram and led
    to its success has given way to a celebrity-driven marketplace that is
    engineered to sap users’ time and attention at the cost of their
    well-being.“In the early days, you felt your
    post was seen by people who cared about you and that you cared about,”
    said Richardson, who left Instagram in 2014 and later founded a
    start-up. “That feeling is completely gone for me now.”

    This line also identified why Instagram Stories, along with a few other features, make Instagram a less authentic internet space: “The result of these changes and others prior to it was increased
    follower counts, produced larger social networks with weaker ties, and
    more time spent in the app.” Interesting!

  5. Quality Time: The Presentation That Changed My Work Life, ACRLog. Forgive me for the self-promotion, but this blog post just came out on the library blog I write for! I talk about the book When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing, and the new way I structure my day.

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