September 25, 2020

Hi! Did you know the deadline to register to vote in MD is October 13? You can also check your voter registration status online. 

  1. How do I stop being lazy?, Here’s the Thing. “Your biggest problem is your biggest problem. That does not make it the world’s biggest problem. Your laziness is not on par with climate change, of course, BUT THAT DOESN’T MAKE IT NOT A BIG PROBLEM FOR YOU! You are allowed to have problems even if you have privilege. The two are not mutually exclusive. I think in many ways you have avoiding processing some of this because you feel guilty for feeling bad. But beating yourself up for being frustrated or feeling stuck is not going to make you unstuck. That’s like punching yourself in the face for having gotten a flat tire.” I really like this advice, it’s compassionate and gives the letter writer a good place to start (ask for help, be kind to yourself, and start small).
  2. The Photographer Peeking at Your Phone, NYT. Hmmm…this is a very weird project, and probably embarrassing if your stuff was in there. But boy do I love to snoop on other people’s conversations. “Voyeuristic isn’t the same as harmful,” Mermelstein told me, when I asked him about the ethics of capturing people’s private thoughts without their knowledge or consent. “We’re all out there in the public domain, so part of everything we do engages with voyeurism. As a street photographer, I’ve been practicing this for a long time, and I trust that what I do isn’t hurting anyone.” What do you think about that idea? I’m chewing my lip over it.
  3. Surfaces vs Airborne: What We Know Now About Covid-19 Transmission, Medium. “One reason is that a virus inside a freshly exhaled droplet is more likely to be alive and infectious than a virus that’s been sitting on a doorknob for several hours. The other reason is that, in close range, breathing in the air that someone else just breathed out is going to expose you to a higher quantity of virus particles — called the inoculum — than after the droplets disperse and fall to the ground. […]  And even if some viral particles do get through, the viral dose will still be much smaller, so the person will be less likely to get seriously ill.” A lot of this is stuff we know, but it made me feel better about a) wearing masks in public and b) seeing friends in outdoor spaces.
  4. I Learned to Love Reading Again While Quarantined (And So Can You, with These Eight Easy Steps!), The Niche. This is a great post with good advice — be bored, think of it as a treat, read what you ACTUALLY want to read, not what you think you should be reading. I like their tip here, to have the next book lined up. That motivates you to finish the one you’re reading, to get to the next one! I would also recommend trying several different types of book, because maybe you don’t like modern literary fiction (personally I find it grim), but graphic novels are your jam, or Instagram-style poetry, or comedian memoirs. There’s a librarian saying (it’s actually a law of library science, lol and barf) that is “Every reader, their book,” meaning there’s a book out there for you and the library is obligated to get you access to it. 
  5. We’re Closer Than We Realize, Reasons to Be Cheerful. “We find hope in stories of the Jewish and Arab women in Israel driving hundreds of Bedouin women from their remote villages to polling stations to protect their right to vote. We find it in the youth soccer program in Lewiston, Maine, where Somali refugees play side by side with their American teammates to set an example for the rest of their community. We find it in the NFL’s reversal of its position on players taking a knee during the national anthem, and the league’s eventual support for the Black Lives Matter movement. We also find hope in the fact that BLM is widely embraced by Americans: two-thirds of U.S. adults support the movement, including majorities of white (60%), Hispanic (77%), and Asian (75%) Americans. The growing diversity within the movement is illustrative and informative.” This is an encouraging piece. “We can either turn on each other, or toward each other.”

Donation Station:

  • League of Women Voters – I’m very concerned about people being confused or kept from being able to vote this year, so I’m going to focus on a few voting rights organizations for a bit. The League of Women Voters creates the excellent Vote411 voter guide, which gives you an overview of who’s on your ballot and what they stand for. Join me in kicking $5 their way this week!

Bonus features:

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