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19 Nov 11:15

The Virtue of Owning Books You Haven’t Read

by swissmiss

“When considering whether to buy yet another book, you might well ask yourself when you’ll get around to reading it. But perhaps there are other, even more important considerations, such as the intellectual value of the book in its still-unread state.”

The Virtue of Owning Books You Haven’t Read: Why Umberto Eco Kept an “Antilibrary”

05 Nov 07:27

dsmithereen2:Now, if I only had a can opener.




Now, if I only had a can opener.

24 Oct 02:07

astraltrickster: tychomania: tychomania: ...






watching a video about this cargo ship that blew up in texas in the 40’s and it’s like . i know that with a lot of incidents especially older ones like this the reason that the safety standards were so shitty was because they literally did not know that these kinds of disasters COULD happen (and in many cases these disasters are what MADE the safety standards better) but sometimes you just learn about this shit and you think. how could all these people be so stupid

- cargo of the ship consisted of twine (flammable) peanuts (flammable, oily) and cotton (FLAMMABLE) from houston and POST WAR AMMUNITION (OH MY GOD) FROM CUBA

- additional cargo they were picking up in texas city was LOOSE BAGS OF AMMONIUM NITRATE that the dock workers described as being ANOMALOUSLY WARM UPON BEING LOADED INTO THE SHIP ??????

- small fire breaks out in cargo hold, instead of putting it out with water that could damage the cargo the captain decides to close all the hatches to try to make the cargo hold airtight and smother the fire (stupid but you can kind of understand how they got there)

- the heat of the trapped smoke in the cargo hold instead causes the aforementioned LOOSE BAGS OF AMMONIUM NITRATE to undergo a chemical reaction and turn into nitrous oxide, massively increasing the pressure inside of the airtight hold

- one of the hatch covers fails

- mfw all the pressure in the cargo hold is released at once causing an explosion that fucking levels everything in the port within 2000 feet

- mfw the shockwave shatters windows up to a hundred miles away

- mfw on-fire twine and peanuts and fucking grenades are raining down over texas city

- mfw some of the pieces of the ship got launched into the sky faster than the speed of sound

- mfw they found the ship’s anchor inside of a ten foot wide crater over a mile and a half away

- mfw this was one of the largest and most devastating non-nuclear explosions in world history

- mfw this could have been avoided if they’d just taken the L and put the fire out with water

also worth a mention: the SECOND boat that exploded in a very similar manner the next day which was an even more violent explosion, but less devastating because most of the port was. you know. already leveled and evacuated

someone running rescue and recovery after the FIRST boat exploded noticed that the second boat’s cargo was on fire and reported it….and this just went. ignored. for several hours. until someone was like “oh shit better get this under control” and tried to move the boat to no avail and they just gave up and evacuated

next day it started raining glowing-hot metal boat chunks all over the city. AGAIN.

Today’s problematic ships are the Grandcamp (first explosion) and High Flyer (second explosion).

20 Oct 06:33

thefingerfuckingfemalefury:The ghost duet is here, Halloween has...


Late, but not too late!


The ghost duet is here, Halloween has officially begun :D

20 Oct 05:12

Elena Ferrante’s Yelp Reviews After a Family Vacation

by Andreas Trolf

Payless Shoe Source—Elizabeth, New Jersey

My father, a cobbler, made my shoes for me as a child. I was given new ones only as I outgrew each pair. But despite this, I felt he made the shoes reluctantly, as if he felt it wasteful. “Look at your daughter’s feet,” my mother would beseech him in dialect. “It is disrespectful for the cobbler’s daughter to go around in such a state.” Yet when I wore the new shoes, which contained the sweat of his labor, I could not help but feel grand beyond my station, as if even the ground I walked on had been fashioned only for me. Imagine then my surprise when this boutique, modest amid the splendor of The Mills at Jersey Gardens, redolent with the scent of a nearby Panda Express, offered me a pair of shoes, gratis, with the purchase of another pair. My elation was short-lived, however, because the stitching on the practical pumps I received in this bargain—BOGO, they called it—began to fray almost as soon as I put them on. My father, for all his faults, would never have allowed this, and in that moment, I missed him.

- - -

Santa Monica Pier—Santa Monica, California

I observed my daughter from a distance as she ate a $13 funnel cake, basking in the knowledge of her incipient beauty. I couldn’t help but think how my own life might have been different had I been born with her physical gifts. I wasn’t one to be pursued by the neighborhood boys. My thoughts never strayed far from the books I hoped would become my escape from Naples. Even when I met my future husband at university, he did not pursue me romantically for some time. I was bookish, perhaps mousy, and he, the handsome and clever son of a prominent magistrate. Yet where was this boy now? He spent nearly the entire day in Santa Monica, silent and withdrawn. When I asked about his sullenness, he complained about a claw machine that had taken his pocket change. The man in charge of the amusements, my husband said, was unsympathetic. It embarrassed me to see him in such a state. However, it is through the lens of my daughter’s innocent delight that I choose to remember this outing—a day in the sun before the burdens of adulthood have asserted themselves. Despite the indignity of my husband’s complaints and a slight sunburn, I had a pretty good time.

- - -

AMC Movie Theater—Los Angeles, California

I came to, suddenly, in the dark. Images flashed brightly before my eyes. Faces! Was it my mother? It was only after several moments that I recalled we’d gone to see a film about the Norse god Thor. The usher stood by my seat with his flashlight. This had a dreamlike logic or at least the qualities one associates with dreams. His mouth was moving, but I could not understand what he was saying. I felt sure he was making sounds, which would compose themselves as words, at least to others.

I recalled the feast days on which my mother would give me a few coins, which held in them the warmth of her hand and which she’d earned by taking in sewing work, much to my father’s displeasure. I would give the coins to the old woman in the pasticceria for a box of candy. The usher came into focus. He asked about the box of Junior Mints in my hand. Had I purchased it at the concession stand? No. I had bought it earlier at a dismal convenience store. Pointing to a sign that read NO OUTSIDE FOOD ALLOWED, he asked me to leave. How petty.

- - -

Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum—San Francisco, California

America seems to be a place of memory. A nation having a dream of itself where there is no past and no future, only an eternal present where all its glories exist outside of time. It is a cemetery of ideas, and so what better representative than a wax museum?

But this counterfeit aroused in me also something else, something intangible. What was it? A former lover? What use are these memories? They remain incomplete and disturbing, the faces of people I once knew are washed out and ghostly. This place does not represent anything in actuality. It is evocation without substance. Except for the wax statue of Peter Dinklage. That was actually pretty cool.

- - -

Igloo Coolers Factory Tour—Katy, Texas

As a girl, my mother told me that women were born to suffer, and nothing I have yet experienced has disproved this. But this drab place seems especially lamentable. The foreman and the tour guide seemed to be two versions of the same person—short pock-marked men in starched shirts, joylessly exercising power over their small domain. They reminded me of my father—who, in addition to being a cobbler, had been a porter at the railroad as well as a drunk—and his barely concealed anger, and how, as children, we would anticipate the moment when he would fly into one of his rages at some perceived slight. The women on the large and airless factory floor worked with insect-like efficiency. There was a gift shop that offered a 15% discount to anyone who had taken the tour. This is, I think, a good deal if you are in the market for a cooler.

- - -

“Revenge of the Murderer’s Ghost” Escape Room—Boston, Massachusetts

How is one expected to find joy in paying $30 (per person!) to be subjected to an hour of ceaseless anxiety? This room was meant to be the basement dwelling of a murderer, like those violent men of my youth, the Camorrists, but in actuality was more akin to the apartment in which my grandfather lived alone after my grandmother’s death. She’d drowned while on holiday, and the sordid dwelling became his penance for the guilt he felt at not having been able to save her. It produced in me a deep sense of melancholy.

We were meant to decipher clues left by the murderer, or his “ghost,” as the brochure informed us, in order to facilitate our escape. Yet my sons, despite having chosen this activity, spent the allotted time chuckling at inane videos on their telephones. I knew any affection I felt for them had long since vanished.

But then something happened, although I cannot say exactly what. A change in the tenor of the room, a light brightened or darkened perhaps, a door opened or possibly closed. The air grew heavy with the implication of crisis. I recalled a boy I’d known in my childhood who was killed near a seaside carnival over a game of dice. How his mother cried when the police returned his body. Had we escaped? I was convinced we were in the lobby again, but the sense of melancholy persisted, as though the murderer’s basement now existed in my mind. But if this dread place was in my mind, how then was I to escape? What the fuck.

19 Oct 08:53

16 Oct 06:53

Impossible or improbable lottery results

by Nathan Yau

So interesting!

There was a government-run lottery in the Philippines with a $4 million jackpot, and two improbable things happened. First, the numbers selected were all multiples of nine: 9, 45, 36, 27, 18, and 54. Second, 433 people won. The natural reaction from the public was that something sketchy happened, especially since the government has a history of sketchiness.

However, as statisticians and mathematicians do when rare and improbable events occur, they setup hypotheses and calculate probabilities. Terence Tao calculated the odds and noted that the lottery outcome was a highly improbable event under certain assumptions. But:

So this clearly demands some sort of explanation. But in actuality, many purchasers of lottery tickets do not select their numbers completely randomly; they often have some “lucky” numbers (e.g., based on birthdays or other personally significant dates) that they prefer to use, or choose numbers according to a simple pattern rather than go to the trouble of trying to make them truly random.

Nine happens to be a lucky number in some cultures. Also, as Tao notes, the multiples of nine form a diagonal line on the physical lottery ticket, which could lend to more people just going with simple geometry.

The chances of each winning number being a multiple of nine is improbable, but any other individual number selection is equally improbable.

So if you assume one improbable event, the winning lottery numbers, paired with a less improbable event, the players’ selection of their own numbers, it doesn’t seem that unbelievable, statistically speaking.

Tags: lottery, probability

16 Sep 23:18

miradademujer:#MDM #gif


#MDM #gif

15 Aug 11:07

How to subscribe to YouTube RSS Feeds without third-party services

by Martin Brinkmann


YouTube, at one time, supported RSS feeds. Anyone could subscribe to channel feeds to receive updates in any RSS reader.

youtube channel rss feed

Google made it harder over the years to subscribe to channels, likely to push YouTube's own subscriptions feature. Unlike feeds, subscriptions requires that users are signed in to an account to receive updates.

Third-party apps like NewPipe for Android or the Vivaldi web browser support subscriptions out of the box. Even Microsoft is experimenting with a "follow creator" feature in its Edge browser.

While those options are great, some users prefer to use a dedicated feed reader instead. Ideally, they'd subscribe to all their favorite channels to receive notifications whenever new videos are posted. One extra benefit of that is that there is no artificial limit in place.

How to subscribe to YouTube creator RSS feeds manually

It takes a bit of code digging to reveal the RSS feed of a channel or a playlist without third-party tools.

The core URL that you require is

You need to replace CHANNELID with the ID of the channel, and that is where it may get tricky for some.

Most YouTube channels use personalized names in the URL and not the channel ID. While you may access a YouTube channel using the personalized name and the channel ID, you can't access the RSS feed using the personalized name.

One example:

  • Mr. Beast Channel ID URL:
  • Mr. Beast Personalized URL:

Reveal the YouTube channel ID

youtube channel id

You need to display the source code of the channel on YouTube to reveal the ID. Here is how that is done:

  1. Open the creator channel on YouTube, e.g.,
  2. Right-click on a blank part of the page and select "view page source". Depending on the browser that you use, it may have a slightly different name. Alternatively, prepend view-source: before the URL and hit the Enter-key.
  3. Search for browse_id. You may open the search option with Ctrl-F, or from the browser's main menu.
  4. The browser jumps to the first instance of browse_id in the source code. Copy the string of the value field that is right next to it; this is the channel's ID.

Create the YouTube channel RSS feed URL

Now that you have the channel ID and the default feed address, you can combine the two to create a working feed address:

  • Default URL:
  • Channel ID: UCX6OQ3DkcsbYNE6H8uQQuVA
  • Working Feed URL:

The easiest way to test the feed URL is to load it in the browser. The browser should display the content of the XML file. You may subscribe to the channel using that URL in any feed reader that supports it.

Create a YouTube playlist RSS feed URL

youtube playlist rss feed

You may create RSS feed URLs of playlists on YouTube as well. Thankfully, this is easier as the IDs of playlists are already visible in playlist URLs.

The default feed address for playlists:

Here is how that is done:

  1. Open the playlist on YouTube, e.g.,
  2. The ID begins after list=; in the case above, it is PLYH8WvNV1YEnOwmzyWz4vR0HsX1Qn0PoU
  3. Replace PLAYLISTID of the default feed address with the real ID to create the RSS feed for the playlist. In the example above, you get

Now You: are you subscribe to YouTube channels?

Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post How to subscribe to YouTube RSS Feeds without third-party services appeared first on gHacks Technology News.

12 Jul 22:31

The first full-color images from the James Webb...



The first full-color images from the James Webb Telescope were just released and we are in awe! This image shows a bright curtain of dust and gas at the edge of the Carina Nebula, approximately 8,500 light years from Earth. This view of the “Cosmic Cliffs” offers the deepest look into the cosmos to date, revealing previously invisible areas of star birth.

Source imagery: NASA

11 Jul 22:59

Absurd trolly problems

by Nathan Yau

You’ve probably heard of the trolley problem, a thought experiment that imagines a trolley approaching a fork in the tracks. There are five people stuck on one path and one person stuck on the other. If the trolly continues on its current path, five people will die, but if you consciously switch the tracks, you could save them and only one person dies. Do you switch or let the trolley continue?

Neal Agarwal, who continues to gift the internet with fun projects, reframes the trolley problem with increasingly more absurd choices. You also get to see how others answered, so you can compare your own choices against the moral compass of the internet.

Tags: humor, Neal Agarwal, trolley

04 Jul 00:05

A recent cartoon for New Scientist. Many more...

A recent cartoon for New Scientist.

Many more here.

03 Jul 06:07

You will read this first

by bookofjoe

This worked perfectly. Design!

Screen Shot 2022-06-06 at 3.42.01 PM


Did you?

25 Jun 01:24

#useful #abbreviationsThis cartoon will be in my next collection...

#useful #abbreviations
This cartoon will be in my next collection from @drawnandquarterly and Canongate “Revenge of the Librarians”, out in October.

31 May 22:17

Final texts

by Nathan Yau

This whole piece is heartbreaking

Alicia P.Q. Wittmeyer, for NYT Opinion, approached the one-million mark for Covid deaths with text messages. The piece starts on February 29, 2020, when the first person died because of Covid. The count to 1 million begins, and a recurring ticker reminds you of the increase over time. Thirteen text message threads between someone who died and a person who cared remind you that the numbers are real.

Tags: coronavirus, New York Times, texting

25 May 02:46

A Modern Art Critical Analysis of Birds’ Nests

by Sophie Lucido Johnson

Sparrow Nest

Scrappy and bold, this nest exemplifies the substantial field of street art-based nests, using found materials and constructed anywhere to avoid authoritative scrutiny. I once saw a masterpiece spilling out of the letter D on a sign for Donuts near my house. Breathtaking.

- - -

Robin Nest

While praises have traditionally been sung about the sturdiness of this ubiquitous nest, I’m unimpressed. There’s just something so nest-y about it. It’s trying too hard to be a nest. Although there’s a lot to celebrate here—the roundness, the slenderness of the sticks—this nest ultimately speaks to a bygone era where nests had to be purely representational. A nest doesn’t have to look like a nest to be a nest.

- - -

Hummingbird Nest

The hummingbird nest had been built to impossible magnitude by my peers—to the point that I could only expect it would let me down, like Hamilton and the clothes of Eileen Fisher. But, difficult as it is to imagine, the hummingbird nest surpassed even the most lauded reviews, catapulting into a stratosphere of composition that perhaps no bird has ever previously achieved. Shiny spider web and dew-tinged fishing line form a foundation under delicate clumps of moss. I’m weeping, just remembering it.

- - -

Bald Eagle Nest

With this nest, you get what you expect, and that’s okay. Sticks jutting here and there with precise impreciseness, and that’s what eagles—bald or not—are all about. Sometimes you pay for vastness, for decisiveness, for a run-of-the-mill monolith. There is nothing to be said about this nest that the nest cannot say for itself.

- - -

Cowbird Nest

A controversial bit of performance art, this “nest” is not a nest at all. Rather, the artist (brown-headed cowbird) lays her eggs in the nests of other birds and lets those birds raise her young. Some have called this approach bold and refreshing—especially when the artist chooses a nest of a much smaller bird, resulting in absurd juxtaposition. But let’s call this what it is: cheap, overdone, and frankly, boring. I didn’t come for show; I came for a nest.

- - -

Swallow Nest

This cliffside variation on a nest subverts tradition and trades standard sticks and straw for bolder, more modern mud and dirt. Not for the trypophobic, these nests can inspire awe or disgust, depending on the audience. I find them quite moving, but my teen daughter hates them.

- - -

Bowerbird Bower

It may surprise novice nest scholars to learn that the bowerbird’s construction is not a nest, but a courtship tactic. Nevertheless, its riffs on nestiness have earned it some analysis, and the verdict is clear: the bower is impressive. It takes seven years for the bowerbird to complete these ornate creations, filled with curated collections. The found-art allusions are not lost on this critic: it strikes me as a sort of tongue-in-cheek (and ultimately effective) way of saying, “Yes, I am cultured. Please have sex with me.”

13 May 05:23

YRWASign up for my small monthly mailing list.

08 May 04:00

103 Bits of Advice I Wish I Had Known

by Kevin Kelly

Some of these are excellent!

Today is my birthday. I turn 70. I’ve learned a few things so far that might be helpful to others. For the past few years, I’ve jotted down bits of unsolicited advice each year and much to my surprise I have more to add this year. So here is my birthday gift to you all: 103 bits of wisdom I wish I had known when I was young.

(Previous years here and here.)

• About 99% of the time, the right time is right now.

• No one is as impressed with your possessions as you are.

• Dont ever work for someone you dont want to become.

• Cultivate 12 people who love you, because they are worth more than 12 million people who like you.

• Dont keep making the same mistakes; try to make new mistakes.

• If you stop to listen to a musician or street performer for more than a minute, you owe them a dollar.

• Anything you say before the word “but” does not count.

• When you forgive others, they may not notice, but you will heal. Forgiveness is not something we do for others; it is a gift to ourselves.

• Courtesy costs nothing. Lower the toilet seat after use. Let the people in the elevator exit before you enter. Return shopping carts to their designated areas. When you borrow something, return it better shape (filled up, cleaned) than when you got it.

• Whenever there is an argument between two sides, find the third side.

• Efficiency is highly overrated; Goofing off is highly underrated. Regularly scheduled sabbaths, sabbaticals, vacations, breaks, aimless walks and time off are essential for top performance of any kind. The best work ethic requires a good rest ethic.

• When you lead, your real job is to create more leaders, not more followers.

• Criticize in private, praise in public.

• Life lessons will be presented to you in the order they are needed. Everything you need to master the lesson is within you. Once you have truly learned a lesson, you will be presented with the next one. If you are alive, that means you still have lessons to learn.

• It is the duty of a student to get everything out of a teacher, and the duty of a teacher to get everything out of a student.

• If winning becomes too important in a game, change the rules to make it more fun. Changing rules can become the new game.

• Ask funders for money, and they’ll give you advice; but ask for advice and they’ll give you money.

• Productivity is often a distraction. Don’t aim for better ways to get through your tasks as quickly as possible, rather aim for better tasks that you never want to stop doing.

• Immediately pay what you owe to vendors, workers, contractors. They will go out of their way to work with you first next time.

• The biggest lie we tell ourselves is “I dont need to write this down because I will remember it.”

• Your growth as a conscious being is measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations you are willing to have.

• Speak confidently as if you are right, but listen carefully as if you are wrong.

• Handy measure: the distance between your fingertips of your outstretched arms at shoulder level is your height.

• The consistency of your endeavors (exercise, companionship, work) is more important than the quantity. Nothing beats small things done every day, which is way more important than what you do occasionally.

• Making art is not selfish; it’s for the rest of us. If you don’t do your thing, you are cheating us.

• Never ask a woman if she is pregnant. Let her tell you if she is.

• Three things you need: The ability to not give up something till it works, the ability to give up something that does not work, and the trust in other people to help you distinguish between the two.

• When public speaking, pause frequently. Pause before you say something in a new way, pause after you have said something you believe is important, and pause as a relief to let listeners absorb details.

• There is no such thing as being “on time.” You are either late or you are early. Your choice.

• Ask anyone you admire: Their lucky breaks happened on a detour from their main goal. So embrace detours. Life is not a straight line for anyone.

• The best way to get a correct answer on the internet is to post an obviously wrong answer and wait for someone to correct you.

• You’ll get 10x better results by elevating good behavior rather than punishing bad behavior, especially in children and animals.

• Spend as much time crafting the subject line of an email as the message itself because the subject line is often the only thing people read.

• Don’t wait for the storm to pass; dance in the rain.

• When checking references for a job applicant, employers may be reluctant or prohibited from saying anything negative, so leave or send a message that says, “Get back to me if you highly recommend this applicant as super great.” If they don’t reply take that as a negative.

• Use a password manager: Safer, easier, better.

• Half the skill of being educated is learning what you can ignore.

• The advantage of a ridiculously ambitious goal is that it sets the bar very high so even in failure it may be a success measured by the ordinary.

• A great way to understand yourself is to seriously reflect on everything you find irritating in others.

• Keep all your things visible in a hotel room, not in drawers, and all gathered into one spot. That way you’ll never leave anything behind. If you need to have something like a charger off to the side, place a couple of other large items next to it, because you are less likely to leave 3 items behind than just one.

• Denying or deflecting a compliment is rude. Accept it with thanks, even if you believe it is not deserved.

• Always read the plaque next to the monument.

• When you have some success, the feeling of being an imposter can be real. Who am I fooling? But when you create things that only you — with your unique talents and experience — can do, then you are absolutely not an imposter. You are the ordained. It is your duty to work on things that only you can do.

• What you do on your bad days matters more than what you do on your good days.

• Make stuff that is good for people to have.

• When you open paint, even a tiny bit, it will always find its way to your clothes no matter how careful you are. Dress accordingly.

• To keep young kids behaving on a car road trip, have a bag of their favorite candy and throw a piece out the window each time they misbehave.

• You cannot get smart people to work extremely hard just for money.

• When you don’t know how much to pay someone for a particular task, ask them “what would be fair” and their answer usually is.

• 90% of everything is crap. If you think you don’t like opera, romance novels, TikTok, country music, vegan food, NFTs, keep trying to see if you can find the 10% that is not crap.

• You will be judged on how well you treat those who can do nothing for you.

• We tend to overestimate what we can do in a day, and underestimate what we can achieve in a decade. Miraculous things can be accomplished if you give it ten years. A long game will compound small gains to overcome even big mistakes.

• Thank a teacher who changed your life.

• You cant reason someone out of a notion that they didn’t reason themselves into.

• Your best job will be one that you were unqualified for because it stretches you. In fact only apply to jobs you are unqualified for.

• Buy used books. They have the same words as the new ones. Also libraries.

• You can be whatever you want, so be the person who ends meetings early.

• A wise man said, “Before you speak, let your words pass through three gates. At the first gate, ask yourself, “Is it true?” At the second gate ask, “Is it necessary?” At the third gate ask, “Is it kind?”

• Take the stairs.

• What you actually pay for something is at least twice the listed price because of the energy, time, money needed to set it up, learn, maintain, repair, and dispose of at the end. Not all prices appear on labels. Actual costs are 2x listed prices.

• When you arrive at your room in a hotel, locate the emergency exits. It only takes a minute.

• The only productive way to answer “what should I do now?” is to first tackle the question of “who should I become?”

• Average returns sustained over an above-average period of time yield extraordinary results. Buy and hold.

• It’s thrilling to be extremely polite to rude strangers.

• It’s possible that a not-so smart person, who can communicate well, can do much better than a super smart person who can’t communicate well. That is good news because it is much easier to improve your communication skills than your intelligence.

• Getting cheated occasionally is the small price for trusting the best of everyone, because when you trust the best in others, they generally treat you best.

• Art is whatever you can get away with.

• For the best results with your children, spend only half the money you think you should, but double the time with them.

• Purchase the most recent tourist guidebook to your home town or region. You’ll learn a lot by playing the tourist once a year.

• Dont wait in line to eat something famous. It is rarely worth the wait.

• To rapidly reveal the true character of a person you just met, move them onto an abysmally slow internet connection. Observe.

• Prescription for popular success: do something strange. Make a habit of your weird.

• Be a pro. Back up your back up. Have at least one physical backup and one backup in the cloud. Have more than one of each. How much would you pay to retrieve all your data, photos, notes, if you lost them? Backups are cheap compared to regrets.

• Dont believe everything you think you believe.

• To signal an emergency, use the rule of three; 3 shouts, 3 horn blasts, or 3 whistles.

• At a restaurant do you order what you know is great, or do you try something new? Do you make what you know will sell or try something new? Do you keep dating new folks or try to commit to someone you already met? The optimal balance for exploring new things vs exploiting them once found is: 1/3. Spend 1/3 of your time on exploring and 2/3 time on deepening. It is harder to devote time to exploring as you age because it seems unproductive, but aim for 1/3.

• Actual great opportunities do not have “Great Opportunities” in the subject line.

• When introduced to someone make eye contact and count to 4. You’ll both remember each other.

• Take note if you find yourself wondering “Where is my good knife? Or, where is my good pen?” That means you have bad ones. Get rid of those.

• When you are stuck, explain your problem to others. Often simply laying out a problem will present a solution. Make “explaining the problem” part of your troubleshooting process.

• When buying a garden hose, an extension cord, or a ladder, get one substantially longer than you think you need. It’ll be the right size.

• Dont bother fighting the old; just build the new.

• Your group can achieve great things way beyond your means simply by showing people that they are appreciated.

• When someone tells you about the peak year of human history, the period of time when things were good before things went downhill, it will always be the years of when they were 10 years old — which is the peak of any human’s existence.

• You are as big as the things that make you angry.

• When speaking to an audience it’s better to fix your gaze on a few people than to “spray” your gaze across the room. Your eyes telegraph to others whether you really believe what you are saying.

• Habit is far more dependable than inspiration. Make progress by making habits. Dont focus on getting into shape. Focus on becoming the kind of person who never misses a workout.

• When negotiating, dont aim for a bigger piece of the pie; aim to create a bigger pie.

• If you repeated what you did today 365 more times will you be where you want to be next year?

• You see only 2% of another person, and they see only 2% of you. Attune yourselves to the hidden 98%.

• Your time and space are limited. Remove, give away, throw out things in your life that dont spark joy any longer in order to make room for those that do.

• Our descendants will achieve things that will amaze us, yet a portion of what they will create could have been made with today’s materials and tools if we had had the imagination. Think bigger.

• For a great payoff be especially curious about the things you are not interested in.

• Focus on directions rather than destinations. Who knows their destiny? But maintain the right direction and you’ll arrive at where you want to go.

• Every breakthrough is at first laughable and ridiculous. In fact if it did not start out laughable and ridiculous, it is not a breakthrough.

• If you loan someone $20 and you never see them again because they are avoiding paying you back, that makes it worth $20.

• Copying others is a good way to start. Copying yourself is a disappointing way to end.

• The best time to negotiate your salary for a new job is the moment AFTER they say they want you, and not before. Then it becomes a game of chicken for each side to name an amount first, but it is to your advantage to get them to give a number before you do.

• Rather than steering your life to avoid surprises, aim directly for them.

• Dont purchase extra insurance if you are renting a car with a credit card.

• If your opinions on one subject can be predicted from your opinions on another, you may be in the grip of an ideology. When you truly think for yourself your conclusions will not be predictable.

• Aim to die broke. Give to your beneficiaries before you die; it’s more fun and useful. Spend it all. Your last check should go to the funeral home and it should bounce.

• The chief prevention against getting old is to remain astonished.


[German translation] [Other translations wanted]

05 May 23:55

Instapaper triage

by Austin Kleon

I have approx 50k unread articles in Instapaper. I do read sometimes, but at this point I will never catch up in my lifetime :/

analog Instapaper

Alan Jacobs on how he uses Instapaper:

Whenever I see something online that I think I want to read, I put it in Instapaper — and then I try to leave it for a while. Often when I visit Instapaper the chief thing I do is delete the pieces I only had thought I needed to read. So for me it’s not just a read-later service, it’s a don’t-read-later service. But that only works if I don’t go there too often. I try to catch up with my Instapaper queue once a week at most.

Stealing this move.

03 May 16:44

When people eat dinner in Europe

by Nathan Yau

This map by @loverofgeography shows the usual dinner times for countries in Europe. There’s no source listed, so I’m not sure if this is based on actual data or just anecdotal, but I think the latter. From my meager experience, this seems right? I might have to check out European time use data.

Tags: dinner, Europe

26 Apr 17:10

'The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power'

by bookofjoe

From The Prepared:

  • A new "Lord of the Rings" series will debut in September, revealed with this epic title announcement video.

  • In it, molten metal is poured into a wooden cast that ultimately forms the name of the show.

  • Incredibly, no CGI was used to make the trailer.

  • Artisans formed casts out of reclaimed wood and compressed sand, allowing for multiple takes.

  • Metallurgists then poured molten aluminum and bronze into the cast while mixing in crazy materials like sparkler dust, argon, and liquid nitrogen — creating surprising effects that couldn't be designed digitally.

  • The pours were filmed at 5000 frames per second so that cinematographers could capture details we can't perceive in real time.

  • The staggering amount of creativity and care the team put in really shows.

26 Apr 00:36

The Bagworm Caterpillar’s DIY Mobile Log Cabin

by Jason Kottke

The bagworm caterpillar is quite the animal architect. In preparation for its transformation into a moth, the caterpillar builds itself a house that it carries around on its back out of materials it finds in its habitat, like sticks or leaves. When it enters the pupa stage, the caterpillar fastens the house to something solid and hunkers down inside.

a little house a bagworm caterpillar has built on its back out of twigs

a little house a bagworm caterpillar has built on its back out of twigs

a little house a bagworm caterpillar has built on its back out of twigs

I couldn’t source the top photo but the bottom two were taken by John Horstman, who has a bunch of incredible photos of bagworm caterpillar houses on Flickr. Nicky Bay has also taken many photos of bagworm caterpillar architecture.

Tags: architecture   John Horstman   photography
26 Apr 00:34

happy spring

happy spring

22 Apr 02:37

juicedoesthings:vaporwavesimulator: officialtokyosan: vaporwavesimulator: hey followers. have you...


Quite fun!





hey followers. have you ever wanted to know how it feels to be inside a bag of cornflakes


enter the cornflakes domain

I fucking hate this website because not only did I click this goddamn link expecting it to be a joke of some sort, but it wasn’t a joke and I sat here spinning the screen around enjoying myself in a stupid bag of cornflakes like the dumbass monkey I am on, enthralled by being in a bag of corn flakes in

20 Apr 01:54

Cafe in Koenji is Only For Writers Working on a Deadline

by Johnny


Are you a writer working towards a hard deadline but having trouble getting work done? Then the Manuscript Writing Cafe is your new best friend. Located in Koenji and run by a team of writers, the cafe is solely dedicated to other writers working on deadline. But beware, once you enter they will not let […]
No related posts.
19 Apr 23:40

“Stuck, no. I’m certainly not stuck. I’m just taking some time,...



“Stuck, no. I’m certainly not stuck. I’m just taking some time, thinking things through.”

19 Apr 20:46

Family Reunion

Grandma says that because of differences in primate and feline lifespans, the cat is actually my 17,000,000th cousin 14,000,000 times removed.
18 Apr 22:43

Tonga shockwave around the world

by Nathan Yau

Earlier this year, an underwater volcano erupted in the island nation of Tonga. For The New York Times, Aatish Bhatia and Henry Fountain describe the effects of the eruption, which lasted for days and rippled around the world. The introductory animated globe shows the pressure wave and gives a good sense of the eruption’s massive scale.

Tags: eruption, New York Times, shockwave, Tonga

18 Apr 22:42

Jeff Bezos wealth to scale

by Nathan Yau

Jeff Bezos’ wealth is difficult to understand conceptually, because the scale is just so much more than what any of us are used to. So for NYT Magazine, Mona Chalabi took a more abstract approach, focusing less on monetary values and more on how many multiples more Bezos has compared to the median household.

See also The Washington Post’s comparison from a couple of years ago, scaling things down to spending equivalencies. I think Chalabi’s comparison works better. It’s abstract compared with abstract.

Tags: illustration, Jeff Bezos, Mona Chalabi, scale, wealth

18 Apr 22:32

McMansion Hell: revenge of cook county

Fans of this website will perhaps remember a certain house from the “worst of suburban Illinois” post. I’m here to alert you to the fact that the interior of said house may in fact be the pinnacle of what has been dubbed by my colleague Cocaine Decor as “Cocaine Decor.” This 1990 house has lived rent free in my brain for a while, and now it will live rent free in all of yours. It sits at $1.1 million USD and precisely 10,000 square feet, each of which exists in ignorance of the Light of God.

Remember her? I wish I didn’t. Anyway.

The Lawyer Foyer

I would actually venture that this is the most reasonable and bland room in this house, but it sets the tone for what is to come: baffling art, even more baffling curtains, and the most baffling carpet choices to ever be offered in a catalog. Also from this angle it’s really funny.

The Sitting Room

Ok does anyone else here from the aught’s internet remember vintage and its kind of weird kitschy art prints? I used to spend hours on that website amassing pictures of lemons and limes because children are weird.

Living Room

I quilt and I KNOW how much fabric costs. Also I really want to do some kind of research project on late 90s-early 2000s “modernism” which is basically like “what if we took modernism and made it really chunky.” If you were working as an industrial designer during that time and can help me figure out what in the world was happening, please hit me up in the Twitter DMs @mcmansionhell.


hmm getting some Eyes Wide Shut vibes from all this… kinda sus…

Main Bedroom

Viral Tweet Voice: Tiger King was 10,000 years ago. Remember sourdough starters??? Hobbies taken up with manic urgency??? Washing groceries??? How young we were. How foolish.


Give me some powder and 15 minutes in here and I’ll come up with McMansion Hell 2 (or lose thousands of dollars on NFTs - it’s a toss up.)


You know those metallic sharpies they sell two-packs of at Target? They took those to a fabric shop and said: here’s our palette, go nuts.


shout out to my mom, I love her.

Okay, that’s about enough of that. Here’s the back of the house complete with a tripartite architectural analysis (it’s very complicated):

I hope you enjoyed this installment of McMansion Hell, stay tuned for more cursed houses from the Mecca of cursed houses, because I, uh, found a lot of them yesterday.

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P.S. go bulls