Beetle & Byte

Inspiration

Information vs. Wonder

Once again, Mr. Roger reminds us about what’s important in life. For a society that values information over wonder, we too often deprive ourselves and others of silence. With deprivation, we rob ourselves of the time to reflect and wonder.

(via swissmiss)

Don’t Be Dismayed at Goodbyes

Don’t be dismayed at goodbyes. A farewell is necessary before you can meet again. And meeting again, after moments or lifetimes, is certain for those who are friends.

Richard Bach, American Writer

A Week of Links

Last month, through extreme sacrifice and personal loss, Caitlin Boston paid off more than $200K in student loans all by her “freaking self”. She attributes a large part of her success to asking her male colleagues what they were making.

“Ask your other peers what they make — especially your male ones. It might make you feel uncomfortable but it’s the sole reason I started making an additional 41% a year.”

Caitlin Boston

Hauntingly beautiful video from Alicia Keys ft. Miguel.

I love the Secret Garden and I can’t wait to see the new remake.

I legit cried over these endangered and extinct snails.

In college, I used to use a manual version of this for Polaroid emulsion transfers.

A stark reminder of nine things women couldn’t do in 1971.

Hard to believe this train is real and in operation. First I saw it, I thought it was concept art for the Hunger Games movie trilogy.

So wrong and yet, so right.

Poodle fitness.

You gotta show up.

So much googly-eyed envy for St. Frank founder’s beautiful home.

Mind blown. There’s a real life cuckoo (clock) bird; sound included.

Stop Treating Yourself Like an After-Thought

None of us are getting out of here alive, so please stop treating yourself like an after-thought. Eat the delicious food. Walk in the sunshine. Jump in the ocean. Say the truth that you’re carrying in your heart like hidden treasure. Be silly. Be kind. Be weird. There’s no time for anything else.

Nanea Hoffman, Founder of Sweatpants & Coffee

I’m Not Spraying Anybody’s Linguine Dinner with Air Freshener

A friend recently directed me to an interview with Lucy Ellmann, author of the book Ducks, Newburyport. I’d previously never heard of either the author or her book and yet I was prevailed upon to read the article. Ellmann is certainly the type of person you want as a neighbor, friend, or if you’re a mother, she is someone you want to be a part of your outcast / rebel mom click. She’s witty and fiercely independent and a midwestern American living in Scotland, so she’d be a good person to know for a visit.

I can’t say I know what to think of her writing style or book. Ellman self-describes it as one long run-on sentence—the stream of consciousness of an overwhelmed and anxious Ohio housewife. A commenter notes that there are 19,000 instances of the term “the fact that.” This trifecta of rebellion against structure, convention, and punctuation may be more than I can bare. I have 13-weeks until my library hold, which may just enough time to mentally prepare myself for what could either be a fantastic mind bend or a deflated and grumbly gut.

This quote in the interview is what tipped the balance and led me to give the book a go.

I’ve been rudely criticized in the past for using too many capital letters, but you know what? I DON’T CARE. What is wrong with using all the techniques at our disposal? I’m not spraying anybody’s linguine dinner with air freshener, I’m just reconsidering form. It’s not a crime. Yet.

I like illustrations too, and wish I had more. I don’t see why only children’s books get to have pictures.

Lucy Ellmann, Lucy Ellmann, a Great American Novelist Hiding in Plain Sight

The Human Skills We Need in an Unpredictable World

This talk by Margaret Heffernan more intelligently and eloquently expresses the idea that’s been noodling in my mind for some time. That it isn’t an inevitability that we lose our humanity at scale. In fact, we should double down on our humanity–compassion, empathy, and attention–the larger an organization gets. Without it, we become little more than a cog in an unfeeling and uncaring machine.

Preparedness, coalition-building, imagination, experiments, bravery — in an unpredictable age, these are tremendous sources of resilience and strength. They aren’t efficient, but they give us limitless capacity for adaptation, variation and invention. And the less we know about the future, the more we’re going to need these tremendous sources of human, messy, unpredictable skills.

But in our growing dependence on technology, we’re asset-stripping those skills. Every time we use technology to nudge us through a decision or a choice or to interpret how somebody’s feeling or to guide us through a conversation, we outsource to a machine what we could, can do ourselves, and it’s an expensive trade-off. The more we let machines think for us, the less we can think for ourselves.

The more time doctors spend staring at digital medical records, the less time they spend looking at their patients. The more we use parenting apps, the less we know our kids. The more time we spend with people that we’re predicted and programmed to like, the less we can connect with people who are different from ourselves. And the less compassion we need, the less compassion we have.

What all of these technologies attempt to do is to force-fit a standardized model of a predictable reality onto a world that is infinitely surprising. What gets left out? Anything that can’t be measured — which is just about everything that counts.

Margaret Heffernan, TEDSummit 2019

A Week of Links

Missy Elliott slayed with a performance medley of her greatest hits at the VMAs.

This squirrel knows good music.

Two Swiss sisters pay homage to Homer and Lisa‘s trip to New Orleans. I’m impressed with just how many culinary scenes they recreated.

Recently dawned on me that there’s a better way to dole out honey.

Can’t wait to play Mario Kart on my phone.

Currently trying to figure out where to put this DIY living wall in my home.

Leadership is as much about the environment that one shapes as it is about the impact that follows.

A breathtaking reminder why we should all be booking our trips to Iceland.

Moving and funny TED talk by Paula Stone Williams about what she’s learned since transitioning to a woman.

Whimsical paper masterpieces.

Recent addict of Lucas’ Papaw Ointment.

Sagrada Familia

Photo by Angela Compagnone on Unsplash

One hundred thirty seven years after construction began, Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain, received its first building permit. Construction began in 1882 and completion is targeted for 2026, the centennial anniversary of the death of the architect, Antoni Gaudí.

While, I’ve long felt the fatigue of visiting European churches, I did use good judgment last year to check out the Sagrada Familia. It was bizarre and surreal and absolutely stunning. There were two things I loved in particular.

First, the design – everything from the architecture to the stain glass to the 23 foot tall, bronze doors – were contributions not only from Gaudi but many generations of designers since his death.

Second – the light. The way the light pours through the stain glass and hits the curves, lines, and shapes of the building’s interior is true magic.

Photo by Angela Compagnone on Unsplash