Written by

Chris Gonzales


Markus Spiering

Welcome to this week’s edition of our Friday Quality Linkage column. Please enjoy this week’s collection of interesting and entertaining links. Brew a fresh cup of coffee, find a comfortable place, and relax.

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Photo: Graham Turner, The Guardian

Photo: Graham Turner, The Guardian

20 Life-Changing Habits »

Sarah Marsh shares stories from The Guardian readers about small changes in their rituals and routines that made the biggest differences in their lives. Here’s one:

#10 — Wake up an hour earlier each morning

I decided to start waking up an hour earlier every morning – 5.30am instead of 6.30am. I now start my day by doing a few sun salutations, followed by a prayer (which I use to be thankful rather than asking for anything), and then write in my journal. This change has helped me keep in touch with myself and my emotions.

Kelly, Indianapolis

While I’m not one for prayer, I do agree that early mornings are wonderful (when I have them). Whenever I wake earlier than my wife and son, and have some time just to myself where I can quietly have coffee and do some writing, I feel more refreshed and ready to tackle the day ahead.

My problem is that I’m also a natural night owl — the late hours offer their own sort of peace and calm — and I have trouble balancing the two habits.

Being Honest »

My friend Patrick Rhone’s newsletter is a favorite of mine. It’s some of his most personal writing, and often helpful too, as was the case for yesterday’s dispatch:

I find when confronted with a hard question, accusation, condemnation, or embarrassment, the truth is the quickest way to diffuse it…

“Yes, I broke your favorite lamp”

“Yep, I ate the last of the cookies.”

“Yes, I was flirting with the server who took our order.”

“Yep. I did that. I regret it. I was wrong. I’m sorry. How can I make it right?”

There may still be anger. There may still be hurt feelings. But unlike shouting, denial, fighting, and frustration, there will be an open door. A way out. A way forward.

Photo: Melina Hammer, The New York Times

Photo: Melina Hammer, The New York Times

How to Make Pizza »

Speaking of newsletters: A week ago today, The New York Times’ excellent cooking newsletter by Sam Sifton sent out an edition all about pizza. From there, I was led to their “How to Make Pizza” guide:

You can make pizza at home. In fact, you can make pizza that will equal some of the best on the planet. With planning and practice, you can become good at it — even if you are a relatively novice cook. We are here to help that happen.

I’d never considered using unglazed quarry tiles from the hardware store as a makeshift baking stone. Now I really want to try it. They’ve also got instructions for pan-frying a pizza on a stovetop using a cast iron skillet.

Anyway, this is a really well done intro guide, with a few helpful videos throughout. Love it.

Homemade Full-Auto Crossbow »

Let me just say it: I have absolutely no use for, or desire to create, a fully automatic crossbow. I’m only sharing this video because the guy in it — a German I’ve often see referred to as “the slingshot guy” — laughs like a maniac at his own creation as he fires it, which is super contagious and makes the kid in me grin every time.

(It’s also interesting from a mechanical standpoint, which he discusses later in the video, but I mostly get a kick out of the laughing.)

Photo: John Carey

Photo: John Carey

50ft Memberships »

Whether you know it or not, you’ve probably seen photographer John Carey’s wallpapers in various places around the web over the years. His blog, fiftyfootshadows.net, is a continual favorite of mine, thanks to his thoughtful takes on photography, technology, music, and more.

In a recent post, he announced the 50ft Membership, for which there are two tiers:

  1. The 50ft Standard ($3/mo): Grants access to higher-resolution versions of both new and old wallpapers for pixel-hungry devices, as well as discounts on larger fine art prints available on his site.
  2. The 50ft Print Club ($7/mo): This is the cool one. Each month he’ll be sending subscribers a 4″ x 7″ signed print chosen from his photo archives, along with a letter written by him, both of which will come in a simple stamped envelope, á la a pen pal kind of thing. (Includes all benefits from the “Standard” tier.)

John has not asked me to plug his membership. I’m linking to it because I really enjoy his work and want to see people support it.

Inevitable Sherlocking »

App developer “Underscore” David Smith wrote a few thoughts on what it’s like developing an app knowing that it will inevitably be “sherlocked” by Apple (I took some editing liberties with the second line):

In a weird way I’ve just come to peace with this reality and grown to understand that this isn’t something that I should really fear. While the indefinite nature of its arrival certainly gives me a bit of unease, once I accepted that it was inevitable things got much simpler.

[…] Letting go of the fear of a big competitor can help you focus in on what you can uniquely do.

How to Convert a Van into an Off-Grid Camper in 17 Days »

Back in September, entrepreneur and rock climber Nate Murphy posted the video above, detailing how he converted a Ford Transit into a camper van. Even as someone who already lives full-time in an RV — specifically, a 27-foot bumper-pull travel trailer — I’d be super tempted to downsize to a van like this if we didn’t have a 5yo son to worry about. My wife and I will probably do something like this whenever he’s old enough to move out.

Here’s another video he posted showing what the living experience in the van was like after four months on the road:

(I think he swears only once or twice in each video, so be aware of that if you’re watching it at work.)

Nate has a blog dedicated to the project, where he offers a 132-page ebook (£6.50 / ~$8 USD) that includes everything you’d want to know about doing this sort of thing yourself.

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Got any suggestions for articles, videos, stories, photographs, and any other links you think we should be posting in our weekly Quality Linkage? Please do let us know on Twitter.