Written by

Chris Gonzales


Varshesh Joshi

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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5-Year-Olds Can Learn Calculus »

My wife shared this 2014 article with me following one of our discussions about how we plan to go about homeschooling our 5yo son as he gets older. It’s a fascinating read:

“Calculations kids are forced to do are often so developmentally inappropriate, the experience amounts to torture,” [Maria Droujkova] says. They also miss the essential point—that mathematics is fundamentally about patterns and structures, rather than “little manipulations of numbers,” as she puts it. It’s akin to budding filmmakers learning first about costumes, lighting and other technical aspects, rather than about crafting meaningful stories.

The title of the article is somewhat misleading of course, but I really connected with the points made about teaching conceptual mathematical thinking to younger kids through the use of puzzles and games and such, rather than forcing them to memorize a variety of equations by rote without ever explaining the how or why behind any of it.

+ The lady interviewed in the article is Maria Droujkova of the Natural Math community, and a year ago she did a Reddit AMA that’s worth reading.

Cosmic Kids Yoga »

Speaking of kids, I recently stumbled on the Cosmic Kids YouTube channel, which teaches yoga to kids by integrating various poses into fun stories told by the host Jaime:

Healthy videos made specially for kids – with a focus on yoga, mindfulness, stories and relaxation. Used in homes and schools all over the world. Interactive adventures which build strength, balance and confidence – and get kids into yoga and mindfulness early! Healthy screen time which gets kids moving, relaxing and learning simple lessons for a happy life.

My son loves watching these videos at night before we read a bedtime story.


Zeitz MOCAA by Thomas Heatherwick »

Insanely cool architectural project by designer Thomas Heatherwick, which took an abandoned concrete grain silo in Cape Town and essentially carved it into what is now the Zeitz MOCAA (Museum of Contemporary Art Africa), which just opened its doors today:

The original building was composed of two main elements – a grading tower and a block of 42 tightly-packed silos. Rather than resorting to wholesale demolition, the studio took on the challenge to convert the multitude of concrete tubes into spaces to display art while retaining the silo’s industrial character.

The studio’s solution was to carve out a large central space from the cellular concrete structure to form a major social space that reveals the original intersecting geometries in an unexpected way. The perimeter tubes were then substantially cut back and converted into five floors of galleries for permanent and temporary exhibitions.

The finished carved tubes above the atrium space allow daylight in from above through thick layers of laminated glass, fritted with a pattern commissioned from the West African artist El Loko. The frit creates a walkable surface for the upper level sculpture garden, allowing daylight inside while protecting from too much heat building up inside.

Stewart Copeland Performing “Wrapped Around Your Finger” Live »

Sometimes I go through phases of becoming re-obsessed with The Police and especially Stewart Copeland’s drumming skills. The video above from their 2008 reunion tour is neat to me because it really shows off a side of his musicianship that isn’t purely about the manic, technical rhythms he became known for in the band’s early days. His ability to switch “modes”, as it were, is uncanny to me.

+ Another favorite of mine is his fantastic “Drum Solo Week” performance on Letterman in 2011.

Couple Trade Apartment in New Orleans to Travel in a VW Van »

Remember when I linked to Nate Murphy’s camper van conversion video earlier this year? Ever since then, I’ve been down a rabbit hole of all things “van life”, including the Exploring Alternatives YouTube channel and more recently Dylan Magaster’s channel.

Dylan has a knack for entertaining filmmaking, and has detailed his own van conversion process. I like all of his videos, but I linked/embedded the one above because 1) it’s one of his more recent ones, and 2) the husband and wife interviewed in it seem like very lovely people I would enjoy meeting on the road sometime.

+ Before embarking on your own “van life” adventure, it helps to have a cold, hard reality check: “Would You Go Crazy Living the Van Life?”

Is Your Smartphone Enough? »

Given the recent release of Apple’s new iPhone lineup, and [movie trailer voice] in a world where people feel the need to upgrade their devices every single year, I thought it’d be appropriate to link the most recent dispatch from Patrick Rhone’s newsletter:

[The iPhone 5] does all I need and I’m very happy with it. Just because it wont run this or that OS or this or that app does not suddenly make it not enough. Just because Apple introduces iPhones that are ten times faster and packed with better features does not mean mine is suddenly unable to do the job I need.


All of this is to once again gently suggest that you may not need a new smartphone. You may want to put some long thought into how much smartphone is enough smartphone for you. Perhaps what you have is doing what you need and will keep doing so well into the future. In fact, perhaps like me you reached that point a few phones back but unlike me, for any number of reasons, you chose to upgrade. It’s OK. No judgment.

It’s really okay to not keep up with the Joneses. If your stuff still works, keep it as long as possible.

My own iPhone 6 has a terribly cracked screen from being dropped on pavement and the Lightning port only works if the charger connector is pushed upward towards the screen and my battery doesn’t last nearly as long as it used to…and you know what, I’m still iffy on whether it’s important enough to buy a new device. I don’t make these decisions lightly.


Neat Stuff We Published This Week

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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.