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.
On a similar line of thought as that “bee brick” I linked to last month, a Minnesotan lady named Sigrid Ellis recently did a brief Twitter thread about the damage home lawns are doing to the insect world:
If you own property, even a small urban yard, get rid of your lawn. There you go. That’s it. Plant shrubs, a small tree, and native plants for your part of the world. Don’t bag your leaves in autumn, pile them on your shrubs. Done.
Lawns are an invasive monoculture requiring damaging amounts of water and chemicals. Almost no insects can live on them. Take some small part of your yard – the back fence? Around the patio or deck? A border with a neighbor? Along the garage? – and plant native plants.
Back when I owned a house, I always wondered why the neighbors put so much effort and care into keeping their lawns trimmed and empty of leaves or whatever, and otherwise never used those areas for anything. Just seemed like a pointless use of space and energy to me.
We never did end up trying to grow a garden in our own yard unfortunately, but the friends we sold our house to have apparently turned the place into a tiny garden paradise, and I think that’s so cool. If my wife and I ever choose to settle down from the RVing thing, I’d like to start a garden of my own.
Robert Booth for The Guardian, reporting on a company that cut their working week from 37.5 hours to 30 and got great results:
The founder of one of the first big companies to switch to a four-day working week has called on others to follow, claiming it has resulted in a 20% rise in productivity, appeared to have helped increase profits and improved staff wellbeing.
Analysis of one of the biggest trials yet of the four-day working week has revealed no fall in output, reduced stress and increased staff engagement, fuelling hopes that a better work-life balance for millions could be in sight.
Sounds like those guys at Basecamp really are onto something, eh? 😉
This one goes out to the fast food connoisseurs out there: In a world where crappy news stories are shoved down your throat every day, sometimes it can feel good to take a step back, breathe deep, and rank a bunch of restaurant french fries against one another.
Don’t got that kinda time? Not to worry, Lucas Kwan Peterson at the LA Times has you covered:
After a barely noticeable hiatus, I’m happy to announce the return of the food power rankings just in time for February, our shortest, drizzliest and most romantic month. That’s right, my friends, I am pleased as punch to announce the authoritative, totally not subjective, incontrovertibly definitive and 100% correct L.A. Times Fast Food French Fry Rankings.
With Five Guys as the overall winner (spoiler!), I have to wonder how much the guy was influenced by the sheer amount of fries you get with an order. A Reddit user recently put it well:
I laughed f***ing hard the first time I went to five guys. It’s just a bag of fries with a completely redundant (sarcastic almost) cup thrown in there. Favourite burger place though.
Something about that “(sarcastic almost)” made me laugh so hard when I read it the other day.
Thanks to a post on kottke.org by Tim Carmody, I discovered the Happiness Spells podcast created by Amanda Meyncke. Twice a week, she releases a five-minute episode “filled with happy thoughts, positive emotions, and good memories.”
If you’ve wished you could be a more positive person and really celebrate the small pleasures in life, this is the podcast for you.
[Video:] If you’ve ever seen Daniel Day-Lewis’ masterful (and disturbing) performance in There Will Be Blood, you’ll dig this video essay by Now You See It that examines the way he uses his voice to exert a character’s control over a scene.
If you’ve ever wondered how a spray bottle works, well, here you go. It’s more interesting than you’d think. I’m reminded of that video about the design of a soda can — little marvels of engineering surround us and we rarely notice them.
Neat Stuff We Published This Week
- Guide: Some of Our Favorite Typefaces
- Definitive monograph of an illustrator’s career: Charley Harper: An Illustrated Life by Todd Oldham
- Best app for taking notes by hand: Notability for iOS and Mac
- Comfy and grippy German-made pencil: Faber-Castell Jumbo Grip Graphite Pencils
- No-nonsense protection for your favorite mobile console: WaterField Designs Pouch for Nintendo Switch
- Chemistry card game for kids: Science Ninjas “Valence” Chemistry Card Game
- Perfect tool for changing watch straps on the go: Crown & Buckle Keyring Spring Bar Tool
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.