May 25, 2018

Written by

Chris Gonzales


Adrian Trinkaus

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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Photos: Federico Viticci, MacStories

Photos: Federico Viticci, MacStories

Second Life: Rethinking Myself Through Exercise, Mindfulness, and Gratitude »

Federico Viticci of MacStories wrote a powerful and honest story about his struggles with stress, anxiety, and bad personal habits — and how he’s using technology and techniques like meditation to get better:

The more time I spent focused on myself instead of being distracted by busywork, the more I kept reaching the same conclusion. For years, I avoided accepting the reality that my life will never be “normal” again. I can’t hide from the fact that I had cancer, survived, and will always need to pay close attention to my health – more than other people. For better or worse, the experience of surviving cancer will always be part of me. Instead of running from it or finding temporary refuge in an obsession with work, I should embrace it with positivity and optimism. I should treasure the battle I won without letting the fear of a rematch define me.

It’s a long read, but definitely worth your time.

Giving and Taking Criticism »

Great piece by writer and design advocate Chappell Ellison:

Taking criticism is often described metaphorically as standing in front of a firing squad. Being a helpless target. But it’s not. It’s an empowering practice. It requires just as much work as giving criticism.

Taking criticism is the search for actionable feedback.

The next time you’re being a critic about something on the internet, consider first, “Is this actually helpful?” If you’re on the receiving end of such criticism, the same question applies.

It’s Time to Update Your Personal Terms of Service »

Today is the deadline for GDPR compliance and no one’s ready for it. Of course, that hasn’t stopped anyone’s inboxes from being clogged lately with “privacy policy update” emails, most of them from companies we’d long forgotten we ever interacted with.

But what about us regular people? Russell Davies of Wired UK says it’s “time to sit down with the family and remind them of the surveillance capacity you have and see if they care.”

Similarly – dear wife – a confession. Once on a Sunday, you were driving home from Cornwall and I’d promised myself that I’d tidy up and empty the bins before you got home. I’ll confess I clicked on Find My iPhone to see how long I’d got. That was bad.

Nick Offerman’s ‘Yule Log’ »

I present to you, 45 straight minutes of Nick Offerman quietly drinking single malt scotch by the fire. Filing this one away for when winter approaches later this year.

On a side note, Nick Offerman may have the greatest career of all time.

iOS 12 Wishlist »

On his Initial Charge blog, Michael Rockwell lists twelve features he’d like to see in iOS 12:

WWDC is just two weeks away and just like every other year, we should expect to see what’s next for iOS at the event. Although rumors are pointing toward a rather modest update with iOS 12, I still have hopes that we’ll see at least a few tentpole items in the change log. The following is an unordered list of features and enhancements that I’d like to see included in the next version of iOS.

Solid list. One thing I’ve been wanting for a long time is a universal dark mode switch for apps, à la Tweetbot’s two-finger swipe up or down.

Illustrations: Richard Wilkinson

Illustrations: Richard Wilkinson

Arthropoda Iconicus: Insects From a Far Away Galaxy »

As part of an upcoming book, Brighton-based illustrator Richard Wilkinson has created a collection of imaginary insects inspired by characters and vehicles from Star Wars:

This project was born out of a fascination with collecting, cataloguing and classifying. It draws inspiration from classic Natural History illustration but explores the subjects that we love to collect and classify from the modern world.

While you’re waiting for the 60-illustration book to be released, you can buy some of them as limited-edition prints.

Photo: Benjamin Frisch, Slate

Photo: Benjamin Frisch, Slate

Decoder Ring Episode 1: “The Laff Box” »

For the first episode of Slate’s new podcast, Decoder Ring, TV critic Willa Paskin examines the history of the laugh track, the man who perfected it, and why you haven’t heard it much in recent years:

What happened to the laugh track? For nearly five decades, the laugh track was ubiquitous, but beginning in the early 2000s, it fell out of sitcom fashion. What happened? How did we get from The Beverly Hillbillies to 30 Rock? In this episode, we meet the man who created the laugh track, which originated as a homemade piece of technology, and trace that technology’s fall and the rise of a more modern idea about humor. With the help of historians, laugh track obsessives, the showrunners of One Day at a Time, and the director of Sports Night, this episode asks if the laugh track was about something bigger than laughter.


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.