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.
Next month will see the release of a memoir about the life of Prince, titled The Beautiful Ones. Prince himself was involved in the early days of writing of it, before sadly passing away.
His chosen co-author, writer and editor Dan Piepenbring, recently told the tale of how he got the gig, along with the wonderfully weird — that is to say, extremely Prince-like — few months they spent working together:
“Certain words don’t describe me,” he said. White critics bandied about terms that demonstrated a lack of awareness of who he was. “Alchemy” was one. When writers ascribed alchemical qualities to his music, they were ignoring the literal meaning of the word, the dark art of turning base metal into gold. He would never do something like that. He reserved a special disdain for the word “magical.” I’d used some version of it in my statement. “Funk is the opposite of magic,” he said. “Funk is about rules.”
Famed chef Jacques Pépin warns of the dangers of hewing too closely to written recipes:
When writing a recipe, one records a moment in time which can never be duplicated exactly again. The paradox is that the recipe tells the reader, this must be done this way, when, in fact, to get the result you’re looking for, the recipe has to be modified each time.
So, what is the point of at recipe? A recipe is a teaching tool, a guide, a point of departure. You have to follow it exactly the first time you make the dish. But as you make it again and again, you will change it, you will massage it to fit your own taste, your own sense of aesthetic.
I love the example he gives of his own experience trying several times to recreate a recipe he wrote and having it go differently each time.
Parenting food-for-thought: In an op-ed for the New York Times, Kim Brooks — author of Small Animals: Parenthood in the Age of Fear — worries that the emotional health of children today is worse than it’s been in generations:
No longer able to rely on communal structures for child care or allow children time alone, parents who need to work are forced to warehouse their youngsters for long stretches of time. School days are longer and more regimented. Kindergarten, which used to be focused on play, is now an academic training ground for the first grade. Young children are assigned homework even though numerous studies have found it harmful. STEM, standardized testing and active-shooter drills have largely replaced recess, leisurely lunches, art and music.
At the end of a recent video review on backpacks from STATE Bags, creative entrepreneur and all-around great guy Chase Reeves did a fantastic bit of soapbox-ing (starting from the 20:39 mark) on how your purchasing decisions and local community involvement can make a real difference in the world.
Lots of swears here, so maybe don’t watch it at work, but it’s a tangent worth watching.
🍩🎥: Watching Bon Appétit’s delightful duo Brad and Claire cook together is one of my favorite ways to wind down after a long day. As such, here are parts one, two, and three of their entertaining attempts to make “sourdoughnuts”.
👨👧👦:Modern fatherhood is a tricky thing to navigate. Bestselling author Ryan Holiday has created a newsletter called The Daily Dad to help you do it well. It offers advice and insight on a number of topics related to being a great dad, whatever type of family situation you’ve got going on:
We’re going to tackle all the big themes of our time and of all time: Grit. Resilience. Curiosity. Compassion. Character. Unconditional love. Finding purpose. Dealing with stress. Masculinity. Female empowerment. Loss. Stillness. Truthfulness. Initiative. Creativity. Passion. Family. Fun.
A dad is a dad is a dad whether your kid is two days or twenty years old, whether they become a professional athlete or develop dyslexia, whether they have kids of their own, whether you’re rich or poor, married or single, a birth-, adopted- or step-parent, gay or straight, American or Afghani. Sure, trends shift and cultures evolve, but what it means to be a father at the very core of things is immutable. Just as motherhood does for women, fatherhood connects us to our distant past and to every generation that will come after us.
💵🙅♀️🚫: Here’s Max St John why money can never give you what you need:
And while we are constantly working ourselves into the ground, to not-meet the needs, that we can feel harder than ever but still don’t know how to articulate, we consume more and more products, services and treats to act as numbing distractions.
🖋📜🎥: Ever wondered how to make your own quill pen from a feather? The Townsends YouTube channel has got the video for you.
Neat Stuff We’ve Published Recently
It’s been a while since I’ve done a Linkage column, so I’ve got a few things to catch you up on:
Guide #3: Matte Black Coffee Gear
- Join the movement to eliminate single-use plastics: Stasher Reusable Silicone Food Bags
- Toy Story megazords? Yes, please: Disney + Bandai Toy Story “Chogokin” Mecha Toys
- Jigsaw puzzle based on an official NASA image: “The Moon” by Four Point Puzzles
- Large dish drainer that doubles as storage for kitchenware: Langria Over-the-Sink Dish Drying Rack
- Like a Studio Ghibli movie in book form: The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill
- Feel like Tony Stark with this Apple Watch band: Juuk’s “Vitero Crimson”
- Folds up small without sacrificing functionality: Born Free “Liva” Compact Fold Stroller
- Workout earbuds you’ll actually want to listen to: Jaybird “Vista” True Wireless Sport Earbuds
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.