Welcome to this week’s [evening] 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.
Last month, Brett and Kate McKay of The Art of Manliness wrote an excellence piece on making all those spare moments in your life more useful rather than passively letting them go by:
Small slices of the clock — 5 minutes here, 10 minutes there — seem to most people to be good for nothing except staring out the window or at their phone. But just as saving a few dollars here and there slowly accrues wealth, reclaiming a few minutes each day steadily accumulates a rich storehouse of hours. […]
Once you start looking for them, you’ll find possibilities in spare moments everywhere. You never know when you’re going to find yourself in a holding pattern, and you can either throw away those minutes forever or spin their golden threads into the fabric of personal progress.
I discovered this article via the newsletter of our own editor-in-chief, Shawn Blanc, who adds (with some editing liberties taken by yours truly):
Simply being intentional about those 5- and 10-minute breaks or moments of down time is a massive step in the right direction.
Just ask yourself: “When I have a 5-minute wait, do I want to spend that time on Twitter / Facebook / Instagram? Or do I want to spend it differently?”
App icons can be almost anything that vaguely relates to the job the app does. The best advice I can offer is to try many things, as quickly as possible. […]
Be prepared to move on when initially good ideas seem difficult to work with — the best idea in the world isn’t worth pursuing if you can’t execute it well. I do this all the time. Sometimes it’s due to lack of skill (I am terrible at drawing animals and many organic things). Sometimes it’s because the idea is just too difficult to work with.
Try some obvious ideas. Try some abstract and ambitious ideas. Anything goes, and mistakes are cheap at this point in the process.
Lots of great insights to glean from this post.
This imaginary 911 call written by Colin Nissan for The New Yorker hits so close to home it hurts:
OPERATOR: O.K., can you tell me what food you’ve eaten today?
ROBERT: You mean everything?
ROBERT: I don’t know exactly. I mean, I started out with breakfast before my wife left for work . . . scrambled eggs with toast and coffee . . . and then I think I maybe had a bowl of cereal when she left.
OPERATOR: Is that it?
ROBERT: Like an hour or so later . . . I had a banana with peanut butter.
OPERATOR: Did you slice the banana?
ROBERT: No. I dipped it right into the jar, because no one was watching. (Pause.) No one watches.
It’s easy to look at your favourite books, films or TV shows and think to yourself “How the hell do they come up with that?” or “There’s no way I could create something out of thin air like they did”, but then you discover that it’s OK to recycle and reinterpret old ideas. Suddenly creating your own art doesn’t seem as daunting when you realise even a master like Kurosawa needed help to get his stories off the ground.
In this lovely piece for The New York Times, writer and photographer Teju Cole examines the work of a few photographers who each make a point of capturing multiple images of particular locales, but years apart:
[Zoe Leonard’s] project, like [William Christenberry’s] and [Guido Guidi’s], implies physical return. Between one exposure and the next, time passes, life goes on and the artist re-encounters his or her altered subject. Guidi’s camera, set on a tripod, captures a scene with some of its elements exactly repeated. But in Christenberry’s and Leonard’s work, there’s an imprecision in the placement of the camera, an imprecision both natural and welcome that gives us easy spot-the-difference variations between one photo and the next. This inexactness of framing helps us understand that what makes these images valuable is not the differences among them, but the way a pair of stills can, simply and elegantly, pin down a central concern of human life: the passage of time.
Alex Q. Arbuckle — photo curator for Mashable’s Retronaut series — shares the story and incredible photographs from the June 1910 – January 1913 expedition that aimed to reach the South Pole but ended in tragedy:
Frostbite and gangrene in Oates’ feet made it impossible to march more than a few miles a day. By March 17, his 32nd birthday, he had lost the use of his hands as well, and knew he was slowing the group down. Huddled against the wind in their tent, Oates told the others, “I am just going outside and may be some time,” and stepped outside to his death.
- Related reading: “Stark Images of Shackleton’s Struggle” (BBC News Magazine)
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.