Written by

Chris Gonzales

Welcome to this week’s edition of our 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.

(P.S. – I rather liked the format of last week’s link list, so I’m running with it for now, with some additional tinkering with the layout. Even set up a TextExpander snippet for it and everything.)

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🐠📸: Check out the winning images from the 2019 Ocean Art Underwater Photo Contest. Some absolutely fantastic entries here.

🍞: Baking sourdough bread at home can feel like a daunting proposition. Luckily, software-engineer-turned-baker Maurizio Leo has for years been running the perfect (-ly nerdy) website to help you find your way. Start with his beginner’s sourdough guide, which gives all the steps, tips, measurements, times, and photos you need to get started.

As Jeff Sheldon said in a recent Ugmonk newsletter, “Maurizio writes in a way that’s engaging and easy to understand, even for people like me who have very little baking experience. Even if you’re not interested in bread baking, it’s one of the best examples of a content site that I’ve ever come across. Bookmark this.”

🔮✨: Tiny Spells is a self-care email newsletter (and Twitter feed) run by Joan Westenberg. Each morning (Monday through Friday), she sends you a quick list of three simple tasks to improve your wellbeing every day. It’s a bit witchy by design (you’ll see the word “coven” used a lot) so if you’re into that sort of thing, all the better.


Find out when the sun sets next, and be outside to watch it happen. Think about how lucky we are that no matter how s**t the day can be, at the end of it, the breathtaking cosmic dance of the sunset will happen, all the same. And we don’t even have to buy a ticket.


Dance, move, get your energy up. Put some life into your limbs. Don’t walk to check the mail, run. Don’t nod your head to the music, get up and shake it. If all you can quite manage is to stretch, then stretch. Your body is there to be used. Use it!


Just take a walk. Take a small stroll. You don’t have to go far. You don’t have to go much of anywhere. But take a walk, bring your thoughts along, and see how the fresh air makes them feel.

🙎‍♀️: Speaking of “witchy”, Mara Wilson — yes, the former child actress of Matilda fame and more — recently wrote a hilariously spot-on guide on the care and keeping of creepy young girls:

If you have a Creepy Young Girl in your home, you must forgive her when you awake in the night and she is awake, has not slept, perhaps has never slept. […]

Let the Creepy Young Girl read whichever books she wants to read. Better yet, encourage her to read, and take her to the library. Creepy Young Girls love a library. The books she reads will give her power, it’s true, power far beyond your wildest imaginings, but she will remember forever that you are the one who led her to the books.

🗣: I once linked to an article about the connection between linguistics and cognition — which, naturally enough, mentions how cultures often have words that don’t directly translate from one language to the next.

Eunoia is an entire website of those kinds of words, built by Steph Smith (who, just from browsing around her website, seems quite an interesting person). It indexes over 500 untranslateable words across 70+ languages, all of which are tagged for easy browsing (think: love, beauty, funny, travel, etc).

Some examples:

  • Qiang jingtou (Chinese): The fight by a cameraman to get a better vantage point.
  • Ya’aburnee (Arabic): “You bury me” — a way to declare your hope that your loved one will outlive you because of how unbearable it would be to live without them.
  • Nuchshlepper (Yiddish): Someone who follows another person; a hanger-on.
  • Mauerbauertraurigkeit (German): The unexplicable urge to push people away, even close friends who really like you.
  • Yugen (Japanese): A profound, mysterious sense of the beauty of the universe…and the sad beauty of human suffering.

📧: Are you anxious about writing emails? Do you spend too much time trying to craft pithy responses? Canned Emails is a minimalist and useful — yet slightly tongue-in-cheek — website by David “dmerr” Merriman, with prewritten messages for a number of scenarios.

Click any item on the list (“break up with someone”, “need advice”, “unsubscribe aggressively”, etc) and it’ll open up an email draft with the subject and body filled in for you. Pretty great.

Here’s what you get with the “pay me back” option:

Quick reminder – money owed

I just wanted to let you know you owe me [ AMOUNT OF MONEY OWED ]

It’s easy to forget about these things, so I wanted to send you a quick reminder.

Let me know your preferred way of sending me money. I’m flexible, so whatever is most convenient for you.


🧟🧴💁: As I recently wrote, skincare is something most people ignore until it’s tragically too late. I also realize that it can feel like an overwhelming subject to dive into. Advice columnist Sophia Benoit wrote a relatively succinct starting guide so you’re not utterly lost from the get-go.

Despite growing up with three sisters, a mother and a stepmother, no one told me what I was supposed to do with makeup or skincare, and by the time I wanted to get into it, I felt like everyone already knew what they were doing and I was too far behind maybe? It felt like raising my hand in college and being like, “Hey I don’t know what the colors are.”

🧑‍💻: Working from home isn’t always the smooth, dreamy experience everyone thinks it must be. Staying productive and sane while the chaos of home life happens all around you is harder than it sounds, turns out!

With that in mind, freelance writer Jill Chafin offers some tips on how to actually get stuff done while working from home. I can attest to everything she says here.

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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.