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Month: July 2018 (page 2 of 4)

Nearly 1,000 paintings and drawings by Vincent Van Gogh digitized and put online

Open Culture:

The opportunity to see all of Van Gogh’s bedroom paintings in one place may have passed us by for now—an exhibit in Chicago brought them together in 2016. But we can see the original bedroom at the yellow house in Arles in a virtual space, along with almost 1,000 more Van Gogh paintings and drawings, at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam’s site. The digitized collection showcases a vast amount of Van Gogh’s work—including not only landscapes, but also his many portraits, self-portraits, drawings, city scenes, and still-lifes.

Meet the man who has lived alone on an island for 28 years

National Geographic:

In 1989 on a stretch of water between Sardinia and Corsica, with a crippled engine and anchor adrift, Morandi’s catamaran was gripped by these same inexorable forces and carried to the shores of Budelli Island. When he learned that its caretaker was retiring from his post in two days, Morandi—long disenchanted with society—sold the catamaran and took his place.

He has lived alone on the island for the past 28 years.

Secret life of an autistic stripper


Central to autism is a difficulty experiencing life in real time. Many autistic people can’t filter out information, which makes it difficult to zone in and focus. All those years, I couldn’t read people’s cues because I struggled to cancel out the world around me. At my sister’s house, the background music, the forks scraping on plates, the blue walls, all swam in front of people’s facial expressions.

But in the private rooms at the club, there were no outside stimuli. The rules were clear, the distractions minimal, so I could focus and interact.

Quitting social media can help your career

The digital detox will reduce procrastination and strengthen mindfulness.


It is astounding how much time I squandered on social media, mindlessly scrolling through profiles of people I scarcely knew or taking “Which Disney Prince Should You Marry Based On Your Skincare Preferences?” quizzes or watching compilations of the dancing videos Donald Glover slams in his music video for This Is America—all in an attempt to ward off boredom. This procrastination impeded more than my ability to meet deadlines; it also eviscerated my sense of presence, of mindfulness.

Are you spending time with the right people?

Studies have shown that behaviors are contagious and that our social networks can influence obesity, anxiety, and overall well being.

NY Times:

“I argue that the most powerful thing you can do to add healthy years is to curate your immediate social network,” said [Dan Buettner, a National Geographic fellow and author who studies the health habits of people who live in so-called blue zones], who advises people to focus on three to five real-world friends rather than distant Facebook friends. “In general you want friends with whom you can have a meaningful conversation,” he said. “You can call them on a bad day and they will care. Your group of friends are better than any drug or anti-aging supplement, and will do more for you than just about anything.”

The unhealthy epidemic of perfectionism

To be human is to be flawed.

The pursuit of perfection can lead to eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), anxiety, body dysmorphia, depression, and even suicide. Captain Obvious would say ‘it’s not healthy.‘

The Guardian:

Perfectionism can affect people of all ages and lifestyles, but it is increasingly prevalent among students. Earlier this year, research involving 40,000 students at universities in the UK, the US and Canada found a 33% increase since 1989 in those who feel they must display perfection to secure approval. The report’s lead author, Thomas Curran of the University of Bath, fears a “hidden epidemic of perfectionism”.

It’s not really your fault if you can’t get anything done when it’s hot

This might explain Florida Man.


“We found that the students who were in the non-air-conditioned buildings actually had slower reaction times: 13 percent lower performance on basic arithmetic tests, and nearly a 10 percent reduction in the number of correct responses per minute,” Allen explains.

The results, published in PLOS Medicine, may come as a surprise. “I think it’s a little bit akin to the frog in the boiling water,” Allen says. There’s a “slow, steady — largely imperceptible — rise in temperature, and you don’t realize it’s having an impact on you.”

JOMO – the Joy of Missing Out – is about finding balance

Haylen Phelan writing in The New York Times:

JOMO, is not a misspelling of “mojo” but, rather, stands for “joy of missing out.” The antithesis of FOMO (fear of missing out), JOMO is about disconnecting, opting out and being O.K. just where you are.

It’s a lot like that age-old wisdom about being present — only retrofitted for a world in which missing an email could be a fireable offense, and deleting Bumble could mean you don’t go on a date for another three months. Like it or not, we need our technology devices; we just don’t need them as much as we think we do. JOMO is about finding that balance.

Barack Obama shares his summer reading list

This week, Barack Obama is travelling to Africa for the first time since he left office.

In South Africa, the Obama Foundation will convene 200 extraordinary young leaders from across the continent and I’ll deliver a speech to mark the 100th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s birth.

In preparation for the trip, Mr. Obama wanted to share a list of books that I’d recommend for summer reading, including some from a number of Africa’s best writers and thinkers.

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
A true classic of world literature, this novel paints a picture of traditional society wrestling with the arrival of foreign influence, from Christian missionaries to British colonialism. A masterpiece that has inspired generations of writers in Nigeria, across Africa, and around the world.

Continue reading


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