If you know me, then you know that I read widely and have pretty varied interests. This shows up in how I consume information online. I follow around 2000 accounts of various types on Twitter, I have several hundred sites in my feed reader and I love getting lost in the labyrinth that is the internet, following links based on my current mood and level of interest.
What that means is that I come across some very interesting stuff everyday. I really cannot even estimate how many sites I visit or how many pages I read in any one day. What I do know is that there is, for sure, a lot of crap on the internet. There is also a lot of very ordinary, as-average-as-it-gets mediocrity. But there are those shining moments, those gems that make me pause, re-read an article and then think or laugh.
This is the first of many posts where I will share some of the best articles or posts I read each week. If you have come across them before, then excellent. We are probably enjoying the internet in a similar way. If some of these are new to you, then I am happy I can add something to your online experience.
So for your Sunday reading pleasure, here is The Absolutely Best Stuff I Read This Week:
The ‘Creative Idleness’ Award:
Artist Spends 5 Years Covering Entire Kitchen in Millions of Glass Beads – This is just mind-boggling to me. The patience involved is staggering as each bead was placed by hand with tweezers. She covered every single item including cereal boxes and blades of grass outside. I’m not sure what happens after something like this. You can’t destroy it after all that work, but then you can’t actually live there and use the items so… No matter, the pictures are amazingly beautiful.
The ‘Make Me Wanna Cry’ Award:
Martin Manley: My Life and Death – On August 15, 2013, Martin Manley, at sixty years old, took his own life. He thought about for over a year and planned it meticulously to not leave too much of a burden on his small family, while leaving a legacy to the world by way of this website. Here he chronicles the entire thought process that went into his suicide, the rationale behind, the method he would use, the answers to the inevitable questions. He also details his life story in a way many people don’t ever think to do unless they become famous. Martin has left his mark and an incredible read if you have ever wondered about what goes through the mind of someone contemplating suicide.
The ‘Get Your Science Geek Groove On’ Award:
The DNA Olympics — Jamaicans Win Sprinting ‘Genetic Lottery’ — and Why We Should All Care – The recent World Championships saw Jamaica retaining its title as the Sprint Capital of the World. This distinction has raised many questions for people about how it is possible that we continue to produce sprinting champions. This article takes an in-depth look at the genetic links within sports, looking at why sprinters tend to be of a certain ancestry, distance runners of another, swimmers, divers, gymnasts of others still. Very enlightening read if you have an interest in sports, science or both.
The ‘Tek Serious Ting Mek Joke’ Award (Take a serious thing and make a joke):
Get PRSM – The Sharing Network – If you have paid attention to international news, you would have seen some of the controversy about privacy issues. People the world over are discovering that governments (in particular the US through the NSA) have been tracking private communications for years. This has major implications for anyone (which is everyone) who uses the internet. This site tries to raise awareness of the issue through a brilliant take on social networks.
The ‘Give This Man An Award’ Award:
Seeing a Woman – I think I actually spotted this on The Good Men Project, which is a site I highly recommend for everyone (men and women) to read if you enjoy insightful articles on living in today’s world. In this one, the author imagines a conversation with his son the first time he sees his son looking at a woman as an object of lust. He lays out the ideal for how men should look at women, as human beings, with brains, feelings, hopes, and ideals. I don’t know if fathers ever actually speak to their sons like this, and I don’t know if the author himself will, but the article has some valuable lessons for men of all ages.
The ‘Absolutely Brilliant Hilarity’ Award:
Mobile Usability for Cats: Essential Design Principles for Felines – If you are in the technology field, particularly software and application development, then you will be familiar with the concepts of usability. If you’re not, then just know that this is how we try to make sure that an application is well designed – we tests it with the users. In theory. This article pokes some fun by giving a report of some user testing with cats, the internet’s favourite animals. The only thing that would have made this better would have been video of the said tests.
The ‘You Probably Still Won’t Get It’ Award:
We Need to Talk About Depression and Everyone Needs To Listen – Depression is one of the most common mental health issues. I, myself, have suffered for years from a diagnosis of clinical depression, which I have talked about somewhat on this blog. Sadly, many people who have never been personally affected do not understand. They think you should be able to just shake it off, or get over it. They think it is rooted in selfishness and narcissism. I have heard some of these statements myself. The author here tries to explain what depression can feel like, and is a valuable read for anyone curious about depression, especially if they are close to someone with depression.
The ‘This is So True’ Award:
I Want To Make Love To You Like In The Movies – We have all seen those movies, every movie, where the love story between the star couple is epic from start to finish. There are no boring parts, no really embarrassing parts. If something silly happens, it is laughably cute. The sex scenes are dramatic and amazingly lit. Nobody looks like crap, and nobody farts. Lol! Well, this article declares what many have thought – ‘That’s what I want!’ The author details the Hollywood style relationship that he wants in all of its epicness. [Not for you if the occasional “graphic” term is upsetting to you.]
The ‘I’m Giving You The Damn Manual’ Award:
The Ultimate Cheat Sheet for Starting a Business – If you are an entrepreneur, particularly if you are in the world of tech startups, then you have a million questions when it comes to starting and running your business. These questions pop up over and over in every forum. Finally, someone decided to just answer every single question once and for all. If your question isn’t here, it’s probably a dumb question. A good read if you’re starting a business, have started a business, don’t want to start a business…
The ‘Incredibly Useful’ Award:
Lean Startup Distilled – Lean Startup is all over the online world now. This is also the primary method being promoted in the TechPeaks programme of which I am a part. One of the challenges with anything that becomes super popular online is figuring out the core message from the bazillion posts and articles written about it. In technology, this is just as difficult when everybody has their own take on a “new” methodology, for example. This article gives the best summary of Lean Startup that I have seen. It would not teach you everything you need to know, but if you want an easy to digest explanation of what Lean Startup involves, this is it.