Vonnegut has a good quote about this.

I can’t talk about Philip Seymour Hoffman. Some famous deaths hit you harder than others, and you can’t always tell why, and this one — not to mention the conversation going on around it — is hitting me hard. This morning I also read ‘In God We Trust—but We Have Put Our Faith in Our Guns,’ an interview with a Florida mother who, like Trayvon Martin’s parents, lost her son to a Stand Your Ground-defensible (supposedly) incident. From God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater:

“Hello babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. On the outside, babies, you’ve got a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies—God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.”

Some links:

This Is Not a Conspiracy Theory comes from Kirby Ferguson, the guy behind the brilliant Everything Is a Remix. This new venture is going to be subscription-supported, but right now you can buy one for $12US, which will later go up to $15, but which is good for the whole length of the project. Apparently you can also pay in Bitcoin too, which I find fascinating.

The End of Higher Education’s Golden Age, by Clay Shirky, is simply and dispassionately written, but it’s seething with frustration. Its thesis, which seems eminently reasonable? We live in institutions perfectly adapted to an environment that no longer exists.

Art of the Title is a whole blog that breaks down and analyzes title cards and opening sequences from films and TV shows, which is a thing I love like I love blogs about designing book covers.

The Biggest Misconception About Birds is, it turns out, about where they sleep. Let me just say, the thing about unihemispheric slow-wave sleep makes me wonder why we don’t have fantasy creatures or aliens that work like that.

Work out at home like a superhero! Like, an actual superhero of your choice: there are moves for that. You may have seen these charts floating around on Tumblr, but did you know you can do all kinds of fancy sorting on the artist’s website to find the one you need?

Are people more open about life when running? Two British filmmakers sets out to do some interviews, and the result is — well. Alluring and engrossing.

This Is Danny Pearl’s Final Story, by Asra Nomani, is a wrenching look at the facts about the kidnapping and murder of journalist Danny Pearl, who was abducted and beheaded while chasing a story in Pakistan. It’s also a story about a colleague of his and how his death shook her and followed her in the years after, and what she did about it.

The Borderlands Project follows a trip along the borders of India and South Asia “to better understand the human dimension of political borders.” When it’s finished, the reporter will have traveled 9,000 miles.

Why News Matters works to promote news literacy for kids, which, given, I don’t know, everything about the way news is going, they’re going to need more than ever going forward.

Seven weeks of selfies and I outran zombies too.

I did this this morning.
I did this this morning.

An amazing thing happened this morning. For the first time ever, I finished a 5K training routine. What began in August as a way to pass time during a month-long break actually sort of became an obsession. I get it now. I smell worse and feel better than I have in years. Running? Let’s be pals. You’re addictive. You’re great.

I’ve got to hand it to Zombies, Run! for achieving the impossible, by which I mean convincing me that voluntary physical activity is, in fact, fun and rewarding and not just something you should do because of crushing societal pressure. And while I hesitate to call this a journey, just because of the horrific cliche, there have been some stunning highs and hilarious misadventures along the way. (Lesson learned: If you buy a pair of running tights online and they feel like they might fall down, don’t try and run in them anyway.)

I thought I was going to make this post on Monday, and I did in fact have a really amazing run two days ago. (Forty-two minutes at a pace of 10:16, what! Who am I, and how did I come to brag like this?) But the final ZR 5K mission is deceptive: it seems to end nine minutes before it actually ends, so runners: once you do the thing, don’t stop the app. They don’t really tell you to run or walk or just stand there wheezing, but just. Wait for the little voice that says “Mission complete!”

That said, I’ve been embarking on an experiment since my last post about running. I wanted to see if I could see changes as I progressed through the program. I’ll let you decide if that’s the case. Without further ado, I hope you enjoy (and laugh at/with) this gallery of selfies taken at the end of each run since September 1. Myself, I’d call it a decisive victory!

Continue reading “Seven weeks of selfies and I outran zombies too.”

A Super Beginner’s Guide to Beating the Zombie Apocalypse

First things first: I’m making this post because Zombies, Run! is having a great sale for their apps, and if you think you’d enjoy a story-driven 5K training app or a running app, even if (like me) you don’t enjoy zombies, you should go for it before Tuesday, September 3.

Okay, that’s the context, though if you read to the end you’ll get to see the worst selfie taken in the history of the world, so maybe that can compel you to listen to me yammer about why I dig running now when I’ve never quite managed to latch onto it before.

Nope.
Nope.

I’m one of those creative types who’s spent most of my life resisting exercise. Not really out of an inherent laziness (though there is that, to a certain extent), but sports was always something only worth a shrug in my house growing up, if it was acknowledged at all. Neither of my parents enjoyed or sought out physical activity, and there was always this simmering resentment of sports culture (and how our losing sports teams in the city school system always seemed to get more funding than the arts) that meant I was never encouraged to want it or enjoy it.

Continue reading “A Super Beginner’s Guide to Beating the Zombie Apocalypse”