Web Miscellany: Compilation #78

Hello friend! How are you? How has you week been? I re-potted my houseplants and that’s really about it, if I’m being honest. Phoenix is dipping into too hot to leave the house temperatures and, once more, I can’t stop daydreaming about leaving this hellscape. 2020 was the hottest summer, with a record high number of days over 100°, 100° and 120°. With the 5,625 square mile expanse of concrete and asphalt sprawling out further each year, things are feeling increasing dire each year. Yet, we are netting 200+ new residents per day… people that are clearly either crazy, or have never visited Phoenix in July.

What are your plans for the week ahead? I have a three day weekend for the holiday, so I’m excited to spend today reading, writing, sewing, or doing nothing at all…. indoors, of course. A new colleague will be joining my little department next week, so I’m excited to partake in training.

Happy Easter, Passover, or Holi (if you celebrate)!

I hope that your weekend and the week ahead are reminiscent of Spring, and that you and your loved ones continue to stay safe and healthy. Here are a few links from around the web. Feel free to share anything interesting you’ve stumbled upon in the comments.


  1. Food for thought: “The size of your dreams must always exceed your current capacity to achieve them. If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough.” ― Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
  2. From the archives: Why You Should Make Useless Things. “Maybe the point of building and experimenting is simply to plug into our creative nature and create something interesting.”
  3. A color identification bot: Send Color Parrot and image or color ID number on Twitter and the bot will reply with your answer. The response reminds me a bit of the color palettes used in used in Wes Anderson films, as the colors compliment one another so nicely.
  4. On climate and crypto: There is much talk of the impact of blockchain technologies on the climate. Continuations by Albert Wenger presents some of the strongest rationalizations I’ve seen. A few friends have backyard solar-powered bitcoin mining “shacks,” allowing for energy production at no real cost. When it comes to cryptocurrency mining, I think we can have our cake and eat it too. Related: Personal Capital now allows for cryptocurrency tracking (BETA).
  5. On the trials of early retirement: After six years of silence Living a FI shared a post on how early retirement is going… the good stuff, the challenges, and the unexpected.
  6. On writing: Check out this brief, yet brilliant list of of Ten reasons to write a book from Seth Godin. While you’re at it, take a peek at Matthew Dicks’ week of writing advice, including writers often don’t know what we’re doing and writers need purpose.
  7. On baby names trends: I don’t have kids and am not planning on kids soon, but am fascinated that cottagecore baby names–think Briar, Juniper, Wilder, and Hazel–are trending this year. I suspect that burned-out millennials are sick of being cooped up and are dreaming of the outdoors. I totally get it… our top two girls’ names are species of trees from our respective childhood homes (though have been on our list for far longer than cottagecore has even been a thing).
  8. On choosing memories over success: “The other day I saw a list, “Things You Should Accomplish Before You’re Thirty,” and it went something like: learn how to poach eggs / learn a language / go skydiving / go surfing / go on a trip… What it forgot to mention is that not being able to afford a house because you spent your twenties playing shows in bars with sticky floors and hiking across Spain and okay maybe went out for dinner a few times too often is a worthwhile trade. Owning a house that you can’t fill with stories is a lonely place to live.” Things You Should Accomplish Before You’re Thirty from Jess Janz.
  9. An interesting calculator: “Everyone trades time for money, which then can be given to another person to get something in return. But when money is stored in a fiat currency for the future use, it loses the purchasing power over time due to the currency inflation. If a currency lost 25% of its initial value, this means 25% loss of time and efforts spent to get that money. 1 day (8 hours) you worked and got paid for, today has a monetary value as if you worked 0.75 days (6 hours). Store of Time.
  10. On NASA and origami: As this short from TED-Ed details, this includes a ‘starshade’ proposed by engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, intended to block exoplanet-hunting space telescopes from the glare of distant stars. Featuring appealing and instructive stop-motion visuals from the French animator Charlotte Arene, this short provides a nifty primer on how origami artists are able to fold square pieces of paper into near-infinite forms both beautiful and useful.

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