The Monday Kickoff

Kick off your week with set of links on a variety of topics, served fresh each Monday

Welcome back!

Recently, a few someones asked me if I read everything that I link to in these kickoffs. Yes, I do.

I do a lot of reading during the week — at lunch, while commuting, while waiting around, and all that — and try share the best of what I read with you. I might not agree with everything I read, but it all does provoke more than a few thoughts.

Let's get this Monday started with these links:

Various

A Walk to Kobe, wherein author Haruki Murakami recounts the sights and changes he say on a two-day trek on foot from the suburb of Nishinomiya to downtown Kobe, Japan.

Pens and Needles: Reviving Book-Embroidery in Victorian England, wherein we learn about the once-fashionable art of embroidering book covers and how the bibliomania, patriotism, and issues around gender were central to its 19th century revival.

Children of ‘The Cloud’ and Major Tom: Growing Up in the ’80s Under the German Sky, wherein we get a glimpse of what it was like to grow up in Germany towards the end of the Cold War.

Science and Technology

The Left-Handed Kid, wherein the book The Chinese Typewriter: A History gets reviewed, and with it we learn the fraught history of creating a typewriter for a non-Latin language.

Does your DNA really change in space?, wherein we get a glimpse of the science around living in Earth's orbit (and beyond), and what really happens to our bodies when we're in the space — right down to a genetic level.

Three Types of Passphrases, wherein we learn about the differences between passphrases and passwords, why passphrases are important, and the three main types of them. A good primer for anyone interested in privacy.

Productivity

On Simple Productivity Systems and Complex Plans, wherein Cal Newport discusses the need to balance simplifying productivity systems and simplifying your plans.

The Best Ways to Beat Procrastination, wherein you learn two ways to help you break through the barriers that are holding you back and move from doing nothing to reaching done.

Manoush Zomorodi says it's time to get bored, wherein the host of the popular Note to Self podcast explains how to step away from our screens and enjoy the pleasures of boredom to refresh our minds.

And that's it for this Monday. Come back in seven days for another set of links to start off your week.

Scott Nesbitt


If you enjoy The Monday Kickoff, please consider supporting it by buying me a coffee or making a micropayment via Liberapay or PayPal. Even if you don't, I'll keep doing this. Your support (even if you just read this space) is appreciated!

Welcome to this week's edition of the Monday Kickoff, a collection of what I've found interesting, informative, and insightful on the web over the seven days.

Last week went by quickly, didn't it? With winter coming to the southern hemisphere, I'm looking forward to days (at least the weekdays) to whiz by like that. Even though it doesn't snow here in Auckland, winter in the Land of the Long White Cloud's biggest city can be a bit numbing at times.

Let's get this Monday started with these links:

Writing

How to use the em dash correctly, wherein we learn about an overused and often misused piece of punctuation, and how and when to use it.

A look at the evolution of headline writing, wherein the folks at Al Jazeera explore how news headlines have evolved from their humble origins in the 19th century to their current forms (both good and bad) today.

You think writing’s a dream job? It’s more like a horror film, wherein we learn some of the realities of being (or trying to be) a professional writer. Trust me when I tell you that Tim Lott knows what he's talking about.

Science and Technology

Digital Media and the Case of the Missing Archives, wherein it's revealed how quickly and completely writing (or anything) can disappear from the web, never to return.

How Einstein Lost His Bearings, and With Them, General Relativity, wherein the legendary physicist's moment of losing the plot at a crucial point in his career is revealed, as are the lasting consequences of that moment.

Students with complete control over their laptops? For one district, it hasn't been a disaster, wherein the open source powered student technology initiative spearheaded by my buddy Charlie Reisinger is examined. If you want to learn more about this story, read Charlie's excellent book The Open Schoolhouse.

Various

Japan’s Prisons Are a Haven for Elderly Women, wherein we hear the sad tale of Japanese women turning to petty crime to go to prison so they can both have companionship and afford to live. This is part Tokyo Story (a wonderful film, by the way), and part a result of Japan's declining birthrate and rising population of the aged.

Rebuiling Mosul, Book by Book, wherein we learn that it can sometimes take more than erecting buildings to bring a devastated city back from the brink.

Re-Hermit, wherein writer Warren Ellis asks us to ponder and describe how our brains work in an effort to to surface the problems, and perhaps the ways to solve them.

And that's it for this Monday. Come back in seven days for another set of links to start off your week.

Scott Nesbitt


If you enjoy The Monday Kickoff, please consider supporting it by buying me a coffee or making a micropayment via Liberapay or PayPal. Even if you don't, I'll keep doing this. Your support (even if you just read this space) is appreciated!

Welcome to the first edition of The Monday Kickoff!

Every Monday (in New Zealand), I post three sets of three links to what I've found interesting, informative, and insightful on the web over the last week. It's a great way to get your brain working at the start of the week and to give you something to read on your commute, during a break, or at lunch.

Let's get this Monday started with these links:

Analog

Why handwriting is so important, wherein you learn why handwriting isn't just a simple skill to master but an act to treasure.

The Dash/Plus System, wherein writer Patrick Rhone outlines his simple system for keeping on track and completing tasks.

Midori Traveler’s Notebook, an invaluable tool from Japan, wherein a tech journalist rhapsodizes about this trendy, popular, leather-wrapped notebook. I don't know if the Midori is capable of all the magic that its proponents claim it possesses, but it is a nice notebook.

Productivity

Get specific!, wherein person of many skills Derek Sivers outlines a two-step process to figure out what you need to do to achieve a goal. The advice is aimed at musicians, but anyone can use it.

How to Stick With Good Habits Every Day by Using the “Paper Clip Strategy”, wherein productivity guru James Clear explains a simple way to help you not only form good habits, but also work your way through any task no matter how boring.

'Getting to Done' on the Linux command line, wherein you learn about some command line tools for Linux that can help you get and stay productive. Yes, the Linux command line isn't only for geeks!

Various

Why paper jams persist, wherein you learn the engineering behind paper jams (and printers), and what engineers do to try to make jams a thing of the past.

Do Flashbacks Work in Literature?, wherein author and translator Tim Parks ponders the use of the flashback in fiction, framed around a comment made by another writer that flashbacks are infuriating.

Inside the OED: can the world’s biggest dictionary survive the internet?, wherein we learn about the slow pace of the development of the biggest English-language dictionary and how it's not able to keep pace with the internet or the constant changes in the language.

And that's it for this Monday. Come back in seven days for more curated links to start off your week.

Scott Nesbitt


If you enjoy The Monday Kickoff, please consider supporting it by buying me a coffee or making a micropayment via Liberapay or PayPal. Even if you don't, I'll keep doing this. Your support (even if you just read this space) is appreciated!