A few months ago I had what I guess you would call a milestone birthday—although given the deliberately poor choices I have made over my lifetime, pretty much every birthday at this point is some sort of actuarial miracle. In any event, this flipping of the chronology to a suffix with a zero put me in a somewhat ruminative state: Maybe, I thought, I should do something nice for myself, instead of something bad to myself.
Now, I have many poor qualities—I drink too much, I am callous and indifferent to the feelings of those around me, I am quick to anger and deficient in patience, I have almost [...]
There's at least two really great pieces of writing advice from Sebastian Junger in this annotation/interview of "The Storm."
• "You know, I spent a lot of time with American soldiers, and the standard news reporting — if you’re talking to a soldier and quoting him — is to say where he’s from and whether he likes the Red Sox. People just don’t give a shit. I really try to avoid the details that seem kind of perfunctory, not necessary, and ultimately not that interesting."
• "I try to edit my work in different states of mind. So I’ll go running on a really hot day and then [...]
Devices like iPhones have a unique name, a string that is usually called a "universally unique identifier." That the word "unique" doesn't ever need any modifier is, I guess, beside the point. It's not just unique, it's unique in the whooooole universe. Sometimes they call it a globally unique identifier. Heh. Anyway, a UUID is 32 characters and four hyphens. There are, according to the math whizzes on Wikipedia, 39 digits in the number representing 32 possible combinations of letters and numbers. That's a really big number, more than there are people, for sure.
This is a helpful thing, for obvious reasons. Wouldn't it be amazing if every human had [...]
Until last week, I worked at a food truck downtown. We sold grilled cheese and milkshakes. One of the unusual things about this particular food service job was that the owner used customer comments and pictures on social media—especially Twitter and Instagram—to monitor his workers. Grilled cheese: gamified.
And it was explicitly framed as a game for workers. Members of whichever 'crew' got the most positive feedback on social media each month would win a $25 iTunes gift card.
But compliments are hard to track online. Even if a customer thinks she is paying a compliment online, she might not be. Like if you enjoyed your sandwich enough to [...]