Clippings — week of 19 October 2015

This long weekend felt like a blessing. I’d neglectied a whole lot of housework during recovery, and the weekend was a good opportunity to catch up on these chores. I went through the list from doing the laundry multiple times to even gardening. Living in an apartment has limitations, but small pots of succulents are perfect for bringing some nature indoors. My plants are at various stages, but most are ready to be propagated. This article on propagating succulents has helped me a lot. Small clumps of off-sprouts and leaf cuttings are laid out on my desk, callousing over and waiting to be potted next weekend.


Why too much choice is stressing us out | The Guardian →
It’s clear. When we have too many options, we spend more effort and time trying to rationalise our final decision. This investment raises our expectations of the desired outcome and makes us unhappy if these expectations aren’t met. I think I’ll have to read The paradox of choice by Barry Schwartz mentioned here too. It seems like a fascinating topic.

Jeong Kwan, the philosopher chef | T Magazine →
A thorough overview of the Korean temple cuisine, accompanied by beautiful photographs of dishes and the surrounding nature. The connection between vegetation and food are not only limited to Buddhist monks but are embedded in the traditional Korean lifestyle. The methods of food preparation metnioned here can often be seen in the countryside. I can remember seeing my grandmother plucking weeds in her extensive garden without any tools. Crouching down, she would lovingly talk to the pumpkin plant, the leaves and fruit of which would make their way onto the dinner table. When we slept, we slept on the hard floor beneath blocks of fermenting beans hanging from the ceiling and stinking up the entire room. Even the wispy rope was rubbed by hand into shape. I really love it when memories resurface as a reaction to the written work of others.

Final words | Aeon →
4 lines of 25 characters per line, where blanks and hyphens can notate the entire life of a loved one. Intended for the living but representing the dead. This was a poignant read on epitaphs from the author’s personal journey in the context of the world.

System shock | Medium →
A bug that revived System, a bitmap font from many years ago that changed the feel of Medium entirely. A thoughtfully prepared article that unpacks the error with historic nods and apt humour.

How emojis find their way to phones | NYT →
With iOS 9.1, there was a bunch of new emojis introduced. My favourites are the robot and the unicorn. Reading this article opened my eyes to a whole new world. Who knew there was such a job as an emoji grammarian?


Offline reading

As soon as I saw there was a new Margaret Atwood novel, I knew I had to read it. The heart goes last was an easy and gripping read. Quite an unusual piece of work by Margaret Atwood, but it was still characteristically dystopian with some feminist undertones. The narrative follows a couple, Stan and Charmaine, who takes part in a social experiment to combat the failing economy in the form of a self-contained community. There are some chilling scenarios and downright weird technologies described. Not for the weak-hearted.