What I learned this week, Jun 4, 2021

The full mural (previous photo center bottom) – Ace Parking, Dallas, “The Storm” Art Mural on Ace Parking Garage at 717 Leonard Street

Why Some People Get Burned Out and Others Don’t

Everyone faces stress at work, but some people are able to handle the onslaught of long hours, high pressure, and work crises in a way that wards off burnout. You can get better at handling stress by making several mental shifts:

  • Don’t be the source of your stress. Resist your perfectionist tendencies and your drive for constant high achievement. Recognize when you’re being too hard on yourself, and let go.
  • Recognize your limitations. Don’t try to be a hero. If you don’t have the ability or bandwidth to do something, be honest with yourself and ask for help.
  • Reevaluate your perspective. Do you view a particular situation as a threat to something you value? Or do you view it as a problem to be solved? Change how you see the situation to bring your stress levels down.

My Raspberry Pi writing machine sitting on top of my secretary. The top folds shut holding the wireless keyboard and mouse inside. I still can use the secretary for handwriting, note vintage Saheaffer Triumph nib fountain desk pen.

How the Personal Computer Broke the Human Body

Decades before ‘Zoom fatigue’ broke our spirits, the so-called computer revolution brought with it a world of pain previously unknown to humankind.

Artwork in the Braindead Brewing Company, Deep Ellum, Dallas, Texas

The Brain-Changing Magic of New Experiences

There is a connection between novelty and happiness.

Amedeo Modigliani. Jacques and Berthe Lipchitz. 1916. Oil on canvas, 81.3 x 54.3 cm. Art Institute of Chicago.

170 Hypothetical Questions That’ll Give Your Brain a Workout 

1. If you had the chance, would you want to be pain-free for the rest of your life?

2. Would you take a $70k/week job offer where you get paid to sit in a pitch-black room and do nothing for 20 hours a day?

3. What would I hear if I asked a group of people who know you for five adjectives to describe you?

4. Which place on the planet would you never want to live, and why?

5. Which famous person’s body would you take over if you were a zombie?

The Paddlewheeler Creole Queen – idled by the virus on the riverfront, New Orleans

Now proven against coronavirus, mRNA can do so much more

The mRNA technology — developed for its speed and flexibility as opposed to expectations it would provide strong protection against an infectious disease– has pleased and astonished even those who already advocated for it.

Pedestrian bridge, Tipton Park, Dallas, Texas (click for full sized version on Flickr)

Who Killed the Recumbent Bicycle?

Recumbent bicycles, ridden from a reclined position, are faster than standard upright bikes, and many people find them more comfortable, too. So why are they such a rare sight on the road today?

Apartment Building, The Cedars, Dallas, Texas

Why America’s New Apartment Buildings All Look the Same

Cheap stick framing has led to a proliferation of blocky, forgettable mid-rises—and more than a few construction fires.

Short Story of the Day, Flash Fiction, Six Ways to Start Something, and Five to End it by Rachel O’Cleary

““I think you still love me, but we can’t escape the fact that I’m not enough for you. I knew this was going to happen. So I’m not blaming you for falling in love with another woman. I’m not angry, either. I should be, but I’m not. I just feel pain. A lot of pain. I thought I could imagine how much this would hurt, but I was wrong.”

― Haruki Murakami, South of the Border, West of the Sun

Trees reflected in a pond, inverted, with Chihuly, Red Reeds

From my old journal, The Daily Epiphany, August 4, 2002:

I Hate Raymond

In Miami I had to wait forever to get through immigration. In situations where a mass of people run up against the bureaucracy I have this ability to choose the slowest line. The sign said, “US Citizens Only” so I thought it would be quick flash of the passport – but all the people in front of me kept producing documents printed on tanned weasel skin, with a charcoal sketch instead of a photograph – which would cause the immigration agent to frown, walk around his little cube, and one-finger type stuff into his computer keyboard.

Crammed into this giant, crowded room were maybe fifty different lines and some crept while others (the ones that you aren’t in) seemed to leap. Everybody kept cutting through the lines. One group of teenaged missionaries from our plane cut through – moving in a giant, red-tee-shirted group from one line to another.
Somebody shouted out, “Hey, go to the back of the line.”
Their leader replied, “Excuse us, we’ve been helping the poor people in Nicaragua.”
“Good for you – now go to the back of the fucking line,” was the reply.
Finally, I reached the frowning immigration agent. He glanced at my passport and waved me through in less than two seconds.

And today’s flash fiction:

Six Ways to Start Something, and Five to End it by Rachel O’Cleary

from Ellipsis Zine

Rachel O’Cleary Twitter