The Roundup for July 2-8, 2018 Edition

Majesty by Christopher Parsons

The past few weeks have been hard. Really hard. I finally said goodbye to my dad, who died unexpectedly a little over a year ago. I said goodbye to the woman that I love. And I moved to a new home, too.

I have lots of reflections on my dad and how important it is to support those we love, even if that support means that a relationship needs to end so that they can achieve their dreams and aspirations. But for now I just need to process those thoughts, emotions, and reflections. If there’s any saving grace, it’s that my adopted family — even those who live abroad — are all living close to me.

Inspiring Quotation of the Week

Real love teaches us. It teaches us what we do and do not want in a partner. We learn how to be better at love from the ones we loved first. If we just got over all of that and truly erased the entire experience from the space in our hearts and minds where that love once occupied, then wouldn’t we just continue making the same mistakes over and over? If loving someone were as fleeting as we often try to make it be and we could “just get over it,” we wouldn’t bother with it anymore. What would be the point?

I think it is because we never fully get over the love we once had for someone that entices us to love again. It is because we remember that love that we want it again. We love a little deeper, a little more completely with each love we find. We want love to last. With every love we lose, we learn just how precious and valuable it is. It is how we ultimately (hopefully) find the one we never have to get over.

Music I’m Digging

Neat Podcast Episodes

Good Reads for the Week

  • When you don’t disclose salary range on a job posting, a unicorn loses its wings//There’s a severe problem in both non-profit and for-profit hiring: a failure to disclose what people will earn in any given position. Without that information it’s challenging for applicants to know whether it’s worth their time to bother applying, and can lead to applicants (and hiring committees!) wasting a lot of time before realizing that the salary range isn’t appropriate for the applicant’s expectations. Appropriate ranges should be included in all positions, and with ranges that are meaningfully bounded as opposed to massive ranges that prevent applicants from really knowing the likely salary.
  • Advertising Play Well//A delightful take on how advertising to children has changed, and why Lego used to be a leader in gender neutral play-based advertising and products.
  • The Electric Flight of Spiders//Fascinating new research shows that spiders use electrostatic repulsion to ‘fly’ using strands of silk emitted from their abdomen’s. While wind current plays a role, it’s the electrostatic repulsion that actually let’s arachnids take flight. Amazing!
  • Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s ‘Apes**t’ Was a Subtle History Lesson in Race and Power//I’m finding the various analyses of this video really interesting, as different authors explore the cultural and political significance of the chosen imagery. This goes a step further by not just interpreting the video but drawing it into a broader landscape of artistic critique, and which blends a range of lyrics from Jay-Z and Beyoncé to come to more sweeping conclusions.

Cool Things and Places

  • A Weekend Guide to Detroit//I’ve wanted to head over to Detroit for a while — I’d love to photograph the art! — and this provides a more fulsome ‘what to do over a weekend’ so I could head over and never get bored!
  • The Lost Caves of Nottingham//A very hidden gin bar, that involves descending a hidden staircase and, then, a second staircase cut into the earth itself. Very cool.

The Roundup for June 9-15, 2018 Edition

Club Life by Christopher Parsons

I had the pleasure to have so many of my friends and family come to Toronto this week for a work-related event. It was an incredible experience where we all came together to push ahead some of the cooler projects we’re respectively working on, and generally catch up and spend time with one another. It was really an opportunity to deepen our relationships while, at the same time, goofing around and just enjoying one another’s time.

Throughout I was struck by the value, and importance, of just connecting with one another in person. We all often communicate with one another using digitally-mediated tools and technologies. But there is something that is always missing with those technologies: a fundamental element of our humanity cannot be communicated over a text, hangout, or phone call. We can’t read one another’s expressions the same way. We can’t perceive one another’s feelings the same way. Nor can we just hug one another to greet one another or to provide a sense of support to one another.

Our ability to remain ‘connected’ with one another is an incredible element of the contemporary digitally-mediated world. But connection is also something that is far too often regarded as a substitute for physical presence and sharing of time with one another. Digital connections are incredible supplements but surely cannot replace actually being with one another, and I’m deeply appreciative that I had the opportunity to spend time with my favourite people this week, and can’t wait until we pull everyone back together against next year.

On a slight administrative note, I’ve started providing some context around the various links, podcasts, and other materials that I’m trying to roundup on a regular basis. Hopefully it’ll help clarify why those items struck me as worth including in any given week.

Inspiring Quotation of the Week

Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.”

― Fred Rogers

Great Photography Shots

Takashi Nakazawa’s images of Mount Fuji are absolutely breathtaking.

Music I’m Digging

Neat Podcast Episodes

  • The Upgrade – How Should a Man Be?//A good discussion about the nature of Western masculinity, the threats that men experience to their egos in contrast to women, and ways of addressing the emotional intelligence deficient held by most men
  • Planet Money – The T-Rex In My Backyard//Yet another amusing podcast from Planet Money, this time about the economics of dinosaur bones. Left unstated is whether these economic ‘rules’ apply globally or principally to the United States.

Good Reads for the Week

Cool Things