Tag Archives: new york times

Clippings: What I’m Reading This Week (1/19/15)

The Underrated Appeal of Tess McGill: A “panel” “discussion” of one of my favorite movies, Working Girl. (Highlight: “Speaking of romantic comedies, this movie is usually defined as one. But romance is really not the endgame in Working Girl. Tess isn’t looking for a man; she’s looking to put together a business deal. When Jack (a devastatingly handsome Ford) comes along, she initially sees him as a distraction. She falls in love with him because he’s the first person to ever see her as she wants to be seen: This tough, savvy businesswoman. In fact, the woman who spends the entire film scheming to get married is the antagonist, Katharine (played by Weaver). I love that adorable scene of Jack and Tess getting ready to go to work, but it’s significant that the final shot of the film is Griffith in her new office, alone.”) https://www.yahoo.com/movies/working-girl-perfect-movie-gifs-108085849302.html

Some serious Staten Island Ferry contemplation going on...
Some serious Staten Island Ferry contemplation going on…

Visual Aids: Here’s another breakdown, this time of infographics as a communication tool. This is from an older Harvard Business Review (April 2014), but if you’ve not already read it, check out this really interesting look at what makes a good infographic so convincing. Apparently, “the most compelling infographics… mine relationships among overlooked variables to tell you something unexpected and get you thinking.” https://hbr.org/2014/04/what-makes-the-best-infographics-so-convincing/?utm_source=Socialflow&utm_medium=Tweet&utm_campaign=Socialflow

(from article above, HBR)
(from article above, HBR)

As Smart as You Look: Jessica L. Glazer, here, sharing with you a WSJ article on the things we often do to appear smart, the things people actually look for when trying to gauge your intelligence, and what really works if you’re attempting to come across as the next Girl-or-Boy Genius. (Hint: Sit up straight, make eye contact, and use a middle initial.) (Bonus: this article comes with an easy-to-read, easy-to-understand infographic!) http://www.wsj.com/articles/how-to-look-smarter-1421189631

(from article above, WSJ)
(from article above, WSJ)

2,000 Calories by Lunch: This terrifying and fascinating New York Times features shows what 2,000 calories equals at a number of popular fast-food and fast-casual restaurants. It is pretty disturbing – until you get to the end and realize that cooking your own food can afford you a full day’s worth of meals for fewer calories than one milkshake from Sonic. (YEESH.) http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/12/22/upshot/what-2000-calories-looks-like.html?WT.mc_id=2015-Q1-KEYWEE-AUD_DEV-0101-0331&WT.mc_ev=click&bicmp=AD&bicmlukp=WT.mc_id&bicmst=1420088400&bicmet=1451624400&ad-keywords=KEYWEEAD&kwp_0=7483&kwp_4=55081&kwp_1=119533&_r=0&abt=0002&abg=1

(from above article, NYT)
(from above article, NYT)

Red, Red Resveratrol: A quick review of a recent study that shows that red wine contains enough resveratrol to “mimic” a workout. Don’t think about skipping the gym altogether, but this might be enough of an excuse to shorten your Friday night workout and make it to the end of Happy Hour! (Apparently, you could also eat pistachios or grapes to get the same effect but… nah.) http://elitedaily.com/news/world/glass-wine-equivalent-going-gym/770635/

(photo from Men's Journal)
(photo from Men’s Journal)

Clippings: What I’m Reading This Week (1/12/15)

“Beer. Now there’s a temporary solution.” – Homer Simpson: Looking for a great beer bar in your area – or in a city across the country? Well, loo no further. Draft Mag has compiled their Top 100 list of the Best Beer Bars in America. Assuming your resolutions don’t have to do with drinking fewer IPAs, enjoy! http://draftmag.com/americas-100-best-beer-bars-2015/

Max's; Baltimore, MD - Our old neighborhood... (Photo from article)
Max’s; Baltimore, MD – Our old neighborhood… (Photo from article)

Diner Dissection: As a native New Yorker, I was born with a love for any place where I could order egg creams, omelets, mashed potatoes, or grape leaves, any time, day or night. Every neighborhood had its own diner, and sometimes we would choose a location based on bar proximity, or which spot made better pudding. But diners played a pivotal role in my teenage social outings and is still a prominent part of my childhood nostalgic thinking. Here, Ed Levine breaks down what makes a diner – and which ones we should be visiting these days. http://www.seriouseats.com/2015/01/ed-levine-why-diners-are-more-important-than-ever.html

(Photo from article)
(Photo from article)

Leave the keys, bring an umbrella: Would you like your city to be car-free? Or a bit less car-ful!? This article highlights a few cities that are taking steps to reduce traffic and pollution. Would you leave your car at home for a free subway pass? http://www.fastcoexist.com/3040634/7-cities-that-are-starting-to-go-car-free#6

NO CARS!
NO CARS! (NO CARS??)

Clear Eyes, 3-D Printer, Can’t Lose: An amazing story about a husband who used 3-D printing technology to find an alternative to his wife’s possible craniotomy for the removal of a tumor. A true tale of love, dedication, technology, medicine, proactive measures, and perseverance – it’s amazing. http://makezine.com/magazine/hands-on-health-care/

(Photo from article)
(Photo from article)

Go, go, go!: Places to go, people to see… The NYT on 52 places to visit in 2015! (PS: I love that Philly is #3!) http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/01/11/travel/52-places-to-go-in-2015.html?ref=travel&_r=1

St. Vincent & The Grenadines (Photo from article)
St. Vincent & The Grenadines (Photo from article)

The Case for Journals

As someone who has kept a diary on and off since the age of 4, I can vouch for the fact that reading about everyday events from the past is really wonderful. It is a pleasure to see when and how I was writing, what I was focusing on, who I mention in my entries. It’s also nice to be able to “account for” my days throughout the years when I can barely remember what I had for lunch yesterday. In fact, I just realized, while typing this, that I haven’t yet had lunch today!

This article from the NY Times’ OpTalk page (which happily cites Pennebaker, of course), looks into new research that shows that “recording our run-of-the-mill, daily experiences, rather than just our highs and lows, could bring us unexpected joy.” Ting Zhang and colleagues asked people to write two short journal entries (what they did and how they felt): one on Valentine’s Day and another on a “regular” day. Subjects were then asked to rate how “extraordinary” each day was – and how much they felt they would enjoy reading each entry in the future. Perhaps because the afterglow from boxes of chocolate is so strong, subjects did not feel that they would enjoy recounting their everyday experiences as much as they would a “special” day. However, according to the study, “ordinary events came to be perceived as more extraordinary over time, whereas perceptions of extraordinary events did not change across time.”

There is a certain beauty in the time capsule that is a journal and, if you use a traditional book and a pen, that beauty comes nicely packaged in your own handwriting. (Handwriting can be enjoyable to examine, as well – messy writing from journaling on a bumpy train while abroad; neat writing while penning a swooning entry about your new love interest.) Looking back on how you mentioned your fiancé in an entry well before you really got to know each other, or smiling while you remember that you used to do the dishes every night together before you got a dishwasher, or reading about how much you used to hate waking up for the class that led you to choose your current career – these are unique glimpses of the sweetness and serendipity of our lives.

Hindsight is hardly 20/20. As we move down a road, the things behind us get smaller and distorted. Reading our own words, from a “real-time” journal entry, helps us to avoid needing to squint as we look backwards on our own journey. We don’t need to piece together the fuzzy clues and memories; we can read it right there on the page. Even glancing back over your Day Planner as the year comes to a close can be rewarding. It’s pretty cool to know that you on April 18, you met your brother for coffee at that place you’d been meaning to try, and on October 2, you and your partner went to dinner with his cousins. Rereading journals, noting these little moments that might have been missed memories, instead cements them in our brains, allowing them to become part of our personal narrative. At the very least, they become a nice thing to reflect on.

Day slip by, weeks race on, years pass in a blink. We can’t control it, but we can use journals to be more mindful of the time we have. So find the type of journal that works for you and give it a try.

This research does more than support my love for recording life. It supports my true belief that even, and especially, in the “ordinary” lives the “extraordinary.” It’s just a matter of how you look at it and, perhaps, when.