I’m working on some longer posts right now; in the meantime, here’s a video of Ira Glass discussing the importance of perseverance. Being a young writer, this was exactly what I needed to hear (via Mental Floss):
Workspace of Beryl Bainbridge, from the Guardian.
The Guardian has a nice feature on famous writers’ workspaces, with photographs and commentary from people like Seamus Heaney and Alain de Botton (via Anh-minh). As a writer, it was comforting to see the abundance of books and papers; I sent it to my dad, and his response was only, “They’re all messy, aren’t they?”
As a writer, city dweller, and general nerd, I love the idea of functional walls. My favorite functional wall is a bookshelf, but running a close second are walls that function as writing surfaces.
If you read design blogs, you’ve already seen the Pixelnotes wallpaper (right). Created by Sirkka Hammer & Duncan Wilson, Pixelnotes is:
“A wallpaper consisting of four layers of varying grey tones on a bright primary backing. Each layer is perforated in a grid format and backed with a tacky adhesive similar to ‘post-it’ notes.”
As you use the post-its, a pixelated pattern emerges on the wall. Needless to say, I loved the design immediately; unfortunately, it’s only a conceptual creation at this point, and not available for purchase.
So I was delighted when, thumbing through this month’s Martha Stewart Living, I found this DIY chalkboard calendar (below). I was struck by the visual & functional similarity to the Pixelnotes paper. In fact, I like the chalkboard even better, since it can be reused. You can also vary the placement, size of individual squares, & colors for something more artistic or abstract.
All you need is some black chalkboard paint, homemade white chalkboard paint, tape, and a brush. The full how-to explanation is available on MSL’s website, and also in the January issue of MSL (pages 130-134).
The NYT has a great article called “Institutions Hinder Female Academics, Panel Says.” It’s a nice rebuff against the “innately inferior” argument used to explain why women hit the glass ceiling (in this case, in science & math-related academic posts). Take these quotes:
“The panel dismissed the idea, notably advanced last year by Lawrence H. Summers, then the president of Harvard, that the relative dearth of women in the upper ranks of science might be the result of “innate” intellectual deficiencies, particularly in mathematics. If there are any cognitive differences, the report says, they are small and irrelevant.”
“The report also dismissed other commonly held beliefs — that women are uncompetitive or less productive, that they take too much time off for their families, and so on. Their real problems, it says, are unconscious but pervasive bias, “arbitrary and subjective” evaluation processes, and a work environment in which “anyone lacking the work and family support traditionally provided by a ‘wife’ is at a serious disadvantage.””
Um, yeah. The only thing I’ll add is that these quotes apply to almost every field, not just higher-level science and math. (Title quote by Joan Collins).