Weekend Reading

KING: Peyton Manning’s squeaky-clean image was built on lies Thirteen years ago, USA Today obtained 74 pages of explosive court documents on Peyton Manning, Archie Manning, the University of Tennessee, and Florida Southern College that revealed allegations of a sexual-assault scandal, cover up, and smear campaign of the victim that was so deep, so widespread. Horrific, and not the only example of this type of cover-up. PR and Marketing over … decency? How People Learn to Become Resilient Norman Garmezy, a developmental psychologist and clinician at the University of Minnesota, met thousands of children in his four decades of research. But one boy in particular stuck with him. He was nine years old, with an alcoholic mother and an absent …

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Time changes everything

Our little poly family spent New Year together, the first time we’d done something like that, and whilst it took a little adjustment (and a few spoons) it was a nice relaxing time for us all. We did a whole lot of nothing, but just being in the same space, all at the same time, for a few days was a nice experience. What was most interesting for me was seeing how the relationships, specifically mine with Kirsty, are evolving. She is spending a lot more time with Mark, which is circumstantial for the moment, but they have been talking about moving in together. It’s more a flat share than a co-habiting thing but it will change my relationship with …

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Weekend Reading

My family of four uses Slack and now we can’t imagine life without it Everything changed for the better when we started using Slack at work. We’ve made countless custom integrations; doorbells, intercoms, travel cards, Reddit, lunch menus, git hooks, server monitoring, you name it—we have it. My family has been using Google Calendar for a few years. My poly ‘family’ has used Google Calendar for ages, invaluable when working across four schedules. The geek in me thinks Slack could be a fun thing to try too. Where the bodies are buried Even before she became an anatomy student, Sue Black was used to death. From the age of 13 she had worked every Saturday at a local butcher’s shop. …

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Seated

I look around at the others. We are all in our usual positions, legs planted firmly on the floor, facing our desks, backs straight. The low murmur of the black machines, the rectangle glow, the clicky-clacky, soft thumps vibrating through wood and metal to the floor. I can feel them through my feet. Our soundtrack is the gentle thrum of the air boxes, the buzz of the overhead bright makers. Today the air boxes push warm at us, some days they push cold. I think it changes over time but I’m not sure what time is any more. At night, when the bright makers are sleeping, an Upright will walk past every now and then, shining his beam over us, …

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Weekend Reading

The Neurologist Who Hacked His Brain—And Almost Lost His Mind The brain surgery lasted 11 and a half hours, beginning on the afternoon of June 21, 2014, and stretching into the Caribbean predawn of the next day. Science continues to boggle my mind (ha, geddit!) New York Is Going to Turn Off Niagara Falls. Here’s How After the construction of a cofferdam, the American Falls (left center) was significantly reduced, while the Horseshoe Falls (right) roared louder than ever. Engineering continues to amaze me. Anatomy of a good sticky note For many of our teams, the ‘unit of data’ in qualitative user research is the sticky note – or, more precisely, units of information captured onto sticky notes. People often …

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Engaged in Long Form

Throughout last year I tried to be a little more choosy with my content consumption and as a result, whilst I am definitely consuming more, it feels like what I am consuming better, more higher quality fare. Looking back at 2015, whilst the goals were laudable, I’ve gotten more from the process of deliberately making conscious choices than the I necessarily did from the actual content itself (leaving aside the discussion of how art feeds the soul); actively and consciously deciding how to spend my time rather than giving in and going for the cheap and easy option (not that cheap and easy are bad per se, sometimes we all need a day on the sofa, sitting in our dressing …

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These boots were made for walking

With our tickets booked for Glastonbury this year, myself and the two lovely ladies who let me be a part of their lives are determined to be a bit fitter for it. Glastonbury = walking. A LOT of walking and standing around. A LOT of walking and standing around and hills. Basically it’s a big place and you spend a lot of time on your feet. Last year we promised ourselves we’d be better prepared but we never really managed it. This year I’m determined! One of the issues we have is the location of our ‘off-site’ campsite which is at the top of the hill on the opposite side of the valley from the big GLASTONBURY sign (which is …

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Weekend Reading

The strange life of Q-tips, the most bizarre thing people buy Years ago, my mother complained about a terrible earache. The pain was unbearable. And it wouldn’t go away — for a week, she walked around with a debilitating ringing in her head. I always find articles about everyday items like these fascinating; how does the usage change? You’ll Spend 3.5 Days of Your Life Untangling Headphones Now instead of just being frustrated that my headphones are always tangled, now I’ll get to enjoy knowing I’m wasting a few days of my life. Untangle 4 times a day. I dunno, the estimates seem a bit light. Should Fiction Be Timeless? Pop Culture References in Contemporary Novels Should fiction be timeless? …

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Reading and Writing

It’s a vicious cycle, debilitating one moment, inspiring the next, it feeds my desire to learn and slowly pulls at the insecurity of my abilities. It is fuel on the fire, stoking my passion to explore my own literary ideas. It is the pulled thread, unravelling my dreams. Is this what it is to be a writer? To be found reading with wonderous awe as a story gathers pace before your eyes, the skilled manipulation of the reader crafted through each sentence, each line of dialogue pulling you deeper into the world the writer has created. The slow, building sense of envy, as I reflect on my own bludgeoning attempts at the same. As the days pass, I flip flop …

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I am Dolly Parton

This post is brought to you by the Dolly Parton song ‘Nine to Five’. You’re welcome (hey, it’s been stuck in my head for days now, just thought I’d share the joy). As I think I’ve mentioned, I got a new job late last year. I now work in a big office (well, two, actually) for a large business (no names!). It’s been quite a learning experiencing and a lot of change; it’s my first foray into the world of contracting, it’s a more defined role than I’ve had in years, and it’s in an environment which has a dress code, a clean desk policy, and which is about as far removed from the software company I used to work …

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