This month’s changing of the leaves left me understandably sad and nostalgic for Septembers past. After a much-needed summer of recovery and relaxation (okay, and some post-grad stress), there is no pressing need to get back to the grind, no classes or commitments. There is just a blank slate I actively will myself to see as a plethora of unexplored potential and not a damning black hole of nothingness. And the positivity is indeed yielding opportunity. But regardless of what this new chapter brings, I can’t help counting all the ways it could fall short of the classroom environment I no longer have. I miss the unavoidable exposure of a school setting, I miss being surrounded by students of varying crafts and passions and opinions. Even during the semesters of college that my coursework was practically singular in its material, I had these friends and acquaintances that exposed me to film, politics, art, social causes, new adventures, differing perspectives and so on. While I’m beyond ready and excited to dive into a job that begins to make me an expert on one thing, I realize that it will be an individual effort to seek what I don’t know about everything other than that one thing. In other words, an effort outside of my daily working environment.
Of course, being of the logged-on social media age, I realize the effort required is not great. Exposure comes at the click of my trackpad. Finding worthy *stuff* to be exposed to is a bit more difficult than clicking through the vast internet. Engaging with and analyzing that worthy *stuff* is perhaps the hardest part of what I seek to do. And it’s that third goal that has sparked this, my official return to blogging. So that’s my long-winded explanation behind a new weekly series (one of several to come). Lazy Sundays will be for sharing cool/interesting/important/well-written/well-researched/pretty *stuff* and putting my own two cents in on some of that *stuff*.
Okay, enough personal blabs, time for *stuff*! On my radar this week:
1. Bloomberg Businessweek has a piece on rising divorce rates in Asia, Africa and Latin America as an indicator of positive social progress for women and children. It’s exciting how readily giving women choices, especially fair and equal ones, does so much good! (Sorry, is my inner feminist showing? Oops.) Also the bit about Brazilian soap operas empowering women in their relationships is fascinating. For a longer read on Brazilian novelas, check out this study; I’m guessing it was the source.
2. Robot Turtles is a super cool board game created by the CEO of Google Comparison that attempts to teach kids ages three to eight fundamentals of a simple programming language. In an interview with Fast Company, creator Dan Shapiro echos the sentiment I’ve always thought to be true: “programming is the new superpower that will augment anyone’s ability to be successful in the future.” I know I’m thirteen years too old for this game, but I would actually love to play… because programming is one of those things that goes over my head and this seems like the coolest way to start learning. Donate to Robot Turtle’s booming Kickstarter page here.
3. The American Prospect put a face to a Health Affairs report on an unprecedented drop in life expectancy for white, female high school drop outs. A decrease of five years for that specific demographic strengthens the link between education and health, but also raises a lot of questions about race, gender and socioeconomics. Though this piece doesn’t quite provide any definitive answers, it’s a good read that asks interesting questions.
4. In my persistent search for awesome vintage typography, I came across two awesome sources of inspiration. The first is a rich stream of found type curated by graphic designer Jonathan Lawrence. It’s called Type Hunting! Also bookmarked this WordPress site featuring letterheads from the 1960s collected by Frank Mulvey (graduate of Boston’s School of the Museum of Fine Arts!). It’s an exhaustive collection of good design by advertising firms, other organizations, typographers, photographers, publishers and more. Scans of the letterheads are done in full pages so you can read what’s written on them, which I really love. The macro photography that zooms in on the ink detail of a few exceptional examples is the coolest part.
5. Rounding out the list is the news that retirement is out and interning at 65 is in. All I can do is shake my head at this trend report from The Atlantic. While the Encore.com program, which links aging professionals looking to (very slowly) transition out of the workforce with fellowships in the nonprofit sector, seems like a pretty nifty service, I can’t help my initial reaction. Is that really the new career path? Unpaid internships, ball and chain to my student loans, low entry-level salaries, slowly making enough to not eat ramen noodles everyday, adult satisfaction twenty years after I though I’d have it, financial solvency, and then, instead of the sweet bliss of retirement, I continue to work for an average of “$25,000 for a year of 1,000 hours of work.” No. No, thank you. (Bonus: check out this illustrated tirade on the corruption of unpaid internship. I can understand smaller companies not providing compensation, but Miss Lean-In? Miss Women-Don’t-Negotiate-Their-Salary? I call bullshit.)
What are you reading or looking at this week? (No, seriously, I want to know! My hope with this is that I can share cool stuff with cool people, so please comment with links or thoughts.)