Only Keep Things That Bring You Joy

Are you sick of tidying your place all the time? If you are, just stop.

There’s no need to tidy if you go through all your items and only keep things which bring you joy and improve your life. Marie Kondo has published a book on the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing.

I had spent three years tidying and discarding things, yet my room still felt cluttered. Would someone please tell me why my room isn’t tidy when I work so hard at it? Although I did not say this out loud, in my heart I was practically shouting. At that moment, I heard a voice.

“Look more closely at what is there.”

What do you mean? I look at what’s here so closely every day I could drill a hole through it all. With that thought still in my head, I fell fast asleep right there on the floor. If I had been a little smarter, I would have realized before I became so neurotic that focusing solely on throwing things away can only bring unhappiness. Why? Because we should be choosing what we want to keep, not what we want to get rid of.

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Talking About Mental Health

Smashing Magazine is best known for geek and design issues, recently they published an article out of the norm. It was part of {Geek} Mental Health Week. Christopher Murphy wrote about his struggle with his mental issues and encourages others to speak up, and for people without mental health issues to respect and listen to those that are struggling.

It’s a good thing to get rid of the negative stigma around discussing mental health.

Mental health is an issue, it shouldn’t be a stigma. If more of us address it, openly, we’ll be able to address some of the problems we face collectively. Our industry is, in many ways, unique in its approach. We share what we learn, pooling our knowledge for the betterment of all. We can apply this approach to greater issues, like health, particularly mental health, and in so doing win the battle of the mind.

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Renewable Energy Use Grows Fastest in Poor Countries

Renewable resources are good for the environment, good for remote areas, and don’t need expensive infrastructure. All of these benefits of renewable power generation have led poorer countries to embrace distributed renewable energy!

The boom in renewables is often made for economic reasons, Ethan Zindler, a Washington-based Bloomberg New Energy Finance analyst, said in an interview. An island nation like Jamaica, where wholesale power costs about $300 a megawatt-hour, could generate electricity from solar panels for about half as much. Similarly, wind power in Nicaragua may be half as expensive as traditional energy.

“Clean energy is the low-cost option in a lot of these countries,” Zindler said by telephone. “The technologies are cost-competitive right now. Not in the future, but right now.”

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Abandoned Walmart Becomes a Library

Walmart is best known for predatory corporate behaviour that damages communities and for the “interesting” people who shop there. One thing that Walmart does is pit one small town against the other to get cheap land and better tax rates, this sometimes means that an existing Walmart gets abandoned.

A small Texas town decided to turn their vacant Walmart into something useful: a library!

Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle transformed an abandoned Walmart in McAllen, Texas, into a 124,500-square-foot public library, the largest single-floor public library in the United States.

The design won the International Interior Design Association’s 2012 Library Interior Design Competition. MSR stripped out the old ceiling and walls of the building, gave the perimeter walls and bare warehouse ceiling a coat of white paint, and set to work adding glass-enclosed spaces, bright architectural details and row after row of books.

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Using Turntablism to Address Climate Change

Turntable Art

Climate change id the biggest issue facing humanity today and it’s no surprise to see artists express this through art. In Calgary this month there’s an exhibit by John Folsom which was inspired through a walk in the rocky mountains looking at sound and climate change. The way he does this is through a mixture of recordings, turntables, and Alpine horns.

Amidst a series of his two-dimensional works blurring the line between photography and painting, John Folsom’s sound installation Diminishing Returns highlights the problems associated with climate change at higher altitudes, in particular how it affects bird’s migratory zones. This sound installation will be on exhibit at Newzones in Calgary, Canada from October 25 through November 22 with an Artist Reception held on October 25 from 1 to 4 p.m.

Diminishing Returns consists of cast Alpine horns, turntables and lathe cut vinyl records. The sounds of avalanches and bird songs play continuously. As the turntable stylus auto repeats, the ongoing cycle of play effectively erodes the vinyl, diminishing the sound quality. Over time, repeated plays will slowly eliminate the birdcalls resulting in a final wall of white noise. This sound piece aims to call attention to the ominous signals from wildlife in the hope that mitigating the effects of climate change will produce a brighter future.

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