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Urban Yoga Project Takes Flight in New York, Madrid, and Paris

I like yoga, which means I tell people I practice all the time, but in reality only go to class a couple times a month. When I saw these photos of Slovenian architect Anja Humljan, I was amazed.

Anja has taken her passion for yoga and movement into urban environments—a global experiment in how we connect with cities. Take a look for yourself.

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Awesome In-Flight Videos from the KLM Cockpit


561540330_4dcbb6a339_z Ever wonder how dozens of flights can safely cross the Atlantic at the same time, despite the fact that much of the journey includes no radar coverage?

How do the pilots communicate with Air Traffic Control, and what kind of instructions are they given?

Oh, and what’s the deal with autopilot—does it mean the pilots aren't really in control?

I really enjoyed watching these in-flight cockpit videos from recent KLM flights from Amsterdam to London and Amsterdam to New York. Even if you’re not an airline geek like me, you may like them, too.

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The New World of Passport Tattoo Art: Possibly Illegal, Definitely Awesome


Léonard_Combier_Illustration_04 I'm proud of my stamps and visas, and I often get a double-take from immigration officers around the world when presenting my passport—but this guy has gone much further.

French illustrator Léonard Combier sent pictures of his work to Doodlers Anonymous, where he offered anyone to send him their passport to "tattoo."

Is this legal? Well, apparently it's an open question, since technically the work involves "defacing" a government document, and some countries have more of a sense of humor than others. Fortunately, most people report that most immigration agents have enjoyed it thus far.

Here are a few examples:

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A Film About Shame and Ego Wins Best Picture at the Oscars

Two days ago I went to see Birdman. I’d missed it when it came out, then forgot all about it, then realized it was still showing. Last night it won best picture and many other awards at the Oscars—coincidence, I’m sure. :)

I really liked many aspects of the film, from the amazing drum-only soundtrack to the fact that it was filmed in a single continuous shot. (I don’t entirely know what that means, but it sounds cool.)

I also thought it was interesting that much of the coverage of the film at the Oscars said it was primarily a story about ego. I thought it was somewhat about ego, especially in the context of mortality as an actor who formerly played a superhero ages and faces the loss of relevancy and career.

But I also thought it was about shame, a concept that isn’t often explored from a masculine perspective. It reminded me of reading Karl Ove Knausgaard, something else I'll write about shortly.

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6 Discoveries from Near and Far: Volume XXXIV

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Things I found on long walks in foreign cities, or perhaps when someone posted them on Twitter.

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The “Crisis Text Line” Helps Thousands of Young People Each Day

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The Crisis Text Line provides free support and “active listening" for teens through the method of communication that many people now prefer. Volunteers are available around the clock and communicate with thousands of users in need every day.

The organization’s quantified approach, based on five million texts, has produced a unique collection of mental-health data. C.T.L. has found that depression peaks at 8pm, anxiety at 11pm, self-harm at 4am, and substance abuse at 5am.
Counselors are trained to put texters at ease and not to jump too quickly into a problem-solving mode. Open-ended questions are good; “why” questions are bad. Also bad: making assumptions about the texter’s gender or sexual orientation, sounding like a robot, using language that a young person might not know.

If you need help, you can reach the Crisis Text Line by texting START to 741741.

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6 Discoveries from Near and Far: Volume XXXIII


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Things I found on long walks in foreign cities, or perhaps when someone posted them on Twitter.

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Beware the Power of Bad Advice: A Lesson in Life and Plumbing


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Holly Finch founded the LightBox Collaborative, a San Francisco-based consultancy for non-profits. Lightbox has eight “collaborators” but no employees. When I asked Holly what she should advise someone hoping to follow her path, she said: “Do it your way—but check the math.”

She explained that this means you should always apply someone else's lessons in a way that makes sense to you, but you should also make sure that your happiness allows for enough money.

Speaking of advice, here's what Holly had to say about relying on “professional" advice... and why those who give such advice should be careful.

After weeks of apartment hunting, my husband Hal and I had finally found “The One.” It was our San Francisco dream flat. The only sticking point was the water pressure in the shower, which was little more than a light spittle. The lackluster morning shower and our resulting crankiness became a black cloud over our otherwise happy new home.

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6 Discoveries from Near and Far: Volume XXXII

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Things I found on long walks in foreign cities, or perhaps when someone posted them on Twitter.

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6 Discoveries from Near and Far: Volume XXXI

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Things I found on long walks in foreign cities, or perhaps when someone posted them on Twitter.

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6 Discoveries from Near and Far: Volume XXX

Things I found on long walks in foreign cities, or perhaps when someone posted them on Twitter.

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This Brand-New “Habit Journal” Helps You Keep Track of What’s Most Important to You

We've all heard it takes our brains 21 days to form a new habit. This new journal, currently being crowd-funded, does exactly that—keeps you on track while you form new daily habits, with these habits eventually leading you to conquer big goals. Here's how it works:

  • Choose a goal
  • Write down the daily habits that you think will help you achieve that goal
  • Plug those habits into your daily tracker pages
  • At the end of each day, take 5 minutes to reflect on how you did
  • Review at the end of each week, then repeat until the month ends
Seems pretty simple. But like a lot of simple systems, it may have the power to create real change. Check out the video:

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6 Discoveries from Near and Far: Volume XXIX

Alex_Cornell_03 Things I found on long walks in foreign cities, or perhaps when someone posted them on Twitter.

How the Password You Select Can Help You Achieve Your Goals

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From a long article about the history of passwords, I thought this story was especially fun:

For some people, these rituals are motivational. Fiona Moriarty, a competitive runner, told me that she often used “16:59” — her target time for the 5,000 meters in track. Mauricio Estrella, a designer who emailed me from Shanghai, described how his passwords function like homemade versions of popular apps like Narrato or 1 Second Everyday, which automatically provide its user with a daily reminder to pause and reflect momentarily on personal ambitions or values.

To help quell his anger at his ex-wife soon after their divorce, Estrella had reset his password to “Forgive@h3r."

“It worked,” he said. Because his office computer demanded that he change his password every 30 days, he moved on to other goals: “Quit@smoking4ever” (successful); “Save4trip@thailand” (successful); “Eat2@day” (“it never worked, I’m still fat,” Estrella wrote); “Facetime2mom@sunday” (“it worked,” he said, “I’ve started talking with my mom every week now”)

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6 Discoveries from Near and Far: Volume XXVIII

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Things I found on long walks in foreign cities, or perhaps when someone posted them on Twitter.