- Welcome To The Zone!
- The Zone: No. 2 – Oct 22, 2020
- The Zone: No. 3 – Oct 29, 2020
- The Zone: No.4 – Nov 5, 2020
- The Zone: No. 5 – Nov 12, 2021
- The Zone: No. 6 – Nov 19, 2020
- The Zone: No. 7 – Nov 26, 2020
- The Zone: No. 8 – Dec 3, 2020
- The Zone: No. 9 – Dec 10, 2020
- The Zone: No. 10 – Dec 17, 2020
- The Zone: No. 11, Dec 31, 2020 – Special Edition
- The Zone: No. 12 – Jan 7, 2020
- The Zone: No. 13 – Jan 14, 2020
- The Zone: No. 14 – Jan 21, 2020
- The Zone: No. 15 – Jan 28, 2020
- The Zone: No. 16 – Feb 4, 2020
- So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish!
Happy New Year, and welcome to the first edition of The Zone this year! New Year’s Resolutions, Adam Grant on procrastination, new books & movies, the ultimate e-mail structure, and more in The Zone No. 12.
- No new year was so much longed for than 2021. We made it; we survived 2020! This fact alone means that we’ve got a good start in 2021. I’m not one to set New Year’s resolutions; I never was. But if you are, you can get some advice on New Year’s resolutions from Kierkegaard and Nietzsche. Bonus: The Science of Keeping New Year’s Resolutions.
- And there’s so much to look forward to in 2021 (in addition to the Covid-19 vaccine), new books coming out this year, for instance. Literary Hub has the list of the most anticipated books, and who doesn’t love a book list? I keep my eyes on The Most Anticipated Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books of 2021, of course. And there are many movies worth waiting for as well, a good chunk of them being shuffled to 2021 because of the pandemic. Oh boy! (rubbing hands in anticipation). Bonus: How Film Production Has Changed Due to the Pandemic.
- Good reads at the beginning of the year: Ryan Holiday’s The Secret to Better Habits in 2021 and Jessica Abel’s Against grit: Why setting the bar low is the key to making real change in your life.
- Tom Whitwell’s list of 52 things he learned in 2020 is so interesting! Some of my favorites:
- When Ibn Battuta visited China in 1345, facial recognition was already in use. All visiting foreigners had their portraits discreetly painted and posted on the walls of the bazaar. “If a stranger commits any offence… they send his portrait far and wide” [Ibn Battuta]
- Euro English is an evolving pidgin English used by EU administrators, for example: using ‘Handy’ to mean mobile phone (from German), ‘Non?’ to turn any sentence into a question and unusual plurals like ‘expertises”. [Lindsey Johnstone]
- In Warsaw’s Gruba Kaśka water plant there are eight clams with sensors attached to their shells. If the clams close because they don’t like the taste of the water, the city’s supply is automatically shut off. [Judita K]
- Adam Grant: “Lower your standards for what counts as progress, and you will be less paralyzed by perfectionism.” – Why I Taught Myself to Procrastinate
- You can now take an interactive tour of Jane Austen’s house.
- This NASA video shows how the moon will look from the Northern Hemisphere this year.
- I still remember the shock of seeing Notre-Dame cathedral engulfed in flames, hands shaking, texting my sister. There was comfort in shared pain. Restauration work will take time, of course, and it now reached the grand organ.
- A well-thought-out email structure I found on Reddit. Here’s the entire text:
Dear Person I am Writing To,
This is an optional sentence introducing who I am and work for, included if the addressee has never corresponded with me before. The second optional sentence reminds the person where we met, if relevant. This sentence states the purpose of the email.
This optional paragraph describes in more detail what’s needed. This sentence discusses relevant information like how soon an answer is needed, what kind of answer is needed, and any information that the other person might find useful. If there’s a lot of information, it’s a good idea to separate this paragraph into two or three paragraphs to avoid having a Wall of Text.
If a description paragraph was used, close with a restatement of the initial request, in case the addressee ignored the opening paragraph.
This sentence is just a platitude (usually thanking them for their time) because people think I am standoffish, unreasonably demanding, or cold if it’s not included.
Closing salutation, Signature
A Quote I’m Pondering
Recognizing that people’s reactions don’t belong to you is the only sane way to create. If people enjoy what you’ve created, terrific. If people ignore what you’ve created, too bad. If people misunderstand what you’ve created, don’t sweat it. And what if people absolutely hate what you’ve created? What if people attack you with savage vitriol, and insult your intelligence, and malign your motives, and drag your good name through the mud? Just smile sweetly and suggest – as politely as you possibly can – that they go make their own fucking art. Then stubbornly continue making yours.Elizabeth Gilbert
From My Photo Archives
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