Summer is a Season Again

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Last summer didn’t count. We couldn’t go anywhere, do anything, see anyone.

Already, this summer is making up for lost time. We’re going everywhere, doing everything, seeing everyone.

But save a tear, please, for the online lives we’re about to leave behind. Not abandon completely. But shrink. So take the time to connect to these alleyways before you abandon your laptop or phone for the summer outdoors.

1. Click. Drop. Go. Flow. As it says on this astounding and magical map, “Click to drop a raindrop anywhere in the contiguous United States and watch where it ends up.” 

2. If you hate reading books. Or love it but have no time, Blinkist may be for you. It gives you 15-minute versions (in print and by voice) of the latest non-fiction books. They’re today’s version of Reader’s Digest Condensed Books. I’m not a fan (nor is Ken Whyte), but some brain food is better than none at all. For a big-book opposing view, try this conversation between Barack Obama and Manchester United footballer, Marcus Rashford.

3. Blob opera. Google has an Arts & Culture Lab that creates new ways to create and enjoy fun and games. Blob Opera is one of the most enjoyable experiments that lets you create your own opera. Be sure to click “Skip tutorial” for the good stuff.

4. Gorgeous magazine. “Alexandre” has been publishing in London for two years. It’s all about dance, art and human being. Look here. I can’t imagine what the print version is like.

5. Fake humans, real data. The MIT Technology Review reports you can now enlist artificial humans to give you deeper data for your AI algorithms. Awesome and frightening.

6. John Turner gets his stamp. Canada Post last week issued a stamp honouring Canada’s 17th Prime Minister John Turner, known for his ‘fairness and civility.’ It includes this 13-minute video that chronicles his life and times.

7. How to stop procrastinating. The trick is to compare anxiety points. Luckily, they’re all charted here for you to read and act on.

8. What countries preoccupy Americans? Aside from America, of course. Russell Goldenberg is an editor at The Pudding. In 2018, he scanned 741,681 headlines in The New York Times and “found out which countries around the world have preoccupied Americans the most each month since 1900.” Here’s what he discovered. I can’t wait to see his 2021 version.

9. Wokeness gone wild. While the dictionary defines wokeness as being aware of racism and inequality, it’s now viewed as either political correctness gone wild or a long-overdue shift in our values. Like any new movement, it can suffer from...well, here are 9 Rules for the Woke Birdwatcher.

10. Are you on infinite browsing mode? Then you need to hear from Pete Davis who spoke to Harvard’s 367th graduating class and then wrote a book called Dedicated: The Case for Commitment in an Age of Infinite Browsing.

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