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Sunday links

This week shall be remembered as the week when MIA FARROW tweeted at me.

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  • A Nightmare in Elm Street 2 is gay.
  • I loved this article about the psychology of the supermarket. I can’t wait until the next part is published.
  • Is reunited Germany actually united? Apparently not. I loved the graphics in this article and the different aspects that it touches. I also love that the words I use are usually the ones used in Bavaria, it proves that my year abroad wasn’t in vain.
  • 10 female Dadaists you should know.
  • I’m always curious about the highlighted passages on kindle. It seems to me that if a passage has already been highlighted by one person then a second one is more likely to notice it. Sometimes I find that the highlighted passages are totally banal and not that worthy of their highlighting, this happened very often when I read 50 Shades of Grey and people were highlighting supposedly “sexy” passages that made me fear for the readers’ sex life. Anyway, here’s a selection of the most popular passages, it’s quite interesting.
  • I can’t believe a sexy PhD costume is a thing.

I totally loved Andre Levy’s portraits on coins, especially this one.

 

These photos of San Francisco’s Victorian houses being moved are fascinating.

  • I’m in love with these photos by Carla Fernández Andrade that I found on I need a guide.
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Weekend links

Once upon a time I used to post a weekly round-up of links that I had found interesting during the week. When I reuploaded my blog I had a great deal of fun going through them finding everything for the second time. Although I usually share links on twitter or facebook and I save those relevant to my PhD on Evernote, most of the stuff I like gets lost in the depth of the internet. That’s why I’ve decided to start making this posts again, as a way for me to be able to browse through a bunch of stuff that I love. They probably won’t be weekly because I’m a very busy human being and some weeks I don’t even read anything on the Internet (oh the shock), but they’ll come up from time to time.

I feel very identified with this. Maybe a bit too much.

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Is technology making us unhappier?

“Is technology making us unhappier?” Just writing down this title makes me feel like one of those bitter old people who complain about everything young’uns do. “Your generation didn’t have to go through a war”, “you kids have it so easy”, “when I was your age I was making a million/year and had four children to support”, etc. We might not have had to go through war, but older generations haven’t had the misfortune of having their entire past available at all times. How typical of my generation to whine about those things that make life easier for us, huh? Don’t get me wrong, I love technology as much as everybody, but lately I’ve been thinking about its negative effects in our emotional well-being.

 

 

After my Great Laptop Crash (GLC) of December 2013, I hadn’t found the right moment to go through the files that could be saved on my external hard drive until last week. I spent nearly an entire afternoon going through all the folders, deleting duplicates, working out what had been lost and, generally, confronting my past. MSN Messenger conversations from the early 2000s, embarrassing photo collages from the fotolog times, drawings old friends who I can no longer call friends made for me, scans from my collage notebooks, old stories, texts with cryptic meanings that invariably talk about quarterlife crises and trying to find happiness in the wrong places, my grandfather’s last christmas, the carefree years, the whatever years, the what-to-do years, even part of the high school years, every essay I ever wrote at university, photos of people that have left my life, photos of the people I love wearing baggy jeans and looking extremely young, all the files from my old blog, photos of things I thought were cool but aren’t, photos of things I thought were funny but aren’t, photos of things that are actually fucking hilarious. And looking at this made me extremely sad, and not a nice and nostalgic kind of sad, but the worst kind. The good things were making me sad and the bad things were making me sadder. Okay, I was premenstrual, but still. Is it really healthy for us to have access to all of this at all times? How can we move on when our past is so accessible? It takes effort to dig out the box of old journals and the heavy photo albums, but it’s almost impossible to avoid flicking through computer files, wanting to see everything.

I left most of my old journals at my parents’ home when I moved out because I don’t want to have the temptation to drown in them. I tend to be more creative when I going through difficult emotional moments, so everything I’ve ever made is charged with meaning. Every text I’ve ever written is full of analogies and metaphors for my own feelings that made me feel exactly like I did at the time of writing them. I don’t want to throw them out like I did with my teenage ones (a decision that I don’t really regret because I only ever wrote about people I knew and no longer care about), but I feel like some sort of restricted access is necessary for me to retain my sanity, and the same goes for digital files. Having school mates, exes and the fabulous internet people (you know, those one whose lives seem to come out of a magazine) a click away is enough. I can’t block people from the Internet (although I wish I could), but I can stop myself from having my past lying around all the time. That’s why, after going through my hard drive and organising everything, I left all the files right where they were, on a hard drive that I barely use. If I ever want to see them I know where they are, but my laptop only hosts files created in the past two years. Right now focusing on the present is the only way of moving forward.

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Liverpool In the 50s & 60s – Of Time And the City (Terence Davies)

Let’s be honest. I thought this film was über-pretentious. Sure, it is beautifully made and there were truly funny moments, but half of the time I found myself thinking he was trying too hard to make it as arty as possible. I don’t know, maybe I’m just not as cultivated as I thought. Terence Davies uses newsreel footage and his own voice to show his experience of growing up in Liverpool during the 1950s and 60s and the decadence and end end of the city he used to know. I didn’t think much of his account, but the old images of Liverpool are wonderful. As a long time Beatles fan, I’ve always imagined what Liverpool was like back then, what people wore, what they did, etc. My needs are now more than satisfied.

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New year’s resolutions

This is my only resolution for 2011. Of course, this BIG resolution has a myriad small ones embedded into it, but I don’t want to set myself very precise goals. 2010 wasn’t a good year at all, even if it included some really good things, and the only thing I really want out of 2011 is for it to be better. 
I want to get over things, find out where my stability went and focus on the things and people who make me happy. I want to make the most of what I have while I have it and stop worrying about a million stupid things that lead me nowhere. I want to focus on my studies and write an awesome thesis. I want to travel. I want to keep on doing creative stuff. 
Ok, I lied. I have another resolution. To visit 3 places I’ve never been to before. This is a resolution that I’ve made every year for the past three years or so, and I find that it is very easy to keep and always ends up giving way to some of the highlights of the year. 
Have you made any resolutions or do you think they’re a waste of time?
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On giving handmade presents

4/365 Father's day
Now that Christmas is looming I’ve been thinking about presents. I think that, in theory, handmade presents are a great idea, more personal and touching than a store bought gift. However, I have found that, as much as I love handmade presents, they tend to fall into several categories, and not all of those are positive:
1. The “I don’t have any money, so I’m making you something” present.
I like this sort of present. I support drawings made with crayons that look like they were made by a 3 year old with a learning disability, mixtapes, mix CDs, I.O.Us, photo memories, letters and everything else that falls into this category. Sometimes these can be the most touching presents, the ones that show that, despite having no income, someone took the time to make something for you even if they’re not crafty types.
2. The “I’m super talented and awesome, so I’m gonna make you something elaborate, nice, and well thought” present.
If you’re lucky enough to be friends with creative types it is possible that you’ve received awesome presents from them. This is the kind of present that shows the person really knows you and took their time to put their abilities into showing you they care. This is obviously a good kind of present. Last year when I was living abroad 2 of my best friends gave me a framed drawing each, featuring us three when we leave the house (prim and proper) and when we’re out (drunk, singing Millencolin songs, wearing tiaras). This was without a doubt one of the nicest presents I’ve ever received and it meant more than any expensive fancy present.
3. The “I’m stingy and make stuff, so I’ll give you a handmade present because it’s cheaper”
Seriously, I’d rather not get anything than getting one of these, and I got quite a few in my lifetime. This is the sort of present that says “I know you won’t like it, but I make it, so you can’t escape from me”. Not only is it cheap, but it also shows an absolute lack of care from the person who got it. It’s like throwing a surprise party for a vegetarian at a steak place. That’s what it is.

So I guess my advice for this Christmas is: If you’re not going to give thoughtful presents, why bother at all? This applies to both handmade and store-bought presents. Be nice people.

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How to be a retronaut & links for the weekend

 I found this blog through Cristina’s and it’s been open on my browser all week. Such an amazing collection of stuff. Here are some of my favourite posts (yes, I’ve browsed through all of them).

And some other stuff that caught my eye this week:

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