Go to bed when you are tired, and allow your body to wake you in the morning (no alarm clock allowed).

Source: Can You Catch Up on Lost Sleep?

I agree with this “no alarm clock” part wholeheartedly. When you wake up consistently, without an alarm, you are sleeping well.

Amit Gawande Takes "The Colbert Questionert"

According to a source, these questions “cover the full spectrum of human experience”. I don’t care if they do. I answer.

  1. Best sandwich? Cheese Grilled
  2. What’s one thing you own that you really should throw out? Boxes that old gadgets came packaged in.
  3. What is the scariest animal? Spider
  4. Apples or oranges? Oranges, any day. But I can’t get them every day.
  5. Have you ever asked someone for their autograph? Yes. Brett Lee the famous Australian Cricketer. Indian players are hard to walk up to. I also want an autograph from many who make me feel starstruck.
  6. What do you think happens when we die? Somewhere, a new chapter begins again.
  7. Favorite action movie? The Bourne Identity
  8. Favorite smell? Earthy smell after a fresh summer rain.
  9. Least favourite smell? Spoiled eggs.
  10. Exercise: worth it? Absolutely. But I don’t regularly.
  11. Flat or sparkling? What’s sparkling?
  12. Most used app on your phone? Photos
  13. You get one song to listen to for the rest of your life: what is it? Abhi Mujh Me Kahin by Sonu Nigam
  14. What number am I thinking of? 14 (this question I am answering)
  15. Describe the rest of your life in 5 words. Aren’t those too many words?

(h/t Pete Moore)

Against all odds, Netflix’s adaptation of The Sandman is a very good show. But why does it look like that? You know what I’m talking about—the so-called “Netflix Look.”

Source: Why Does Everything On Netflix Look Like That?

I wish there was a technology that could capture the smell you are experiencing, just the way you can the colours with a camera. Some smells give such bliss and are so unique (at least to my nose) that I wish I could capture and share the joy with my dear ones.

In 1967, the Jornal do Brasil asked Clarice Lispector to write a Saturday newspaper column on any topic she wished. For nearly seven years, she wrote weekly, covering a wide range of topics—humans and animals, bad dinner parties, the daily activities of her two sons—but the subject matter was often besides the point.

Source: The Discovery of the World

For cord-cutters, leaving pricey cable packages behind in favor of streaming is a win for the wallet. Because we’re able to sign up for monthly plans, it’s easy to jump into a streaming service and jump out when prices increase or content dries up.

Source: This Clever Trick Can Save You Money on Streaming

Though this is obvious, I have no idea why I still don’t do it enough.

No End to Content Overload

There was a time when I listened to podcasts. Then I stopped doing that. There was a time when I scrolled through Twitter and Facebook, and we all know that story. Eventually, I also stopped watching YouTube videos. I detached myself from every form of passive consumption. I came to this realisation, and here’s what I wrote.

All my concerns stem from this “user-engagement-at-all-cost” business practice. Irrespective of how pleasing this interaction feels in the moment, it leaves me furious for the time wasted. Twitter timeline is prone to do that. YouTube’s homepage does that, and so does its recommendation engine. Instagram and Facebook feed do that. For me, even Reddit forums tend to do that. Debatable, but Podcasts do that too.

Now, I am either listening to audiobooks or reading books, newsletters or articles from the subscribed RSS feeds. Yet, I still feel I do not have enough time.

I don’t have time to watch that 10-episode TV series. I don’t have time to read the list of articles I have saved to read later. I don’t have time to play games or read comic books. And I have accepted that I cannot consume these forms of content, for the lack of a better word.

But, it saddens me to realise I don’t even have time to read everything I want. And I am not even looking at the growing list of to-read books.

How does one find the time?

I could read a book or keep up with my RSS subscriptions on a particular day. But unfortunately, I cannot do both. Maybe I don’t know how to stop myself in time or structure my day in a routine.

Whatever the reason, I don’t have enough time to read all that there is to read. I have read a few articles and books that address this problem of the apparent shortage of time. But I haven’t found a solution that works for any meaningful period.

Maybe, I need to make peace with the fact that I cannot keep up. I cannot keep up with the growing list of brilliant books. I cannot keep up with the gifted writers churning beautiful essays. And, with a heavy heart, accept that I am okay with it.

Disengaging from passive consumption has helped me. But there’s too much good content that I can’t keep up with.

I have released a new version of the Paper theme today. It’s a minor upgrade that allows you to set a custom favicon through the theme settings. Of course, it is optional. If you do not configure it, the default Micro.blog favicon will be used. The upgrade is available now.

Here’s a word cloud of my posts that I created in 2008 – I had been blogging for around 2 years then. I find it funny that even then I was writing the most about “blog”. Apparently, meta-commentary never goes out of fashion.

I understand why Google is doing the #GetTheMessage campaign. I also understand why it would hardly affect Apple. It’s a loss for users all over the world though. Is Apple breaking my texting experience? No, hardly anyone uses SMS anymore. Would I love a standard? Absolutely.

I stumbled across the first iterations of my blog that I had self-hosted with WordPress. I had left my creativity free allowing me to “design” the logo and favicon and headers and everything. What’s worse, I did it all in Powerpoint. Oh, those were the crazy effortless days.

I loved the trailer for Vengeance, looks so much fun. But I don’t think it’s going to be in theaters around here anytime soon. So all I can do is wait for it to become available on some OTT platform.

Go outside as often as you can, ideally without devices. Work in the yard, or just walk around. Pause occasionally to take a few deep breaths. When you come back in, do not head straight for your device; instead, make a cup of tea, straighten your shelves, or pray.

Source: Another friendly reminder

My daughter wanted to record a new video for her channel this week. She’d watched her old videos and felt she needed more. She had a few ideas in mind but wanted to tell her friends first what she had been up to. So, that’s what we recorded - a new video is out today.

I finished reading A View to Die For by Cheri Baker 📚

I really enjoyed this one. Paul Gumbs, the central character, comes out as a natural hero. The mystery is breezy and never slows down unnecessarily. I am involved in Butterfly Island and the characters living there enough that I’ll no doubt pick up the next one in the series.

It was relaxing to watch the calm river stream as I sat next to a shack. A cup of steaming hot tea in my hand.

A place to discover books in new and exciting ways. Read the first page without judging the cover. If you’re hooked, click the reveal button to find out more.

Source: Recommend Me a Book

I am not a horror movie fan. I have seen a few over the years but do not enjoy them. With age, my patience with them has further gone down. I do not watch this genre at all anymore. Or so I thought.

I was recently reminded of my dislike as I read this list from the editors at Rotten Tomatoes. I realized that there are few movies in this genre that I have enjoyed. Or I do still enjoy. The likes of The Mist or Jaws Or The Shining. Or the number one on the list, Psycho. Or the one I thoroughly enjoyed recently - Get Out.

Basically, I don’t mind psychological thrillers. Or ones with creatures. But I am done watching haunted houses and ghosts and unnecessary gore.

That said, I do enjoy reading the plots of the movies, predominantly from the horror genre, that I have no interest in. I have read so many movie plots on Wikipedia. I was anyway not going to watch the movie. By reading the plot, I at least know that the one twist the movie was sold on is shit.

I watched The Gray Man today – mindless action is not entertainment to me. I had fun when it was in superhero films. It doesn’t here.

I find it surprising that iTunes remain the only good store to buy digital music even today. There has to be some reason that all the big players have exited the space and have gone the streaming route. Is it the competition? Or the overall logistics of selling digital music?

I watched The Batman today – I am glad that after a few terrible few showings, we have a good setting again. It’s not a perfect movie – it’s too long and too thin. But I loved the way it’s shot, it does “look and sound brilliant”. The first half is particularly gripping. I didn’t like the Riddler though, his eccentricities felt forced.

That said though, the first thing this movie made me do was rewatch a few sequences from The Dark Knight series. The heights that Nolan took this superhero to is hard to scale.

Not a natural blogger

I no longer am the prolific blogger that I once was. I won’t comment on everything that I read these days. Or post every thought I have.

I read what a few people write and realize maybe I am not as natural a blogger as I thought at one point. Writing doesn’t come naturally to me. Knowing that English isn’t my primary language, I knew what I write in the language won’t sound natural either. In my school, even my English teacher didn’t speak in English. English became my primary communication language pretty late in my life. So I am aware that the way I use some words or the structure of my sentence must sound wrong to English-speaking readers.

Not that I blame my struggle with this foreign language for my recent slump in writing. It’s true that I never wished to write perfect prose. The recognition that it conveyed what I wanted was good enough for me. But it’s equally true that writing is not easy for me. It takes effort.

I would love to believe that my writing has improved over these 15 years. But I am also conscious that my desire to write frequently, differently, hasn’t improved. Instead, it has been impaired recently.

I feel bad when I struggle to garner the drive to word my thoughts and I wrote about my frustration a few times recently. Looking at my blog without anything meaningful added newly makes me feel worse.

Maybe this space needs a break. Maybe I do?

It was 10 years ago today that I began a seven-day challenge not to log in to Facebook. I haven’t seen that timeline since then. It was a good, eye-opening challenge in that sense. Nice!

We sometimes write sentences that don’t need to exist. Hidden in a paragraph, we might not notice. Standing on their own, we notice. Delete any sentence not worthy of its own line.

Source: Writing one sentence per line | Derek Sivers

I finished reading The Psychology of Money: Timeless lessons on wealth, greed, and happiness by Morgan Housel 📚

A short, but brilliant read. Housel writes in an easy-to-follow manner even though the topic he talks about is not. Some might say this belongs to a series of blog posts. But the chapters and respective takeaways sound coherent.

As Housel mentions, there cannot be a single investing strategy for every person out there. Each individual’s background is different. Their goals are different. And so are their perspectives. In the same spirit, two individuals cannot have the same set of takeaways from this book.

So do give this a read and discover for your own.