Home2019-06-14T13:18:46+02:00

What to read?

I’ve barely read non-fiction for an embarrassing number of years now. Sleep deprivation while caring for Daughter was the main cause and now that uninterrupted nights outnumber the interrupted ones I notice that I’m craving inspiration. But where to start?

It seems as if everyone marched on while I was looking the other way and I’m left on my own. I used to be in the know of trends on social media, but I lost interest in when the masses transformed it in the global marketing instrument for the individual. To some extend I’d like to dive into what’s hot online, but at the same time I couldn’t care less about teenagers’ who accidentally choke themselves playing games.

I long for the days when I was at university and learned philosophy and psychology and sociology and building websites all at the same time.

I want to get inspired by writers who take the time to convince me of their world-view, firmly based on science. I want to learn about the long-term implications of the web, now that is well beyond the new structure it was when I went to uni. I want to learn about societal trends, especially of non-western societies. I want to know how our brain functions. I want to learn about recent findings on best forms of eduction. I want to be treated to new insights in fields I have overlooked.

You see, I’m hungry. But I don’t know where to start. Perhaps you know some books to feed my brain. Perhaps you read something last year that turned your thinking upside down. Perhaps you have a book, bought decades ago, which you still refer to. Perhaps you read a certain online magazine or blog that is very good at reflecting on world trends. I would love to know the titles of those books and websites. Please share them with me in the comments below. I’m starving!

The gift of story

It’s my birthday and I love getting gifts, but I love it even more to give gifts. So today I give you, dear reader, the gift of a new story: The Oodlanders.

It’s the story that I wrote during Crafting {:} a Life, so for some of my readers it is not new. It is however more polished and shareable now. It’s available in various formats, I even made an audio recording of the story (and now you know what I was recording).

All you need to do is click through to my other site and download it.

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kiloBar: the no screw stool (or side-table)

Months ago, the Man and I came across a new furniture brand: KILO. Small stools were on display in the shop of the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. They caught my eye because one: they came in lovely colours; two: their design was lovely; three: they were made of plywood; four: they came in flat packs to take with you. We almost bought a stool at the spot, but the package was a bit too heavy to carry around in public transport. We did take a folder home to be able to order online.

As always the folder ended up on our dining table and on top of it grew a never ending pile of stuff. A couple of weeks ago I rediscovered the folder in a futile attempt to get rid of that pile. The stool still looked lovely and after being, once again, annoyed with the lack of a proper side-table next to the couch (something to do with Daughter using it as chair for one of her cuddle toys (the ones we use now are made of cardboard and are strong enough to sit or stand on (and were so cheap I couldn’t care less about them getting broken so Daughter is allowed to used them as she pleases (but they are so well designed they don’t break (and how do you break cardboard anyway))))) the Man finally entered the magic numbers in KILO’s online shop.

Yesterday the package arrived. The promise KILO makes: no screws, nails or glue. That is true. It did take a hammer and quite some effort from my arm to hammer the stool into shape, though (and patience from Daughter who wanted to play with the hammer). I had to improvise a bit as well when I hit one of its legs a millimeter too far, preventing the other to slide into place, but I managed to correct my error (causing a tiny crack in the coating). It is such a tight fit, I don’t think I will be ever able to take it apart again. The end result is our own kiloBar (colour Pewter). We’ll test drive this one to see if more will follow. First impression: it wobbles a tiny bit (with four legs, that’s almost always the case).

kiloBar in pieces with instructions
Three layers inside the package. The bright blue piece is used for hammering on.
kilo’s brand mark
kiloBar all set to use as side table/stool
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Solving a jigsaw

I’m deep into editing a documentary (not meant for public viewing) and with the amount of interviews I’ve done (eight) it’s like solving a jigsaw puzzle, yet I have random pieces that I have to shape individually to make them fit together, all the while knowing I’ll never be able to replicate the image on the box.

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Shocking yet not surprising

When one of the biggest companies in the world has a communication strategy targeting a specific journalist, you know who’s on the right side of the truth.

But when I recently received close to 50 pages of internal Monsanto communications about the company’s plans to target me and my reputation, I was shocked.

[…]

I’m just one person, just one reporter working from a home office in the midwest, juggling three kids with irregular writing deadlines. So the knowledge that a multibillion-dollar corporation spent so much time and attention trying to figure out how to thwart me is terrifying.

I’m a journalist. Monsanto built a step-by-step strategy to destroy my reputation (by Carey Gillam for The Guardian)
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