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Bike fashion is in the news again (NYT). There was some interesting commentary on this piece in the Slow Bicycle Movement group, noting that this sort of crazy coattail-riding bicycling fashion craze has happened before, but I think there are two different elements to consider in the present case. One element is that the technology for incorporating reflective material into clothing has only recently been developed, so it's still something of an experimental arena for fashion designers. Bicyclists are a logical target audience in the US because we Americans have done a fantastic job of designing our transportation infrastructure for cars, to the point where anyone interested in riding a bike for transportation spends time deliberating on whether or not to go the traffic-cone route. I'm reminded of this book that I just started reading that talks about many peoples' conflict-of-interests between wanting a feline companion but not wanting a home that's festooned with beige carpeting and litterboxes. Anyway - I like the reflectivity from an aesthetic standpoint, and mostly I just hope someone gets womens' pants right, one of these days. I plan to check out Clever Cycles's pants selection when I'm in Portland next month. I like the look of this shirt, but for some reason I'm still failing to find women's short-sleeve button-down dress shirts. I tried one on at Goodwill last Saturday, but it had poofy sleevelets and squeezed my biceps - a no-deal.

I only recently discovered that the League of American Cyclists has a bike-friendly university list. None of the universities I've attended are on the 2013 version, but I'm pleased to see that Arizona State has managed to step it up and get on the list for 2014. The improvements are noticeable.

In the realm of simple living, I'm working my way through thinking about my relationship with sentimental items. I think the author makes a valid point about emphasizing the importance of shared stories over sentimental items, but I'm still working on figuring out an appropriate system for acknowledging the presence of the sentimental items and then letting them go. Can't say I've pulled out my high school yearbooks in a number of years.

Words of encouragement for sharing your writing in public. This post on coping with insecurity also feels related.

The psychology behind Social Media Brand F's 'success', which is important to consider when thinking about how we use it in our lives. While I was off traveling over the past two weeks, I spent substantially less time on social media sites. Now that I'm back in Texas, it's featuring prominently in my procrastination loop, I think because of differences in how my social interactions are structured out here. Traveling was socially overwhelming, but also included time spent with scrottie, and the long-distance absence is still just as hard, if not harder, now, as it was when I first left Arizona.

Lastly, how about an intriguing video demonstration of cymatics? One of the presentations at the recent Bio-math meeting, mostly focused on computational questions in topology, included this video. Turn off your computer's sound after a certain point.

Comments

( 7 remarks — Remark )
twoeleven
Oct. 24th, 2014 12:09 am (UTC)
In the realm of simple living, I'm working my way through thinking about my relationship with sentimental items. I think the author makes a valid point about emphasizing the importance of shared stories over sentimental items, but I'm still working on figuring out an appropriate system for acknowledging the presence of the sentimental items and then letting them go. Can't say I've pulled out my high school yearbooks in a number of years.

If they still have sentimental value, why chuck them?
rebeccmeister
Oct. 24th, 2014 08:29 pm (UTC)
I have several boxes filled to the brim with these items, and it has been a while since I've gone through the boxes to look at and think about their contents. Some of the items are letters that contain stories or messages of lasting importance, but after a certain point the collection gets overwhelming. What to do, for instance, with the giant glob of rowing medals? I'm thinking the best thing would be to turn them into a Halloween costume (The Winner!!) and then get rid of the vast majority of them (with 2-4 exceptions for significant races).
twoeleven
Oct. 24th, 2014 10:20 pm (UTC)
What to do, for instance, with the giant glob of rowing medals?
You have such problems. :)

I mean, sure, if they all pale beside your gold medal from the 2012 Olympics, sure, melt 'em down, ;) but I guess I'd hang on to a bunch unless there was a reason to get rid of them.
rebeccmeister
Oct. 25th, 2014 01:24 am (UTC)
Heh, the thing is, generally, the less important the race, the higher the probability of winding up with a medal (or ribbon). The only exception I can think of, off the top of my head, was the national collegiate championships where we won silver or bronze (can't remember which...medal is currently in the storage container with 85% of my stuff). Oh, I would also hold onto the medal from the rowing marathon, and from the erg marathons. Those medals I actually worked for.
twoeleven
Oct. 25th, 2014 11:06 pm (UTC)
Heh, the thing is, generally, the less important the race, the higher the probability of winding up with a medal (or ribbon).
The things one learns on social media... :)

Those medals I actually worked for.
OK. I mean, if the others don't have sentimental value, sure...

Despite (or because of?) various oopsies over the years -- most notably, the Great Fire of '98 -- I tend to hang on to a lot of stuff. Admittedly, I'm ditching stuff now, but that's more homeostasis than asceticism. (We're out of room for more bookshelves.)

OTOH, if you do want to get rid of random things, I can recommend major fires as a mechanism. :P It was also a surprisingly good way to verify the hypothesis that all you (well, we) need is love. :)
rebeccmeister
Oct. 26th, 2014 04:16 pm (UTC)
I had an aunt and uncle who went through their own Great Fire back in the mid-90's, and have found it interesting to see what their "stuff management" has been like in the post-fire era. In a lot of respects, they just gradually re-accumulated the items that they'd had beforehand, although the photos and other such items couldn't really be replaced. One of the anti-clutter articles I encountered recently was suggesting going through photos from particular vacations or events and selecting the top 5 or so - enough pictures to evoke the memories, without including page after page of thing. I don't think I'm going to take that approach, but I still haven't settled on a system for photos, either, other than to upload and post the majority of them so as to share them with others and encourage myself to write descriptions.

I'm not going to hit a point of asceticism, but I've generally noticed that, over the years of grad school, I accumulated a substantial amount of stuff. About 85% of my belongings are currently in a single moving pod, and I've decided that one moving pod's worth of belongings is the level I'd like to maintain. That said - I think one of the first things I'm going to reduce when I get the pod back is the three-drawer filing cabinet full of journal articles. I'm transitioning to digital archives.
twoeleven
Oct. 26th, 2014 05:41 pm (UTC)
One of the anti-clutter articles I encountered recently was suggesting going through photos from particular vacations or events and selecting the top 5 or so - enough pictures to evoke the memories, without including page after page of thing. I don't think I'm going to take that approach, but I still haven't settled on a system for photos, either, other than to upload and post the majority of them so as to share them with others and encourage myself to write descriptions.
Since photography is one of my hobbies, I can take hundreds of exposures a day, maybe a dozen or two of which are worth working up into finished pictures. But those are all bits, so I can keep every last one of them if I want. :) Conversely, I have nine prints of my travels on my study's walls. (I'd have more, but I rarely bother to have prints made any more.)

There's also the related question of what one wants to remember about a trip, or maybe how high a resolution of memory one wants. Just a handful of photos may not be enough.

I'm transitioning to digital archives.
Yeah, I need to find good tools for doing that. Full-text searching is a big win, and I'd like to slurp up entire papers from the net, tag them, and then be able to find (search) them again. I haven't found anything that works as well as flipping through file folders for that. :/
( 7 remarks — Remark )

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