The Weekly Stripe – 03.05.19
This week’s links are about taking a breather; the benefits of discontinuity and the good that can come from pausing… and reflecting.
We start in the Beginning. With God resting on day 7, after an intense 6 days of Creation. It sounds great with this American actor reading it. Debates rage online about why God, being omnipotent, needed to rest. Who knows, but it’s very relatable.
Punctuation lets the author direct the reader how to pause and take time. Good article here about how emojis and online-shorthands are disrupting and adding to the small canon of “official punctuation”. All started with Kim Kardashian’s ironic use of LOL. For the authoritative book on punctuation, turn to Malcolm Parkes’s perfectly titled “Pause and Effect: an Introduction to the History of Punctuation in the West” OUP 2013.
The biggest ever study of day-dreaming in 2010 revealed that people “think about something other than what they’re currently doing” about 47% of the time. In the self-reported survey of 2250 Americans in 2010, the only activity which defied this trend was Love-Making where apparently 70% of people think only about the job in hand. This photo of Indian MP Narendra Modi apparently day-dreaming at a long international summit in 2017 attracted a lot of sympathy.
Reminiscing and reflecting is good for you. The active reviewing of past memories has a proven link to psychological and mental health. From Artie Konrad, the leader in this area of reminiscing studies and working on it for Facebook. Here’s Facebook’s latest iteration of its Memory application.
There’s a French proverb “il faut reculer pour mieux sauter”. It means “you have to step back in order to jump better”. That said, jumping without a run-up is a thing. It was one of the most short-lived Olympic events of the modern era, phased out in 1912. You can’t go nearly as far as you can with a run-up. The world-record for the Standing Long-Jump is 3.73m compared to 8.95m for a run-up. Here’s that record being set. It’s still an event in Norwegian athletics, and in Brazil, it’s part of the test to join the police. In Brazil, men have to be able to jump 2.14m and women 1.66m (or only 2.00m and 1.60m for the traffic police). If that doesn’t get you day-dreaming, what will?