With all the rain we’ve had, the beautiful crops around us have begun to bloom. I don’t think there is a more beautiful time in the agricultural life cycle.

Happy Sunday.

Great Reads

In His Own Words: Omar Khadr — This piece is scintillating, even if it has obvious political motivations.

The hipster is dead, and you might not like who comes next — David Infante:

My professional drift towards a creative field (writing) is an implicit statement of privilege. Being a yuccie is synonymous with the sort of self-centered cynicism that can only exist in the absence of hardship. It’s the convenience of being unburdened by conviction; it’s the luxury of getting to pick your battles. In this context, cynicism is maybe the yuccie’s most defining trait.

Not everyone can quit their job and move into a low-paying (or even unpaid) job where creativity is the master and self-fulfillment is brimming. Mouths need to be fed and roofs need to be put over our heads. Jumping off the bridge into the world of a “yuccie” is not meant for everyone, and I’m grateful the author acknowledged the inherent privilege of his situation.

The Allure of the Prison Break — I have no idea what David Sweat and Richard Matt did to put themselves in a maximum security prison, but I find myself quietly rooting for them in their bid to escape. Their escape seems completely opposite the Hollywood prison escapes we see on television, but it’s vastly interesting to watch nonetheless. In this piece by Ted Conover, a former prison officer, we get some insight into the world of prisoner/staff interaction. Fascinating.

Moms, Let Dad Be Dad — Sue Schellenbarger for The Wall Street Journal:

Both men and women have a hormonal response to becoming parents, marked partly by increases in oxytocin, a neuropeptide that fosters bonding and trust. Oxytocin is linked with different responses in new fathers’ brains than in mothers’, research shows. In women, it is associated with activation of brain regions based in the amygdala and expressing emotions. In men, it is linked with increased activity in regions of the cortex associated with planning and mentalizing, or understanding others’ viewpoints.


Dad Drives a Train — Speaking of cool fathers. This kid’s smile is just too perfect.

(Via Coudal)


Looking for love in all the wrong metrics — Matthew Shettler:

So here’s what I’ve decided to do: I’ll keep the analytics on the site. The ones I have are super basic and frustratingly non-granular. But I’ve decided on one thing to measure that will matter to me; something I can control: Did I post something today?

Of all the analytics, this is the stat I’m most jealous of.

(Via The Brooks Review)

A Laptop for Writers — I’ve read my share of MacBook opinions, and Matt Gemmell’s review of the polarizing notebook will probably put the icing on the cake for me. Matt’s conclusion is simple:

This is a computer for those privileged enough to be able to use it. I’m not talking about money, but rather the freedom to not care about the areas where it might be suboptimal for others. It’s for people who are lucky enough that this kind of machine doesn’t demand compromise.


Lensbaby Velvet 56 for Micro 4/3 Review — Tyson Robichaud has proved to me — once and for all — that sharpness isn’t the end-all, be-all of a great photograph.

Olympus E-M5 II Review — This Imaging Resource review is super in-depth and has brought up some pros (and cons) about the E-M5 Mark II which I hadn’t read about anywhere else. I’ll learn about them myself tomorrow.


Iceland Travel Guide: Tips and Road Trip Itinerary — My friend Josiah often says Iceland is one of the best places in the world to travel to. Alex Cornell seems to agree, and his photographs in this travel guide are spectacular. Some of his suggestions seem a bit outrageous, however. The ION Luxury Adventure Hotel, for example, appears to run a cool $6000 a night.

24 Hours in Puerto Rico — Jorge Quinteros’ style burns brightly in this travel photo essay.

A 500px Photo Tour of Glacier National Park — If you’re not subscribed to the 500px blog, I recommend changing that immediately. Great photo compilations like this are the daily norm. And they may even open your eyes to travel destinations within driving distance — I had no idea Glacier National Park was about a 15 hour drive from our home. Time to book some time off work.


J. Herbin 1670 Emerald of Chivor Fountain Pen Ink Review — This ink looks super funky and far from work appropriate. But Ed Jelley is right: There’s a ton of depth to this ink.

Great Products

Byrd & Belle Simple iPad Air Sleeve — My wife bought me this sleeve way back when I purchased the first generation iPad, but I’ve used it for every iPad iteration since. It’s gorgeous and has done its job for years. This isn’t the only cool option, either.

Snowman App Store Sale — Snowman is my favourite Canadian development team and they make some sweet apps. Alto’s Adventure (one of three games I play on a normal basis), Checkmark 2 (a beautifully designed task manager with industry leading location reminders), and Shifts (a niche filling calendar for people who work shift work) are all 50% off for the week of Canada Day. All three of these apps are very well designed, and Alto’s Adventure will be a mainstay on my iPad for years. It’s one of the most beautiful games you’ll find on any platform, anywhere.