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3 November 2021

In this recurring column, we highlight a few items we've run across that don't merit a full story of their own but are interesting enough to bring to your attention. This time we look at beach bums, Hannah Altman, Khara Plicanic, Pamela Paul, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, an M1 Pro and NFTs.

  • The Guardian presents a set of comparison images of Life on the Beaches of Tel Aviv and Gaza City by Associated Press photographers Oded Balilty in Tel Aviv and Khalil Hamra in Gaza City. "The beaches in Tel Aviv and Gaza City, just 70km (40 miles) apart, are different worlds on opposite sides of a century-old conflict, but on long summer days Israelis and Palestinians enjoy some of the same delights."
  • In A Permanent Home in the Mouth of the Sun, Cat Lachowskyj interviews Hannah Altman, who has "built a visual world to explore the customs retold and translated over time across the Jewish diaspora."
  • In Life Lessons From Photoshop, educator Khara Plicanic lists "ten life lessons to be gleaned from and applied to mastering one of the world’s favorite software applications."
  • OTOH, John Harris interviews Pamela Paul, editor of the New York Times Book Review, who knows the answer to the question, What Does Tech Take From Us?. She's record a few of them in her book 100 Things We've Lost to the Internet. "In general, when I hear the phrase 'There's an app for that', my first question is: 'Does there need to be?'" she confesses.
  • The psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, who died recently, once listed The 10 Paradoxical Traits of Creative People,. Making lists did not make the list.
  • In M1 Pro First Impressions, Howard Oakley has a hard time setting up his new laptop. We're having fun moving the last bits of our digital publishing empire to Catalina (what, no smb1 for our MyBookWorld?), so we sympathize with his superstitious installation tweaks. But they worked. "Since then, Monterey has behaved itself impeccably," he reports.
  • In The Fallacy of Proximity, Andrew Molitor, as a reformed mathematician, takes on the NFT craze. "Blockchain, whatever it is, doesn't solve any problems," he writes. "It is not capable of solving problems." We're supposed to mention that Neil Leifer, who photographed everyone from Muhammad Ali to Mickey Mantle, is releasing some of his photography as fine art NFTs in a series called Decades: The Sixties (Part 1). But, really, our heart isn't in it any more than Molitor's.

More to come! Meanwhile, here's a look back. And please support our efforts...

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