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Hey lovely friends. There's nothing Millie likes more than a good cardboard box in which to sit. She stares at me, wide-eyed, as I tease her about it. But as I make hard divisions between the zones of my home, I have to concede there is security in it. I hope all's well in your cardboard box.
🗺 Nototo is like your notetaking app had a drunken fumble with Animal Crossing, and I love it. Your notes become a whole landscape of islands, allowing you to use your visual memory to find things easily.

🐱 Cat People is a podcast examining the strange relationships people have with big cats and the legal loopholes that have made America home to more captive tigers than there are left in the wild.

🔀 City Maps Based On Where People Take Photos: These maps show tourists and locals experience cities in strikingly different ways. London's tourists will visit Buckingham Palace or the Houses of Parliament but probably not anywhere outside of Zone 1. Conversely, Londoners can go years avoiding central tourist traps. This is a good reminder of urban usage diversity, in case you find yourself looking out and thinking "where are all these idiots going?".

🧘‍♀️ How To Find Some Calm When Everything Is Falling Apart: Good solid thinking here. Focus. Identify what you can influence rather than just what you could worry about.

⚡️ The electricity metaphor for the web's future: At this TED event in 2003, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos says the dot-com boom is less like the Gold Rush and more like the early days of the electric industry.

🔄 Meet Loop, the new zero-waste platform for consumer products: The standardisation of shipping containers was revolutionary for freight and international trade. So rethinking packaging of consumer goods could be too: cutting into the need for post-consumer recycling. Loop will send you name-brand products, when you’re done you ship the empty container back, where it gets cleaned and reused for the next customer.

🗾 Why so many of the world’s oldest companies are in Japan: The country has 33,000 businesses at least a century old. How have so many survived – and what does it mean for Japan’s future? See also: the oldest company in each country around the world.

👐 50 ways to be ridiculously generous – and feel ridiculously good: There's a whole lot of boring virtue signalling going on, reminding me of this long-standing list of prompts towards genuine generosity.

🤔 What is better – a happy life or a meaningful one? Happiness is not the same as a sense of meaning. How do we go about finding a meaningful life, not just a happy one?

🎉 How, If At All, Do You Celebrate While in Quarantine? All the best people have their birthday in April (and a couple of the very worst, which only proves the rule). But it's not a great time for celebrating. I mean try and book a balloon modeller right now... it's impossible. So in this open thread, how the hell do you celebrate an occasion—or mark any important event that is usually social—from quarantine?

✍️ Colour in Quarantine: I'm hopeless at colouring in, which draws me to the deliberate discipline of colouring in every day. Maybe while you lot are leaping around with Joe Wicks.

Date night at the museum


If you've ever visited Paris, you'll likely be familiar with the compulsion to hit the museums as hard as you can. Something about visiting a place compels you to invest time in culture.

This compulsion gripped me particularly acutely on one occasion; but I started to notice just how many of the priceless works were, in fact, on loan from galleries and museums not five miles from my home. I hadn't visited them there simply because I hadn't had occasion. So at that moment I vowed to change my ways.
At first it feels a bit artificial, like date night, but it's a small change with a big result. So as galleries and museums all go off-limits, there arises the opportunity to peruse many of their collections virtually via Google Arts & Culture. If a choice of 2,500 is bewildering, you can just play the hits: the Guggenheim, Musée d’Orsay, the Rijksmuseum, the Louvre and the Getty are all here.

There's also image libraries. Last month The Smithsonian has released 2.8 images into the public domain; it turns out an impressive number of institutions offer open access to their image libraries, some of which, like The Met, are substantial. I'm using them to chalk up a bit of a bucket-list of places to visit in the flesh, like Cleveland.

Meanwhile, to pass the time, museums are sending each other historical bouquets while challenging the public to recreate their favourite works.

For something further off the beaten track there's also The Social Distancing Festival, which aims to celebrate art and talent from all over the world, and this playlist of experimental films.
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