Midori Traveler’s Notebook, an invaluable tool from Japan / Boing Boing

Midori Traveler’s Notebook, an invaluable tool from Japan / Boing Boing

My hotel overlooked Shibuya Crossing, so I crossed out seeing it by wandering the area on the evening before my day off. The next morning, I wandered the Imperial Palace grounds with friends and then headed down the block to visit the National Museum of Modern Art. All of it was a feint to get me to a nearby subway line. My mission was to ride 30 minutes, to Meguro. I was venturing out in search of the Midori Traveler’s Factory.


Why Paper Jams Persist — The New Yorker

Why Paper Jams Persist — The New Yorker


There are so many excerpt-worthy quotes and stories this article; I can’t pick a single one to share.

Here’s one:

Unsurprisingly, the engineers who specialize in paper jams see them differently. Engineers tend to work in narrow subspecialties, but solving a jam requires knowledge of physics, chemistry, mechanical engineering, computer programming, and interface design. “It’s the ultimate challenge,” Ruiz said.

And another:

“Paper isn’t manufactured—it’s processed,” Warner said, as we ambled among the copiers in a vast Xerox showroom with Ruiz and a few other engineers. “It comes from living things—trees—which are unique, just like people are unique.”

And one more:

At a hip Rochester restaurant called Nosh, Viavattine held the menu up to the light to assess its “flocculation” (the degree to which its fibres had clumped infelicitously together). He launched into a fabulous paper-jam war story. “I was asked to go to Chicago to visit the Chicago children’s court,” he said. “This was the mid-nineties, and a sales rep had put our printers—I think they were 400 Series—all over the court system. What was happening was, lawyers had to deliver certain court documents to the defense attorneys within a certain amount of time. Otherwise, the defendant was let go. And they were losing two out of three cases because of paper jams.” He paused. “Two out of three defendants were gone—walking out the door—because of paper jams!”

Ruiz looked both fascinated and skeptical. “So, just so I understand—the repeated jams were delaying the process so much that—?”

“That two out of three times they would be late, and the defendant would be released!” Viavattine said. “And the problem was that they were using some off-brand, really down-in-the-dumps paper.”

The whole article is just wonderfully, delightfully geeky.

The Connection Between Writing And Sleep | Psychology Today

The Connection Between Writing And Sleep — Psychology Today

Sharing for this bit (emphasis mine):

Throughout the day, we have all these things cycling through our head. Some of them seem to continue to cycle. There’s something about the act of writing, physically writing something on paper, that tends to offload it a little bit, or help us hit the pause button on it. The outcome seems to be [that] you decrease cognitive arousal, and you decrease rumination and worry.

Of course, anybody who regularly journals or keeps a paper task list already knows this to be the case (I’ve recently moved my to-do system almost entirely to paper, and I’ll be sharing more about that experience soon), but it’s always great see to such things backed up by cognitive science.

(Hat tip to my friend Jessica Williams for sending me this link.)

How to make learning to draw a whole lot easier. – Danny Gregory

How to make learning to draw a whole lot easier. – Danny Gregory

I’ve been helping folks to start drawing for ages but more importantly, I have helped myself to start drawing. And by teaching myself, I have learned a few things that could help you to get past those first few challenging steps. So this story is less about drawing techniques than it is how to incorporate drawing into your life, how to keep yourself motivated, and how to learn to learn.

This is great. I’m one of those people that have always wanted to draw but feel like I continue to suck at it. I’m going to incorporate several of the ideas expressed here immediately.