Shiny Objects

Why yes, I am easily distracted by shiny things and research rabbit holes.

Why yes, I am easily distracted by shiny things and research rabbit holes.

Do you ever need to look something up online and then the next thing you know an hour has passed? How does that happen?

The other day I was doing research for a project, looking for information about tulip mania in the Netherlands. One site led to another and another and another, and I ended up looking at Islamic art. No joke. But there is a connection—the tulip was a symbol of the Ottoman Empire and used in decorative art. The crazy thing is I was so absorbed in it, I didn’t realize how much time had passed. I probably spent four hours going down the research rabbit hole. Luckily this research was for work but, trust me, I’ve spent many a wasted hour “researching” one thing or another online for no real reason.

It’s so easy to look things up now with our phones and laptops and tablets. I was at an event with a friend and we started wondering how long the host had done the show, then what the announcer’s background was, and then there we were down a rabbit hole. Have you ever found yourself lost in research? I could spend my weekend surfing the Internet. Thankfully I won’t be this weekend.

Hope you have a wonderful, Internet-free weekend!

Oooh look at these shiny objects . . .

I’ve been reading . . . Einstein’s Dreams by Alan Lightman and The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson.

I finished Einstein’s Dreams, and I have mixed reactions to it. His writing is beautiful, almost poetic. His descriptions are imaginative, clear, and relevant. So I sort of loved this book. The book is a fictional collection of stories dreamed by Einstein during the time he is developing his theory of relativity. The dreams are all about new concepts of time and the possible worlds time creates. So it’s a little bit of a mind-bender in terms of the concept of time, and anything with weird time concepts makes my brain hurt. From that perspective, I didn’t love it. But, Lightman creates these unique worlds in Einstein’s dreams. I don’t know how he came up with so many variations. If you are a fan of physics, time, and the theory of relativity, then this book is probably for you. If not, then maybe read something else.

I’ve been watching . . . still nothing. Too busy going down the research rabbit hole.

I’ve been listening to . . . Phoebe Bridgers, Sara Watkins, Paramore, and Max Richter.

Composer Max Richter’s new composition Sleep is meant for sleep. Seriously. It’s an 8-hour piece, with part of it in silence. He’s doing an overnight performance of it at SXSW. Now that would be a cool performance to see—or sleep through.

There’s still the list. I haven’t given up on it. You may not hear about it for a while but I’ll get back to it. I’m determined to go through the list.



(Image found here.)

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