The Delights of Distraction No.45

For this week’s newsletter we thought we’d just jump into the juicy bits that you’re here for: our favourite links to interestingness from across the internet. Let us know if you like this format better, or would like to read the usual semi-introduction and jumble and flow of unsolicited ‘gyan’ from the both of us :) 
Also, in reply to some of your lovely emails, we answer questions about the nature of being female entrepreneurs in India, handling fear, creativity, anxiety and our basic attempts (and mostly fumblings) of middle-aged adulting through this journey. Let us know if you would like to share the questions and answers, and do write in with yours that we can share (anonymously, of course) and we’d be happy to offer any insight from our experience. 
And speaking of adulting, here’s a quote from Maya Angelou from her interview for The Paris Review No. 116 Fall 1990, that sums up our views on it:
“Most people don’t grow up. It’s too damn difficult. What happens is most people get older. That’s the truth of it. They honour their credit cards, they find parking spaces, they marry, they have the nerve to have children, but they don’t grow up. Not really. They get older. But to grow up costs the earth, the earth. It means you take responsibility for the time you take up, for the space you occupy. It’s serious business. And you find out what it costs us to love and to lose, to dare and to fail. And maybe even more, to succeed. What it costs, in truth.
 
— Maya Angelou
To Read: A long, interactive visual-storytelling interview with 75 artists about how they spent the last year, from what they created (some said they were extremely productive, some said they created nothing) and what kind of art they turned to for solace (not surprisingly, most turned to nostalgic tunes from their youth and binge-watched old sitcoms). A great read for insight into the creative process and references to some fantastic art. 
To Use Copiously: Zoom Escaper. This is a web widget that deviously and wickedly allows you to get out of Zoom meetings. You can now add an array of audio effects—including “barking dogs, construction noises, crying babies, or even subtler effects like choppy audio and unwanted echoes”. There’s even the sound of urination (umm.. whose??) - but heck, we don’t question any reason to end a zoom meeting asap!
To Watch: This two-minute video captures footage of a bowling alley taken by a drone  in just one long take,  albeit after 10-12 attempts - though there is no CGI.  The filmmakers said the goal of the video was to remind people of local businesses such as the bowling alley in post-pandemic easing. The video is even wow-ing even seasoned directors and has probably sent drone purchases by wannabe filmmakers soaring.
Also watch Daria Geller’s 17 minute film, Him & Her. Based on Anton Chekhov’s short story He & She, Geller’s film is what she calls an “anti-fairy tale” that ruthlessly probes into the very nature of romance.
To Ponder: 1.Why have the older generation managed to stay happier through the pandemic than the younger lot? According to this article
“After middle age, people become more aware of a narrowing time horizon and, consciously or not, begin to gravitate toward daily activities that are more inherently pleasing than self-improving. They’re more prone to skip the neighborhood meeting for a neighborhood walk to the local bar or favorite bench with a friend. They have accepted that the business plan didn’t work out, that their paintings were more fit for the den than for a gallery. They have come to accept themselves for who they are, rather than who they’re supposed to become. Even those who have lost their jobs in this tragic year, and face the prospect of re-entering the job market — at least they know their capabilities, and what work is possible.”
2.Wolfgang Krüger, a Berlin-based psychotherapist who has written a book about friendship, has posited that while casual friendships may have waned during the pandemic, close relationships have gotten deeper (and by close relationships he suggests that most people don't have more than three). We suppose this makes sense, as anecdotally we’ve noticed we have spent more time with our besties while have ruthlessly pruned “frenemies” that we may have air-kissed in the past. It will be interesting to see how the friendship landscape shifts post-pandemic, but we suppose friendships are like an elliptical orbit of an ever-shifting constellation of relationships -  with a few constants that will always be your north stars.
To Joy Scroll: This list of hilariously bad adaptations of classic book covers delighted us to no end. Also check out Crime-based photographer, Igor Krukyov’s series on his graceful, aristocratic trio of cats, that were shortlisted for the Sony world photography awards:
To Listen:  A couple of podcasts we love -
1.    This one is a ringer for true crime fans,  pairing a former New York City homicide prosecutor with an Emmy award-winning investigative journalist.Together, they take a look at murder cases that have baffled investigators and give you an insider perspective from compelling points of view.  
2. A 10-episode podcast series by award-winner writer and researcher Deepa Narayan - exploring what it means to be a man in India today. A fascinating, deeply-thoughtful treatise on gender in India, and a much recommended listen whether you’re man, woman, or non-binary. 
To Cook: There were kilos of sweet potato that were ear-marked for sweet potato chaat and  sweet potato wedges lying at the back of the fridge -  but we made these savoury sweet potato cakes instead, that turned into a delicious, satiating breakfast. But what stole the show was the super easy, accompanying pea-smash - which could replace your guac fix, in creaminess and mouth-feel. Imagine - the savings! And the lack of heart-ache of blink and you miss perfect ripe-avocado phase that remains, till date, mysteriously elusive.  
To Life Hack: James Altucher, author, podcaster and serial entrepreneur reveals how he decides to say yes or no to opportunities. Here’s what he said:
Two out of these three have to trigger for me to say YES:
KNOWLEDGE: Will I learn something?
FUN: Is it fun?
MONEY: Is it financially worthwhile?
James says no a lot more than yes. Maybe his matrix will help you decide which opportunities you should jump at and which to politely decline. 
And to end: 
 
Clock
by Linda Pastan
Sometimes it really upsets me—
the way the clock's hands keep moving,
even when I'm just sitting here
not doing anything at all,
not even thinking about anything
except, right now, about that clock
and how it can't keep its hands still.
Even in the dark I picture it, and all
its brother and sister clocks and watches,
even sundials, all those compulsive timepieces
whose only purpose seems to be
to hurry me out of this world.
We hope you have a wonderful weekend, slow and unhurried and only delighting in the languid unfurling of the world, 
Viv & Ami