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Surreal Writing Advice, 10-Hour Nature Soundscapes, and an Interactive Animated Storybook



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Welcome to this week’s edition of our Friday Quality Linkage column. Please enjoy this week’s collection of interesting and entertaining links. Brew a fresh cup of coffee, find a comfortable place, and relax.

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If 5-Year-Olds Can Make Espresso… »

This has been one of those weeks that feels like a year, so I’d like to start this week’s Linkage off with a charming little video from 2011 that I’d kinda forgotten about, which has a pair of 5-year-olds making a latte together using a $2,600 espresso machine. They dose the espresso, tamp it, pull shots, steam the milk, and even do a little latte art while pouring…all by themselves. Super cute.


Chuck Wendig on Writing…Kinda? »

One month ago today, author Chuck Wendig did a Twitter thread on writing that somehow shifts from being helpful to entertainingly surreal:

This one’s pretty good too:


Creative Ways to Lace Up Your Shoes »

Today in “learning useless talents”: Here are five alternative shoelace styles for anyone who’s, I dunno, bored of how their shoes are laced up.

  + I’m reminded of Ian Fieggen’s shoelace site, which I linked to a few years ago. (Gosh, has it been that long already?)


10 Hours of Relaxing Oceanscapes »

During the course of filming the fantastic Planet Earth II documentary series, the folks at BBC Earth accumulated tons and tons of unused footage. Rather than leaving it all on the cutting room floor, they’ve been releasing a series of 10-hour visual nature soundscapes that are perfect for ASMR-experiencing people like myself. Along with the oceanscapes one above, they’ve got…

Mountain Sounds:

Desert Sounds:

Jungle Sounds:

City Sounds:

Island Sounds:

… and Grassland Sounds:

Feeling sleepy yet?


How Real Drum Practice Sounds »

Speaking of long videos you’re not likely to watch the entirety of, drummer Stephen Taylor recently put out a video of a 1.5-hour practice session to show that even pros have to spend time doing slow, methodical, and even sloppy practice work to keep their skills sharp:

All too often I see “practice” videos posted online that are not practice at all…they are jamming videos. They are the end result of the practice session. And that’s awesome. It’s great to relish in what you accomplish. I’m all for it. But please don’t call it practice. It leaves others feeling like their own practice time should sound like that.

If you sound good in your practice time, you are not practicing. Period.


 

 

“Oat the Goat” Interactive Online Story for Kids »

This one is super cool for parents of children 4–7 years old: New Zealand’s Ministry of Education has launched Oat the Goat, an interactive, animated storybook about the power of kindness, empathy, acceptance, and tolerance. It has full support for both English and Māori languages, and you can choose to either read it at your own pace, have it read to you, or you can simply watch the story.

On the story’s “Info for Parents” page, they give some additional context:

We wrote this story because while children learn to get along with each other from a really young age, sometimes they need a little guidance from you. […]

Reading Oat the Goat will help you talk to your child about making choices — should they laugh at someone? Ignore them? Stand up to them? Or include and be kind to them?

Oat the Goat shows that being kind always wins in the end. And that’s what we all want right?

This is a fantastic way for you and your kid to spend some time together (and an impressive use of web technology besides). My 6yo son and I will be reading this together at bedtime, starting tonight.

  + If you’re interested in how Oat the Goat was made from a technical standpoint, production company Assembly has been releasing a series of developer notes that go into various facets of the story’s creation, from bilingual support to character animations to sound design. Fascinating stuff.


Neat Stuff We Published This Week

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Got any suggestions for articles, videos, stories, photographs, and any other links you think we should be posting in our weekly Quality Linkage? Please do let us know on Twitter.





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