Some useful gadgets to get and stay organised, the secret history of Mac gaming, a McDonalds and Chinese takeout mashup and some tips to live a good life — they're all on the table in this week's Thinking Cap.
Title GIF by Nick Criscuolo.
Welcome to Lifehacker's Thinking Cap, a new series where we round up interesting, informative and thought-provoking podcasts. These interviews, articles and other media will teach you something new, inspire you and hopefully cap off your week nicely. Let's get started.
Things You Should Do Every Day to Have a Good Life
Personal rituals mean a lot. They can take the edge off of a hard day, keep you in shape, keep you and your family healthy, and make the little irritations bearable — but they can also improve your life in more tangible ways. This Quora thread isn't packed with anything groundbreaking or you may not have heard before, but it's a great reminder of the things you can do on a day to day basis to feel better about yourself, and about the world around you — some more poignant than others.
It starts with a simple question: What are things I should do every day to have a good life? You'll see things like "exercise, eat healthy, and be grateful for what you have," which you may expect. You'll also see more interesting thoughts, like "reflect and appreciate, remember to dream, and embrace your fears." Here's one that kind of stuck with me:
'Keep reminding yourself that this minute might actually be the last minute of your life'
Do this every morning before you start your day. This might seem like a dull, pessimistic attitude to some people. But it is the most profound realisation one can have.
Another brief one:
Stop ignoring yourself.
That one was in the context of learning not to put yourself, your dreams, and your goals in service of your job, your company, or even the people who would rather you put your dreams in front of them and live your best possible life. Seriously, the whole thread is worth a read through, and it will start your week on the right foot.
Useful Gadgets to Help You Get Organised
We often share lots of little gadgets and tools you can keep on your desk at home or work to stay organised, but this Mental Floss article is packed with 15 fun little products to help with the job. Some of them are just flat out ridiculous (like the cat bank — said by someone who owns one) but others are really useful, like the leaf cable ties or the USB paper towel holder, because your phone is probably on the counter-top anyway while you cook, you may as well charge it.
[via Mental Floss, thanks Sam!]
The Secret History of Mac Gaming
Back in the late 90s and early 2000s, I owned a Mac. In fact, many of the computers I used back then were largely Macs (with the exception of the Compaqs in our CS lab we rigged to play Duke Nukem 3D) — my first personal computer was an old Macintosh Performa 6400/200 (the 200 stands for the blazing 200Mhz processor it had). And in an age when people just assumed there were no games for Mac, I waded into a weird and quirky world of games made with heart, Hypercard and tons of personality.
While we generally never discuss crowdfunding, Richard Moss' project, outlined in the video above, to bring the secret history of Mac gaming to light is a fun project that anyone who used those old machines back in the day can appreciate. It's worth checking out. He notes:
The Secret History of Mac Gaming is the story of those communities and the game developers who survived and thrived in an ecosystem that was serially ignored by the outside world. It's a book about people who made games and people who played them — people who, on both counts, followed their hearts first and market trends second. How in spite of everything they had going against them, the people who carried the torch for Mac gaming in the 80s, 90s, and early 2000s showed how clever, quirky, and downright wonderful video games could be.
What people forget about the Mac back in the day is that while the PC gaming scene had already begun to flourish on Windows — especially in Windows 95 and 98 — there was actually an amazing, rich, deep, and quirky Mac gaming scene too. A scene where people traded copied floppies, shareware CDs attached to enthusiast magazines, and other super strange games that you may remember, but will never see sequels of.
Companies like Bungie got their start with games like Marathon — one of the best and well written FPSes ever, and obviously the groundwork for Halo. And that's just a pretty obvious eample. I can't wait to read the whole thing.
New Technologies, Old Biases
Services like AirBnB, Uber and the rest have made it easy to pool resources, connect with strangers and for everyday people to make some money by sharing the things they may not always use or need with people willing to pay for them. That's great, but as NPR's Hidden Brain podcast reveals, that also opens the door to some old biases that technology just can't solve.
It's an eye-opening listen regardless of your ethnicity, and a reminder that while technology may bring us closer together, it doesn't solve the problems we already have — people have to do that, and in many cases, the people behind the technology need to not turn a blind eye to the problems their platforms provide.
If McDonalds and Chinese Takeaway Had a Baby
Just to close things out, the always hilarious and always eccentric YouTube chef duo Brothers Green Eats has been on a tear lately reverse-engineering fast food favourites, but this one is more than just "how to make McDonald's at home," although there's plenty of that — it's how to improve those McDonald's favourites, and mash them up with Chinese takeout dishes you already know and love.
Don't expect authenticity here — this is all about the remix, but the results they get are surprisingly mouth watering, and the ease with which you can make some of these dishes at home will make you pass the drive through the next time you get hungry and fire up your range instead. Have a great week. [via Brothers Green Eats]
That's all for this week. If you have thought-provoking stories, interesting podcasts or eye-opening videos, share them in the comments below!