A blind astronomer, how to figure out what to do with your life post-university, the most stolen books, and much more to start off your week in our Lifehacker 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, interviews, articles and other media that will teach you something new, inspire you and hopefully cap off your week nicely. Let’s get started.
The Most Frequently Stolen Books
— Vintage/Anchor Books (@VintageAnchor) June 3, 2016
I used to work in a bookstore once upon a time, and theft is actually a bigger problem than you might think - so much so that this one, Vintage/Anchor Books, put up a shelf specifically of the books most often stolen from their store. Among the books on the shelf include authors like Charles Bukowski, Haruki Murakami, and even Jack Kerouac. It seems theives also have an eye for classic literature, since books like The Great Gatsby and just about anything by Hemingway are popular targets. [via Kottke]
A Complete Guide to Choosing the Best Everyday Carry Knife
We've discussed before that a simple pocket knife is an amazing tool, and even looked at some of your favourite blades for the many, many uses for one. We've also discussed some important things to look for when you shop for one, as well. However, the folks at Knife Planet put together this massive guide to pocket knives that's worth a look if you're in the market for one or just want to know what to look for in a blade.
They cover everything from all the shapes and types of blades you can get to the material used to make those blades, and which ones are best for what purposes. They also discuss some of the reasons you might want one, and the legality of folding or EDC knives in your area. It's absolutely massive, and it's tough to pin down a specific tip or trick from it — but they do make a few all-around great suggestions for anyone looking to buy one, if you want to skip the details (which you shouldn't.) [via Knife Planet]
Ridiculous Exercise Trends, and Where They Came From
Crazy exercise trends are nothing new: A treadmill that's actually a bike that's powered by a treadmill that's on top of it (instead of like, you know, being an actual bike,) or the whole idea of "prancercising," are good examples — but in this Mental Floss video, John Green runs down 22 ridiculous exercise trends that have emerged over the years, whether they're old history or current weirdness, that you absolutely shouldn't bother trying or partaking in yourself. Not to mention more than a few strange exercise gadgets that you don't need in your life either. I'll let the video speak for itself. [via Mental Floss]
Why Everyone Hates Flying, and Other Questions Only a Pilot Could Answer
I know we just highlighted an episode of the Freakonomics Podcast last week, but this week's episode is similarly amazing, and tackles a topic that we all probably have opinions on, but may not have this particular perspective on. Anyone who's had to get on an aeroplane in the past several years probably has gripes about the experience, whether it's irritating passengers, long security lines, tiny and cramped cabins, or an overall uncomfortable flight, but let's look at it from the perspective of the pilot:
Patrick Smith, the author of Cockpit Confidential, answers every question we can throw at him about what really happens up in the air. Just don't get him started on pilotless planes — or whether the autopilot is actually doing the flying.
Smith answers a ton of questions, including some that the Freakonomics team throw at him, like:
SHEA VAN TONDER: Is it true that pilots can see you through a camera that's in the bathroom? TIM WILSON: Can the pilot really fly faster? And if so, why don't they fly faster normally as a normal matter of course? KATHERINE HURDLE: Is there anything that you have seen on a flight that you couldn't explain?
It's an amazing listen, and you get to hear from someone who usually doesn't have the option to tell all about what goes on up at the front of the plane. Hit play above. [via Freakonomics]
How to Figure Out What You Want to Do with Your Life After University
Many of you may have recently graduated from university, in which case, congratulations! Now you have to figure out what you want to do with the rest of your time — whether you want to travel the world, further your degree, immediately jump into the job market, or do something entirely different. This Quora thread is full of valuable life advice and tips to help you decide what exactly you want to do, if you're not totally sure on it yourself. For example, some of the advice is a little more inspirational:
You can't. But you don't have to. There is nothing to figure out. There is only a life that needs to be lived. This isn't an answer you can logically come up with, because it's something that emerges from who you are and where you are from, and emergence takes patience. Passion is dedication and focus driven by an emotion. If you're not feeling it — if the emotion hasn't emerged — you're simply not ready. Sometimes you just need to wait for your life to figure out what to do with you, and not the other way around. But that doesn't mean you have no control. It means, you will get what you deserve, when you deserve it. And that answer will emerge. The answer is your reward.
To some more concrete tips and suggestions for types of jobs based on your personality type and particular interests. Either way, if you're wondering "well, what now?" it's worth a read. [via Quora]
The Blind Astronomer of Nova Scotia
Imagine being legally blind, but being in a unique position that actually allows you to see some things better than everyone else in the world. Now imagine those things are the stars and the night sky. That's life for astronomer Tim Doucette, says Neatorama:
Tim Doucette only has ten per cent of his vision, but strangely, he can see better in the dark. Since his pupils do not dilate and constrict, too much light gets in during the daylight hours. Yet he can see stars in the night sky better than most people can. So it only made sense that he would study those stars. As a result, he appreciates the beauty of the stars in a cosmic way. Doucette considers his ability a gift, even though he pays quite a price for that gift in the rest of his life.
Now I'm not just a fan of this because I have family in Nova Scotia or because I too love Astronomy (and have a degree in it, to boot) but because Doucette is in a position that's both difficult but enviable. He can see the beauty of the night sky in a way that none of us can really appreciate, but at the same time we can see the world in a way that he can't. His appreciation for the beauty of the night sky is really something to behold, though. Get inspired. Have a great week. [via Neatorama]
That's all for this week. If you have thought-provoking stories, interesting podcasts or eye-opening videos, share them in the comments below!