Saturday, January 19, 2008

Power nap

"Post-industrial society has an ambivalent attitude to sleep....[N]apping has been proved by scientisrts to have a revitalizing effect, but has so far failed to become part of the standard working day in Britain, where sleeping at work is still viewed as a sign of laziness. The Japanese have no such difficulty with the contradiction....There is a formalized napping ritual in Japan, which avoids the taint of indolence altogether by giving this form of sleep a different name, which may not mean the same thing as real sleep: 'inemura' is practised anywhere at any time, even during meetings. 'The Office Pillow' for sleeping at your desk has a spry and purposeful design. The brilliant inflatable mouse-pad for dream-surfing remains only a mouse-pad. In this way, 'inemura,' or power-napping, turns out to be the opposite of powerless napping, even though that is what it is." —Hugo Williams, "Freelance," TLS, January 18, 2008

Friday, January 18, 2008

Sometimes we feel like this

Originally appeared alongside this.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Shout out punch lines?

"In some offices, workers coordinate their midday Web-watching schedules, the better to shout out punch lines to one another across rows of desks. Some people gravitate to sites where they can reliably find Webcasts of a certain length — say, a three-minute political wrap-up — to minimize both their mouse clicks and the sandwich crumbs that wind up in the keyboard." —New York Times

Thursday, January 3, 2008

'Ghost' writer

Usually, the literati who turn up in Sunday's "The City" section of the NY Times are writing guest essays about their charming (or wretched) metropolitan lives, but Ed Park wound up as a profile subject when his role as the publisher of the New-York Ghost newsletter was officially revealed. Each issue of the zine, containing "an assortment of stream-of-consciousness prose, whimsical poems, dream transcripts and archival illustrations," is sent to subscribers by e-mail as a PDF file. If sample articles like "One-Word Review: Hilarious" feel a bit McSweeney's, perhaps that's to be expected: One of Park's many current gigs is on the editorial staff of The Believer. (His first novel, Personal Days, is due from Random House next May.)
—Galleycat, Nov. 26, 2007