On the present moment

 

Never, in peace or war, commit your virtue or your happiness to the future. Happy work is best done by the man who takes his long-term plans somewhat lightly and works from moment to moment “as to the Lord.” It is only our daily bread that we are encouraged to ask for. The present is the only time in which any duty can be done or any grace received.

From The Weight of Glory, CS Lewis

Poem 1391, E. Dickinson

They might not need me but – they might – I’ll let my Head be just in sight – A smile as small as mine might be Precisely their necessity.

the solution isn’t better websites, it’s better humans

Evan DeFilippis, interested in everything

I think a lot of these answers miss the point of the question. The real issue isn’t that there is a paucity of useful webpages on the internet, it’s that taking advantage of those webpages is difficult. What does it say about human beings that we really can get an Ivy League education for free online but nearly nobody does it? The coursera attrition rates are so phenomenal that it makes the completion rates look like round-off errors. We live in an attention-deficit culture, and the solution isn’t better websites, it’s better humans.

In view of spending your time more effectively, I suggest the following tips.

Completely cut Facebook, Reddit, Twitter, and any other social sites out of your life. If you are unable to do this, strictly regulate your time spent on the site to 30 minutes to an hour each day. You can download chrome extensions to help you with this, like: StayFocusd. I cannot emphasize enough how much these sites ruin your life. Everyone always comes to the defense of these sites with excuses like, “well, I keep in touch with my high school friends and relatives overseas” or “Twitter is how I keep up with the news”, or “there are really good specialized subreddits for learning neat things.”. Yet when you look at a distribution of how people actually allocate their time, nearly none of it is spent doing the very things that people point to when they need to justify their behavior. It’s always just mindless scrolling, cat videos, the first twenty seconds of a really neat lecture, and so on.

Practice Efficient Procrastination – If you need time to recharge in between difficult activities, find outlets in which you can still develop as a person. For me, that’s chess. I’ll play a couple games of Blitz in between projects to recharge, and at the same time, I’m not watching cat videos. For other people it might be practicing an instrument, or reading a book, or drawing.

To-Do Lists- There may be nothing more nightmarishly effective than a to-do list. Write down what you have to do, prioritize by difficulty, and be excruciatingly detailed in your list. Don’t get fancy, don’t use Evernote or some Chrome Extension, just use paper and pen. Don’t write, “Finish research paper on gun violence.” Write, “Write one page on the relationship between guns and suicides.” The smaller, more discrete the tasks, the more superable they become. Plan how you are going to efficiently procrastinate in between the tasks. Write, “play chess”, “watch a Noam Chomsky lecture”, “learn how to draw Dragons,” and so forth in between big tasks.

My brother told me that when you have your first kid, you will be amazed at how much time you can find to raise him, irrespective of how busy you are. When you don’t plan your time, you fail to take advantage of opportunities that arise, and you go for the path of least resistance– which happens to be AngryBirds and cats.

Who Cares? Next time you are about to post something to Facebook, or watch a funny video, or read a blog post, ask yourself: Who cares? If something isn’t helping you to become a better you, don’t waste your time. Today I read a 800 word article about Slavoj Zizek being a bad guy because he doesn’t like office hours and hates reading student’s papers. I was baited into reading the article by the title, and subsequently hated myself after reading it. The article just didn’t matter. Nothing productive could possibly come from reading or writing it. I have found myself knee-deep in an hour long compilation of Vines, and twenty minutes in, I have to do a reality check: This shit literally does not matter. The world would be a better place if all of it just went away. What possible value could there be spending all your time mindlessly consuming things 7 second videos? It doesn’t even make you happier or leave you feeling content or satisfied. So always be asking yourself– “who cares?” If what your doing right now doesn’t pass that test, just stop doing it.

ngayon

Ngayon ang simula ng hiram mong buhay
Ngayon ang daigdig mo’y bata at makulay
Ngayon gugulin mo nang tam’at mahusay,
Bawat saglit at sandali
Magsikap ka’t magpunyagi
Maging aral bawat mali

Ngayon bago ito ay maging kahapon 
Ang pagkakataon sana’y huwag itapon
Ikaw, tulad ko rin ay may dapithapon,
Baka ika’y mapalingon
Sa nagdaang bawat ngayon
Nasayang lang na panahon

Ituring mong kahapo’y waring panaginip lang
Ang bukas, pangitain n’yang ganda’y sa isip lang,
Kung bawat ngayon mo sa ‘yo ay (laging) sulit lang
Kayganda ng buhay ngayon

Sa buhay mong hiram
Mahigpit man ang kapit 
May bukas na sa yo’y di na rin sasapit 
Ngunit kung bawat ngayo’y dakila mong nagamit
Masasabi mong kahit na
Ang bukas, di sumapit pa
Ang naabot mo’y langit na

Ituring mong kahapo’y waring panaginip lang
Ang bukas, pangitain n’yang ganda’y sa isip lang,
Kung bawat ngayon mo sa ‘yo ay (laging) sulit lang
Kayganda ng buhay
Bukas mo’y matibay
Dahil ang sandiga’y ngayon

Ituring mong kahapo’y waring panaginip lang
Ang bukas, pangitain n’yang ganda’y sa isip lang,
Kung bawat ngayon mo sa ‘yo ay (laging) sulit lang
Kayganda ng buhay
Bukas mo’y matibay
Dahil ang sandiga’y ngayon

enigma on the letter H

Catherine Fanshawe

Twas whispered in heaven & muttered in hell,
And Echo caught softly the sound as it fell.
In the confines of Earth twas permitted to rest,
And the depths of the ocean its presence confest.
Twas seen in the lightning & heard in the thunder,
T’will be found in the sphere when driven asunder.
Twas given to man with his earliest breath.
It assists at his birth and attends him at death.
Presided o’er his happiness, honour, and health,
Tis the prop of his house & the end of his wealth,
It begins every hope every wish it must bound,
And though unassuming with monarchs is found.
In the heaps of the miser tis hoarded with care,
But is sure to be lost in the prodigal heir,
Without it the soldier & sailor may roam,
But woe to the wretch that repels it from home.
In the whispers of conscience its voice will be found,
Nor ere in the whirlwind of passion be drowned,
It softens the heart & though deaf to the ear,
Twill make it acutely and instantly hear,
But in the shades let it rest like an elegant flower,
Oh! breathe on it softly it dies in an hour.

greek meatballs

http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20140418/jackson-heights/opa-greek-meatballs-make-perfect-easter-feast-for-family

1-1/2 lbs. ground beef (better lamb if you can get it)
1/4 cup mint leaves chopped (better fresh)
2 tbs. oregano chopped (better fresh)
Zest of a lemon
1/2 cup olives chopped (green, black or mixed)
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 red onion finely chopped
1 tbs. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes (or more if you like it hot)
2 tsp. kosher or sea salt
1 tsp. cracked black pepper
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 egg
1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
Olive oil

For the yogurt-mint sauce:
1 cup Greek yogurt
Zest and juice of one lemon
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
Feta, crumbled and more herbs for garnish
Rice, cooked

DIRECTIONS:

1. Combine all of the meatball ingredients (including half the garlic) well in a large mixing bowl. Form the meatballs (a heaping spoonful should make balls about 1.5 ounces each).

2. Heat a large pot on medium heat. When it is warm, add olive oil to coat the bottom. Add half the meatballs, keeping a good amount of space between them. Brown well on one side and then flip over to brown the other side. When both sides are brown, give the pot a shake or two to brown the rest of the meatball surfaces. Turn the heat down to medium low to avoid smoking.

3. When the meatballs are nicely browned, put them on a plate and repeat with the rest.

4. When the second half of the meatballs is finished, add the other half of the garlic, the crushed tomatoes and 1 tsp. of cumin, scraping the browned bits off the bottom of the pan and combining well. Add the meatballs again, drizzle in some olive oil, season with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Then turn the heat down to low. Cook with lid slightly open for about an hour. Shake the pot and scrape the bottom every once in a while to prevent burning.

5. Meanwhile, make your rice.

6. Combine the yogurt sauce ingredients and reserve.

7. The meatballs are done when the tomato sauce has thickened. Serve on top of some rice. Spoon yogurt sauce on top and then crumble feta over. Garnish with herbs and some olive oil.