Many regions have started recommending, or even requiring, that citizens use face masks when leaving their homes. If you’re curious why we’re now being told to wear a face mask when, previously, we were told not to (unless we were sick), this Sci-Show video explains why:
I’m a runner, and I found it difficult to run with a mask. The main reason is that I run with glasses or sunglasses (otherwise I can’t see where I’m going), and my glasses fog up with a mask on.
I tested a workaround for this, this morning, and it seems to work:
The key is to tape the top of the mask to your face. I used a surgical tape that I bought at a local pharmacy. Just don’t use the very sticky type, it can be a bit painful when you remove it afterwards.
Making a mask
If you’re looking for tips on making a mask at home, here are a couple links to get you started:
I found myself exploring Notion as an Evernote alernative again, yesterday. I looked at it briefly about a year ago, and it didn’t seem like something that was worth switching to at the time. After all, I’ve been using Evernote for years, and given how much I was using Evernote, I wasn’t sure that investing in a new service was worth it.
My prompt to explore Notion originated in my thoughts about my Dungeons and Dragons adventure notes, and my curiosity about it as a possible replacement for my handwritten notes (handwritten notes leave me feeling a little twitchy because there aren’t any backups).
I found a couple great discussions online about the tools that other DMs use for their adventures. Popular options include OneNote, Evernote, a number of services designed for role-playing games, and Google Drive.
I found a couple discussions about Notion as an option, too. One reddit user posted an intriguing Notion page template that they use for their adventure notes.
What I like about Notion
There’s a lot to like about Notion. It uses blocks, much like the WordPress Editor, to insert different types of content into your pages. Evernote supports some options, but my inability to add media from other sources (or even, in some cases, directly), feels somewhat limiting when I want to create richer notes.
For example, my options for adding content in the Evernote Web editor (probably on the leading edge of where the editor is going) look like this:
By contrast, I can embed a YouTube video in Notion much like I can do this in WordPress:
I keep mentioning the WordPress editor. The reason for the comparisons is that I really like using the block editor to add different types of content to my posts and pages. It’s a remarkably flexible editor that gives anyone the ability to create some really interesting, and complex layouts, pretty easily.
Some of the other Notion features that I enjoy, and that I’d love to see in Evernote (or any similar service I use) include –
Support for Markdown;
The ability to link to individual blocks on a page;
The option to create a wide variety of page types, including simpler databases that I could refer back to later in other pages; and
Frankly, Notion is cheaper than Evernote (almost $20 a year cheaper relative to the Evernote Premium plan that I’m on).
I also like how easy it is to import my notebooks from Evernote into Notion. I ran a test import of my DnD notebook, and it generated a really handy index page with links to the individual “notes” (or sub-pages):
Room for improvement
All that said, moving to Notion isn’t an easy decision. For one thing, Notion lacks the powerful search features that Evernote has. Evernote will not only search your notes’ text, it also does OCR-based searches on your note attachments.
I also use the Evernote add-on for Gmail to quickly archive emails that I want to refer to down the line. I don’t see a similar option for Notion, or even an email address that I can forward emails to.
A small issue that I noticed is that I also can’t change the storage location for Notion on my Android device. I made the mistake of buying a phone with 32GB of storage, so space on the device is at a premium.
Not being able to move the app’s storage to the SD card on the phone is a challenge.
Can Notion replace Evernote (for me)?
Currently, I’m not sure. I still want to spend more time experimenting with Notion, and may use it to create my next DnD adventure as a sort of “real life” test.
The search feature limitation is, well, a limitation. I add PDFs to my notes because I want to reference them later. Many of them are already searchable, so not being able to tap into the text that’s there already isn’t ideal.
Now is the time to embrace what work-from-home parents learned long ago — it’s not about winning; it’s about striving for the bronze. This is a perfect time to finally recognize how much you’ve been trained to perform parenting. To design a cozy little reading nook so your Instagram followers can see it and grudgingly approve. To bake your vegan muffins (and take a photo) or pack your kids’ bento boxes (and take a photo) or set out art supplies in a scattered but not too scattered way, if you catch my drift (and then definitely take a photo). To head into the woods and make flower crowns or whatever the fuck it is you’ve been doing out there. Give. It. All. Up. It’s time to take this parade float and strip it down to four wheels, a floor, and a functioning steering wheel. It’s time to be basic.
Perfection is utterly unrealistic. Most of the time, we’re trying not to take drastic measures just so we can continue working, and earning an income while so many are losing theirs.
I certainly find the new distance learning situation challenging. I don’t want our kids to lose months of progress because we’re increasingly confined to our homes.
At the same time, I don’t have the time I’d like to have to sit with them, and guide them through their lessons (or other learning materials). For me, it’s work as usual, and I have my days planned out between customer support shifts, and virtual meetings with my colleagues.
I certainly don’t have the time to cook nutritious meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I mostly just want to check that our kids have eaten something decent every meal during the day (and my wife has been cooking some amazing dinners in the evenings). You won’t see any Instagram gems from me there.
So, if you’re working from home, and trying to grab moments of sanity, while feeling guilty that you’re not winning any prizes as a parent, you’re not the only one. Let’s just strive for that bronze medal, maybe.
The speed at which many schools have closed, and kids and educators have had to switch to distance learning platforms have caused quite a bit of frustration, especially for parents overwhelmed with the sudden influx of messages.
Here’s a funny (and true) rant from an Israeli mother who found herself overwhelmed by the flood of messages on WhatsApp, and expectations from teachers that she (and we) be able to fill the gap left by in-person learning.
The Internet can be a tremendous distance learning platform. It just takes some planning to deliver a more rational, and accessible distance learning system.
I’ve been curious about the Brave browser for a little while now, and I’ve switched to Brave for any Chromium-based browser stuff I do (testing, browsing on sites that don’t support Firefox, and so on).
Specifically, the study examined the browsers’ sending of data—including unique identifiers and details related to typed URLs—that could be used to track users over time. The findings put the browsers into three categories with Brave getting the highest ranking, Chrome, Firefox, and Safari receiving a medium ranking, and Edge and Yandex lagging behind the rest.
Update (2020-03-19): It seems that I read our Health Ministry’s restrictions a little too restrictively. For the time being, it seems to be possible to get out for a run, even if it should probably be closer to home to limit the risk of exposure to other people.
As with many other countries, Israel is slowly locking down cities in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19. Although this seems to be a good strategy to slow the growing pandemic, it’s also unfortunately disrupting exercise routines, too.
I’ve been running again for a few months now, and I feel like I’m growing stronger as a runner. I ran about five and a half kilometers this morning as part of my Garmin coaching program, and I was looking forward to two more runs later this week (including a roughly eight kilometer run).
Today our Health Ministry forbade any non-essential excursions out of home, and only allows 10 minutes of outdoors exercise a day allows limited outdoors exercise time (no more than five two people, and you need to remain two meters away from each other). 😭
Exercise around a lockdown
Still, I want to make the most of the time I have available, so I’ve started mapping out roughly two kilometer routes that I can run in around 10 minutes nearby routes.
Instead of running longer distances three or four times a week, I’m going to aim to run for 10 minutes a day, and just treat these runs as speed training exercises (or something like that).
It’s certainly better than nothing, and I can’t just stop after all the effort I’ve been putting in the last few months. If I can increase my pace, I should be able to run around 12 to 14 kilometers a week.
Pausing my Garmin coaching program
I found out that I can also pause my Garmin coaching program that I’ve been following. To do that, you –
open Garmin Connect,
open the Garmin Coach panel,
tap on the three dots in the top right corner, and
It’s a little ironic that this coronavirus is undermining our efforts to remain healthy, and become fitter. At the same time, runners can become infected too, so we adapt, and do our part to help stem the spread of this virus.
Other opportunities to remain fit
In the meantime, I also want to take the opportunity to work on my core strength. I don’t use a gym (and couldn’t go now, even if I did), so I’ve been collecting videos with exercise options that I can probably do at home:
Do you do any core strength exercises at home that you can share? Let me know in the comments below?
One of the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic is that more people find themselves needing to work remotely after having worked in a more conventional office environment for most of their careers.
Shifting to remote work can be a little disconcerting. Fortunately there are substantial resources to help you work productively, remotely.
Automattic is a totally distributed company, and we have some expertise in how to make this work. As a starting point, take a look at these posts from members of our team: