Three Good Things: Experiments in Theater, Workspace, and on the Home Front

 

1. Page to Stage.

 Hebbel am Ufer, an experimental theater group based in Berlin, has taken on a 24-hour-performance-project of adapting David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest, not just for the stage, but for the city of Berlin. Slate's Aaron Wiener writes: "This isn’t entertainment in the traditional sense. It’s Wallace-style capital-E Entertainment, whose primary purpose isn’t to bring enjoyment—though it can be enjoyable—but to captivate, to incapacitate, like the novel’s deadly eponymous film whose viewers are so thoroughly entertained that they cease to eat, drink, sleep and, eventually, live."

Read more.

 

2. Getting Out More.

 There's a general consensus, when it comes to the myth of the productive writer, that one can only battle writer's block in a Kaczynski-chic cabin with a fifth of whiskey. I'm not saying that that doesn't sound like fun, but a new study from the Journal of Consumer Research suggests that the moderate commotion of, say, a crowded coffee shop actually boosts creativity. It has something to do with the mind's natural response to distraction--or perhaps it is the by-product of fighting distraction--it's very scientific. Read the article in The Atlantic

 

3. Building a Child's (digital) Library.

 Every year it gets more and more difficult for books to compete for a child's attention. These aren't the green-slime evils of Nickelodeon anymore, friends, kids have their own iPads and those iPads have Angry Birds. Here are some great tips for re-purposing those touch screens as e-readers in a productive way. I love that the second tip is "co-reading," that is, reading with your child. We may find entertaining substitutes for a good book, but there's no substitute for story time, just the two of you.