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Zen Habits

By Leo Babauta

My Unusual $100,000 Birthday Present (Plus: Free Round-Trip Anywhere in the World)

Soon 33 years young. I’ll be back on the playa in August for Burning Man. 33. I’ll turn a glorious 33 this weekend. It’s going to be a great natal year–I can already feel it. Repeating numbers (born in ‘77) are good luck.

Ten Big Mistakes #4: Blaming Others for Challenges

Along my financial journey in life, I made a great number of mistakes. In this ten part series which runs from July 19 to July 30, I’m going to focus on ten of my worst mistakes and the difficulties and successes I’ve had in overcoming those mistakes. I blamed others for the challenges in my life. If you want to find scapegoats in your life, almost everyone can find a lot of them.

"Flirting, Watching Clips from Broadway Shows and Nature Documentaries, and Reminding Myself to 'Suck It Up and Deal With It Now

Happiness interview: Natasha Vargas-Cooper. My love for all things Twilight, books and movies, both fascinates and puzzles me. Obedient to my Personal Commandment to "Be Gretchen," I wear my passion on my sleeve, and so last year, a movie-critic friend emailed me to say, "Hey, I know you love Twilight stuff.

Sculptures (Composition 1,2,3)

We want to point your attention to our Ikea-related project: The idea was to build "artworks" which are replicable at a moderate cost by everyone by following the instructions we provide. The sculptures were exhibited at the "Museo Cantonalde d'Arte" in Lugano, Switzerland. See more here. ~ Andreas Gysin, Sidi Vanetti

Is Your Job Board a Fast Food Meal or a Fine Dining Experience?

I know I’m still new to the world of freelancing, but I’m quickly learning that not all of the job boards are created equally.  In my experience, they seem to share a lot of the same qualities that can be found in the restaurant industry. Elance.com is the McDonalds of freelancing.  It’s cheap, it’s convenient, it’s not really bad for you – but it’s not somewhere you want to go o

Old bathroom, small restoration

Materials: Voxnan Description: I liked the idea of renovating my old bathroom inexpensively, so after whitewashed walls and made some minor technical editing, I thought I should have reused my old series VOXNAN. With a jar of decoupage fund, a gel for crackling effect, one of flatting, glittering leaves and a brush, I repainted the mirror and the cabinet.

Apple’s Patent on Destroying Productivity

Apple has a patent for displaying ads in an operating system. Basically, ads would pop up and prevent you from doing work every once in awhile.  The patent shows a mechanism where the ads could be delayed for 10 minutes or you could view one immediately so it won’t interrupt you for a bit longer. What do you think?

How The Brain Benefits From Musical Training

How musical training helps you judge emotions based on shifts in vocal pitch.

Know Your Icons Part 1 – A Brief History of Computer Icons

Illustration of 20 years of Mac and Windows computer icons.

Uncluttering and trade-offs

I tend to view the world through the eyes of an economist. When I make a decision — small or large — I typically do a cost-benefit analysis first. I know that the world isn’t dichotomous, and that there are unlimited shades of gray, but I still tend to weigh all my decisions as trade-offs.

Reader Mailbag: Lemon Sour

What’s inside? Here are the questions answered in today’s reader mailbag, boiled down to five word summaries. Click on the number to jump straight down to the question. 1. Handling house sale proceeds 2. Helping a declining parent 3. Chasing a dream 4. Moving forward with bad policy 5. Spending choices on children 6. Cashing out stock options 7. Who is Trent politically? 8. Soda 9.

Books for Freelance Translators

There are plenty of books written with freelance writers and freelance designers in mind, but there are certainly other types of freelancers working on building a career.

Assorted links for July 22, 2010

Interesting products and articles related to uncluttering and organizing: Not the fastest reader of online content? Want to improve your speed and efficiency?

Is It Time To Quit Your Day Job?

This post is from staff writer Sierra Black. Sierra writes about frugality, sustainable living, and getting her kids to eat kale at Childwild.com. (It’s also her birthday today.) Who doesn’t dream of quitting their day job?

10 Life Lessons Learned in Grade School

Grade school was an impressionable time for everyone. It’s when we became immersed into a mini-society, learning valuable life lessons that have remained through adulthood. If you think about it, many comparisons can be made between life in grade school and life in the real world. For example, back then, we had to learn to coexist with our peers – for better or for worse.