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Pick the Brain

By John Wesley

A Man’s Guide to Sweaters

A quality sweater that properly fits is one of the most flattering garments a man can wear.  It adds weight to a skinny physique and streamlines a large figure. Functionally it keeps you warm while style wise it can break up the monotonous wearing of dress shirts and slacks to the office.

Vocation, Career, and Job

Vocation. Career. Job. Three different things that so often seem to overlap in our minds. However, when we let them overlap, we lose something valuable in the translation. A job is simply any situation where you are paid in exchange for your labor. Nothing more, nothing less.

Almost a Mandal Wall hack

Materials: BODÖ bed (not on the US page), Malm storage unit x2, Lack wall shelf (any size you choose) and a battery drill with bits and drills. Description: I where greatly inspired by the Mandal Wall-mounted headboard (see here and here), but thought it was too expensive.

"Sleeping Buddy" Zoo

Materials: Ikea double wall shelves (can't remember name), wooden dowels Description: Cut wooden dowels to 13" lengths. Bore shallow holes the size of dowel (I used 7/16") every 6 inches along ends and one long side of shelf, on top and bottom piece. Insert dowels into holes in bottom and attach side braces. Attach top piece, guiding top ends of dowels into pre-bored holes.

Freelance Camp and other Conferences for Freelancers

A few months ago a friend and I jumped on the ferry and took a day trip to beautiful Vancouver, BC, Canada, to experience our first ever Freelance Camp.  The event was touted as a chance for freelancers, entrepreneurs, business owners, and anyone interested in learning more about freelancing to discuss ways to start, expand, or improve their business.

"The Effort to Conceal Secrets Can Be a Burden That Leaves Less Room for Happiness."

Happiness interview: Frank Warren. For years, I've been a huge fan of Frank Warren's work, PostSecret. It's a community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously, on one side of a postcard, and on the site, you can read what people have posted.

Reader Mailbag: The Millennium Trilogy

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. Donating to charities through businesses 2. Advanced board game recommendations 3. School or buy a house? 4. Rapid car loan payoff 5. Dealing with parental yearning 6. Life is not a test 7.

Meet the 2010 Fellows

Wondering who won the 2010 MacArthur Grants? David Simon, Jason Moran, Jorge Pardo, Matthew Carter & more.

The Value of an Hour of Work

How much does one hour of work actually contribute to our country's GDP? You might be surprised (and disheartened).

4,100 Students Prove ‘Small Is Better’ Rule Wrong

Are small schools necessarily better? Maybe not.

30 Ways to Make TV Watching More Productive

Ideas from folding laundry to flossing.

Messy Organization

Not all organization effort is equal. Just because you organize something, doesn’t mean it is going to make you any more productive. If you pay attention to the cost benefit of organization, you can keep from wasting time and focus on efforts that are actually beneficial. Lets talk about silverware as an example.

Your Freelance Office: 6 Places to Beat the Heat

It’s officially fall, but for much of my country, it’s still hot! If your freelance business is based in a home office you may be trying to work in unseasonable heat or humidity. Without air conditioning, slaving away over a hot laptop can be rough.

Exercise and focus

When you’re in a rush, behind schedule, or distracted, you’re more likely to make errors than when you are relaxed and attentive in the present. I’ve made mistakes when my mind has been running out of control — I’ve found my keys in the refrigerator, I’ve driven the wrong way down a one-way street, and typos have made their way onto the Unclutterer homepage.

How to Use a Commitment Contract to Change Your Habits

This is a guest post from Pop at Pop Economics, a great new blog about investing, personal finance, economics, and more. It’s now 9pm on August 30th. I’ll finish this guest post by 11:59pm on August 31. I know this, because if I don’t, I’ll lose $1,000. Call it an incentive.