The Good Stuff: Implicit Bias, Birds That Glow, and The World's Most Beautiful Toilet

Happy Friday, folks! Any fun plans for the weekend? This last month or so has been a whirlwind/absolute nightmare, so I'm planning on some much-needed catch up time with friends.

I've compiled a list of all the best links from the web for ya.  Because you need a break.  Because it's Friday.  Enjoy.  ;)

How to design your home based upon your zodiac sign (mine is pretty much already dead on!)

What is an "untouchable day" and why do you need one?

Speak up!  "Your silence serves no one."

This photo-series of forgotten places makes me want to go off the grid.

The wild stories behind the world's rarest colors. 

This astronaut brought her son to a photoshoot and it's absolutely adorable. 

A tribute to girl scout roots

A cat bed to beat all cat beds.

I just finished So You Want To Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo and while that book was hard AF (see my review on goodreads here), it did get me thinking more about implicit bias

A new typeface that merges braille with visible letters might make braille more accessible for all readers. 

This Phantom of the Opera beatbox is insane. 

The tea lover's guide to Hong Kong. Alright....take me back! 

A patient at the Heidelberg Psychiatric Clinic during the 1890s embroidered her straight jacket, creating a powerful item and a unique piece of art. 

Take me to the colorful village of Guatape! 

If you're like me you talk about food guilt as a way to bond with other people.  Here's why we need to stop doing that. 

Nature is reclaiming this abandoned Chinese fishing village and it is beautiful. 

Why do some birds glow under black light?

Let's hear it for good sportsmanship. 

Hardcore porridge. How to eat breakfast like a 17th century Swedish satanist. 

This Thai treat is so smooth it's name translates as "I forgot I swallowed" and well, let's just say my interest in piqued. 

Of course Norway has the most beautiful public toilet


The Good Stuff: Maps on Maps on Maps, an Aurora Named Steve, and Some Radically Unusual Caterpillars

It's not often that I sit down long enough to watch anything on TV and when I do it's usually just something quick on Netflix, but this week I got hooked on a new show called Abstract: The Art of Design (I can't recommend it enough!). The episode that really hooked me was about architect Bjarke Ingels and the work he's done, but the episode that made me have an absolute moment of joy featured Paula Scher, a graphic designer who also paints .....MAPS.  The inspiration I felt from her episode could not have come at a more perfect time as I wait to hear back about whether I got into the grad school I have applied for. I'm hoping to get in so I can get my Master's in GIS (geographic information systems) and then who knows! Maybe one day I'll be making maps, too!

Now, enjoy some good stuff to get you over the hump into the weekend!

Veinous Blood Red. Broccoli Brown. Smoke Grey.  The forgotten color language of 19th-century naturalists.  

Your brain on plants: Amazon's new corporate biodome

I just love that this book features an illustrated blob fish

In praise of the mundane, unquantifiable, impractical activities that feed creative work and fill life with meaning.

Mapping literary worlds

Some thoughts on work-life balance

Studies link intellectual humility with openness to other viewpoints. 

This article really sums up why I struggle with text messages (and other contextless forms of communication). 

Radically unusual caterpillars

I just discovered Tea.O.Graphy and I'm quite smitten with it. 

More reasons to get outside: What working in a dark office may do to your brain

A meteorite encrusted with diamonds. 

Eastern Europe's Walt Disney

The art of Kip Omolade is completely blowing my mind....

....Even more mind-blowing: this photo of a single atom

Sign me up for one of each of these après-ski cocktails (Lake Tahoe I'm looking at you!)

Awesome flora and fauna street art murals by Amok Island.

The coolest (and weirdest) things people have found tucked between the pages of books.

A-frame cabins, be still my heart. 

These women are breaking traveling stereotypes and setting world records.

You have to check out these 37 Native American artists

A pilgrimage to an ancient......penis monastery

This photographer is capturing the last remaining Muslim women with facial tattoos.

Amateur scientists discovered a new type of Aurora.  It's purple and they named it Steve.


The Good Stuff: Signs of Creative Resistance at The 2018 Women's March, Obama's Playlist, and All My Library Love

January is almost over.  Can I get an AMEN?!

I shouldn't complain because it has been a truly amazing month, but good grief I need winter to slow its roll.  The good news is I'm feeling the angles of the sun changing ever so slightly and the days getting ever so slightly longer and it makes me feel glad.  Spring will soon be on its way. Okay, maybe not that soon..... but let a girl be hopeful!

Now, BOOM. Good Stuff.  Read it. Love it. Share it. 

Oh, and don't forget! All Valentines and custom glassware are currently 10% off in the shop through February 8th! Hurryyyyyyyy!!!

Signs of creative resistance at the 2018 Women's March.

It's long past Christmas, but I couldn't help but include what happens when major architects design gingerbread houses

Obama's favorite tunes. 

Predict the new year with the Swedish tradition of årsgång.  

Then there is this glorious deep sea jelly

Must visit! This little town in New York has a population of fewer than 500 people, but (count 'em!) 5 indie books stores.

In defense of keeping arts in the schools:  What does learning look like? A well-tuned orchestra in your head! 

Building stronger communities through the arts

Oh heyyyyy! Pour me another matcha!  A study shows that tea drinkers may be more creative!

Who was Selma Burke? If you look at a dime, you can see a piece of her work! (hint: she was an outstanding African American sculptor whose work is usually mis-credited to white men). 

You might think an article about Ecuadoran fungi would be boring, but if you click through to check out the pictures (and you don't want to miss the video!), you would be sorely mistaken. The beauty boggles the mind. NEATURE! It's pretty neat! :D   --there's more where that came from! Check out my Nature Blowing My Mind pinboard here

My (not-so-hidden) inner goth kid LOVES this home in San Fran. 

I just followed this Insta account featuring itty bitty paintings on tea bags.

A hallway turned into a library. I am obsessed

The Inuit woman who survived the arctic alone.  Talk about Girl Power. 

The arsenic-laden "Shadows From The Walls Of Death" should not be touched without gloves. 

Cartography nerds, come explore the earliest known map of the world

Walking as creative fuel. 


The Good Stuff: New Years Resolutions, Music-Playing Plants, and Friluftsliv (read on to learn what it means!)

It's January 2nd and you know what that means...

New Year's Resolutions are back. 

Yep. Time to take a second or two to feel bad about all the Christmas cookies you jammed into your belly or the less than kind words you uttered to Uncle Bob about his political idiocy and to proclaim a New You! 

If it sounds like I'm jaded it's because, well.... I am. 

I usually forgo resolutions.  I tend to see them as a way to just make yourself feel worse about things that will inevitably fall by the wayside.  

Upon reviewing my attitude this year, however, I came to a realization. (Because while I'm a turd about them, it doesn't mean I don't always consider what my resolutions would be. Hypothetically. If I were to make them.) And yes, this year even I decided to make a resolution.

My 2018 resolution is to 

forgive myself more

I am so hard on myself.  I bully myself daily about my weight or my income or my relationship status (or lack thereof).  I compare myself to all my "successful" friends who own homes and have happy marriages and work meaningful careers.  And I need to stop.  I need to give myself a break.  I'm doing the best I can every day, and that needs to be okay.  

So I, Britta, hereby declare this will be a year of self-forgiveness.  I'm excited and hopeful about it.  


And then, of course, never to be forgotten, I have some awesome stuff for you to click on!  Happy New Year, friends!

What music-playing plants can teach us about consciousness. 

13 wonderful libraries and the old treasures that lie within. 

That is friluftsliv, and what Sweden can teach us about parenting and the outdoors. 

A little belated, but I dig The New York Public Library's most festive cartographic treasures

I am so smitten by this building's exterior!

100 gorgeous resin skulls in Melbourne. 

This stunning rare blue moth was recently hasn't been spotted for 130 years! 

On neuroaesthetics, or the productive activity of looking at art

Ancient women were strong AF

A Plant Truck?! I've gotta visit!

The best places to visit, nature-lovers edition. 

How to organize your book collection your way. 

You don't have to ask me twice--I'm always down to hit the slopes!  If you're not so easily convinced, here are the mental benefits of skiing.  


The Good Stuff: The Art of Being Alone, A Visit to Teakettle Junction, and The Most Glorious Cactus Paintings EVER

Oh my gosh, you guys. Can you even believe it's December?! This year... I'm tellin' ya.

We are officially neck deep in the holiday season.  Bert+Lou Holiday cards are fully stocked, I'm planning on making some cookies on my next day off, and may even hit up the local Christkindl market this weekend (bonus points for festivity if it snows like they say it's supposed to!).  I'm making it a real point to take time to do things that bring me joy this year.  Last Christmas I was an emotional wreck (recent traumatic breakup, a forced move, majorly crushed ego, badly missed my sister, a beloved pet died, etc...), so my goal is to enjoy the season a little more this time around. That means more cookies, more self-care spa nights, more Motown and N*SYNC Christmas songs, and more spending time with people I genuinely love being around.

What are you doing to get in the spirit? 

I am absolutely OBSESSED with these tattoos by Pony Reinhardt.  Do you think I should finally get my otter tattoo?

Need to visit: In Catalonia, a church becomes a place of artistic pilgrimage.

The value of being alone.  The art of being alone

The art of the Japanese teapot

I struggle almost daily with the knowledge that I currently don't and might not ever want/have children.  I've found a bit of reassurance here and here. (You can find a more extreme example here.)

There is an actual grasshopper in this Van Gogh painting!

An art historian's insightful views into the depiction of tattoos in Japanese art and culture. 

The Wing's Lady Library

Seriously dreamy: The best cabin getaways

THIS swoon-worthy chandelier that I NEED but that is so far out of my budget (sobs internally).

Starbucks is releasing a special addition juniper latte that sounds either amazing or repulsive, I can't decide.  What do you think??

For the first time in U.S. history, women are better educated than their husbands.  BOOYA.

A holiday survival guide for introverts. 

The art of hand-painted ski maps

I'd love to make a trip to Death Valley's Tea Kettle Junction!

I can't even begin to fathom the process required to create these towering cactus paintings