Keeping Calm in a World of Chaos

As the daily stresses and strains of our everyday lives nibble away at our sanity, it is important to take stock, to step back if for a moment, and refocus. It is all too easy to become enveloped, too wrapped up in whatever eats away at us. It’s also very common to take these challenges home with us, either venting our frustrations to our partners and friends or keeping our minds racing as we lie awake at night. (Both I’ve been guilty of at times.)

In a bid to combat (combat is an aggressive term…) or alleviate (ah, that’s better) this, I sought out various sources of calm which can help take the mind away from such bouts of tension.

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In Other News #001

So what games have I been playing lately? What shows have caught my eye?

I recently finished watching season one of The Rain on Netflix, a pretty enjoyable Danish drama set in a post-apocalypse where a deadly virus carried by rainfall infects and kills anyone exposed to it. The series follows a group of people thrown together six years after the outbreak as they attempt to survive and reach safety in a Fallout-meets-The Walking Dead-meets-“Coming of Age Story 101” vibe. I say Fallout, because there are bunkers (ie “vaults”) dotted throughout the region belonging to a corporation called Apollon, for who the father of two of the protagonists works for, and within them secrets that unravel and present themselves as the episodes go on. What I especially enjoyed was the character development of each of the group, and the glimpse into their backstories; what brought them to this situation, how they survived this far, how they deal with danger and what lengths they will go to in order to stay alive. Definitely worth a watch if this is your type of genre.

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Music To My Ears – MRKRYL – “Again”

Check out MRKRYL’s hauntingly soothing “Again” as recently featured by FOMH.

FOMH has quickly become one of my favourite go-to sources for new music and emerging electronic artists.

A platform for artists to share their art with a global audience, FOMH is home to musicians, photographers, filmmakers, designers, artists, and content creators alike. Each track is a free download, has been submitted by its producer, or has been given written consent to appear on their channel.

All visuals appearing on the channel are the original works of FOMH or are used with the consent of, and appropriately credited to, the original artist.

FOMH on Soundcloud

MRKRYL on Soundcloud

Sketching Studies

In a bid to better my drawing skills and sketching abilities, I recently picked up Portrait Drawing by Joanna Henly. It’s a fantastic and concise series of exercises and tips on how to draw people’s faces and features. The first set of exercises are to study and practice sketching the skull, to get a better appreciation of shape and form.

I decided to initially try this out using Autodesk Sketchbook on the Samsung S4 Tab with the S-pen. With palm rejection fully enabled within the apps, it is quite a joy to use. I’m seriously impressed with the responsiveness of the tablet & pen. Other Android devices I have owned have never been able to deliver a truly capable drawing experience, having to pair third-party styluses and often leaving unwanted lines and artifacts on the screen when the side of my hand rests on it. I plan to try out several other apps such as Infinite Painter, Medibang and Artflow, and then write up a brief comparison.

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Social Exposure & Digital Housekeeping

Why is it such a pain to remove old URLs?

When it comes to leaving a social media platform, some websites make it incredibly difficult to actually delete your account. When leaving Facebook, it’s purposely awkward procedures would only allow me to initially “deactivate” my profile first, and would not permanently scrub me from their databanks until 90 days of inactivity had passed.

So I was pleasantly surprised at the relative ease of erasing my Instagram account by comparison.

Yes, I’ve done it. A couple of days after requesting my export link, the email dropped in my inbox. Once I’d safely downloaded all of my images, the deletion process was very straightforward. A couple of clicks, another to re-confirm my intentions despite a desperate plea bargain to stay, and I was gone for good. Ahh…

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Curb Your Procrastination

Is it me, or have the number of ads on Instagram shot up in the past few months? I swear it’s getting to the point where half my feed is sponsored, and they’re not just your usual gaming or corporate posts. It’s also the paid-for promoted content from other users that are starting to aggressively infiltrate my feed. I’m certainly not enjoying my time with the platform as much as I used to. I’m contemplating deleting my account and leaving the site altogether (as I did with Facebook several years ago), especially now that more of the dubious targeting practices seem to be gradually working their way into its architecture. It’s also contributed to what’s become a personal routine of procrastination. Something I desire to drastically change.

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