Categories
Music Productivity & Work Writing

Want to focus? Seek ambient sound

One of the greatest myths of our time is that silence is golden. But complete silence will keep you from working effectively. It may even put you to sleep.

J. K. Rowling left the solitude of her own home to write the Harry Potter series in a coffee shop amid the cacophony of people chatting over grinding espresso machines.

The noisy environment inspired her to get to work. Studies show that just enough sound creates an ambient environment conducive to working by drowning out any other unpredictable racket in the background.

By the way, if you’re looking for scientifically optimized music to help you focus, you must give the app Focus@Will a try. Use my affiliate link and you’ll get two FREE weeks.

The power of music

Studies also show that learning to play an instrument makes it easier for children to learn how to read. Additionally, the “Mozart Effect” is said to improve concentration and study habits. Surgeons often use popular music during operations to relax both the patient and themselves. Muzak takes the awkward silence out of the elevator.

The right type of noise is critical to working effectively. In fact, many CEOs expect disruptions in the form of email and calls to ensure the business is actively operating. Silence is the antithesis of productivity.

In order to stay motivated and remain productive, we need perpetual sound rather than peace and quiet. Sound is productive. Rather, it is the silence between the notes that can be the most disruptive.

Categories
Books Culture Writing

Literary Coffee

Literary Coffee.jpg

On the rocks, of course. Write drunk, edit sober.

Subtle reminder:

“The first draft of anything is sh*t.” 

Ernest Hemingway
Categories
Culture News Video

The world’s most expensive coffee is 💩☕

The world’s most expensive coffee (aka brown gold) is shit, literally.

In other strange coffee news, scientists made a broccoli powder you can dump into your coffee. A broccoli latte sounds nutritious.

Categories
Photography Travel

These owls in a Tokyo cafe are named after musician and band names 🦉

James Mollison of TOPIC ventured into one of Tokyo’s animal cafes where you can sip your coffee with your animal of choice (cats, dogs, and rabbits). But this coffee shop was a little different.

Tokyo’s Pakuchi Bar is apparently one of eight owl cafes in the big city. The owner, Tomo Nanaka, owns 30 of them which she allows in public on the weekends and on special holidays. Even more, she’s named them after musicians and bands.

Below are a some of my favorite.

From left to right: Kurt Cobain, The Chemical Brothers, Beck, and The Cure.

There’s a video too.

(All images via James Mollison)

Categories
Science

The race to save coffee

“Coffee is the common man’s gold…”

Sheik Abd-al-Kabir ‘In praise of coffee’ (1587)

We take coffee for granted.

Judging by the ubiquity of Starbucks stores, you’d think that coffee was abundant. But the coffee we like to drink, the fruity-tasting coffee arabica, is projected to decline given the dual pressures of climate change which reduces suitable land to grow coffee and the ever-growing human demand for a “cup of joe.”

So how do we grow more coffee?

We breed new varieties. Right now, there are over 3,000 distinct varieties of watermelon and only 36 breeds of coffee. Organizations like World Coffee Research have begun a version of plant sex (i.e., swapping pollen) to bloom a new type of arabica coffee that can resist drought and high temperatures. Through a process called molecular breeding (non-GMO), the team will spend a decade screening baby plants trying to nail down the right formula of seeds it can distribute to the world’s farmers.

Categories
Culture

London’s first coffee ad (1652) ☕️

In 1652, London’s St. Michael’s Alley became the first cafe in London to sell coffee.

As author Tom Standage points out in his book [easyazon_link identifier=”1620402858″ locale=”US” tag=”wells01-20″]Writing on the Wall: Social Media – The First 2,000 Years[/easyazon_link], coffee houses were the original social networks and MOOCS where people mingled, studied, and exchanged ideas.

Learn more at Open Culture.