Logitech MX Master 2S Wireless Mouse | $67 | AmazonImage: Amazon
It’s been more than a few years since we last asked our readers to vote on their work mouse recommendations. So it seemed like as good of a time as any to crack our collective knuckles and debate which mice deserve a spot on your desktop.
Check out the rules below, then scroll down to the comments to nominate your favorite, or add your own pick with details on what you like (e.g. comfort, button placement, etc.).
1) Your nomination should contain the name of a specific mouse, why you think it’s the best, a link where it can be purchased, and an image.
2) Vote by starring someone else’s nomination.
3) Please do not duplicate nominations.
Don’t do this.Photo: Art Markiv
Last year I learned to drive again after a 10-year break. I was surprised how dramatically cars had evolved in that period; I learned to be way lighter on the gas and brake, and whenever I used a rear-view camera to park, I felt like I was cheating. I didn’t learn this: it’s no longer ideal to hold your steering wheel at “10 and 2.” According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in a crash you could seriously injure your hands by driving in this position.
Blame airbags, says NBC News, in a 2012 report that recently resurfaced on MetaFilter. They’re designed to protect your head and chest in a crash. But if your arms are too high up on the steering wheel, the deploying airbag can smash them into your face, causing injury. The chemical reaction that inflates the airbag can also injure your hands, sometimes requiring amputation.
Instead, put your hands at opposite sides of the wheel: “9 and 3.” An AAA representative tells NBC News that this position is also more ergonomic in general, giving the driver better control of the car.
Lastly, when you turn the wheel, don’t do the old hand-over-hand maneuver, crossing your arms over in front of the wheel. Just pull down with one hand and up with the other, keeping both on the wheel.
Get with the times: You’re driving all wrong | NBC News
If you can brave the cold long enough to find a clear patch of night sky, you can watch two bright astronomical phenomena this December: the 46P/Wirtanen “Christmas comet” and the Geminid meteor shower.
The comet will be closer to Earth than it has been in the past 400 years, but it will be difficult to see with the naked eye. For the best chance, find a place away from light pollution, and look for a diffuse, dim area of light a little below the Pleiades. (The Pleiades are the stars that form a tiny cluster near Taurus, not far from the constellation Orion. EarthSky has a helpful map showing where in the sky to look.)
Binoculars or a telescope will make the comet easier to see. It will be closest to earth—less than 8 million miles away—on December 16. You can also watch the comet online. Virtual Telescope will have showings on December 12 and 16, starting at 5pm EST.
Can’t see the comet, or just want an extra light show? The Geminid meteor shower is also occurring this month, peaking around 2 a.m., your local time, of December 13 and 14. The meteors will appear to be coming from the area of the constellation Gemini, but they travel pretty far across the sky so NASA just recommends you find a dark place, let your eyes get accustomed to the dark, and look up.
Extra 20% Off Select Sale Items | Zappos | Promo code EXTRA20Graphic: Chelsea Stone
Sales at Zappos are a rare occurrence, so shoe lovers, or even just regular people who wear shoes but feel neutral about them, should listen up: For Green Monday, Zappos is taking an extra 20% select sale styles with promo code EXTRA20. But these aren’t any ordinary select sale styles; items included range from Uggs, to Hunter rain boots, to Nike sneakers, and hundreds more, so scoop up some discounted shoes while you can.
Image: Shamia Casiano from Pexels
For Fast Company, Becky Kane explains that people have such a hard time reaching their long-term financial goals, like saving for retirement, because our brains aren’t hardwired to do so. She writes:
Put in practical terms, when thinking of yourself in a month or a year or a decade, your brain registers that person in ways similar to how it would register Taylor Swift or the mailman or the lady driving the car in the next lane over. Understood in that way, saving for retirement is the neurological equivalent of giving money away to someone else entirely.
That’s not exactly news, though what is crucial here is that this means that some of the steps behavioral economists have taken to encourage people to save, like showing them age progression photos of themselves, aren’t likely to be effective if you still don’t think of that person as you.
So, if our brains are more or less hardwired against our best long-term interests, what can we do to circumvent that? We crave the instant gratification of accomplishing something in days or a week, rather than a year. One actionable step, then, is to focus on making short-term goals easy stepping stones to accomplishing long-term goals. “Whatever your long-term goals may be–getting in better shape, launching your own business, writing a book–thinking about your deadline in terms of days rather than months or years can help you wrap your mind around how close the future really is,” writes Kane.
If your long-term goal is to save more in your Roth IRA, for example, then making a weekly or monthly savings goal that you know you can cross off will help you get there, and make you feel happier and more accomplished in the meantime.
Taking it one step further, you can reframe what you’re doing in terms of its immediate rewards. Kane uses writing her article as an example of how this could work:
I’m going to focus on the sense of accomplishment I’ll feel in just four hours time when I will no longer have to feel guilty about not finishing this thing I’ve put off for so long that it’s started to feel like a squirmy eel in the pit of my stomach every time I think about it.
This is important because the process of accomplishing goals is just as, if not more, important than checking the goal off your to-do list. Take this example (which Kane notes) from Kaitlin Woolley of Cornell University and Ayelet Fishbach of the University of Chicago, who study goals and people who accomplish them:
In one study, we asked people online about the goals they set at the beginning of the year. Most people set goals to achieve delayed, long-term benefits, such as career advancement, debt repayment, or improved health. We asked these individuals how enjoyable it was to pursue their goal, as well as how important their goal was. We also asked whether they were still working on their goals two months after setting them. We found that enjoyment predicted people’s goal persistence two months after setting the goal far more than how important they rated their goal to be.
The researchers observed these results across a variety of goals, including fitness, eating healthily and education.
Woolley and Fishbach recommend that people factor pleasure into which activities they choose to accomplish their goals. That might seem obvious, but the immediate gratification is what will keep you going. So find a workout class you actually like, or a way to save that feels fun for you.
Then try mixing in more immediate benefits, the researchers suggest. “We found that high school students worked longer on a math assignment when they listened to music, ate snacks, and used colored pens while working,” they write. “Making activities more enjoyable, by listening to music while exercising or working in your favorite coffee shop, may help you persist in your goals.” Just because you’re working toward something doesn’t mean it needs to feel like work all of the time.
And finally, reflect on the benefits of immediate gratification as you work toward your goal. If you’re saving, check in on your account balance and revel in your progress. If you’re trying to get in shape, take time to notice when the five-pound weights no longer feel as difficult to lift.
“We found that people ate almost 50 percent more of a healthy food when they focused on the positive taste, compared with another group that focused on the health benefits,” they write. “When you are pursuing a goal, seeking out the positive experience—to the extent that it offers one—may aid your persistence.”
We’ve long written about the necessity of taking small, consistent steps to reach certain goals. It applies to exercising, writing, playing the piano, etc., as much as it applies to money. As you look ahead to 2019, think of the small steps you can take now that will bring you the most satisfaction.
Photo: Andrik Langfield (Unsplash)
How do we even begin to find true love in a messy world of online dating, ghosting, and benching? Matchmaker Dr. Frankie Bashan tells us why people are using real-live intermediaries like herself to get dates. Etiquette expert Daniel Post Senning takes on the intricacies of Tinder etiquette. And Lifehacker’s food editor Claire Lower mixes up a sexy three-ingredient cocktail.
If you love this episode, please rate and review us on Apple Podcasts because our love language is “service” and we need you to do things for us before we truly feel the depth of your ardor.In This EpisodeIntro (0:00 - 4:53)
In which Alice and Melissa discuss the concepts of “benching” and “bread crumbing,” and whether dating is really worse now than it used to be back in the olden days, when Alice was single.The Interview, With Dr Frankie Bashan (5:01 - 30:20)
We talk to Dr. Frankie about setting appropriate expectations in your dating life, what should and should not be a deal-breaker, and how to survive online dating—or forgo the internet meat market and find people in real life.Three-Ingredient Cocktail: The Martini (32:30 - 35:05 )
Claire thinks there’s nothing more seductive than a perfect martini, and who are we to argue?Tech Etiquette: How Should One Behave on Tinder? (35:15 - 51:42)
In this segment, managing editor Virginia K. Smith talks to Daniel Post Senning, Emily Post’s great-great-grandson and the co-host of the Awesome Etiquette Podcast, about how to behave on Tinder. Listen up, Tinder ghosting enthusiasts! (Ghosts? Ghosters?)Upgrade of the Week (51:49 - 55:20)
Every week we talk about one tiny thing that’s making a big difference in our lives. This week: Where to buy great plants on Etsy, cutting way back on alcohol consumption, and embracing the flats-wearing lifestyle after being inspired by this fashion blogger.
Photo: rarrarorro (iStock)
Next time you see pasta all’Amatriciana (more often than not, it’s bucatini all’Amatriciana) on a menu, don’t order it. I’m serious. Kind of. You’re better off making it yourself so you can see that it includes its most important ingredient.
See, I fell in love with the stuff after the first several times I had it at various New Jersey BYOB joints (my home state is quite stingy with the liquor licenses). But my beloved turned out to be a complete fraud. And, oddly enough, I didn’t learn this until a few years ago when I was in a high-end restaurant in Las Vegas. Pasta all’Amatriciana was on the menu, so I ordered it, and it was better than any other version I’d ever had.
“That’s the guanciale,” the waiter said. (Please cut me some slack for my ignorance; I’d only been eating meat again for a year at that point following a long bout of vegetarianism).
Turns out that the import of guanciale, or cured pig jowl, had been banned by the FDA for decades, along with a vast array of other cured Italian delights. Prosciutto de Parma was the rare delicacy that was exempt. That didn’t mean American purveyors couldn’t make their own guanciale, but there just wasn’t enough of a market for it in the U.S. for those versions to be pervasive.
It’s still not the easiest meat to find, but its availability has expanded somewhat now that folks are more keen on authenticity in their recipes. It helps that it’s also the traditional pork product used to make spaghetti carbonara. American menus are more likely to feature Amatriciana and carbonara with pancetta or even bacon, but I’d argue you guanciale brings a richness that other pork products simply cannot replicate. Pancetta’s a serviceable substitute and there’s probably no harm in ordering a dish made with it, but just know that it’ll be a mediocre facsimile of the real, guanciale-flavored thing. (I mean, just think about how soft and supple human jowls can be. Then imagine them on a pig! That makes for some very tasty meat.)
Amatriciana gets its name from its place of origin, the mountainous town of Amatrice in Italy’s Lazio region. It didn’t take long for it to become a staple of Roman cuisine—Rome, also in Lazio, is about 85 miles from Amatrice—just as carbonara has. Guanciale’s a specialty in Lazio, so it makes sense that the two of the Italian capital’s signature pasta dishes include it. The third, cacio e pepe, is meatless, but you can bet that if the recipe called for pig flesh, it would be guanciale.
Some versions of Amatriciana call for onions, while others don’t. Onions have become fairly typical in the Roman iterations, so I’ve always used them in mine. However, they’re mostly absent from the original Amatrice dish.
Bucatini usually has been my go-to pasta shape for the dish, as that’s the way it’s served at restaurants that make the most authentic versions. I’ve started mixing it up a bit since I visited Rome a couple of years ago and discovered that it’s just as common to get Amatriciana with rigatoni there. When I’m serving it at a dinner party and introducing guests to it for the first time, I stick with bucatini. I get more flexible when I’m just cooking it for my wife and me. It really depends on my mood.
The hardest part of making Amatriciana is, as I’ve mentioned, the most important: finding the guanciale. There are recipes all over the internet for making your own, but unless you’re a hardcore meat-curing hobbyist, I’d advise against it. It should only take a couple of phone calls to high-end butcher shops, gourmet markets, and Italian delis to find someone local that carries it. Some online gourmet sites also sometimes carry it. I was lucky enough to find two places in my city that sell it, typically charging around $2.50 an ounce. I swear, though, it’s worth every penny (and it’s not like you’re going to be making amatriciana every week, so treat yo’ self). Once you’ve procured this divine meat, the rest is super simple.Photo: Joonirang (iStock)Bucatini All’Amatriciana (a lá Jeff)2-3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil1 pound of bucatini pasta1/2 pound guanciale, chopped into ½-inch chunks1 medium-to-large-size onion, minced (1 cup’s worth)1 can (28 oz.) of San Marzano tomatoes (make sure the can says “D.O.P.”), hand-crushed or lightly crushed in a blender/food processor5 cloves of garlic, coarsely chopped1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano, plus a little extra for serving3/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes3/4 tsp. sea salt, plus more to taste
Heat the oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven. Add the guanciale and cook until it starts to get crispy and a little brown, about 7 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the red pepper flakes and let their flavor infuse the oil for about 30 seconds. Add the onion and stir for about a minute. Next, add the garlic and cook until it softens and starts to get some golden-brown spots, about 7-8 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and salt. Bring to a simmer and then lower the heat and let cook for about 15-20 minutes, stirring regularly. Test for salt and add more if necessary. (Don’t go too crazy because the guanciale provides ample flavor.) Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt the water once it starts boiling. Add pasta and cook until it is just shy of al dente. Reserve about ½ cup of the pasta water and then strain the pasta.
Add the pasta to the tomato-sauce pan and cook for another 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the pasta water little by little to prevent it from getting too dry. Stir in the Pecorino Romano. Serve with a little extra Pecorino if desired.
There are many demands on our time, especially after we’re partnered, with kids, or other family obligations. In a perfect world, it would be easy to prioritize our relationships. For many, getting away from work to be with family is not just difficult; work is an addiction.
Why is a company or career so enticing? Theoretically, you’re doing it so you can afford to support that loving family that wants to spend time with you on nights and weekends. Khe Hy at Rad Reads writes that workaholics walk what is called the “razor’s edge of ambition.” We want to work enough to feel emotionally fulfilled, but not so much that there’s a “spiral into self-loathing, restlessness and regret.”
Of course, how much you work may not always be your choice, but some people have trouble maintaining a balance, and feel the key to that emotional fulfillment is more and more work.
If you feel like your partner is making this mistake—or you’re the one who’s overdoing it on office hours—here are a couple questions you can ask to shine a light on the problem.Abundance Or Scarcity
Hy thinks how people approach that razor’s edge—and survive it—has to do in part with their perspective. Do they believe that there is abundance in the universe, and that what they need will come to them? That’s what makes it possible to set aside your work at the end of the day without feeling like everything will fall apart by the morning:
On the other side of the razor’s edge lies scarcity or the feeling of there’s not enough. In The Soul of Money, Lynne Twist describes how scarcity tricks us into believing that there’s never enough money, recognition, stuff to own, and status. Scarcity ties our self worth to our net worth and thus makes us feel like we’re not enough. No one wants to feel that way, so you keep the laptop open. We succumb to the seductive (yet flawed) thinking that JUST one more email will make us feel like we are enough.
You need to know from which place someone is operating from. Maybe they’re just having a busy week; maybe their sense of self has become too tied up in their accomplishments, and it’s a void that can’t be filled. Remind the workaholic in your life of abundance. It’s a shift in perspective from constant dissatisfaction to enjoyment of what one already has and what will come.How Much Less Can You Work?
But that’s a shift that isn’t exactly concrete. It might even take therapy or some other intervention to change how you identify your self-worth if it’s not through work. So, instead consider, or ask your partner to consider, how much less could they work realistically without it actually changing their output. It’s probably more than they have considered. Hy quotes part of agent Michael Ovitz’s memoir, Who Is Michael Ovitz, to explain why people should consider things in percentages:
In 1979, when I was thirty-three, Ted Ashley at Warner Bros. took me aside and said, “I’m going to give you some great advice.” He grinned ruefully. “And, knowing you, you’re not going to take it. But here it is: I could have worked ten percent less, and it wouldn’t have made a difference in my professional success. But I would have been a lot happier.
I didn’t take it. I see now that I could have worked as much as 20 percent less, and it wouldn’t have cost me. If I’d worked even 10 percent less, across thirty years, that’s three whole extra years of life I’d have enjoyed.
Realistically, that extra weekend of work most likely won’t have much of an effect on your career, especially if it’s something you’re doing every weekend. But the other parts of your life will suffer, as will your memories, your enjoyment. Try to set a percentage less you could work for yourself and stick to it. It might be more than you think.
What To Do If Your Spouse Works Too Much | Rad Reads
Green Monday TV Rollbacks | WalmartGraphic: Tercius Bufete
This Chromecast-enabled Vizio set offers a lot for that price, e.g. voice control, mobile app control and, most notable of all, full array backlighting.
Photo: Spencer Platt (Getty Images)
Why do your children need Hamilton in their lives? It’s true that the musical—a biopic of founding father Alexander Hamilton—is almost three hours long and tackles a variety of adult themes: war, government, sex, deceit, murder. It’s also, however, a great entry point into American history.
Listening to George Washington (portrayed by Christopher Jackson) sing “We are outgunned! Outmanned! Outnumbered! Outplanned!” can help kids begin to grasp the struggle of the American Revolution. When Hamilton and Lafayette declare, “Immigrants—we get the job done!” and high five, you’ve got a window to talk about where United States citizens immigrated from.Start with the soundtrack
Obviously, you’re not going to spent $300 for a ticket to Hamilton for your seven-year-old as an introduction. If your children love music, however, there’s a song for every kid in this soundtrack. There’s “Helpless,” a sweet R ‘n’B jam that sounds like an Ashanti and Ja-Rule song. “You’ll be Back” could’ve been a Beatles song. “Schuyler Sisters” is just begging for a Destiny’s Child remake. And, of course, the anthemic “Battle of Yorktown,” which will have your children trying to rap as fast as they can. There are many amazing live performances of “Hamilton” on YouTube that your kids can watch.Point out places named after the founding fathers
Names on the map came alive for my son once he heard them in the songs of the musical. Weehawken, New Jersey is one of the top three places he wants to visit because it’s where Hamilton and his nemesis Aaron Burr had their fateful duel. It doesn’t matter if you don’t live on the East Coast, though. We live in California and he perks up whenever we come upon a street, building or city named after one of the founding fathers.Buy Revolutionary War costumes to play “dress up”
My son’s interest in history began as a kindergartener when his school did a play on the 13 colonies. That interest had more to do with wearing a funny white wig and carrying a musket than learning actual events. However, once he started listening to Hamilton, he wanted a costume from the Revolutionary War so he could pretend to be Hercules Mulligan. He would wear it every day while singing “Battle of Yorktown.” Once, I caught him play-acting George Washington and Hamilton’s song “One Last Time” using a $10 bill and a $1 bill, as if they were toys.Read them interesting books on the American Revolution
Once your kids are familiar with the characters of the American Revolution, they’ll want more stories. Some of the best include the “Who Was?” series, which tell the stories of a variety of historical figures, including the founding fathers. Also check out the graphic novel series “Hazardous Tales” by Nathan Hale, as well as a personal favorite, “Founding Mothers: Remembering the Ladies,” which tells the stories of female patriots who didn’t make it into the history books.Finally, take them to the live show
I’d never seen my son as excited for a live performance of anything in his life as when we saw Hamilton in Chicago. For months prior, he had listened to the soundtrack, read books, and seen countless YouTube videos on repeat. Despite the difficult themes, Hamilton has had a really positive effect on my son. He knows he’s from immigrant stock; he is excited for his piano lessons because he wants to write a musical; and he now has an understanding of American history that goes way beyond the printed page.
Sure, it contains explicit language and themes. (You can always skip the song “Say No to This,” where Hamilton is “lured” into having an affair.) But even contextualizing that language through the musical—and explaining why they’re for adults only—can turn it into a teachable moment.
If you’re already a fan, the best part about your kids loving Hamilton is that you can enjoy it together. Even if the musical isn’t entirely historically accurate, at the very least you can tell your children why this guy is on the $10 bill.