It's been a while since we've done a link round-up around here, so let's have another one, shall we?
Huffington Post has some warming quotes from literary greats (like one from Murakami, above) to mull over while hiding out from the cold under interminable layers and many blankets.
I thought this article about parklets (parking spaces and other little plots of urban pavement being turned into open public spaces) so interesting. I cheer every time a street gets transformed into a pedestrian plaza, and this is another way to make cities friendlier to walking around and community building and breaking up the endless cement and asphalt with some green. Have you seen any parklets? What do you think about them?
The Cut writes about trying to be nice for 40 days. No shocking reveal here, but I have better relationships with my clients when I take a deep breath and try to put myself in their shoes before responding, and that in turn cuts down on some of the stress in my day. And being patient with someone who is frustrating me often makes the interaction go more smoothly. I still find myself snapping more than I'd like (especially when I'm hungry!) - this challenge sounds fascinating and like a good goal to set. Could you go 40 days without being mean?
There are a lot of awesome things about President Obama's proposal for free community college - Pacific Standard explores how this proposal could cause rippling benefits for everyone, not just impacted students.
Just for fun: the Atlantic has a timeline documenting when and how synonyms for "drunk" came about. I'm going to start using "poggled" whenever possible now.
Pretty much everything happening around the world is horrible right now. Find some respite with design*sponge's favorite dogs in homes.
Feel better? Now take action - like signing this petition seeking a pardon for a Saudia Arabian blogger whose been sentenced to ten years and 1,000 lashes for speaking out against human rights abuses. (The lawyer who defended him has been sentenced to 15 years, which is also insane.) Or make a donation to the International Rescue Committee, which helps people fleeing conflicts and natural disasters. Or come join the Association of Legal Aid Attorneys at a vigil for Eric Garner outside the 120 precinct in Staten Island on Thursday, January 15 starting at 3 pm. There is so much going on right now and so many ways to get involved, in ways large and small. What's your action plan?