"Vertebrates and cephalopods, despite diverging from each other 500 million years ago, are not only using similar mechanisms to make their big brains, but that this process and the way the cells act, divide, and are shaped may essentially lay out the blueprint required develop this kind of nervous system."
Happy Holidays, everyone!
I come to you with a special edition of "Not Important" — if you're not familiar, these VERY GENTLE emails, by rule, have nothing to do with climate change or pandemics.
They're also USUALLY for INI Members and readers with 3+ referrals, but it's the holidays, so I thought it would be fun to share with everyone. If you'd like to get these twice a month, you can become a Member today.
Thanks for reading and thanks for giving a shit (about books! And music! And more!).
My book recommendation links are via Bookshop (print), Libro (audio), and Libby (library). Libby is a free way to check out digital e-reader and audiobooks from your US public library.
For this special holiday edition, I'm excited to share a couple of my favorite books of 2022. You can find (and shop) the rest of my 2022 favorites on Bookshop!
- A Heart That Works, Rob Delaney (Bookshop, Libro). Well. It's everything. Debilitating, joyous, kind, angry, profane, profound, and full of endless grief, only some of which is processed.
- Wow, No Thank You, Samantha Irby (Bookshop, Libro). The best comedy is very specific comedy and holy shit does this deliver. Just read it.
You can find all the rest of my all-time books at Bookshop here.
- "How a controversial youth soccer overhaul put the USMNT on a path toward World Cup contention". Quashed dreams aside, the story of how the men's team got here -- younger, more diverse, and just better -- is a fascinating one. Semi-related, because far fewer of us would be watching without his work: RIP Grant Wahl. You were kind to me and many others, and carried this sport on your back for so long.
- "How squid and octopus get their big brains" These wonderful animals may be the closest we come to seeing aliens (in my lifetime, at least).
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- Best of the Best (Apple Music, Spotify). My brother Casey created this gem of a playlist. It works on nearly every occasion.
- Christmas (Apple Music). My custom, go-to holiday playlist. Some old, some new, enjoy.
Both of these work best on shuffle!
Got a recommendation you think I'd love? Just reply to this email and I'll give it a look.
- Reader. In my first "Not Important", I recommended Readwise, an incredible tool to review your Kindle, etc reading highlights and to use spaced repetition for mastery of concepts, facts, etc. The same company has just launched into public beta their own incredibly robust read-it-later tool and I'm putting it through its paces.
- Matter. On the other hand, Matter is the excellent read-it-later tool I've been using for well over a year for all of my non-book work reading. It's clean and fast and syncs well with Readwise, etc. Which tool will come out on top for me? No idea! But we've come a hell of a long way and I'm thankful to have options and competition!
- Making space. I've been out of shape for over a year. That's a problem because exercise/training manages my anxiety, helps me feel good, sleep, and eat well. While my entire life has changed in that time, what I really failed to do was have enough self-awareness to realize it, to forgive myself for struggling through it, and finally to build new space to make it a part of my new life. I'm finally through those steps and feeling back on top of it.
- Caffeine. Drank green tea too close to bedtime the other evening and, well, no sleep. Lesson learned.
- My new fake Christmas tree. I understand the pros/cons of fake vs natural but my kids told me they didn't want to cut down trees anymore, so we got a fake one with the lights already on it. Holy shit it was SO much easier.
- Kevin Shen. Kevin's an incredibly kind and thoughtful human who helped me rebuild the (very very small) INI recording studio. I can't wait so share it with everyone.
That's it! You can get more of these VERY GENTLE emails by becoming a Member. Be safe, have a wonderful holidays, and I'll see you soon.
-- Quinn (Twitter, Linkedin)