In Englishman Bay, where his relatives have summered since the 19th century, a musician builds an idyllic hideaway for his family and their three parrots.
"When I was growing up, we went to a little log cabin in Maine," says a musician now based in Colorado. "It sounds romantic, but it really was three boys stuck in a one-room cabin with a loft. Maine can be rainy, foggy, and dreary. We’d go a little stir crazy." Like many childhood summers, his was a mix of boredom and adventure. Part of the romance was his family’s deep roots in the isolated area of Englishman Bay, a two-hour drive east of the bustling seaside community of Bar Harbor. His father had been born in the cabin, and relatives had been summering in the region since the 1880s. And, on sunny days, Maine was fun. He and his brothers played in the woods and clambered over the rocks by the ocean. All the same, he and his brothers were ready to go home at summer’s end.
Now he, his wife, and their two daughters still visit Englishman Bay, but their vacation home is decidedly more stylish. In late 2015, they asked Whitten Architects and Nate Holyoke Builders (in Portland and Holden, respectively) for a durable, minimalist home, simultaneously rustic and Scandinavian, that would sit lightly on the land and make use of local materials whenever possible. (They knew Whitten and Holyoke’s work because the team had built a nearby Norwegian-inspired home for the musician’s cousin.) Principal architect Russ Tyson translated the family’s request into a striking, partially transparent house with simple geometries. The U-shaped dwelling comprises three primary forms: a three-story entry tower with a roof deck, a rectangular bedroom wing, and a dramatic, three-season glassed-in porch—organized around a double-sided concrete chimney—that serves as a great room.
Book Freak is the third newsletter from Cool Tools Lab (our other two are the Cool Tools Newsletter and Recomendo). In each weekly issue, we offer three short pieces of advice from books. Here’s the advice from our fifth issue.
Think on paper
Here is a great rule for success: Think on paper. Only about 3% of adults have clear, written goals. These people accomplished five and ten times as much as the smartest people of equal or better education and ability but who, for whatever reason, have never taken the time to write out exactly what they want. – Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time, by Brian Tracy (2006)
Avoid commitment overload
Many people find that they are more productive when they’re busy than when they have nothing to do and no structure to their lives. But when that dizziness is taken too far and an overload of responsibilities, the opposite happens. People become overwhelmed and unable to function. Every time they think of working on one project, the Mind starts spinning with all the other things they have to do. The energy they expend worrying about those other commitments drains the energy they need for the task at hand. – The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Overcoming Procrastination, by Michelle Tullier (2012)
Motivation follows action
Let go of the misconception that our motivational state must match the task at hand. In fact, social psychologists have demonstrated that attitudes follow behaviors more than (or at least as much as) behaviors follow attitudes. When you start to act on your intention as intended, you will see your attitude and motivation change.” – Solving the Procrastination Puzzle, by Timothy A. Pychyl (2013)
Sharing podcasts has never been easy, but I’ve always tried to lead the way with Overcast, with publicly shareable episode links and optional recommendations from your Twitter friends since version 1.0 in 2014.
Podcast sharing has been limited to audio and links, but today’s social networks are more reliant on images and video, especially Instagram. Podcasts need video clips to be shared more easily today.
I’ve seen some video clips from tools specific to certain podcast networks or hosts, but they were never available to everyone, or for every show. So people mostly just haven’t shared podcast clips, understandably, because it has been too hard.
With today’s 2019.4 update1, you can now share audio or video clips, up to a minute each, from any public podcast. Simply tap the share button in the upper-right corner.
You can generate an audio clip, or portrait, landscape, or square video, using your current Overcast theme setting.
In order to help spread podcasts further, I didn’t want to be heavy-handed in the Overcast branding — not everyone wants to advertise for one specific podcast app when promoting their shows. So the “Shared with Overcast” badge is optional, and if you’d like, you can also add an Apple Podcasts badge.
Finally, I wanted to extend the same app-agnosticism to Overcast’s share links. While this design still needs a lot of modernization, I’ve done a small refresh:
Now, for non-logged-in visitors, Overcast’s public sharing pages display badges for other podcast apps and the RSS feed for any podcast listed in Apple Podcasts.
It’s important for me to promote other apps like this, and to make it easy even for other people’s customers to benefit from Overcast’s sharing features, because there are much bigger threats than letting other open-ecosystem podcast apps get a few more users.
For podcasting to remain open and free, we must not leave major shortcomings for proprietary, locked-down services to exploit.2 Conversely, the more we strengthen the open podcast ecosystem with content, functionality, and ease of use, the larger the barrier becomes that any walled garden must overcome to be compelling.
One of the most common shortcomings we hear is that podcasts are hard to share. Hopefully, Overcast’s new clip-sharing feature changes that, and other apps build similar features soon.
So go get Overcast and start sharing your favorite moments. It’ll help me, of course, but more importantly, it’ll help your favorite shows gain listeners, and it’ll strengthen the amazing, open, standards-based world of podcasting.
Like Slopes and Castro, I’ve changed to a date-based version-numbering scheme — 2019.4 is the fourth update released in 2019, the next version will be 2019.5, and so on — partly because version numbers don’t really matter anymore, but mostly because I no longer wanted to delay completed features until a major-version change or worry that I didn’t do enough to justify a certain number. ↩︎
YouTube was able to dominate video because it made everything easy in a medium that (at the time) was very hard to do elsewhere. If a proprietary service takes a very hard aspect of podcasting and makes it very easy, it may rapidly rise to prominence.
Other major shortcomings I’m concerned about: the difficulty of getting sponsorships for small shows (“AdSense for podcasts”), and the complexity of creation and publishing (“Tumblr for podcasts”). This is probably why Spotify bought Anchor. ↩︎