Jessi and I finally got to see The Art of the Brick at the Museum of Science and Industry. It’s over 100 pixelicious LEGO sculptures from lawyer-turned-artist Nathan Sawaya, featuring a mix of recreations of famous paintings to his own unique art that explores shape, light, the human experience, and environmentalism.

He’s huge on art and speaks often about its healing, creative, and transformative nature. It was a stellar exhibit all around, I highly recommend it. Right now, it’s scheduled to leave September this year.

It’s a members preview weekend, the exhibit opens to the public Oct 14. The LPZ revamped the lion house and built a huge attached outdoor area, complete with zip lines for feeding (!) and lots of observation spaces.

No, we didn’t get to see a zip line breakfast. I don’t think they’ve posted a feeding schedule yet.


Flickr seems to have found a good home at SmugMug, and I enjoy posting there more these days. Tap through some examples below, and let’s be Flickr pals.


This photo includes my great (great?) grandfather. This is so wild! But also…


(It’s me).

Ground-breaking movements and protests like Black Lives Matter can get a lot of media coverage, but it can be hard to follow the actual changes that happen in their wake. I’ve even seen some folks question why people protest at all.

Black Lives Matter has sparked tangible, positive change. Here is a surely incomplete list of some of those changes to help foster perspective on this for myself, you and our friends, as well as those family members, coworkers, and aimlessly angry Twitter jerks who still ‘don’t get it.’ Please let me know of any more good stuff I can add to this list.

  • The Minneapolis Public School board just voted unanimously to cancel their contract with the Minneapolis Police Department – The Cut
  • Minneapolis pledges to dismantle its police department – how will it work? – The Guardian
  • Leaders in both the US house and senate have announced hearings to investigate police violence – New York Times
  • A US Senator is talking about a bill to ban the use of military against protestors – New York Times
  • New Jersey is working on new rules regarding tracking police violence and licensing them – Politico
  • Chicago Police Reforms Coming Within 90 Days, Mayor Lightfoot Promises – Block Club Chicago
  • Veto-proof Senate majority approves proposal to strip confederate names from army bases – Talking Points Memo
  • NFL’s Washington Redskins to change name following years of backlash – ABC News
  • Amid protests, Colorado lawmakers introduce bill to address police use of force policies and “qualified immunity” – The Denver Channel
  • New York repealed a law that kept police disciplinary records hidden from the public – BuzzFeed News
  • Dallas police force adopts ‘Duty to Intervene’ policy to prevent abuse – NPR
  • LA City Council introduces motion to reduce LAPD’s $1.8 billion budget – CBS Local Los Angeles
  • Maryland lawmakers make renewed push for police accountability reforms – The Baltimore Sun
  • Confederate monuments are being taken down across the U.S. – CNN
  • Yankees, Nationals kneel in support of Black Lives Matter movement ahead of opening day matchup – Newsday
  • NFL admits ‘we were wrong’ on player protests, says ‘black lives matter’ – Yahoo Sports (although, as of this writing, Kaepernick still hasn’t regained a job in football)
  • What Silicon Valley is—and isn’t—doing to support Black Lives Matter – The Guardian
  • Majority agree with Black Lives Matter and say major police reform is needed – CBS News poll

via Reddit

My life feels existentially crushing lately. Between my waking nightmare of a country and personal struggles I won’t get into for now, I am wildly varying levels of stressed, (socially) anxious, probably malnourished, sleep deprived, and exhausted both physically and mentally.

Some mental health tactics help. I have meds, I exercise more regularly, and I can deep breathe and meditate. Something else I have found to help lately is Reddit. No, seriously, hear me out.

For all its (gradually improving) faults, I think Reddit has some redeeming qualities, one being a hyper focus on topical subreddits. I can go to r/AnimalsBeingBros or r/ImaginaryLandscapes and know that I will see nothing but cute animals being awesome and gorgeous fictional art—I know that I can get a respite from near-daily mass shootings and Trump’s barrage of hate and racism.

I subscribe to quite a few subreddits, but I recently decided to look into MultiReddits, a way to group multiple subreddits together. Then I experimented with creating a MultiReddit of nothing but happy things—stuff like cute animals, beautiful art, and whatever r/BeAmazed is. I use Apollo on iOS, but I think you can make these on the official site too. See the gallery below if you could use help with getting started.

Sure, it isn’t a therapist-approved emotionally centering 20 minute walk or relaxed breathing exercise, but I’ve found my little MultiReddit to be… helpful? Relaxing, in its own right. Now, when life annihilates my calm, it’s nice to have a ‘happy place button’ as an option.

My HappyPlace subreddits