DIY

Link Roundup!: Sleep You Need vs Sleep You Get; Podcast Love

+ Another way we are unequal in this paltry excuse for a civilization? The number of hours of sleep we get a night, on average, varies based on how much money we have. The effects are real, lasting, and frightening:

McCalman’s life reveals a particularly sorry side of America’s sleep-deprived culture. Though we often praise white-collar “superwomen” who “never sleep” and juggle legendary careers with busy families, it’s actually people who have the least money who get the least sleep.

Though Americans across the economic spectrum are sleeping less these days, people in the lowest income quintile, and people who never finished high school, are far more likely to get less than seven hours of shut-eye per night. About half of people in households making less than $30,000 sleep six or fewer hours per night, while only a third of those making $75,000 or more do. …

A later study on 147 adult humans found that the sleep deprived among them had actively shrinking brains. This suggests that no amount of “catch up” sleep can ever reverse the effects of sleep loss on the body.

“How do you sleep at night?” “On top of a pile of money with many beautiful ladies.”

+ The ‘Fold got some love on the newish Slate parenting podcast “Mom and Dad Are Fighting!”

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Professor Dumpster Still Trying To Make Dumpster Happen

Remember Dumpster Dad, who decided, after his divorce, to move into a dumpster? And then wrote this unnerving “It Happened To Me” story for XOJane which included the detail that the dumpster was behind the women’s dormitory at the university where he taught? (Seriously, were there no dumpsters behind the business school? Or the environmental studies program?)

Well, Dumpster Dad is back, and he’s now been promoted to Professor Dumpster. The Atlantic has a lengthy feature on Professor Dumpster (aka Jeff Wilson), one of those sweet glossy features with animated GIFs and dumpster schematics, and here are a few of the updates on Professor Dumpster’s life:

—People actually call Wilson “Professor Dumpster.” I have no idea if this generated naturally or if it is Wilson’s self-styled nickname (and BRAND). I do know that it is the name on Wilson’s Instagram.

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Baby Carrots, Evil or The Most Evil?

POINT: Baby carrots are the devil, argues generally sensible dad writer Brian Gresko. They cost more, waste more, and perpetuate the fiction that our food does not come from the ground.

The name “baby carrots” seems apt, not just because they look like baby versions of carrots, but because they infantilize the consumer, who has only to open the bag and start munching without a care in the world.

And don’t get him started on juice boxes:

According to PBS Kids, juice boxes are built from six layers of paper, polyethylene plastic, and a thin layer of aluminum. They also, of course, come with plastic straws. The plastic in these packages will likely take at least 300 years to break down, though that’s a conservative estimate.

The contents of the boxes don’t get much better, as many juice brands are loaded with sugar. AsEveryday Health reports, sugary drinks lead to an increased risk of obesity and diabetes, and establish taste preferences for sweet beverages in young children that may get out of hand when they enter their teenage years. (On top of this, Dr. Oz caused a stir in 2011 when he found certain apple juices contained high levels of arsenic.) Kids who drink a lot of juice are avoiding healthier fluids like milk and water.

COUNTERPOINT: Fine, juice boxes, whatever, but baby carrots taste better than the regular kind. I don’t know why but they do! Is it the chlorine? Or the convenience?

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Producing a Beyoncé-themed Burlesque Show on a Budget

It wasn’t long after I became friends with burlesque star and producer Calamity Chang through freelance work that I came up with the idea for Beylesque, a Beyoncé burlesque show to take place on or around the pop diva’s 33rd birthday. “It could be huge!” I said. “It’s underground meets mainstream pop. You could serve birthday cupcakes and have a dance-off/twerkout during intermission.”

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Battle of the Budgets: YNAB or Mint?

There are YNAB people and Mint people, and then there are people who are like, “Oh golly, you want me to organize my spending? That’s so terrifying I need to buy another two handbags right now.” The basic difference seems to be proactive (YNAB) vs reactive (Mint), whether you’re into planning with a tinge of self-improvement (YNAB) or simply tracking what’s happened over the course of the recent past and making order out of chaos (Mint). Hope or facts, January resolutions or December summaries.

This battle has gone on for some years now. Lifehacker’s audience preferred YNAB all the way back in 2011 (although they acknowledge that the results might have been somewhat skewed):

Newcomer You Need A Budget (YNAB) topped the poll with 50.84% of the vote. Mint came in second after leading early-on, with 28.63%. In third, the simple spreadsheet turned out to be the budgeting tool of choice for almost 10% of you, and in fourth was Quicken, with 7.4% of the votes cast. Bringing up the rear is the now-discontinued (but still free) Microsoft Money, with 3.3% of the vote.

It’s worth noting that the founder of YNAB reached out to us to let us know that he let fans, users, and the community around YNAB know about our poll and advised them to vote, so that may have influenced the final results. Regardless, it’s clear there are a lot of YNAB fans here in our community as well, so the app is well worth a look.

Now that YNAB is no longer the well-groomed, bright-eyed newcomer, and Mint is still the wise old lady who’s been on the block forever, whose door do you go to for advice? Do you aspire to be a budgeter or are you content to be a tracker? Or, in a Know Thyself kind of way, do you realize you’ll never really be either — and in that case, what’s your fix? 

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Just Because You Have a Standing Desk Doesn’t Mean You Can’t Sit Down

I love my standing desk. I made it by sticking a wire crate on top of my thrift-store desk (which is not even a desk, it’s some kind of Ikea table, but you work with what you have). I put on a big pair of rubbery flip-flops that I bought at Rite Aid for two bucks, I stand up, and I rock out.

I don’t think my standing desk makes me any more productive. I have a lot of evidence that working at a standing desk makes me feel better, although my “evidence” is mostly “it’s fun to bounce around to Pomplamoose while I work.” The key takeaway here: when I get tired, I sit down. That’s why I made my standing desk out of a wire crate and not a set of concrete blocks. It stops being a standing desk in approximately 1.5 seconds.

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What It Costs to DIY A First Book Tour

People take you seriously in the business world only when you take yourself seriously. By pouring my money and my life into this book tour, I was merely being my own best boss.

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Negotiating Contracts When You Can’t Afford a Lawyer

The latest post inScratch‘s Anatomy of a Decision series on their blog is by Alexis Clements, who writes about her decision let someone adapt her play internationally. She walks us through the initial offer, her second thoughts, the decision, and her feelings about it. It is AWESOME.

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How Two Comedians Made It Work

Bob and Tobly McSmith are the two New York-based comedians behind the raunchy off-Broadway hit Showgirls! The Musical! and its natural predecessor, Bayside! The Musical! Grace Bello profiles the pair for Narratively, where Bob and Tobly talk about their early days in the East Village, where they got started holding down day jobs and spending their nights in dive bars doing boundary-crossing comedy performances (think peeing your pants onstage).

In 2004, the pair moved into a two-bedroom apartment on Avenue B in the East Village and “slowly went insane together,” says Tobly. At this point, they both had entry-level day jobs in Midtown. However, most of their money went towards alcohol. “I’d walk to work, eat off the dollar menu, walk home, immediately start drinking,” says Tobly. Like many young, broke twentysomethings in New York, they thought they might try comedy or start a band. Except that these two followed through with their “drunken ideas,” as Tobly puts it.

…”We both had those day jobs, too,” she says. “We would go and throw up on each other and then show up at nine a.m. the next day at work and try to be normal.”

When they started to find success from their first musical, Tobly used earnings from her day job to help fund the production. “‘I put my whole life savings into it. And that wasn’t trust fund or family money; that was money I had saved,’ she says. ‘That’s putting it all on the line and believing that it will work.’”

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How to Fix Your Bathtub That Won’t Drain Using These 30 Easy Steps

Logan’s bathtub wouldn’t drain. So she turned to Google.

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