David Byrne brings the world "Reasons to be Cheerful"

In an effort to fight cynicism, David Byrne has started a new online editorial project called Reasons to be Cheerful. It's described as a "self help magazine for people who hate self help magazines."

He writes:

It often seems as if the world is going straight to Hell. I wake up in the morning, I look at the paper, and I say to myself, 'Oh no!' Often I’m depressed for half the day. I imagine some of you feel the same.

Recently, I realized this isn’t helping. Nothing changes when you’re numb. So, as a kind of remedy, and possibly as a kind of therapy, I started collecting good news. Not schmaltzy, feel-good news, but stuff that reminded me, Hey, there's positive stuff going on! People are solving problems and it’s making a difference!

I began telling others about what I’d found. Their responses were encouraging, so I created a website called Reasons to be Cheerful and started writing. Later on, I realized I wanted to make the endeavor a bit more formal. So we got a team together and began commissioning stories from other writers and redesigned the website. Today, we’re relaunching Reasons to be Cheerful as an ongoing editorial project.

We’re telling stories that reveal that there are, in fact, a surprising number of reasons to feel cheerful -- that provide a more optimistic and, we believe, more accurate depiction of the world. We hope to balance out some of the amplified negativity and show that things might not be as bad as we think.

Read the rest

Weekend Tunes: DeVotchKa – Straight Shot

DeVotchKa's latest album, This Night Falls Forever, has been on near constant rotation in our home since I picked it up a few weeks ago. As usual, the band's music is heartrendingly beautiful. Straight Shot is the first track on the album and the one that, for me at least, has been the band's biggest ear worm this time around. Read the rest

Blacknoise generates irritating ambient sounds

Blacknoise is the opposite of a white noise generator: you leave it running and it produces annoying, aggravating sounds that go right through you. Read the rest

Guy makes great song from a Facebook conversation about a hedgehog image

"Hot Dad" made a music video using a Facebook conversation about a photo of a hedgehog. It's is a wonderful thing. Read the rest

Syrian refugees placed in hotel hosting a furry convention

Syrian refugees who found their way to Canada have been placed in a hotel hosting a furry convention. Wonderfully surreal scenes of displaced kids dancing with fursuiters were captured on video and posted to YouTube. The New York Daily News described an "aww-inspiring" encounter. Read the rest