The IKEA Effect: We Love Things More That We Personally Built

the outside of an IKEA store viewed from the parking lot. A parking lot marker reading "A" can also be seen in the shot.
Image by Sam Greenhalgh / CC BY

By now, practically everyone has heard of IKEA, thanks to their increasingly expanding set of stores as well as Jonathan Coulton’s excellent tribute song to them. (“Billy the bookcase says hello” by the way.) And anyone who has any firsthand experience with IKEA knows that while they offer timeless modernist style at scandalous prices, it also comes with a time commitment.  » Read more

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How Do We Get Back to Okay?

a photograph of a sculpture in the desert at what appears to be sunrise (with large clouds in the background). Two wire frames of adults sitting with their backs turned to one another bent over in a despondent post. Within them are two solid child-shaped structures that are turned towards one another, symbolizing the inner child's desire to connect even during disagreement.
Image by just_shot_of_jameson / CC BY

My eyes are raw from crying. As I sit on the downstairs couch, I feel like there are bricks in my chest. If I think carefully through the last hour, I can actually retrace the series of statements that took us here. But he’s sitting upstairs in the bedroom angry and frustrated. Not in the mood to talk about anything.  » Read more

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Empathy or Envy: Amatonormativity and Hidden Costs

a photo of an art gallery, to the left is a bronze statue that appears to be a woman with a child on her shoulders. Directly ahead is a brightly colored painting that appears to be a man leaping out of his own body. Off to the right, there appears to be a triptrych of modern images of the crucifixion. There are a few nondescript/blurry patrons and distantly in the photo there is a painting, details unclear, but it appears to be a portrait of someone wearing a red outfit.
Image by PAVEL BIBIKSAROV / CC BY

When I look at beautiful things now, I don’t wonder at the talent that must have produced it. Instead, I think of the stress that it probably took.

What happened behind the scenes? How many nights were spent sleepless? Exactly how heavy was the weight of the artist’s head in their hand?

The most beautiful things in life often come with very hidden and very private costs.  » Read more

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Portion Control

“A lot of people run a race to see who is fastest. I run to see who has the most guts, who can punish himself into exhausting pace, and then at the end, punish himself even more.”

Steve Prefontaine

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apophenia : the experience of seeing meaningful patterns or connections in random or meaningless data.  » Read more

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