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Dublin: 11 °C Friday 18 October, 2019

Sitdown Sunday: The business that wants to change how you, er, poo

Settle back in a comfy chair and sit back with some of the week’s best longreads.

IT’S A DAY of rest, and you may be in the mood for a quiet corner and a comfy chair.

We’ve hand-picked the week’s best reads for you to savour.

shutterstock_739162354 Source: Shutterstock/Elena Shashkina

1. Bruce Springsteen and mental health

As a music legend, you could assume that Bruce Springsteen has a pretty great life. But he has dealt over the years with mental health issues, something that he’s still dealing with to this day.

(Esquire, approx 39 mins reading time)

He tells me his father made him ashamed that he was not hard like him but more like his mother. “My mother was kind and compassionate and very considerate of others’ feelings. She trod through the world with purpose, but softly, lightly. All those were the things that aligned with my own spirit. That was who I was. They came naturally to me. My father looked at all those things as weaknesses. He was very dismissive of primarily who I was. And that sends you off on a lifelong quest to sort through that.”

2. Making order of the chaos in our lives 

For something a little bit different – this piece looks at entropy (disorder), why it occurs, and whether or not we can prevent it. It’s particularly geared towards business people.

(Farnam Street, approx 17 mins reading time)

Entropy occurs in every aspect of a business. Employees may forget training, lose enthusiasm, cut corners, and ignore rules. Equipment may break down, become inefficient, or be subject to improper use. Products may become outdated or be in less demand. Even the best of intentions cannot prevent an entropic slide towards chaos.

3. How restaurants got so loud

Do you hate the clattering of dishes, and the scrape of a knife against a plate? Felt like restaurants were getting just a bit too loud lately? Turns out the trend towards minimalism could be to blame. 

(The Atlantic, approx 11 mins reading time)

The result is a loud space that renders speech unintelligible. Now that it’s so commonplace, the din of a loud restaurant is unavoidable. That’s bad for your health—and worse for the staff who works there. But it also degrades the thing that eating out is meant to culture: a shared social experience that rejuvenates, rather than harms, its participants.

4. The push to change the way you poo 

Thought you were pooing correctly? Everything you knew might be wrong.

(The Guardian, approx 24 mins time)

The Squatty Potty is a wildly popular seven-inch-high plastic stool, designed by a devout Mormon and her son, which curves around the base of your loo. By propping your feet on it while you crap, you raise your knees above your hips. From this semi-squat position, the centuries-old seated toilet is transformed into something more primordial, like a hole in the ground.

5. The sex women really want 

A group of women working in different fields – but all who know a lot about sex – talk about what women really want. And it’s perhaps not what you think. 

(The Guardian, approx 17 mins reading time)

“The first sexual revolution,” she says, “was about male desire. Back in the 1970s men were still asking if women had orgasms and if they did, who cares? #MeToo was about men imposing their pleasure on women. The pleasure revolution is about women asserting their own pleasure.”

6. How to be an artist

Art critic Jerry Saltz gives his in-depth tips for being an artist – tips that really do apply no matter what you want to do in life, and could certainly inspire you.

(Vulture, approx 39 mins reading time)

I get it. Making art can be humiliating, terrifying, leave you feeling foul, exposed, like getting naked in front of someone else for the first time. You often reveal things about yourself that others may find appalling, weird, boring, or stupid. People may think you’re abnormal or a hack. Fine. When I work, I feel sick to my stomach with thoughts like None of this is any good. It makes no sense. But art doesn’t have to make sense. It doesn’t even need to be good. So don’t worry about being smart and let go of being “good.”


If you’ve never read James Baldwin’s work before, here’s a great one to start with – a 1962 New Yorker article about growing up black in New York.

(The New Yorker, approx 41 mins reading time)

 Crime became real, for example—for the first time—not as a possibility but as the possibility. One would never defeat one’s circumstances by working and saving one’s pennies; one would never, by working, acquire that many pennies, and, besides, the social treatment accorded even the most successful Negroes proved that one needed, in order to be free, something more than a bank account.

More: The best reads from every previous Sitdown Sunday>

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