National Stress Awareness Day: BEDN #6

Day 6 of Blog Every Day In November and today we’re talking about stress as today is National Stress Awareness Day.

What do you when you get stressed? I like to juggle.

Tossaball juggling balls

I’ve talked about juggling before on the blog, so I won’t repeat myself too much. I’ve been juggling since I was at university *cough* years ago and I find it enormously relaxing. That said, I can actually juggle – I can see how if you’re a non-juggler that it might just add to the stress!

There’s something hypnotic about juggling. It forces you to be in the moment. All other worries fade to one side as you get into the rhythm of throw, catch, throw, catch. It’s all very zen (and there’s an excellent book called The Zen of Juggling by Dave Finnigan).

I’ve taught quite a few people to juggle over the years too – and you’d be surprised at how many of them started with “oh, I couldn’t possibly/I’m too clumsy/I’ve got no co-ordination”

Can you juggle? Do you find it relaxing?

What other stress-relieving tips do you have?

DaBloPoMo – day 24 recap

Day 24 of #DaBloPoMo. Time for another recap. Last time we did one of these was day… [checks] ten! blimey. Doesn’t time fly.

juggling clubs

Since then we met my juggling nemesis, namely my set of juggling clubs, which I *will* defeat learn this year. I took a funky photo of an apple, talked Moleskines, then introduced you to Umphrey’s McGee.

Good aren’t they?

Immediately after that we had The Great Mug Incident, then things went a bit photo-heavy. We called in at the beautiful Fountain’s Abbey, took some long exposure photos, asked if it was art.

Blue skies over the Yorkshire Sculpture Park were followed by a Leeds sunset before heading back to the YSPfor some Jaume Plensa.wpid-IMAG1017-1.jpg

Then came the highlight of my month so far. Yet another sunset photo, but this one I was particularly proud of. It made it into Flickr’s Explore! Woo!
sunset

This prompted a musing as to whether it’s a popularity contest (or not).

I briefly talked about the joys of the Fitbit One, and the reasons why I sold mine. I sort of miss it.

Finally, yesterday we watched an awesome Japanese dude plane wood. Seriously, it’s amazing.

Four more days, dear reader. Four more days of #DaBloPoMo. What will March bring, I wonder?

DaBloPoMo – a recap

Well well, dear reader. Here we are on day ten of #DaBloPoMo[1]. It’s been going quite well thus far, I think.

I’ve talked about a number of things thus far. On day 1 we had a chat about amusing spam, followed up by a post prompted by @LeedsBookClub talking about the film Labyrinth, in which you can see me playing with my ball.

No, it’s an crystal[1] juggling ball. Filthy minds, you lot.

Did you watch the videos I failed to embed? Really, you should. Let me try again.

Day 3 and I was playing with a pulp fiction cover generator.

Then I talked about being a stationery geek. This post got picked up on The Pen Addict’s Ink Links and blog views went nuts. Well, relatively. Tons more views than usual. Still getting traffic now from it. Thanks Pen Addict!

I had a chat about coffee, then rambled at length about ebooks and kindles. Another good post for views, that one.

That led onto my love affair with books, prompted by Becs of Bits and Bobs Becs. She left a great comment on the ebook post too, with a link to a wonderful letter by Harper Lee.

Following up the book theme, I looked at interesting things found inside books, with particular reference to something awesome I found in a lovely little book of poetry.

Then yesterday I was a little ill, so left you with a photo of a tree.

It’s been a busy ten days, dear reader. I’ve got a whole host of other things to natter on about in February. Watch this space!

[1] Dave’s Blog Posting Month. But then you knew that, right?
[2] ok, ok, it’s clear acrylic. Still looks cool.

YT, or what a load of balls

#DaBloPoMo day 2: YT[1]

day13 18SEP2009

Playing with an acrylic juggling ball, which is great fun for both juggling *and* photography.

I’m not so great at the juggling though – I’d love to be able to do the stuff that went on in Labyrinth. It was actually a guy called Michael Moschen who did all the crystal ball juggling. He’s ace.

He did a performance at TED in 2002: Michael Moschen juggles rhythm and motion (can’t get the embed to work, sorry!)

Or Okotanpe, playing a park in Japan. Seriously, just take a few minutes and watch. Thank me later.

[edit] stupid YouTube embed link not working. Try this for now: http://youtu.be/CtztrcGkCBw

[1] YT = Yours Truly. Hello!

balls

stay with it past the first minute. This guy is *really* good.

I once heard a theory about juggling. Juggling three balls, on a scale of 1 to ten, ranks about a three or a four.

Juggling four balls, up to about 8 out of ten.

Juggling *five* balls, about 80.

That kind of crystal ball manipulation? We’re into thousands.

I can teach you to juggle three balls in an hour or two[1]. A couple of hours of decent practice more, and you’ll be at the point where you can impress non-jugglers with your newly-found skills, and be thinking about doing some tricks.

Give it a week, and you’ll get four balls – after all, it’s just two balls in one hand, in each hand. Bit of practice on your weaker hand, and you’ll get there.

Juggling five is an order of magnitude more difficult – throws are necessarily higher, and have to be far more precise as you just don’t have the time to constantly readjust the pattern. And picking up five is hard on the back. 🙂

Crystal ball manipulation? It’ll take you weeks to get even remotely smooth with a simple ball-over-the-hand. And that’s with your good hand. Doing the spinny four-ball pyramid? Hard.

Doing what the guy in the video does? Years of practice.

Beautiful to watch though. One day I hope to be half as good as that.

Now, where did I put my crystal ball?

day 15 20SEP2009

[1]No, really I can. You might be shaky on it, but it’s perfectly possible, assuming you can throw and catch one ball from one hand to the other.