The Moon Is About To Start Some Drama — & It's Not Even Full

The September new moon is right around the corner, but before the moon goes completely dark this Wednesday, it must pay a visit to a few of the inner planets in our solar system. Last night, the moon passed in front of Venus, and it's now on course to block out Mars and Mercury this evening, in an event known as an occultation. Considering the sort of influence these planets can have on our lives, there's a chance you'll feel the effects of this cosmic event for the rest of the week.

Similar to an eclipse, an occultation occurs when one celestial body (in this case, the moon) moves in front of another celestial body. Rather than hinder the occulted bodies' energy, this interference can actually intensify it. So, the areas of our lives that Venus, Mars, and Mercury rule will demand more of our attention than usual this week.

When Venus — the ruler of all things related to love, affection, and attraction — is occulted, our minds turn toward thoughts of true love. That isn't to say you'll spend this week searching for The One. More accurately, this event will encourage you to pin down your own definition of "true love." Reflecting on the role that love plays in your overall life might help you ease into bringing up the L-word with a new partner or discussing taking the next step with your long-term S.O. this week...more 

Photographer combs city streets to find positive, everyday moments

Freelance photojournalist Jeroen Swolfs has traveled all over the world documenting political and social issues. In his journeys, he began to realize that although the hard-hitting headlines made the news, there was still a lot of good going on around him.

"After working for newspapers and magazines internationally for some years, I started noticing how the emphasis with them is usually on the shocking, hard and negative news. Of course, a lot of bad stuff is happening around the globe every day but I also saw so much good stuff, which never got any attention," Swolfs tells MNN.

"I realized that this results in an imbalanced look upon society and humanity. It all looks so grim doesn't it? But is it that grim?"

So Swolfs came up with "Streets of the World," a project to "try and show a more positive side of daily life around the world with the focus on what connects us, what the good things we are capable of too, the things we share as humans."..more 

The Future of Design, Part II

For the second straight year, we asked 10 creatives to predict what is coming up in the world of design and how they will prepare for it. This year's installment includes designing for voice-controlled tech, holograms, and the rise of the hybrid designer.

Design is always changing, and wider changes are often spearheaded by design itself. Now with tech and the creative industry increasingly aligning, we’re on the precipice of a truly momentous period in the history of design, something unprecedented that is difficult to predict and prepare for. The way we describe the future in stories is rarely accurate: the optimistic or pessimistic sci-fi narratives of the past saw hover-cars, holograms, and teleportation as everyday items in the 21st century, most significantly failing to predict the Internet and its manifold repercussions. Any predictions that we do make right now will be in vain because of technology’s rapid developments:the devices that will drive even control our lives in a decades time hasn’t been invented or envisioned yet.

With quickly evolving tools, tumultuous shifts in the economy, the relentless growth of the gig and freelance lifestyle, and global networks, the working landscape for young designers is a tremendously uncertain one. There’s no model to follow: The known and well-trodden career path of previous generations is overgrown. What will this mean for the bedroom illustrator creating 3-D characters after school, or for the young freelancer setting up camp in a new coffee shop every day as she travels the world looking for new solutions, or for the promising UX grad poised for a career at a global branding agency?

It’s an uncertain time for design, but in its difficulty and complexity, it is an inspiring and crucial one: Those with the skills will help decide the way that innovations in tech not only look but function, too, and influence our daily lives....more 


'People want a family, a social life': the part-time working revolution

Andrew Stone works four days a week, teaching history and politics to sixth-formers in south London. Or, to be precise, he gets paid for working four days a week; but what happens on the fifth day is more of a grey area.

He first went part-time when his son was born, and initially his day off was spent with the baby. But now that his son is three, Stone usually drops him at nursery in the morning, then comes home to spend the rest of his supposed day off marking or lesson planning.

It’s hardly most people’s idea of a blissful long weekend, and it’s work for which he effectively isn’t paid. But at least this way work doesn’t bleed into the weekends, as it did when he taught full-time. “I understand that there are other jobs where you don’t see the invisible work that goes on behind the scenes,” Stone says. “But the disparity between reality and perception in teachers’ working lives is so much greater.

“The day before the Easter holidays started, I overheard some people talking about teachers and saying, ‘Oh, they work nine to three, then they go down the pub.’ Well, the previous night I’d been up until midnight marking, and I knew that in my Easter holidays I’d be working practically every day, marking the mock exams of hundreds of students as well as planning for the upcoming term.” For him, going part-time is a way of managing not just the ever-growing mountain of paperwork, but the emotional demands of the job. “It’s the guilt, really. There’s constantly more that you could be doing, that you should be doing, as far as your line manager or your head or Ofsted is concerned. You never seem to reach the end, where you’ve achieved all you feel you should have done.” At least this way Stone feels on top of things, rather than worrying about what he might have missed. For him, reduced hours are no longer a way of balancing work and family life, but of managing work itself....more

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