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I made a very weird discovery a few weeks ago.

Do you ever get a tingly scalp feeling during a haircut or a head massage? (I thought that feeling was universal, but it seems that it’s not–people aren’t sure what percentage of folks experience it.) I recently learned that the same feeling can be triggered by some incredibly RANDOM stuff. I noticed that when listening to certain people’s voices or even while watching tutorials, I would get a similar feeling. I was moderately weirded out by that, so I did some Googling.

It turns out that that tingle is called autonomous meridian response (ASMR), and it can be triggered by the craziest things–which are different from person to person. I thought this article was rather informative, if bizarre. I sat mesmerized by an 18-minute video of some lady folding towels. Most of the rest seemed too strange for me (not that watching someone fold towels for 18 minutes isn’t strange), but I could’ve watched her fold those towels all day. There is a massive online community of people who make videos solely dedicated to inducing ASMR in other people. But the truly odd thing is that many people can’t feel anything. The video comments are a combination of, “Holy cow, this feels amazing!” and “What is this? 18 minutes of towels? I don’t get it.”

ASMR is almost frighteningly relaxing, and I’ve been incorporating it into stress management with great success, though it’s very difficult to talk about it with other people without sounding perfectly insane. It is the best thing for insomnia, though! When the Hubs is away, it usually takes me an eon to fall asleep, but not since I found towel-lady’s videos.

I went to a lovely movie night at my friends’ farm last night, and we saw The Little Prince, which was sweet and unimpressive by turns. Some beautiful animation in parts, but the tacked-on story felt, well, tacked-on. And not very sensical. Still, it was a delightful evening full of tea and blueberry lemonade and good conversation.

I finished Sourcery by Terry Pratchett recently and enjoyed it immensely. My reading of the Discworld series has been scattered and incomplete–of the 41 Discworld novels, I’ve only read eight or so. My very favorite Pratchett novels are actually his Bromeliad trilogy, but I enjoy a romp in the crazy Discworld universe too as long as I don’t read too many of them too close together. There’s a certain incoherence to some of them that is dizzying after too much exposure. Sourcery held together better than many, though, and made me want to dig up more Pratchett.

Music I’ve unearthed lately:

I once had a professor who said he lets history sift his reading list for him. If a book has been around for 25 years and is still considered good, he’ll read it, because odds are that it’s not a waste of his time. He didn’t have time to read bad books. I am in complete agreement with that strategy (though I don’t follow it as religiously as he did). The result is that most of the time I am woefully unaware of contemporary fiction, and sometimes I miss really cool current stuff because I’m busy reading Dickens.

For example, I was completely unaware that someone had basically already written A Cinder’s Tale, but as a kids’ book! I ran across Interstellar Cinderella online completely by chance, and I’d love to read it someday and see how it compares. It looks amazing, and exactly like the kind of book I would’ve loved as a kid.

And here we have part 2 of intriguing things I’ve found on the internet!


Know this:



Contrary to the impression conveyed during the last couple months of blogging, I don’t actually dress up in costume every week. No madcap adventures to report this week, although I did see Star Wars: The Force Awakens at the North Carolina Museum of Art outdoor movie screening last night, which was good fun. I’m also reading Njal’s Saga, which is where the post title comes from. Much wisdom (and weirdness) in those Icelandic sagas!

I frequently used to post cool links I had found on my adventures around the internet, so I thought I’d squeeze in another post like that for the first time in a while. Some of these have been bookmarked waiting for their moment to shine for so long that they’re probably irrelevant, but on the off chance you haven’t seen them…

Know this:






You seem to have stumbled upon a storytelling of ravens. Watch for falling collective nouns; you may find a wing of dragons or a charm of hummingbirds caught in your hair. Hardhats are recommended.

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