Blogging & Online

What I’ve Been Reading

“It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.” ~ Oscar Wilde

I’ve not been inspired to write very much lately, I’ve mostly been chasing portals in the park.

I have this game app on my phone called Ingress. It uses your GPS to work out where you are and it then shows you on the map where the nearest portal spots are. It’s a global game and all the players are divided into two teams; the green team – which I’m on – and the blue team, or, as we call them, the smurfs. The teams are fighting it out over control of the most portals. The aim is to blow up the other team’s portals and take them over, then you can start linking them together and creating force fields over the place where you live.

It’s been really good for me actually. I started playing a few weeks ago because I got dressed one morning and my clothes fit noticeably less well than they had the day before, so I decided I needed to do something to make me exercise, and with this game you get in a lot of walking. Now when I say walking it might not sound like I’ve particularly been committing to the idea of exercise, but you see the place where I live is like a natural Esher painting, in that basically everywhere you could ever want to go you have to walk up hill to get to. And like I said, we’re talking about a lot of walking. According to my phone I’ve walked sixty kilometres in the last three weeks ish just in time spent playing this game.

As well as my health it’s been good for my head as well, it’s got me out and about and because I’ve been so intently focussing on the Ingress map on my phone and where I need to go to collect more energy or find the next portal I haven’t been particularly aware of the people around me, so they haven’t been making me anxious.

Plus there’s a big collection of portals in the park near my house, and it’s pretty in the park.

A bunch of my friends play as well, and you can meet new people in your area because it lets you see who’s online and groups of people arrange to meet up to go out on missions to take out the other teams strong holds. And I’ve bumped into quite a few players from the blue team while I’ve been out and about attacking their portals.

While I haven’t been walking around staring intently at my phone I’ve finally been watching Homeland – in which I’m finding Claire Danes to be uncomfortably good – and reading things.

What I’ve Been Reading…

On Life

Kate talks about feeling like the odd one out in an internet full of people proudly defending their right to do the totally expected, ordinary thing against the imagined onslaught of opinionated weirdness – the bed-sharing weirdos and other dangerous people like me.

The Imposter tells us what it’s like when the way you live your life puts you in a minority within your culture – so I’m a minority within a minority?

Rob talks about how we find it easy to empathise with people when we understand what they’re going through, it’s empathising with situations that are completely outside our own experience that’s the hard, and truly important, part – do you even empathy?

Whitney takes a humorous look at the worst 24 hours of her life – it involved her ovaries – the worst 24 hours ever.

And I enjoyed this webcomic shared by Bored Panda33 painfully true facts about everyday life.

On Feminism

The Belle Jar offers an open apology to all the girls she’s ever been mean to because she wanted to be in with the boys. I think I was guilty of some of the same things when I was younger. It’s a timely reminder that I need to remember to work on being a better feminist.

On Relationships

Shannon posted a beautiful piece reminding us that wanting to be loved is not shameful.

On Mental Health

Alex, a psychiatry trainee, is frustrated with the way media portrays treatments for depression and explains why antidepressants are not ‘happy pills’.

On Blogging

Erica talks about the things about blogging that non-bloggers have no idea are things.

On Einstein

And I just read this interesting article about what happened to Einstein’s brain after he died – the tragic story of how Einsten’s brain was stolen and wasn’t even special.

2 thoughts on “What I’ve Been Reading”

  1. I would loathe that game. I guess because I still view my phone as private and for my eyes only and it would be weird that people would know that I was going to a certain location because of what my phone said. Can they see you on it too, like a little GPS dot? Or do they just know you’re playing because after you show up their energy levels go down or something? Either way, I would not enjoy someone knowing what I’m doing on my phone…. which is a very specific issue I am just now realizing that I have.

    Anyhow! I am glad that YOU enjoy the game, haha.


    1. No, it just lets you know that your portals are being attacked, so you know that there must be someone in the vicinity. It does have a commentary thing though that updates every time someone captures a portal or creates a force field or whatever. And it gives the screen name of the player that did it, so my friends, because they know my screen name can track how far I am along my route to meeting them based logging into the game and looking for me in the commentary.

      It is a little bit weird. It has saved from being mugged though. I was surrounded by a gang of ‘yoofs’ who were threatening me, but because there were players near by who could see where I was they came and chased them off for me.


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