January 6th, 2007
life experiments (continued)
it seems i have touched on a hot topic, which i am enjoying exploring further:
washington post article about a group of families who decided to not buy anything new for a year. (suggested by celeste, link from sarah, thank you both.) jeff and i are thinking about doing this one starting next month. i’ll keep you updated.
an excellent blog on simple/green living and sustainability, the worsted witch. I really enjoyed reading her notes on voluntary simplicity gathered from various sources that discuss the concept not as a way of living in ‘blind denial of the material side of life’ but instead as Richard Gregg (a student of Ghandi’s teaching) puts it, “It means an ordering an guiding of our energy and our desires, a partial restraint in some directions in order to secure abundance of life in other directions. It involves a deliberate organization of life for a purpose.” like that.
past life experiments by friends and family
1. my husband and his friend once ate only grilled cheese sandwiches, chips and a pickle for every meal for one week. just to see if he could do it. he did.
2. another friend (who shall remain nameless for reasons which shall seem obvious) consciously shit his pants while driving, to see what it would be like. it was not good.
3. my friend kris watched the same film everyday for two years (it helped him sleep). the film was Dr. Strangelove by stanley kubrick. he did an art piece based on it, you can see it here.
4. i did eat a large amount of orange things for one week. i read that if you eat a lot of foods with beta carotine your skin will turn orangish. i wanted to see if it was true. it didn’t work.
5. i have two friends who drank their own urine as an experiment. apparently it is good for your health. i do not wish to find out.
6. my husband (who is appearing quite a bit on this list), shaved his head into something called “the ring of fire” on numerous occasions. this consists of a solid ring of hair making a full circle on the head and face (including head hair and beard hair. what’s interesting about it is to make the circle correct, you must shave a bit off of the front of your hairline.) this one is an experiment on letting go of your looks for a time.
7. of course you already heard about the public dancing, and the not shaving for six months. believe me, there’s a lot more where that came from.
8. sleep in public places. have done this on trips across the country, you CAN pitch a tent in most places without much notice. the challenge is mostly a psychological one. public napping is also a good exercise.
some more ideas to add to the list
-day of silence, (submitted by littlepurplecow), i love this one! much easier when you work from home.
-walk backwards day
-independence day (from rama the great), remind yourself that you are entirely free to do whatever you want. Brilliant!
-cook all your food from scratch (from alana). I think i do this already but i like the idea of getting big sacks of basic supplies and using only those.
-have tea with stranger day (invite someone out you hardly know.)
-walk everywhere week, (i’ve read about people who didn’t ride in a car for years on purpose).
-walk randomly using dice
-read books based on themes. for example:
*travel the world by reading a novel about each country (someone i worked with at Nicholas Hoare did this.)
*read authors alphabetically (alternate: read only authors with last names that begin with “S”)
*read only red books for one year
*choose one book and read only other books that are connected with it somehow (through citations, or research done on the book, about the author, etc).
*read indexes only
*read page 153 in every book you pick up
-choose a place to travel to by randomly throwing a dart at a world map.