Tag: reading

The details: Painters on the Brooklyn Bridge cables, 1914

These men are standing (and/or lounging) somewhere between 119 and 276 feet above the East River…if I were to hazard a guess, I’d say around 200 feet.*

Painters on the Brooklyn Bridge Suspender Cables-October 7, 1914

Flickr, courtesy of the Museum of Photographic Arts

The Brooklyn Bridge was finished in 1883, so this photo must have come from a later re-painting. Two things are particularly neat about this picture:

  1. You get a look at how this massive suspension bridge is held together (click through for a larger image).
  2. You get a sense of scale, given how the men are posed along the cables. The distance between cables might be hard to judge from the ground, but with the men standing and sitting along them, it’s much easier to guess — and be impressed.

I was inspired to look for Brooklyn Bridge photos by a book I’m currently reading: David McCullough’s The Great Bridge: The Epic Story of the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge. The Great Bridge is a captivating read, chronicling both the human drama of the project and the physical construction of the bridge. I got interested in it because I had often wondered how the foundations of bridges are built in living, moving water.

*The bridge towers rose 276 feet above the river, and the roadway was 119 feet above the river (see McCullough, p. 224). These men are obviously well above the roadway — and much higher up than I’d be comfortable! (Though not quite as vertigo-inducing as the iconic “Lunch atop a Skyscraper” photo)

Found: An app for saving and viewing my Internet reads

Do you suffer from Too Many Open Browser Tabs Syndrome? Or Where-Do-I-Put-This-So-I-Remember-to-Read-It-Later-itis? I’ve been there, too.

Thanks to the Internet, I’m always finding articles and posts on that I want to read. Just a quick scroll through my Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook feed can produce a generous number. But rarely do I have time to read them right away.

For years, I would open an article in a new tab and leave it there till I got around to it.

This created a cluttered screen and an overshadowing sense of unfinished work. Those webpages were accusing me of neglect, even though I’m the one who decided I wanted to read them.

When I started using Evernote, my computing life changed (it was probably helped along by the fact that I also purchased a tablet). Inspired by The Secret Weapon Getting Things Done® method, I began clipping articles to Evernote and tagging them “Read.” Then, when I had the time, I would pick up my tablet, find a comfy chair, and easily sift through my clippings.

Doing this greatly cut down on the number of open, lurking, unread webpages. Ahhh, wonderful.

It also made me more selective with my interwebs reading. That article that sounded soooo interesting at the moment I spotted it? Lost its allure a few hours (or days) later. Time = saved.

But then I ran into a problem. This month, for the first time, I’ve nearly run out of Evernote storage space, with a week still to go. You see, unless you subscribe to Evernote, you have a limited amount of storage space per month, hence a limited amount of clipping space (It’s a generous 60MB, and the subscription fee for 1GB is not outrageous. But right now I’m sticking with free.) Plus, I don’t always want to keep every article I clip. So if I clip an article then later delete it, I’m wasting (as far as I know) part of my allotted monthly portion.

Mind you, I’m not complaining about Evernote. It’s free, and I use it for more than just reading: I write down and flesh out blog post ideas, organize my networking contacts, file recipes I find online, and keep track of my to-dos. It’s fantastic, and I highly recommend it—along with a thorough tagging system to keep things organized.

Still, I was out of space. I needed another solution before the browser tabs took over—and one appeared just in time.

As they say, there’s an app for that.

Pocket app screen shot

“‘Cause I got one hand in my pocket…”

It’s called Pocket (formerly “Read it Later”). It lets me save webpages, blog posts, articles, etc., with a click. All I had to do was sign up and install the extension for my browser. Easy-peasy, and faster to use than Evernote’s web clipper.

Like Evernote, Pocket saves the content of a page, not just the URL. Also like Evernote, it syncs across devices, allowing me to save something on my laptop then access it on my tablet (or vice versa).

Depending on your organizing preferences, Pocket gives the options to tag, archive, share, favorite, and delete items. It also has options, similar to an E-book reader, which let you increase or decrease the font size, select either serif or sanserif text, and view the text as either white-on-black or black-on-white (and sepia, at least on my tablet).

Plus, if I decide that I do want to save the article to Evernote after all, I can use the “Share” option to send it over. I haven’t tried it yet, since I’m nearly out of Evernote space.

Results so far: My computer screen remains de-cluttered, Evernote space is used effectively, and all my reading is right where I want it. I like it.

The fine print: Nobody paid me to write this tribute to Pocket. I wrote it ‘cause I like it. I’m also not making money off the link to Amazon.