The Time Hack

8 Notes

Day 357: Reconstruct an animal skeleton using bones found in owl vomit

Girlfriend: “So I have the perfect present for your sister for Christmas.”

Matt: “Oh?”

GF: “I met a woman who has a passion for finding bones located inside owl vomit and bottling them up in glass vials.”

M: “Wait. What?”

GF: “I should buy it for you - so you could give it to your sister. Essentially, there is a woman who runs a shop here in Greenpoint (Brooklyn) who will go out into the wilderness in search of owl vomit, which she calls owl pellets, and dig through the vomit there were any bones regurgitated in the throw up. She then takes those bones, puts them into cute glass vials and sells them.”

M: “Yep, sounds perfect. She’d love it.”

For day 357 of The Time Hack, I took sea urchin bones found in owl vomit and attempted to reconstruct the animal with the help of sticky tack.

Why not.

REMEMBERED DETAILS

  1. I believe 31 bones were used to recreate the sea urchin.
  2. The majority of each bone was white in color, with a dash of brown around each end.
  3. The ball of gum was green in color and attached to a clear pushpin.
  4. The other vials in the box included a rodent backbone and a bee. The box said there was supposed to be a fourth vial containing the bones of a seahorse. That container was missing.
  5. On the desk, where I was working there was a pair of tweezers, the box in which the bones came, sticky tack and a camera.
  6. I rotated the camera in a counter-clockwise motion around the recreated sea urchin.

ACTUAL EVENTS

What happened on day 357? Find out here. And here.

REMEMBERED TIME

I estimate that it took 37 minutes and 20 seconds to recreate the sea urchin using sticky tack and bones found in owl vomit.

ACTUAL TIME

How long did it take? Find out here.

Why don’t videos or images of time appear on this site?

6 Notes

Day 356: Bet on a horse

Pressed for time and finishing up a story for work - I quickly signed up and bet on a horse here. Though I am still slightly confused as to whether my horse won…

REMEMBERED TIME

I believe it took 9 minutes and 31 seconds to sign up and bet on a horse.

ACTUAL TIME

How long did it take? Find out here.

Why don’t videos or images of time appear on this site?

8 Notes

Day 355: Receive an enema

Hm. Well. What to say about this Time Hack… I am surprised at how easy and quick the entire process was. I was expecting an ordeal, to say the least. But really - in the end, it was a short and sweet painless Time Hack.

From what I can tell without having looked at the recorded times of each event this past year, the more awkward and uncomfortable the experience, the longer each event seems to have lasted. That said, this Time Hack seemed to have lasted a lifetime.

REMEMBERED DETAILS

  1. I stood on my hands and knees and administered the medicine with my right hand.
  2. Stopping only moments after I began, I slammed the bottle on the ground and rethought why exactly I was doing this to myself. Not coming up with a solid motive, I hesitantly proceeded, hanging my head between my arms on the floor of my bathroom.
  3. The bottle was once again slammed to the ground with only about one quarter of the fluid used. The bottle filled up with air.
  4. I made the unfortunate mistake of injecting the bottle back in and squeezing the air threw the nozzle. 
  5. I stopped the process after the second round and spent the following ten or so minutes waiting for the medicine to take effect.

ACTUAL EVENTS

What happened on day 355? Although for obvious reasons, I did not film the process of giving myself an enema, I did capture my thoughts before the process. Find a quick clip here.

REMEMBERED TIME

I believe it took 23 minutes and 58 seconds to deliver the enema.

ACTUAL TIME

How long did it take? Find out here.

Why don’t videos or images of time appear on this site?

7 Notes

Day 354: Recreate a childhood photograph

Ze Frank, web entrepreneur, online performer and general crazy internet guy, created a project in 2008 ago called Young Me Now Me, a campaign asking people on the web to recreate childhood photographs of themselves.

The results of the project are both entertaining and fascinating. 

The group photographs of families are particularly interesting.

REMEMBERED TIME

I estimate that it took 21 minutes and 21 seconds to recreate a childhood photograph.

ACTUAL TIME

How long did it take? Find out here.

Why don’t videos or images of time appear on this site?

1 Notes

Day 353: Give yourself a makeover hairdo

REMEMBERED DETAILS

  1. I believe I used the “number 8 setting” on the electric clippers on the backs and sides of my head.
  2. I buzzed the right side of my head first a total of 13 times.
  3. The back side of my head was the next to go, followed by the left side of my head.
  4. I used two hair clips to hold up my mane, while using the electric clippers.
  5. A small handheld mirror was used a total of four times while cutting the hair on the back of my head.
  6. I used scissors with black handles on the top of my head. I estimate I made 64 cuts.

ACTUAL EVENTS

What happened on day 353? Find out here. 

REMEMBERED TIME

I believe it took 2 hours and 19 minutes to cut my own hair.

ACTUAL TIME

How long did it take? Find out here.

Why don’t videos or images of time appear on this site?

1 Notes

Day 352: Stand while taking off in an airplane

REMEMBERED TIME

I believe I stood in front of my seat during takeoff on a United flight for 1 minute and 48 seconds, at which time I was scolded by a flight attendant. 

ACTUAL TIME

How long did it take? Find out here.

Why don’t videos or images of time appear on this site?

Notes

Day 351: Spend time in a trampoline room

REMEMBERED DETAILS

  1. I believe the room was six trampolines long and six wide. There were 24 trampolines lining the walls of the room.
  2. There were seven people jumping on the trampolines in the room at the time I took the video, six males and one female.
  3. The ceiling of the facility was white and had a drop ceiling. Four large florescent lights hung from the ceiling.
  4. There were four black couches to the left of the trampolines, with three sets of parents sitting in them.
  5. I remarked while shooting the video that I had pulled a muscle in my back.

ACTUAL EVENTS

What actually happened on day 351? Find out here.

REMEMBERED TIME

I believe I was in the trampoline room for 34 minutes and 12 seconds.

ACTUAL TIME

How long did it take? Find out here.

Why don’t videos or images of time appear on this site?

1 Notes

Day 350: Go to a punk rock strip club

REMEMBERED TIME

I believe I was in the punk rock strip club with my friend (pictured above) for 29 minutes and 11 minutes.

ACTUAL TIME

How long did it take? Find out here.

Why don’t videos or images of time appear on this site?

3 Notes

Day 349: Have dinner with an Iraqi refugee

On day 349 of The Time Hack, I visited a family who fled Iraq after a bomb exploded in front of their home in 2009 - gifts of a drawn out war graciously provided by Al-Qaeda, the father told me.

I gulped down large portions of well-prepared pot roast at a worn brown table in the family’s kitchen, while listening to stories from Amir Ahmed (not his real name). He was excited for someone to hear his story, and I was happy to be there. 

His wife tiptoed around the kitchen preparing side dishes for our meal, his young daughter sat at the end of the table doing her homework on a pink laptop.

Ahmed, a warm-hearted, former university professor and father of four, has been dealing with unbearable bouts of depression as a result of the attack, he said. He had worked as a translator for the US military and feels a hit was taken out on his head and those of his family members because of his work.

While I was there, I could sense a deep sadness ricocheting off the pale white walls of the Ahmed’s home - a despair that the father caught and carried for his family. Two of his young children died in the bombing, and one of his daughters was still in the broken country, desperately trying to get out.

His daughter’s appeal to the US to allow her and Amhed’s grandchildren into the United States is one of many currently pending because of new security measures put in place in 2010 that require new intensive background checks.

Late last year, a group of lawmakers argued that more intensive background checks were needed in order to enter the US for those fleeing the Iraq war.

The security procedures were and are a direct reflection of continued threats from within the US by small sects of extremists hailing from the Middle East. But the new measures are forcing many who have worked with the US military to risk their lives by staying in the country.

"Do you think what I did was wrong?" Ahmed asked me, referring to his work with the US military.

I told him I could not answer that question but could say that I thought what he did was brave.

"But my daughters are dead," he whispered.

The audio of the interview with Ahmed was turned into a BBC World Service piece by Marc Adams. To read more about Ahmed, see the text and link below.

—-

The last American soldiers have left Iraq, and many Iraqis with a connection to them, however distant, remain vulnerable to attack by extremists seeking retribution. Thousands hope to resettle in the US, but new security procedures have delayed admission for all but a fraction, leaving them stuck in dangerous limbo.

"Sometimes when you wait for something, that process will kill you day by day. I’m kept waiting," says Amir Ahmed, an Iraqi refugee in the US and father of four.

Desperation consumes his voice as he talks about his daughter still in Iraq, waiting to be resettled in the US and reunited with the rest of her family.

"She is part of my body," he says. "She is a part of me and I am unable to live without her."

For security reasons, Mr Ahmed asked to keep his real name hidden. Every day he is gripped with fear his daughter and her family will be killed in retaliation for the work he did for the Americans.

"The situation is going to get worse," he says. "I am 100% sure of it."

Just after the US invasion in 2003, Mr Ahmed left his job as a university professor to work as an interpreter for the US Army. Seven months later, a bomb exploded in front of his house, placed by al-Qaeda, he says. He was severely injured and two of his daughters were killed.

After recovering, he fled with his family to Syria. In 2009, they came to the US.

But his daughter’s husband was determined to start a business in the new Iraq, and the couple stayed behind with their three young children.

They quickly came to regret their decision.

To continue reading “Family of Iraqis who worked with the US left in danger”, click here.


Continue reading…

6 Notes

Day 348: Pick up a hitchhiker

During the fall of 2007, I traveled around the US via the kindness of strangers through a web project called Around America in 2.0. It was a time in the internet’s youth when YouTube was just beginning to get its bearings and news reports were coming out almost daily about crimes that were committed through people connecting on Craigslist.

So I created AA2.0 as a way to prove the web community that it was entirely possible to trust strangers they met through the internet. For the project, I posted a video on YouTube and on the project’s website asking people to drive, house and feed me around the United States for 80 days as a test of web connectivity and trust. I essentially acted as a human baton being passed from one stranger to the next. I filmed the entire 80 day project and created a rather unimpressive web series out of the footage (as I was cutting on the road and had no formal training in video journalism at the time).

But I digress. I stayed with and was driven around the US by 56 strangers and web junkies during the trip. To this day, I’m not really sure what to make of the entire endeavor. But I’ve always regretted passing hitchhikers on the side of the road since. So for day 348 of The Time Hack, I picked one up while en route at night back from a snowboarding trip to Mt Hood in Oregon.

Ironically, a friend was in the car at the time whom was one of the then strangers who picked me up during the Around America in 2.0 trip.

She later seemed surprised that I would be so bold as to pick up a hitchhiker. The irony.

REMEMBERED DETAILS

  1. Jake was a ski patrolman working in Oregon. He was originally from Idaho, just north of Boise.
  2. He said he hadn’t been waiting long for a ride.
  3. He had a brown beard and wore a bright red jacket with a black hat.
  4. He sat directly behind the passenger to my right while I was driving.
  5. I continually attempted to make my rented Ford sedan play music through my iPhone as I was recording the audio of the conversation.
  6. We offered him carrots from a bag we had with us on our snowboarding trip.
  7. Jake asked to be dropped off at a small motel that was painted yellow at the bottom of Mt Hood mountain. He commented as he was getting out of the car that it isn’t often that people pick up hitchhikers in Oregon. I replied that it is not often that I pick them up.

ACTUAL EVENTS

What happened on day 348? Without listening to the audio (which I recorded while the hitchhiker was in the car), I get the impression that the file may be corrupted or not all there - as vimeo is telling me it is significantly shorter than I remember recording for. But for better or worse - here’s at least an attempt at some audio from the short drive with the hitchhiker. Check it out here.

REMEMBERED TIME

I estimate the hitchhiker was in the car for 11 minutes and 13 seconds.

ACTUAL TIME

How long did it take? Find out here.

Why don’t videos or images of time appear on this site?