17 Things To Do Instead of Paying Attention to the Apple Event

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  1. Watch a different infomercial. Like this one about the 2009 Gathering of the Juggalos.
  2. Roast a chicken (and maybe some nice winter root vegetables).
  3. Write a letter to yourself from the perspective of yourself 10 years in the future. Where have you gone? How's your career? Have you accomplished your goals? Are you the kind of person you want to be? If not, make wholesale changes to your life.
  4. Read the new report from the Center for American Progress on Social Networks, Privacy, and Freedom of Association
  5. Hang up some curtains, so you can finally take down those nasty venetian blinds. 
  6. Memorize a poem (or at least a stanza). Allow us to suggest Pablo Neruda's 20th love poem. "Tonight, I can write the saddest lines / Write for example: The night is fractured / and they shiver, blue, those stars, in the distance." It'll come in handy some time.
  7. Do your taxes.
  8. Do your freelancer friend's taxes.
  9. Practice the toast you'll give at your best friend's wedding. If you have no friends, put on a wedding dress and sway sadly to your favorite REM song on repeat.
  10. Run a half marathon.
  11. Look up your exes on Facebook. Try to see if they are relatively better or worse looking than you now using a detailed rubric so you can't cheat. 
  12. Call your mom. You know she wants to hear from you.
  13. Check out the spectacular New York Times blog on the Civil War, Disunion.
  14. Start to learn the foxtrot, it's not as hard as it looks. (Here. We'll help you take the first step: "Take one step forward with the left foot. The measure is to a count of slow.")
  15. Spend some time meditating on Chinese viewing stones, which are naturally occurring rock formations that suggest some part of our natural landscape. 
  16. Have a nap. (Then fire the missiles.)
  17. Explain the birds and bees to your children, or if you don't have kids, make some notes and diagrams, so that when the time comes, you'll be prepared.

Feel free to leave your own suggestions in the comments or on Twitter with the hashtag, #AppleCounterProgramming.

And know that you can come to this post and thread for refuge from the Apple media vortex. I'll be hanging out in the comments. I may even post some photos of myself doing some of these things, if you're unlucky.

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Alexis C. Madrigal

Alexis Madrigal is the deputy editor of TheAtlantic.com, where he also oversees the Technology Channel. He's the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. More

The New York Observer has called Madrigal "for all intents and purposes, the perfect modern reporter." He co-founded Longshot magazine, a high-speed media experiment that garnered attention from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. While at Wired.com, he built Wired Science into one of the most popular blogs in the world. The site was nominated for best magazine blog by the MPA and best science Web site in the 2009 Webby Awards. He also co-founded Haiti ReWired, a groundbreaking community dedicated to the discussion of technology, infrastructure, and the future of Haiti.

He's spoken at Stanford, CalTech, Berkeley, SXSW, E3, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and his writing was anthologized in Best Technology Writing 2010 (Yale University Press).

Madrigal is a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley's Office for the History of Science and Technology. Born in Mexico City, he grew up in the exurbs north of Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Oakland.

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