Chicken soup is one of the few things that has been shown to actually help when you’re in the midst of a snotty turmoil. Here’s what I do when I’m sick.

Step One: Gear Up To Go Outside

Unfortunately this recipe calls for actual cooking and fresh ingredients. This step has the highest risk of making you sicker, so make sure you’re feeling up for it. Layer up, take a good sturdy backpack to put your shopping in, and pop one or two ibuprofen for good measure.

Get a friend to do this if you are, like, really sick.

Step Two: Buy The Food

Here’s what you’ll need

  • 1 supermarket roast chicken, cooked and ready to…


Part 3 of Reprogramming your brain, body and life.

Exercise. Dreaded, dreaded exercise. As a Standard Nerd, it won’t come as a surprise that I have never been, how you say, mobile, much in life. I had always dreaded PE class at school, my friends and I formed a social basketball team as a joke, and my hobbies were all sedentary. Suffice it to say that this is a post for my kind of people. If you’re already doing regular exercise, you’re probably doing better than I am.

While I’m nowhere close to being an athlete, I have made substantial progress towards moving around more. I started attending judo once a week and awkwardly move my limbs around at the gym about three times a week. It’s a pretty low bar, but it’s my bar, and I’m pretty happy with the fact that I’m doing anything at all. …


Part 2 of 3 of Reprogramming your brain, body and life.

We’ve all heard about this, right? Devices are designed to keep us addicted. Websites are designed to hijack the pleasure centres of our brain. They’ve trained us to expect novelty all the time.

In my own brain, I’ve noticed that I can no longer focus on a large, singular task for long periods of time. …


Part 1 of 3 of Reprogramming your brain, body and life.

I have never slept well. I’ve tried pretty much everything there is to try to have something that even mildly resembles a consistent sleep schedule. As a child, I never had a bedtime. I would pull all-nighters — sometimes just because I didn’t feel like sleeping. My mornings would either consist of me sleeping and remaining in bed for as long as I possibly could, before I was inevitably late for something. It was bad.

For the past two months I’ve been getting up at 6:15am every weekday. …


Over the past few years I’ve noticed that my life is full of bad habits. Habits that were destroying my health, stifling my creativity, and hijacking my brain onto constant cycles of anxiety and mania.

A year ago I began giving an honest attempt at disassembling these habits. It has not been easy, but I’ve been generally successful so far. I say generally because what I’m really undertaking is reprogramming my brain. And that takes time — on the scale of years, not months.

There’s a million articles out there on all the different ways to knock out bad habits and replace them with good ones, but this writing is not about Wellness™. And I am absolutely not here to tell you what to do. No one out there knows what they’re doing. I want to share what things have been good for me and have worked for me. My goal was to significantly improve my physical and mental health without becoming obsessed with “productivity”, “fitness”, or “wellness”. I still wanted to participate in social media, read the news, drink and party, and eat whatever I wanted. I just didn’t want to be reliant on bad habits for temporary hits of dopamine. …


Look, sometimes I cook food, and I’ve had people tell me it’s pretty good.

“It’s pretty good.” —Greg, my partner, who is in no way biased

This recipe takes me an hour (because I keep making stuff up as I go), but will probably take you 30mins to an hour. But the key to any good cooking is frequent tasting throughout, so it might take you an hour too.

There are no photos. It’s a flat noodle pasta in a creamy mushroom sauce. Use your imagination.

You will need:

  • 5 big flat mushy bois. About 320 grams
  • 2 small onions (or one absolute…


There is a common misconception about digital designers.

It’s that our job is to make something look good.

Now don’t get me wrong—making something look good is very much a part of what we do. And in our age of technology, there’s little limit and much opportunity to what we can do.

But visual design is the last, and often most straightforward, part.

It’s something I’ve begun to realise the longer I work as a designer: the variety and importance of all the other design tasks that come before I’ve even given a fleeting thought to how it looks.

And it’s something that you might have recognised already. Many though, have yet to see the potential of design thinking, applied across the entire process of creating a digital product. Too often I hear of designers brought onto a project with mere days until release, a solution already decided (and sometimes half built), and told to “do the design”. Translation? “Please make this look pretty, we need to ship…


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These sweet illustrations are by leonkarssen, check it

This is a transcript of the talk I gave at Refactor in February.

I was once a cool girl.

You know what I’m talking about. One of those “cool girls”, who were “not like other girls”. “Other girls are so catty,” they say. “I’m smart, funny and reasonable.”

See, me and a lot of girls I knew, grew up online on the early internet in the ’90s.

We grew up hating women. Because all the men around us hated women.

In the summer of 2012, I had this weird feminist awakening. I say ‘weird’, because if you don’t preface the words “feminist awakening”, people look at you as if you’ve just joined a cult. …


And we’re back.

It’s been a tumultuous first half of 2015. There’s been ups and downs all over the world — I hope you’ve had a little more of the former!

This issue’s theme is perspective, and it’s something easily forgotten in the busy hustle and bustle of each day. When I think of the word, the first thing that pops into my head is this photograph:

This picture, called “earthrise”, was taken on the first manned mission to the moon: Apollo 8. This was one of the first photos that really put us, all of us, into perspective. To loosely quote my childhood hero Carl Sagan: everything we’ve ever known, everywhere we’ve ever gone, and everyone we’ve ever loved, is on that tiny blue dot, floating in space. …


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Last week I came across some questions from high school students about string theory, dark energy, and multiverses. They were from this blog post, where the lovely @MissDtheTeacher writes about taking her students to the frontiers of physics. She showed them Brian Greene’s TED talk about multiverses, generated questioning and discussion amongst the class, and in turn created a learning environment my past self would have wished so much to be in.

She mentioned six (of many) questions from her students:

  • How did they find out about string theory and dark energy?
  • Does the idea of wormholes which is travelling through space from one galaxy to the next, also apply for multiverses and universes? …

About

Serena Chen

Product designer, giant nerd. https://serena.nz

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