As in all of their experiments, the researchers created two conditions: one of order and the other of disorder. In the former, the walls of the alley were freshly painted; in the latter, they were tagged with graffiti (but not elaborately, to avoid the perception that it might be art).
4. Help real people in developing countries by sticking a fake beard on your real face. Go ahead, just try to resist following that link.
6. Kottke has an interesting post up on beekeeping in New York City, an apparently illegal activity. I will attest to the truth of this bit Kottke quotes from an old NYT piece:
All right, but why beekeeping? "After you do it, everything else in life is calm," said Mr. Solomon, the investment banker. "Let me tell you, 40,000 bees will teach you the power of concentration and patience."
Though contra Kottke, I would recommend you go with these guys for your mail order bee needs. Picking up a package of live, gently buzzing bees from the post office is a singular experience that everyone should experience at least once in their lives - if nothing else the PO staff will forever ask how your bees are doing whenever you stop by for stamps. Here's a time lapse video a friend put together of our last honey harvest: