Hard to believe I’m showing off my homework to you.

I think I’m beginning to get the idea of gradients, though. The website FreshPlans has a cool gallery, and The Computer Guy started it off with panels involving a photo blending into white space. I’m going to put his tiger here so you can see.

I’ve been trying to get that effect ever since.

Why, you may be wondering, don’t I just ask him how to do it. It’s because it would be the equivalent of saying, “I paid you once to do this, but now I want to do it myself and not have to pay you any more, so I’m going to copy you.”

True, that’s what I’m doing, but asking for help in doing it would be a little bit worse than merely doing it.

I told him I was taking the class and why, but that stays on this side of the line, or so I tell myself.

So what do you think: am I getting closer?

The Five Essential Elements of Wellbeing begins with job satisfaction, but then moves on to Social Wellbeing. Corss-cultural studies show that people who have six hours a day of interaction with people are happiest. Wellbeing increase with every hour of human contact — including email and phone calls — up to six. After that it doesn’t continue improving.

What’s more, people are more likely to be happy if the people they hang out with are happy. This gets a little complex and surprising here, but there was a Harvard study of 12,000 people who were interconnected in some way (six degrees, or pixels if you like, of separation) which found that happiness was highly contagious. If I hang out with you and a friend of yours is happy, I’m about 10% more likely to be happy than would be predicted by chance.

This could just be the well-known contagious mood — if the boss yells at a man, he goes home and snarls at his wife, who snaps at the kid, who kicks the cat…. But it may be more than that, too, because it turns out that we’re more likely to eat right if our friends do. We’re more likely to exercise if our friends do. We’re more likely to enjoy our work if we have a best friend there.

It begins to become clear why the authors say these elements are interdependent. Our social wellbeing can have an impact on our physical wellbeing, simply because our friends encourage us by example to take better care of ourselves. Our social wellbeing can have an effect on our work because those moments of social interaction during the day keep us engaged with our work, and therefore happier at work — which lowers cholesterol.

The travelers to Bonnaroo are back. Looks like they had a good time.