Headed to a dinner party tonight? Before you sprinkle the salt on your potatoes, share a bit of thought confetti with those around you:
Think You’re Busy? Johann Sebastian Bach Had 20 Kids
“But as soon as you’re not in a crisis, all the rest of the world floods into your psyche. Now you’re worried about taxes and tires and “I’m getting a cold” and “My printer just crapped out.” Now that flood is coming across in electronic form, and it is 24/7.”
The Fascinating Business Cards of 20 Famous People
Hint: Houdini wins.
11 Common Words You’re Probably Mispronouncing
Seuss, affluent and banal – guilty as charged.
Email Etiquette: Why Emoticons (and Emotional Cues) Work
Finally – an emotional spellcheck exists!
David Vintiner Captures the Drama of the World Memory Championships
Dudes. I did not even know such a championship existed, but I’m starting my training next week.
The Joy of Missing Out
“Joy is about presence, about being in the moment and soaking in every sensation that moment has to offer you. The fear of missing out intrudes on an experience, causing you to feel torn between different moments, and lessening your pleasure wherever you are. When you adopt an attitude of joy about missing out, you let go of other possibilities, reclaim the moment you’re in, and set yourself up to enjoy it.”
11 Bizarre Ways They Treated The Flu In The Olden Days
On gargling classes in school, anti-flu spray parties and smoke-bombing your lungs.
Gold Fireflies in Japan
A summit of fairies indeed.
The Creativity Crisis
“Creativity has always been prized in American society, but it’s never really been understood. While our creativity scores decline unchecked, the current national strategy for creativity consists of little more than praying for a Greek muse to drop by our houses. The problems we face now, and in the future, simply demand that we do more than just hope for inspiration to strike. Fortunately, the science can help: we know the steps to lead that elusive muse right to our doors.”
The Science of Why Comment Trolls Suck
“Based on pretty indisputable observations about how the brain works, the theory notes that people feel first, and think second. The emotions come faster than the “rational” thoughts—and also shape the retrieval of those thoughts from memory. Therefore, if reading insults activates one’s emotions, the “thinking” process may be more likely to be defensive in nature, and focused on preserving one’s identity and preexisting beliefs.”
Hannah Brencher: Love Letters to Strangers
I posed a kind of crazy promise to the Internet: that if you asked me for a hand-written letter, I would write you one, no questions asked.
“Until we, as an information culture in general and as media producers in particular, figure out a way to reinstate the editor as the visionary and the reader as the stakeholder, the Internet will remain a dismal landscape for intelligent, compelling media.”
“If we took the time to react more slowly to what’s around us, we would have an opportunity to begin having more fruitful relationships with the art in our own lives. And that anxious nostalgia that urges us to fabricate a faux-antique image of our lives could instead be replaced with real authenticity, the only thing that can ever lead us to experiencing the sublime. The key to meditation is clearing away enough mental clutter so that you can reach a state of total awareness. We may need to also clear away the physical clutter to experience art on that level.”