Quote of the day
Humans beings are addicted to meaning. We all have a great problem: Our lives must have some sort of content. We cannot bear to live our lives without some sort of content that we can see as constituting a meaning. Meaninglessness is boring. And boredom can be described metaphorically as a meaning withdrawal.
~LARS SVENDSEN, author of A Philosophy of Boredom
Like a Ferrari stuck in first gear in Manhattan traffic, it seems they grow disgruntled when all that energy goes to waste. Perhaps boredom is an evolutionary itch to give our brains enough gas to make them worth their high cost of upkeep.
A few weeks ago, my boyfriend forgot the PIN to his debit card. A little weird, we agreed, but probably only temporary; sometimes, you just blank on things like that. But it’s now been nearly a month, and the memory of his PIN simply never came back. I was curious: How could such a familiar string of digits, one that he’d successfully stored and retrieved in his memory over and over for more than a decade, suddenly — and apparently permanently — disappear?
One day, when my brother was 18, he waltzed into the living room and proudly announced to my mother and me that one day he was going to be a senator. My mom probably gave him the “That’s nice, dear,” treatment while I’m sure I was distracted by a bowl of Cheerios or something. But for 15 years, this purpose informed all of my brother’s life decisions: what he studied in school, where he chose to live, who he connected with and even what he did with many of his vacations and weekends. And now, after almost half a lifetime of work later, he’s the chairman of a major political party in his city and the youngest judge in the state. In the next few years, he hopes to run for office for the first time.
In a groundbreaking 2010 study, researchers in Belgium persuaded young, healthy men to stuff themselves for six weeks with a diet consisting of 30 per cent more calories and 50 percent more fat than the men had been eating. Some of the volunteers remained sedentary while gorging. Others began streneuous, midmorning exercise routine after they had had breakfast. The third group followed the same workout regime, but before they had eaten anything.
Martin Seligman, the father of positive psychology, theorizes that while 60 percent of happiness is determined by our genetics and environment, the remaining 40 percent is up to us.
It has often been said that you can’t unscramble an egg. But you might be able to unboil one. When you boil an egg, the heat causes the proteins inside the egg white to tangle and clump together, solidifying it. New research published in ChemBioChem by scientists at UC Irvine shows how they can essentially reverse the clumping process by adding chemicals to a cooked egg.
Most people have a few things they won’t board a plane without. For Randy Petersen, it’s a tape measure.
You’ve got your The Hunger Games juggernaut, as well as the dystopian franchises riding in its wake — Divergent, The Maze Runner and Planet Of The Apes come to mind. There are also The Giver and Interstellar. Is this actually a trend? Are there more dystopian movies than ever before?
Ther are many elements writers need to pay close attention to when creating a fictional world. There’s setting, plot, pacing, voice, imagery and so on. Everything is important, everything counts. That said, one of my favorite places to focus my writing attention is on my characters. How do your create a good character? Well, the short answer is that she has to be believable.
When choosing a talent or skill, think about the personality of your character, his range of experiences and who his role models might have been. Some talents might be genetically imparted while others are created through exposure (such as a character talented at fixing watches from growing up in his father’s watch shop) or grow out of interest (archery, wakeboarding, or magic). Don’t be afraid to be creative and make sure the skill or talent is something that works with the scope of the story.