Quote of the day
Because technology lets us do so much, today we take on too much and end up feeling overwhelmed and never finished. We feel invaded by technology on all fronts, by the beeps of our pagers, cell phones, incoming faxes and those of others around us.
~MICHELLE M. WEIL, author of TechnoStress: Coping with Technology @Work @Home @Play
Motivation is such a mystery. It’s a feeling and we understand it so poorly it feels impossible to do anything about it. Is there anyone who can unravel the science of how motivation works and tell us what to do? Yes.
Grace Larson, a graduate student in social psychology at Northwestern University, had been studying heartbreak for years when she began to wonder whether by asking study participants to rehash the painful details of their breakups, researchers like herself were hindering their recovery.
Does gender play a role in the type of feedback an employee receives at review time? We had a linguist crunch the numbers.
You wake up with a stuffy nose and your first reaction might be to down a glass of orange juice. Don’t bother: everything we know about research shows that mega-doses of vitamin C are absolutely, positively useless at fighting colds. All that extra orange juice will do nothing to shorten your sniffles.This all leads to the question: how did America get sold on a massive vitamin C myth? Is it vitamin manufacturers, trying to get us to purchase more pills? Has the orange industry tried to dupe us?
The origins of creativity is a riddle that can never be solved; yet if we love an artist, we want to find clues to the secret source of his or her gifts. Literary biography—an enterprise Updike regarded with some skepticism—is largely a hunt for such deeply buried evidence. As an aid to future biographers and anyone else interested in pursuing the mystery of Updike’s prodigious talent, I’d suggest paying attention to his lifelong love affair with cartooning, a passion that burned hottest when he was young but remained warm until his dying days, when he ceased to draw but still repeatedly referred to the comics he had loved in childhood.
If the prognostications hold up (and really, when have they ever steered us wrong?), Julianne Moore is probably going to win an Oscar this year for Still Alice. There are two very good reasons for that: (1) Her performance has been acclaimed across the board, even by some who don’t like the movie itself; and (2) She has been snubbed a ludicrous number of times by the Academy in the past. Seriously, Julianne Moore is the Meryl Streep of not winning Oscars. So, in honor of her maybe/probably/finally breaking the curse this year, a look back at all the previous times that Julianne Moore should probably have won an Oscar, but didn’t.
People often say, “I had a stressful day.” I know I hear it enough to conclude that everyone around me is swamped. It seems like a given that all of the glowing screens and Facebook notifications around us are contributing to that anxiety. But new findings from the Pew Research Center reveal just the opposite.
For years, self-driving cars looked like they were always at least ten years away from coming to market. If the notoriously conservative car industry thinks we are only five years away from somebody selling an autonomous car, then we’re probably even closer than they expect.
Know what sets apart the okay writers from the great writers? Subtlety and subtext. This is true in absolutely every area of storytelling, from narrative to plotting to character development. But the lack of subtlety and subtext is perhaps nowhere more obvious than in dialogue. I’m talking, of course, about on-the-nose dialogue. When I pick up a potential read and skim through its opening paragraphs to discover whether or not the book will pique my interest, one of the first things I look at is the dialogue. If it’s on the nose, I’m outta there.
The world is full of details—and good writers notice them perpetually. Yet when you introduce your created world to readers, it’s easy to get carried away. Let’s take a look at how overwriting, or including too many details, can derail your scenes and lose readers.