Quote of the day
Start a business. This is the college of the streets. And when you have to eat what you kill, you learn extremely fast. You learn how to come up with ideas that will be accepted by other people. Most kids graduate college with an atrophied idea muscle. Starting a business forces you to exercise that muscle every day.
~JAMES ALTUCHER, author of 40 Alternatives to College
What happens in the brain when we have an “idea” exactly? While we are inclined to believe that ideas are simple and concrete things, in reality the notion of an “idea” is vastly complex; much more complex than anyone outside the fields of neuroscience can possibly fathom. However, understanding even a fraction of what occurs in the brain when we talk about what it means to have ideas can help us to better understand creative potential and how “original thoughts” occur in the brain.
Sometimes you just want to quit. You know you shouldn’t but nothing seems better than crawling back into bed and hiding under the covers. (I am there right now, actually, with my laptop.) The emerging science of grit and resilience is teaching us a lot about why some people redouble their efforts when the rest of us are heading for the door. Research is great, but it’s always nice to talk to someone who’s been there firsthand, and to see how theory holds up against reality. So who knows about grit and persistence? Navy SEALs.
A new study suggests the economic return on a college degree may be a lot more modest than you think.
Hans-Ulrich Obrist seems to be everywhere—and it’s not much of an illusion. Widely regarded as the most influential figure in today’s art world, he’s worked with a who’s-who of major artists, from painter Gerhard Richter and sculptor Jeff Koons to performance artist Marina Abramovic and architect Rem Koolhass. From his perch as co-director of exhibitions and programs at London’s Serpentine Gallery, the Swiss-born Obrist curates exhibitions around the world, logging a huge amount of travel to attend to that work. He’s also just come out with a new book, Ways of Curating, a slender volume that’s part memoir and part creative manifesto.
Paul Ekman, perhaps the world’s most famous face reader, fears he has created a monster. The 80-year-old psychologist pioneered the study of facial expressions in the 1970s, creating a catalog of more than 5,000 muscle movements to show how the subtlest wrinkling of the nose or lift of an eyebrow reveal hidden emotions.
Journal commentary warns that using a tablet or smartphone to divert a child’s attention could be detrimental to “internal mechanisms of self-regulation”
There’s a huge difference between “no one” and “almost no one”.
Maybe you haven’t noticed, but in the past 20-or-so years there’s been a real catchy trend in major Hollywood movies to constrain the palette to orange and blue. The color scheme, also known as “orange and teal” or “amber and teal” is the scourge of film critics – one of whom calls this era of cinema a “dark age.”
Back story is events that have happened before the narrative starts. Most stories have it—because they rarely start from the beginning of a character’s life. However, writers tend to misuse it or include too much. There are two fundamental questions with back story. The first is how to present it (e.g., a vivid flashback), and the second is whether those back story events should be used as part of the main plot. Here are 4 ways that back story might be sabotaging your novel’s effectiveness.
Nick Hornby’s new novel, Funny Girl, begins in 1964, around the time the 1960s are really starting to become The Sixties. His heroine, a small-town beauty queen named Barbara, goes through a transformation of her own: She moves to the city, renames herself Sophie Straw, and lands the starring role on an edgy new sitcom. The glamor of London is all around her—rock stars, nightclubs, the West End premiere of Hair—but she spends most of her time in a BBC studio, trying to make the kind of show that’s never been made before.