Monday, March 28, 2011

Friday, March 25, 2011

Inbox Zero and Getting Things Done Humor

For your friends who follow GTD and Inbox Zero (via Unpluggd):

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Sound of Music Flashmob at Antwerp

As some of you know, I have a soft spot in my dark cold space where there ought to be a heart, for good flash mobs:

Monday, March 14, 2011

Persistence and Success

Similar to the view that the easiest way to screw up your kids is to praise them for being smart rather than working hard (Parenting), Jonah Lehrer in Wired, notes what many of us (hopefully) already realize - success isn't easy, often isn't exciting, isn't the result of extraordinary intelligence but rather, extraordinary perseverance (Wired):

While [the growing recognition of “non-cognitive” skills like grit and self-control are] traits have little or nothing to do with intelligence (as measured by IQ scores), they often explain a larger share of individual variation when it comes to life success. It doesn’t matter if one is looking at retention rates at West Point or teacher performance within Teach for America or success in the spelling bee: Factors like grit are often the most predictive variables of real world performance. Thomas Edison was right: even genius is mostly just perspiration.

Taken together, these studies suggest that our most important talent is having a talent for working hard, for practicing even when practice isn’t fun. It’s about putting in the hours when we’d rather be watching TV, or drilling ourselves with notecards filled with obscure words instead of getting quizzed by a friend. Success is never easy. Talent requires grit.

Benjamin Franklin's Daily Schedule

From one of the most productive people in American History (via Swiss Miss):

Benjamin Franklin's daily schedule

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Quote of the Day

Too true. From "Eliezer" on Hacker News:

World domination is such an ugly term. I prefer to call it world optimization.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

A Sad Moment...

I heard about the assassination last week, but until it was brought to my attention by a friend, I didn't realize it had been a man I met (friend of a friend). I didn't know who Shahbaz Bhatti was at the time beyond being the Minister for Minorities in Pakistan, and the meeting itself was a bit rushed, but reading more I come to the realization that I met a great man and am reminded of what we take for granted (WashingtonPost):

American leverage in these matters is limited, but it is worth applying what we have - something the Obama administration, to this point, has not done. Its National Security Strategy avoids the topic. It did not appoint an ambassador at large for international religious freedom - a congressionally mandated position - until a year and a half after it took office. (The confirmation of that ambassador, by the way, is now held up by Republican Sen. Jim DeMint.) "This has not gotten," Clinton said at a recent hearing, "the level of attention and concern that it should. . . . I think we need to do much more to stand up for the rights of religious minorities."

This was precisely what Bhatti was doing - defending the rights of believers in every faith, not just his own. But the source of his courage in the cause of pluralism was clear: "These Taliban threaten me. But I want to share that I believe in Jesus Christ, who has given his own life for us. I know what is the meaning of [the] cross, and I am following the cross."

Which he followed all the way to the end.

Printing a Human Kidney

Another impressive TED talk (via Paul Kedrosky):

Monday, March 07, 2011

Cultural footnotes

Given that I love both Subway and McDonald's, this warms the cockles of my heart. There are no losers in this race. We're all winners for it. From the WSJ:

It's official: the Subway sandwich chain has surpassed McDonald's Corp. as the world's largest restaurant chain in terms of units.

At the end of last year, Subway had 33,749 restaurants world-wide, according to a Subway spokesman, compared to McDonald's 32,737. The burger giant disclosed its year-end store count in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing late last month.