Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life; much of the quality of your life depends not on fame or fortune, beauty or brains, fate or coincidence, but on what you choose to pay attention to

Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life Paperback

by Winifred Gallagher  (Author)

Acclaimed behavioral science writer Winifred Gallagher’s Rapt makes the radical argument that much of the quality of your life depends not on fame or fortune, beauty or brains, fate or coincidence, but on what you choose to pay attention to. Rapt introduces a diverse cast of characters, from researchers to artists to ranchers, to illustrate the art of living the interested life. As their stories show, by focusing on the most positive and productive elements of any situation, you can shape your inner experience and expand your world. By learning to focus, you can improve your concentration, broaden your inner horizons, and most important, feel what it means to be fully alive. Read more of this post

Epictetus on How to Live and the Ability to Choose

Epictetus on How to Live and the Ability to Choose


The Enchiridion (“The Manual”) is a short read on stoic advice for living. Epictetus’ practical precepts might change your life.

What’s in our control and what’s not

Some things are in our control and others not. Things in our control are opinion, pursuit, desire, aversion, and, in a word, whatever are our own actions. Things not in our control are body, property, reputation, command, and, in one word, whatever are not our own actions. Work, therefore to be able to say to every harsh appearance, “You are but an appearance, and not absolutely the thing you appear to be.” And then examine it by those rules which you have, and first, and chiefly, by this: whether it concerns the things which are in our own control, or those which are not; and, if it concerns anything not in our control, be prepared to say that it is nothing to you. Read more of this post

Edison and the Rise of Innovation (Foreword by Bill Gates, Authored by Leonard DeGraaf)

Edison and the Rise of Innovation [Hardcover]

Leonard DeGraaf (Author), Bill Gates (Foreword)

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Publication Date: October 1, 2013 | ISBN-10: 1402767366 | ISBN-13: 978-1402767364

Edison presents, in intimate detail, the man who helped engineer the modern world. One of history’s most prolific inventors, and perhaps America’s first celebrity, Thomas Alva Edison did more than bring incandescent light into every household and industry; he created a world-renowned brand, raised capital to support research and business, and pursued patents for his 1,000+ inventions. Leonard DeGraaf, archivist for the Thomas Edison National Historical Park, chronicles Edison’s life and work, making lively and lavish use of never-before-published primary sources, including Edison’s personal and business correspondence, lab notebooks, drawings, and advertising material, along with both historic and modern photographs. Read more of this post

Napoleon’s Fatal Mistake; Given an independent command, they acted well, especially if his orders were explicit and the task reasonably simple. But on their own, they tended to be nervous, looking over their shoulders, unresourceful in facing new problems he had not taught them how to solve

Napoleon’s Fatal Mistake


“Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come.”
— Victor Hugo

France of the 1790′s provided an ideal place for Napoleon Bonaparte’s unlikely rise to the top. Paul Johnson explains in Napoleon: A Life:

It demonstrated the classic parabola of revolution: a constitutional beginning; reformist moderation quickening into ever-increasing extremism; a descent into violence; a period of sheer terror, ended by a violent reaction; a time of confusion, cross-currents, and chaos, marked by growing exhaustion and disgust with change; and eventually an overwhelming demand for “a Man on horseback” to restore order, regularity, and prosperity.

Napoleon epitomized opportunism. Read more of this post

Drinking With Your Eyes: How Wine Labels Trick Us Into Buying

Drinking With Your Eyes: How Wine Labels Trick Us Into Buying


October 11, 201311:05 AM

Shelf pop: Brilliant red ink and an arresting illustration make Scarlett stand out in a sea of Napa cabernet sauvignons. A splash of gold adds richness and elegance.

We’re all guilty of it. Even if we don’t want to admit it, we’ve all been suckered into grabbing a bottle of wine off the grocery store shelf just because of what’s on the label. Seriously, who can resist the “see no evil” monkeys on a bottle of Pinot Evil? But the tricks that get us to buy a $9 bottle of chardonnay — or splurge on a $40 pinot noir — are way more sophisticated than putting a clever monkey on the front. A carefully crafted label can make us think the bottle is way more expensive than it is, and it can boost our enjoyment of the wine itself, says David Schuemann of CF Napa Brand Design, who has been designing wine packaging for more than a decade. In his new book 99 Bottles of Wine, Schuemann spills the industry’s secrets about how wine labels tickle our subconscious and coerce us into grabbing a bottle off the shelf. The book is also a feast for the eyes, with about 100 photographs of the sleekest, most eye-catching winelabels in the business. Read more of this post

The Soaring Cost of a Simple Breath; The high price of commonly used medications for conditions like asthma contributes heavily to health care costs in the United States

October 12, 2013

The Soaring Cost of a Simple Breath


OAKLAND, Calif. — The kitchen counter in the home of the Hayes family is scattered with the inhalers, sprays and bottles of pills that have allowed Hannah, 13, and her sister, Abby, 10, to excel at dance and gymnastics despite a horrific pollen season that has set off asthma attacks, leaving the girls struggling to breathe. Asthma — the most common chronic disease that affects Americans of all ages, about 40 million people — can usually be well controlled with drugs. But being able to afford prescription medications in the United States often requires top-notch insurance or plenty of disposable income, and time to hunt for deals and bargains. Read more of this post

Where Jim Rogers Is Investing Now


Where Jim Rogers Is Investing Now

“I cannot invest the way I want the world to be; I have to invest the way the world is.” — Jim Rogers


An interview with investor and author Jim Rogers in Singapore. Why he likes agriculture and Chinese airlines, is concerned about currency turmoil and thinks young Americans should learn a foreign language.


Stepping off a 19-hour flight to visit Jim Rogers in Singapore is a daunting proposition. First, you must locate his home, nestled in a particularly private, verdant nook nuzzling the 183-acre Singapore Botanic Gardens. Next, his remarkably poised nine-year-old daughter—the blond-haired, blue-eyed Hilton Augusta Parker Rogers, or Happy Rogers to her friends—quizzes you in flawless Mandarin to see if your language skills are up to snuff. Then, Rogers invites you to exercise with him while chatting about the markets. Rogers, who will turn 71 this week, has always been a multitasker. The co-founder (with George Soros) of the Quantum Fund famously retired at 37 to travel the world, and is today a venerable investor, author of six books, and doting dad. Convinced of Asia’s ascendance but put off by China’s pollution, he moved his family from New York to Singapore seven years ago so his two young daughters can grow up speaking Mandarin. Today, Oriental antiques jostle Barbie dollhouses for pride of place in his spacious home. He takes his daughters to school on a bicycle, even though a gleaming Mercedes with an 8888 license plate—eight being the most auspicious number to the Chinese since it sounds like the word for “prosper”—sits in the driveway. What follows is our very sweaty conversation—me from the equatorial humidity, Rogers from pedaling a recumbent stationary bike on the patio, a laptop dripping stock quotes propped on his handlebars. A tantalizing pool beckons from 10 feet away, but he did not once slow down. Read more of this post

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