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

When the Rising Stock Price Hides Trouble

October 12, 2013

When the Stock Price Hides Trouble



WHEN a company receives criticism about its executive pay practices, a typical defense is to cite a rising stock price as justification of its pay. If total shareholder return is up, the theory goes, stockholders have no right to complain about what might otherwise look like outsize pay at their companies. While this pay posture is understandable, it raises a question: Should a rising stock price inoculate top executives from criticism over their pay? To more and more experts in corporate finance and pay issues, the answer is no. Aswath Damodaran, a professor of finance at the Stern School of Business at New York University, is among those who think that too many companies rely too heavily on the performance of their shares when computing executive compensation. “I’m a great believer in markets, but sometimes we need more attention paid to what did this management do to the value of the company and less to what did this management do to the price of the stock,” he said. “I would like to see compensation systems where managers are rewarded based on what kind of projects they are working on and how big their returns on invested capital are.” Read more of this post

Is Music the Key to Success? What it is about serious music training that seems to correlate with outsize success in many diverse fields?

October 12, 2013

Is Music the Key to Success?


CONDOLEEZZA RICE trained to be a concert pianist. Alan Greenspan, former chairman of the Federal Reserve, was a professional clarinet and saxophone player. The hedge fund billionaire Bruce Kovner is a pianist who took classes at Juilliard. Multiple studies link music study to academic achievement. But what is it about serious music training that seems to correlate with outsize success in other fields? The connection isn’t a coincidence. I know because I asked. I put the question to top-flight professionals in industries from tech to finance to media, all of whom had serious (if often little-known) past lives as musicians. Almost all made a connection between their music training and their professional achievements. Read more of this post

Slaying The Dragon And Other Ways To Create Killer Content Narratives




There is a system for successful storytelling. Actually, there are many systems. Sometimes we call them platforms. Sometimes we call them structures. Sometimes we call them strategies. But they’re all essentially the same. They’re the framework we deliberately select to support what we hope will be a successful story. Whether the metric of success is shares, comments, views, clicks, albums sold, box office receipts, or artistic immortality, the systems are there. While content marketing, social marketing, and native advertising are new media of sorts, in their most fundamental ways, they are no different than the stories we’ve been telling each other since the dawn of humankind. Read more of this post

How To Become As Interesting As Malcolm Gladwell




To be made into an adjective is probably the closest to immortality that any of us are going to get–and every time Malcolm Gladwell comes out with a new book, we’re reminded of the writer’s everlasting ability to remain interesting. But what is it to be “Gladwellian”? With the release of his new book, David and Goliath,we can see that the adjective summons constructive criticism, as in SlateGQ, andTime. And when the New York Times asked him how he feels when a book is called “Gladwellian,” he said: I’m flattered, naturally. Although I should point out that it is sometimes said that I invented this genre. I did not. Richard Nisbett and Lee Ross did. Aside from setting us scrambling for the work of Nisbett and Ross–who authored The Person and the Situation: Perspectives of Social Psychology, a book exploring how our individual identities are so dang socially contextual–Gladwell’s answer on the question “Gladwellian” still feels incomplete. Read more of this post

The German’s language’s ability to express the inexpressible explains why so many words have been embraced into English


Can China produce a game studio like SuperCell?

Can China produce a game studio like SuperCell?

October 11, 2013

by Francisco Yu

When the DreamWorks animated movie Kung Fu Panda released worldwide, many in the Chinese movie and animation industry asked themselves why couldn’t a Chinese studio have created Kung Fu Pandafirst. After years of soul-searching and introspection, the Chinese animation industry has been trying (and failing) to meet that bar of creating an equal or greater animated film. The creative and decision making mechanisms of the industry just aren’t conducive to making a global animation hit yet. Read more of this post

Building the Cloud: Who Wins, Who Loses; Traditional IT suppliers, including EMC, Cisco, and NetApp, are under siege from cloud operators like Amazon and Google. Pricey start-ups abound. A second chance for VMware


Building the Cloud: Who Wins, Who Loses


Traditional IT suppliers, including EMC, Cisco, and NetApp, are under siege from cloud operators like Amazon and Google. Pricey start-ups abound. A second chance for VMware.


The cloud changes everything. The technology leaders of the past, including Hewlett-Packard , Cisco Systems , and EMC ,face unprecedented threats as computing moves out of corporate data centers and onto the cloud that companies like Google ,Amazon.com , and others have created. Over the past decade, these large Web companies have figured out how to build more-efficient computing facilities than the information-technology teams within large companies could ever imagine. Now these firms are renting their vast computing firepower to companies large and small. Amazon has multiple customers who run SAP(ticker: SAP) enterprise resource planning software, among the heaviest of traditional enterprise applications, for their critical planning. Social networking application SnapChat runs on Google’s App Engine. Read more of this post

APAC has more mobile shoppers than any other region (INFOGRAPHIC)

APAC has more mobile shoppers than any other region (INFOGRAPHIC)

October 11, 2013

by Paul Bischoff

Asian consumers are leading demand for mobile commerce, according to a survey just released by SAP. The almost 3,300 interviewees were spread across China, India, Japan, and Australia. SAP’s findings suggests APAC is far ahead of other regions as far as m-commerce goes. 84 percent want more interactions, 67 percent want more payment methods (e.g. a mobile wallet), and 42 percent have actually purchased something through their mobile phones. Higher confidence in mobile security is driving the shift. Check out more of SAP’s stats in the infographic below.


In a Mood? Call Center Agents Can Tell; New techniques in computational voice analysis are promising to help machines identify the emotions behind a person’s voice

October 12, 2013

In a Mood? Call Center Agents Can Tell


IN a YouTube clip from one of Steve Jobs’s last interviews, he appears to be enjoying reminiscing about how he first hit upon the idea for the keyboardless tablet that eventually became the iPad. “I had this idea of being able to get rid of the keyboard, type on a multitouch glass display and I asked our folks, could we come up with a multitouch display that I could type on, I could rest my hands on and actually type on,” Mr. Jobs says, smiling slightly as he recounts his enthusiasm at seeing the first prototype. “It was amazing.” Read more of this post

The Grocery Store May Be on Its Death Bed; So-called ‘click and collect’ may be the future of shopping for groceries

The Grocery Store May Be on Its Death Bed

So-called ‘click and collect’ may be the future of shopping for groceries

By Brad Tuttle @bradrtuttleOct. 08, 20133 Comments

The need for the weekly 30-minute expedition browsing up and down the aisles of the supermarket is being eliminated. Instead, many shoppers are taking advantage of new services, in which they place an order online and hit a convenient pickup location to retrieve their groceries—often without ever having to leave the car. Despite the spread of options offering online groceries shipped to customers’ homesconsumers have largely been reluctant to jump on board. While the service sounds remarkably convenient, many are uncomfortable letting someone else pick out the meat and produce that’ll wind up on their table. Others worry about food freshness or tomatoes being bruised in such an arrangement, plus the need to block off time to wait for orders to arrive. Cost is a factor as well in grocery delivery (especially for same-day shipping), and since groceries are typically needed at least on a weekly basis, these are costs that can quickly add up. Read more of this post

PayPal Has A New Retail Trick Up Its Sleeve; PayPal Beacon is a small proximity-based USB device that enables customers to buy things from retail locations hands-free

PayPal Has A New Retail Trick Up Its Sleeve

DYLAN LOVE OCT. 12, 2013, 9:23 AM 3,789 6


PayPal is one of the dominant names when you’re talking about mobile payments. They recently introduced a brand-new system that’s going to change how you interact with the retail environment. It’s a small USB device (pictured right) called Beacon, and it enables customers to buy things from retail locations hands-free. If you’re one such customer, you don’t have to touch a wallet, a credit card, or any physical money at all to pay for your items. By checking in to a store à la Foursquare (you can even configure the app check you into places automatically), that retailer has access to the funds in your PayPal account and you can pay for your items directly with that money. It’s proximity-based, so you do have to be physically present at the store. The security check happens when the retailer is shown a picture of your face to make sure that you’re who you say you are. With that confirmed, your total purchase is deducted from your PayPal account. Read more of this post

French farmers are committing suicide at alarming rates; Livestock farmers face particularly slim profit margins and have been unable to pass along higher costs to food manufacturers and retailers

French farmers are committing suicide at alarming rates

By Roberto A. Ferdman @robferdman October 11, 2013

France’s agriculture sector has suffered its fair share of setbacks lately. But here’s a particularly gruesome one: Farmer suicides are adding to the industry’s struggles. A new report (link in French) released yesterday (Oct. 10) by French health institute INVS reveals that nearly 500 farmers in the country took their own lives between 2007 and 2009. That’s roughly a suicide every other day, French news outlet The Local points out. The suicide rate among French farmers is more than 20% higher than that of the general populous, which is an even greater concern when one considers that France already has an alarmingly high suicide rate compared to its European neighbors; suicide rates in France, for example, are twice those of Spain and the UK. Only cancer and cardio-vascular disease are greater causes of death amongst French farmers. France’s mounting suicide problem reflects its suffering agriculture sector, which has buckled amid rising prices for inputs like fertilizers and feed. The economic squeeze has been especially hard on the country’s livestock sector, which registered the highest farmer suicide rates. Livestock farmers face particularly slim profit margins and have been unable to pass along higher costs to food manufacturers and retailers. In January, French farmers took to the streets to protest new environmental regulations that have hiked up costs further. To placate restless farmers, French president François Hollande redirected nearly a €1 billion in subsidies from the European Union last week to help those most affected by the sour economy. (France is the EU’s top agricultural producer as well as the biggest beneficiary of EU aid.) INVS plans to carry out another study to determine whether the suicide problem among France’s farmers extends into 2010 and 2011.

Indonesian Miners Risk Lives in Modern-Day Gold Rush

Indonesian Miners Risk Lives in Modern-Day Gold Rush

By Anne Usher on 12:41 pm October 11, 2013.
Kereng Pangi. In a desolate area of central Indonesia where lush rainforest once stood, illegal miners on the frontline of a modern-day gold rush tear up the earth in the hunt for the precious metal. Thousands of men use high-pressure hoses to blast tons of sand out of the ground daily in open pits around Kereng Pangi on Borneo island, before running it through filters to find specks of gold. Read more of this post

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