Why you should ditch your desk job: Adam Braun, founder of Pencils of Promise, discusses the benefits of non-traditional work

Why you should ditch your desk job

March 17, 2014: 12:10 PM ET

Adam Braun, founder of Pencils of Promise, discusses the benefits of non-traditional work.

Fortune.com selects the most compelling short essays, anecdotes, and author interviews from “250 Words,” a site developed by Simon & Schuster to explore the best new business books—wherever they may be published.

FORTUNE — For this installment, 250 Words’ Sam McNerney sits down with Adam Braun, the founder of Pencils of Promise, an award-winning nonprofit organization that has broken ground on more than 200 schools around the world. Braun is the author of the new book The Promise of a Pencil: How an Ordinary Person Can Create Extraordinary Changepublished this week by Scribner. Read more of this post

To Change Tunes, a Nod Will Be as Good as a Wink; Automakers, including Mercedes-Benz and Ford, are cautiously installing gesture sensing systems

To Change Tunes, a Nod Will Be as Good as a Wink

By JIM NASHMARCH 14, 2014

image002 image001-1

Drawings from a 2013 Microsoft patent application suggests gestures that would serve, from left, as commands to lower and raise the audio volume and a request for more information; A Google patent filing proposes this gesture as a command for the audio system to play.CreditUnited States Patent and Trademark Office Read more of this post

Searching for Profits in Mobile

MARCH 17, 2014, 9:00 AM  Comment

Searching for Profits in Mobile

By QUENTIN HARDY

Maybe the problem of making money in mobile is getting easier, using the same basic technique that was used for the web. Or for that matter, for junk mail. Read more of this post

In Masochistic Twist, the Faster You Die, the More Popular the Game; Failure, in Video Games, Has a Sweet, Addictive Allure

In Masochistic Twist, the Faster You Die, the More Popular the Game

Failure, in Video Games, Has a Sweet, Addictive Allure

MARCH 16, 2014

By STEPHEN TOTILO

The popularity of video games is proof that people enjoy having problems. Apparently life isn’t tough enough for those of us who seek amusement in failure’s premiere form of entertainment. Taxes, relationships and health troubles not stressful enough? Play an arduous video game that you’ll fail at in seconds. Millions of people do. They like a challenge. They like to walk into a bit of trouble. Read more of this post

Understanding laughter yields insights into how our brains process a complex world and how that, in turn, makes us who we are. Unhappiness can breed creativity, and the best jokes require both intellectual gymnastics and astute observation of human

MARCH 17, 2014, 4:33 PM  1 Comments

“Ha!” Takes a Serious Look at Humor

By FLORENCE WILLIAMS

image001-7Patricia Wall/The New York Times

So there’s this baby who has swallowed a .22-caliber bullet. The mother rushes into a drugstore, crying, “What shall I do?”
“Give him a bottle of castor oil,” replies the druggist, “but don’t point him at anybody.” Read more of this post

A Degree Where Techie Meets Business Smarts: Young professionals in the coveted STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) are discovering they can expand their career future by getting a hybrid master’s degree

A Degree Where Techie Meets Business Smarts

By ELIZABETH OLSONMARCH 17, 2014

DANIEL BRISKER, who graduated in 2009 with an undergraduate degree in biology, likes his job at MedImmune, a Maryland biotechnology company, where he grows and harvests cell cultures, but he also wanted to enhance his professional credentials. So he went back to school for a professional science master’s degree — what some are calling a science M.B.A., a degree combining science knowledge with business skills. Read more of this post

Giant lasers to create fusion: With one tiny flash, scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and elsewhere are inching closer to fusion’s promise of endless power

Machinery of an Energy Dream

The Challenge: How to Keep Fusion Going Long Enough

By KENNETH CHANGMARCH 17, 2014

The National Ignition Facility at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory where a team used giant lasers to create a fusion reaction last month. CreditJim Wilson/The New York Times Read more of this post

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