Back when I was reporting the book I went to see neurologist George Bartzokis of UCLA. We were sitting in his tiny office, talking about myelin and how the brain can learn new behaviors, and Bartzokis said something that got my attention.
He said, “In a most basic sense, myelin is hope.”
Myelin is hope, I remember …
Continue reading “Thanksgiving”
Tis the season and all, so here are a few things I’ve been enjoying lately, in no particular order:
Manhood for Amateurs, by Michael Chabon: Okay, I’m a huge Chabon fan and would probably love anything he scribbled, but this collection of nonfiction essays is uniquely great for its insights into parenting, kid freedom, and the …
Continue reading “Good Reads, Links, Tunes”
Check out this video of Tina Fey in her early days, back when she was growing her skills doing improv at Chicago’s Second City. A few things leap out:
Young Tina’s not all that funny.
Young Tina takes LOTS of risks (as evidenced by the sketch).
Young Tina sees the direct connection between taking smart risks and getting …
Continue reading “Tina Fey’s Transformation”
As kids, we do it all the time: we pretend we’re the quarterback with one second left in a tied Super Bowl, or we’re about to walk onstage with the Rolling Stones, or (if you grow up in Alaska like I did), we’re mushing our dogteam toward an Iditarod victory. We invent fabulously detailed, pressurized …
Continue reading “The Underrated Benefits of Faking”
Last night, with four minutes left and his team trailing by 13 points, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning did something amazing: he led the Indianapolis Colts to an improbable win, 35-34.
Warren Buffett had a pretty good week too, purchasing Burlington Northern Railroad for $34 billion.
All in all, it’s a fine time to ask a simple …
Continue reading “Geek Power: How Peyton Manning is Like Warren Buffett”
This just in: apparently some talents are natural-born.
One of my Sunday addictions, along with a triple hazelnut espresso, is “Corner Office,” Adam Bryant’s weekly interview of a bigshot CEO. Here’s the strange thing: At some point in each interview, every single CEO shares the same nugget of wisdom: the crucial importance of mistakes, failures, and setbacks. (Above, see Richard Branson of Virgin talking about …
Continue reading “The Genius of Screwups”
The best coach in the NBA is a short, 38-year-old former lawyer who never played high-level basketball. His name is Idan Ravin, and he’s master coach to the stars: LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, and a dozen others, who swear by his magical touch (which you can see on video here and here).
So why is …
Continue reading “Great Teachers Part I: The Hoops Whisperer”
Strange question of the day: What does The Onion — the world’s best fake newspaper — have in common with Toyota, the car company?
At first the comparison seems ludicrous. In our comedy, we desire creativity and surprise; in our cars we desire reliability and non-surprise. In addition, comedy attract profoundly different sorts of people than do …
Continue reading “Funny Business: How The Onion is like Toyota”
Is it possible to teach a complete beginner to play cello in a twenty minutes?
Two weeks ago master cello teacher Hans Jensen and I tried to find out. We were at PopTech, a conference in Camden, Maine. We were gathered with forty people for a session about talent. We asked for volunteers — four adults, …
Continue reading “Learning Cello in 20 Minutes: An Experiment”