What a bunch of BS. ”Follow Your Passion” is easily the worst advice you could ever give or get.- How my daughters learned to eat like the French [NYT]
Why ? Because everyone is passionate about something. Usually more than 1 thing. We are born with it. There are always going to be things we love to do. That we dream about doing. That we really really want to do with our lives. Those passions aren’t worth a nickel.
- How to have a conversation [FT]
Listening to these stories, I felt slightly disappointed. My idea of a good conversationalist was an erudite entertainer. I had ambitions of learning how to host a good table. I had imagined finding out how to emulate Christopher Hitchens, quoting Yeats and quaffing scotch. But none of my new friends said they wanted to be a raconteur in the Coleridge or the Hitchens mould. Instead, there was a genuine, quiet determination to learn how to be better friends and better lovers. And to have a bit of fun on a Tuesday night. We were Boswells, not Johnsons.- On the WSJ's Dear Book Lover: Bad Books and Unread Books
At the risk of alienating a raft of readers, I would argue that Stephenie Meyer's "Twilight" is a bad book—flat, fatuous, bathetic. But I certainly wouldn't argue that it shouldn't have been published or that libraries shouldn't lend it. Maybe it will be a stepping stone to Harry Potter or the Chronicles of Narnia. Maybe it carried someone through a lonely afternoon. And as the British journalist Stuart Evers wrote, "bad books can be almost as instructive as good books. They show you what fiction looks like when it's malfunctioning, when all its wiring is hanging out."
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I have three shelves of unread books, sorted more or less by how long I've owned them. The first of these shelves holds older acquisitions, books I bought or was given more than, say, two years ago. On a second shelf are books I acquired more recently, up to six months ago or so. The third shelf is my on-deck circle, which is stacked with about 15 books now, some that I chose, some that were given to me in the past few months.- Warren Buffett's $50 Billion Decision [Forbes]
- Forging stronger social connections for a longer life [NYT]
- The brain on love [NYT]
Just consider how much learning happens when you choose a mate. Along with thrilling dependency comes glimpsing the world through another’s eyes; forsaking some habits and adopting others (good or bad); tasting new ideas, rituals, foods or landscapes; a slew of added friends and family; a tapestry of physical intimacy and affection; and many other catalysts, including a tornadic blast of attraction and attachment hormones — all of which revamp the brain.- A Man. A Woman. Just Friends? [NYT]
When two people become a couple, the brain extends its idea of self to include the other; instead of the slender pronoun “I,” a plural self emerges who can borrow some of the other’s assets and strengths. The brain knows who we are. The immune system knows who we’re not, and it stores pieces of invaders as memory aids. Through lovemaking, or when we pass along a flu or a cold sore, we trade bits of identity with loved ones, and in time we become a sort of chimera. We don’t just get under a mate’s skin, we absorb him or her.
Love is the best school, but the tuition is high and the homework can be painful. As imaging studies by the U.C.L.A. neuroscientist Naomi Eisenberger show, the same areas of the brain that register physical pain are active when someone feels socially rejected. That’s why being spurned by a lover hurts all over the body, but in no place you can point to. Or rather, you’d need to point to the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex in the brain, the front of a collar wrapped around the corpus callosum, the bundle of nerve fibers zinging messages between the hemispheres that register both rejection and physical assault.
- Probability and game theory in The Hunger Games [Wired]
- Barbie & Ken wedding/prenup photos