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Only about 1 in 10 Americans can balance being busy with being happy

I wrote this article for LinkedIn a few weeks ago which somehow got 78,000 views — it’s based very much on this article I wrote on this blog — and as such, I’m pretty interested in the whole notion of “The Busy Trap” or how people define the time they have. I know this sounds utterly misguided to read if you feel like a busy person, but I often feel like a lot of people run around and don’t accomplish that much — as in, there’s a significant difference between being busy and being productive. The latter implies a value-add. Also, being busy isn’t really the point of life — more on that in a second — so a broader hope is that everyone feeling busy will someday lead to an “Essentialist” movement. (That’s where people focus on the stuff that seemingly actually matters.) Read more

Mindy Kaling was apparently almost in Bridesmaids (as Lillian, i.e. Maya Rudolph)

She was up for Lillian, i.e. the bride, i.e. the role that eventually went to Maya Rudolph. I think Mindy Kaling is funny, although I actually think for that type of role, Maya Rudolph would have been funnier. Probably the main Lillian moment before the end is the people-taking-a-crap-while-trying-on-dresses scene, and Rudolph is a little bit better with her body on physical comedy than Kaling would have been (this might be because of SNL, which periodically requires that). Read more

You can thank evolution for the size and shape of your face (maybe)

FYI: genes that have been linked to facial structure vary more than DNA in other parts of the body. (I had no idea.) This makes logical sense from an evolutionary standpoint. For example, let’s say everyone looked pretty much the same in terms of facial features/construct, right? Or, at the very least, let’s say everyone in a certain area looked the same. If you were angry with someone and wanted to lash out, how would you know who to direct it at? If you were happy and wanted to reward someone, same problem. Thus, you could argue that we evolved to have different faces because it was a social necessity.

That thinking is laid out in an article on National Geographic, including this section:

That high level of genetic variability probably means that evolutionary forces are at play in shaping the diversity of faces, the authors say. Consider a hypothetical gene that codes for either a long nose or a short nose, depending on its DNA variations. If a long nose was harmful, long-nose variants would be weeded out over time. But if the usefulness of a long nose depends on the environmental context, then both short and long variants will stick around in the genome, leading to a more diverse set of genes.

That makes sense. But then think of animals that do tend to look the same — cows or sheep, for example. We don’t obviously know exactly what they’re thinking, but there are elements of research indicating that they can identify each other, or at least make broad sense of some type of hierarchy. That might be a flaw in this type of research, as the article also notes:

Many other species, such as sheep, can use faces to recognize individuals even when those faces are not highly variable, saysSusanne Shultz, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Manchester in the U.K.

“It is likely that numerous processes act in concert during the course of evolution,” adds Barnaby Dixson of the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia.

I was never very good at science or anything in school. I don’t even 100 percent understand evolution, if we’re being completely honest. But one of the more interesting things I’ve read in the past month or so is this idea that we needed social interaction to survive in the very earliest form of humanity. It’s kind of interesting to think about all that stuff contextually: what was happening between the earliest humans and the animals on the planet basically shaped a good deal of how we are today, from our facial features to our general social codes. Obviously things have changed — and maybe evolution isn’t even over yet – but it’s interesting to even think that interactions taking place thousands of years ago are the determinant for why your face looks different than your neighbor’s face.

Not to get too deep here or anything, but we really are all just grains of sand in the world.


Could there be a tie between Hannah Graham and Morgan Harrington?

Here’s the basic story on Hannah Graham: she sent a text to friends around 1:20am on Saturday claiming she was lost (in an area she supposedly knows well). It appears she was “visibly intoxicated” at a bar called McGrady’s around 12:45am, and the location of the sent text is a 14-minute walk from there — but, as you can tell via elementary math, there’s a 35-minute gap in timeline (12:45 to 1:20). There’s also rumors / facts she was in the Preston Avenue area of Charlottesville as well: Read more

Here’s the disconnect of the future: hiring millennials for social media/digital marketing jobs

Let’s say you assume that the concept of a “digital native” is someone who mostly grew up in the age of the Internet and, more specifically, Google (which was an early organizing force of the Internet). Google first got big around 1996-1998 ish, so pretty much anyone born after 1982-1983 was a teenager as the Internet (anyone remember “Dogpile?”) started to rise. That’s essentially the same time frame for millennials. It would stand to reason, then, that if you have an open social media / digital marketing-type job in your organization, you should chase a millennial. I mean, they must do those kind of jobs better than someone in their 40s/50s, right?

Well, maybe — but there’s also something else you need to think about.

Most people learn the Internet through interactions with friends; that’s a very different look/context than interactions with businesses or clients. Read more

Where are the best places for singles to live?

In 1976, 37 percent of the U.S. population was single. Now, in 2014, it’s over 50 percent. I wrote once before about the best places to live if you’re single — Colorado Springs is apparently pretty good — and it should be noted that some of this data is skewed, because single people do tend to live around college towns (as you’ll see below). That’s partially going to college and staying in the area for a few years, and it’s partially just the vibe/ethos of college towns. It might be a cart-horse situation; I’m not sure.  Read more

Brief thought exercise: why do sales people use the word “closing” if the idea is to build a relationship?

I recently saw this on HubSpot’s blog — it’s essentially snippets of sales advice from professionals that you can then ‘click to tweet.’ (It’s amazing how many people 55 and over think ‘click to tweet’ is ingenious. It really is amazing.) This was one of the ones that immediately jumped out to me:

“You don’t close a sale, you open a relationship if you want to build a long-term, successful enterprise.” – Patricia Fripp

Read more


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