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Creative People Say No

When I was a master’s student working as a PR writer for the engineering school at the University of Virginia, I had the chance to interview Randy Pausch. His phone rang numerous times while we were talking. The first time it happened, recognizing that I was imposing on his time, I asked, “Do you need to get that?” He didn’t. For the hour or so that he had blocked out…

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What Does the Demise of Cursive Mean?

Are you aware that our children aren’t being taught to trim their own goose-quill pens? And don’t get me started on the growing number of urban children who lack adequate access to parchment. Here’s a welcome, balanced response to the decreased role that penmanship plays in today’s schools — and in today’s society. My clients are often stuck in mindsets or stalled in places they know are holding them back.…

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A 27-Story Vertical Forest Grows in Milan

Bosco Verticale was conceived in response to the alarming levels of air pollution in Milan. The structure itself is no more radical than your average high-rise tower block, but when fortified with over 700 balcony-perched trees, not only will the buildings look like two enormous topiaries in the middle of the city, but they will also filter dust particles, absorb carbon dioxide, and protect the apartment complexes within from radiation…

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On Stephen Hawking, Vader and Being More Machine Than Human

In one version of Hawking’s eulogistic story, we praise the smartest person in the world, the brilliant physicist, one of the greatest cosmologists of our time. He fits perfectly well with our conception of how science and its heroes work: To be a genius all one needs is a powerful – a “beautiful” – mind. And indeed, because of his disability, Hawking embodies the mythical figure capable of grasping the…

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Mother 3: My Mom, and Me

Thoughtful, powerful, personal analysis of a computer game. Blogging this as an example of “new games journalism,” so I can have it handy the next time I teach Video Game Culture and Theory. When someone you love dies, your view of the world takes on an air of mysticism. You find meaning in places you wouldn’t normally look. The unexpected scent of a favorite flower in your loved one’s bedroom;…

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Neil Gaiman’s Journal

This is great advice for everybody. I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something. So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make…