Professional Pickpocket Apollo Robbins Explains the Art of Misdirection

≡ Category: Life, Psychology, TED Talks, Theatre |Leave a Comment”>

You’ve got to pick-a-pocket or two, boys 
You’ve got to pick-a-pocket or two. 
Unlike the Artful Dodger and other light-fingered urchins brought to life by Charles Dickens and, more recently, composer Lionel Bart, professional pickpocket Apollo Robbins confines his practice to the stage.


How to Take Advantage of Boredom, the Secret Ingredient of Creativity

≡ Category: Creativity, Psychology |1 Comment

Pierre-August Renoir, La Tasse de chocolat
Last year we told you about the importance of messy desks and walking to creativity. This year, the time has come to realize how much creativity also depends on boredom.


Michio Kaku & Noam Chomsky School Moon Landing and 9/11 Conspiracy Theorists

≡ Category: Current Affairs, History, Psychology |30 Comments

Who really killed John F. Kennedy? Did America really land on the moon? What really brought down the Twin Towers? Few modern phenomena possess the sheer fascination quotient of conspiracy theories.


An Animated Carol Dweck on Why Parents Who Tell Their Kids How Smart They Are Aren’t Doing Them Any Favors

≡ Category: Animation, Education, Psychology |Leave a Comment

After a long hiatus, the RSA (The Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) has returned with another one of the whiteboard animated-lectures they pioneered five years ago.


The Science of Willpower: 15 Tips for Making Your New Year’s Resolutions Last from Dr. Kelly McGonigal

≡ Category: Life, Psychology |Leave a Comment

At the stroke of midnight on January 1, millions of New Year’s resolutions went into effect, with the most common ones being lose weight, get fit, quit drinking and smoking, save money, and learn something new (we can help you there). Unfortunately, 33% of these resolutions will be abandoned by January’s end.


How a Good Night’s Sleep — and a Bad Night’s Sleep — Can Enhance Your Creativity

≡ Category: Creativity, Health, Neuroscience, Psychology |1 Comment

Creative Commons image, “Sleep,” by Masha Krasnova-Shabaeva
You decide you need some medical advice, so you take to the internet. Whoops! There’s your first mistake. Now you are bombarded with contradictory opinions from questionable sources and you begin to develop symptoms you never knew existed. It’s all downhill from there.


Creativity, Not Money, is the Key to Happiness: Discover Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihaly’s Theory of “Flow”

≡ Category: Creativity, Psychology |4 Comments

The title of the TED talk above, “Flow, the secret to happiness,” might make you roll your eyes. It does indeed sound like self-help snake oil. But as soon as you hear the speaker, psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, describe the rationale for his happiness study, you might pay more serious attention.


A Fascinating Case Study by Oliver Sacks Inspires a Short Animated Film, The Lost Mariner

≡ Category: Animation, Psychology |Leave a Comment

In February, Oliver Sacks announced that he was suffering from terminal cancer. And, by August, he was gone — but not before showing us (if you read his op-eds in the Times) how to die with dignity and grace. All of this I was reminded of again today when I stumbled upon a recent animation inspired by Sacks’ work.


Punk & Heavy Metal Music Makes Listeners Happy and Calm, Not Aggressive, According to New Australian Study

≡ Category: Music, Psychology |1 Comment

Creative Commons photo by Metal Chris
In My Day, so much of the music we listened to seemed angrier, more raucous and unruly—more aggressive and plainly evil—than music today. Not that I have any hard evidence for these assertions; customarily none is required for an In My Day rant.


The Power of Pessimism: Science Reveals the Hidden Virtues in Negative Thinking

≡ Category: Health, Psychology |1 Comment

These days, you don’t really hear many people making the case for pessimism. Quite the contrary, positive psychology is now en vogue. And its founder, University of Pennsylvania psychology professor Martin Seligman, has written bestsellers with titles like Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life.


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