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Shimpei Takahashi: Play this game to come up with original ideas. Hans Rosling, population prophet: Five final thoughts. The 30 Happiest Facts Of All Time. Uruguay's president José Mujica: no palace, no motorcade, no frills. If anyone could claim to be leading by example in an age of austerity, it is José Mujica, Uruguay's president, who has forsworn a state palace in favour of a farmhouse, donates the vast bulk of his salary to social projects, flies economy class and drives an old Volkswagen Beetle. But the former guerrilla fighter is clearly disgruntled by those who tag him "the world's poorest president" and – much as he would like others to adopt a more sober lifestyle – the 78-year-old has been in politics long enough to recognise the folly of claiming to be a model for anyone.

"If I asked people to live as I live, they would kill me," Mujica said during an interview in his small but cosy one-bedroom home set amid chrysanthemum fields outside Montevideo. The president is a former member of the Tupamaros guerrilla group, which was notorious in the early 1970s for bank robberies, kidnappings and distributing stolen food and money among the poor. Four hours of concentration. As I’ve blogged about before, and mentioned again in my previous post, the great mathematician and physicist Henri Poincaré put in two hours of work in the morning and two in the evening.

Four hours of concentration

Apparently this is a common pattern. How to do the most work in the shortest time. How to be mediocre and be happy with yourself. Image copyright Thinkstock In the novel Catch-22, the author Joseph Heller famously wrote: "Some men are born mediocre, some men achieve mediocrity, and some men have mediocrity thrust upon them.

How to be mediocre and be happy with yourself

" News is bad for you – and giving up reading it will make you happier. In the past few decades, the fortunate among us have recognised the hazards of living with an overabundance of food (obesity, diabetes) and have started to change our diets.

News is bad for you – and giving up reading it will make you happier

But most of us do not yet understand that news is to the mind what sugar is to the body. News is easy to digest. The media feeds us small bites of trivial matter, tidbits that don't really concern our lives and don't require thinking. That's why we experience almost no saturation. Unlike reading books and long magazine articles (which require thinking), we can swallow limitless quantities of news flashes, which are bright-coloured candies for the mind. News misleads. The Bed of Procrustes — 20 Aphorisms from Nassim Taleb. 10 Virtues for the Modern Age... The Inventory: Nassim Nicholas Taleb. ‘Who is my mentor?

The Inventory: Nassim Nicholas Taleb

I have inverse mentors: people I learnt to not imitate,’ says the scholar and philosopher ©Camera Press Nassim Nicholas Taleb, 53, is distinguished professor of risk engineering at New York University’s Polytechnic Institute. Following a career in finance, he is now the best-selling author of books that include The Black Swan and Antifragile. Nassim Taleb: my rules for life. How much does Nassim Taleb dislike journalists?

Nassim Taleb: my rules for life

Let me count the ways. "An erudite is someone who displays less than he knows; a journalist or consultant the opposite. " "This business of journalism is about pure entertainment, not the search for the truth. " Risk Expert: GMOs Could Destroy the Planet. Related: Risk analyst Nassim Nicholas Taleb predicted the 2008 financial crisis, by pointing out that commonly-used risk models were wrong.

Risk Expert: GMOs Could Destroy the Planet

Distinguished professor of risk engineering at New York University, author of best-sellers The Black Swan and Fooled by Randomness, Taleb became financially independent after the crash of 1987, and wealthy during the 2008 financial crisis. Now, Taleb is using his statistical risk acumen to take on genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Taleb’s conclusion: GMOs could cause “an irreversible termination of life at some scale, which could be the planet.” Sound crazy? The “Touristification” of Education. I’m currently reading Antifragile, by Nassim Taleb (probably the most relevant book of the year), and there was a particular concept that caught my attention: the idea of “touristification”.

The “Touristification” of Education

Taleb explains: Touristification castrates systems and organisms that like uncertainty by sucking randomness out of them to the last drop—while providing them with the illusion of benefit. […] This is my term for an aspect of modern life that treats humans as washing machines, with simplified mechanical responses_and a detailed user’s manual. It is the systematic removal of uncertainty and randomness from things, trying to make matters highly predictable in their smallest details. Notes from Nassim Taleb’s Antifragile. How I Became a Prolific Writer and Learned to Get Beyond School Essays. Economics of Blogging and Huffington Post. What I’ve Learned as a Writer. By Leo Babauta I’ve been a professional writer since I was 17: so nearly 24 years now.

What I’ve Learned as a Writer

Book Reviewers for Hire Meet a Demand for Online Raves. Some thoughts on the movie ‘Babel’ These are some of the ideas which I collected after some thinking and looking around, about the movie Babel.

Some thoughts on the movie ‘Babel’

If you have not watched it, you are advised to not read further. I am writing this mainly for the group of friends I went along to watch the movie. Bruce Lee - Remember The Dragon. Remembering the Dragon as we honor what would have been his 72nd birthday on November 27...

Bruce Lee - Remember The Dragon

Bruce Lee Despite the countless number of people around the world that idolize Bruce Lee, it goes without saying that his biggest fan is still his daughter, Shannon. You could hear it in her voice the second she begins talking about the legendary martial artist and film star. The Storm Before the Storm: An Interview With Historian and Podcast Superstar Mike Duncan. Mike Duncan couldn’t find a good podcast on the topic of ancient history, a subject he had fallen in love with, so he made his own.

A beginner’s guide to Getting Things Done. 77 Important Truths I’ve Learned About Life. Top 10 Life Hacks That Actually Work Wonders. 40 Life Hacks That Will Change Your Life. 50 Life Hacks to Simplify your World. Life hacks are little ways to make our lives easier. These low-budget tips and trick can help you organize and de-clutter space; prolong and preserve your products; or teach you something (e.g., tie a full Windsor) that you simply did not know before.

No siblings: A side-effect of China's one-child policy. 21 November 2013Last updated at 19:48 ET By Celia Hatton BBC News, Beijing. China and Japan: Seven decades of bitterness. 13 February 2014Last updated at 21:17 GMT A woman holds up an anti-Japanese sign during a protest in September 2012 A dispute over islands in the East China Sea has inflamed relations between Japan and China for the last two years - but they were tense even before. The BBC's Mariko Oi visited both countries with a Chinese journalist to find out why the wounds of World War Two refuse to heal. "Do you feel guilty about what Japan did to China during the war?

" China’s Nightmarish Citizen Scores Are a Warning For Americans. The Thoughts of Chairman Xi. ShaoLan: Learn to read Chinese ... with ease! The three-degree world: cities that will be drowned by global warming. When UN climate negotiators meet for summit talks this month, there will be a new figure on the table: 3C.

Until now, global efforts such as the Paris climate agreement have tried to limit global warming to 2C above pre-industrial levels. However, with latest projections pointing to an increase of 3.2C by 2100, these goals seem to be slipping out of reach. Global temperature change compared to pre-industrial levels. Here’s How Far the World Is From Meeting Its Climate Goals. Two years after countries signed a landmark climate agreement in Paris, the world remains far off course from preventing drastic global warming in the decades ahead. On Monday, the latest round of post-Paris international climate talks begin in Bonn, Germany, to discuss how to step up efforts. Under the Paris deal, each country put forward a proposal to curtail its greenhouse-gas emissions between now and 2030. Behind the scenes at a Glasgow recycling centre: What it really means to go green. You do your bit. Meat or two veg? Find out your food's climate footprint.