"There’s actually a science to why stories matter. So when we hear a good story as human beings our brain lights up.
Whether you get mesmerized by Vincent van Gogh’s painting The Starry Night or Albert Einstein’s theories about space-time, you’ll probably agree that both pieces of work are products of mind-blowing creativity. Imagination is what propels us forward as a species
You might think Lego is just a kids’ toy – one you played with as a child and now step on as you walk through the house as a parent.
Creativity has nothing to do with any activity in particular. Anything can be creative. Creativity is the quality that you bring to the activity you are doing. It is an attitude, an inner approach -- how you look at things. You can paint in an uncreative way... You can clean the floor in a creative way...
In the run-up to Christmas, we’re subjected to a daily barrage of festive music – on the radio and television, in shops, train stations, restaurants, pubs and bars. So are you humming Jingle Bells or All I Want for Christmas while you wrap your presents?
The Star Wars universe is no stranger to political allegories. Many viewers have pointed out the parallels between the original Empire and the Nazis, to give the most famous example, with the plucky Rebel Alliance cast as the US/British resistance who never gave up hope in the face of unconscionable evil.
One of the biggest media industry stories this year is Disney’s announcement that it will launch its own internet-distributed television service in 2018.
Imagine an apple floating in front of you. Now see if you can rotate it around in your mind. Look at it from the top, bottom – does it have any blemishes? How clearly can you see it?
I have a tiny suspicion that someday, far in the future, people will look back at our ideas about the right brain-left brain dichotomy and laugh. I suspect they will wonder at our lack of understanding, in much the same way that today we cringe at outdated medieval medical practices.
The Shape of Water is a gorgeous and entertaining movie, but it also has a timely, allegorical message about our willingness to accept difference.
For as long as we have been able to stand upright and speak, we have told stories. They explained the mysteries of the world: birth, death, the seasons, day and night. They were the origins of human creativity, expressed in words but also in pictures...
Did you ever say to yourself, "I wish that I might never again be afraid of anything"? Or have you met someone who had such a deep calm and peace that you have thought, "How I wish that I might be like that person"? Did you ever, in some still moment, feel as though you could...
Most Americans probably don’t realize that we have a very limited understanding of the first Thanksgiving, which took place in 1621 in Massachusetts.
If you want to change your life today—to make it radically different tomorrow—you must engage in the creative process. This process requires the ability to respond without sifting through past memories. It also requires cohesiveness of intention, and purposefulness.
Many of us have experienced the effects of sleep deprivation: feeling tired and cranky, or finding it hard to concentrate. Sleep is more important for our brains than you may realize.
Chaya Grossberg is one of the creatively maladjusted. Her process of spiritual development can serve as a model for other psychiatric survivors who have not broken out of the psychiatric net and not discovered their identities...
Albert Einstein attributed his brilliant mind to having a child-like sense of humor. Indeed, a number of studies have found an association between humour and intelligence.
Although we tend to compartmentalize our lives — this is work, this is family, this is entertainment — it doesn’t actually work that way. Everything we think and do and feel is interconnected, and what occurs in one realm of our lives affects all the others.
He is famous for his love of honey, and being a bear of “little brain”. So Winnie the Pooh might be a little surprised to find himself the subject of a major new museum exhibition.
I think I might be a hedonist. Are you imagining me snorting cocaine through $100 notes, a glass of champagne in one hand, the other fondling a stranger’s firm thigh?
Do you ever have trouble telling right from left? For example you’re taking a driving lesson and the instructor asks you to take a left turn and you pause, struggling to think of which way is left.
I had just been outdoors, but I couldn’t say what the sky looked like, cloudy or clear, or whether birds sang or if I’d felt a breeze on my cheeks. I had been locked inside my head, thinking. After that, a phrase I’d heard all of my life, “Come to your senses,” began to take on new meaning.
Steve Jobs, the late co-founder of Apple, once said “creativity is just connecting things”. There’s truth in that but there is another source of creativity, too – the ideas that simply pop into our minds.
Dance Movement Psychotherapy (DMP) uses the body, movement and dance as a way of expressing oneself and findings ways of exploring and addressing psychological problems or difficulties.
When the legends of opera were composing their works, it is unlikely they ever envisaged a time when intricate sets made by man’s hand would be replaced with virtual reality.
When you think about somewhere that is tranquil, what do you imagine? Whether it’s a wide open meadow, a deserted beach, or a river as it lazily flows along on a warm summer’s afternoon, research shows tranquillity is mainly found in natural outdoor environments.
The two episodes of Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds set out to explore the increasing isolation of older people within our communities.
Let’s say you’re planning your next party and agonizing over the guest list. To whom should you send invitations? What combination of friends and strangers is the right mix?
This summer marks 40 years since the death of Elvis Presley. In the decades since the singer finally left the building, the hits have continued, his home at Graceland is now a top tourist attraction, and he is regularly listed as one of the top earning dead celebrities by Forbes.
He was an artist renowned for bravely plumbing his own life for material, spinning much of his own pain into theatrical gold.
Mermaids are everywhere. In July 2017 alone they have surfaced in New Brighton, caused controversy in Asda, reinvigorated toast, partied with the Kardashians, transformed maternity and wedding photography
Game of Thrones has become something of a TV event over the past six years – the last season attracted more than 5m viewers per episode.
Two centuries on from the death of Jane Austen, the enthusiasm for her work and the Regency world she represents is more alive than ever. Austen herself might marvel at this. She had to buy her first manuscript back from a publisher because it came to nothing, and published anonymously during her lifetime.
Lowering the legal age for marijuana use will help to improve prevention, safety and education for young people.
Temporary relief from structured classroom teaching opens up exciting opportunities for kids at summer camps that not only feed their craving for fun, but also satiate their emotional, physical and cognitive development.
For me, red is passion, energy, fun, excitement. My red blazer immediately infuses me with inner warmth and joy. “That’s a good color on you.” This accurate remark emphasizes the vitality behind the color energizing my very being.
When he arrived alone in London in 1958, the label attached to Paddington Bear’s coat politely requested that he be looked after.
“He who climbs upon the highest mountains laughs at all tragic plays and tragic reality”, said the prophetic protagonist in the German philosopher Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra.
“We see many films on male bonding, but hardly any on female bonding,” award-winning Indian filmmaker Aparna Sen told Indian television news channel NDTV at Cannes, just after the screening of her latest film, Sonata.
A magician in the highest and truest sense, your Spirit has the power to arrange events and situations so that they serve your ultimate well-being, as well as the ultimate well-being of everyone else.
The Beatles’ Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band turns 50 on June 1 and the anniversary of this legendary album will be celebrated in style. But has this classic work - named the greatest album of all time by Rolling Stone - stood the test of time?
There is a strange and troubled kind of intimacy between our own moment of climate change and 19th century Britain. It was there that a global, fossil fuel economy first took shape, through its coal-powered factories, railways, and steamships, which drove the emergence of modern consumer capitalism.
It is hard to stop hurrying mentally toward the next task, fretting about something in the future, or ruminating over something that happened the day before. Even if we vow not to squander the next hour through inattention, it happens. We slip back into our thoughts and forget to be awake.
The manner in which we approach our work is highly revealing and immediately evident to the sensitive viewer; our energies directly transfer into the work itself. Most of us yearn for a high order of integrity and caring from others in our lives. Do we not wish to embody this care, this quality, in ourselves and in our own way of working?
It started when an American academic noticed how frequently the acknowledgements sections of weighty academic tomes featured a male author thanking his nameless wife for typing.
"I know how it works. I can change whatever seems to be whenever I want to change it. What shall I change, what suggestions shall I give myself, shall I accept, take them for truth in my trance and watch the world shift around me?"
And I’ve learned that even though watching TV gets a bad rap as the “junk food” of media diets, it can be good for you – as long as you give yourself permission to indulge.
We have all had experiences of wanting something to happen and being devastated when it didn’t, only to realize later that “the timing wasn’t right.” The term divine timing typically refers to the idea that everything happens at the “right” time...
Humans are visual creatures. Objects we call “beautiful” or “aesthetic” are a crucial part of our humanity.
Experiment with the following anxiety-reduction strategies, learn which ones work for you, and begin to use those that work best. Knowing about them is not enough — you must practice them and use them...
In the mid-1990s, body modification enthusiasts – a long-ostracized subculture – created an online community that incorporated blogs, dating and wikis.
It has been argued that some people are creative and some are not. But I believe we are all creative; it's just that some people are more confident in using their creativity, and therefore they just appear to be more creative. The key to tapping into your creative resources is to...
Legendary is an overused adjective in popular culture, but Berry’s passing is a salutary reminder of what a giant in the field actually looked like.
Spontaneous writing, a discipline of writing about traumatic events that is done quickly, without forethought or self-censorship, can bring up traumatic events from the past and trigger a healing journey. This approach has proven helpful especially for children of alcoholics...
A Hungarian film titled “Sing” recently won the Oscar for best short film. “Sing” tells the story of young Zsófi, who joins a renowned children’s choir at her elementary school where “everyone is welcome.”
This week, most of the major figures in film-making will gather in Hollywood for the 89th annual Oscars ceremony.
Many years before the Fifty Shades franchise was conceived came its singular predecessor. In 1954, a woman using the pseudonym Pauline Reage published a slim volume bearing the title l’Histoire d’O (Story of O).
If you imagine each thought going through your mind as a seed destined to grow the events of your future, how do you feel about the quality of the seeds you’re planting? Are they growing success, joy, and love, or bitterness, pain, and disappointment?
There are two paths before you: One of them takes you to Heaven, a place more beautiful than you can imagine. The other takes you to Hell, a land full of darkness, despair, and wretched individuals. You are to choose a path.
In his dazzling book Far from the Tree, Andrew Solomon points out that while we are all members of the tribes we are born into (part of our family, our geographical area, our native language, and our era), we also must seek out the tribe that celebrates our specialness.
Just like adults, children use humour in their everyday lives. Some like to make fun of themselves whereas others like to laugh at the expense of others.
Roughly 90% of humans are right-handed and this is one of the traits that separates us from most other primates who don’t really show any overall preference for left or right handedness.
Time is money, as they say. As a culture, we hate the notion of wasting time, of losing time, and we often find ourselves running out of time, fighting against the clock. Doing nothing is almost sinful. But what really is a waste of time?
A common argument for the value of the arts is the claim they cultivate empathy. Reading literature, viewing quality cinema and listening to fine music refine our sensibilities and make us better and more humane – or so the argument goes.
The transformation of U.S. television that began in 2015 – with more companies distributing television content over the internet – continued in 2016.
Do you remember being taught you should never start your sentences with “And” or “But”?
The Merlin Bird Photo ID mobile app can identify hundreds of North American species it “sees” in photos, thanks to machine-learning technology.
There are many social norms that dictate gift-giving, including when, how and what to give as gifts. Interestingly, these norms don’t seem to be about making sure that recipients get the gifts they want.
It’s the time of year where retailers bombard us with advertisements and special offers of magical gifts to delight our nearest and dearest.
Disney’s Christmas release transports us to the seas of Polynesia, where a young girl – Moana – takes on a leadership role and risks everything to save her tribe and her community.
Have you ever found yourself dreading a leisurely activity you had eagerly scheduled days or weeks in advance?
One of my fondest Christmas memories happened many years ago when I was co-hosting a radio show with Jim Kirkwood called The Good News Hour. We decided to do something extra special one year, so we worked up a volunteer army of helpers from our listeners to feed the largest homeless shelter...
Once upon a time a little Being was sitting by a stream…sighing, sad, and just a bit frightened. At that same moment, as the fates would have it, Solomon, the wise old owl, happened to be flying by just overhead...
A blank canvas. An empty music score. A newly opened Word document or electric circuit simulation. Trying to harness creativity at will haunts artists, scientists, technologists, and even bureaucrats. How can we open our minds and wander into new, innovative territory?
Pulitzer-Prize-winning poet Robert Lowell said that Bob Dylan wasn’t a poet because he “leaned on the crutch of his guitar”. The Nobel committee clearly disagree – they awarded him the Nobel Prize in Literature. Indeed, Dylan has leaned on poetry more than any other musician, before or since.
The human mind: It’s the best drama machine around. It’s portable. It runs day and night. It requires only imagination to operate. It cranks out some of the best stories around. Just feed it a few tidbits of hearsay, half-truths, some emotional charge, some childhood memories (the more traumatic, the better), and voilà...
Denis Villeneuve’s alien movie Arrival, which has just reached cinemas, is the latest in a long sci-fi tradition of “first contact” narratives.
New statistical analysis identifies Christopher Marlowe as a likely coauthor of all three of William Shakespeare’s Henry VI plays.
A long time ago, a girl named Li-Li got married and went to live with her husband and mother-in-law. In a very short time, Li-Li found that she couldn't get along with her mother-in-law at all.
For the last 30 years or so the rise of creative writing programmes in universities has been met with seemingly unending howls of derision from all quarters.
Leonard Cohen has died, and the lights have gone out all around the world. His death shouldn’t have come as any surprise: as he wrote to his muse Marianne, just weeks ago,
As a researcher who investigates some of the potential side effects of humor, I spend a fair bit of time verifying the funniness of the jokes, photos and videos we present to participants in our studies.
After years of sales growth, major publishers reported a fall in their e-book sales for the first time this year, introducing new doubts about the potential of e-books in the publishing industry.
As the new NBA season begins, the Golden State Warriors find themselves in an unfamiliar role: villain.
If you’re reading this in a comfortable chair, surrounded by tasteful soft furnishings and perhaps even a candle or two, that sense of cosiness you’re feeling might just be hygge.
Truly creative people are more interested in the process of creating than its side effects. They do not create in order to get something else. The joy of creating is reward enough in itself. Awards and accolades are not the goal; they are the byproducts of the goal.
There’s been a great deal of excitement over Bob Dylan winning the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature. It’s rare for artists who have achieved widespread, mainstream popularity to win.
While meditations, exercise, and vacations all have the potential to reduce negative stress, if your relationships are lousy or you hate your work or your creativity is being stifled, you will remain stressed out. Your life choices, positive and negative, determine your wellbeing...
In New York I am going to have late-afternoon tea with a rather unusual artist. She works in a bank on Wall Street, but one day she had a dream: she had to go to...
Have you noticed that many children’s tales end with a victory of the heart? The hero, after following a tortuous path of struggles, dreams and hopes, always manages to fulfill their heart’s desire, while sometimes discovering it at the same time....
More than two million viewers watched some of the Thursday night NFL football game on Twitter each of the last three weeks, and several million more used it to watch the first presidential debate.
Even when we are not competing with other people, we can often feel like the world around us is competing for our time, money, and attention. One of the most resisted — and most productive — tools in The Artist's Way was one called "Reading Deprivation." Today, when I...
From stadiums to galleries, the new frontier for today’s mega pop star is high art. Mass popularity has its charms – sales, world tours, legions of followers – but the legacy-conferring power of art is now the ultimate sign of one’s status within Western culture.
Something happened the other day that highlighted why we do what we do, and why I love helping ordinary people find the extraordinary humor and playfulness in every day life. We've been traveling around the northeast for the past three weeks and one thing the northeast has is -- tolls. Now I can imagine that being a toll-taker takes its toll. Same old same old...
Historians don’t like simple stories. Tales of the past that contain facile explanations or glib conclusions never seem to satisfy
A new study offers some of the most conclusive evidence to date that intelligence is linked to chess skill—a hotly debated issue in psychology. The results refute the idea that expertise is based solely on intensive training.
With the release of a new film about Edward Snowden, the man who revealed secret documents detailing a massive U.S. government spying program, the debate about his character continues.
A new fabric harvests energy from both sunshine and motion at the same time.
Fifty years ago – on Sept. 8, 1966 – TV viewers were transfixed by the appearance on screen of a green-hued, pointy-eared alien called Spock. But beneath the makeup, actor Leonard Nimoy fretted that this would be the end of his promising career.