The Students and the Teacher: A Rumi Story to Illumine, Delight, and Inform

A Rumi Story to Illumine, Delight, and Inform: The Students and the TeachersWhatever our cultural or linguistic background, we can all claim some knowledge of the lives of others, and this knowledge has reached us through stories. These stories may have been told by an animated grandparent; maybe we heard them on the radio or encountered them during a religious-studies lesson at school, where we learned about the lives and times of saints, gods, and goddesses.

Creativity: Exploring The Vastness Of Our Own Potential

Creativity: Exploring The Vastness Of Our Own PotentialIt is my observation that true creativity often involves a marriage (or surprising connection) of two things that are not related to most people’s minds. The larger point I am trying to make here is that creative people often see connections and build bridges where others see no such things (until someone shows them! Then many of us can cross the same bridge).

The Better City Bike Maps Are Made By Volunteers

The Better City Bike Maps Are Made By Volunteers

Not all bike routes are equal. Some places that are marked as bike routes on a map feel precarious when traversed on two wheels, including shoulders covered in debris and places where you can feel the wind from speeding cars.

How Children's Books Have Written Mom Out Of The Story

How Children's Books Have Written Mom Out Of The Story

Here’s an interesting fact for Mothering Sunday. When it comes to children’s books, the word “mother” is the most frequent noun used to refer to female characters – and has been since the 19th century.

7 Unexpected Things That Libraries Offer Besides Books

7 Unexpected Things That Libraries Offer Besides BooksLocal libraries are often thought of as places to check out books or engage in some silent reading. But libraries offer so much more than just what can be found on their shelves or done in hushed tones.

Groovy Findings: How And Why Music Moves You

Groovy Findings: How And Why Music Moves You

When Stevie Wonder’s 1972 hit “Superstition” comes on, you might find yourself bobbing your head, tapping your feet and maybe even dancing along.

From Enlightenment to Romance in One (Not So) Easy Step

From Enlightenment to Romance in One (Not So) Easy StepAs I hiked up the old E4 trail above the temple complex at Delphi, romance was the last thing on my mind let alone a dalliance with the ancient forgotten Greek god of Light and Wisdom. It was April of 2015, and all I wanted to do was to get away from the tourists and my worries about a book deadline with Simon & Schuster...

Why See China's Latest Sci-fi Blockbuster The Wandering Earth

Why See China's Latest Sci-fi Blockbuster The Wandering EarthAs China demonstrated its space credentials by landing a lunar probe on the far side of the moon in January 2019, a science fiction movie was hitting mainland cinemas that could also redefine China’s credentials as a maker of global cinema.

The Surprising Reasons We Love Art

The Surprising Reasons We Love Art
“Why do people love Pierre Bonnard so much?” asks The Guardian’s art critic Adrian Searle in his review of the painter’s current show at London’s Tate Modern.

The Psychology Of Roller Coasters

The Psychology Of Roller Coasters
Roller coasters may seem like a very modern type of entertainment – constantly getting bigger, faster and scarier thanks to advances in technology.

Does Warming, Decanting And Swirling Make Wine Taste Better?

Does Warming, Decanting And Swirling Make Wine Taste Better?
Do you inspect the appearance of a wine before swirling it around the glass (holding the stem, naturally)? Inhale deeply while describing the flamboyant nature of your Shiraz? Do you do that slurpy thing that some love but others loathe?

How To Boost Kids' Skills And Memories With A Weekly Game Night

How To Boost Kids' Skills And Memories With A Weekly Game NightThe winter months are an ideal time to turn your attention inward and think of how you can establish something new for your family to do together indoors. If you can find the right thing, perhaps it will become a family ritual.

Ego and Creative Energy Create Our Life Experiences

Ego and Creative Energy Function Together to Create Our Life ExperiencesPhysicist Max Planck demonstrated that the behavior of energy is influenced by the intent of the observer -- the implication is that you can intentionally impact how your creative energy acts. The way in which energy behaves depends on what the observer expects to see. If you intend to see certain events, your creative energy will transform itself into those events.

Why The Wizard Of Oz Has Been So Influential

Why The Wizard Of Oz Has Been So InfluentialFilm director Joel Coen – one half of the famed Coen Brothers – once quipped that “every movie ever made is an attempt to remake The Wizard of Oz”

Fantastic Beasts And The Mysterious Real Life Questions Behind JK Rowling's Magic Tales

Fantastic Beasts And The Mysterious Real Life Questions Behind JK Rowling's Magic TalesEven in the real world there are witches among us, and fantastic beasts – and a touch of magic, too. And so to mark the release of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, University of Birmingham experts have answered some of the more mysterious questions behind JK Rowling’s magical fiction. And they’ve made a series of short video explainers, too.

Does Mixing Drinks Cause Hangovers?

Does Mixing Drinks Cause Hangovers?
As a general practitioner, I hear a lot of colorful advice from my patients about what they believe constitutes “safe” drinking and how to avoid a nasty hangover.

Do Hangover Cures Actually Work?

Do Hangover Cures Actually Work?
It seemed like a good idea at the time. But a few drinks with friends turned into a few more, and the next morning you’re not feeling so crash hot. Is there anything you can take to help?

Revolution 50: The Beatles’ White Album Remixed

Revolution 50: The Beatles’ White Album Remixed
Last year, in 2017, the 50th anniversary remix of The Beatles’ Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band gained considerable respect from critics and fans alike. Now we have the 50th anniversary remix of The Beatles, universally known as The White Album thanks to its ultra-minimalist artwork.

Happy Birthday Mickey Mouse: Animation's Greatest Showman Is 90

Happy Birthday Mickey Mouse: Animation's Greatest Showman Is 90

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho recently criticised his players for not having the courage to take penalty kicks, declaring: “I don’t like Mickey Mouses.” His choice of words made him surely just the latest to misunderstand one of the most significant icons of our times.

Imagining Your Own Escape to Nature and How Media Inspires Our Great Escapes

Imagining Your Own Escape to Nature and How Media Inspires Our Great Escapes
Many people dream about moving to the country, escaping the city for good. Most Australians live in cities, but there seems to be a collective desire to escape the concrete and glass for green fields and open spaces. Those who do this are popularly known in Australia as seachangers and treechangers.

The Animal Guide To The Good Life: Play Hard, Work Hard

Play Hard And Work Hard: The Animal Guide To The Good Life
I am always repeating the mantra that we should “work hard and play hard”. But is having fun professionally productive? As someone who studies animal behavior I sometimes look to my experimental subjects for an answer.

Older Than Dracula: In Search Of The English Vampire

Older Than Dracula: In Search Of The English Vampire
The story of Count Dracula as many of us know it was created by Bram Stoker, an Irishman, in 1897. But most of the action takes place in England, from the moment the Transylvanian vampire arrives on a shipwrecked vessel in Whitby, North Yorkshire, with plans to make his lair in the spookily named Carfax estate, west of the river in London.

Why Has Halloween Become So Popular Among Adults?

Why Has Halloween Become So Popular Among Adults?
Halloween used to be kid stuff. To quit dressing up was an important rite of passage. It meant you were one step closer to becoming an adult. Not anymore. Today adults have become avid Halloween revelers, especially young adults.

The Snake Charmer: Can Anyone Live Beyond the Laws of Nature?

The Snake Charmer: Can Anyone Live Beyond the Laws of Nature?
There is an old story our Elders teach us about a Water Snake who lived in a pond up high at the base of a sacred mountain. He was a very healthy, wealthy, strong, and handsome man. He was on top of the world, you might say. He had the whole pond to himself and he had everything a person could ask for in life: plenty of natural resources, open space, lots of food, good weather, ample shelter...

What The World Can Learn From Greece's Passion For The Arts

What The World Can Learn From Greece's Passion For The Arts

Throughout the ages, Greece has created an inspiring legacy in the arts and culture. Renowned Greek philosophers, architects, sculptors, poets and playwrights like Plato, Aristotle, Socrates, Herodotus, Sophocles, Euripedes and Aeschylus have made remarkable contributions over the centuries to the arts and culture and have left an indelible foundation for future generations.

Creativity Is A Human Quality That Exists In Every Single One Of Us

Creativity Is A Human Quality That Exists In Every Single One Of Us
When you think about creativity, it might be highly creative people like Mozart, Da Vinci or Einstein who spring to mind. They were all considered to be “geniuses” for their somewhat unique talents that led to global innovation in their fields.

True Innovation Generates Ideas, Not Wealth

True Innovation Generates Ideas, Not Wealth

Ancient innovators were poets, thinkers, artisans and scientists, not business owners. The classical Greek philosopher Socrates did not become famous for the massive dividends that he provided to his shareholders in the hemlock industry.

An Upshot Of Having ADHD Is Thinking Outside The Box

An Upshot Of Having ADHD Is Thinking Outside The Box
People often believe those with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder face challenges that could hinder future employment, but a new study finds that adults with ADHD feel empowered doing creative tasks, which could help them on the job.

How African American Folklore Saved The Cultural Memory And History Of Slaves

How African American Folklore Saved The Cultural Memory And History Of Slaves
All over the world, community stories, customs and beliefs have been passed down from generation to generation. This folkore is used by elders to teach family and friends about their collective cultural past. And for African Americans, folklore has played a particularly important part in documenting history too.

Can Art Be Knowledge?

Can Art Be Knowledge?

Knowledge can take many forms. There is “knowledge by acquaintance”, as in knowing a person or place. There is propositional knowledge, or “knowledge that” – for example, knowing that the UK voted to leave the EU in June 2016. There is also “knowledge how”, as in knowing how to ride a bicycle.

The Urge To Share News Of Our Lives Is Neither New Nor Narcissistic

the urge to share news of our lives is neither new nor narcissistic
Narcissism is defined as excessive self-love or self-centredness. In Greek mythology, Narcissus fell in love when he saw his reflection in water: he gazed so long, he eventually died. Today, the quintessential image is not someone staring at his reflection but into his mobile phone. While we pine away for that perfect Snapchat filter or track our likes on Instagram, the mobile phone has become a vortex of social media that sucks us in and feeds our narcissistic tendencies. Or so it would seem.

Should We Bring Back The Sabbath As A Radical Act Against Total Work?

Should We Bring Back The Sabbath As A Radical Act Against Total Work?As a boy in late-1940s Memphis, my dad got a nickel every Friday evening to come by the home of a Russian Jewish immigrant named Harry Levenson and turn on his lights, since the Torah forbids lighting a fire in your home on the Sabbath. My father would wonder, however, if he were somehow sinning.

The Future Of Golf May Not Be On The Golf Course

The Future Of Golf May Not Be On The Golf CourseCould disc golf become more popular than ball golf by 2028? Ask disc golfers and they’ll say, “You bet – our sport is growing like crazy.” But for most Americans, the answer is, “What’s disc golf?” And the typical ball golfer will likely respond, “No – and stop calling my sport ball golf.”

Here's A Way To Deal With Bad News Overload?

Here's A Way To Deal With Bad News Overload?

For almost two years now, Americans have been confronted daily by ominous tidings. We are living through stressful times. Reading the news feels awful; ignoring it doesn’t feel right either.

Why It Matters That Teens Are Reading Less

Why It Matters That Teens Are Reading Less
Most of us spend much more time with digital media than we did a decade ago. But today’s teens have come of age with smartphones in their pockets. Compared to teens a couple of decades ago, the way they interact with traditional media like books and movies is fundamentally different.

Memory Loss Isn't Just An Old Person's Problem: Here's How You Can Stay Mentally Fit

Memory Loss Isn't Just An Old Person's Problem: Here's How You Can Stay Mentally Fit
When I give talks, I am often approached by people who are worried about their memory. Maybe they are studying for an exam and don’t feel that they learn as well as their peers. Maybe they keep forgetting to close the window when they leave the house. Or maybe they struggle to remember an event that happened a few weeks ago but which everyone else can describe in vivid detail.

Pop's Superlative Shapeshifter Madonna Turns 60 With Style

Pop's Superlative Shapeshifter Madonna Turns 60 With StyleOne of the first albums I owned was a tape of Madonna’s 1987 remix collection You Can Dance. I’m not sure where I got it from – and I’m not sure I even liked it – but the bright red cover and Madonna’s hard, direct stare are etched in my mind’s eye even now, 30 years later.

Video-On-Demand And The Myth Of Endless Choice

Video-On-Demand And The Myth Of Endless Choice

If you like independent, art-house films or other specialised movies, you may have heard of the Romanian comedy-drama Sieranevada, which was released in 2016. The film was formally premiered as part of the main competition programme of the prestigious Cannes Film Festival and was subsequently shown at other international film festivals, including Toronto, New York and London.

Now We Finally Know How Ancient Greek Music Sounded

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In 1932, the musicologist Wilfrid Perrett reported to an audience at the Royal Musical Association in London the words of an unnamed professor of Greek with musical leanings: “Nobody has ever made head or tail of ancient Greek music, and nobody ever will.

Our Stories Allow Us To Make Sense Of Our Lives

Our Stories Allows Us To Make Sense Of Our Lives
Our brains hold the magic that allows us to find our stories and to make and remake our meaning. When split-brain research began in the 1960s, the findings expanded horizons on how our storytelling minds work.

Why Sacha Baron Cohen's New Show Is Just What We Need In An Era Of Fake News

Sacha Baron Cohen’s new series is based on 12 months of undercover interviews.
British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen (aka Ali G, Borat, and Brüno), is back – just in time – with his new show: Who is America? Based on 12 months of undercover interviews, this satirical comedy series “explores the diverse individuals… across the political and cultural spectrum, who populate the United States”.

Why Exhaustion Is Not Unique To Our Overstimulated Age

Why Exhaustion Is Not Unique To Our Overstimulated Age
Many sociologists, psychologists and cultural critics argue that the rapid spread of exhaustion syndromes such as depression, stress and burnout are consequences of modernity and its challenges.

Creativity Has Many Forms and Resides In Every Person

Creativity Has Many Forms and Resides In Every Person
If you say, 'I am not creative,' then that's an affirmation that will be true for you for as long as you continue to use it. You can never express yourself creatively by talking or thinking about what a klutz you are. We create our lives every day...

How Writers Exploit Our Brains With Plot Twists

How Writers Exploit Our Brains With Plot Twists
As a cognitive scientist who studies the relationship between cognition and narratives, I know that movies – like all stories – exploit our natural tendency to anticipate what’s coming next.

Twitter Shows People In Parks Feel More Positive

Twitter Shows People In Parks Feel More Positive
People in parks are more positive, and around areas like major transport hubs more negative, according to our analysis of 2.2 million tweets in Melbourne.

Why You're Better At Whistling Than Singing

Why You're Better At Whistling Than Singing
As far as mammals go, we humans are pretty good at using our voices. We sing, talk, lie — and imply — with the subtle dips and rises of our voices.

How Images Change Our Race Bias

How Images Change Our Race Bias
Images are not static. They grab our attention, incite desire, alter our relations to others, and tweak our beliefs, as they usher us into new worlds.

Navigating Life in the Senior Years: Adult Children and their Parents

Navigating Life in the Senior Years: Adult Children and their Parents
When the issue of “How safe is mom or dad?” and “Can they stay in their home?” arises, it often causes a conflict between the kids and the parents. It’s natural to view the situation through our own lens, thus creating different and sometimes clashing versions of the same reality.

Can Art Really Make A Difference?

Can Art Really Make A Difference?
Artists persist in challenging assumed knowledge in their attempts to awaken the conscience of the world. Artists can become witnesses for the prosecution of the crimes of our times, as well as enabling some viewers to see the world differently.

Healing and Communicating Using The Language of Flowers

Healing and Communicating Using The Language of Flowers
Flowers and plants describe the attributes that they hold through their form, function and behaviour. The way they grow and attract pollinators; the way they look, smell, taste, feel and even sound, are all indications of this. From closely observing these factors, we have an opening into the world of the language of plants.

The Dark Side Of Daylight Saving Time

The Dark Side Of Daylight Saving Time
A train hurtled around a corner at 82 mph, eventually coming off the rails and killing four passengers. Decades earlier, faulty decision-making resulted in the deaths of the seven-person crew of the Space Shuttle Challenger.

There Is A Dark Side To Daydreaming

There Is A Dark Side To Daydreaming
Daydreaming is one of life’s great joys. You can indulge in it when you’re stuck in a boring meeting or a long queue. This seemingly innocuous pastime, however, is a double-edged sword.

What Makes Some Art So Bad That It's Good?

What Makes Some Art So Bad That It's Good?
“The Disaster Artist” – which just earned James Franco a Golden Globe for his portrayal of director Tommy Wiseau – tells the story of the making of “The Room,” a film that’s been dubbed “the Citizen Kane” of bad movies.

Why Icelanders Are Super Creative

Why Icelanders Are Super CreativeNew research examines what makes the people of Iceland so creative—and how the United States could adopt some of those factors.

You Are Creative: Your Thoughts Make It So

Everyone Is Creative: Thinking Makes It So
At times it seemed as though the impossible suddenly became possible. How can these things be explained? A stroke of genius, intuition, inspiration? Yes, probably all of these, but much, much more. All the ability involved in the logical process of reasoning could...

Why Boredom Can Be Good For You

Why Boredom Can Be Good For You
Being trapped in a tedious job, with no possibility of escape, is a recipe for real boredom. This kind of boredom is unpleasant and definitely bad for us.

Improve Your Ability to Reach Creative Solutions by Getting Active

Improve Your Ability to Reach Creative Solutions by Getting Active
To boost your creative powers, I suggest mild, mind­less activity. Go for a walk around the block. Get up out of your office chair and do some knee bends. Pace from your kitchen to your bedroom and back. Swing your arms in figure-eight for­mations until it’s mindless. Just get moving.

A Decision for Life: Living Our Own Unique Creativity

A Decision for Life: Living Our Own Unique Creativity
To live our own creativity in a self-determined way – this may be one of the most difficult tasks there is. Although we should first dispel a misconception – this does not mean that we just “do our thing” without regard for others. It is better thought of as a service of love for our community in attunement with ourselves.

Why Are Some People Are More Creative Than Others?

Why Are Some People Are More Creative Than Others?
Creativity is often defined as the ability to come up with new and useful ideas. Like intelligence, it can be considered a trait that everyone – not just creative “geniuses” like Picasso and Steve Jobs – possesses in some capacity.

5 Key Ways to Turn Retirement into Renewal

5 Key Ways to Turn Retirement into Renewal
Life expectancy has given senior men a whole new phase of life to explore. There’s no reason to see this as a dead end. More likely than not, it’s a whole new beginning.

The Secret To Creativity – According To Science

The Secret To Creativity – According To ScienceWhether 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

Creativity: Unleashing the Forces of Love and Joy

Creativity: Unleashing the Forces of Love and Joy
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...

The Science Behind Our Love-Hate Relationship With Festive Songs

The Science Behind Our Love-Hate Relationship With Festive SongsIn 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?

Why The Latest Star Wars Is A Fable For Our Post-truth Times

Why The Latest Star Wars Is A Fable For Our Post-truth TimesThe 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.

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