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Showing posts from July 5, 2020

The Super COOL Way Antarctic Fish are Improving Your Ice Cream!

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You may have to thank these fish for your favorite smooth, tasty, ice cream treat! The fish? Oh yeah—what these scientists have discovered about how Antarctic fish survive in the freezing waters will make your next trip to the freezer way more exciting!

What does your favorite bowl of ice cream have to do with the fish that call water beneath the Antarctic ice their home? These strange fish have stumped scientists for years—how are they thriving in sub-zero temperature waters without freezing solid?! Well, today, we meet the researchers who have dedicated years to uncovering their clever trick, and you’ll never be able to dive into a pint of ice cream the same again!

By Sam Burns


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Non-Violent Communication: A Language of Life

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by Preeta Bansal


Thom Bond brings 27 years of study and training experience in human potential to his work as a writer, speaker and workshop leader. His passion and knowledge of Nonviolent Communication (NVC) combine to create a practical, understandable, humorous, and potentially profound approach for learning and integrating skills that help us experience more compassion and understanding. Thom is a founder and the Director of Education for The New York Center for Nonviolent Communication. He is best known as the creator and leader of The Compassion Course, a comprehensive online NVC-based training, Since 2011, more than 14,000 participants in over 110 countries have learned to communicate compassionately through this year-long course. As a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), it is now offered in four languages, funded entirely through donations. The course continues to grow at near-geometric rates, and commenced a new cycle on June 21, 2017 (and now again in 2020).

In 2002 Thom Bond w…

Empathy vs Sympathy

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Empathy and sympathy are not just two different approaches to confronting the emotional challenges of others; they are diametrically opposite responses in many important ways. Sympathy places another's problems at a distance from us, places us in a position of superiority, and "drives separation", says the film's narrator, Dr. Bren Brown. Empathy, on the other hand, requires that one internalize the feelings of another. That shared experience drives interpersonal connection, she says. "What makes things better is connection."


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How to Shift from Hostility to Empathy in Political Conversations

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In tough conversations, science suggests a way to bridge divides and foster understanding: by appealing to other people's values.

By NationSwell and the Greater Good Science Center


How to Become a Planet Hunter & Other Important Life Lessons

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Have you ever had a moment that changed the trajectory of your life? For Anne Datillo, a moment of curiosity took her from college student to Planet Hunter! Whether or not we’re reaching for the stars, her story has some wisdom we can all learn from!

By Liesl Ulrich-Verderber


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We Have to Talk: A Checklist for Difficult Conversations

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"There are dozens of books on the topic of difficult, crucial, challenging, fierce, important conversations. Those times when you know you should talk to someone, but you don't. Maybe you've tried and it went badly. Or maybe you fear that talking will only make the situation worse. Still, you feel stuck, and you'd like to free up that stuck energy for more useful purposes." Judy Ringer is a conflict resolution trainer, and a black belt in Aikido. Here she offers a checklist for difficult conversations, along with best practice strategies, tips and additional resources.


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How Deep Listening Can Make You More Persuasive

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You're more likely to change an opponent’s mind when you ask questions, listen sincerely, and tell stories.

The nation is locked in a state of polarization unprecedented in the past half-century, with deep, volatile divisions around issues of politics, race, religion, and the environment. These issues can split families, break friendships, and create enormous stress in communities—and yet, having a constructive discussion about the disagreements often seems impossible.

By Edward Lempinen


If you’re trying to persuade someone on the other side of that chasm, UC Berkeley political scientist David Broockman says that, chances are, you’re going about it the wrong way. In a series of studies over the past five years, he has found insights that contradict much of what we think we know about engaging those who disagree with us.

When it comes to changing someone’s feelings about issues, he says, data are less compelling than human stories. Listening is more powerful than just talking. Acceptin…

Celebrating Our Most Under-Appreciated Neighbors!

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When you think of cities, trees probably aren’t the first things that come to mind. But did you know that trees are a vital part of creating healthy urban spaces? Urban forests have been used for thousands of years to keep city-dwellers healthy, and now we are rediscovering their benefits!

When you hear the word “city”, trees are probably the last things that come to mind. But for 5,000 years, urbanites have understood the importance of making these towering giants a part of our city living. So, whether you’re a lifelong city dweller or are thinking of planting a tree in your own backyard, here’s how your own urban forest can benefit you!

By Brittany Nugent


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Robin Wall Kimmerer on the Language of Animacy

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In the English language, we reserve the pronouns of personhood for humans-- he, she, they--and not for animals, plants, and landscapes. Yet in many of Americas indigenous languages, such barriers are dissolved, and so, too, is the sense of distance between human and nonhuman. Orion editor Helen Whybrow speaks with Robin Wall Kimmerer, a speaker of Potawatomi and an enrolled member in the Citizen Band Potawatomi, about how to find a language that affirms our kinship with the natural world.


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Why Your Friends Are More Important Than You Think

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How can you sustain your friendships in a pandemic? The first step is recognizing their importance, argues author Lydia Denworth.

Researchers and philosophers have explored in great detail the emotional dramas of love and family. But they’ve spent much less time pondering the deep satisfaction of a good friend.

By Kira M. Newman


A similar thing happens in our own lives, writes science journalist Lydia Denworth. When something’s gotta give, it’s often our friendships, which take a backseat to our family and work obligations—or our latest fling.

But that’s a mistake, she argues in her new book, Friendship: The Evolution, Biology, and Extraordinary Power of Life’s Fundamental Bond. In fact, research suggests that friendships can help us find purpose and meaning, stay healthy, and live longer. The intimacy, support, equality, and emotional bonds we have in our friendships are unique.

Her book honors the relationships forged through slumber parties, shoulders cried upon, and kindnesses that do…

How this 70-Year-Old Racer Changed the Sport of BMX!

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Have you ever told yourself that you’re “too old” to do something? Or that you “can’t do that”? Well, here’s one female BMX rider in her 70s who will get you paving your own path to joy throughout your own life!

Neither a broken neck nor an aging body has stopped the oldest female BMX racer in the United States from opening the door of possibility for thousands! In her quest to enjoy her life, 70-year-old Miss Kittie shows us all how sticking to our dreams can not only help us stay happy and healthy but help our communities do the same.

By Sam Burns


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Everything You Think You Know About Addiction Is Wrong

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What really causes addiction -- to everything from cocaine to smart-phones? And how can we overcome it? Johann Hari has seen our current methods fail firsthand, as he has watched loved ones struggle to manage their addictions. He started to wonder why we treat addicts the way we do -- and if there might be a better way. As he shares in this deeply personal talk, his questions took him around the world, and unearthed some surprising and hopeful ways of thinking about an age-old problem.


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How Your Work Environment Influences Your Creativity

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The social environment in an organization can help or hinder employees' creativity.

Are you as creative now as you were when you were a child?

By Teresa M. Amabile


For many people, the answer is no. As we move into adulthood, we are often conditioned to be more serious and to conform to the norms of society. We lose some of the freedom and playfulness that inspired our wacky kid ideas. At the same time, our jobs seem to demand more and more new ideas, creativity, and innovative thinking.

For the past 45 years, I have been studying what contributes to the creativity of adults and children alike. From 10 year olds making collages to R&D scientists dreaming up new products, I’ve observed what kills creativity and what helps it thrive.

We often think of creativity as a trait—something we all have more or less of—but my work has identified a missing piece of the puzzle: how our social environments influence our ability to be creative. The upshot is that whoever we are, we can find ways…