For nearly two decades, the leaders of Al Qaeda have denounced the Arab world’s dictators as heretics and puppets of the West and called for their downfall. Now, people in country after country have risen to topple their leaders — and Al Qaeda has played absolutely no role.
Toppling disobedient leaders and oiling the wheels of pliant ones proved useful so long as the populations of these countries remained voiceless. As the people begin to find their voices, however, the Middle East as we have long known it is beginning to alter. Unfortunately for the decision-makers in the US (and their policy advisers and legions of “intellectual” think tanks) the dramatic changes are not in the direction that they had conceived.
This is from the super fun science podcast Radiolab (Bill Nye the Science Guy for grownups).
Synchronicity and serendipity are weird, perplexing things. I’ve never heard a good explanation and am left with the fact that it just happens, tons. Is it stochasticity? Chance that you take advantage of like an athlete who sees a break in the field or a lawyer who sees a gap in your argument? Sheer coincidence?
But then there’s when it’s poetic. Like that time when we needed to contact someone for hours but his phone was dead and he was staying on the Upper West Side all night and we were going home to Brooklyn, but we get out of a cab on the same block in the Lower East Side at the same moment that he was crossing the street. Now that’s just fun.
People today want partners who “make their lives more interesting,” says a much-e-mailed recent article about happy marriage (The Happy Marriage is the Me Marriage) The ideas in the article are applicable not only to romantic partnerships, but also to relationships with friends and family. Think about one or several important relationships in your life: Do those people “expand” you by teaching you new things, introducing you to new experiences, or helping you become a better person?
“So then what you have to just tell people to just tell you stories. If you listen to our show carefully, you’ll hear me constantly coaching people: “And then what happened? And then what did he say? And what did you say? And what did she say?… It’s like what happens in therapy. And that’s what you’re going for, because at the heart of every story is some unresolved something expressed in scenes and images and characters. And then I’d cut away all the other stuff and then you’d have this perfect little gem, perfect little object.”—Ira Glass (On making radio) Somehow This American Life manages to make everyone, from minutemen in the desert to anal academics seem like drinking buddy fodder.
Researchers are finding that dreams may be a “Karate dojo for real life” and promote “creative problem solving”. It’s like the Matrix.
The craziest part in here is the experiment on the rat. CRAZY.
"Yes," says Harvard’s Barrett, "dreams are worrying about disasters. But they’re also planning for nice things and they’re fantasizing and they’re problem solving."
She contends that the purpose of dreaming is "as broad as all waking thought. That’s why I say dreams are really just thinking in a different biochemical state."