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Maria Popova
"The tank offers a reduced sensory experience as close to nothingness as you can get.” I want to do this
Such a lovely interactive music video by @StefanGBucher
How to overcome the “OK plateau” – the psychology of getting unstuck in creative work and personal growth
Truth and Tenderness – Emerson on the two essential components of true friendship
Thoreau on defining your own success
How repetition enchants the brain and why we love it so much in music
Why emotional excess is essential to writing and creativity – superb letter from Anaïs Nin
The breathtaking love letters of Violet Trefusis and Vita Sackville-West
How William Gibson coined “cyberspace”
Can’t wait for #poptech next week, especially @sarahelizalewis’s talk – here’s why
Jazz legend Wynton Marsalis, born on this day in 1961, on what makes music so magical – applies to so much in life:
On Tenderness – beautiful read on what genetics godfather Gregor Mendel teaches us about the heart of science
"None but the dead are permitted to tell the truth.” The War Prayer – Mark Twain on war and morality, animated
The untold story of the women soldiers who dressed and fought as men in the Civil War
From Galileo to Google, a fascinating long-view lens on how big data illuminates our culture
The tragic and scandalous life of Mrs. Oscar Wilde, perhaps history’s most heartbreaking beard
It is so easy to make somebody’s day. SO easy. Why don’t we do it more?
The power of “narrowly selective transparency” – 4 decades before Instagram, Sontag on photography vs. the other arts
Happy birthday, Irving Geis! His pioneering scientific illustrations remain spectacular
Happy birthday, Wynton Marsalis! The jazz legend on what makes music so magical
Art at the Edge of Tomorrow—AMAZING piece by @blprnt about pioneering woman-in-tech Lillian Schwartz, 87 years young
Picasso on intuition and where ideas come from
Rare, gorgeous photos from the first Australian expedition to Antarctica, 1911-1914
“Character is at least as important as intellect.” Pioneering psychologist Angela Duckworth on grit
Be Like Water – the philosophy and origin of Bruce Lee's famous metaphor for resilience
Classic: “A 5-Step Technique for Producing Ideas” from 1939
David Foster Wallace on leadership – possibly the best definition ever given
How to Write Letters – a delightful guide to epistolary etiquette from 1876
Vonnegut on the secret of happiness – the simple art of knowing when you have enough
This Will Make You Smarter (no, really)—151 thinkers each pick a scientific concept to improve your cognitive toolkit
Yes, please! Ralph Steadman illustrates Breaking Bad
"Ernest Hemingway would have died rather than have syntax. Or semicolons.”
“Genius gives birth, talent delivers.”
Happy weekend! Party like it's 1903 – young Virginia Woolf on the ecstasy of music and dance
Blake's breathtaking drawings for Dante's Divine Comedy,which he belabored until his dying day
Some of my favorite books on writing, animals, and NYC, with a side of wonderful papercraft sculptures
Have you tried the Brain Pickings weekly digest? Here’s a taste: Like? Grab yours:
“You have precisely the same keyboard as everyone else. It’s the most level playing field we’ve got.”Godin on writing
“...the sense of a great intellect at work, and yet righteous anger burned below the unruffled surface.” On Woolf
11 rules for a perfect meal from The Futurist Cookbook, 1932
On what you lose when you "spend too much time doing ‘Ready aim, aim, aim, aim’”
Brian Eno’s prompts for overcoming creative block, inspired by John Cage
Bookmark-worthy: an evolving library of notable advice on writing from celebrated authors
"Ernest Hemingway would have died rather than have syntax. Or semicolons.”
Out of Character – the psychology of good and evil in each of us
Virginia Woolf on the creative benefits of keeping a diary
Empathy, entitlement and ethics in Eastern Europe—lovely vintage children’s book illustrations
Jack Kerouac on originality and the crucial difference between genius and talent