The Twee Aesthetic Is Taking Over (Fear It!)

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“Is Twee the right word for it, for the strangely persistent modern sensibility that fructifies in the props departments of Wes Anderson movies, tapers into the waxed mustache-ends of young Brooklynites on bicycles, and detonates in a yeasty whiff every time someone pops open a microbrewed beer? Well, it is now.”

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When Meditation Goes Bad

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A psychiatrist and researcher at Brown University is studying an aspect of (now-trendy) mindfulness practice that most in the field avoid: the people for whom meditation leads not to serenity or increased focus, but terror, severe depression, or, occasionally, a psychotic break.

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A Connection Between Worry And Creativity

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The study finds that, when the pressure is on, worry appears to be a motivating force for neurotic people. “Higher levels of intrinsic motivation in turn predict greater flexibility in idea generation,” the researchers add in the journal Emotion.

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Unlocking The Puzzle Of What Makes Brains Creative

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“What, in short, is the essence of creativity? Over the course of my life, I’ve kept coming back to two more-specific questions: What differences in nature and nurture can explain why some people suffer from mental illness and some do not? And why are so many of the world’s most creative minds among the most afflicted?”

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Touchscreens Are Shaping The Ways Our Kids Interact With The World (And A Design Revolution Awaits)

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“As the touchscreen itself increasingly merges with its environment, and embedded technology goes mainstream, this raises questions around design for the next generation of digital experiences and services. Designing for Generation Moth is going to require very different skillsets and ways of thinking beyond what we do now.”

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‘Sorry’ No Longer Seems To Be The Hardest Word

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“As a word, ‘sorry’ has entered that puckish pantheon of Terms That Seem to Say a Lot but Actually Say Very Little. … Our assumptions about What Apologies Mean are often completely misaligned with the way we actually use apologies in our day-to-day lives.”

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Wikipedia Has Been Ensnared By Bureaucracy

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“Currently, the English Wikipedia has more than 50 official policies with a word count close to 150,000 (enough for a thick book). But that’s just the tip of the administrative iceberg. In addition to the policies, there are guidelines and essays—more than 450 devoted solely to proper conduct. You will also find more than 1,200 essays containing comments on the policies and guidelines, advisory notes, and analyses of the community.”

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The Biology Of Art Appreciation

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“Viewing paintings engages a number of different regions of the brain, suggesting art appreciation is a natural biological process, according to the report in the June issue of the journal Brain and Cognition.”

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Guess What? Game Of Thrones Isn’t *Really* Medieval (And Yes, That Matters)

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“What Martin actually gives us is a fantasy version of what the historian Alfred Crosby called the Post-Columbian exchange: the globalizing epoch of the 16th and 17th centuries. A world where merchants trade exotic drugs and spices between continents, where professional standing armies can number in the tens or hundreds of thousands, where scholars study the stars via telescopes.”

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