In this episode I talk to the CEO and Founder of Playworks Jill Vialet about Susan Sontag, The Rolling Stones, and “rock, paper, scissors” as a conflict resolution strategy.
Playworks is a national non-profit that believes in the power of play to bring out the best in every child. They strive to create safe, inclusive school environments that allow kids to thrive and discover their own superpowers.
In this episode, I talk to scientist Aubrey de Grey about the rejuvenating power of hot tubs, the possibility of humans living for 1,000 years, and his “global crusade to defeat aging.”
Aubrey is a biomedical gerontologist who serves as the Chief Science Officer and Co-founder of the SENS Research Foundation, which is working to change the way the world researches and treats age-related disease.
In this episode, I talk to author and life coach Barbara Sher about encounter groups, success teams, the futility of positive thinking, and how to get what you really, really want.
Barbara is a global authority on identifying goals, finding drive and motivation, and avoiding resistance the natural way. She has five best-selling books in more than a dozen languages and is in the thick of another one right now, which she’s writing with her son from their home in Marseille, France.
In this episode I talk to mathematician and philosopher Antanas Mockus about The Beatles, Franz Kafka, law enforcement through cultural means, and (unbeknownst to Antanas) what he has in common with Flava Flav of Public Enemy.
Antanas lives in Bogotá, Colombia and has a colorful past as a professor at Colombian National University, as well as the mayor of Bogotá. During his eventful two terms, he collaborated with citizens on may surprising and often hilarious initiatives that were highly effective.
Today, he continues to dream up revolutionary concepts and devise creative ways to change social norms through his organization Corpo Visionarios.
In this episode, I talk to artist Wayne White about Mary Poppins, Bob Dylan, Harriet the Spy, and whether or not art can have a sense of humor.
Wayne, who hails from rural Tennessee, has been called a Pop Art renaissance man. For the past 30 years he’s been incredibly prolific, having worked as an illustrator, painter, cartoonist and puppeteer. He’s the genius – and Emmy Award-winner – behind the set design of iconic 80s TV show Pee Wee’s Playhouse – and more recently has produced public sculptures, word paintings, and a one-man show in which he plays the banjo.
It’s the last day of 2014, and a funny thing happened while walking in my neighborhood this morning.
I passed a house with a “LifeStyler by HealthRider” out front, left for the lucky at-home-cyclist-wannabe who finds it first.
It wasn’t this alone that struck me as funny though; it was the fact I’d experienced this exact thing on the last day of 2009, while walking through the Mexican city of Puebla.
Uncanny? No way.
With the dawn of a new year just a handful of hours away, many of us seize the opportunity to purge the old in preparation for the new.
Two people, thousands of miles away, experienced a similar thought: “Hey, I’ve had this clunky piece of equipment taking up space in my home for too long. I don’t use it, but I bet someone else out there would appreciate it more than I do. Someone with the new year’s resolution to exercise more at home.”
Or something to that effect.
So both of these individuals gave their exercise bikes away – with the hope of their junk being someone else’s goldmine. Different countries, customs, habits, personalities, with the same win-win instinct. (One releases, another gains.)
Seeing these instances, years apart, allowed me to experience the connection we share as humans on this planet. Yes, a tiny, fleeting instance of interconnectivity, but it felt powerful nonetheless.
It’s little reminders like this that motivate me to think anew, create anew, and write/speak/teach about behavior patterns that inspire design; about human quirks and stories; about our potential to be generous and serve those in need, as well as delight those we serve.
I felt like shit, but it was time for MARKD*, and I wanted to call in to catch the last 20 minutes.
And even though my frickin’ neighbors were doing some construction and hammering, like, right on my head at this very moment in time, the poignant words of Erika Lyremark laser-beamed to the core of my being.
(I adore Erika. She’s a business coach extraordinaire, author of Think Like A Stripper, and creator of numerous coaching programs, including *MARKD, a cool but short-lived weekly call-in experiment, which Erika very swiftly shape-shifted into something else shiny and new.)
This was the fourth episode and the question put forth was “Where are you stuck?”
All of its goodness was swirling around with (my headache and) everything else I was still processing from episodes 1, 2 and 3, which I binge-listened to the day before — the first one, in particular, which was built around the notion of “scary simple.”
We were to ask ourselves, “What can you do that’s so simple it’s scary?” Something that you haven’t gotten around to doing despite the fact it’s actually super easy to do? (And why are you making it so hard?)
I couldn’t shake it. I kept thinking about feeling stuck and “scary simple,” and then I distracted myself with non-scary simple chores: I jumped in the shower, put in the laundry and emptied the dishwasher. I organized my drawers, pitched what I no longer love, cleaned out my closet and scrubbed the toilets. I prepped for my father-in-law’s (then) imminent visit, made up the guest bed, swept the front steps… and in the process of me doing all this, especially the cleaning out the closet part, I got reacquainted with an absurdly over-the-top, ostentatious yet beloved Versace-like silk top I own, with lions and tigers and circus performers, oh my!
Since I was in such a funk – and fashion always gets me out of a funk – I put it on while cleaning. I was a silky, purplish, stylish blur in a frenzy of activity, and I knew I had to write about it.
My step-daughter is hip to all the latest digital trends and has had me hooked more times than I care to mention on games, shows, you name it.
It always starts with a subtle “You should try it.” A sideways glance. The hint of a smile.
** College flashback. **
Too curious for my own good, I jump in and I give it a whirl. An hour easily passes by before I realize I haven’t showered, eaten breakfast or peeled my eyes up from beneath my MacBook Air. And, yeah, I’m late for work.
This morning it was Polyvore. I’ve known about it for ages, but its siren call hadn’t grabbed me ’til now.
Maybe it was the rainy morning and the lure of a Thanksgiving contest… plus the fact they make it so damn easy to drag-and-drop pretty pictures – lusty fashion items, overpriced tchotchkes for the seasonally-scented home, make-up, pattern overlays, typography, etc.
Like Canva, Picmonkey, and all the other up-and-coming picture-driven platforms, Polyvore takes the angst out of collage-making and boosts your ego a bit (especially if Illustrator, InDesign or Photoshop have made you wild-eyed, and grey-haired way too soon).