Share-it Square in Portland, OR
In Portland, Oregon, they bike naked in the streets, hold laundromat happy hours, and neighbors adopt their intersections. The place is weird – which is a boon for the people who live there.
I learned a lot about the City of Roses, along with planners, politicians and policy makers, at the International Making Cities Livable conference. In his keynote, Portland mayor Charlie Hales ticked off some of the many ways his town makes its people the priority.
- Spending $1 billion on the Willamette River so it’s clean enough for swimming
- Giving every high school kid a free transit pass
- Removing a riverfront highway to make way for a park
Hales says Portland’s land use and transportation policies “render freedom less dangerous.” With less time worrying about being hit by a car, Portlanders appear to be spending more time coming up with new ideas.
One such resident is 26-year-old Morgan Gary. Continue reading
Here in the digital age where anyone can publish anything, emerging authors need to work harder than ever to stand out in the crowd, especially when speaking with an agent or editor. Your approach will make all the difference.
“Professionalism matters,” advised Angela Bole of the Independent Book Publishers Association, setting the tone for PubSmart, a practical new conference about the business side of book publishing.
Since there’s no second chance to make a first impression, PubSmart presenters stressed that authors should speak with confidence and positive energy. “Have a pleasant look, hold peoples’ eyes—and don’t say um,” agent Rachelle Gardner told a rapt audience of authors in a session about how to mingle with industry experts.
But just as important as what you say is where you say it. Continue reading
Athletes do endless drills to qualify for the Olympics. It takes practice to perfect any skill, whether calligraphy or coding. Now, it may be possible to train your brain for an ongoing sense of well-being.
“There is a lot of evidence that the technologies of the 20th and 21st centuries may have made us more productive and able to do more stuff, but we are not happier,” claims Ofer Leidner, developer of Happify.com. But his creation uses technology “as a means of creating happiness and human to human interaction.” Games and activities on Happify are grounded in science proving that repeating certain behaviors can reroute pathways in the brain to make happiness a habit. The goal of using his platform, says Leidner, is to obtain “a set of skills to use and apply.”
Kids are upset their parents are spending too much time on technology. Yes – those same kids who are themselves involved in upwards of 8 hours of media per day.
The news comes from top behavioral experts at the annual conference of the Family Online Safety Institute. I was there in search of advice for reining in screen time now that the American Academy of Pediatrics says that children and teenagers should spend no more than two hours a day on digital media.
But it didn’t take long to realize those darned kids aren’t necessarily the trouble. To borrow a phrase from Pogo, we have met the enemy and he is us. Continue reading