Think of humans ‘as a little fish out of water’


There’s more than one theory of evolution, most notably Darwinian natural selection. But according to LSU biology professor Prosanta Chakrabarty, we’re still evolving.

We’re not the goal of evolution. Think of us all as young leaves on this ancient and gigantic tree of life — connected by invisible branches not just to each other, but to our extinct relatives and our evolutionary ancestors.

From pond scum to fish to humans

From fish to amphibians to reptiles to primates with big brains, every living thing today is the product of four billion years of evolution. The shared ancestry may appear linear (e.g. monkeys > chimpanzees > humans) but single cell organisms are still evolving to this day.

Meanwhile, ‘primitive’ bacteria and plants will be the ones that survive us all.

This is what happens when you reply to spam email


For three years, writer and comedian James Veitch answered spam email.

“All I’m doing is wasting their time. I think any time they’re spending with me,  is time they’re not spending scamming vulnerable adults of out their savings.”

In a hilarious TED Talk, he details his thread with one spammer who contacted him about a business deal. Into the second week, James got the spammer to start replying in ridiculous code revolving around candy.

Advises Veitch, if you’re going to reply to spammers do it from an anonymous email to avoid a barrage of even more SPAM.

‘Grab a leash and take your thoughts for a walk.’


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Said Henry David Thoreau, “Methinks that the moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow.”

Walking boosts creativity.

If you ever get stuck in a creative rut, science shows that you should go for a stroll to get your endorphins moving.

As learning scientist Marily Oppezzo notes in her TED presentation below, walking generates twice the ideas. Even if you walk and then sit, your mind will continue to generate novelty.

But you can’t just walk forever, nor should you run. You should discuss your ideas out loud; the good ones will stick around. If you really want to remember everything discussed, record the thinking session on your phone.

So, how do you walk and brainstorm?

Says Oppezzo:

  1. Pick a problem/topic for brainstorm
  2. Walk at a comfortable pace WHILE you are brainstorming
  3. Generate as many ideas a you can
  4. Speak and record your ideas
  5. Cap your time

The chair-based lifestyle is not only killing us, but it’s also stifling good ideas. Go for a walk to freshen up your pattern of thinking.

Essential writing advice from Anne Lamott


TED distilled fourteen writing tips from an interview conducted with novelist Anne Lamott. Her 1995 book [easyazon_link identifier=”0385480016″ locale=”US” tag=”wells01-20″]Bird by Bird[/easyazon_link] has become an essential guide for aspiring artists of all types.

My favorite snippet from the interview appears when she’s asked to give her younger self some writing advice:

“I’d teach my younger self to stare off into space more often. I would tell her to waste more paper. I would tell her she doesn’t need to stick to a decision; she can change her mind.”

Daydream. Plan unscheduled time. Get messy! There is no such thing as the perfect time to start anything. As Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “This ‘Wait!’ has almost always meant ‘Never.'”

The vocation chooses you. Do the work in despite the resistance.

Read 14 writing tips, from beloved teacher Anne Lamott


Never reject an effort since that hard work and initiative could be easily connected to something else. The key to keeping people and yourself motivated about work is the progression of the some of the attributes presented in Dan Ariely’s Ted Video:  What makes us feel good about our work? John Wooden said it best:   “Cervantes said the journey's better than the end. Practices, to me, were the journey.” 
Never reject an effort since that hard work and initiative could be easily connected to something else. The key to keeping people and yourself motivated about work is the progression of the some of the attributes presented in Dan Ariely’s Ted Video:  What makes us feel good about our work? John Wooden said it best:   “Cervantes said the journey’s better than the end. Practices, to me, were the journey.”