Author: CLAI

World traveler, explorer of cultures & societies. Wine beer food enthusiast. Lover of language, books, and art. Management consultant: turning ideas into action.

Are You Lucky? Ignorance is not Bliss

Curated by CLAI

ARE YOU LUCKY: Unlucky people miss chance opportunities because they are too focused on looking for something else. The harder you look, the less you see. The more anxious you are, the less likely you notice the unexpected. The more tense you are, the less likely you will be able to take advantage of unexpected ‘luck’ – therefore the more unlucky you are.

Lucky people generate good fortune via four basic principles. They are skilled at creating and noticing chance opportunities, make lucky decisions by listening to their intuition, create self-fulfilling prophesies via positive expectations, and adopt a resilient attitude that transforms bad luck into good.

Ignorance Isn't Bliss

Ignorance Isn’t Bliss (Lucinda Schreiber, NPR)

IGNORANCE IS NOT BLISS: Many of us have information aversion or the ostrich effect. In other words, we would rather not know if we have a serious or terminal illness if we have been scared by the consequences. The worse the consequences, the more likely people are to avoid testing. Scaring people more about the implications may scare them away from getting tested.

30 Things I’ve Learned

Curated by CLAI

30 THINGS I’VE LEARNED (Nick Crocker)

  1. Remember you will die. Maybe even today. Don’t forget that. Don’t forget to be thankful for your health. For the time you get to spend with the person you love. It’s not yours, it can be stolen away at any moment. So while you have it on loan, cherish it.
  2. It’s really, really hard to make something great. The inertia of mediocrity makes it hard to do great work. To do great things, you have to go unrecognized, be under-appreciated and push to unreasonable lengths.
  3. Don’t get disheartened. If you get disheartened, it’s over. Don’t ever underestimate the value of enthusiasm. Sometimes it’ll be all you have.
  4. Put yourself in places that make you nervous. Nerves are really the only way to know that you’re being stretched. If there hasn’t been a moment of nerves in your life for a month, it might be worthwhile asking if you’re pushing hard enough.
  5. Self-control is a finite resource. You can only ask so much of yourself each day. You’ll snap or warp or splinter if you ask too much. You have a limited capacity to direct yourself a certain way.
  6. The greatest reflection of your priorities is your time. Whatever you say about what matters to you, the true test is where you place your time. So if you say your priorities are your partner or your kids or your family or your health, that statement will only be true if your calendar reflects it.
Wadi Rum, Jordan

Wadi Rum, Jordan (Credits: Christine Lai)

SMART DUE TO NATURE OR NURTURE? Practice time explains about 20-25% of the difference in performance in music, sports and games like chess. In academics, the number is much lower — 4%.

New Instant Pop-Up Shops and No Tofu

Curated by CLAI

POP-UP SHOPS: Need a real live shop for your startup business for one day to do market testing, promotional event, or sell merchandise? Welcome to the next stage of evolution after mobile food trucks. The “Clicks to Bricks” business model is innovative in a way, and that’s because you can now start a company on the Internet, and there’s this intermediate step between a brick-and-mortar where you pop up and have this tactile, real experience

  • Pop-up shops are temporary retail spaces that spring up in unused premises. Leases can last as short as a single day, when brands use the spaces for a promotional event instead of testing out a market.
  • The pop-up concept is proliferating in trendy, high-foot-traffic neighborhoods like SoHo. As long as you can change it back, you can do whatever you want with the space, says OpenHouse, a company that owns storefronts in the always fashion-forward SoHo neighborhood in New York.
  • Today, an old subway stop in SoHo is a place to get designer pants at 40% off. On other days, it’s a test kitchen and bar. Next week, it might host a press event. The one thing this place doesn’t do is anything permanent.
Pop Up Shop in NYC

Customers can get a tactile experience trying on glasses at Warby Parker’s shop in New York City. (NPR)

NOTO LANGUAGE: Google is working on a font that aims to include “all the world’s languages” — every written language on Earth. “Tofu” is what the pros call those tiny, empty rectangles that show up when a script isn’t supported. This is where Google’s new font family, “Noto,” gets its name: “No Tofu.”

  • Right now, Noto includes a wide breadth of language scripts from all around the world — specifically, 100 scripts with 100,000 characters. That includes over 600 written languages.
  • This month, Google & Adobe has released a new set of Chinese-Japanese-Korean fonts — the latest in their effort to make the Internet more inclusive.
  • Even when more widely-spoken languages are supported, their scripts may not accurately reflect the culture within which they’re used. Urdu is one example. Nastaliq Urdu — ornate and calligraphic with distinctive hanging characters — is not supported
Noto font by Google

Google’s Noto font as it displays for Devanagari script, used to write Hindi. (Google)

 

Dogs or Cats? Tofu Fish McNuggets?

Curated by CLAI

DOG OR CAT COUNTRY? Overall, cats are the favored pet in most of Western Europe, with the exception of Spain, Portugal and Ireland. South America is strictly dog country, as is much of Asia.

  • Top Dog Loving States: Arkansas, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma
  • Top Cat Loving States: Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Vermont, District of Columbia
Dog Cat Countries

Dog Cat Countries (Euromonitor)

TOFU & FISH MCNUGGETS? McDonald’s Japan rolled out a doppelganger of Chicken McNuggets made from tofu and minced fish on Wednesday.

  • Tofu Shin-jo McNugget is made from minced white fish, tofu, edamame, soybeans, carrots and onions. Shaped just like regular Chicken McNuggets, these tofu-and-fish nuggets taste fluffy inside and crispy outside, and come with a ginger-flavored sauce that has a “refreshing” taste.
  • Made in Japanese factories, the tofu nuggets are available for $2.44 for four pieces.
  • McDonald’s has been localizing its menu items around the world: cheese quiche in Brazil, red bean pie in China, beef-less potato-patty burgers in India.

Is Love Destiny or a Journey? Does Your Life Have Purpose?

Curated by CLAI

LOVE DESTINY OR JOURNEY? Do you see love as a union of two people who are destined to be together? Or is it more of a journey they undertake, facing obstacles and working together to overcome them? According to new research, how you answer these questions may affect how you handle relationship troubles.

  • Those who believe in ‘destiny’ put less effort into working through relationship conflict. If they are soul mates, then nothing will go wrong in the relationship, and it will be easy. A conflict makes a destiny-believer question whether the current partner is actually their soul mate, and then they give up on working it out.
  • There are two mind-sets — a fixed mind-set, which occurs when someone believes that personal qualities like intelligence are immutable, and a growth mind-set, which occurs when someone believes that skills and characteristics can be cultivated through effort.

 

Love lock

Love lock (NYTIMES)

LIFE PURPOSE & LONGEVITY: People with a sense of purpose had a 15% lower risk of death, compared with those who said they were more or less aimless. And it didn’t seem to matter when people found their direction. It could be in their 20s, 50s or 70s.

  • It could be as simple as making sure one’s family is happy. It could be bigger, like contributing to social change. It could be more self-focused, like doing well on the job. Or it could be about creativity: produce something that is appreciated in written or artistic form, whether it’s music, dance or visual arts.
  • A sense of purpose may protect people against stress with all of its harmful effects, including greater risk of heart disease. And that may explain why people with a sense of purpose live longer.