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Birth, Death, and Beyond

The Bicentennial of the Bicycle: The first bicycle – velocipede – began in Germany in 1817, a pedal-less, foot-propelled bicycle, constructed almost entirely of wood.

  • Boneshaker (1863): Bicycling becomes a fad following the introduction of front-wheel pedals, though the comfort level remains “boneshaking.”
  • Penny Farthing (1866): This icon of “old-timey” has an enlarged front wheel that allows for a notable increase in both speed and accident rate — thus the term “taking a header” is born.
  • Tricycle (1884): Tricycles gain in popularity, boasting safety, stability and the ability of women to ride while dressed in the traditional (read: constricting) fashions of the time.
  • Rover (1885): Combining safety, comfort, speed and affordability, this forerunner to the modern bicycle finally elevates bicycling from semi-hazardous hobby to everyday practical transport.
  • Tandem (1898): Daisy, Daisy, your famed “bicycle built for two” potentially offers twice the speed — or twice the odds of tipping over, depending on the coordination between riders.

The first bicycle (NYTIMES)

Japanese Corpse Hotels: Checkout time, for the living and the dead, is usually no later than 3 p.m. The Hotel Relation is what Japanese call an “itai hoteru,” or corpse hotel. About half the rooms are fitted with small altars and narrow platforms designed to hold coffins. Some also have climate-controlled coffins with transparent lids so mourners can peer inside. Part mortuary, part inn, these hotels serve a growing market of Japanese seeking an alternative to a big, traditional funeral in a country where the population is aging rapidly, community bonds are fraying and crematories are struggling to keep up with the sheer number of people dying.

Curated by CLAI

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What Is Your Stress Tolerance? How Much Do You Make?

Curated by CLAI

STRESS TOLERANCE: Are you stressed for your age, gender, education, and income?

  • You have the highest stress levels 25-34 years, with a steep drop after 55.
  • Women experience greater levels of stress.
  • Stress levels decrease with greater education and higher income.

W160401_GINO_AVERAGESTRESS

WEALTHIEST ZIP CODES: The top five zip codes in America with the highest average income probably won’t surprise you: three of the five are in New York City, while one is in Miami Beach.

  • Washington, D.C. 20510 ranks as the wealthiest zip code in the District, with an average income of $191,818.
  • Maryland, Gibson Island,  21056 has an average income of $450,012.
  • Virginia, Roanoke 24005 has an average income of $394,400
  • Florida, Miami Beach 33109 with a stunning $2,180,105 in average income.
  • New York City has the wealthiest zip code (10104), with an average income of $2,976,929.

HOW MUCH DO YOU MAKE? Nearly 73% of full-time workers aren’t comfortable with the idea of discussing their pay with anyone at work other than their boss or the HR department. Only 13% said they’d be “completely comfortable” with sharing such information more broadly, recognizing that it might offer workers better leverage in negotiations. The remaining 14% or so said they would be comfortable discussing their salaries with close colleagues, but not their wider team.

  • Women were slightly more uncomfortable than men with the idea of sharing what they make, despite what they might stand to gain from doing so. About 74.5% of the women in the sample said they were uncomfortable talking about it with anyone other than a supervisor or HR, compared with 70% of the men.
  • There was a little more variation, meanwhile, among age groups. Respondents aged 25 to 34 were most likely to welcome the idea of talking openly about their pay. 34% said they were either completely comfortable with it or would do so with close colleagues, compared to 27% of all ages surveyed.

Entrepreneurs: Get Over Your Fear! Students: Free Tuition Abroad

Curated by CLAI

GETTING OVER YOUR FEARS: A must-read infographic for every entrepreneur & leader

Getting Over Fear: On the Way to Becoming an Entrepreneur (Anna Vital)

Getting Over Fear: On the Way to Becoming an Entrepreneur (Anna Vital)

FREE TUITION FOR AMERICAN STUDENTS: 7 countries where Americans can study at universities, in English, for free (or almost free). Click link to read more on Slovenia and Brazil.

  • Germany: Americans can earn a German undergraduate or graduate degree without speaking a word of German and without having to pay a single dollar of tuition fees. About 900 undergraduate or graduate degrees are offered exclusively in English, with courses ranging from engineering to social sciences.
  • Finland: Finland will finance your education, but not your afternoon coffee break.
  • Sweden: Only Ph.D programs are tuition-free.
  • Norway: Norwegian universities do not charge tuition fees for international students, though Norway has the highest costs of living for expats.

How to turn small talk into smart conversation

ideas.ted.com

Tips from a comedian and a journalist on the art of going from small talk to big ideas — all summer long.

Imagine almost any situation where two or more people are gathered—a wedding reception, a job interview, two off-duty cops hanging out in a Jacuzzi.

What do these situations have in common? Almost all of them involve people trying to talk with each other. But in these very moments where a conversation would enhance an encounter, we often fall short. We can’t think of a thing to say.

Or worse, we do a passable job at talking. We stagger through our romantic, professional and social worlds with the goal merely of not crashing, never considering that we might soar. We go home sweaty and puffy, and eat birthday cake in the shower.

We stagger through our romantic, professional and social worlds with the goal merely of not crashing, never considering…

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Your body’s amazing reaction to water

ideas.ted.com

Writer James Nestor explores the science of the “mammalian dive reflex,” the phenomenon by which water triggers an immediate decrease in heart rate.

In 1949, a stocky Italian air force lieutenant named Raimondo Bucher decided to try a potentially deadly stunt off the coast of Capri, Italy. Bucher would sail out to the center of the lake, take a breath and hold it, and free-dive down one hundred feet to the bottom. Waiting there would be a man in a diving suit. Bucher would hand the diver a package, then kick back up to the surface. If he completed the dive, he’d win a fifty-thousand-lira bet; if he didn’t, he would drown.

Scientists warned Bucher that, according to Boyle’s law, the dive would kill him. Formulated in the 1660s by the Anglo-Irish physicist Robert Boyle, this equation predicted the behavior of gases at various pressures, and it indicated that the pressure at a hundred…

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