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TotD: Tipping Points

From The Tip­ping Point by Mal­colm Glad­well:

We are actu­al­ly pow­er­ful­ly influ­enced by our sur­round­ings, our imme­di­ate con­text, and the per­son­al­i­ties of those around us. Tak­ing the graf­fi­ti off the walls of New York’s sub­ways turned New York­ers into bet­ter cit­i­zens. Telling sem­i­nar­i­ans to hur­ry turned them into bad cit­i­zens. The sui­cide of a […]

TotD: How Science Will Change the 21st Century

From Visions: How Sci­ence Will Rev­o­lu­tion­ize The 21st Cen­tu­ry by Michio Kaku:

Gen­er­a­tions of high school chil­dren gasp when they read Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juli­et, for they are amazed to dis­cov­er that Juli­et was only thir­teen years old. We some­times for­get that, for most of human exis­tence, our lives were short, mis­er­able, and brutish. Sad­ly, […]

TotD: Why is English spelling so odd?

From David Crys­tal, The Fight for Eng­lish: How lan­guage pun­dits ate, shot, and left, by way of Delancey Place.

In spelling, the [Eng­lish] lan­guage was assim­i­lat­ing the con­se­quences of hav­ing a civ­il ser­vice of French scribes, who paid lit­tle atten­tion to the tra­di­tions of Eng­lish spelling that had devel­oped in Anglo-Sax­on times. Not only […]

TotD: Robin Laws on Roleplaying Games

I hadn’t ever thought of it this way, but I think the man is on to some­thing.

“One of my pet the­o­ries about the pop­u­lar­i­ty of role­play­ing games goes like this. Role­play­ing is fan­ta­sy shop­ping for guys. That is, men would, as a group, be more inter­est­ed in shop­ping if a) it meant nev­er […]

TotD: Bruce Chatwin on Possessions

And do we not all long to throw down our altars and rid our­selves of our pos­ses­sions? Do we not gaze cold­ly at our clut­ter and say, “If these objects express my per­son­al­i­ty, then I hate my per­son­al­i­ty.” For what, on the face of it, enhances life less than a work of art? One tires […]