March 2013

March 2013

One thing at a time. Alone. Susan Cain says open-plan offices reduce productivity, impair memory, make people worrisome and even sick. Multi-tasking, she says, increases mistakes by 50 percent.  Brainstorming? It works online, but not in face-to-face groups. Cain, author of Quiet, has the studies to back it all up.

Attorneys in the Badlands. South Dakota is paying back 90 percent of law school tuition for 16 graduates of its school of law if they agree to practice in rural areas for five years. Of course, business will probably be slow until 16 more lawyers move in.

Chill out? New research indicates warm weather impairs our ability to make complex decisions – or keeps us from making decisions at all. Cool weather encourages cognitive complexity, resulting in successful choices and courageous decisions. This may explain all the arrests during spring break.

Just bored, I guess. Imprisoned British computer hacker Nicholas Webber, who is serving time for computer fraud, hacked into the mainframe at his London prison after officials allowed him to take a computer class. Nicholas, whose last name surely shaped his choice of vocation, is 21.

Now it’s really good to be first. Delaware, the first state to join the Union in 1787, is now the last state to join the National Park System. The three-site “First State National Monument” was confirmed yesterday as the 400th unit in the National Park System, which was established in 1916. Do you know your nearest national park?

Back to the future. Speak a language where the difference between present and future tenses is blurry and you’ll likely be healthy and rich, says Keith Chen of Yale Business School. Why?  His statistics show that in countries where this is the case people are better prepared for the future in health and wealth measurements. In other words, start talking about the future as though it’s already here.

Home? Home is where everybody knows the Pope: “He is a very well-known man here, loved by many people. He walks, and walks, and walks the streets and the neighborhoods. [Lots of people] have a picture with him, always in a humble attitude. He is very close to the people. Anybody could reach him.” (From an email from a friend in Buenos Aires.)

Quote to note: “In those days, though, the spring always came finally but it was frightening that it had nearly failed.” – Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast

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