Plaidguy

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Amazon Prime: 22 benefits every member gets

A full list of all the stuff that is (and isn't) included with your Prime subscription -- including new deals from Whole Foods.<p>Amazon Prime is best known for two things: free two-day shipping and Netflix-style video streaming. Those are decidedly worthwhile perks, especially considering the …

Tech Trends

39 science fiction, fantasy, and horror novels to read this April

Dystopic futures, Moon colonies, epic fantasies, and more<p>It’s a new month, which means there is another stack of books hitting bookstores to check out.<p>I recently finished John Scalzi’s <i>The Collapsing Empire</i>, and I had a lot of fun reading it. I’ve largely enjoyed the books that I’ve read from him, …

Science Fiction

The New Status Symbol? Think Ink

Increasingly rare in the digital era, handwriting has taken on a new potential to impress—and the design world is responding with power pens, standout stationery and other desktop objects of desire<p>How do you enhance the aesthetic of an email or make an instant message chic? Neither eloquence nor …

Stationery

The New Yorker Endorses Hillary Clinton

The election of Hillary Clinton is an event that we would welcome for its historical importance, and greet with indescribable relief.<p>On November 8th, barring some astonishment, the people of the United States will, after two hundred and forty years, send a woman to the White House. The election of …

Government

The 7 Best Motivational Books of 2016

While 2016 was a difficult year politically, it was a great year for motivational books.<p>During this month and next, I'm revealing my picks for the best business books of the year, first by category and finally (on December 16) the very best of the best.<p>This post contains the top seven books of the …

Motivation

Words in your ears: the 10 best books podcasts

A bookseller and writer chooses his favourite audio options for those occasions when actually reading a book would be ill-advised<p>You can’t read books all the time; trust me, I’ve tried (and like I said to the officer, at least I wasn’t texting and driving). The next best thing is a good books …

Books

Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates

• <b>Author:</b> Brian Kilmeade & Don Yaeger<p><b>“Another blockbuster! Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates reads like an edge-of-your-seat, page-turning thriller. You will love this book and also wonder why so few people know this story. No one captures the danger, intrigue, and drama of the American</b> …

4 Ways to Instantly Improve Your Writing

A new survey shows we're wildly overconfident in our writing abilities. Here's what to do about it.<p>It's easy to complain about the state of business writing in general. Not only does teaching employees how to express themselves clearly cost companies billions each year (as my Inc.com colleague …

Creative Writing

10 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Incredibly Productive

Of course you do. So here's how.<p>I absolutely believe in the power of hard work. Like Jimmy Spithill, skipper of Team Oracle USA, says, "Rarely have I seen a situation where doing less than the other guy is a good strategy."<p>That's basically my mantra: I may not be as talented, or educated, or …

Productivity

5 Websites that Pay Writers $75+ Per Article

There are so many websites that pay writers. The following is a list of 5 such websites, in a variety of categories. All of them pay at least $75.<p>For …

Mary Astor's Purple Diary: The Great American Sex Scandal of 1936

• <b>Author:</b> Edward Sorel<p>In a hilarious send-up of sex, scandal, and the Golden Age of Hollywood, legendary cartoonist Edward Sorel brings us a story (literally) ripped from the headlines of a bygone era.<p>In 1965, a young, up-and-coming illustrator by the name of Edward Sorel was living in a $97-a-month …

The 3 Banned Books That Have Immeasurably Shaped My Life

“It was a pleasure to burn.”<p>Even now, when I read it, the first sentence of <i>Fahrenheit 451</i> gives rise to goosebumps. No one sentence from any novel …

How to Write a Short Story with Clarity and Economy

One of the cold, hard truths of short story writing is that you only get one read. Whether your story is part of a collection, or in a magazine someone’s holding, or in the hands of someone who’s considering publishing it, you usually only get one shot per story with any one person. (Right? When …

As Faulkner Lay Drinking

A look at the award-winning author’s complex relationship with liquor and writing.<p>A close look at most great 20th-century novelists and playwrights …

Opera's VPN-equipped browser is now available to everyone

You no longer have to grab test software to try Opera's VPN-toting web browser. The company has released the finished version of Opera 40 for desktops, which revolves around a free virtual private network (provided by SurfEasy) that offers both a more secure connection as well as access to foreign …

Getting Your Mojo Back: 10 Things to Do When You Feel Stuck

What to do when you're stuck and need to get back into your creative space<p>Did your va-va lose its voom? Your edge its steely sharpness? Boomerang not coming back? Mojo not working its magic?<p>Chances are you're suffering from the age-old disease of "stuck." People feel their best when their focus and …

Productivity

Do no harm, don't discriminate: official guidance issued on robot ethics

Robot deception, addiction and possibility of AIs exceeding their remits noted as hazards that manufacturers should consider<p>Isaac Asimov gave us the basic rules of good robot behaviour: don’t harm humans, obey orders and protect yourself. Now the British Standards Institute has issued a more …

Robotics

Writing Lessons From the Madly Prolific Joyce Carol Oates

To call Joyce Carol Oates merely prolific would be a towering understatement. Her debut novel, <i>With Shuddering Fall</i>, appeared back in 1964, and Oates, …

Literature

TED Speakers Want You to Read These Books

Everyone has that one book that they’re thrilled to find out a friend or acquaintance has also read. The experts behind TED talks are no exception. …

Want to become a better writer? Follow these 7 steps, and look for new tools every day

Somewhere in a deep corner of my files, there is a single piece of paper with just a few words on it that changed my life as a writer and teacher.<p>It …

10 Things Emotionally Intelligent People Refuse to Think

Believing these negative thoughts can become a self-fulfilling prophecy you want no part of, trust me.<p>Pay attention to what comes out of your mouth. The language you use affects how you experience your world, and how others experience you. Inevitably, things get "lost in translation."<p>If you're …

Self-help

10 Productivity Tricks You Can Learn in 10 Minutes

You’re probably short on time reading this, and I don’t blame you. Life moves fast. It seems impossible to keep up with hundreds of tasks being …

Time Management

5 Famous Novels That Will Reignite Your Creativity

When was the last time you read something this deep?<p>I am a writer, and part of being a great writer means reading-- a lot.<p>But reading has so many other benefits that people tend to forget, one of which being it works your brain in a different way than reading blogs (like this one) or magazines or …

Literature

How to Diet and Exercise Like the Genius Inventor Nikola Tesla

The inventor Nikola Tesla had one of the most creative and prolific brains humanity has ever produced. He kept working on ingenious projects well …

Finished binging Netflix's Stranger Things? Pick up these 12 books next

Netflix’s <i>Stranger Things</i> has captivated audiences with its sense of nostalgia, drawing from the works of Steven Spielberg, John Carpenter, and Stephen King. With the first season out and finished, we’ve been itching for our next hit of horror fiction that we can obsess over.<p>Books were a major …

Books

These Tools Will Help You Become A More Persuasive Writer

Everybody writes. No matter what you are doing in life, you need to communicate with other people. Whether it’s a personal email to your friend or a formal proposal for your business, you want to persuade people to take action.<p>Throughout the years I developed a writing routine and found useful …

Infographics

Procrastinate Better

Ask yourself, is all that wasted time really rewarding? And other tips from Charles Duhigg, who wrote the book on productivity.<p>Why is it that the more work I have to do, the more the internet beckons me into its endless maw of distraction? <i>Oh Lord</i>, I will say, appealing both to myself and to …

Procrastination

Happy birthday, Aldous Huxley!

"You shall know the truth," Aldous Huxley once said, "and the truth shall make you mad."<p>You'd be hard-pressed to find a quote more emblematic of the late English author, who was born 122 years ago today. Best known for his dystopian novel "Brave New World," Huxley predicted some of the most …

A brief survey of the short story: David Foster Wallace

For all its elaborate formal tricks, Wallace’s work is marked by a deep desire for authentic connection, to his subjects and to his readers<p>David Foster Wallace was a maximalist. His masterpiece, Infinite Jest, is a 1,000-page, polyphonic epic about addiction and obsession in millennial America. His …

Literature

Do You Listen to Music While Working? Here's What It Does to Your Brain (and It's Pretty Awesome)

Music has enriched people's personal lives pretty much since the beginning of time, but scientists today have uncovered how best to make music enrich your professional life, too.<p>When the office is almost too much to stomach, music can deliver much-needed relief on the job. Before you press "play", …

The Brain