Scott

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Supreme Court set to make pivotal rulings on abortion, affirmative action and immigration

As the nation heads into a presidential election year, the Supreme Court is set to decide half a dozen politically charged cases in 2016 on such topics as abortion, affirmative action, contraceptives and immigration.<p>In several cases, conservatives are hoping the high court will shift current law to …

When 'Do Unto Others' Meets Hookup Culture

How Christians could talk to America about sex<p>Traditionalists in the United States have seen their influence over sexual norms wane greatly in the postwar decades. If you believe that birth-control pills represent a historic advance to be celebrated, or that neither homosexuality nor premarital sex …

Grit and the Secret of Success

<i>“Inspiration is for amateurs — the rest of us just show up and get to work,”</i> Chuck Close scoffed. <i>“A self-respecting artist must not fold his hands on the pretext that he is not in the mood,”</i> Tchaikovsky admonished. <i>“Show up, show up, show up, and after a while the muse shows up, too,”</i> Isabel Allende …

The Science of Our Optimism Bias and the Life-Cycle of Happiness

<i>“If I expect as little as possible, I won’t be hurt,”</i> Susan Sontag famously wrote in her diary. And yet we’re wired to expect a lot — and to expect great things. So argues neuroscientist <b>Tali Sharot</b> in <b>The Science of Optimism: Why We’re Hard-Wired for Hope</b> — a short, absorbing TED Book summarizing …

Tchaikovsky on Work Ethic vs. Inspiration

I recently stumbled upon a recurring theme articulated by both Jack White and Nick Cave, a concept that flies in the face of our cultural mythology about how creativity works — the idea that just showing up and doing the work, or what Jonah Lehrer calls “grit,” the same quality that Ira Glass says …

African Religious Leaders Reject Obama's Call For Gay Rights

NAIROBI, Kenya (RNS) Religious leaders in Africa strongly rebuked President Obama’s call to decriminalize homosexuality, suggesting it’s the reason why he received a less-than-warm welcome during a recent trip to the continent.<p>In a news conference in Senegal during his three-nation tour, just as …

The Growing State-by-State Fight Over Marriage Equality

This article is from the archive of our partner .<p>New Jersey's effective prohibition on gay marriages is facing a court challenge from an advocacy …

Six Tips on Writing from John Steinbeck

If this is indeed the year of reading more and writing better, we’ve been right on course with David Ogilvy’s 10 no-nonsense tips, Henry Miller’s 11 commandments, and various invaluable advice from other great writers.<p>Now comes Pulitzer Prize winner and Nobel laureate <b>John Steinbeck</b> (February 27, …

How to Break Through Your Creative Block: Strategies from 90 of Today’s Most Exciting Creators

What extraordinary energy we expend, as a culture and a civilization, on trying to understand where good ideas come from, how creativity works, its secrets, its origins, its mechanisms, and the five-step action plan for coaxing it into manifestation. And little compares to the anguish that comes …

How to Find Fulfilling Work

<i>“If one wanted to crush and destroy a man entirely, to mete out to him the most terrible punishment,”</i> wrote Dostoevsky, <i>“all one would have to do would be to make him do work that was completely and utterly devoid of usefulness and meaning.”</i> Indeed, the quest to avoid work and make a living of doing …

Fail Safe: Debbie Millman’s Advice on Courage and the Creative Life

The seasonal trope of the commencement address is upon us as wisdom on life is being dispensed from graduation podiums around the world. After Greil Marcus’s meditation on the essence of art and Neil Gaiman’s counsel on the creative life, here comes a heartening speech by artist, strategist, and …

We waste so much energy trying to cover up who we... • literary jukebox

We waste so much energy trying to cover up who we are when beneath every attitude is the want to be loved, and beneath every anger is a wound to be healed and beneath every sadness is the fear that there will not be enough time.When we hesitate in being direct, we unknowingly slip something on, …

Lips

How To Talk About Books You Haven’t Read

At first blush, a book titled <b>How to Talk About Books You Haven’t Read</b> (<i>public library</i>) sounds at once sacrilegious in its proposition and wildly meta-ironic. Then again, it gets to the heart of a painfully familiar literary bind — that book about a fascinating sliver of science, written by a …

Malcolm Cowley on the Four Stages of Writing: Lessons from the First Five Years of The Paris Review

The kind of literary voyeurism that concerns itself with why great writers write and how, exactly, they go about it has long held especial mesmerism to aspiring authors and voracious readers alike.<p>In 1953, a trio of literary enthusiasts founded <i>The Paris Review</i>. Spearheaded by George Plimpton, who …

How to Listen to Music: A Vintage Guide to the 7 Essential Skills

Music has a powerful grip on our emotional brain. It can breathe new life into seemingly lifeless minds. But if there is indeed no music instinct, music — not just its creation, but also its consumption — must be an acquired skill. How, then, do we “learn” music beyond merely understanding how it …