Ollie Alix

25 Flips | 4 Magazines | 11 Following | @ocamd97 | Keep up with Ollie Alix on Flipboard, a place to see the stories, photos, and updates that matter to you. Flipboard creates a personalized magazine full of everything, from world news to life’s great moments. Download Flipboard for free and search for “Ollie Alix”

Why There Was No First Human

We live in a culture where 40% of people don’t believe the world is more than 6,000 years old. And yet how can an intelligent being hold such beliefs when faced with a 13,000-year-old eucalyptus tree or an 80,000-year-old aspen? But even when we embrace science completely, one of the most baffling …

Trying Not to Try: How to Cultivate the Paradoxical Art of Spontaneity Through the Chinese Concept of Wu-Wei

<i>“The best way to get approval is not to need it,”</i> Hugh MacLeod memorably counseled. We now know that perfectionism kills creativity and excessive goal-setting limits our success rather than begetting it — all different manifestations of the same deeper paradox of the human condition, at once …

How to Move People with Integrity: The Art of Persuasion, Animated

<i>“Temperament, whether individual or collective, is not amenable to persuasion,”</i> Joseph Conrad wrote in his reflection on writing and the role of the artist. And yet it seems to be through our temperaments, not our rational deliberation, that we absorb so many of our impressions. But how can we …

What It Takes to Design a Good Life

What does it take to have a good life? That’s what <b>Jonathan Fields</b>, author of <i>Uncertainty: Turning Fear and Doubt into Fuel for Brilliance</i>, wondered when his daughter turned five and he grew tired of reading her fables about the knight who saves the princess to live happily ever after. So he set out …

Me, Myself, and Why

• <b>Author:</b> Jennifer Ouellette<p>As diverse as people appear to be, all of our genes and brains are nearly identical. In Me, Myself, and Why, Jennifer Ouellette dives into the miniscule ranges of variation to understand just what sets us apart. She draws on cutting-edge research in genetics, neuroscience, …

The Improbability Principle

• <b>Author:</b> David J. Hand<p>In <i>The Improbability Principle</i>, the renowned statistician David J. Hand argues that extraordinarily rare events are anything but. In fact, they're commonplace. Not only that, we should all expect to experience a miracle roughly once every month.<br>But Hand is no believer in …

Five Tricks I Used to Beat My Unhealthy Eating Habits

I was an active kid growing up, so I didn’t worry much about food until I left home for college and wanted to avoid the "Freshman 15." I began …

10 Days Is the Magic Vacation Number. Here's Why

For only the second time in my adult life, I just completed a vacation of more than seven days—10, to be exact. Corroborating my first experience, I …

Should Math Really Be A Required Subject?

The novelist Nicholson Baker makes a case against algebra<p>Nicholson Baker hates math.* The novelist and nonfiction writer spends almost eight pages of this month's <i>Harper's Magazine</i> making the case that compulsory algebra courses in American education are at best, wrongheaded, and at worst, downright …

Why Teaching Makes You Smarter

We tend to think of thinking as something super solitary–but as Annie Murphy Paul observes in the Brilliant Report, cognition is a two-way street.<p>How so?<p>“Students enlisted to tutor others,” Paul reports, “work harder to understand the material, recall it more accurately and apply it more …

3 Ways To Be Less Stupid Today

Step one: After you finish this article, write down what you think of it. (A tweet counts!)<p>Sally Adee went on a <i>foolhardy</i> mission–to understand stupidity. She returned with some clarifying insights that could help make us all a little smarter.<p>Adee, who’s a features editor at the <i>New Scientist</i>, spent …

Richard Dawkins on science: 'it works, bitches'

Author, evolutionary biologist, and militant atheist Richard Dawkins evoked a little XKCD magic on stage at Oxford's Sheldonian Theater recently. After speaking on "the major issues of importance to humanists and atheists at a time when opposition to rationalist thought appears to be on the rise," …

New blood test might predict sepsis deaths

Researchers looking for a test to predict whether someone has a potentially deadly condition called sepsis have made a surprise finding – they can predict who will die from it.<p>Their test accurately picked out who would develop severe sepsis and die, versus those who had fairly innocuous infections …

The Physics Behind Schrödinger's Cat Paradox

Google honors the physicist today with a Doodle. We explain the science behind his famous paradox.<p><b>His feline paradox thought experiment has become a pop culture staple, but it was Erwin Schrödinger's work in quantum mechanics that cemented his status within the world of physics.</b><p>The Nobel …

Not All To-Do Lists Are Created Equal–Here’s How To Do Yours

Every day, our to-do list gets filled with various tasks. But not all “to-do’s” are created equal. Far from it.<p>Unfortunately, our natural tendency is to start with the small, easy tasks first, and push back the big, important ones because they’re more uncomfortable.<p><b>TO DO: READ THESE OTHER HELPFUL</b> …

6 Simple Mindfulness Practices To Reframe Your Perspective

Get familiar with the Holstee Manifesto and join the fast track to a better understanding–and appreciation–of your work, your life, and the world around you.<p>This is your life.<p>Do what you love and do it often.<p>If you don’t like something, change it.<p>If you don’t like your job, quit.<p>If you don’t have …

How I Experimented My Way to Losing 100 Pounds

I have lost more than 100 pounds since last September, and I have many mixed emotions about it. You would think that I'd be proud of the hard work …

How Geeks Have Evolved Over Time [Infographic]

Where Star Wars and Star Trek geeks share common ground.<p>Hundreds of years ago, the term geek wasn't as benign as it is today (high fives all around, gang). In 18th-century Austria-Hungary it was synonymous with freak--literally, used as the word for circus performers. Now, at worst, it's used to …

Right-Brain, Left-Brain Just a Myth, Say Neuroscientists

Are you a “right-brained” or “left-brained” thinker? Are you sensitive and artistic, or logical and analytical? Are you detail-oriented or intuitive? …

Austin Kleon on 10 Things Every Creative Person Should Remember But We Often Forget

Much has been said about the secrets of creativity and where good ideas come from, but most of that wisdom can be lost on young minds just dipping their toes in the vast and tumultuous ocean of self-initiated creation. Some time ago, artist and writer Austin Kleon — one of my favorite thinkers, a …

5 Things Every Presenter Should Know About People, Animated

<i>“The human brain starts working the moment you are born and never stops until you stand up to speak in public,”</i> George Jessel famously quipped. In <b>100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People</b> (<i>public library</i>), Dr. Susan Weinschenk unpacks the secrets of eliciting response from people — the …