Is your desk messy?

Then be happy, you’re probably creative — well, you could be anyhow. My desk? Surely it proves I am a creative genius.

Einstein: “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?

Einstein's DeskAlbert Einstein and his desk. Image source: Stefan.com.au

Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos,Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, and his desk. Image source: Complex

Environments have historically played a major factor in how creative our minds are, Herbert Lui writes at Busy Building Things.

Recently, a study conducted by the University of Minnesota found that people with a messy desk were more prone to creativity and risk taking, while people at cleaner desks tended to follow strict rules and were less likely to try new things or take risks. Dr. Vohs and her co-authors conclude in the study, “Disorderly environments seem to inspire breaking free of tradition, which can produce fresh insights.”

Messy desks

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Prison Memoir of a Black Man in the 1850s

Prison diaryBeinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library

A memoir, titled “The Life and Adventures of a Haunted Convict, or the Inmate of a Gloomy Prison,” describes the experiences of the author, Austin Reed, in a prison in upstate New York, Julie Bosman writes in the New York Times.

In the early pages, Reed describes a childhood incident when, encouraged by his sister, he disguised himself as a girl and attempted to kill a man to avenge an earlier whipping.

“I cocked the pistol and with an uplifted hand of revenge I let fire and missd my shot,” he wrote. “It was a dark night. I could hardly see my hands before my face. The old man hollowd murder, murder, but before any aid could get to him I drew the knife a cross his shoulders wich left a deep wound for months afterward.”

Later, Reed describes torturous punishments in prision, including frequent whippings and a device known as the shower-bath, a kind of precursor to waterboarding that was occasionally fatal.

“Stripping off my shirt the tyrantical curse…threw Sixty seven lashes on me. I was then to stand over the dreain while one of the inmates wash my back in a pail of salt brine.”

Prison memoir

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The instant city

Before and after

These photos of Shanghai’s cityscape were taken just 26 years apart

Stunning growth

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He traveled the country in a pink tutu just to make his wife laugh during chemo

Because laughter can be the best medicine.

Linda and Bob Carey
After Linda Carey was diagnosed with breast cancer, her husband Bob began taking beautiful but totally ridiculous photographs of himself in a pink tutu, Maycie Thornton writes at BuzzFeed.

Pink Tutu in the SnowThetutuproject.com

When Linda would go in for treatment, she would take the images on her phone and the women would look at them and it would make them laugh and make the time pass,” Bob said.

Pink tutu cancer fighter

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14 Places To Talk To A Stranger About Books

In places where strangers are temporarily clustered together in silence, a shared love of books can be a great reason to say hello, Julie Greicius writes at Buzzfeed.

On the bus“I devoured Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina over many a ride back and forth on the MTA’s M4 route through Manhattan,” Julie said. “For the regular commuter who’s always prepared with reading material, a ‘How are you enjoying Tolstoy?’ might come as a welcome change.

Close encounters of the book kind

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These are amazing. Love the tree-hugging stick people one.

12 Amazingly Creative Examples of Environmental Art

Environmental art archwayA new 2014 calendar, curated by Aleta Florentin of Amber Lotus Publishing, brings some of the best examples of environmental art all together in one place. Whether these artists are rearranging natural materials found on a site, like branches and rocks, while leaving no detrimental effect, or are reimagining a landscape by introducing unexpected materials, their overarching goal is the same. They aim to create art that helps improve our relationship with and understanding of the natural world.

Lonely tree, lonely peopleLonely Tree, Lonely People, The Tree Hugger Project by Agnieszka Gradzik and Wiktor Szostalo — Twigs, branches, vines and other natural materials. Poznan, Poland, 2008

Environmental art

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Quote of the Day

“To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark.” ~ Victor Hugo
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Alma Alexander

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