Archive for July, 2011

Today’s featured TED Talk is on the origins of pleasure. Speaker Paul Bloom argues that the history of an object (or emotion) influences our experience of the pleasure of it. He offers some understandable examples: no one wants to own a forged painting, even if it is technically equal or superior to the original. Likewise, more »

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When I was in college I spent a very long summer doing a temp job in a doctor’s office. One of the doctors, a cardiologist, was a woman. Her husband was a stay at home dad and part-time auto mechanic. With my small town up bringing, this struck me as odd. And statistically, it was: more »

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Feeling Hot, Hot, Hot

It is practically impossible for a conversation to begin this week in Chicago without mention of the weather. We’ve blown past “hot,” cruised by “melting” and are now sitting squarely in the “surface of the sun” category of weather. Weather can have a tremendous impact on our moods. Humid weather makes us sleepier. Hot weather more »

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I’ve been thinking a lot about happiness lately: I was reminded by a speaker at a recent event that happiness psychology (layperson’s definition: the study of what makes us happy and how to get/stay in a state of happiness) has grown exponentially. Likewise, I’ve heard reports on the movement to replace GDP with a happiness more »

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The average American wedding costs around $25,000. (For those of you that remember a certain ceremony in Decatur, IL, about 10 years ago: we were WAY below average.) If you’re not yet married, consider this money-saving option for a $1 vending machine marriage. “Select 1 if ‘you do’ or press ‘escape.’” AutoWed Wedding Vending Machine more »

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Last week a friend asked Cliff an intriguing question: do you think your marriage is working because you picked the right person, or because you just got lucky? I gave up the romantic ideal of there being one right person for me (or anyone else) more than a decade ago. I just don’t think God more »

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Knowing Your Place

I probably would have described it as a rustling sound, but my wife most certainly would have used words like “skittering” or “scurrying.” Regardless, the noise captured our attention quickly and completely. I honestly cannot even recall what task we were accomplishing or what conversation we were having. But I know we were sitting together more »

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We are freshly returned from vacation – 11 blissful days of no laptops or alarm clocks, and limited iPhone use. Delightful! I’m an ardent supporter of vacation: I believe in using every possible day I’m given, and making good use of them by disconnecting from work as much as possible. I think it makes me more »

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