Most girls are taught to avoid risk and failure. We’re taught to smile pretty, play it safe, get all A’s. Boys, on the other hand, are taught to play rough, swing high, crawl to the top of the monkey bars and then just jump off headfirst. And by the time they’re adults, whether they’re negotiating a raise or even asking someone out on a date, they’re habituated to take risk after risk. They’re rewarded for it. It’s often said in Silicon Valley, no one even takes you seriously unless you’ve had two failed start-ups. In other words, we’re raising our girls to be perfect, and we’re raising our boys to be brave.
—  Reshma Saujani, TED Talks, Teach girls bravery, not perfection

In 2006 Ms. Lockwood, an English teacher at Xavier High School, asked her students to write a letter to a famous author. She wanted them discuss the author’s work and ask for advice. Kurt Vonnegut (1922 – 2007) was the only one to write back and his advice is worth reading.

Dear Xavier High School, and Ms. Lockwood, and Messrs Perin, McFeely, Batten, Maurer and Congiusta:

I thank you for your friendly letters. You sure know how to cheer up a really old geezer (84) in his sunset years. I don’t make public appearances any more because I now resemble nothing so much as an iguana.

What I had to say to you, moreover, would not take long, to wit: Practice any art, music, singing, dancing, acting, drawing, painting, sculpting, poetry, fiction, essays, reportage, no matter how well or badly, not to get money and fame, but to experience becoming, to find out what’s inside you, to make your soul grow.

Seriously! I mean starting right now, do art and do it for the rest of your lives. Draw a funny or nice picture of Ms. Lockwood, and give it to her. Dance home after school, and sing in the shower and on and on. Make a face in your mashed potatoes. Pretend you’re Count Dracula.

Here’s an assignment for tonight, and I hope Ms. Lockwood will flunk you if you don’t do it: Write a six line poem, about anything, but rhymed. No fair tennis without a net. Make it as good as you possibly can. But don’t tell anybody what you’re doing. Don’t show it or recite it to anybody, not even your girlfriend or parents or whatever, or Ms. Lockwood. OK?

Tear it up into teeny-weeny pieces, and discard them into widely separated trash recepticals. You will find that you have already been gloriously rewarded for your poem. You have experienced becoming, learned a lot more about what’s inside you, and you have made your soul grow.

God bless you all!

Kurt Vonnegut


The longer you know someone, the easier it is to think that you know what they think all the time, and that leads to really bad communication.  When you’re like, ‘I already know how you feel about this, so I’m not even gonna ask.’

“So how do you call it out?”

“Carefully.  And not at the moment when I’m annoyed.  It’s like, set an alarm for 6 hours and then talk about it then.”

Hank Green to Lindsey Doe on Sexplanations episode “Monogamy”

In the 1980s, psychologist Carol Dweck looked at how bright fifth graders handled an assignment that was too difficult for them. She found that bright girls were quick to give up. The higher the IQ, the more likely they were to give up. Bright boys, on the other hand, found the difficult material to be a challenge. They found it energizing. They were more likely to redouble their efforts.
What’s going on? Well, at the fifth grade level, girls routinely outperform boys in every subject, including math and science, so it’s not a question of ability. The difference is in how boys and girls approach a challenge. And it doesn’t just end in fifth grade.
An HP report found that men will apply for a job if they meet only 60 percent of the qualifications, but women, women will apply only if they meet 100 percent of the qualifications. 100 percent. This study is usually invoked as evidence that, well, women need a little more confidence. But I think it’s evidence that women have been socialized to aspire to perfection, and they’re overly cautious.
—  Reshma Saujani, TED Talks, Teach girls bravery, not perfection

anonymous asked:

Any motivation for a burnt out mad scientist? None of my monsters have been working out lately :(

When the boom has left your doom, it is time to take a step back and remember why you got into this weird, horrid, wonderful business to begin with.

Take a step back and some time off – go time traveling, somewhere chilly and raining, sometime before electricity. Get your hands greasy with a bit of manual labor, enough to work your muscles and open up your senses.

Tackle a project that has nothing to do with crushing enemies or popping the thin bubble of reality. Make something fun. Create a machine that… I don’t know… uses lava to bake cakes.

Make an abomination.

If there is a solution to the problem then don’t waste time worrying about it. If there is no solution to the problem then don’t waste time worrying about it.

Dalai Lama

(…) After the man had told the Buddha one of his problems and asked for help, the Buddha replied: ‘I cannot help you get rid of that problem.’

The man was surprised that the Buddha could not help him in this regard, but he told the Buddha about another problem; he thought to himself that the Buddha should at least be able to help him with that problem. But the Buddha told him ‘I cannot help you with that problem either.’

The man started to get impatient. He said: ‘How can it be that you are the perfectly Enlightened Buddha when you can’t even help people get rid of their problems?’ The Buddha answered: ‘You will always have 83 problems in your life. Sometimes a problem will go, but then another problem will come. I cannot help you with that.’

The baffled man asked the Buddha: ‘But, what can you help me with, then?’ The Buddha replied: ‘I can help you get rid of your 84th problem.’ The man asked: ‘But what is my 84th problem?’ The Buddha replied: ‘That you want to get rid of your 83 problem.’ (A few Buddhist parables)