The Incubation Effect: How to Break Through a Mental Block

Taking a break may help bring that Eureka moment, but what part does the unconscious play?

Mental blocks are incredibly irritating.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re pondering spreadsheets at work, trying to decide what colour to paint the shed or wondering where to spend the holidays, sometimes you hit a mental block and can’t go forwards.

It might be that the number of options is overwhelming or, at the other extreme, that you can’t come up with a single idea. Either way you’re stuck and in that moment there seems like no way out.

Can You Guess the World’s Fastest Growing Economy? (No, It’s Not China)

If you can make your way into the VIP room on the second floor of the Louis Vuitton outlet in Ulan Bator — it’s near the Burberry store, but the Burberry in Central Tower and not the one at theforthcoming Shangri La resort hotel — you’ll be handed a glass of champagne and asked to gaze upon a special, gem-encrusted saddle made just for this store. It symbolizes “the fusion of the brand’s travel heritage and Mongolia’s tradition of expert horseback riding,” according to a Louis Vuittonpress release, and it includes a special container for carrying caviar across the same Mongolian steppe that bred Genghis Khan.

Coffee: Preventing Scurvy Since 1650

n 1650, St. Michael’s Alley, London’s first coffee shop, placed an ad in a newspaper. That ad — archived in the British Museum, and Internet-ed by the Vintage Ads LiveJournal — extolled the many Vertues of the newly discovered beverage. Which “groweth upon little Trees, only in the Deserts of Arabia,” and which is — despite and ostensibly because of its Vertues — “a simple innocent thing.”

What’s amazing about the ad — besides, obviously, its crazy claim that coffee can prevent Mif-carryings in Child-bearing Women — is how flagrantly its copyrighters flung the Vertues they extol.

Pros and Cons of Bringing Your Own Device to Work

The concept of “bring your own device” (BYOD) is a growing trend for business IT. There are a variety of benefits to allowing users to supply their own PCs and mobile devices, but there are also some concerns. Make sure you understand both in order to embrace BYOD with confidence.

It used to be that IT departments drove technology, but that has changed dramatically in recent years. The consumerization of IT revolution — sparked by the iPhone — has shifted the IT culture so that the users are the ones getting the latest, cutting edge technologies first, and they want to bring those devices to work.

Let your users bring their own device, but consider the potential issues as well.

20 Mathematicians Who Changed The World

Pictured, Ada Lovelace, considered by some to be the world’s first computer programmer.

Before scientists can develop medicines or engineers can advance technology, they throw numbers onto whiteboards using concepts laid out by mathematicians sometimes centuries earlier.
Generations of school children will disagree, but no other field of study has played a bigger role in changing the course of history as mathematics.

Unfortunately, mathematicians often get little recognition for their contributions to history.

We’re changing that right now.

We’ve identified the 20 mathematicians responsible for the modern world.

Where You’ll Want to Live in 2032

Using metrics that include economic, workplace, community, and personal choice factors, Gallup found what will be the most livable U.S. region 20 years from now.

If you want to find the U.S. states and regions with the brightest future, look west. Gallup analysis shows that the West North Central, Mountain, and Pacific regions are likely to be the best areas to live in 20 years, based on the strong economic, health, and community foundations they are building today.

Why You Should Say ‘Hello’ to Strangers on the Street

A higher percentage of American males have strokes than acknowledged me on the sidewalk last weekend.


In the study “To Be Looked at as Though Air: Civil Attention Matters,” published earlier this year in Psychological Science, the lead author Eric D. Wesselmann, a psychology professor at Purdue University, explains: “Because social connections are fundamental to survival, researchers argue that humans evolved systems to detect the slightest cues of inclusion or exclusion. For example, simple eye contact is sufficient to convey inclusion. In contrast, withholding eye contact can signal exclusion. … Even though one person looks in the general direction of another, no eye contact is made, and the latter feels invisible.”

Quantum Physics for Dummies…or…How the Higgs Boson Can Unlock the Mysteries of the Universe

Last week, the world’s most wanted particle - the elusive Higgs boson - was discovered, hailing a major breakthrough in particle physics. The particle now completes the standard model, so does that mean there’s nothing left to discover?

Not exactly. In this animation, see why finding the Higgs is just the beginning and how it could be key to unlocking mysteries about our universe. The particle could help explain dark matter or gravity and could help test other theories like supersymmetry. It’s even possible that it’s part of a clique: there could be up to five different types of Higgs bosons.