Today’s Inspirational Quote:

“You can’t move mountains by whispering at them.”

— Pink

Did you know…

… that today is National Pink Day? It’s easy to enjoy and participate in National Pink Day. Bring your pink elephant out of hiding. Be creative. Use food coloring to make pink meals. Pink frosting on a cake or cookies will be a big hit today. Wear pink, and show off everything you have that’s pink, from clothing and shoes to other possessions. Or not… 😉



Voices vs. noise – Prof. Seth Godin

Voices vs. noise

If it’s not relevant, it’s noise. If it’s untrusted, unwelcome or selfish, it’s noise.

But your contribution isn’t noise. Not for the right people, at the right time.

The internet isn’t a mass medium. The voices online are not for everyone, it’s not the Super Bowl or MAS*H or even the nightly news. Nobody reaches much more than 1% of the audience on any given day.


That tiny slice that does want to hear from you, that needs to hear from you, that would miss you if you don’t speak up–for that audience, you’re not noise. You’re essential.

That’s why we built the Podcasting Workshop with Alex DiPalma. Enrollment launches today.

Not because we need more podcasts. We don’t.

Because we need your podcast. Newsletter

This is an irregular signal to announce a sidewise something — hopefully a once-in-a-lifetime something that shall never again be necessary beyond this strange and disorienting moment we are living through together. (The regular weekly newsletter will offer its small offering of predictability and dependability in this uncertain world and alight to your inbox on Sunday, as it has been every week for the past fourteen years.)

As an Antidote to Fear of Death I Eat the Stars: Vintage Science Face Masks

A small, coruscating delight: I have made a series of face masks featuring wondrous centuries-old astronomical art and natural history illustrations I have restored and digitized from various archival sources over the years.


Among them are treasures like the Solar System quilt Ella Harding Baker spent seven years crafting in order to teach women astronomy long before they/we had access to formal education; the gorgeous 18th-century illustrations from the world’s first encyclopedia of medicinal plants that the young Elizabeth Blackwell painted to bail her husband out of debtor’s prison; the astonishing drawings of celestial objects and phenomena the 19th-century French artist Étienne Léopold Trouvelot saw through America’s first world-class scientific instrument, Harvard’s Great Refractor Telescope; the trailblazing 18th-century artist Sarah Stone’s stunning illustrations of exotic, endangered, and now-extinct animals; some graphically spectacular depictions of how nature works from a 19th-century French physics textbook; Ernst Haeckel’s heartbreak-fomented drawings of the otherworldly beauty of jellyfish, and of course his classic radiolaria that so inspired Darwin; William Saville Kent’s pioneering artistic-scientific effort to bring the world’s awareness and awe to the creatures of the Great Barrier Reef; and art from the German marine biologist Carl Chun’s epoch-making Cephalopod Atlas — the world’s first encyclopedia of creatures of the deep, which upended the longtime belief that life could not exist below 300 fathoms. (Because as the great poet Gwendolyn Brooks well knew, “Wherever life can grow, it will. It will sprout out, and do the best it can.”)

I originally made these masks just for myself and a handful of beloved humans, but they turned out so unexpectedly lovely that I decided to make them available to all who would delight in them. The manufacturer (society6, over whose production, pricing, and other practical elements I have no control — mine is only the conceptual element, fitted into their standard template; they print the fabrics, sew the masks, sell and ship them) is donating a portion of their proceeds to World Center Kitchen, helping to feed those most in need at times of crisis, and I am donating to The Nature Conservancy, stewarding the long-term sustenance of this entire improbable, irreplaceable planet, and the endeavor to build New York’s most democratic institution of cosmic perspective, the city’s first public observatory.


Because of the mask’s particular folding pattern, some of the artwork came alive in a wholly new and unexpected way. My personal favorite — the original design I made for myself and my most beloved human — is the total solar eclipse mask, evocative of the opening line of astronomer and poet Rebecca Elson’s magnificent “Antidotes to Fear of Death”:

2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngSometimes as an antidote
To fear of death,
I eat the stars.


There is also the charmingly shy, sleepy, fold-nesting octopus; Haeckel’s perfectly positioned jellyfish, reminiscent of a plate from artist Judy Chicago’s iconic Dinner Party project; the insurrectionist chameleon, extending a tongue where we may not; the holy coffee plant, daily deity to so many; the chromatically ecstatic spectra of various substances and the glorious double rainbow from the 1868 French gem Les phénomènes de la physique; the extinct poto-roo, reminding us with its sweet nonexistent face atop ours that creatures do perish and are forever erased; and the jubilant meteor shower, for another serving of life-affirming star-eating.

















See them all here, and keep an eye on the collection as I might be adding more designs between reading, writing, partaking of protests, and gardening.




Every week for fourteen years, I have been pouring tremendous time, thought, love, and resources into Brain Pickings, which remains free and is made possible by patronage. If you find any joy and solace in my labor of love, please consider supporting it with a donation. And if you already donate, from the bottom of my heart: THANK YOU. (If you’ve had a change of heart or circumstance and wish to rescind your support, you can do so at this link.)

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Futurism newsletter


The Future Is Absolutely Adorable

22 JUNE 2020


Adorable Robot Seals Could Help COVID Patients Fight Loneliness

You look this seal in the eyes and say it’s not cute, I dare you. Healthcare workers are putting robotic seals, just like this one, to work across the country in an effort to combat loneliness from COVID-19-related isolation.

The baby harp seals — which, honestly: oddly adorable — are built by PARO Robots, designed to weigh as much as a human baby, and go for $6,000 each. It seems costly for something that looks like a plush toy but the robots are actually artificial intelligence-enhanced “therapeutic robots,” according to the company’s website.



ONEPlanets With Oceans of Lava May Have Given Us Meteorites


TWOVirgin Galactic to Start Training Astronauts for Trips to Space


THREEPhysicist Pleads: Stop Building Stupid, Expensive Particle Colliders



COVID-19 Deaths May Have Slowed Because Younger People Are Sick

Despite COVID-19 cases once again climbing in the U.S., the death rate remains largely unchanged from where it was before the resurgence, and may actually still be declining. There may be a few reasons for that but one prevailing theory is that the bulk of current cases are among younger people who may be able to fend off infections better than older generations.

While it’s easy to write this off as good news, Dr. Anthony Fauci isn’t taking chances, and he warns this may be like a calm before a storm.



“ We do have incredible diversity and new species living under our noses. 

Today’s TED Talk


How digital innovation can fight pandemics and strengthen democracy

49:05 minutes · TED2020

Can technology create a democracy that’s fast, fair … and even fun? Digital minister Audrey Tang shares how Taiwan avoided a COVID-19 shutdown in early 2020 through innovations like developing apps to map mask availability, crowdsourcing ideas that could become laws and creating a “humor over rumor” campaign to combat disinformation with comedy. (This virtual conversation, hosted by TED science curator David Biello and current affairs curator Whitney Pennington Rodgers, was recorded June 1, 2020.)

Watch now »


The inherent bias in our technology

The inherent bias in our technology

These talks reveal how our technology often reflects the unconscious biases and prejudices we hold. Watch »

4 talks · Total run time 44:48

Wisdom Quotess

It’s not knowledge, but imagination that shows true intelligence.

The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination. (Albert Einstein)

It isn’t what happens that matters, but how you respond to it.
Life is ten percent what happens to you and ninety percent how you respond to it. (Lou Holtz)

Quarts Daily Newsletter. I subscribe.

Good morning, Quartz readers!


The most super of supercomputers. Chipmaker Arm, Japanese Research institute RIKEN, and IT firm Fujitsu combined forces to create the system that now holds the title of the world’s most powerful supercomputer. The Fugaku supercomputer ousted an IBM-powered machine in the US from the top spot.

EU leaders harangued China’s president and premier in a testy summit. The newly elected heads of the EU’s institutions chided president Xi Jinping and premier Li Keqiang over Hong Kong’s autonomy, accusations of pandemic disinformation, and restrictions on foreign investment. The meeting notably ended without a joint statement.

Justin Trudeau won’t be swapping prisoners with China. The Canadian prime minister announced that he is not considering exchanging Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou, who has been in custody since December 2018, for Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, who were indicted in China last week on charges of espionage. UK and US officials have denounced Beijing’s decision to proceed with charges against the two men.

Delta will begin flying between the US and China this week. Starting Thursday, the carrier will become the first US-based airline to resume flights between the two countries since the US Transportation Department announced last week that each country agreed to allow four flights per week for the time being.

Apple unveiled a new computer operating system. MacOS Big Sur introduces a new look modeled after the design of iPhone software, and slight tweaks to apps including Mail, Photos, Notes.


Q3 looms large. While workers and the stock market alike eagerly anticipate some return to business as usual, many companies have to redefine what that business looks like in the first place. We’re bringing together experts on the science of decision making for a workshop on crafting strategy amidst ambiguity.

Join speakers Paul Glimcher (co-director of the NYU Institute for the Study of Decision Making), Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic (chief talent scientist at Manpower Group) and Louie Pastor (executive vice president and general counsel at Xerox) for our latest Remote Control virtual workshop on Thursday, June 25 at 11am EDT.

As always, these workshops are free to attend! Simply register here and then start getting your questions ready.


Women and people of color continue to earn lower wages than white men. One big reason is that many employers require job applicants to reveal their previous salary in order to set their new one. This strips workers of bargaining power, and can lock in lower compensation.

Since 2016, 20 US states, cities, and territories—including Massachusetts, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia—have passed salary history bans. These laws are working, especially for women and Black workers, a new study from Boston University’s School of Law found.

The researchers also discovered that workers who changed jobs in the private sector earned an average of 5% to 6% more annually. The gains were even greater for women and African Americans.


The coronavirus crisis has broken the fossil fuel industry’s 150-year-old boom/bust cycle, and presented an existential crisis for the oil and gas industry.

Let’s briefly get into some history:

1859: Edwin Drake strikes the world’s first successful oil well in Titusville, Pennsylvania, creating a generation of prospectors and kickstarting a cycle of rapid expansion and contraction.

1870: John D. Rockefeller founds Standard & Oil. By 1899, it controls the vast majority of the oil sold in the US, and has set its eyes overseas.

1900s: Foreign rivals proliferate, as demand soon eclipses even Standard Oil’s ability to supply or control it.

1945: Oil consumption begins to rise six-fold, powering post-World War II economic expansion.

1960: OPEC is created. Its five founding members—Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Kuwait, Iraq, and Iran—represented more than 80% of the world’s oil production.

2000s: Six supermajors emerge from a series of acquisitions and mergers. By 2013, they are spending at least $100 billion per year on exploration and production.

2013: Fracking helps the US reclaim the mantle of world’s top oil producer. But by late 2014, with US oil production still soaring, global oil supply began to exceed demand.

And this year, the world changed on a dime. Who can foretell the future of fossil fuels?

✦ Future you will be pretty pleased that you signed up for a seven-day free trial for Quartz membership. Enjoy field guides like these, scale the paywall, download presentations, watch workshops, and more.✦


I’ve been hearing a lot about dexamethasone as a possible treatment. How soon will that be available and who will it help?

Dexamethasone is a generic steroid that’s still being tested for the purpose, but so far seems to be an effective treatment for some Covid-19 sufferers in critical condition, and the most exciting thing about it is its supply chain. OK, maybe the second most exciting thing.

Shortages are a concern—and a justified one—for many other potential Covid-19 treatments. But less so for dexamethasone, says Michael Ganio, the senior director of pharmacy practice and quality at the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. For one thing, it’s a common drug that has been on the market for nearly 60 years, and its generic status means that manufacturing plants all over the world make and ship the drug, which in pill form is a relatively simple medicine to produce.

Even if hospitals did run into shortages of dexamethasone, they could make substitutions pretty easily since steroids make up a huge class of drugs. Plus, the fact that it treats only a specific segment of Covid-19 patients means there would most likely be less hoarding.

You deserve a break. Whether it’s your summer or winter, we know you may be foregoing your normal vacation this year. We think you still deserve a break, so for a limited time we’re giving you 50% off Quartz membership.


A Chinese phone sold out in India amid #BoycottChina. While some vandalized stores for selling Chinese goods, others bought every OnePlus 8 Pro on Amazon India within minutes.

The Stonehenge mystery deepens. A two kilometer (1.2 mile) wide circle of pits adds another layer to the puzzle of the ancient monument’s purpose.

Women are less likely to swipe right on a guy with a cat. Online survey respondents rated the same man less masculine and less datable when he was pictured with a feline friend.

Our galaxy might be lonelier than we thought. We could search for centuries before finding one of the estimated 36 (at least) advanced alien civilizations in the Milky Way.

A durian shipment forced a German post office to evacuate. The baffled workers didn’t know what to make of the pungent fruit. As a precaution, six went to the hospital for nausea.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, cat lovers, and the people who love them to Get the most out of Quartz by downloading our app on iOS or Android and becoming a member. Today’s Daily Brief was brought to you by Katherine Ellen Foley, Karen Ho, Susan Howson, and Nicolás River

Random Acts of Kindnesss

1. Cut an article out of the newspaper that would interest a friend and mail it to them
2. Leave a big bottle of laundry detergent at a laundromat.
3. Leave a positive note on a bulletin road.
4. Let you staff leave work an hour early
5. Send coloring books to sick kids in the hospital

“That’s a good idea” – Seth Godin

“And then what happens?”

Repeat the second question 100 times. Because after every good idea, there are at least 100 steps of iteration, learning, adjustment, innovation and effort.

Starting with the wrong idea is a waste of energy and time.

But not committing to the 100 steps is a waste of a good idea.

We put a lot of pressure on the idea to be perfect because it distracts us from the reality that the hundred steps after the idea are going to make all the difference. Nearly every organization you can point to is built around an idea that wasn’t original or perfect.

The effort and investment and evolution made the difference.

Today’s Inspirational Quote:

“You may not be a Picasso or Mozart but you don’t have to be. Just create to create. Create to remind yourself you’re still alive. Make stuff to inspire others to make something too. Create to learn a bit more about yourself.”

— Frederick Terral

“That’s a good idea” – Seth Godin

“That’s a good idea”

“And then what happens?”

Repeat the second question 100 times. Because after every good idea, there are at least 100 steps of iteration, learning, adjustment, innovation and effort.

Starting with the wrong idea is a waste of energy and time.

But not committing to the 100 steps is a waste of a good idea.

We put a lot of pressure on the idea to be perfect because it distracts us from the reality that the hundred steps after the idea are going to make all the difference. Nearly every organization you can point to is built around an idea that wasn’t original or perfect.

The effort and investment and evolution made the difference


Part of speech: noun
Origin: Japanese, late 19th century

A lacquered or decorated wooden Japanese lunchbox.


A Japanese-style packed lunch, consisting of such items as rice, vegetables, and sashimi (raw fish with condiments).

Examples of Bento in a sentence

“Her bento collection was quite valuable, so she didn’t use them for food.”

“I usually order the bento lunch special on Mondays.”

23. International Olympic Day – 23rd June

23. International Olympic Day – 23rd June

Olympics Day

This day is celebrated every year to promote the Olympic movement.

Content marketing opportunities:   

  • Listicle idea: Notable moments from the 2016 Olympics
  • Infographic idea: Indian Olympics stars you must know about
  • Video idea: The story of Pierre de Coubertin
  • Podcast idea: What would happen if the Olympics aren’t held in 2021?

Brand campaign that worked:

This video by Business Insider shows how expensive hosting the Olympics can be, and why many countries might not be too keen on hosting it in the future.

Today’s Inspirational Quote:

“You may not be a Picasso or Mozart but you don’t have to be. Just create to create. Create to remind yourself you’re still alive. Make stuff to inspire others to make something too. Create to learn a bit more about yourself.”

— Frederick Terral

22. International Widows’ Day – 23rd June

22. International Widows’ Day – 23rd June

Widows Day - Content Marketing

This day aims to draw attention to the voices and experiences of widows and to galvanize the support that they need.

Content marketing opportunities:   

  • Listicle idea: X Support systems you can take advantage of if you’re an army widow
  • Infographic idea: X Indian movies known for their famous portrayal of widows
  • Video idea: Who are the Vrindavan widows?
  • Podcast idea: How can you move on if you’re a widow?

Did you know…

… that today is GI Bill of Rights Day? U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt signed the GI Bill of Rights in 1944 to provide broad benefits for veterans of the war. It provided returning veterans with educational benefits, work training, hiring preferences, and subsidized loans for buying homes, businesses and farms. It continues today to be one of the lasting legacies of the Roosevelt administration.



21. United Nations Public Service Day – 23rd June

21. United Nations Public Service Day – 23rd June

Public Service Day

This day recognizes the work of public workers, and encourages young people to pursue careers in the public sector.

Content marketing opportunities:   

  • Listicle idea: X Exams you need to pass if you’re looking for a job in the public sector
  • Infographic idea: X Subjects to excel in if you’re attempting the civil services exam
  • Video idea: A day in the life of a public servant
  • Podcast idea: Are public sector jobs losing their sheen?

Brand campaign that worked:

This video uploaded by PragerU shows us the difference between the public and private sectors, and examines which one is perceived as more effective.