Did you know…

Did you know…

… that today is Ballpoint Pen Sales Day? In 1945, the first ballpoint pen went on sale, 57 years after it was patented. New York’s Gimbels Department Store described the new pen as a “fantastic… miraculous fountain pen … guaranteed to write for two years without refilling!” On that first day of sales, Gimbels sold out its entire stock of 10,000 pens at $12.50 each.


Brain pickings newsletter I like

This is the Brain Pickings midweek pick-me-up: Once a week, I plunge into my fourteen-year archive and choose something worth resurfacing and resavoring as timeless nourishment for heart, mind, and spirit. (If you don’t yet subscribe to the standard Sunday newsletter of new pieces published each week, you can sign up here — it’s free.) If you missed last week’s edition — Walt Whitman on the pillars of democracy and the courage of actionable optimism over cynicism as a mighty force of resistance — you can catch up right here. And if you find any solace, joy, and value in my labor of love, please consider supporting it with a donation – over these fourteen years, I have spent tens of thousands of hours and tremendous resources on Brain Pickings, and every little bit of support helps keep it – keep me – going. If you already donate: THANK YOU.FROM THE ARCHIVE | Love After Love: Derek Walcott’s Poetic Ode to Relearning to Be at Home in Ourselves After HeartbreakThe great Zen teacher Thich Nhat Hanh has written beautifully about why learning to love others begins with learning to love ourselves — a sentiment that the reactive modern cynic might dismiss as the vacant fodder of self-help books, but one which more considered reflection reveals to be deeply truthful and deeply uncomfortable. What, after all, does loving oneself even mean — particularly if we’re aspiring to be unselfish and generous, and to outgrow the illusory ego-shell we call a self?That’s what Caribbean poet and playwright Derek Walcott (January 23, 1930–March 17, 2017) — a writer of such extraordinary poetic prowess that his 1992 Nobel Prize in Literature appears a wholly inadequate measure of his mastery and mesmerism — addresses with a luminous sidewise gleam in a poem titled “Love After Love,” found in his Collected Poems: 1948–1984 (public library).derekwalcott.jpg?zoom=2&w=680Derek WalcottOn an archival On Being episode titled “Opening to Our Lives,” mindfulness pioneer Jon Kabat-Zinn reads Walcott’s masterpiece — undoubtedly one of the greatest, most soul-stretching poems ever written.

The time will come

when, with elation,
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror,
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,
and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved youall your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.This reading is part of On Being’s altogether wonderful poetry archive. Complement it with other poetry-lovers’ readings of favorite poems: Amanda Palmer reads Wislawa SzymborskaDavid Whyte reads Mary OliverJoanna Macy reads Rainer Maria Rilke, and my reading of Mark Strand.FORWARD TO A FRIEND/READ ONLINE/donating=lovingEvery week since 2006, 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.)monthly donationYou can become a Sustaining Patron with a recurring monthly donation of your choosing, between a cup of tea and a Brooklyn lunch. one-time donationOr you can become a Spontaneous Supporter with a one-time donation in any amount.Partial to Bitcoin? You can beam some bit-love my way: 197usDS6AsL9wDKxtGM6xaWjmR5ejgqem7RELATED READING:Sappho’s Timeless Elegy for Heartbreak at the End of Love, Reimagined in a Haunting Choral Invocation* * *Hannah Arendt on Love and How to Live with the Fundamental Fear of Loss* * *Epictetus on Love and Loss: The Stoic Strategy for Surviving Heartbreak

Security is mostly a superstition….

“Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.”
– Helen Keller, The Open Door

back in the tube – seth godin newsletter

Back in the tube

There are two kinds of mistakes.

One is the sort where failure is not noticeable because failure means that you didn’t engage with an audience. If you do an art show and no one comes, no one realizes that your art show failed.

The other is harder to walk away from. You can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube. When you engineer credit default swaps that merge together mortgage streams, inextricably linking the healthy ones with the others, it’s a mistake with real consequences.

Confusing the two types of errors is a recipe for tragedy. If we can figure out how to organize and plan for the first type of resilient failure, it’s far easier to experiment.

How a Coffee Blend Defined an Era of Israeli Politics – Gastro Obscura

“All anecdote and no data”

“All anecdote and no data”

That’s a criticism, of course. A report, study or testimony that’s all anecdote with no data carries little in the way of actionable information.

On the other hand, if you want to change people’s minds, “all data and no anecdote” isn’t going to get you very far.

We act on what we understand, we understand what fits into our worldview and we remember what we act on.

COURTESY: Seth Godin’s Newsletter


Mien meenPart of speech: nounOrigin: French, early 16th century
1A person’s look or manner, especially one of a particular kind indicating their character or mood.
Examples of Mien in a sentence “The children all had a particularly cheerful, friendly mien.” “She was elegant and regal, with the mien of a queen.”

When is it ethical to vote for ‘the lesser of two evils’? | Psyche Ideas