The Weird Global Appeal of Heavy Metal

The explosion of local bands around the world tends to track rising living standards and Internet use. Making loud music is expensive: You need electric guitars, amplifiers, speakers, music venues and more leisure time. “When economic development happens, metal scenes appear. They’re like mushrooms after the rain,” says Roy Doron, an African history professor at Winston-Salem State University.

The Weird Global Appeal of Heavy Metal

My creative process begins with: just thinking. I do a lot of thinking, a lot of pondering. I rarely watch films in airplanes; I just sort of sit there, looking at the ceiling. Day dreaming is the equivalent of doodling; it’s mental doodling.

10 Things Your Commencement Speaker Won’t Tell You

6. Read obituaries. They are just like biographies, only shorter. They remind us that interesting, successful people rarely lead orderly, linear lives.

7. Your parents don’t want what is best for you. They want what is good for you, which isn’t always the same thing. There is a natural instinct to protect our children from risk and discomfort, and therefore to urge safe choices.

10 Things Your Commencement Speaker Won’t Tell You

How To Not Get Sick On An Airplane


I get sick every time I go home for Christmas, and while it isn’t helped by lack of sleep and alcohol abuse, I’m pretty sure 75% of it is the 3-5 hours I spend on what is, essentially, a flying petri dish.

So thanks to The Wall Street Journal for these tips (which I’ve summarized):

  • Hydrate (drink water, use saline spray).
  • Clean your hands with alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Use disinfecting wipes to clean off tray tables before using
  • Avoid seat-back pockets.
  • Open your air vent, and aim it so it passes just in front of your face. Filtered airplane air can help direct airborne contagions away from you.
  • Stay the hell away from people who look sick

The air vent thing was new to me! Now I’m off to get disinfecting wipes and some saline spray.

Update: thanks to @aweissman for this suggestion: “i do this and it almost always works: basically OD on Vitamin C before you get on the plane – right before. Use EmergenC or a similar product, drink it all up while waiting.”

See also: Daniel Pink’s travel tips. Episode #1 is about avoiding illness. I like his ointment-in-the-nose trick. And don’t forget (environ-)mental health tactics: earplugs, headphones, eye mask!

How To Not Get Sick On An Airplane

I’ve noticed that my best ideas always bubble up when the outside world fails in its primary job of frightening, wounding or entertaining me.

You have to reinvent reasons for playing, and one year’s answer might not do for another.

Yo-Yo Ma on keeping things fresh. (via)