Books, Professional Development

Book 507: If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face? – Alan Alda

Only two ARC/Galleys left and I am all caught up! The same publicist who sent me Finally Out reached out about this book and the title had enough humor in it I figured it was worth a shot.* I enjoyed this so much more than I thought I would!

What Alan Alda—I didn’t even recognize him from M*A*S*H (IMDb link), I just recognized his caricature—is doing is what the Plain English Campaign (website) has been trying to do since the late 70s, just through a different venue: improv. Both are trying to get things translated from the indecipherable jargon of science or government into easily relatable language. Alda, has basically made a side career out of this with the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University, where the observations he made from his many years on Scientific American Frontiers are put into practice to teach scientists how to talk to non-scientists.

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ARC, Books, Professional Development

Book 422: Smarter Faster Better – Charles Duhigg

Duhigg, Charles - Stronger Faster BetterWhen I requested a copy of this upcoming book (released March 8, 2016) from Random House*, I was really hoping for a repeat of Duhigg’s 2012 The Power of Habit. Unfortunately, there was something missing from this one. I can’t quite figure out what it is, but I think it has to do with the first book being much easier to apply and this one overall being more theoretical.

That being said, this was incredibly readable and had a lot of great case studies that I’ve encountered in numerous settings and other books I’ve read recently about work productivity and managing up. Duhigg’s writing style is incredibly easy to read and he seamlessly ties together disparate examples to elucidate his points. Off the top of my head a few are: the development of Disney’s Frozen, General Electric (I feel like I’m an expert after Badowski’s excellent Managing Up), aviation near-crashes, the writing and staging of West Side Story, Google, Cincinnati school reform, debt collection and many others! Needless to say you will easily find at least one example that you really identify with.

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Culture Corner

Culture Corner – January 2015

2015 01-04 License Plate GameI can’t believe it’s been four months since I last did a Culture Corner (September 2014), but the blog wasn’t lacking for culture! With the end of my 30×30 list we got to visit the Somerville Museum, finish touring the MFA with my friend Caroline and I finally attend the Boston Symphony Orchestra again. But since then, I’ve done a lot of travelling and visited quite a few museums.

One of the big things I’ve never talked about as a cultural experience is travelling. I generally focus on what I do when I get there, but driving from Boston to North Carolina and then flying from North Carolina to Omaha, Nebraska and then back to Boston really made me think about the culture of travelling.  I won’t go into it in this post, but I think I’ll probably write about it when I attempt to revive Now Entering Adulthood in the coming weeks. What I AM going to write briefly about and show lots of pictures of are my whirlwind trips in December to DC and North Carolina and my January trip to Omaha! And then throw in a few pictures of my most recent MFA visits.

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30x30, Personal Project

30 x 30: #24 – See the Boston Symphony Orchestra again

2014 11-28 BSO Program & PostcardsI’m chipping away, slowly but surely, but really I think this week I’m carving vast swaths into my list! I’ve already visited and gambled at a casino AND visited the rest of the MFA. I’ll hopefully have another post Sunday from a Saturday morning activity and then I’ll have a wrap-up to my NaNoWriMo experience.

For the second item this week I went to see the Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO) with my friend Patrick, who you’ll hear more from on the next episode of Come Read with Me! I’m not sure why I’ve not gone since the last time I went but shame on me! I got tickets a few weeks ago to see Bartók, Haydn and Mussorgsky featuring Leonidas Kavakos, conductor and violin. It was last-minute and the only performance left before BSO switches over to the Holiday Pops series and I’m beyond priced out of range.

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Culture Corner

Culture Corner – February 2014

As promised I have a lot to talk about this month and I’m still excited about next month’s culture corner knowing what’s coming! This past month has been a busy month culturally speaking from an awesome winery tour and tasting to another theater production and a book talk to a sing-a-long movie I did so much. So onward!

2014 01-24 Hairspray @ Wheelock Family Theatre

To start the month off (not really), but culturally speaking, I went to the Wheelock Family Theatre production of Hairspray and it was fantastic! I usually go opening night as I work for the school and get free/discounted tickets. From the opening number to the closing the entire show kept the audience (me) completely engaged. Even though I felt that Jenna Lea Scott did a great job as Tracy Turnblad, I felt that Jennifer Beth Glick, as Penny Pingleton upstaged her and everyone else in the production. From the way she chewed her gum to the interactions with Seaweed I couldn’t take my eyes off her, she is one of those actors that acts the entire time they’re on stage even when they’re in the background (similar to Celie from The Color Purple in last month’s Culture Corner).

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Culture Corner

Culture Corner – January 2014

2013 12-14 MFA Boston - Fired Earth, Woven Bamboo ExhibitWhere to start with this!? Like with my Work Out Wednesdays and Classics Club memes, I haven’t done a Culture Corner since October. Now this doesn’t mean I haven’t done anything cultural, it just means I needed a break and so took one. However, I am DEFINITELY ready to start writing about my myriad Cultural experiences!

The only real thing you missed over those months was I went to see an awesome exhibit, Fired Earth, Woven Bamboo, at the MFA. The way modern artists use these traditional materials was fascinating and stunningly beautiful. The basket is a woven bamboo basket and I definitely encourage you to click the earlier link to look at a few of the other beautiful bamboo and stone works.

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