Ten for Tuesday

A compendium of links and images I found captivating recently:

How an improv class is helping the anxious

I did some interviews several weeks ago with a number of friends, talking about the intersection of improv and life--look for those videos to drop this fall. One of them talked about improv as a way of dealing with social anxiety. This article expands on that idea:

“Little by little, you realize that just because things are uncertain doesn’t mean they’re frightful.”

That'll preach!


The sad, sad stories of the Presidential Fitness Test

Sit and reach. I sat, I reached, I farted. Ruined 5th grade. -- @cellsworthless

I was today years old before it occurred to me that there was something deeply problematic with the way we assessed fitness back when I was in school. (And according to my kids, still do.) 


Who Really Stands to Win from Universal Basic Income?

Guaranteed income, reconceived as basic income, is gaining support across the spectrum, from libertarians to labor leaders. Some see the system as a clean, crisp way of replacing gnarled government bureaucracy. Others view it as a stay against harsh economic pressures now on the horizon. The questions that surround it are the same ones that Nixon faced half a century ago. Will the public stand for such a bold measure—and, if so, could it ever work?

Two confessions. One, many of my friends are really into the idea of UBI, but I can't get my mind around it. Yet? Ever? Maybe? I don't know. Second confession is that I haven't finished this article, so I'm posting it as a TRL (to read later) for myself. 


The Moral Ledger

In recent months, a consensus has emerged among the conservative dissidents of the Trump era: We’ll continue to oppose the president when his policies and practices are counter to our principles, they say, but also be sure to publicly give credit whenever he stakes out an agreeable position on any issue that matters.

...It is a coherent approach. It is the pragmatic one. But it is unsatisfying and unsettling. And with each casual lie, crude insult, attack on the media, slight of the intelligence community, and example of grotesque servility to Russia’s dictator, it increasingly appears morally misguided.

Why yes, that is the conservative Weekly Standard there. 


What Men Say About #MeToo in Therapy

The #MeToo era has changed my work. If therapy has a reputation for navel gazing, this powerful moment has joined men in the room, forcing them to engage with topics that they would have earlier avoided. [I am] heartened by the private work that men are doing in therapy and how it can help us understand the relationship between what has been called “toxic masculinity” and the reservoirs of shame that fuel these behaviors.


Find Your Address As It Was Millions Of Years Ago (+ Other Perspective Expanders) 

Software designer Ian Webster created Ancient Earth Globe, a website that lets you type in a modern address and see how its place on earth has changed over the past 750 million years. You can select views from 750 million years ago to the present and find notes about what was happening on earth at each stop.

Here's my home, when the first land plants appeared:

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Where American Politics Can Still Work: From the Bottom Up

Thomas Friedman:

I was invited in April to give a paid book talk here in Lancaster, and I was so blown away by the societal innovation the town’s leaders had employed to rebuild their once-struggling city and county that I decided to return with my reporter’s notebook and interview them.

Some of the leading citizens decided that “time was running out” — hence “Hourglass” — and that no cavalry was coming to save them — not from the state’s capital or the nation’s capital. They realized that the only way they could replace Armstrong and re-energize the downtown was not with another dominant company, but by throwing partisan politics out the window and forming a complex adaptive coalition in which business leaders, educators, philanthropists, social innovators and the local government would work together to unleash entrepreneurship and forge whatever compromises were necessary to fix the city.

If you're despairing at the dysfunction of the world and the state of civic discourse, this article will hearten you. It's also a great parable of adaptive leadership.

The city has made a big push with public art, such as "Moving in the Right Direction" by Béatrice Coron, at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School.

The city has made a big push with public art, such as "Moving in the Right Direction" by Béatrice Coron, at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School.

Sacajawea and Heather.

Sacajawea and Heather.

My friend Heather curates this labor of love, which is exactly as it's described. These images show the lovely and sometimes fierce public art that highlights the accomplishments of women in our country, while also highlighting . Many of the women are unnamed.


With a Sniff and a Signal, These Dogs Hunt Down Threats to Bees


In Maryland, a state employee is training dogs to inspect hives for harmful bacteria — a crucial job as honeybees are sent around the country to pollinate crops.

Dogs are so dope sometimes. (So is Maryland.)


Toddler who beat cancer serves as flower girl—to a bone marrow donor who saved her life

Fight back with beauty.