The Virtue of Waiting

“I have just undergone an ordeal,” I tell my roommate. Awestruck he stares at me, pondering tales of dragon-slaying or bar-fighting. Of course the truth is lame in comparison, but I’m what could only be described as a somewhat odd 20-year old yuppie, so what else could he expect. My ordeal was driving around for two hours in search of a movie that would “be good inspiration” for my upcoming thesis project. Now I had built this up to be something spectacular. One of my favorite directors, a solid recommendation from a respected film connoisseur, it was going to be good.

So off to the local store I go, and four stores and two and a half hours later I was holding a copy of both films I had been looking for that night. The long car ride around the city – spent alternately cursing bad traffic, belting out the Garden State Soundtrack, and talking on the phone – made holding these films even better. I was aggravated by this, but than I began to think about how my father must have felt, ripping the wrapper off an LP that he had spent the afternoon hunting for. I’m not even sure he did this, but I have a mental vision of him unwrapping Santana III. I’m watching him, he feels the feeling that I feel now about this movie that I’ve worked harder than I’m used to having to work to get.

We have become a culture unwilling to defer our pleasures. In the world of iTunes, I wonder if we can still benefit from the convenience of our era while still learning and valuing the pure ecstasy of the forced wait.

Orangutans exhibit awareness of the past

Orangutans join humans and bees in a very exclusive club

(Eugene Sim/Shutterstock)
Surprising Science
  • Orangutan mothers wait to sound a danger alarm to avoid tipping off predators to their location
  • It took a couple of researchers crawling around the Sumatran jungle to discover the phenomenon
  • This ability may come from a common ancestor
Keep reading Show less

China’s artificial sun reaches fusion temperature: 100 million degrees

In a breakthrough for nuclear fusion research, scientists at China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor have produced temperatures necessary for nuclear fusion on Earth.

Credit: EAST Team
Surprising Science
  • The EAST reactor was able to heat hydrogen to temperatures exceeding 100 million degrees Celsius.
  • Nuclear fusion could someday provide the planet with a virtually limitless supply of clean energy.
  • Still, scientists have many other obstacles to pass before fusion technology becomes a viable energy source.
Keep reading Show less

Understand your own mind and goals via bullet journaling

Journaling can help you materialize your ambitions.

  • Organizing your thoughts can help you plan and achieve goals that might otherwise seen unobtainable.
  • The Bullet Journal method, in particular, can reduce clutter in your life by helping you visualize your future.
  • One way to view your journal might be less of a narrative and more of a timeline of decisions.
Keep reading Show less