3 famous innovators whose mothers were key to their success
Not all moms would travel into the African bush or drain their life savings just to help their kids realize their dreams.
- Mother's Day is Sunday, May 12.
- Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jane Goodall, and Elon Musk all received extraordinary support from their mothers.
- Without this support, these innovators' careers probably would've turned out much differently.
Philip Seymour Hoffman
Even when his roles were small, such as in 1992's Scent of a Woman, it's hard to forget a performance from Philip Seymour Hoffman. Equally adept at playing the lead role or that of a bumbling sidekick, Hoffman was one of his generation's greatest actors. And his mother is largely to thank for introducing him to the craft.
In 2006, Hoffman won Best Actor for his lead role in Capote. Here's what he said during his acceptance speech:
"My mom's name is Marilyn O'Connor, and she's here tonight. And, I'd like, if you see her tonight, to congratulate her, because she brought up four kids alone, and she deserves a congratulations for that. . . She took me to see my first play. She stayed up with me and watched the NCAA Final Four. . . Be proud mom, because I'm proud of you."
Hoffman died in 2014 from a drug overdose. One year later, O'Connor was honored at the High Falls Film Festival, of which she was a founding member. O'Connor said:
"Movies have been a part of my life since I was a little girl. My parents took me to movies. I snuck away to go to movies by myself even at night. . . I left college classes early so I could go to movies."
As a young girl growing up in London, Jane Goodall had a very specific dream: She wanted to live in Africa among wild animals. It's a goal many parents might scoff at or try to discourage. But Jane's mother, Vanne Morris-Goodall, never did anything of the sort.
"Mother told me that I could do anything if I put my mind to it. I am always grateful for that," Goodall told The Citizen in 2014.
That support went beyond just words. In 1960, as Jane was preparing for one of her early trips to Tanzania, British authorities told her it wasn't safe to venture alone into the bush. So, Vanne agreed to accompany Jane as a "chaperone" for several months.
Jane said she learned a lot about being a mother from observing how chimpanzees raise their children. Jane once described what makes a successful chimpanzee mother, and it sounds remarkably similar to how Jane's own mother raised her:
"The offspring of mothers who are protective, but not too protective; tolerant, but able to discipline; affectionate and above all supportive have less problems."
Before Elon Musk founded enormously successful companies such as SpaceX and Tesla, he and his brother, venture capitalist Kimbal Musk, founded a software company called Zip2 in 1995. It wasn't an immediate success. Elon and Kimbal's mother, Maye Musk, was working for the company at the time, performing duties such as overseeing interns and vetting business plans. Maye, who was a model, dietician, and business-owner herself, ended up donating $10,000 of her savings to keep the company afloat. She later said it was her "best investment ever."
A few years later, Compaq bought Zip2 for $307 million.
"I don't stop my kids from doing anything they think is right," Musk told Forbes. "As long as you're doing something that is good for the future, then I think you should remain positive and do it."
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What can 3D printing do for medicine? The "sky is the limit," says Northwell Health researcher Dr. Todd Goldstein.
- Medical professionals are currently using 3D printers to create prosthetics and patient-specific organ models that doctors can use to prepare for surgery.
- Eventually, scientists hope to print patient-specific organs that can be transplanted safely into the human body.
- Northwell Health, New York State's largest health care provider, is pioneering 3D printing in medicine in three key ways.
Convergence 2.0: Engineers are using the "natural genius" of biological systems to produce extraordinary machines—self-assembling batteries, cancer-detecting nanoparticles, super-efficient water filters made from proteins found in blood cells. Neuroscientist and MIT President Emerita Susan Hockfield and host Jason Gots discuss what all this could mean for our future.
- "One of my tools as president was never to talk about change. People hate change. But at MIT no one could deny you the opportunity to do an experiment."
- "If we can create these spaces for convening around our most important problems, We can make progress much faster than we can by insisting that people do the work on their own. And that's the power of the university at its best."
As Game of Thrones ends, a revealing resolution to its perplexing geography.
- The fantasy world of Game of Thrones was inspired by real places and events.
- But the map of Westeros is a good example of the perplexing relation between fantasy and reality.
- Like Britain, it has a Wall in the North, but the map only really clicks into place if you add Ireland.
Depression is quicksand, says comedian Pete Holmes. Try this method to help you cope and live with depression.
- Everyone's experience with depression is different, but for comedian Pete Holmes the key to living with depression has been to observe his own thoughts in an impartial way.
- Holmes' method, taught to him by psychologist and spiritual leader Ram Dass, is to connect to his base consciousness and think about himself and his emotions in the third person.
- You can't push depression away, but you can shift your mindset to help better cope with depression, anxiety, and negative emotions. If you feel depressed, you can connect with a crisis counselor anytime in the US.
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