What does an inventive researcher do all day?
\nIn a special feature on "dream jobs", an AT&T researcher based in New Jersey explains what the "inventive researcher" does all day. In addition to being given free reign to engage their inner curiosity and tinker with new solutions, these researchers are allowed to "stare off into space" for hours at a time:
"My average day is kind of divided into thirds. There’s a third learning. I’m reading about a new bit of math, going to a talk, understanding something that someone else has done that’s related to what I do, and talking to people in the rest of the company about what kinds of real-world problems they have. And then I spend about a third of the time thinking, pretty much staring off into space — thinking about how to put the pieces together. ... Some of my most productive days have been when I’ve filled up about one page in my lab notebook, and then that gave rise to about a month or two of productive stuff. And then the other third is implementing and communicating: writing computer programs that test the theories, and writing papers. We all publish in journals and at conferences."
AT&T sounds a bit like Google, eh? It's good to see that not all companies require their most talented workers to keep their heads down all day, scurrying around the cubicle maze. Being able to engage in quite, contemplative thought is sometimes just as productive as furiously tapping away at the keyboard. (Hat tip: Binky)\n
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In his final years, Martin Luther King, Jr. become increasingly focused on the problem of poverty in America.
- Despite being widely known for his leadership role in the American civil rights movement, Martin Luther King, Jr. also played a central role in organizing the Poor People's Campaign of 1968.
- The campaign was one of the first to demand a guaranteed income for all poor families in America.
- Today, the idea of a universal basic income is increasingly popular, and King's arguments in support of the policy still make a good case some 50 years later.
She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.
- For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
- These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
- Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
For Damien Echols, tattoos are part of his existential armor.
- In prison Damien Echols was known by his number SK931, not his name, and had his hair sheared off. Stripped of his identity, the only thing he had left was his skin.
- This is why he began tattooing things that are meaningful to him — to carry a "suit of armor" made up the images of the people and objects that have significance to him, from his friends to talismans.
- Echols believes that all places are imbued with divinity: "If you interact with New York City as if there's an intelligence behind... then it will behave towards you the same way."
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