What does an inventive researcher do all day?

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\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)

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Antimicrobial resistance is a growing threat to good health and well-being

Antimicrobial resistance is growing worldwide, rendering many "work horse" medicines ineffective. Without intervention, drug-resistant pathogens could lead to millions of deaths by 2050. Thankfully, companies like Pfizer are taking action.

Image courtesy of Pfizer.
  • Antimicrobial-resistant pathogens are one of the largest threats to global health today.
  • As we get older, our immune systems age, increasing our risk of life threatening infections. Without reliable antibiotics, life expectancy could decline for the first time in modern history.
  • If antibiotics become ineffective, common infections could result in hospitalization or even death. Life-saving interventions like cancer treatments and organ transplantation would become more difficult, more often resulting in death. Routine procedures would become hard to perform.
  • Without intervention, resistant pathogens could result in 10 million annual deaths by 2050.
  • By taking a multi-faceted approach—inclusive of adherence to good stewardship, surveillance and responsible manufacturing practices, as well as an emphasis on prevention and treatment—companies like Pfizer are fighting to help curb the spread.
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22 months of war - condensed in a 1-minute video

No, the Syrian civil war is not over. But it might be soon. Time for a recap

Strange Maps
  • The War in Syria has dropped off the radar, but it's not over (yet)
  • This 1-minute video shows how the fronts have moved – and stabilised – over the past 22 months
  • Watching this video may leave you both better informed, and slightly queasy: does war need a generic rock soundtrack?
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Bespoke suicide pods now available for death in style

Sarco assisted suicide pods come in three different styles, and allow you to die quickly and painlessly. They're even quite beautiful to look at.

The Sarco assisted suicide pod
Technology & Innovation

Death: it happens to everyone (except, apparently, Keanu Reeves). But while the impoverished and lower-class people of the world die in the same ol' ways—cancer, heart disease, and so forth—the upper classes can choose hip and cool new ways to die. Now, there's an assisted-suicide pod so chic and so stylin' that peeps (young people still say peeps, right?) are calling it the "Tesla" of death... it's called... the Sarco! 

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How to bring more confidence to your conversations

Entrepreneur and author Andrew Horn shares his rules for becoming an assured conversationalist.

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Videos
  • To avoid basing action on external validation, you need to find your "authentic voice" and use it.
  • Finding your voice requires asking the right questions of yourself.
  • There are 3-5 questions that you would generally want to ask people you are talking to.
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