Sam Shepard

A man for all seasons, Sam Shepard opens up about Patti Smith, his plays, his problems with alcohol and the role of love in American society in a recent interview with The Guardian.

A man for all seasons, Sam Shepard opens up about Patti Smith, his plays, his problems with alcohol and the role of love in American society in a recent interview with The Guardian. "Where do you even begin with Sam Shepard? With his Pulitzer prize? His Oscar nomination? The fact that he's routinely described as 'America's greatest living playwright?' Or if you're going to be superficial about it – and I am, just for a moment – maybe the place to start is with the image of him as the tall, taciturn test pilot, Chuck Yeager, the cowboy-ish character he played in The Right Stuff; a man whose life was spent exploring the outer edge of what is and isn't possible. But then I speak to Patti Smith on the phone and ask her what her impression was of Sam Shepard the first time she met him back in 1970 (shortly before they began an affair), and it's the first thing she says too: 'He was just everything that one could want. He was – still is – a very handsome man. And he had this animal magnetism. It was almost visceral. He was so high energy and had a real glint in his eyes. He was born for rock'n'roll.'"

​There are two kinds of failure – but only one is honorable

Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.

Big Think Edge
  • Learn to recognize failure and know the big difference between panicking and choking.
  • At Big Think Edge, Malcolm Gladwell teaches how to check your inner critic and get clear on what failure is.
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Is this why time speeds up as we age?

We take fewer mental pictures per second.

(MPH Photos/giphy/yShutterstock/Big Think)
Mind & Brain
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  • The complexities of grownup neural pathways are no match for the direct routes of young brains.
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It's not just a case of "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger."

Mind & Brain

  • A new study suggests children who endure trauma grow up to be adults with more empathy than others.
  • The effect is not universal, however. Only one kind of empathy was greatly effected.
  • The study may lead to further investigations into how people cope with trauma and lead to new ways to help victims bounce back.
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Why are so many objects in space shaped like discs?

It's one of the most consistent patterns in the unviverse. What causes it?

Videos
  • Spinning discs are everywhere – just look at our solar system, the rings of Saturn, and all the spiral galaxies in the universe.
  • Spinning discs are the result of two things: The force of gravity and a phenomenon in physics called the conservation of angular momentum.
  • Gravity brings matter together; the closer the matter gets, the more it accelerates – much like an ice skater who spins faster and faster the closer their arms get to their body. Then, this spinning cloud collapses due to up and down and diagonal collisions that cancel each other out until the only motion they have in common is the spin – and voila: A flat disc.