The Art of Giving a Gift
An oft-heard homily—"It's the thought that counts"—is put more lyrically by the Chinese—"To walk a thousand li and present a swan feather; the gift is light but the friendship is solid."
Whether a gift is intended to transform a life, or merely light up a moment, there's an art in deciding what to give and how to present it. For splashy giving, it's hard to trump Catherine the Great of Russia. Famously generous, she presented her lover Count Grigory Orlov with the Marble Palace in St. Petersburg, the nearby Gatchina country estate and several hundred serfs. But now that feudalism is out of fashion, how's a world leader meant to make an impression? A peek at the records kept by the White House, specifically by the Protocol Gift Unit, reveals how the G-20 set handles these delicate decisions.
Are university safe spaces killing intellectual growth?
Our experience of time may be blinding us to its true nature, say scientists.
- Time may not be passing at all, says the Block Universe Theory.
- Time travel may be possible.
- Your perception of time is likely relative to you and limited.
From questionable shipwrecks to outright attacks, they clearly don't want to be bothered.
- Many have tried to contact the Sentinelese, to write about them, or otherwise.
- But the inhabitants of the 23 square mile island in the Bay of Bengal don't want anything to do with the outside world.
- Their numbers are unknown, but either 40 or 500 remain.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.