Singer/songwriter Jonathan Coulton is so famous that you might never have heard of him. That's because he's "internet famous" (i.e. he has a passionate fan base that he's built up online, but his face isn't recognizable enough that he would get stopped by people on the street).
In his Big Think interview, Coulton describes the process of writing a comedy song, saying that his inspiration usually comes from a nugget: a line, an image, or even something a character would say. Coulton has had many songs
that have gone viral; from his breakout tune "Code Monkey," which is
about a sad software developer, to "The Future Soon," a song
about a depressed pre-teen who imagines a world where technology saves
While many of Coulton's songs are comedic, he says comes up with his best ideas by listening to sad bluegrass. His favorite song? "My Precious Children" by the Stanley Brothers. "He's talking about how his kids have grown up and moved away ... I'm getting a little shivery just thinking about it," says Coulton. "Maybe it's because I'm a parent now that, that means so much to me, but that's the one that I was driving somewhere in the car and that song came on and I started weeping."
Don't underestimate the power of play when it comes to problem-solving.
- As we get older, the work we consistently do builds "rivers of thinking." These give us a rich knowledge of a certain kind of area.
- The problem with this, however, is that as those patterns get deeper, we get locked into them. When this happens it becomes a challenge to think differently — to break from the past and generate new ideas.
- How do we get out of this rut? One way is to bring play and game mechanics into workshops. When we approach problem-solving from a perspective of fun, we lose our fear of failure, allowing us to think boldly and overcome built patterns.
Controversial map names CEOs of 100 companies producing 71 percent of the world's greenhouse gas emissions.
- Just 100 companies produce 71 percent of the world's greenhouse gases.
- This map lists their names and locations, and their CEOs.
- The climate crisis may be too complex for these 100 people to solve, but naming and shaming them is a good start.
The surprising results come from a new GLAAD survey.
- The survey found that 18- to 34-year-old non-LGBTQ Americans reported feeling less comfortable around LGBTQ people in a variety of hypothetical situations.
- The attitudes of older non-LGBTQ Americans have remained basically constant over the past few years.
- Overall, about 80 percent of Americans support equal rights for LGBTQ people.
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