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Former Navy Seal
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International Poker Champion
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Former CIA Clandestine Operative
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Chris Hadfield
Retired Canadian Astronaut & Author
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The Mind of Andrew Sean Greer

Question:  Why do you use all three names?

Andrew Sean Greer:  That’s a great question.  It’s because when I first started publishing I was about 23 and I felt like Andy was not going to be taken very seriously, so I called myself Andrew Sean.  It was the name my mom would yell out when I was in trouble, so it felt like I could sort of take on a persona of maybe an older sounding person.

Question: How do you respond to a good review?

Andrew Sean Greer:  Great relief.  I really think that’s it because you have no idea what’s going to happen and then you’re hugely relieved and sometimes baffled that they take you that seriously and it’s a little confusing because you’re often so full of doubt that they don’t seem to notice at all.

Question: How did your childhood shape you?

Andrew Sean Greer:  I grew up in the suburbs, which I don’t think shaped me very much.  I think what shaped me was I had two parents who were scientists and especially they were great readers.  They had both grown up in sort of rural parts of the South and were oddballs where they grew up.  They were budding intellectuals.  My mom was a chemist and used to poison frogs in her backyard and that kind of think and so we had tons of books in our house.  That was their great solace in their lives.  They were the only weirdos and so books were always this exalted thing, so they were very supportive when I wanted to be a writer.  They had no sense how anyone could make money doing that, but they weren’t going to stop me because that’s what they admired most.  I think that’s where I got that.

The writer on his three names, good reviews, and childhood influences.

Hulu's original movie "Palm Springs" is the comedy we needed this summer

Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti get stuck in an infinite wedding time loop.

Gear
  • Two wedding guests discover they're trapped in an infinite time loop, waking up in Palm Springs over and over and over.
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Finding a balance between job satisfaction, money, and lifestyle is not easy.

Videos
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  • "The evidence is that about 70 percent of people are not engaged in what they do all day long, and about 18 percent of people are repulsed," London Business School professor Dan Cable says, calling the current state of work unhappiness an epidemic. In this video, he and other big thinkers consider what it means to find meaning in your work, discuss the parts of the brain that fuel creativity, and share strategies for reassessing your relationship to your job.
  • Author James Citrin offers a career triangle model that sees work as a balance of three forces: job satisfaction, money, and lifestyle. While it is possible to have all three, Citrin says that they are not always possible at the same time, especially not early on in your career.

The Anthropause is here: COVID-19 reduced Earth's vibrations by 50 percent

The planet is making a lot less noise during lockdown.

Photo by Eric Rojas/Getty Images
Coronavirus
  • A team of researchers found that Earth's vibrations were down 50 percent between March and May.
  • This is the quietest period of human-generated seismic noise in recorded history.
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How the Smiths took over Europe

In more than a dozen countries as far apart as Portugal and Russia, 'Smith' is the most popular occupational surname

Image: Marcin Ciura
Strange Maps
  • 'Smith' is not just the most common surname in many English-speaking countries
  • In local translations, it's also the most common occupational surname in a large part of Europe
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Dinosaurs suffered from cancer, study confirms

A recent analysis of a 76-million-year-old Centrosaurus apertus fibula confirmed that dinosaurs suffered from cancer, too.

Surprising Science
  • The fibula was originally discovered in 1989, though at the time scientists believed the damaged bone had been fractured.
  • After reanalyzing the bone, and comparing it with fibulas from a human and another dinosaur, a team of scientists confirmed that the dinosaur suffered from the bone cancer osteosarcoma.
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