Howie’s Hot Five for…23rd August, 2012

Listen to mp3 stream here

5.  The Joy of Quiet…

OK, we at HH5 are harping on (quietly) about this topic in 2012… the world and other people are TOO LOUD – GOT THAT!

We love this piece by Pico Iyer  – Of Indian descent living between California and India as a child and attended Eton, Oxford and Harvard  – getting some of the highest marks of any student. Taught writing at Havard, joined Time Magazine – and now simply travels. And lives in Japan for solitude as he has chosen not to learn the language.

He revels in being an outsider  (e.g. Falling off the Map: Some Lonely Places of the World (April 1993 hardback, May 1994 paperback / ISBN 0-679-74612-9))

The Joy of Quiet  – article for Sunday Times- New York late last year… on Stillness and Quiet…

  • Philippe Stark; “I never read any magazines or watch TV,” “Nor do I go to cocktail parties, dinners or anything like that.” He lived outside conventional ideas, he implied, because “I live alone mostly, in the middle of nowhere.”
  • Those who part with $2,285 a night to stay in a cliff-top room at the Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur pay partly for the privilege of not having a TV in their rooms – so the future of travel are Black Hole Resorts – where you are paying to ‘get offline’.
  • Internet rescue camps in South Korea and China try to save kids addicted to the screen.
  • Average American teenager is sending 75 text messages a day
  • The average office worker today, researchers have found, enjoys no more than three minutes at a time at his or her desk without interruption.  (Intel in US experimented in 2007 with Tuesday morning quiet times for their engineers)

Iyer’s point is that in very short time we’ve come from ‘time saving devices to expand and connect our lives’ to now a movement starting to get away from these devices.

“Distraction is the only thing that consoles us for our miseries – and yet it is itself the greatest of our miseries.” Blaise Pascal, French Philosopher, 17th Century  (Same guy said- all of man’s problems come from his inability to sit quietly in a room alone.)

The Reaction: more and more no religious people turning to yoga, tai chi  and meditation.

Source: Sunday Review (NYT)

4. Anti-Suicide Nasal Spray…


  • The military suicide rate doubled in July  – equal to one soldier almost every day
  • So more now dying this way than in battle or via vehicle accidents

The Solution; After a US$3 million research programme they are devising an Anti Suicide Nasal “Spray naturally occuring neurochemical called thyrotropin-releasing hormone, or TRH, that has euphoric, calming, anti-depressant effects. News of the nasal spray comes as a relief to some, who had to endure spinal taps for injections of the medicine.”

So just before taking anti-depressants this spray will ‘settle things down’.

Source: Business Insider

3. TED’s Top 10…

TED is now a huge industry;

$7500 entry fee to attend conference in the US – sold via invitation that includes and essay and references!

  • TED Talks = 800 million views
  • Average views of a TED talk is 40,000 within the first 24 hours.
  • Each talk is highly curated:
  • Speakers working with an acting coach to perfect the rhythm of the talk
  • Close narrative arc – e.g. three acts or detective stories
  • Jokes or metaphors non-American audiences might night understand are cut
  • Less stats more stories are encouraged
  • Filmed like a rock concert with 8 cameras
  • Nirvana is a TED moment – standing ovation.
  • TEDx events- global approved spinoffs running at five a day around the world (Auckland October 6)

The Top 10 by viewership are:

  1. Sir Ken Robinson says schools kill creativity(2006): 13,409,417 views
  2. Jill Bolte Taylor‘s stroke of insight(2008): 10,409,851
  3. Pranav Mistry on the thrilling potential of SixthSense(2009): 9,223,263
  4. David Gallo‘s underwater astonishments(2007): 7,879,541
  5. Pattie Maes and Pranav Mistry demo SixthSense(2009): 7,467,580
  6. Tony Robbins asks Why we do what we do(2006): 6,879,488
  7. Simon Sinek on how great leaders inspire action(2010): 6,050,294
  8. Steve Jobs on how to live before you die(2005): 5,444,022
  9. Hans Rosling shows the best stats you’ve ever seen(2006): 4,966,643
  10. Brene Brown talks about the power of vulnerability(2010): 4,763,038
  11. Daniel Pink on the surprising science of motivation(2009): 4,706,241
  12. Arthur Benjamin does mathemagic(2005): 4,658,425
  13. Elizabeth Gilbert on nurturing your genius(2009): 4,538,037
  14. Dan Gilbert asks: Why are we happy?(2004): 4,269,082
  15. Stephen Hawking asks big questions about the universe(2008): 4,153,105
  16. Jeff Han demos his breakthrough multi-touchscreen(2006): 3,891,251
  17. Johnny Lee shows Wii Remote hacks for educators(2008): 3,869,417
  18. Keith Barry does brain magic(2004): 3,847,893
  19. Mary Roach 10 things you didn’t know about orgasm(2009): 3,810,630
  20. Vijay Kumar demos robots that fly like birds (2012): 3,535,340

Sources: Big List of TED Talks
The New Yorker Magazine

2. People Who (we love this guy)

Source: People Who Blog

1. Scott MacKenzie Dies…

Source: NY Times

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