Love Undetectable: Andrew Sullivan on Why Friendship Is a Greater Gift Than Romantic Love

By Maria Popova

Reflections on the cornerstone of our flourishing.

“A principal fruit of friendship,” Francis Bacon observed, “is the ease and discharge of the fulness and swellings of the heart, which passions of all kinds do cause and induce.” Thoreau would “sometimes awake in the night and think of friendship and its possibilities.” St. Augustine described friendship as “sweet beyond the sweetness of life.” But what exactly is friendship — what defines its singular hallmark? Shortly after his dear friend Patrick’s death, Andrew Sullivan — one of the deepest thinkers and most enchanting writers of our time — was gripped with grief so all-consuming that it led him to examine the nature of friendship itself, a bond so special that its forceful breakage could induce pain of such unbearable proportions. In the altogether fantastic 1998 volume Love Undetectable: Notes on Friendship, Sex, and Survival (public library), he considers the inner workings of friendship and argues that its gift is far greater than that of romantic love, despite our cultural bias for the latter.

Sullivan writes:

For me, friendship has always been the most accessible of relationships — certainly far more so than romantic love. Friendship, I learned, …read more

Via: Brain Pickings

Best Money Tips: Essential Things to Do to Retire Early

By Ashley Jacobs

woman with flowers

Welcome to Wise Bread’s Best Money Tips Roundup! Today we found some stellar articles on retiring early, saving on wedding reception food, and simple ways to cut household expenses.

Top 5 Articles

8 Essential Things To Do To Retire Early — If you want to retire early, live below your means and make a good salary. [Retire By 40]

10 Ways to Save on Wedding Reception Food — To save on wedding reception food, find a culinary school to cater your reception. [PopSugar Smart Living]

Four Simple Ways to Cut Household Expenses — Did you know you can ask your phone or cable company for a one-time credit? [Free From Broke]

4 Job Search Rules to Break — It is OK to break the job search rule to submit a standard resume and cover letter. [20's Finances]

Mindful Investing 101: Investment Terms, Defined — Did you know index …read more

Via: Wise Bread

You CAN Learn a New Language — Just Use One of These 3 Apps

By Linsey Knerl

languages

Learning a new language used to mean taking years of classes in high school. When you graduated, you knew enough Spanish, French, or German to buy a sandwich, find a bathroom, or ask if anyone speaks English — should you travel to another country. Learning a new language outside of school meant buying expensive CD sets that you listen to while you were driving or sitting around your home. You could go at your own pace but didn’t have anyone to converse with or practice your new skills. (See also: 5 Ways to Learn a Language)

Thanks to the growth in technology and the development of language learning apps, you can acquire new language skills in a short amount of time and from the comfort of anywhere. Great apps can range from free to a small monthly fee to the purchase of a $25 app. The best apps …read more

Via: Wise Bread

Toshiba, SanDisk NAND flash memory shrinks to 15-nanometer process

By Tim Hornyak

Partners Toshiba and SanDisk have developed 15-nanometer process technology for NAND flash memory widely used in smartphones and tablets.

The development is the first in the world and will replace the second-generation 19-nm process technology when production begins at Toshiba’s plant in Yokkaichi, Japan, Toshiba said.

Process technology refers to the method and size in making chips. NAND flash memory is a storage medium that does not need power to retain data.

The 15-nm process technology will be applied to 128 gigabit (16GB) NAND flash memory with two bits per cell, Toshiba said.

By using a high-speed interface, the new chips increase the data transfer rate to 533 megabits per second, which is 1.3 times faster than the 19-nm process technology.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

…read more

Via: PCWorld

10 Weird Ways to Get Things Done That Might Work For You

By Mikey Rox

man working

It’s usually not conducive to a person’s productivity if he or she is placed in front of a computer for eight hours a day. (See also: 6 Rules to a Productive Workspace)

Ironically, that’s what most of our jobs have done to us in a world run by technology.

Technology was supposed to make us more productive and efficient. It was also supposed to give us more time to spend with friends and family, to work on hobbies, and improve relationships. The personal computer was meant to make our lives easier.

Not only that, but we’ve now made these computers smaller and put them in our pockets in the form of smartphones, checking them an average of 150 times per day — which only further engages us in an uphill battle to retain our productivity.

Solutions do exist, however. And if we focus on the eight hours we spend in …read more

Via: Wise Bread

Upside Down Day: Rare and Wonderful Vintage Children’s Book by the Head of NASA’s Public Affairs Office

By Maria Popova

An ode to those times when everything seems backwards.

In 1968, less than a year before the iconic NASA moon landing, a charming children’s book titled Upside Down Day (public library) made its debut. What made it special weren’t just the vibrant illustrations by artist Kelly Oechsli, but that it was written by Julian Scheer — the head of NASA’s Public Affairs Office, responsible for enchanting Americans with the space program. There is something immeasurably wonderful about knowing that the person in charge of tickling the public imagination into embracing the pursuit of space exploration — a pursuit subject to tragic neglect today — was himself an imaginative storyteller who knew how to inhabit that delicate intersection of whimsy and irreverence.

Given Scheer’s background, it is quite likely that the story of a day where nothing works as expected was inspired by and teases children into considering the physics of space, which pays no heed to earthly expectations — from the way gravity warps the notions of up and down to the soundlessness of space, which makes the mooing of cows and the ring of a bell inaudible amid the cosmic ether.

Julian Scheer (left) …read more

Via: Brain Pickings

Don’t Know What Annuities Are? You Might Be Missing Out

By Damian Davila

couple

When it comes to finance, most people like stability.

Having the certainty of when and how much cash you will receive for a set period of time provides you peace of mind that allows you to focus on more important things. This is the reason that annuities may be an attractive long-term source of income for some investors. (See also: 5 Super Safe Investments)

Let’s take a look at what are annuities and when they are a good choice.

How Annuities Work

Annuities are contracts between you, referred to as the annuitant, and a financial institution, such as a mutual fund or insurance company. In these contracts, you commit to make a lump sum payment or to follow a schedule of periodic payments in exchange for a guaranteed income stream. Under most annuities, you have to hold the annuity until age 59 1/2.

The financial institution, often an insurance company, uses your …read more

Via: Wise Bread

Why Love Needs Space: Applying the Benjamin Franklin Effect to Romantic Relationships

By Maria Popova

Empirical evidence for the healthy push-and-pull of love.

You may recall the Benjamin Franklin Effect — that odd phenomenon of reverse psychology wherein doing someone a favor makes us like the person more. In this short “science experiment,” complete with a mandatory lab coat, the folks at SoulPancake set out to apply the Founding Father’s insight to the realm of romantic relationships. Though the task itself may appear silly and the quantitative finding hardly earth-shattering, beneath it lies a bigger and rather important qualitative point about the push-and-pull of a healthy relationship, one that resonates with the Chinese notion of wu-wei:

Make sure you allow room in the relationship for the other person to also give it back and invest in you. So maybe don’t insist on paying the bill every time or driving to their place every time. Give them a shot to invest and put just as much into it as you do. Whether you’re trying to get into a relationship or deeper into a long-term one, give your partner a chance to contribute to it.

Pair with a deeper look at the psychology of the Benjamin Franklin Effect, then see the science of how …read more

Via: Brain Pickings

The OnePlus One is the only Android phone you should really care about right now

By Chris Smith

OnePlus on Wednesday finally unveiled its first Android handset, the highly anticipated CyanogenMod-based OnePlus One. Considering the phone’s specs and affordable price, the One is the only Android phone you should really consider buying right now. The device will be even cheaper than customers expect, retailing for either $299/€269 (the 16GB version) or $349/€299 (the 64GB version), and should be available in the near future in 16 markets.

…read more

Via: Genius Report