Happy Friday–Penn and Teller

May 23, 2008

I study social insects for a living. That said, honeybees have always seemed to be rather wimpy, and thus prone to the kind of abuse in this video.

I’d love to see them try this with army ants…
Eciton hamatum bivuoac by Christien Ziegler

Eciton burchelli major by Christien Ziegler

Photos by Christien Ziegler

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Beware the self-created tizzy

May 23, 2008

There is a seductive quality to time management schemes, including the one upon which this blog is based. You can, in fact, find yourself getting a heckuva lot of things checked off your “to-do” list if you carefully manage your time, build a tightly organized calender, learn to say “no” to interruptions, and close your office door to work on manuscripts. There is a sort of delirious pleasure at the end of the day, seeing all those boxes checked. And to do this day after day after day.

Some psychiatrists may call this manic behavior. I call it a self-created tizzy.

Don’t forget to give yourself time to think.

By this, I mean, treat yourself to the occasional long languid walks through your favorite haunts, a couple of hours with a notebook and a pen in the corner of a coffee shop, or just stretched out in your favorite chair, feet up, staring off in the middle distance. This is time for the dust to settle, for the disparate bits of thought to organize and reorganize in a playful way. All this happens while you order that second latte or people watch on a sunny park bench.

It is possible to be so busy working on stuff that you lose grasp of why you are doing it.

Which reminds me of my quote of the month. A pal and I were discussing how another pal always seemed to be going 500 hundred miles per hour.

“Of course she doesn’t have time to think.” he said. “She’s x-ed it out of her schedule!”