Open Notebook: quotes from the TED Radio Hour

Follow your curiosity. Because passion is sort of a tower of flame that is not always accessible, and curiosity is something that anybody can access any day. Your curiosity may lead you to your passion or it may not—it may have been “for nothing” in which case all you’ve done your entire life is spend your existence in pursuit of the things that made you feel curious and inspired, and that should be good enough. Like if you get to do that, that’s a wonderful way to have spent your time here.—Elizabeth Gilbert

TED Radio Hour logoTED talks are always a great source of new and insightful perspectives, and I love how NPR’s TED Radio Hour takes us deeper into

“… if you live with your head in the clouds every now and then, it helps you keep your feet on the ground.”—Gavin Pretor-Pinney

“When you say `creative people,’ that’s redundant. We are creativity.”—Elizabeth Gilbert

“…forget about having an identity crisis and get some identity capital. By `get identity capital,’ I mean do something that adds value to who you are. Do something that’s an investment in who you might want to be next… Identity capital begets identity capital.”—Meg Jay
That’s from her talk “Why 30 is not the new 20”, but check out Meg Jay’s Q&A on

“Science is curiosity acted upon.”—James Cameron

Oh, dang: Invisibilia episode 5

bird_diagram_final_wide-f57ad53cb648cd6a830907907811e189be432798-s1400-c85Wow. From kittens & puppies to categories to gender to culture to death. Invisibilia is once again quite a journey, interweaving personal perspectives with scientific research through compelling storytelling. This show still totally tops my charts and lists.

But my heart breaks just a little bit when I hear Lulu or Alix upspeak unnecessarily (Alix never seemed to do that in her news reporting!). Fortunately, there isn’t much of that in this episode.

Dang, I love you, NPR. TED Radio Hour, Invisibilia, Fresh Air, All Things Considered, Morning Edition, Radio Lab… you’re just nailing it.

Brené Brown, Karen Russell, David Linden: best podcasts episodes of my weekend

If you like an informative, insightful podcast episode every now and then, try the three below; they each enthralled me this snowy weekend. (In case you’re wondering why Invisibilia isn’t mentioned, I’m saving the latest episode for an evening of sheer exhaustion.)

Fingertips To Hair Follicles: Why ‘Touch’ Triggers Pleasure And PainFresh Air discusses various facets of the sense of touch with neuroscience researcher David Linden.

The Courage to Be Vulnerable—shame & vulnerability researcher expert guru Brené Brown converses thought-provokingly with On Being‘s Krista Tippet.  

Karen Russell On Balancing Writing, Technology, and Boredom—host of his eponymous show Leonard Lopate and author Karen Russell talk about technology, writing and boredom.

Perfect! Well, almost… Ramen at Yume Wo Katare

Can't believe I finished it all...
If you don’t know what was in the bowl shown above 20 minutes before I took this picture, you can find out by visiting Yume Wo Katare or by checking out their Yelp! review photos. I can’t believe I packed just about everything that was in there into my stomach. That earned me a “Perfect!” from that ramen shop’s staff and fellow customers. Admittedly, this cheer of affirmation did feel good, but it’s not a feeling I’m inclined to seek out again since it came with some discomfort…

I love the idea the staff of Yume Wo Katare regularly declare while you dine there: harness the same gusto it takes to devour a monster bowl of ramen to accomplish your dreams. And I love the culture too; it’s a cozy, friendly place where you’re encouraged to announce to your fellow customers who you are and what your dream is after you’ve eaten what you can of the massive serving of broth, noodles and pork. You’re also given hearty encouragement on what you’ve shared (often applause) and on your ramen-scarfing abilities—if you can’t make it to the bottom of the bowl, you’ll be awarded with “Good Job!” or “Next Time!” depending on how far you got.

But while the noodles are wide and chewy, the broth is really oily and a little too salty for my taste. The bits of fat in the soup, though tasty, also make the soup less appealing to quaff, let alone drink in its entirety. At first, the bowl of ramen set before me looked manageable, but once I made my way through 70% of the noodles and 20% of the broth, I found myself fighting the feeling of extreme fullness to continue on the rest of the way.

I really wanted to hear the guys say “Perfect!” and not waste food, so I struggled to and did finish my order of ぶたラーメン, but next time I have a hankering for ramen, I’ll likely settle for “Good Job!” or go to Sapporo Ramen down the street instead.

Here’s recent NPR’s story on Yume Wo Katare which gives an auditory glimpse into the atmosphere of this unique ramen spot.

So Real: Adventure Time Season 6, Episode 11


Wow. Until a few days ago, I had no idea how 15 minutes of cartoon could be so intense. An amazing blend of quirky humor and heartrending humanity in only the way Adventure Time pulls off, “Betty” has immediately become one of my favorites in this series, upping my sympathy for the Ice King/Simon something like 10 fold. Crazy that Betty just comes out of nowhere and just owns the episode. So ridiculously math.

Also, Flame Princess looks nice with her fire hair down, though it’s a very visible reminder of the current state of her powers.

This episode even more fully realizes what’s portended by this NPR story on the dimensions of meaning in Adventure Time.