Curious Dilettantes #0003
Learn something that expands your mind, in less than 5 minutes each week.
Tom Kuebler sculpts mythical and fantastical creatures at human scale, using silicone, foam, resin, real hair and anything else necessary to create a sense of realism. He got his start designing toy prototypes, moved on to creating animatronics, and ultimately struck out as a solo artist, and his work has been collected by Guillermo del Toro, Anne Rice, Michael Jackson, and Gene Simmons.
P.S. I had the honor of meeting Tom in an antique store in Selma, North Carolina, and learned one of the greatest lessons in my life from him. Unlikely as it is that he’ll read this, thanks for the story about the ducks, Tom.
January is the peak month for job seekers. Glassdoor reports that job-seeking activity is up by 22% over the average, which is much higher than the second highest month, October, at 12% (all the other months that are positive are in the single digits). If you’re entertaining the idea of a new job, here’s a framework to help you determine in a more structured fashion whether your current job makes you happy or not.
Do you respect, enjoy and learn from the people you work with?
Are they supporting your professional development goals?
Is your perspective considered and valued?
Does what you do impact real people, today, or in the future?
What’s the scale of your potential impact?
Do you know the goals of your role, and what the steps to accomplishing them are?
Is your role important to the future of the company, and is the company investing in your growth?
Is it in line with what other people in similar roles are making?
Solar flares are the cause of widespread technological failure in many dystopian B movies, and while the movies themselves are usually terrible, the science behind the ability of solar flares to damage satellites, communications equipment and the power grid, is sound. This week, the sun unleashed a powerful X-Class solar flare, which is the most powerful category of flares. Flares of this magnitude can cause geomagnetic storms that could cause damage to the aforementioned technology. Thankfully, this was only an X1 flare, which is at the low end of the X-scale, and damage was only limited to a short-wave radio blackout over parts of Australia and the South Pacific. Scientists expect that activity will continue in the area of the sunspot where the flare originated from, discharging coronal mass ejections (CMEs) of hot plasma in the direction of Earth, resulting in bright auroral displays at higher latitudes, and also the potential damage described above, approximately a day from the initial discharge.
The “quiet quitting” phenomenon is more serious than most people realize, affecting 50% or more of the US workforce, according to Gallup.
If you’re a manager or leader, here are some tips to help you address the issue among your employees:
Give your employees clear expectations and guidance on what to prioritize
Express your gratitude early and often
Rethink your expectations around work hours and ‘face time’
Do away with the need for perfectionism
Show your employees that it’s okay not to work all the time by taking breaks
Not wanting to feel left out during the recent football (ahem, soccer) World Cup, bumble bees 🐝 have exhibited a propensity for playing with balls for fun, dispelling the myth that all bees do is work. Mirroring the behavior of their human researchers, younger bees spend more time playing than their older peers.
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