Beta Males

Not surprising: Beta males live longer.

Scientists have long known that alpha males are dominant in the social order of baboons and other primates. They rule the beta males and have their pick of the females.

But a new study at Princeton shows that beta males enjoy plenty of sex … and live longer. The obvious implication: The lives of alpha males are cut short due to the constant stress of defending their position.

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Great Truths

The most important things to know in life take a lifetime to learn. Our first lessons come early — but we grasp only the surface. As we gain life experience we gain deeper understanding. All great truths are both simple and complex, easy to understand yet difficult to master.

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Sweet and Savory

I’ve heard it said that the best way to classify wines is to put them in one of two categories: sweet or savory.

California Pinot Noirs, because of their fruitiness, are sweet.

Old school Bordeaux and Barolos are savory because of their earthy flavors. So are Rieslings.

California Chardonnays and dessert wines are sweet.

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Getting A Perspective

Strategy for Taking a Sensible Approach to a Disturbing Situation:

You get upset about something. It is all-consuming. But you know, deep down, it’s not that important. Perhaps this will help. While you are counting to ten, ask yourself these two questions:

  1. On a scale of 1 to 10, how much is this bothering me?
  2. On a scale of 1 to 10, how important will this seem to me in five years?

Example: My issue with a certain client who is not listening to my advice.

  • How much does it bother me now? 8
  • How much will it bother me in 5 years? 0

Asking these two questions reminds me that this is a temporary problem, one I can easily fix by allowing the client to improve or by dismissing him. With that in mind, I can relax.

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Reading Out Loud

Reading your writing out loud will tell you if it is good. The first time I tried it, I read several poems to my wife and found, as I was reading them, that I was instantly aware of how good or bad they were. I didn’t have to ask her. I knew.

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Writers like Charles Bukowsky and comedians like Lenny Bruce and Howard Stern presaged the end of privacy.

They sensed how difficult it was becoming to lead private lives and rather than hide from it they protected themselves by exposing their weaknesses. It’s not a coincidence that Stern’s book is called Private Lives. These comedians were like prophets who taught us how to be comfortable about exposing ourselves. By exposing their sins and shortcomings, these prophets tested the public. And the public embraced them. First they exposed their drinking and gambling and adultery. Then they exposed their cowardliness. And the more they exposed themselves, the better their audiences liked them. In 1997, Ellen DeGeneres admitted she was gay. And America – even Middle America – still embrace her. This has to be good for society. It can’t be good to have a culture that is based on so much hypocrisy.

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To-Do Lists

The great thing about writing to-do lists is that the process itself is motivating. There is no doubt in my mind that I am three hundred percent more productive since I began doing it. But there is a problem. It takes time to write a good to-do list and it takes effort. Unless you are careful, the list making will drain vital energy from you. If you write your lists in the morning and they are extensive, you may not have the energy afterwards to launch into an important project. Thus, it is better to write to-do lists at night.

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When Will We Solve the Global Warming Problem?

Technology changes not when it might but when it must.

Sensitive people note problems and talk about them. Writers and other influential people talk it up. Crusades are launched. And these crusades create counter-crusades. The argument soars in the media. And for a while it seems as if nothing will ever be done. But gradually, as the threat becomes more tangible, the counter-arguments subside. Laws are written. Treaties are signed. But still no great progress is made. Finally, the general population begins to make changes. But these changes don’t happen until the threat becomes tangible to the affected population.

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