When I lived in Switzerland and helmed a theatre troupe, every weekend I threw a party with a different theme. I recall a Monster Bash, a Dress Like Your Idol party, and a When I Was Five event. The actors and techies and their partners came, and I knocked myself out entertaining, telling stories, and making sure everyone had a good time. When people left, they always said, “This was the best party ever” or “I had a great time.” I noticed that when I wasn’t doing something to make the party a success, everyone sat in silence. That immediately triggered my sense that I had to do something to make the party fun. Frankly, it was exhausting. One weekend, I decided to change things. I had a theme. I invited the theatre troupe, and I decided not to talk or tell stories. And what happened? No one talked. Except for polite conversation. At the end of the party, everyone left and said to me, “This was the best party ever” and “I had a great time.” They loved the silence. On the island … [Read more...] about Does Conversation Silence Make You Anxious?
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Photo: Ray Tamarra/Getty Images Prolific producer Scott Rudin came under renewed scrutiny last week after a Hollywood Reporter exposé detailed his alleged abusive behavior toward his assistants, including hurling a baked potato at one and smashing a computer monitor on another’s hand . But the EGOT winner’s temperament is not a revelation in the industry, where he has a long-established record of combative conduct — in 1998, Fortune magazine described Rudin as being famous for “his habit of throwing phones, verbally abusing staffers, and expecting 16-hour workdays and seven-day workweeks.” He told The Wall Street Journal in 2005 that he had burned through 119 assistants in five years (some workers estimated the number would be 250 or more if it included those fired during their two-week trial periods). From his pushing people out of moving cars to engaging in a bitter feud with Harvey Weinstein , here are 21 tales about Rudin that helped build his unpleasant … [Read more...] about 21 Notorious Scott Rudin Stories
Spotify’s first gadget has landed. Car Thing , a Spotify-only, voice-controlled device for the car, is launching today in limited quantities to invited users. It’s a dedicated, Bluetooth-connected device for controlling Spotify without the need for a phone screen, which seems to be meant for people who drive older cars without built-in infotainment systems or phone connections. Before getting to the device details, let’s focus on the basics. Car Thing is only being released as a “limited product launch,” so you can’t buy one outright. Instead, you can sign up for the waitlist and hope Spotify reaches out. It’s only available for US customers, and you have to subscribe to Spotify Premium to qualify. Another thing to know: if you’re chosen to try Car Thing, the device is free, but you have to pay for shipping. Spotify declined to comment on how many units it’d be giving away. The company’s also billing the gadget as an “exploration,” so it’s unclear how serious the team is about the … [Read more...] about Spotify’s Car Thing debuts as a limited release for selected US users
Scams are everywhere, and they target people both young and old. Simply answering the phone or opening an email can lead to danger. The results can be devastating, from losing hundreds of thousands of dollars to having retirement savings accounts wiped out, as well as identity theft. The psychological effects are damaging, leading to a sense of helplessness and isolation. Preying on unsuspecting and often educated people of all ages, financial scams target our sense of trust and need for connection. Scams may first present themselves in terms of seemingly honest deals from companies that sound reputable. But while a company may sound legitimate, the deals are often too good to be true, and when they gain our confidence , we become prone to accepting something that is not what it seems. In fact, some companies provide sales employees with specific training in how to gain the confidence of older adults in ways that target social and emotional connection that then leads to a … [Read more...] about Fool Me Once: Why Scams Leave People Feeling Foolish