Justine Musk, Ringo Starr, Dolphins, Grexit, Ukraine, Literary Fame


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How To Be As Great As Elon Musk

Justine Musk | Quora | 2nd April 2015

A Quora visitor asks: "How can I be as great as Elon Musk?" Justine Musk, Elon Musk's first wife, steps up to reply. The key thing is to be obsessed with your work. "Extreme people combine brilliance and talent with an insane work ethic, so if the work itself doesn't drive you, you will burn out or fall by the wayside or your extreme competitors will crush you and make you cry. It helps to have superhuman energy and stamina" (820 words)

Being Ringo

Stephen Rodrick | Rolling Stone | 15th April 2015

Affectionate portrait of Ringo Starr at 74, skinny and fit, sober for 26 years, still on the road, still defined by the band with which he played for eight years a half-century ago. "The death of Lennon put an end to all the Beatles reunion talk. One of the reasons that the Beatles stopped touring was they couldn't hear each other among the screaming girls. Modern technology would have changed that" (5,700 words)

Conversation With Dolphins

Joshua Foer | National Geographic | 19th April 2015

Dolphins are "a kind of alien intelligence sharing our planet ... The question is not how smart are dolphins, but how are dolphins smart?” They are almost certainly smart enough to use language, but if they do, we humans are not yet smart enough to understand it. "Dolphins use distinct signature whistles to identify and call to one another. Each dolphin is thought to invent a unique name for itself as a calf and to keep it for life" (4,200 words)

Greece: Default Within The Eurozone

Wolfgang Munchau | Financial Times | 20th April 2015 | | Read with 1Pass

The least disastrous course for Greece and its creditors would be for Greece to default on payments to the IMF and the European Central Bank without leaving the eurozone. There is no legal reason why default should lead directly to exit, but a plan would be needed to keep the Greek banking sector afloat. Which would be difficult, but surely not impossible, if only the Greek government and the EU would get to work on it (822 words)

Ukraine: Inside The Deadlock

Tim Judah | New York Review Of Books | 19th April 2015

Ukrainian troops and Russian-backed rebels stand ready to resume fighting. "Commanders are trying to second-guess where the other will attack when the cease-fire breaks down completely, as they all assume it will soon". The big question is how far Vladimir Putin wants to go. If he intends to restore pre-revolutionary Russia, he will need to re-take most of modern Ukraine, including Kiev, and the three Baltic states (3,840 words)

The Formula For Literary Fame

Joshua Rothman | New Yorker | 17th April 2015 | Metered paywall

What ensures literary immortality? Talent is only a starting point. Taking Wordsworth as a template: It helps to write in a variety of forms, so that your canon will accommodate changing tastes. Live the sort of life that biographers can argue over for centuries. Get along well with your family, who will shape your posthumous reputation. Die somewhere pretty — your "shrine". Leave unfinished work for later discovery (1,320 words)

Video of the day: Skyglow

What to expect: Time-lapse video of the Los Angeles night sky. Jaw-dropping from the 1'30" mark (2'38")

Thought for the day

I will live for ever, or die in the attempt
Joseph Heller

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