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Mindful : February 2018
PODCASTS REVISIONIST HISTORY Episode: The King of Tears In this series, Malcolm Gladwell’s prodigious talents as both a free thinker and a storyteller are on display. Gladwell likes to look at things from oblique angles, the better to break us out of fixed ways of thinking and shed new light. A superb journalist, he explores and investigates by talking with people. In Episode 6, season 2, he travels to Nashville in a fascinating quest to account for the difficulties we have in bridging the cultural divide in America by contrasting country music and rock and roll: one pulls at the heartstrings, the other doesn’t go there much. THE EDUCHANGE PODCAST Episode: Ashanti Branch In this episode, Ever Forward Club founder Ashanti Branch relates how neither excelling in school nor showing your emotions are consid- ered cool for American boys. He also talks about his 100k Mask Challenge, which encourages young people and teachers to communicate with one another more authentically. An educator himself, Branch emphasizes the role of empa- thy in teachers to build constructive relation- ships with students: “If you care more about the subjects you’re teaching than the subjects who you’re teaching, there’s going to be a discon- nect....Connect a little bit more with your heart.” (For more on Branch’s work, see p. 66.) QUIRKS & QUARKS Episode: Neuroscience says it’s good to daydream When we daydream, science finds, our brains are in the zone for problem-solving and creativ- ity. Neuroscience professor emeritus Dr. Daniel Levitin had Sting compose music inside a brain scanner, and Sting’s brain activity shifted into “daydreaming mode,” the default mode net- work. This area of the brain, describes psychol- ogy professor Dr. Kalina Kristoff, shows “the sweet spot between order and chaos.” She says the ability to flexibly switch between a day- dreaming mental mode and more constrained and analytical modes of thought can indicate a highly creative mind. 80 mindful February 2018 reviews