Innovation is the name of the game these days — in business, in science and technology, even in art. We all want to get those big ideas, but most of us really have no idea what sets off those sparks of insight. Science can help! In the past few years, neuroscientists and psychologists have started to gain a better understanding of the creative process. Some triggers of innovation may be surprisingly simple. Here are five things that may well increase the odds of having an "Aha!" moment.
There's an easy way to spot diseases that aren't getting much attention.
You don't even have to leave your chair, if you've got a computer and access to databases of scientific papers published around the world. Just compare the number of papers on a disease with the number of people affected by it.
This interview was originally broadcast on August 8, 1990.
Andrew Sarris, who popularized the auteur theory and was called the "dean of American film critics," died on Wednesday. He was 83.
In 1962, Sarris became the first American film critic to write about the auteur theory. That's the idea that the director of a movie is the person most responsible for it, and that movies can be better understood if they're seen in the context of a director's complete body of work.
If anyone in Hollywood wears his idealism like a boutonniere, it's Aaron Sorkin. As The West Wing made clear, Sorkin loves telling stories about principled individuals — especially liberals — struggling with institutions that might compromise their integrity.
You might think the presidential race is settled with two candidates. But there's one candidate you might not have heard much about. Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson is running for president on the Libertarian Party ticket. Johnson speaks with host Michel Martin about his policies and the challenges he has getting his message heard.
Title IX was the landmark legislation that required most educational institutions to offer equal opportunities for girls and boys. It changed history and opened up the floodgates to basketball courts, soccer fields and classrooms to women all over the country. Host Michel Martin speaks with three experts about what more needs to be done.
By an 8-0 vote, the Supreme Court today threw out fines the Federal Communications Commission filed against Fox and ABC.
The court did not address whether the FCC rules violated anyone's First Amendment right to free speech. Instead, the justices ruled that the FCC "failed to give Fox or ABC fair notice prior to the broadcasts in question that fleeting expletives and momentary nudity could be found actionably indecent."
From the retired librarian in Kentucky who gave President Obama's campaign $19 to the Arkansas investment banker who gave the superPAC backing GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney a half-million dollars — it's all there at the Federal Election Commission website.
"Turmoil" doesn't seem like a strong enough word anymore to describe what's happening in Pakistani politics.
Tuesday, Pakistan's highest court ruled that Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani was "disqualified" from remaining in office because he had refused to reopen a multi-million-dollar corruption probe aimed at President Asif Ali Zardari.
George Zimmerman's written, audio and video accounts of what happened when he shot and killed Trayvon Martin have been put online by his defense team. Much of what is in the materials has been previously reported, but their release offers the most detailed looks so far at his claim that he acted in self defense.
The materials, posted here, include the statement Zimmerman wrote on Feb. 26 — the day of his fatal encounter with 17-year-old Trayvon in Sanford, Fla. In it, the neighborhood watch volunteer writes:
Originally published on Thu June 21, 2012 10:11 am
"A Syrian MiG 21 fighter jet has landed in Jordan," al-Jazeera and other news outlets report. And according to Reuters, a Jordanian official says the pilot has asked for asylum. The BBC is reporting that news as well.
According to the royal website, the applicant who's chosen will have dominion over the royal residences — including Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle, overseeing a staff of 60. The position is described as "challenging and exciting."
Dissident and artist Ai Weiwei said Thursday that he has been forbidden from leaving China, despite the lifting of strict bail conditions imposed after he was released from detention last year. This comes a day after a hearing on his tax evasion case, which he was prevented from attending.
Some 12,000 Americans die every year in traffic crashes caused by speeding, according to government statistics. Officials have tried many strategies to get drivers to slow down. And now they might have found something that works, after researchers placed a GPS device inside cars that gives drivers an incentive not to speed.
Traffic safety experts have tried using big flashing signs to tell you how fast you're going. (The psychological subtext: Drivers are rational, and they will slow down if they know how fast they're going.)
As Americans watched their nest eggs sink during the Great Recession, many wondered whether they would ever be able to retire. Come this fall, millions of workers who invest in 401(k)s will learn their plans are probably worth even less than they thought.
"Fees take away from the accumulated savings of your lifetime," says Mary Beth Franklin, a contributing editor at InvestmentNews.
For-sale homes in California are sparse, even in areas with high foreclosure rates. It has led to buyers like Jennifer Bryant, who is willing to throw money at just about anyone willing to sell her a house.
Since February, Bryant has made 35 offers on homes in Riverside, only to be elbowed out by other bids. With few houses available and many bidders chasing these properties, she feels she has, at most, an hour to consider each house.
Pakistan's National Assembly has been summoned to elect a new prime minister for the fragile coalition of President Asif Ali Zardari. A consensus candidate, current Textile Industry Minister Makhdoom Shahabuddin, emerged soon after the Supreme Court's dramatic firing of outgoing Premier Yusuf Reza Gilani.
The court disqualified Gilani from office this week for defying court orders to pursue dormant corruption charges against President Zardari.
Mexicans go to the polls July 1 to choose their next president, and polls show that voters seem inclined to embrace the past. The center-left Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, which ruled the country for more than seven decades before being ousted 12 years ago, holds a solid lead.
But Mexico's young are making their voices heard: Some fear a return of authoritarian rule; others simply want jobs.