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HarperCollins, March 2011
February 22, 2012
Worth a Look: 5 Leadership Mistakes from Star Wars
By IMT Staff
Plus: Electing More Scientists to Office, Reusing Nuclear Power Plants, the Universe in Scale, Skills Every Guy Should know and the MythBusters Fix for Education.
Sometimes the Internet seems like it's gotten too big. To help navigate this sea of information, IMT continues a new feature that spotlights some of the more interesting, informative and amusing resources that might have slipped under your radar all in bite-sized chunks. We'll have a new "Worth a Look" each Wednesday.
- Why Americans Don't Elect More Scientists to Office | Lawyers tend to dominate the political establishment in the United States, while China has a number of scientists in key positions in the government. Whereas eight out of the nine top government officials in China have scientific backgrounds, the 435 members of the U.S. House of Representatives include "one physicist, one chemist, one microbiologist, six engineers and nearly two dozen representatives with medical training," mathematics professor John Allen Paulos explains in a recent New York Times op-ed. Why don't Americans elect more scientists to office? Paulos, author of the influential bestseller Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and its Consequences, does a commendable job of encapsulating the nation's reservations over a scientifically literate government.
- The MythBusters' Way to Fix Science Education | The U.S. is facing serious challenges in educating students about science and preparing them to become future leaders in scientific and engineering fields. Adam Savage of MythBusters, which mixes scientific method with fun curiosity and old-fashioned ingenuity, explained in a 2008 Popular Science column how he believes students could be inspired by science education, making three key recommendations that remain relevant in 2012: Let students get their hands dirty with actual projects, spend more money to provide the proper supplies and celebrate mistakes because even failures can provide a learning experience.
- 5 Leadership Mistakes of the Star Wars Empire | In the Star Wars films, the Galactic Empire wasn't known for its sound organizational strategy, driving many people into rebellion. But your company can avoid the same fate. Forbes.com outlines the major leadership mistakes made by the Empire, including: building an organization around particular people (i.e., Darth Vader) rather than institutions; having no tolerance for failure (i.e., choking your top admirals); and failing to learn from mistakes (i.e., building a second Death Star because the first one turned out so well). Image source: Wookieepedia
- Recycled Nuclear Power Plants | There are many abandoned nuclear power plant construction projects left over from the 1970s and '80s, when skyrocketing costs and increased regulations forced numerous cutbacks worldwide. Yet many of these shuttered facilities have experienced an afterlife. SmartPlanet.com highlights some of the interesting uses for former nuclear facilities, including an amusement park with 40 rides and 600,000 annual visitors, a movie location site and a museum to educate people about nuclear energy.
- How a Company Can Learn Your Secrets | Understanding a customer's life, down the smallest of relevant details, is the surest way to generate consistent business and apply effective advertising and marketing techniques. In a recent article, the New York Times explains how this process of "predictive analytics" is getting a boost from new advances in cognitive science and neuroscience, enabling companies to get an even clearer picture of how their target demographics live and behave.
- 25 Skills Every Man Should Know | Forget about outsourcing or delegating tasks to someone else sometimes you have to take matters into your own hands. Esquire provides instructions for accomplishing 25 of the most crucial tasks in life, such as chopping down a tree, wiring a ceiling fixture, jump-starting a car, shining a shoe, sewing a button, making pancakes from scratch and, um, skinning a moose.
- The Scale of the Universe | It can be difficult to comprehend just how vast the universe really is and how small we are in relation to the cosmos. To provide a visual representation of the enormous range of sizes within existence, two teenage brothers have created an animated website that allows users to slide the scale from the very smallest theoretical features, such as quantum foam, to the very largest expanses of the entire observable universe.
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