Lyse Links: Apple to Zumba

Angela Ascendant: Apple’s head of retail is re-imagining the Apple store. For one thing, Apple no longer calls their retail spaces “stores.” Instead, they imagine them as “modern-day town squares.” (I think there are better modern-day examples, like libraries.) Find out how the wildly successful Burberry executive ended up at a tech company, and why the tables in Apple stores are still the same.

Baltimore: A Record-Breaking City: Some sociological problems seem insurmountable. Those of us who want to make a difference, or just be good citizens, should, at the least, be learning about the complex issues facing our cities.

Houston’s Baseball Experiment: Hindsight is a glorious thing. In light of the Astros winning the World Series this year, revisit this 2014 article analyzing the team’s phoenix strategy (burn it down and rise anew). The intro is astonishing:


The Story of a Very Old Wolf: Where do wolves fit in a country dominated by human rules?


The Reckoning: How do we begin to discuss the onslaught of revelations about sexual assault in our society? This essay is a good place to start. [Obviously, includes sensitive topics and strong language.] 

How to Sleep: James Hamblin is my favorite health writer and sleep is one of my favorite topics. This is worth reading. And, dare I say, sleep habits make a good topic to consider for 2018’s resolutions.

Running is a Unique Therapy for Depression and Anxiety: Isn’t that headline enough of an intro? Managing mental illness through activity is a fascinating idea to me.

I’ll Never Be Good at Running: Sometimes it is enough to just like a thing and not try to go faster or further.

Secrets from Tom Brady’s Personal Coach: Charlatan or magic-worker? (Also: a huge draw for his facility is surely because you can, as the author did, spot Gisele Bundchen and other celebrities during a session.)

From Chess Novice to Playing a Grand Master in 30 Days: Can a chess novice learn to beat one of the top masters in 30 days? I love challenges like this!

The Biggest Movie Star You’ve Never Heard Of: His name is unassuming, but his work is not.


The Land Where Vendettas Go Forever: Blood feuds are part of life in Albania. This passage keeps poking me, talking about the deep code–unmoored from religion or government–that Albanians follow:

Before we hung up, Fox gently chastised me for using the word “lawless” to refer to contemporary Albania. “I’d be very careful using that term,” he said. “As long as people are following the Kanun, there is no lawlessness.”

The Brothers Who Bought South Africa: I don’t follow South African politics, so this caught my eye. Is an Indian family shadow-governing South Africa?

For Sale: Presented without comment.

Inside Zumba: I can’t help but feel the writer was just too skeptical to take Zumba seriously. I’ve never tried it, but it doesn’t seem worse than any of the other fitness “cults.” People found something they like, let them enjoy it. (For any of you marketing/business people: great read about brand building.)


That’s it for this week! I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving, if you celebrate.

Have thoughts about any of the stories I shared? Drop them in the comments! I’d love to talk.


Lyse Links: Killers, Interrogation, and Paradise

Welcome to November! Lean into the coziness. These stories are a great way to occupy the cold darkness. (Also, light some candles. Or a fire. That helps.)

I didn’t sort today’s stories into sections. They read really well into each other and defy categorization. *shrug*

Pair Seven Days of Heroin Epidemic with A Prayer for Healing to get both a big-picture and very personal look at addiction.

The Sorrow and Shame of an Accidental Killer — How do you move past killing someone?

From Prison to PhD — Michelle Jones used her 20+ years in prison to become a respected scholar. Applying to graduate schools upon release, she’s sparked controversy at top universities. How should a person’s crimes affect public perception of them after they’ve served time? Is society unfairly prolonging their punishment?

The Newspaper That Bought a Bar — a great story of undercover journalism. Also an example of the type of shenanigans that I doubt would be successful in today’s tech-heavy world.

Big Business Got Brazil Hooked on Junk Food — Many underdeveloped nations have gone from underweight to malnourished as food giants aggressively market unhealthy foods. How do you begin to fix a problem like this?

Pair The Scientists Persuading Terrorists to Spill Their Secrets with CIA Torture Black Sites for a look at changing opinions on interrogation techniques. Psychology tells us the first method is more likely to be effective, but it’s tough to change established patterns. The articles also deal with a fascinating aspect of interrogation–it’s extremely difficult for the interviewer. Traditional interrogation techniques are heavy on actions that make the imprisoning party feel good, but that’s effective for getting good information.

Golden State Warriors Revolution Starts with a Charcuterie Board — For something a bit lighter, the story of how Steve Kerr revolutionized the Warriors’ offense. I haven’t watched a single Warriors game and somehow I know more about them than any other basketball team.

Mattress Wars — You may not find this as interesting as I do, but it’s an intriguing business story. Are you inundated with podcast ads for Casper or Leesa? Behind the scenes is more complicated than you could imagine. (Also a good read if you’re interested in how bloggers/Internet influencers legally and successfully build brand relationships. It’s a changing world.)

How the Elderly Lose Their Rights — This is one of the scariest stories I’ve read in awhile. I’ll let this excerpt speak to why:

Parks drove a Pontiac G-6 convertible with a license plate that read “crtgrdn,” for “court guardian.” In the past twelve years, she had been a guardian for some four hundred wards of the court. Owing to age or disability, they had been deemed incompetent, a legal term that describes those who are unable to make reasoned choices about their lives or their property. As their guardian, Parks had the authority to manage their assets, and to choose where they lived, whom they associated with, and what medical treatment they received. They lost nearly all their civil rights.

The Paradise that Shouldn’t Exist — Cape Coral was built on lies. It’s a disaster waiting to happen. And it’s also one of the fastest-growing towns in America.

I felt oddly guilty reading this, because we moved to Florida this year. We’re smack-dab in the middle of a top-risk flood zone. But honestly, I’d think long and hard about leaving. People aren’t motivated by flood risks and ecological concerns. They’re drawn by this:


Literally just my local park. There are half a dozen like it in 10 miles. 

The Mother of Forensic Science — Finally, the woman who introduced forensic science to police officers in the 1940s.

Let’s Talk!

What’s your favorite story? Do you disagree with any of them? Tell me in the comments.

Lyse Links: Quarterback, kung fu, and concussions


A thing I love about reading so much: the ideas interact and twine together, sometimes creating new ideas. Here are some of my recent favorites.  Continue reading


Lyse Links: Wild Dogs & Why People Cheat

Do you have plans for this weekend? I hope not, because I’m about to serve up hours of fascinating reading. This week’s ideas are controversial and I’d love to debate them in the comments. I value your input.


Let’s start here: Continue reading


Lyse Links: Hobbies, heels, and how to

How’s your weekend going? I’m hunkered down waiting for a hurricane to slam my state, so I’ve got loads of time to share fun reads with you!! (Those are mostly sarcastic marks, but I do like sharing good stuff with you.)  Continue reading


Lyse Links: Adoption, texting, and hit songs

I’ve led with some shorter/lighter pieces, but the last few links are hefty. Enjoy!

Texting with Boys — This is an op-ed, so not as thorough as I’d like, but it’s a fascinating look at differences in communication. I have several similarities with the author, including a mostly-female family, plus emphasis on written communication (obviously).

Couple buys street in millionaire neighborhood — in a comedy of errors revealed by one couple’s stroke of astonishing luck, the street in a private high-scale neighborhood is now owned by outside individuals who are scheming ways to make money from their acquisition. Moral of the story: pay your taxes.

Trump’s positive news folder — for someone who doesn’t want to argue politics, I share a lot of political stories. This one caused a Twitter uproar about the President’s delusion. That’s up for anyone’s perception. BUT. If you’ve spent much time in entrepreneurial circles or high achiever optimization literature, this will sound pretty familiar. Starting the day with affirmations or positive thinking is not so unusual. Maybe not normal (or good?) for a president, but not as odd or laughable as many people think it is.

The Children of Strangers — this is an excellent profile of a family that had or adopted more than 20 children. Large families are a point of contention for many reasons, some of which will be obvious in this article. But I like a few things about the article. First, the author makes a serious attempt at relating the story with little commentary or bias. Second, I think it provides a good picture of the trade-offs necessary in any family. No family is perfect. Every decision to say “yes” is also saying “no” to something else. So “yes” to 20+ children means that more children have a family. But it also means less money, (probably) less time with each child, etc. In the end, I think these parents made the best decisions they could based on their values. Those choices probably helped their kids in some ways. And too much time thinking about “what-ifs” will drive you crazy.

The hit song you’ve never heard of (sold more than the Beatles) — The world is a big, diverse place. So much so that you’ve probably never heard of the man who created a hit song that sold more copies than any Beatles song. It’s a great story about music and legacy in Africa.

Has the smartphone destroyed a generation? — Look, I hate doom and gloom generational opinions as much as anyone. But this is a balanced, data-backed article from a generational researcher. Strongly recommended for anyone who cares about generational profiles, the current adolescent generation, or the effects of technology on human behavior.


Lyse Links: Heroes, predicting the future, and fun

Short list for you this week, but that means you have time to read them all! Several of these deserve some extra thought. I’d love to see your comments.

About Heroes — This is an excellent essay from Maggie Stiefvater about heroes and self-image. Maggie is a fascinating person and impressive writer. I was stunned when I discovered this post.

What office buildings tell you about the people who work there — the eccentric offices of tech firms may tell us a lot about how people will work in the future. Then again, it may just be a trend that disappears.

Are We Having Too Much Fun? — This is a deep and timely discussion. Our obsession with entertainment may be our societal downfall.

Stop Apologizing for Delayed Email Responses — This is a simple and transformative idea based off a broader thought-provoking essay that asks, “Do you want to be known for your writing or for your swift email responses?” [That longer essay is full of cursing and has a lot to do with patriarchy, writing, and mental models.] The ideas of reprioritizing and making intentional communication choices are pivotal for me. We could use much more of this in life.