Self Improvement


  • The comapany Estée Lauder was founded in 1946 by husband and wife Joseph and Estée Lauder. Estée Lauder cosmetics were sold primarily at department stores.
  • Charles Revson is known as a founder of Revlon. In March of 1932 he, along with his brother Joseph and a man named Charles Lachman, started Revlon.
  • Elizabeth Arden became interested in the work of a biochemist who worked on cream for skin blemishes. She eventually developed her own products and opened the first store in 1910.
  • Avon was founded by David McConnell as the California Perfume Company in 1886. Originally the company only sold perfumes, but in 1928 the company introduced the Avon line of cosmetics and toiletries, and eventually the Avon name became so popular that in 1939, McConnell's son and successor changed the company name to Avon.
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Self Improvement

It wasn't until the late 19th and early 20th centuries, despite the strictures of Victorian morality, that cosmetics and other beauty aids became more generally accepted.

The Roaring Twenties and glamorous movie stars of the 1930s finally brought cosmetics into the mass merchandise market, where they were sold in department stores and other venues. It was about this time that some of the best-known brand names - many of which are still sold today - entered the picture, and the modern cosmetics industry was born.

History of the Beauty Business
  • Cosmetics have been used since ancient times. Often they were used in religious ceremonies - as seen in ancient Egypt - or as cultural identification. Egypt's influence impacted the practices and uses of cosmetics throughout the rest of the ancient world.
  • The spread of Christianity with its denunciations of pride and vanity coupled with a changing ideal of modesty also impacted the standards of beauty. While cosmetics did not totally fall out of favor, their use seems to have been greatly reduced and their use largely restricted to courtesans, actresses, the wealthy, and assorted "loose" women.
  • During the Renaissance high born women including Queen Elizabeth, used them to whiten their faces into an ideal of pale perfection.

Over time, cosmetics moved a little closer to more common usage.

The microphone in the 1600s

The word "microphone" was not used during this time until the 19th century but an English physicist and inventor named Robert Hooke developed an acoustic cup and string style phone, where he was considered to be a pioneer in the field of transmitting sound across a distance.


A microphone is a device that converts acoustic power into electric power, sound waves to electrical voltages, then converted into sound waves that are amplified through speakers.

We associate microphones often with the music and the entertainment industry, but the device can be dated back as early as the 1600s when scientists figured out that they could amplify sound.

The microphone in the 21st century
  • During the 2000s the trend was miniature mics that were applicable for portable devices. MEMS (microelectromechanical systems) made inroads for this technology.
  • In 2010, the Eigenmike was released. It's a microphone that's composed of several high-quality microphones that were arranged onto the surface of a solid sphere.
  • The condenser microphone was patented by EC Wente in 1916
  • The RCA company developed the first ribbon microphone used for radio broadcasting in 1920
  • Georg Neumann designed the first commercial condenser microphone in 1928
  • The first dynamic microphone was marketed by Western Electric in 1931
  • A patent was filed for the first wireless microphone by Raymond A Litke in 1957
  • The first uni-directional microphone device was a new level of design that collects sound from the top of the microphone in 1959.
  • James West and Gerhard Sessler patented the electroacoustic transducer, an electret microphone in 1964.
  • In the 1970s, both the dynamic and condenser mics were further enhanced for clearer sound recording and a lower sound level sensitivity.
  • In the 1980s the first clip-on microphones were developed by Sennheiser.
  • In the 1990s, Neumann introduced a condenser microphone designed for live performances which set a new standard for quality.
  • 1827 - The first person to ever coin the word "microphone" was Sir Charles Wheatstone who was a renowned English physicist and inventor. He was among the first scientists to formally recognize that sound waves were "transmitted by waves through mediums."
  • 1876-8 - The first modern microphone was invented by Emile Berliner who worked alongside the famed inventor Thomas Edison. Soon after, David Edward Hughes developed the first carbon microphone.

This is the degree to which people are open to experiencing the full range and depth of their feelings. It also forecasts creative imagination better than intellectual engagement or IQ.

Emotional ambivalence is the event where we simultaneously experience positive and negative emotions.

Pure happiness and pure sadness rarely occur to us but we do, however, tend to experience mixed emotions.

Being able to simultaneously experience emotions that are often not experienced together may cause increased sensitivity, which is an important contributor to creativity.

Situations that increase emotional ambivalence:

  • Being placed in higher-status positions; and
  • Engaging in organizational recruitment and socialization

A person stuck in an unusual environment can show increased levels of creative thinking, and the fact of the matter is that creativity is the experience of unusual and unexpected events. So if you want to increase creativity, ask yourself if your current environment brings out emotional ambivalence and motivational intensity or not.

Motivational intensity

An individual's motivational intensity is how strongly they are compelled in approaching or avoiding certain things.

It is an important variable that affects the scope of attention because an individual can experience "pleasantness" and have low motivational states - they're not really determined to pursue anything; however, those who have "desire" have higher motivational states thus are more focused on completing a specific goal.

  • Creative people have messy minds, and have learned to embrace the messiness of the creative process;
  • They are people who can easily adapt to their surroundings;
  • They have the ability to mix seemingly incompatible states of being such as having open attention with a focused drive or even intense rebelliousness but still has respect for tradition;
  • The way their lives are lived with differing passion and intensity, and the depth of human experience is what makes creative people, creative.

These titles can mean there's a certain level of expertise and expectation that you will know what you're doing.

But it can also be an indication that the company does not know what they want.

"Wears many hats" means you will likely be asked to do things outside of your job duties. "And other duties as assigned" may appear elsewhere in the posting.

Candidates who appreciate the structure of a predetermined set of responsibilities should consider this a red flag. Ask a clarifying question in the interview process such as "How much time, in terms of percentage, do you envision me doing this part of the work?"

These are subjective requirements, and you may need to ask for clarity. One way is to ask, “How was the person that I’m replacing expected to be flexible?”

An agile candidate means you need to be ready to drop something mid-project and do something else.

This can be code for a heavy workload. It means things are always busy, so you need to work quickly because it's time-sensitive.

Your job may be in jeopardy if you can't keep up.

The thinking is that you don't need to be micromanaged, so you can decide how much time off you take. But the lack of clear structure means workers inevitably end up taking less time off.

An employee may feel bad about taking a vacation. There could also be a cultural expectation that you don't take long breaks. Ask someone in the know how many days people take off.

This phrase could mean that you will be put under lots of projects and deadlines that will not be realistic. Most people will leave in one or two years.

To succeed in this environment, you'll need to accept imperfection. You will produce mediocre-level stuff and should be OK with it.

What common job listings can reveal

Before you apply for a job, you probably first read a listing that includes vague statements like "We are seeking a self-starter who can work well under pressure in a fast-paced environment."

These common job listing phrases can reveal a lot about the company's priorities, the ideal job candidate, and who will fit in the organization's culture.

This is a popular listing in startups since leaders are still working on the details. "Self-starter" could mean you'll be given little training and have to come up with your own ideas. It could be a red flag for someone relatively new to the field, but it's ideal for a leader who has similar experience and can execute ideas with little direction.

If a company asks for a self-starter, back up your application by sharing the times you initiated a process or took the lead.

This does not mean you have to be genuinely enthusiastic about the industry, but you need to come prepared for an interview to show your expertise in the subject. 

This phrase doesn't mean you can't negotiate your pay. If you're considered at the higher range of salary, you should stand firm on your value.

To know what they mean by a competitive salary, ask what the range is during the interview process.

A common interview question is "Tell me about a time you had to pivot your strategy." It can also be any question that asks you to discuss how you troubleshoot.

When you see this request, try to anticipate what problems this role will have and describe how you would handle them.

Apocalypse Now: Aqua Edition

Sea-level rise and eventual flooding is a growing possibility that has been written in many ancient books and stories.

The Noah’s Ark, the Sumerian flood, or the ancient Hindu story of Manu and Matsya depicted an Apocalyptic water crisis thousands of years ago and had a common theme: The Wrath Of God.

The ancient stories and the many modern thought experiments envision a world drowned in water and the resulting problems that aren’t talked about at all.

The sea-level rising is a global warming threat that seems like ‘climate fiction’ to the people in charge and could be a potential disaster if not taken seriously now.

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