Fun Friday Links: The Successfully Calm, Love Bytes, and California’s SmartPhone Kill Switch

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Arwen Heredia

February 7, 2014

Welcome to Conspire’s Super Happy Fun Friday Link Time, a weekly collection of cool discoveries from around the Web. Most times the goal is to get you thinking differently about communication, collaboration, culture, and life in general. Other times, LOLCAT ATTACK! Submissions are welcome, and you can send them to for consideration.

How Successful People Stay Calm

Somewhere along the line, we all decided that being successful was inexorably tied to ridiculously long working hours, constant stress, and the all-too-occasional brush with mania. But the reality is that it seriously, seriously doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, it’s incredibly detrimental to your overall performance to be freaking out all the time, and truly successful people aren’t typically the most stressed out of the bunch. From Forbes:

New research from the University of California, Berkeley, reveals an upside to experiencing moderate levels of stress. But it also reinforces how important it is to keep stress under control. The study, led by post-doctoral fellow Elizabeth Kirby, found that the onset of stress entices the brain into growing new cells responsible for improved memory. However, this effect is only seen when stress is intermittent. As soon as the stress continues beyond a few moments into a prolonged state, it suppresses the brain’s ability to develop new cells.

“I think intermittent stressful events are probably what keeps the brain more alert, and you perform better when you are alert,” Kirby says. For animals, intermittent stress is the bulk of what they experience, in the form of physical threats in their immediate environment. Long ago, this was also the case for humans. As the human brain evolved and increased in complexity, we’ve developed the ability to worry and perseverate on events, which creates frequent experiences of prolonged stress.”

So, try to calm down, okay? It’s much better for your career (and let’s face it, your blood pressure).

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Love Bytes: How 8 Tech Titans Romanced Their Sweeties

Friendly reminder, in case you never go to the drug store/ on Buzzfeed/ are willfully ignoring your significant other’s gratuitous hint-dropping: next Friday is Valentine’s Day. And while you may not be able to pull off a romantic gesture a la Bill Gates, with a hookup from Warren Buffet and a private charter plane, you can at least swoon over what some of tech’s bigshots are up to with their sweeties. From the Mashable list:

“Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos keeps his wife happy by occasionally surprising her with clothes and bags. Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes bought his husband a mansion in upstate New York, just so he could run for Congress in that district. Talk about romantic and over-the-top expensive.”

It might be time to move to Silicon Valley, you know?

Check out the full gallery here >>

California Leaders Push for Smartphone Kill Switch

Admit it: you’ve run into someone on the sidewalk at least once as a result of having your face buried in your phone. The problem with that — aside from being labeled a number of unsavory nicknames — is that there’s been an uptick in street thieves taking advantage of the situation, snatching phones right from the hands of their obsessive owners. Enter State Senator Mark Leno, SF District Attorney George Gascon, and team. From ABC News:

[The] bill, if passed, would require mobile devices sold in or shipped to California to have the anti-theft devices starting next year.

Leno, a San Francisco Democrat, and Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley co-authored the bill to be introduced this spring. They joined Gascon, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and other authorities who have been demanding that manufacturers create kill switches to combat surging smartphone theft across the country.

Leno called on the wireless industry to step up as smartphone robberies have surged to an all-time high in California.

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