Lego evolution

Three things you'll learn this week:

1. If you're feeling overwhelmed by 10 am, it's all in your head. And by head, we mean the chemicals floating around in your cranium. Neuroscientist Daniel Levitin explains that every decision we make uses glucose in the brain — and biologically, our brain can't tell the difference between trivial choices and big decisions.

2. Charles Darwin didn't want to disappoint his wife. Darwin held on to his theory for 20 years after he returned from sea, concerned not only about the broader scientific community, but also his devout missus and her concerns about life in the hereafter.

3. Techies eat their own dog food, and so should Congress. At least according to writer Clive Thompson. He explains that the reason startups have such success is because they go through a process of actually using their own products and working out the kinks.

Danbo with presents

Here are three things to know about our holiday show:

1. Retailers are hunkering down in “Amazon war rooms” to fend off the online giant. But that may not be enough to save them, according to CNBC's Courtney Reagan and Howard Anderson of Harvard Business School.

2. Going clubbing? Downtown haunts will soon be located next to a runway. Cities of the future are being built around airports, says John Kasarda, author of “Aerotropolis."

3. People may love peppermint mochas, but they don’t really like opera music in the morning. Historian Nancy Koehn explains how Starbucks changed culture – and why, early on, CEO Howard Schultz had more failures than successes. 

Charles Darwin research station

Scientists often live by the mantra “publish or perish.” But one young naturalist kept a revolutionary theory to himself for 20 years. When Charles Darwin finally shared his findings, he faced tremendous criticism, says Sean B. Carroll, the author of The Making of the Fittest. Read More...

dog and spilled food

The term “eating your own dog food” comes from programmers who force themselves to use the programs they create; that’s how the bugs get worked out. According to technology writer Clive Thompson, politicians should take a cue from the tech world – and live by their own policies. Read More...

Deluged by a wave of numbers

Technology is transforming the environment faster than our brains can keep up. The consequences for productivity and creativity are serious, says Daniel J. Levitin, a neuroscientist and author of The Organized Mind. Read More...

colorful thread

Without the money to attend medical school, one inventor instead developed a futuristic – and life-saving – material. Read More...

woman with I voted sticker

People think their political beliefs are fair and benefit society. In reality, though, most political views are driven by self-interest – even when we don’t realize it – says Robert Kurzban, co-author of The Hidden Agenda of the Political Mind. Read More...

Rockky pose on steps

Here are three things to know about this week's show:

1. Spilling intimate details online was nearly impossible in 1994. Blogging pioneer Justin Hall reflects on his early days of over-sharing, and what blogging will look like for the next 20 years.

2. EKGs and cancer diagnostics are going the way of at-home pregnancy tests. The shift toward testing ourselves is a big part of the future of medicine.

3. CEOs agree – they’re getting paid a ridiculous amount. And cutting CEO compensation likely wouldn't  diminish management quality, says Roger Martin, author of “Playing to Win."

EKG read out

Home pregnancy tests have been used for years – but in the near future we could be diagnosing dozens of diseases, from cancer to AIDS, in the privacy of our own homes. Dr. Eugene Chan and Professor Andrew Ellington discuss what that means for doctors, patients, and health care costs. Read More...

Lego businessman

The most important asset a company has in today’s world is the creative power of its workers. But that talent economy might not last forever, warns Roger Martin, author of Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works. Read More...

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