Day: March 19, 2012

“Imagine: How Creativity Works” by Jonah Lehrer

“Imagine: How Creativity Works” by Jonah Lehrer c.2012, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt $26.00 256 pages   By TERRI SCHLICHENMEYER The painting you hung on the wall near your desk relaxes you. Looking at it reminds you of a happy memory, and you wonder how the artist managed to create such a vivid emotion with colored goo.  It’s pretty amazing, and it makes you wish you could paint like that. You’re a hands-on person. You do, you don’t make. Still, you wonder if it’s possible to tap into some innate, unknown talent, maybe even one with a brush. Better yet, how do you free your employees and co-workers to use their imaginations?  In the new book “Imagine: How Creativity Works” by Jonah Lehrer, you’ll find out how Pixar, 3M, Google, Bob Dylan, and others do it. Every creative moment starts with a problem. Think, for instance, about the last time you had an equipment breakdown. It happened on a weekend, of course, and it frustrated you beyond all measure. You tinkered around until you were about to break down yourself when an exquisite “AHA!” moment dawned. Aha! An unconventional, get-you-through-the-weekend fix. Lehrer says that the most creative moments arrive when you’ve stopped searching for answers, when you “sleep on it,” or when you’ve decided that the situation isn’t fixable. That’s because, like a petulant toddler, your left brain struggles and gets...

Read More

After year in Kuwait, local guardsman treasures silence

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes Before the interview begins, Chief Warrant Officer 4 Rick Breen takes a moment to greet the office cats. Most people do, but there’s more to this than the average greeting. He picks up the all-black one with six toes and holds her for a minute lingering in the small pleasure not granted during his time in the Middle East. “You’re the first cat I’ve held since before I left,” he tells her, wanting her to understand the significance of the role she’s playing in his re-acclimation to “normal” life. It’s a life without the constant presence of humming generators, rumbling convoys and aircraft spinning up or down before and after flight. “The silence is strange,” he said. Breen spent the past year at Udairi Airfield in Kuwait. His last trip home made headlines throughout the state. He surprised his son, Lukas, at his graduation from McNary High School in June. Breen traveled more than 11,600 miles in a whirlwind trip to take part in the ceremony. Lukas had no idea his father would be waiting to greet him as he crossed the stage. A video of the reunion has been viewed more than 50,000 times on YouTube. While the trip granted him the opportunity to take part in a momentous occasion in his son’s life, he knew he would be going back...

Read More

Cinderella is all grown up in new McNary play

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes Cinderella is one of those fairy tales that typically gets relegated to the nostalgia for true love never-ending, but the McNary High School drama department will shake off the dust and bring the tale to life in a new form this week with the debut of Cindy Ella’s Going to the Ball, Baby. Celt Melissa Humphries, who plays fairy godmother Big Mama, believes audiences are in for a treat. “I want them to experience a classic that we grew up with in a different way. I want them to reminisce about the story they knew and then grow up with it a little bit,” Humphries said. “Cindy Ella is grown up now and she’s got her own thing.” Shows are slated March 16-17 and March 22-24. Curtain time is 7 p.m. each day. Tickets are $5 and are available at the door. The story is a updated take on the classic tale, in which few things are precisely what they seem. “If you look for example at the evil stepmother and stepsisters, they’re all glamour, all pink and yet they’re horrible, evil people who no one wants to be around. By the same token, you have Cindy Ella who is a good person and has the same trouble connecting with other people,” said Gabe Kenny, director of the play and a student...

Read More