Geniuses, a better toilet in space and more

I usually write my “favorite stories from last month” wrapup on the first Sunday of each month, but last week I felt compelled to write about voting and common decency.

Now that we at least have results from the election, it’s back to regularly scheduled programming with my favorite SmartBrief stories from October.


Geniuses, a better toilet in space and more

I always look forward to hearing about the newest group of MacArthur Fellowship winners. There were 21 winners this year. I enjoy the challenge of trying to squeeze as much information as possible about such accomplished people into our two-sentence summaries (as you can see, in this case I added a rare third sentence to try to give more winners their due). These people are in good company, with one of the many accomplished alumni being Lin-Manuel Miranda (class of 2015).

Business Transformation SmartBrief

Geniuses, a better toilet in space and more

A Black-owned bank gave Ryan Williams an opportunity when many other potential financiers had turned him down. Here, he discusses why it’s so important to provide capital to companies owned by Black people and explains why that correlates to reducing racial disparities.

International City/County Management Association

Geniuses, a better toilet in space and more

This flood-protection system in Venice has come up in SmartBrief before. They were put to the test for the first time, and worked (for the most part), leading one business owner to say she was “somewhere between incredulous and happy when it worked.” Maybe it would have been a more dramatic story if it had failed, but 2020 needs some success stories and I’m happy this system protected businesses and a vulnerable city.

National Association of Social Workers

Geniuses, a better toilet in space and more

We had so many great stories in this newsletter last month. We discussed the elections, challenges of the pandemic, an asexual person’s take on life and more. However, I have a soft spot for farmer mental health, owing in part to having worked on the Crop Insurance SmartBrief before I was an editor. I’m always happy when we can share a story that can help fortify a farmer or help a social worker be prepared to serve someone in that profession.

National Emergency Number SmartBrief

Geniuses, a better toilet in space and more

The Journal of Emergency Dispatch has such informative articles about the profession. This one, “You Drive the Incident,” was no exception. The author explains how the way a dispatcher modulates their voice can make a notable difference in how a call goes. She also recommends dispatchers listen to themselves on a recording. Do any of us like listening to ourselves? I don’t particularly love it, but when I’ve forced myself to do it when preparing a speech, etc., it has helped me to a better job. I’m sure the same is true for dispatchers.

Reserve Officers Association

Geniuses, a better toilet in space and more

This article itself is nice, with its focus on holistic health. What caught my attention, though, was the inclusion (for the first time) of postpartum health considerations.

Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Honor Society

Geniuses, a better toilet in space and more

I’m pretty excited that female astronauts finally have a toilet that is more tailored to their needs. Space is a pretty bad place to have an uncomfortable experience in that area of life.

UN Wire

Geniuses, a better toilet in space and more

This was a brief mention from a newsletter standpoint, but I was drawn to the fact that India and Pakistan cooperated to undertake “control operations” to prevent locust infestations. The two countries have a tense relationship, so this was heartening news. What if countries (and individuals) took account more often of the risks faced by being stubborn and found a way to come together?

The STEM Summit is a wrap!

On October 22, I had the opportunity to be a part of SmartBrief’s STEM Education Pathways Summit. Our speakers included Nadia Lopez, author of “The Bridge to Brilliance,” who opened a school in Brooklyn that made an incredible difference in its students’ lives. I got to moderate two sessions and help with the social media of the day’s other sessions. It was such a joy to work on this with my colleagues and to virtually meet so many fantastic educators among the 1,000+ participants. You can access the recordings on-demand by visiting this link.

Geniuses, better toilets in space and more
Geniuses, a better toilet in space and more

About working at Future/SmartBrief

Each month, I share the open positions at SmartBrief and Future for anyone who is interested in being a part of finding and sharing stories through business-to-business newsletters.

wrote in more detail about my experience as a SmartBrief employee here, which may help answer any questions you have. As always, I’m happy to answer inquiries and provide more information about the process.

Open positions at SmartBrief and Future plc can be found at this link. If you are interested in applying and have questions, please email me so we can discuss further.

Here are a few of the most recent US-based positions that have been advertised:

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To subscribe to one (or more) SmartBrief newsletters, including the “end of the work day” While You Were Working, for which I am a contributing editor, click here. We’re also still producing a brief specific to COVID-19 on Tuesdays, and you can subscribe to it here.

If you aren’t in a subscribing mood, you can still keep up with us at the site of our parent company, Future; on FacebookSmartBrief TwitterLeadership SmartBrief TwitterLinkedIn and SmartBrief Instagram.

3 thoughts on “Geniuses, a better toilet in space and more

  1. Just the positive read I needed today, Paula!
    I love it when the MacArthur Fellowship winners are announced. It always makes me realize that, with the nasty news going on in the forefront, there is always good news carrying on in the background!

  2. Pingback: It was smart not to cancel - Big Green PenBig Green Pen

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