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A Healing Fix From the Eclipse?

Geography, psychology and history suggest the total solar eclipse August 21, in addition to offering rare fascination for astronomers and sky watchers, could also provide opportunity for national healing in a time of partisan discord, science writer David Baron says. Baron, who is an eclipse fanatic himself, wrote the book "American Eclipse: A Nation's Epic Race To Catch The Shadow Of The Moon And Win The Glory Of The World."It's a fascinating story of the total eclipse of 1878, a year when the U.S. [...]

2017-08-17T19:15:14-04:00Complexity Matters Posts|

Improvisation: The Most Complex Human Ability?

What goes on in the brains of jazz musicians at work? "When Melody Takes a Detour, the Science Begins," a New York Times story by Pam Belluck, captures the thoughts of musicians and scholars who are looking at the importance of music in human development, cognition and communication. One of the ways music touches us, apparently, is by its tonal and rhythmic patterns. We like familiar and predictable patterns, but we also like a certain amount of surprise. Brain imaging studies [...]

Values, Culture and Learning Climate Science  

If students come from families who are deeply skeptical about climate change, how can a teacher provide instruction on climate science while simultaneously acknowledging their values? The Idaho State Legislature in February voted to eliminate reference to climate sciencefrom the state's new science curriculum. Surveys show fewer than half the adults in Kootenai County, where Coeur D'Alene's Lake City High School is located, think that humans contribute to global warming. A Washington Post story by Sarah Kaplandescribes how one Lake City science [...]

2017-09-13T19:11:18-04:00Complexity Matters Posts|

Biology & Education Out of Sync for Teens

'Their Body Clocks are in Some Time Zone West of Us' When children enter puberty, their circadian rhythms change, which means early school start times maybe turning many of them into sleep-deprived zombies prone to moodiness and sub-par academic performance. As long schools start when kids need to be asleep, says sleep researcher Mary Carskadon, teenagers on average may be consigned to “social jet lag” in which the timing of life is not the timing of their bodies. Carskadon is [...]

It’s Only Weird the first Time: How Curiosity and Courage Expand Possibility!

During the week, Dr. Michelle Carnes is a public health anthropologist in American Indian and LGBTQ youth suicide prevention, cultural preservation and restoration.  On weekends, she eats fire. And escapes rope ties. And swallows swords. Michelle Carnes' evolution to professional sideshow stuntress is rooted in her own resolve to conquer fear. At first, it's hard to get past the fear, she said. "When the fire is coming at your face, a part of you says this is a bad idea. [...]

What is Adaptive Positive Deviance?

Adaptive Positive Deviance is a powerful way to make big improvements through small (and maybe a few large) changes.  For over a decade,  Plexus Institute has helped guide organizations and communities to see, understand and address the "sticky" and complex issues hampering success. Plexus's work emphasizes practical methods and practices that are based on principles of complexity to disrupt the status quo and find solutions. Adaptive Positive Deviance (APD) The  Adaptive Positive Deviance framework is a powerful Catalyst to help [...]

‘Works of Bricolage,’ Sideshows, and Survival

'Works of Bricolage,' Sideshows, and Survival When Lucille Conlin Horn was born in 1920, a fragile infant weighing only two pounds, she was not expected to live. Her twin sister died. But Lucille Horn did live for nearly a century, with a career, marriage and five children. Her survival is part of an extraordinary story of the wonderful, surprising and sometimes wrenching ways that innovations are introduced, resisted, and travel in unexpectedly circuitous routes before eventual adoption. In the late 1870s, a [...]

2017-09-14T12:13:49-04:00Complexity Matters Posts|

Why Does Complexity Matter?

When the solutions to complex problems transcend traditional questions and answers! Plexus Institute was founded with the purpose to address real-world challenges through the understanding, advancement and diffusion of ideas and practices rooted in the principles of complexity. The original mission chosen by the founders of Plexus Institute was inspired by the rapid pace of complex systems science and the slow pace of converting those discoveries into practical applications. By remaining dedicated to fostering profound and positive impact through the application [...]