All posts tagged: business

Parking Garage Fire Destroys Roughly 1,400 Cars in U.K.

London (AP) — An estimated 1,400 cars were destroyed in a huge fire that raged through a multi-story parking garage in the northern English city of Liverpool.

The fire next to Liverpool's Echo Arena also threatened horses that were stabled in the garage for performances at the Liverpool International Horse Show.

The horses were moved to safety inside the arena. The popular horse show was canceled because of the fire, which was brought under control early Monday morning. The charred remains of ruined vehicles were visible in the seven stories of the parking garage.

There were no reported injuries in the blaze. Officials set up an emergency shelter to help the many people who could not get home because their cars had been burned.

Fire officials said two dogs were rescued from vehicles parked in the structure. They are believed to have been the only animals inside cars at the time.

The Echo Arena said all people and horses were safe.

Witnesses said cars seemed to explode every couple of seconds when the fire was at its peak. They said the fire appeared to start in the engine of an older Land Rover and quickly spread.

Police said initial reports indicate that an "accidental fire within a vehicle caused other cars to ignite." The blaze started Sunday afternoon.

Witness Sue Wright, who helped move some of the horses, said flames were shooting out of the Land Rover engine.

"It looked like a ball of fire on the front of the car and it was producing a lot of smoke," she said.

She said the fire was "ferocious and spreading."

Nearby apartments were evacuated because of the heavy smoke.

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    Charles Manson, Imprisoned Mass-Murdering Cult Leader, Dies

    Charles Manson, the imprisoned wild-eyed cult leader who masterminded the 1969 murders of actress Sharon Tate and six other people in Los Angeles, has died. He was 83.

    Manson died of natural causes at 8:13pm Pacific time on Nov. 19 at Kern County Hospital, according to a statement from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. He was serving a life sentence at a state prison in California.

    A career criminal, Manson persuaded a drug-induced flock of followers — the so-called Manson family — that he was the reincarnation of Jesus Christ and that they would survive and rule the world after a racial apocalypse he called “Helter Skelter.” The name came from a Beatles song he viewed as prophetic.

    Manson’s followers may have killed more than two dozen people by some reports, but criminal trials against him and his group focused on the savage killing spree that became known as the Tate-LaBianca murders.

    With a focus on killing Hollywood celebrities, Manson ordered followers Charles “Tex” Watson, Susan Atkins, Patricia “Katie” Krenwinkel and Linda Kasabian to invade a Los Angeles home on Aug. 9, 1969, and kill its occupants.

    Death Toll

    In addition to Tate, the 26-year-old pregnant wife of film director Roman Polanski, those killed from multiple stabbings and gunshots were writer and actor Wojciech “Voytek” Frykowski and his partner, the coffee bean heiress Abigail Folger; celebrity hairstylist Jay Sebring and Steven Parent, a friend of Tate’s gardener. Polanski was in London working on a film.

    Kasabian acted as the lookout and became the star witness against Manson, whose role in the killings was discovered by police while investigating other crimes. She was offered immunity for her testimony.

    The killing of Tate, who starred in films such as “Valley of the Dolls,” was particularly gruesome. She was stabbed in the stomach by Atkins despite pleas to spare her unborn child, whose delivery date was near. Atkins used Tate’s blood to write the word “pig” on the front door.

    The next night, Manson took Watson, Krenwinkel and Leslie Van Houten to the home of supermarket executive Leno LaBianca and his wife, Rosemary, who were also murdered.

    The trio stayed in the house for a while, eating food from the LaBianca’s refrigerator and playing with the couple’s dogs.

    Intended Victims

    Atkins told fellow prisoners that the Manson family planned to kill other Hollywood stars to help trigger the racial apocalypse Manson predicted. She died in a women’s prison in 2009.

    Manson’s trial began in June 1970. After a trial characterized by the giggling and grimaces of the defendants, Manson was convicted of first-degree murder in January 1971.

    He was sentenced to death. California’s supreme court later ruled capital punishment illegal, and he was re-sentenced to life imprisonment. Manson, who carved a swastika into his forehead while in prison, was denied parole more than a dozen times.

    “There’s no murder in a holy war,” he told Charlie Rose in a 1986 interview on “CBS News Nightwatch,” referring to Tate’s slaying.

    Charles Maddox, whose crazed deeds would spawn a series of books, movies and documentaries, was born Nov. 12, 1934, in Cincinnati, Ohio, to Kathleen Maddox, a 16-year-old alcoholic prostitute and Walker Scott. After her marriage to William Manson, Charles was given his step-father’s last name.

    Career Criminal

    He made a living through crime, spending half of the first 32 years of his life behind bars. Manson was put in jail for armed robbery, arson, burglary, assault, mail theft, drug possession, forgery, credit-card fraud, receiving stolen property, pimping, grand theft auto and numerous parole violations.

    After his release from prison in 1967, he became a cult guru in the San Francisco area as a prophet of the apocalypse and tried to pursue a career in music.

    He was befriended by Dennis Wilson, the drummer in the Beach Boys band. Through this association, Manson got an opportunity to audition for record producer Terry Melcher, the son of singer and actress Doris Day. Melcher, who had rejected Manson’s bid to make a record, was the previous occupant of the Los Angeles house Polanski and Tate had rented, which was the site of the first murders.

    In 1955, Manson married Rosalie Willis and had a son Charles Manson, Jr., who committed suicide in 1993. After their divorce, he married Leona Stevens and had a second son, Charles Luther Manson. He had a third son, Valentine Manson, with Manson family member Mary Brunner.

    “The name Manson has become a metaphor for evil, and evil has its allure,” the prosecutor of the Tate-La Bianca case, Vincent Bugliosi, co-wrote in the best-selling book on the Manson case, “Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders.” “Some people have the same fascination for Jack the Ripper and Hitler.”

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      Too right it’s Black Friday: our relentless consumption is trashing the planet | George Monbiot

      Growth must go on and its destroying the Earth. But theres no way of greening it. So we need a new system, writes Guardian columnist George Monbiot

      Everyone wants everything how is that going to work? The promise of economic growth is that the poor can live like the rich and the rich can live like the oligarchs. But already we are bursting through the physical limits of the planet that sustains us. Climate breakdown, soil loss, the collapse of habitats and species, the sea of plastic, insectageddon: all are driven by rising consumption. The promise of private luxury for everyone cannot be met: neither the physical nor the ecological space exists.

      But growth must go on: this is everywhere the political imperative. And we must adjust our tastes accordingly. In the name of autonomy and choice, marketing uses the latest findings in neuroscience to break down our defences. Those who seek to resist must, like the Simple Lifers in Brave New World, be silenced in this case by the media.

      With every generation, the baseline of normalised consumption shifts. Thirty years ago, it was ridiculous to buy bottled water, where tap water is clean and abundant. Today, worldwide, we use a million plastic bottles a minute.

      Every Friday is a Black Friday, every Christmas a more garish festival of destruction. Among the snow saunas, portable watermelon coolers and smartphones for dogs with which we are urged to fill our lives, my #extremecivilisation prize now goes tothe PancakeBot: a 3D batter printer that allows you to eat the Mona Lisa, theTaj Mahal, or your dogs bottom every morning. In practice, it will clog up your kitchen for a week until you decide you dont have room for it. For junk like this, were trashing the living planet, and our own prospects ofsurvival. Everything must go.

      The ancillary promise is that, through green consumerism, we can reconcile perpetual growth with planetary survival. But a series of research papers reveal there is no significant difference between the ecological footprints of people who care and people who dont. One recent article, published in the journal Environment and Behaviour, says those who identify themselves as conscious consumers use more energy and carbon than those who do not.

      Why? Because environmental awareness tends to be higher among wealthy people. It is not attitudes that govern our impact on the planet but income. The richer we are, the bigger our footprint, regardless of our good intentions. Those who see themselves as green consumers, the research found, mainly focused on behaviours that had relatively small benefits.

      I know people who recycle meticulously, save their plastic bags, carefully measure the water in their kettles, then take their holidays in the Caribbean, cancelling any environmental savings ahundredfold. Ive come to believe thatthe recycling licences their long-haul flights. It persuades people theyvegone green, enabling them to overlook their greater impacts.

      None of this means that we should not try to reduce our footprint, but we should be aware of the limits of the exercise. Our behaviour within the system cannot change the outcomes ofthe system. It is the system itself thatneedsto change.

      Research by Oxfam suggests that the worlds richest 1% (if your household has an income of 70,000 or more, this means you) produce about 175 times as much carbon as the poorest 10%. How, in a world in which everyone is supposed to aspire to high incomes, can we avoid turning the Earth, on which all prosperity depends, into a dust ball?

      By decoupling, the economists tell us: detaching economic growth from our use of materials. So how well is this going? A paper in the journal PlosOne finds that while, in some countries, relative decoupling has occurred, no country has achieved absolute decoupling during the past 50 years. What this means is that the amount of materials and energy associated with each increment of GDP might decline but, as growth outpaces efficiency, the total use of resources keeps rising. More important, the paper reveals that, in the long term, both absolute and relative decoupling from the use of essential resources is impossible, because of the physical limits of efficiency.

      A global growth rate of 3% means thatthe size of the world economy doubles every 24 years. This is why environmental crises are accelerating at such a rate. Yet the plan is to ensure that it doubles and doubles again, and keeps doubling in perpetuity. In seeking to defend the living world from the maelstrom of destruction, we might believe we are fighting corporations and governments and the general foolishness of humankind. But they are all proxies for the real issue: perpetual growth on a planet that is not growing.

      Those who justify this system insist that economic growth is essential for the relief of poverty. But a paper in the World Economic Review finds that the poorest 60% of the worlds people receive only 5% of the additional income generated by rising GDP. As a result, $111 (84) of growth is required for every $1 reduction in poverty. This is why, on current trends, it would take 200 years to ensure that everyone receives $5 a day. By this point, average per capita income will have reached $1m a year, and the economy will be 175 times bigger than it is today. This is not a formula for poverty relief. It is a formula for the destruction of everything and everyone.

      When you hear that something makes economic sense, this means it makes the opposite of common sense. Those sensible men and women who run the worlds treasuries and central banks, who see an indefinite rise in consumption as normal and necessary, are beserkers: smashing through the wonders of the living world, destroying the prosperity of future generations to sustain a set of figures that bear ever lessrelation to general welfare.

      Green consumerism, material decoupling, sustainable growth: all areillusions, designed to justify an economic model that is driving us to catastrophe. The current system, basedon private luxury and public squalor, will immiserate us all: under this model, luxury and deprivation areone beast with two heads.

      We need a different system, rootednot in economic abstractions butin physical realities, that establishthe parameters by which we judgeits health. We need to build a world in which growth is unnecessary, aworld of private sufficiency and publicluxury. And we must do it beforecatastrophe forces our hand.

      George Monbiot is a Guardian columnist

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      Death Toll Rises to 10 in California Wildfires, Officials Say

      Sonoma, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on California wildfires (all times local):

      6:45 p.m.

      Vice President Mike Pence said during a visit to California that the federal government stands ready to provide any and all assistance to the state as it deals with deadly and destructive wildfires.

      Pence's remarks came at an event Monday night in the Sacramento area after Gov. Jerry Brown, who has given disaster declarations to many parts of the state, said he asked President Donald Trump to declare a federal disaster. Pence said "we'll be working very closely with Gov. Brown and California to see you through these challenging times. We are standing with you."

      It wasn't clear whether Pence's statements meant the request from Brown and several local leaders will be met.

      The fires have destroyed at least 1,500 homes and killed at least 10 people in Northern California.


      6:05 p.m.

      The Napa Valley Vintners association says most wineries were closed Monday because of power outages, evacuation orders and the inability of employees to get to work.

      The trade association said Monday that it does not have verifiable information on winery buildings that burned down or the impact the fires would have on the 2017 harvest.

      Workers had picked most grapes for the season before fires broke out.

      The wind-driven wildfires came as Napa and Sonoma counties were finishing highly anticipated harvests of wine grapes. Workers on Monday should have been picking and processing the ripe grapes that would make chardonnay and other wines.

      At least two wineries were destroyed and many others damaged.


      5:25 p.m.

      Authorities have imposed a sunset-to-sunrise curfew in the city of Santa Rosa and say they are on the lookout for looters as firefighters battle blazes raging in California wine country.

      Acting police Chief Craig Schwartz said Monday the curfew will be enforced in a mandatory evacuation zone, with violators possibly subject to arrest.

      Other officials said they were beginning to get reports of looting in areas affected by fires.

      Santa Rosa has about 175,000 residents.


      4:55 p.m.

      Officials say at least seven more people have died in fast-moving wildfires in California wine country, bringing the total number of fatalities to 10.

      The Sonoma County Sheriff's Office tweeted Monday that seven fire-related deaths were reported from fires there.

      California fire officials reported earlier that two people died in Napa County and one died in Mendocino County.


      3:50 p.m.

      Trailer park residents in California wine country had little time to escape before flames destroyed their homes.

      Nancy Cook said Monday that her dogs alerted her to the wildfire that quickly came blowing over a hill early in the morning and ignited trees in the Journey's End trailer park in Santa Rosa.

      The fire is one of the most destructive of more than a dozen in the region.

      Cook says she pounded on neighbors' doors before fleeing with her husband, dogs and medications.

      She and other residents didn't have time to round up their cats and had to leave them behind in their haste. Some fled in their pajamas and left their wallets.

      One person had to abandon a classic hotrod car that burned.

      Cook says she thinks everyone in the over-55 community escaped, though most residents lost everything they owned.


      3:16 p.m.

      Authorities say at least half a dozen homes have burned in a fast-moving brush fire in Southern California.

      Anaheim Sgt. Daron Wyatt says the fire that broke out on Monday had stretched to about 4 square miles.

      Wyatt says the blaze has been driven westward by winds toward heavily populated areas of Orange County, prompting authorities to expand evacuations.

      Wyatt says one firefighter suffered minor injuries fighting the blaze.

      An overnight shelter has been set up at a nearby high school for evacuees.


      2:56 p.m.

      Authorities have expanded evacuations in Southern California's Orange County because of a fast-moving wildfire.

      Anaheim police Sgt. Daron Wyatt told KABC-TV on Monday that residents in the neighborhoods of Orange Park Acres, North Tustin and East Orange were also being evacuated.

      Television cameras showed homes charred by flames in the hilly area known as Anaheim Hills. At least 1,000 homes in that area were previously evacuated.

      Residents reported ash falling miles away in areas near the Pacific Coast.

      Regional authorities have issued a smoke advisory through Tuesday morning for portions of Orange and Riverside counties.


      2:20 p.m.

      Officials say a wind-driven wildfire churning through canyons in hilly neighborhoods of Southern California has burned multiple homes.

      Anaheim police Sgt. Daron Wyatt says there's still no count of the number of homes affected by Monday's blaze.

      Anaheim Fire & Rescue says the fire has grown to 2,000 acres and is being fought by 200 firefighters, six helicopters and six airplanes.

      One firefighter has been injured.

      The fire erupted during the fall's first significant blast of Santa Ana winds, which blow out of the northeast and toward the coast.

      In Northern California wine country, officials say at least one person was killed and two others were seriously injured in fast-spreading wildfires,

      At least 1,500 homes and commercial buildings have been destroyed, and 20,000 people have been evacuated.


      1:10 p.m.

      Officials say at least one person was killed and two others were seriously injured in fast-spreading wildfires in Northern California wine country.

      CalFire said Monday the death and injuries occurred in Mendocino County, one of several counties struggling to contain a total of 14 major fires burning out of control.

      Additional details were not immediately available.

      Official say high winds are hampering firefighting efforts about 140 miles (225 kilometers) north of San Francisco.


      12:41 p.m.

      A wind-driven wildfire has ignited homes in a Southern California subdivision.

      TV news helicopters over the blaze in the Anaheim hills of eastern Orange County are showing several homes fully involved and flames spreading in others Monday afternoon.

      Fire crews are scrambling to protect structures. Evacuations have been ordered for neighborhoods and two elementary schools.

      The fire erupted during the fall's first significant blast of Santa Ana winds, the seasonal gusts linked to some of the region's worst wildfires.

      In Northern California, wildfires overnight have destroyed at least 1,500 homes and commercial buildings, and 20,000 people have been evacuated.


      12:30 p.m.

      Authorities say they expect fatalities after 14 fast-moving wildfires destroyed more than 1,500 homes, department stores, hotels and other commercial structures in Northern California.

      The state's top fire officials said Monday that firefighters have focused on evacuating residents and saving lives rather than battling the blaze and protecting buildings.

      California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Director Ken Pimlott said fatalities are expected, but the fires are still out of control and it's difficult for authorities to assess the damage done and the number of people hurt and killed.

      He said about 50,000 people are without power.

      October is typically the most dangerous time for fires in the state. He said there have been 1,500 more wildfires this year than last year at this time.

      The California Highway Patrol says numerous roads are closed in the fire region, which is an eight-county swath of wine country north of San Francisco.


      12:05 p.m.

      A wind-driven wildfire is sweeping along the outskirts of a Southern California subdivision.

      The blaze erupted at late morning Monday in Anaheim and moved rapidly through hills and canyons in Orange County, about 45 miles southeast of Los Angeles.

      Authorities have ordered evacuations of neighborhoods and two elementary schools and shut down heavily traveled freeways.

      City officials could not immediately say how many people are affected.

      An evacuation center is being set up at a downtown community center. Authorities also are setting up a place for residents to evacuate their horses.

      In Northern California, firefighters are battling blazes that have destroyed at least 1,500 homes and commercial buildings.


      11:45 a.m.

      Emergency workers and staff at a state home for the severely disabled outside of Sonoma have evacuated all of about 240 patients as flames from fast-spreading wildfires approached the center and ash rained down.

      Officials at the Sonoma Developmental Center, located on 900 acres, in the town of Glen Ellen said there were no known injuries during the evacuation.

      Center spokesman Jorge Fernandez says "everybody is safe so far."

      Crews got all patients from threatened buildings as flames closed within a few dozen feet of the center's buildings.

      Many of the patients were confined to beds and wheelchairs and had breathing or feeding tubes.

      Vans and school buses were lining up to remove the last patients as workers in masks pushed frail residents in wheelchairs across parking lots and roads.


      11 a.m.

      Another wildfire has erupted in California, this time about 45 miles (72 kilometers) southeast of Los Angeles in the hill country of eastern Orange County.

      The Anaheim Fire Department says the fire erupted late Monday morning and is being pushed by 25 mph winds.

      An unknown number of people have been ordered to evacuate.

      Much of Southern California is under red flag warnings for fire danger due to the fall's first significant Santa Ana winds, the seasonal gusts linked to some of the region's worst wildfires.

      The Anaheim fire erupted as the tally from numerous fires in Northern California worsens.

      State officials say at least 1,500 homes and commercial buildings have been destroyed, and 20,000 people have been evacuated in California wine country.


      10:45 a.m.

      California's fire chief says at least 1,500 homes and commercial buildings have been destroyed in wildfires that have ripped through the state's wine country.

      He says numerous people have been injured and a number of residents are also missing as 14 large fires burn.

      California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Director Ken Pimlott say an estimated 20,000 people have been evacuated.

      He called the estimates of destroyed structures very conservative. Pimlott says the fires are burning throughout an eight-county swath of Northern California, including Napa, Sonoma and Yuba counties.

      Pimlott said most of the fires started at about 10 p.m. Sunday and their causes are under investigation. He said firefighters are concentrating on saving lives rather than battling the blazes.

      He didn't have an estimate on the number of people hurt and missing.


      10 a.m.

      More than 200 people were hurriedly evacuated from two Santa Rosa hospitals threatened by wildfires that bloomed overnight.

      Lisa Amador, a spokeswoman with Sutter Health, said around 9 a.m. that Sutter Santa Rosa Regional Hospital had finished evacuating the last of more than 80 patients in surgical, labor and emergency care.

      She says the hospital is sending staff home. Amador says the hospital and the medical office building next to it are intact, but other structures are ruined.

      Jenny Mack, a spokeswoman for Kaiser Permanente, says about 130 patients were evacuated from the Santa Rosa medical center Monday morning.

      She said all appointments and surgeries are cancelled for the day in Santa Rosa and Napa, and the KP medical offices in Napa are closed.


      9:30 a.m.

      California Gov. Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency in Napa, Sonoma and Yuba counties because of wildfires that the governor says are threatening thousands of homes.

      Brown issued the declaration on Monday, as multiple fires forced people to evacuate their homes.

      Napa County Fire Chief Barry Biermann said more than 50 structures had been destroyed, but there were no reports of injuries or deaths.

      Residents describe terrifying middle-of-the-night scrambles to flee from raging wildfires.

      Biermann says the fires had burned more than 68 square miles (176sq. kilometers).


      8:55 a.m.

      Residents in Napa and Sonoma counties are describing their terrifying middle-of-the-night scramble to flee from raging wildfires.

      Terri Ruttledge, who lives on Adobe Canyon in Kenwood, just made it out before the fire burned her house.

      Ruttledge says she looked out her window and saw the mountain across the road on fire. When she couldn't reach 911, she quickly loaded up the car and fled.

      Mandatory evacuations were ordered after blazes broke out late Sunday.

      Napa County Board of Supervisors chairwoman Belia Ramos says officials do not yet have a count on how many properties have been affected in the 20,000 acre (8,100 hectare) fire.

      She says the wind gusts were tremendous and made the fire unpredictable.

      Fires also burned just to the east in the Napa County wine country as well as in Yuba, Butte and Nevada counties.


      6:07 a.m.

      Residents of Northern California wine country are describing harrowing escapes from wind-whipped wildfires.

      Marian Williams says she caravanned with neighbors through flames early Monday as one of several fires reached the vineyards and ridges of the small Sonoma County town of Kenwood.

      Williams says she could feel the heat as trees turned into torches.

      The fires are being fanned by strong, dry and gusty winds raking the region.


      1:53 a.m.

      Firefighters are battling several wind-whipped fires that forced evacuations of rural neighborhoods in Northern California.

      The Press Democrat reports ( ) that mandatory evacuations were ordered after a blaze broke out late Sunday near Santa Rosa, which is 54 miles (87 kilometers) north of San Francisco.

      The Sonoma County Sheriff's Office says deputies were dispatched to help firefighters and California Highway Patrol officers with evacuations.

      Multiple fires broke out Sunday night as strong winds buffeted the area. Emergency lines were inundated with callers reporting smoke in the area.

      Downed trees were blocking parts of one rural road and fires were burning on both sides of Highway 12 as gusts reached up to 60 mph (96.5 kph).

      Cal Fire says firefighters were battling a 200-acre (80.9-hectare) fire in Napa County.

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        11 TEDx talks on failure you need to watch right now

        Image: drogatnev/getty images

        Hide. Run. Bury. Welcome to the 21st century’s default approach to failure. Sure, we enshrine motivational mottos like “Fail fast, fail often,” but moving those sentiments into our hearts is anything but easy.

        Pride dogs us. Ego protests. And the pain of disappointment — not to mention the pain of embarrassment — can be overwhelming. While a few brave souls confide their losses to trusted friends, the one thing we never do is share our failures to be recorded and watched in perpetuity.

        Maybe we should.

        Long-term success comes from embracing our failures, not denying them. And the bigger the stage, the better the embrace. As proof, here are 11 TEDx Talks — “x” meaning independently organized, so there’s a good chance you haven’t seen them yet — to help you transform your failures.

        1. Why you should let your fears guide you

        From homeless and suicidal to an internationally recognized branding expert, Leonard Kim’s 2017 presentation at UC Irvine doesn’t shy away from the dark side of failure. The twist, however, isn’t so much about being led into the light. Instead, it’s about the positive role fear can in those moments of darkness as well as life itself.

        “It was then I decided to end it all. I wrote a letter and said goodbye, but was too scared to send it to my grandmother, and too scared to send it to my mom; so I sent it to my former girlfriend, and surprisingly, that letter was the thing that changed my life.”

        2. Risk you!

        Far from a listless 20-something, Isvari Mohan has more accomplishments than people twice her age. She’s a graduate of Georgetown Law, former columnist at the Boston Globe, and published novelist. And yet, in opposition to hard-and-fast plans about who you want to be, Isvari’s “Risk You!” is a love letter to embrace experimentation, changing passions, and the unknown.

        “Risk is hope we’re acting on now. It’s not the payoff that makes us happy. It’s not what we’re going to get at the end. It’s the risk. It’s the hope that maybe there’ll be a payoff and the adrenaline that maybe we’re gonna fail.”

        3. Upwardly mobile

        Diagnosed with a rare form of dwarfism at two years old, Brandon Farbstein’s 3’ 8” stature is only a small part of his story. As a teenager, Brandon’s doctor recommended he begin using a wheelchair or scooter. “I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life,” recalls Brandon, “having to constantly look up at people. Well, more than I have to already.” So instead, he turned to social media where he found not only the funds to design his own mobility device, but a calling that would shape his personal and professional future.

        “Don’t let other people, even a doctor, dictate the experience you’re going to have. Take the advice you need, then have the courage to innovate your own solution.”

        4. Why I read a book a day (and why you should too)

        “It’s good to learn from your mistakes,” said Warren Buffett, “it’s better to learn from other people’s mistakes.” Tai Lopez embodies both of those principles. Mixing his own failures with hard-won lessons from others, Tai majors on shortcutting life’s the learning curve by investing in mentors, whether in person or on a page.

        “I wrote a letter to the smartest person I could think of, my grandfather, and I was like, ‘Will you tell me how to design my life?’ Three days later, I got this letter back, ‘Sorry, Tai, I can’t help you. The modern world is too complicated. You will never find all the answers from just one person. If you’re lucky a handful of people along the way will point the way.’ So much for my shortcut, but seven days later a package came. It was books.”

        5. Are you biased? I am.

        As the Global Head of Human Resources for Roche Diagnostics in Switzerland, Kristen Pressner is the last person you’d expect to harbor prejudice. It turns out, that unlikeness is what makes Kristen’s admission — an “unconscious bias” that women make better supporters than providers — so raw and impactful. Moreover, her honesty offers a way forward for others struggling with the same hurdles.

        “I have a bias against women leaders. I have a bias against myself.” 

        6. The golden age of social entrepreneurship

        Don’t let this talk’s title or introduction fool you. While Manu Goswami — an immigrant from Singapore and one of Canada’s Top 20 Under 20 — digs deep into the future of social entrepreneurship, the heart of his message centers on the struggles of being singled out as “different.” Citing a lifelong speech impediment, Manu’s story highlights the power of rejection, empathy, and getting back up.

        “In no way do I consider myself an anomaly or an exception to the rule. I am the rule.”

        7. Why smart is messed up

        Most people wouldn’t turn to a high schooler for child care recommendations. But, then again, Noa Mintz isn’t your typical high schooler. The teenage founder of Nannies By Noa — now one of New York’s largest child care placement agencies — traces her atypical roots back to a pivotal conversation that redefined the meaning of “smart.” Rather than look to traditional sources like grades and popularity, Noa found it in the very place most of us would never think to look.

        “The principle of my middle school saw the potential I had before I even saw it. One day he said to me, ‘Fail forward.’ I was so desperate for advice I took it, and it stuck with me.”

        8. Borderline millennial disorder

        Next to suicide or physical maladies, struggling with social media can sound trite. But Ryan Foland, an international speaker and communication strategist, found that his difficulty connecting online represented something larger. Ryan’s passion for sharing his insights was hindered by minimal experience with the technology most Millennials navigate natively. His solution deftly mixes humor with practical steps for overcoming that disconnect.

        “Some days I feel like a Gen X and some days like a Millennial, so I did some soul searching and searching online, and it turns out I have borderline millennial disorder.”

        9. Reprogramming your brain to overcome fear

        Is it possible to change your brain’s fundamental response to fear? CEO of OL Consulting, rocket scientist, and “modern-day ‘Hidden Figure,’” Olympia LePoint, says yes. How? It starts with naming your fears, training your brain to “flip” them — i.e., to replace negative self-talk with positive — and then rebuilding your brain’s neurological pathways by taking action in direct opposition. 

        “The truth is this: if we do not have a way to reprogram our minds to overcome fear, we will never be successful at our own missions in life.”

        10. Stoic optimism

        From a revolt under Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius to a fire that destroyed most of Thomas Edison’s factory, history’s most significant achievers have all faced equally significant obstacles. And that’s profoundly good news. Why? Because as Ryan Holiday points outs in case after case after case, life isn’t defined by what happens to us, but by how we respond.

        “What blocked your path is now the path. What once impeded action, advances action. The obstacle is the way.” 

        11. 100 days without fear

        What do spiders, stand-up comedy, and quitting your job all have in common? They’re just three of the 100 fears Michelle Poler decided to face in her journey to understand fear itself. In addition to unearthing seven core fears behind the rest, Michelle’s final takeaway is perhaps the most powerful we’ve seen so far … and the perfect note to end on.

        “After facing 100 fears, not even one time was the actual challenge worse than what I had in my head before. So WTF are we so afraid of?”

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