Currently viewing the tag: "communication"

A finger across the throat and a glance seaward. That’s the signal. –First Australians by Michael Finkel, National Geographic, June 2013

Fiction Writing Prompt: Use the prompt as a starting point to a story.

Journaling Prompt: How do you communicate with your family using non-verbal signals?

Art Prompt: The Signal

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the importance of non-verbal communication.

Photo Credit: Ryan Sims on Flickr

crickets n
  • […] (US, slang, humorous) Used alone or in metaphorically descriptive phrases: absolute silence; no communication.

Fiction Writing Prompt: Use the word of the week in whatever you write today.

Journaling Prompt: Write about a time when you didn’t get the reaction you expected.

Art Prompt: Crickets

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt:Use the word of the week in your article or speech.

Photo Credit: Patrik Theander on Flickr


The truth is being suppressed across the world using a variety of methods, according to a special report in the 250th issue of Index on Censorship magazine.

Physical violence is not the only method being used to stop news being published, says editor Rachael Jolley in the Danger in Truth: Truth in Danger report. As well as kidnapping and murders, financial pressure and defamation legislation is being used, the report reveals.

“In many countries around the world, journalists have lost their status as observers and now come under direct attack.”

There’s an increasing trend to label journalists as “extremists” or “terrorists” so governments can crackdown on reporting they don’t like. According to Index’s Mapping Media Freedom project, which tracks attacks on journalists in more than 40 countries, 35 incidents were reported where journalists were being linked to “extremism” to restrict reporting, 11 in Russia and others in Belgium, Hungary, France and Spain. –Science Daily

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story set in a society oppressed by censorship.

Journaling Prompt: What kind of news do you feel is being suppressed where you live? Why do you feel this?

Art Prompt: Censorship

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the current state of censorship.

Photo Credit: Tim Watson on Flickr


Infidelity can lead to relationship dissatisfaction and breakdown, though in some cases the problems may be caused by the different ways in which individuals define infidelity. The authors, based in the USA, sought to better understand potential perceptions of infidelity. They found that “women were more likely than men to identify both sexual-based and emotion-based acts as constituting infidelity.”…

The authors suggest that their finding that women were more likely to identify certain acts as infidelity is unsurprising given that the women scored higher than the men on measures of ‘communion’ — “the extent to which a person wants to form and maintain positive interpersonal bonds.” –Science Daily

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story where the conflict derives from a difference in opinion on what constitutes infidelity.

Journaling Prompt: How do you define infidelity? What are your expectations for your partner’s behavior?

Art Prompt: Infidelity

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the difference between how men and women perceive infidelity.

Photo Credit: cometstarmoon on Flickr

monday genghis khan

Distrust is the main reason why leaders impose punishments on the people over whom they have power. This is clearly demonstrated by Marlon Mooijman’s PhD research. ‘Leaders expect other people not to obey the rules, and punish them on the basis of this distrust.’ Ironically, it turns out that these punishments are not very effective and perhaps even exacerbate the situation, continues Mooijman. ‘When people feel distrusted, they are less likely to obey the rules. They see this assumption on the part of the leaders as a sign of disrespect. It also violates an implicit social contract: ‘If you treat me well, I will act accordingly.’ –Science Daily

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the story of someone working under a distrustful, cruel leader.

Journaling Prompt: How do you react to a leader who punishes you?

Art Prompt: Distrust

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about leadership styles and how they affect the people being led.

Photo Credit: SS&SS on Flickr

friday newspeak

newspeak n
  • A mode of talk by politicians and officials using ambiguous words to deceive the listener.

Fiction Writing Prompt: Use the word of the week in whatever you write today.

Journaling Prompt: How do you feel about politicians and officials using newspeak?

Art Prompt: Newspeak

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt:Use the word of the week in your article or speech.

Photo Credit: enchantiva on Flickr

Saturday Receptionist

It’s only seven o’clock on Monday morning, and already all five lines in the office are ringing off the hook or blinking on hold. –Vampire Dental, Veneers by Delaney Rhodes

Fiction Writing Prompt: Use the first line of the week as the starting point or inspiration for a scene, story, poem, or haiku.

Journaling Prompt: Does a ringing phone excite you or make you cringe? Why?

Art Prompt: Operator

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell a humorous story about a phone mishap.

Photo Credit: rajomo1 on Flickr


In February 1825, [Samuel] Morse was in Washington, D.C. He was an itinerant painter, a good one, but he wasn’t making a solid living with his art. At age 34, he was older than his heroes had been when they created their masterpieces. Morse had traveled to Washington to pursue what could’ve been his big break: The city of New York promised him a $1,000 commission to paint Marquis de Lafayette, who was returning as a hero to the country he helped make free.

“We must begin to feel proud of your acquaintance,” Morse’s wife, Lucretia, wrote to him from their home in New Haven, Connecticut, a four-day trip away. She was expecting their third child. “I think now that we can indulge a rational hope that the time is not very far distant when you can be happy in the bosom of your much loved family,” she wrote.

And Morse indulged that hope. As he worked in Washington, he wrote to Lucretia, “I long to hear from you.”
But he wouldn’t hear from her. Lucretia, at the time Morse wrote to her, was dead. –The Heartbreak That May Have Inspired the Telegraph by Gabe Bullard

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story about an invention inspired by a strong emotion.

Journaling Prompt: What would you invent in order to feel closer to someone you love?

Art Prompt: Telegraph

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience a story about Samuel Morse.


The Voynich manuscript is an illustrated codex hand-written in an unknown writing system. The vellum on which it is written has been carbon-dated to the early 15th century (1404–1438), and it may have been composed in Northern Italy during the Italian Renaissance. The manuscript is named after Wilfrid Voynich, a Polish book dealer who purchased it in 1912.

Some of the pages are missing, with around 240 still remaining. The text is written from left to right, and most of the pages have illustrations or diagrams.

The Voynich manuscript has been studied by many professional and amateur cryptographers, including American and British codebreakers from both World War I and World War II. No one has yet succeeded in deciphering the text, and it has become a famous case in the history of cryptography. The mystery of the meaning and origin of the manuscript has excited the popular imagination, making the manuscript the subject of novels and speculation. –Wikipedia

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story inspired by an ancient manuscript that cannot be decoded.

Journaling Prompt: Have you ever created a code for your journals? If so, why? If not, is there a circumstance when you might?

Art Prompt: Voynich Manuscript

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the history of the Voynich Manuscript and include your speculation about the mysteries it might reveal.

Photo Credit: Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library on Wikimedia


To adapt that old African proverb—“it takes a village to raise a child”—it seems to take a city to raise a genius. They are also places in time. Both come together to produce a bumper crop of brilliant minds. It almost always happens after some major cataclysm or disruption or cultural earthquake, whether it’s the plague, like in Renaissance Florence, or losing your political independence, like Scotland before the Enlightenment. They also don’t last long: a couple decades, maybe a century. Then they are extinguished, like a candle blown out…

The coffee houses of Vienna is the prime example of what’s known as a “third place,” home being the first place and work being the second place. The third is a place where you feel comfortable. People from all different walks of life go there and conversation is unstructured and flowing. You saw this in the Vienna of 1900. The coffee houses were like idea factories. Freud had his favorite coffee house; Gustav Klimt, the painter, had his. Entire movements were launched from the coffeehouse. In Scotland, they had all these clubs where they did an awful lot of drinking. Some people joke that the Scottish Enlightenment should really be called the “Scotch Enlightenment.” –Can the Right Geographic Conditions Help Create Geniuses? by Simon Worrall

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the story of a city that raises a generation of geniuses.

Journaling Prompt: If you could travel back in time to talk to any genius, who would you pick and why?

Art Prompt: City of Geniuses

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about a city that spawned a generation of geniuses.

Photo Credit: Davide D’Amico on Flickr