Drops from the Fire Hose – October 23, 2012

The Very Best Time To Book Airline Tickets, According To Kayak — The Huffington Post

Sifting through an average of 100 million queries per month from January to December 2011, the search site says fliers looking for the best prices should book exactly 21 days prior to departure.

Book in that sweet spot, Kayak says, and you’ll pay the domestic average of $342 a ticket — versus the $370 you’d pay on average for a ticket booked six months out.

For international trips, that prime booking window shifts to 34 days prior to departure, with average prices at $977 instead of $1,016 for travelers planning six months ahead.

Teaching the Teacher a Lesson — The Chronicle of Higher Education

When Professor Hades and his sycophants started their bonding ritual in your seminar, you could of course have jumped up and shouted, “You ignorant pigs! You perverts! You spawn of Satan!” That would have been very satisfying (Ms. Mentor glows at the thought), but it would just turn the group against you.

To change people’s behavior, one needs a different set of rules and expectations. Different rules may not change people’s hearts, but they will make people act with civility. As Martin Luther King Jr. said, in so many words, “It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me; religion and education will have to do that. But if it keeps him from lynching me, and I think that’s pretty important also.”

If You’re Too Busy to Meditate, Read This — Lifehacker

When I sat down to meditate this morning, relaxing a little more with each out-breath, I was successful in letting all my concerns drift away. My mind was truly empty of everything that had concerned it before I sat. Everything except the flow of my breath. My body felt blissful and I was at peace.

For about four seconds.

Within a breath or two of emptying my mind, thoughts came flooding in—nature abhors a vacuum. I felt an itch on my face and wanted to scratch it. A great title for my next book popped into my head and I wanted to write it down before I forgot it. I thought of at least four phone calls I wanted to make and one difficult conversation I was going to have later that day. I became anxious, knowing I only had a few hours of writing time. What was I doing just sitting here? I wanted to open my eyes and look at how much time was left on my countdown timer. I heard my kids fighting in the other room and wanted to intervene.

Here’s the key though: I wanted to do all those things, but I didn’t do them. Instead, every time I had one of those thoughts, I brought my attention back to my breath.

Sometimes, not following through on something you want to do is a problem, like not writing that proposal you’ve been procrastinating on or not having that difficult conversation you’ve been avoiding.

But other times, the problem is that you do follow through on something you don’t want to do. Like speaking instead of listening or playing politics instead of rising above them.

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