Building Blocks

Robert Sturgeon
Wisdom compounds. Weekly shorts on history, science and nature.
Created 17 Jan 2021
  • When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?
    19 Nov 2021 • 2 min read • 7 0
    “O sleep, O gentle sleep, Nature’s soft nurse” - William Shakespear, Henry IV We spend roughly a third of our lives sleeping. I’m in my mid-thirties, so that means I have spent over a decade of my lif...
  • Courage on the Railroad: The life of a heroine
    05 Nov 2021 • 5 min read • 9 0
    I recently learned about a woman with an extraordinary story. She seems to be well-known in the US, but for some reason, her renown has not spread internationally in the same way as that of other Amer...
  • An ode to fertilizer
    29 Oct 2021 • 3 min read • 13 2
    If you dig a little, there is an interesting story behind everything. When I was a kid, my father (an avid gardener) took my brother and me along on his frequent trips to the garden nursery. As you en...
  • How to stop arguing like an idiot
    22 Oct 2021 • 2 min read • 18 0
    This week I intended on sending you something I wrote about dealing with shame. But after toiling and struggling with the article, I realised that my argument was fundamentally flawed. So, I had to st...
  • Parkinson's Law: An antidote to long meetings
    15 Oct 2021 • 1 min read • 10 0
    “Geez, I love meetings! If only they could go on for longer.” - No one in the world, ever. The biggest downside of work from home has been the explosion in meetings (important disclaimer: in general, ...
  • The End of History Illusion
    17 Sep 2021 • 1 min read • 11 0
    Since the birth of our baby boy a couple of months ago, I’ve been thinking about the future a lot. I’m intrigued by what the world he grows up in will look like. Will China be the global leader in the...
  • What made Winston Churchill one of history's greatest orators?
    10 Sep 2021 • 4 min read • 16 2
    Image source: I’m yet to find a historical figure that fascinates me more than Winston Churchill. He was a family man and a statesman. He was a prisoner of war during the Second Anglo-Bo...
  • Who needs Elon Musk if we have Dr Patrick Soon-Shiong?
    03 Sep 2021 • 5 min read • 10 0
    I expect the same is true for most nations, but South Africans thrive on stories of their fellow countrymen and women conquering the world. From the entertainment world, people like Charlize Theron an...
  • The Weakness of Strength Theory
    27 Aug 2021 • < 1 min read • 10 0
    After the lengthy articles of my 9/11 series, I’m keeping things short this week. I discovered The Weakness of Strength Theory while browsing The School of Life, an online treasure trove of articles a...
  • Part 4: September 11, 2001
    20 Aug 2021 • 12 min read • 7 2
    This is part 4 of The Four Planes, a 4-part series that pieces together the events that led to 9/11. Today’s story revisits the astonishing events that unfolded on arguably the most infamous date in h...
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