Think Fast: The Quick Mind of “Ricochet Rick”


RICHARD “RICOCHET RICK” MAGILLICUTTY was definitely a thinker. The problem was, one moment he might be thinking about String Theory, and the next about String Cheese. Whatever was on his mind at the moment was exactly that, on his mind for just that moment. Conversation was impossible, as no sooner did he speak then his focus was gone, on to the next tangentially related topic. Magillicutty’s…
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The Genius Who Finally Came Out of His Shell


UNLIKE THE HUMAN METAPHORS profiled thus far in our Pioneers of Creativity series, Mönkhbat “Mollusk Top” Jalair’s unique appearance was neither an auspicious birthmark nor the result of some transcendent and bizarre life experience. He just plain got his head stuck in a seashell. We can’t even pretend the incident in itself reveals a playful curiosity or…
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Can You Be Too Reliable?


THE NEXT TIME SOMEONE CALLS YOU mechanical, rigid, and predictable, tell them the story of Mackey “The Machine” MacDonald, considered by some to be among the most prolific creative forces of the nineteenth century. Though we now know him for his super-human productivity, his picture was once used in Webster’s Dictionary to illustrate those very words:…
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The Two Gifts I Most Want From You

butterfly mom close-up

AN IMPORTANT ANNIVERSARY COMPELS ME to be this bold. To come right out and ask you, someone I may have never met, to give me, a total stranger, not one but two gifts this holiday season. And I can’t even lie and tell you that it’ll be that easy for you to give them. Sorry to…
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Sal Elefante: A Sort-Of Unhappy Wanderer


SALVATORE “SAINT ELSEWHERE” ELEFANTE may very well be known more widely for his turn-of-the-century invention, spaghetti scissors. Ironically, neither that revolutionary device–nor the Nobel Peace Prize it subsequently won him–have anything to do with his place among the Pioneers of Creativity. Unlike most immigrants to the US late in the nineteenth century, Salvatore didn’t come by choice. Instead, his chronic, on-the-job daydreaming had resulted in…
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Creativity: How The Real Deal Shines Its Light


FOR “DIAMOND JIM” DIBLEY, everything came easily, at least in the beginning. Back then, in the early days of his career, it was rare to come away from encountering him and not be blinded by his brilliance. In fact those hoping to meet him face to face were often warned to bring along a pair of sunglasses. Better yet was to make…
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