Large Idea Collider

Large Idea Collider – August 16

Written by Mark McElroy

Introductions, lotteries, ambient music, Southern culture, and the golden age of travel.

Large Idea Collider posts share links and random ideas that caught my attention during the week. Instead of feeding your distractions, I hope these will feed your interests, prompt unexpected connections, and get you to try or create something new. No paid placements. No politics.


Have a Better Answer for “What do you do?” – “We introduce ourselves all the time, and if we’re honest, we usually blow it. Answering this question poorly is the most frequent mistake we make, and the easiest to fix.” Includes a formula for great introductions.

Flowful is an ambient music generator, producing never-ending tracks that help promote extended concentration and productivity. Limited number of free tracks, with more variety for subscribers. I’ve added it to my arsenal of sonic weapons, which also includes Brain.FM.

Lottery winners frequently express regret. Selection bias is probably operating in full-force here, but these tales of lottery winners and their families being torn apart by addiction, scandal, theft, threats, lawsuits, and murder make me glad to be a (lottery) loser.

Distilling Southern Culture from Airbnb Listings. I apparently live in the land of antebellum plantations, Baptists, alligators, armadillos, game days, and Elvis. Mississippi is the state whose listings are most saturated with southernisms, with Alabama (my birth state) coming in second.

The golden age of air travel required passengers to dress up, served rack of lamb and roast beef cooked on-board, offered unlimited alcohol, and allowed lots and lots of smoking. Most depressing fact: space between seat rows was 36-42 inches, versus today’s 28!

Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash

About the author

Mark McElroy

I'm a writer and professional facilitator. I'm the author of a dozen or so non-fiction books and hundreds of corporate video scripts. As a professional facilitator, I coach individuals, committees, and teams to change how they meet, make decisions, and plan, so they can get out of their own way and do work that really matters. I use this site to write about writing, adaptive strategy, travel, and spirituality ... and to "learn out loud" by sharing works (and what doesn't).