The Profile: The lawyer who could help free Brittney Griner & the author who’s never had writer’s block
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— The lawyer who could help free Brittney Griner
— The neurologist on a quest to solve long COVID
— The actress dominating sci-fi
— The author who’s never had writer’s block
— The author helping us create a ‘happiness portfolio’
PEOPLE TO KNOW.
The lawyer who could help free Brittney Griner: Criminal defense attorney Steve Zissou’s pressing concern these days is Viktor Bout, his most infamous client, and the one he’s most urgently trying to recuperate in the public eye. Bout is a Russian national who is serving out the remainder of a 25-year sentence for multiple charges related to arms trafficking in federal prison. The US State Department has indicated that they’re willing to return Bout to Russia in exchange for the Phoenix Mercury star Brittney Griner, who has been detained on cannabis charges there since February. Zissou believes he has helped pave the way for a deal, and he thinks he knows how it will go down. (New York Magazine)
“When I was in the army we called it long patience. You gotta be patient. It’s gonna happen.”
The neurologist on a quest to solve long COVID: Brain fog. Loss of smell and taste. Headaches. The CDC defines long COVID, also known as “post-COVID conditions,” as symptoms that appear, persist, or return at least four weeks after the initial infection. But more than two years into the pandemic, many aspects of this syndrome — notably its causes and remedies — remain a mystery. Meet Igor Koralnik, the neurologist at the forefront of the quest to better understand long COVID’s effects on the brain. (Chicago Magazine)
“Once you damage the brain, the societal consequences are enormous.”
The actress dominating sci-fi: Starring in the highly anticipated Star Wars prequel, Adria Arjona is being touted as the new talent to watch. As a child, she wanted to be something new every week — a teacher, a police officer, a doctor. And then she found her passion to be an actress which gave life to all of her dreams. Today, she says, “I get to play a doctor and I research and learn and I memorize it in my body, but I can’t actually do surgery – nor do I want to! I guess I’m incredibly curious.” Meet the star you’re about to see everywhere. (Marie Claire)
“Fame is almost like the ocean. You want to treat it with respect, you don’t want to fear it, but you also don’t want to feel too comfortable in it.”
The author who’s never had writer’s block: Elizabeth Strout, 66, is a novelist who just can’t stop writing. “Lucy by the Sea,” which was recently published, is her sixth book in less than a decade. She says that characters tend to appear fully formed in a form of “visitation.” To Strout, writing is an act of revelation. And she is always writing. “I have never had writer’s block. My writer’s block takes the form of writing badly, which is much more preferable,” she says. (The Washington Post)
“I never know what’s going to happen. Because I always feel like if I’m not surprised, then the reader won’t be surprised.”
The author helping us create a ‘happiness portfolio:’ Bestselling author and advice columnist Arthur Brooks believes that happiness is a discipline to be studied and mastered. Brooks relentlessly tracks his happiness via spreadsheet. He’s on pace to hit 175 speaking engagements in 2022. He’ll be the first to tell you that his own “happiness portfolio” is out of whack, too heavily weighted toward work. It all points out an irony at the heart of his work. The rise in national unhappiness has been a boon for the happiness industry, and with each new solution and antidote—books, podcasts, conferences, classes—it can begin to feel more and more like happiness is a full-time job. For Brooks, it quite literally is. “You strike while the iron’s hot,” he says. “Everyone wants the content right now.” (GQ)
“You can raise your happiness, and I have raised mine by having good happiness hygiene.”