I like to read on the john. I am not embarrassed about that. As most parents will attest, the throne room is often the only shot at solitude one has all day.

But the habit travels with me. And in a hotel room, the pickings get kind of slim. So imagine my surprise and delight at finding a really fascinating article in the Renaissance Hotels magazine.

It’s an interview with molecular biologist John Medina, author of a nifty little book called Brain Rules. Much as Michael Pollan’s book Food Rules greatly simplifies the challenge of healthy heating, Brain Rules boils down brain science so that you can apply its principles in everyday communications.

For instance, he posits that no presentation should ever be more than 10 minutes long, because that is the average person’s attention span. (I find it reassuring to know my own two-minute span is 20% of normal instead of worse.) His opinion of most PowerPoint decks is hilariously nasty.

I can’t find the article online, and I know you don’t want to borrow my hard copy at this point. But Medina has set up a nifty website with the rules summarized, along with some helpful videos.