International Micro Business Inspiration

An international micro business can enhance wealth and protect against inflation especially when you take a global perspective and a bird’s eye view.

Get ideas on how to spot micro business ideas from this field and…

ecuador electric

these cars.


The novel “Lake House” by James Patterson… was a great success but was a rather odd novel with sympathetic characters being genetically altered children who are part bird. They have wings and fly.   I was surprised when I learned that this has been a really top selling novel.

Why did this story do so well?

Patterson says it’s because most people have a dream of wanting to fly.

My thinking is the yearning goes deeper. We humans yearn for bird’s eye views.

We want to see the big picture…connect dots…to enhance our lives, yet see all the detail just as birds do. We want to improve our life and make the world a better place with win-win views. Like the eagle. He sees the entire panorama yet spots the smallest mouse moving in a field.

This is not always easy. It has been said that man can achieve the impossible, fly to Mars even put a man on the moon. Yet we can never overcome the inconvenient.

Take energy concerns. Fly into Copenhagen and you’ll see windmill after windmill built in the middle of the sea. What a huge undertaking that was!

Or go visit my state of birth, Oregon. Drive up the Columbia River and see the Bonneville Dam. A monster of a grand project…all to have more energy.

There are almost impossible jobs done…the wind captured…the mighty Columbia tamed just to replace fossil fuels.

Merri and I have noticed something interesting when we drive to Charlotte Airport. Coming south (North of Charlotte) a DOT Lane starts where only cars with two or more people can drive. Traffic was backed up for dozens of miles in the right lane…all cars with one driver. Merri and I whisked into the totally empty DOT lane and at 70 MPH right through Charlotte while these multitudes sat, burning fuel and wasting time.

Why? Because it’s a little inconvenient to find another person to ride with to work! Instead the masses sit there, thousands of man hours lost and tens of thousands of gallons of gas consumed.

Our international business can enhance our wealth when we use a bird’s eye view as well. We increase our odds for great prosperity when we tap into life supporting investments….because in the long term what makes money is solving problems.

Here is a case study on how to create micro business opportunity by spotting problems as they unfold every day.

This case study looks at opportunity in energy.  Energy shortages are a huge problem and hence a huge opportunity.

Problems create three types of opportunity.

#1: Adaptation

#2: Mitigation

#3: Structural Change

Let’s begin by looking at the problem and opportunity in energy structural change.

During a Smalltown USA study on electricity costs, I stumbled across a January 29, 2010 Economist article entitled “Running out of juice” that created new thoughts about green investing and about living in Ecuador.

An excerpt from the article says:

How will we recharge all the electric cars?

IN THE ten years since hybrid electric vehicles first hit the highways and byways of America, they have come to represent 2.5% of new car sales. Yet, in places like Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area and Washington, DC, every other car seems to be a Toyota Prius. That is because hybrids like the Prius have sold overwhelmingly where well-heeled early adopters reside.

A couple of million of the new electric vehicles could be bought by early adopters during the first few years.

The popular assumption is that they will be plugged into a wall socket in the garage late at night, taking advantage of cheap off-peak power. Unfortunately, things are not that simple.

One thing the new plug-ins and pure electrics have in common is a beefy lithium-ion battery pack that needs a lot of heavy charging. At the very least, that involves installing 220-volt wiring in the home. Trying to recharge a modern electric car with a standard American 110-volt supply takes too long to be practical (up to 18 hours in the case of the Leaf).

Of course, if not fully charged at night it may have to be recharged during the day—when electricity rates can be up to five times more expensive. Average peak rates in America are 33 cents a kilowatt-hour compared with seven cents off-peak.

In theory, recharging electric vehicles during off-peak hours should help utilities “fill the valley”—the trough in electricity demand between midnight and six in the morning, and thereby get better utilization from their coal- or gas-fired generating stations. But, again, things are not quite as they seem. No utility wants to run its network flat out. Scheduling maintenance becomes difficult, which can lead to more frequent failures. The net result is that additional capacity has to be installed at a cost that would not otherwise be justified.

This time the Californian utilities are being more circumspect. They are concerned about highly concentrated pockets of ownership and the effects of everyone deciding to recharge their electric vehicles at once—as they inevitably will do when they return home from work. The local electricity system could be easily overwhelmed, and wider swathes of the grid brought to its knees in the process.

Preparing for this means beefing up local transformers as well as installing heavy-duty wiring and smart meters in homes to provide early warning of network troubles ahead. Sooner or later, those additional costs will have to be passed on to customers.

Now let’s talk about US electricity costs.

Excerpts from an April 2009 NPR article entitled “An Aged Electric Grid Looks To A Brighter Future” by Jeff Brady point out a story for rising costs and says:

The nation’s electricity grid is facing some huge challenges — it’s outdated and unprepared for increasing demand and a future that includes more renewable sources of energy. In a week long series, NPR is examining the state of the nation’s electricity infrastructure.

The economic stimulus bill passed in February includes $11 billion to upgrade the country’s power grid, but that’s just a down payment on a massive undertaking. That’s because when it comes to electricity, not much has changed since Thomas Edison fired up the first commercial power grid in lower Manhattan on Sept. 4, 1882. The fundamentals he pioneered are still the basis for an electricity grid in the U.S. that is almost 100 percent reliable. But in recent years, that grid has started showing weakness.

On Aug. 14, 2003, a lot of people in the northeastern U.S. learned that they couldn’t take reliable electricity service for granted anymore. A utility in Ohio failed to trim a few trees, causing a surprise outage that rolled across the region. Eventually, it left 50 million people without power for about a day. The risk of blackouts still exists in just about every region of the country.


The cost of this upgrade will eventually be passed onto consumers.   This started me thinking about electricity in the parts of Smalltown USA where Merri and I live.

Living in Smalltown USA often means living with extra space and in some parts of the country that space can be used to generate electricity.

I have already figured out what to do with hydro power on our North Carolina farm… because our farm has space… water and a lot of drop in altitude.

But I wanted to check potential solutions for creating energy in Florida… where energy might best be provided by the sun. We have 16 acres in the sun and parts are in the form of large empty fields with no obstructions.  I was wondering what to do with this space and started looking at Hybrid Solar Energy Systems.

ecuador electric

Right at the entrance of our house is a perfect…

ecuador electric

place for an energy field.

So I started researching.

I was surprised. Though the numbers will not send me rushing to the bank… they have caused me to pause… and consider.

A 5040 watt complete MyGen solar electric system by Kyocera can generate up to 5,000 watts of power an hour… sometimes.   Our electricity co-op will buy this electricity from me for .11 cents a kilowatt.

This 5040 watt system was offered to me totally installed for $37,380. “Whew,” I thought at first.

But a 30% federal tax credit is available thus lowering my real cost to $26,166.  A talk with the electricity co-op suggests that the actual electricity generated from such a system is worth about $500 a year or about a 1.3%  per annum return on that cost… if electricity costs remain at .11 cents a watt.

1.3% isn’t enough to get excited about until you ask two questions.  The tax credit raises the return to 1.8%.

First, what is my bank  paying me on a $26,000 CD right now?

A  local bank here in Florida is offering 1.6% on a one year CD.

Second, how much might electricity costs rise?

I do not know the answer to this but certainly would be surprised to see electricity prices fall.

In Florida there is one added kicker. The state has been paying a subsidy of four dollars per watt on the first 5,000 watts of installation. In other words… they would kick in $20,000 if I put in the system.  Wow!  That means the cost starts at $37,380.  The tax credit saves me $11,214…. leaving $26,166 of cost minus $20,000.

This is a no brainer… an investment of $6,166 with an 8.1% return at current prices on a commodity that is likely to rise in the years ahead.

The downside is that Florida ran out of money for this subsidy and there are numerous buyers already on a waiting list… which is the only reason why I am still researching rather than having the installer working now.

Yet there are three points we should consider as they may lead to some green profits

Green profit point #1: Solar energy systems are becoming more efficient.

Green profit point #2: Energy costs are rising.

Green profit point #3: We, as investors, may profit from installing solar energy in some states now.  This will create more demand for solar products and cause the shares of solar energy companies to rise.

So a bird’s eye view shows us that micro business services in alternate energy generation structural change makes sense.

We can see a different type of energy opportunity in adaptation.

One micro business Merri and I had was publishing reports on how we to import used Rolls Royces and Bentleys from England to the US.

A better idea…


now might be reports on how import the deux chevaux instead.


This was described by CAR magazine journalist and author LJK Setright as “the most intelligent application of minimalism ever to succeed as a car”. Imagine how much good we could do in the world if everyone drove a two cylinder 61 miles per gallon car! See more in Lowtech magazine below.

Or in researching the deux chevaux I spotted a micro business that imports and rebuilds them to sell at a premium… up to $20,000 each.

There are…


many small, fuel efficient cars and…


many micro business ideas that can be built around small cars… like converting the Suzki Samari engine to a much more fuel efficient Volkswagon diesel engine.  Ideas range from a how to manual to importing the engines to providing the conversions.  I have had my Samari for 24 years and would be your first customer!

So there are plenty of micro business ideas that come from adaptation to the energy crisis.

How about mitigation.  Our efficient energy driven society forces most of the population to work so hard they have no time to eat right and exercise properly.   So energy mitigation creates business opportunity in wellness.  Selling people on ideas of cycling to work is an example.  They save on fuel and get exercise they need.

This opportunity could unfold in businesses as diverse as offering reports on cycling to selling bikes.

Problems create opportunity to change… mitigate and adapt.

Get a bird’s eye view of the world’s problems. Then look for micro solutions.  This is a great way to start your micro business for everlasting wealth.


How We Can Serve You

How to Have Real Safety in 2020

The most important investment you can make in 2020, is in yourself. 

Invest in more time.  Invest in less stress. Invest in greater security.That’s why four years ago we created the Purposeful Investing Course (PI) because when it comes to finances, there are only three reasons why we should invest.  We invest for income.  We invest to resell our investments for more than we had invested.  We invest to make our world a better place.

We should not invest for fun, excitement or to get rich quick, or in a panic due to market corrections.

The core model portfolio we teach in the PI Course rarely changes, but is highly diversified in thousands of shares around the world… so there is higher long term profits, less stress and greater safety.

The portfolio consists of 19 country ETFs.  During the four years since we created the Purposeful Investing Course and set up a $40,000 real time portfolio at Motif Brokers, we have held the same 19 shares and have only traded three times.

The portfolio started with $40,000 and has risen to $53,591 ($49,015 in shares and the balance in accumulated cash).

The portfolio did really well from 2015 to 2018, better than the DJI Index.  Then as the US dollar grew in strength it fell behind.

The chart below shows the actual results of thos portfolio compared with the S&P 500.



This good value portfolio above is based entirely on good value financial information and mathematically based safety programs developed around investing models that date back 91 and 24 years.

The Pifolio is a theoretical portfolio of MSCI Country Benchmark Index ETFs that cover all the good value markets developed combining my 50 years of investing experience with study of the mathematical market value analysis of Keppler Asset Management.

In my opinion, Keppler is one of the best market statisticians in the world.  Numerous very large fund managers, such as State Street Global Advisers, use his analysis to manage over $2.5 billion of funds.

The Pifolio analysis begins with Keppler who continually researches international major stock markets and compares their value based on current book to price, cash flow to price, earnings to price, average dividend yield, return on equity and cash flow return.  He compares each major stock market’s history.

Fwd: keppler

Michael Kepler CEO Keppler Asset Management.

Michael is a brilliant mathematician.  We have tracked his analysis for over 20 years.   He continually researches international major stock markets and compares their value based on current book to price, cash flow to price, earnings to price, average dividend yield, return on equity and cash flow return.  He compares each stock market’s history.  From this, he develops his Good Value Stock Market Strategy and rates each market as a Buy, Neutral or Sell market.  His analysis is rational, mathematical and does not cause worry about short term ups and downs.  Keppler’s strategy is to diversify into an equally weighted portfolio of the MSCI Indices of each BUY market.

This is an easy, simple and effective approach to zeroing in on value because little time, management and guesswork is required.  You are investing in a diversified portfolio of good value indices.

A BUY rating for an index does NOT imply that any stock in that country is an attractive investment, so you do not have to spend hours of research aimed at picking specific shares.  It is not appropriate or enough to instruct a stockbroker to simply select stocks in the BUY rated countries.  Investing in the index is like investing in all the shares in the index.  You save time because all you have to do is invest in the ETF to gain the profit potential of the entire market.

To achieve this goal of diversification the Pifolio consists of Country Index ETFs.

Country Index ETFs are similar to an index mutual fund but are shares normally traded on a major stock exchange that tracks an index of shares in a specific country.  ETFs do not try to beat the index they represent.  The management is passive and tries to emulate the performance of the index.

A country ETF provides diversification into a basket of equities in the country covered.  The expense ratios for most ETFs are lower than those of the average mutual fund as well so such ETFs provide diversification and cost efficiency.

Here is the Pifolio I personally use.

70% is diversified into Keppler’s good value (BUY rated) developed markets: Australia, Austria, France, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Norway, Spain, Singapore and the United Kingdom.

30% of the Pifolio is invested in Keppler’s good value (BUY rated) emerging markets: Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, the Czech Republic, South Korea, Malaysia and Taiwan.

The Pifolio consists of iShares ETFs that invested in each of the MSCI indicies of theseall good value BUY markets.

For example, the iShares MSCI Australia (symbol EWA) is a Country Index ETF that tracks the investment results the Morgan Stanley Capital Index MSCI Australia Index which is composed mainly of large cap and small cap stocks traded primarily on the Australian Stock Exchange mainly of companies in consumer staples, financials and materials. This ETF is non-diversified outside of Australia.

iShares is owned by Black Rock, Inc. the world’s largest asset manager with over $4 trillion in assets under management.

The fact that the Pifilios are invested in all the shares of the MSCI Index in each good value market reduces long term risk.

When the US stock market bull ends, know one knows for sure how long or how severe the correction will be.

When the bear arrives, what will happen to global and especially good value markets?

No  one knows the answer to this question.

What we do know is that the equally weighted, good value market Pifolios have the greatest potential long term and that math based trailing stops can be used to protect against a secular global stock market correction when it comes.

My fifty years of global investing experience helps take advantage of numerous long term cycles that are part of the universal math that affects all investments.

What you get when you subscribe to Pi.

You immediately receive a 120 page basic training course that teaches the Pi Strategy.   You learn all the Pi strategies, what they are, how to use them and what each can do for you, your lifestyle and investing.

You also begin receiving regular emailed Pifiolio updates and online access to all the Pifolio updates of the last four years.  Each update examines the current activity in a Pifolio, how it is changing, why and how the changes might help your investing or not.

Included in the basic training is an additional 120 page PDF value analysis of 46 stock markets (23 developed markets and 23 emerging stock markets).  This analysis looks at the price to book, price to earnings, average yield and much more.

You also receive two special reports.

In the 1980s, a remarkable set of two economic circumstances helped anyone who spotted them become remarkably rich.  Some of my readers made enough to retire.  Others picked up 50% currency gains.  Then the cycle ended.  Warren Buffett explained the importance of this ending in a 1999 Fortune magazine interview.  He said:  Let me summarize what I’ve been saying about the stock market: I think it’s very hard to come up with a persuasive case that equities will over the next 17 years perform anything like—anything like—they’ve performed in the past 17!

I did well then, but always thought, “I should have invested more!”  Now those circumstances have come together and I am investing in them again.

The circumstances that created fortunes 30 years ago were an overvalued US market (compared to global markets) and an overvalued US dollar.  The two conditions are in place again!

30 years ago, the US dollar rose along with Wall Street.  Profits came quickly over three years.  Then the dollar dropped like a stone, by 51%  in just two years.  A repeat of this pattern is growing and could create up to 50% extra profit if we start using strong dollars to accumulate good value stock market ETFs in other currencies.

This is the most exciting opportunity I have seen since we started sending our reports on international investing ideas more than three decades ago.  The trends are so clear that I have created a short, but powerful report “Three Currency Patterns for 50% Profits or More.”   This report shows how to earn an extra 50% from currency shifts with even small investments.  I kept the report short and simple, but included links to 153 pages of  Good Value Stock Market research and Asset Allocation Analysis.

The report shows 20 good value investments and a really powerful tactic that shows the most effective and least expensive way to accumulate these bargains in large or even very small amounts (less than $5,000).  There is extra profit potential of at least 50% so the report is worth a lot.

This report sells for $29.95 but in this special offer, you receive the report, “Three Currency Patterns for 50% Profits or More” FREE when you subscribe to Pi.

Plus get the $39.95 report “The Silver Dip” free.

With investors watching global stock markets bounce up and down, many missed two really important profit generating events over the last two years.  The price of silver dipped below $14 an ounce as did shares of the iShares Silver ETF (SLV).   The second event is that the silver gold ratio hit 80, compared to a ratio of 230 only two years before.

In September 2015, I prepared a special report “Silver Dip 2015” about a silver speculation, leveraged with a British pound loan, that could increase the returns in a safe portfolio by as much as eight times.  The tactics described in that report generated 62.48% profit in just nine months.

I have updated this report and “Silver Dip” report shares the latest in a series of long term lessons gained through 40 years of speculating and investing in precious metals.  I released the 2015 report, when the gold silver ratio slipped to 80.  The ratio has corrected and that profit has been taken and now a new precious metals dip has emerged.

I have prepared a new special report “Silver Dip” about a leveraged speculation that can increase the returns in a safe portfolio by as much as eight times.

You also learn from the Value Investing Seminar, our premier course, that we have been conducting for over 30 years.  Tens of thousands of delegates have paid up to $999 to attend.  Now you can join the seminar online FREE in this special offer.

This three day course is available in sessions that are 10 to 20 minutes long for easy, convenient learning.   You can listen to each session any time and as often as you desire.

The sooner you hear what I have to say about current markets, the better you’ll be able to cash in on perhaps the best investing opportunity since 1982.


Tens of thousands have paid up to $999 to attend.

In 2020 I celebrate my 54th anniversary in the investing business and 52nd year of writing about global investing.  Our reports and seminars have helped readers have better lives, with less stress yet make fortunes during up and down markets for decades.  This information is invaluable to investors large and small because even small amounts can easily be invested in the good value shares we cover in our seminar.

In this special offer, you can get this online seminar FREE when you subscribe to our Personal Investing Course.

Triple Guarantee

Enroll in Pi.  Get the basic training, the 46 market value report, access to all the updates of the past two years, the two reports and the Value Investing Seminar right away. 

#1:  I guarantee you’ll learn ideas about investing that are unique and can reduce stress as they help you enhance your profits through slow, worry free, easy diversified investing.

If you are not totally happy, simply let me know.

#2:  I guarantee you can cancel your subscription within 60 days and I’ll refund your subscription fee in full, no questions asked.

#3:  You can keep the two reports and Value Investing Seminar as my thanks for trying.

You have nothing to lose except the fear.   You gain the ultimate form of financial security as you reduce risk and increase profit potential.

Subscribe to Pi now, get the 130 page basic training, the 120 page 46 market value analysis, access to over 100 previous Pifolio updates, the “Silver Dip” and “Three Currency Patterns For 50% Profits or More” reports, and value investment seminar, plus begin receiving regular Pifolio updates throughout the year.

Subscribe to a Pi annual subscription for $197 and receive all the above.


Visit our Blue Ridge farm.

Welcome to Little Horse Creek… where it is…


always quiet and cell phones do not work.


In times that so many perceive as tumultuous, inspiration becomes even more valuable and important in business.  The news on the internet, in the papers and on TV are so filled with negativity that it can be catching. In such eras, those who see positive realities gain an extra edge.

You own small business can help you enjoy a lifestyle of freedom…such as Merri and I have.

Our international micro business allows us to live part time at our remote North Carolina farm on Little Horse Creek.

Here is the creek…


deep in the forest…


isolated and with many waterfalls.


The creek becomes a bit swollen in the spring time. Changing from this to…


this!    The creek starts on our land… fed by dozens of pure water springs. It feeds the pond below our main house and…


fills our…


deep woods…


Japanese soaking tub that is heated with a wood burning stove and refilled after each soak… so the water never requires chemicals but is always clean.

The creek provides some great trout meals also. Here is a brookie our daughter Eleanor caught.


The water refreshes in summer. Here is…


our son Jake soaking in one of the pools on a hot summer day.

We have a…




forest office where…


we can feed everyone on the deck looking over the waters.


In winter our meandering stream becomes part of the wonderland.

This beauty and solitude provide many positive inspirations. There is plenty of space to hike. We have put in over…


eight miles of road (the blue lines).  Each leads…


to a place… like our…


isolated glen labyrinth which has a great…


view.  Vistas are…


everywhere. The paths themselves are…


places of…


Blue ridge mystery leading to beauty… year round… summer green, gold in autumn. They are white powder in winter and…


lead to flaming wild azaleas in spring.


We grow bold sunflowers and a lot of our own vegetables in the summer.


and have…


farm fresh…



Here is my office and…


my sunrise view on…


crisp mountain morns.


In the summer we get to watch the horses being…



We invite delegates at our North Carolina courses to come up for an afternoon tea to…


our house. The horses like to visit also.

Merri gets busy in our teaching kitchen…


and cooks up the treats when…


we have seminars.

A few people come stay with us in our…


seven cabins and farmhouses for guests. This is Blackberry…


Cabin.  All have feather top mattresses and high thread count…


sheets and mountain made quilts and Pendleton wool blankets for cool nights.

The blackberry has a great porch and…


rocking chairs for idle afternoons.  The Trout Cabin…


is next door. With a…


big porch for Bar B Qs plus a king…


size bed.

The Johnny Appleseed Farm House sleeps up to 7 and the Wildflower Cabin is here as well.


We converted this…


falling down tobacco shed into a great Guest Barn… with all amenities including a pillow top king size bed. This is very comfortable.

However if you are not into comfort we have a primitive cabin…


deep in the woods… cold water and a pot bellied stove for heat and cooking… but still a great pillow top king size bed.

Here is Thomas Fischer of Copenhagen’s Jyske Bank speaking at our seminar with roses we imported from Ecuador in the background.


This is why Merri and I like having our own international micro  business. North Carolina farm… Danish bankers… Ecuador flowers!  The best of every world.

This gives us the freedom to live part time in the North Carolina mountains but also part time in Ecuador… and part time in Florida…  yet still earn income.

I can do shamanic exercises  when our son visits us in North Carolina even in the winter.


Or swim in this, a warm Pacific current, about 45 seconds stroll from our Ecuador beach penthouse.


Here I am chasing our horses past the primitive cabin during a snow storm.


But when it gets too cold, I can ride in Ecuador instead. Here my friend, Joe Cox, and I enjoy winter views of Cotacachi below.


Merri and I can walk in this…the entrance to our Farm in January.


Or we can hike around Lake Quicocha, a sacred Andean lake near our Inn Land of the Sun (formerly Meson de las Flores).


Of course this message is not really about weather… North Carolina… Florida or Ecuador.

This message is about the benefits of having a business that provides freedom and allows you to live and work wherever you find inspiration.

Get away from the gray humdrum… go where your horizons expand.

Inspiration is everywhere. Seek it. There has never been a better time for a micro business and an upbeat outlook on life.

One kind reader sent me two coffee mugs recently, enamel bumper stickers if you like, that said “Ille Gitimati Noli Carborundum.”

The translation is “Don’t let those who are illegitimate wear you down”.

Look for inspiration in your passions.  They may lead you to strange places… in the minds of the humdrum herds.  Yet success is waiting for you in the nooks and crannies where others do not go.


If you want extra income, adventure and fulfillment in your life…consider a international micro business.

Our emailed course on having an international micro business may help you do this. Click here to learn more.

An October 22, 2008 New York Times article entitled, Inspiration Can Be Found in Many Places, but You Need to Be Looking By MICKEY MEECE says:

“Successful inventors, entrepreneurs and writers say they are often asked where their big ideas came from.

They will acknowledge that serendipity often plays a role. But equally as important, they say, is having an open mind — especially in tumultuous times like these. Big and small ideas are out there, they say, if you are looking for them.

Consider the experience of Lopa Mehrotra, who was studying to be a political scientist. One hot summer day, she said, she was watching her 6-year-old daughter outside playing.

“Look,” her daughter said, as she scraped two gray rocks on stone and watched them turn white. “It’s magic.”

“I said, ‘Actually, it’s science,’ ” Ms. Mehrotra said recently, explaining how that moment inspired her to create, a social networking site that allows students to showcase scientific experiments.

Jacques Heim, who founded Diavolo Dance Theater, was in Aspen with his dance company, using an elementary classroom as a dressing room. Naturally, it was full of toys, he recalled. He saw a box of blocks, including three in particular that caught his interest: identical five-sided pyramids that created a cube. “I was inspired by the geometry behind it,” he said, “and played with it for months.”

Ultimately those cubes led to a performance piece called “Foreign Bodies,” set to music by Esa-Pekka Salonen, music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Members of Diavolo, based in Los Angeles — gymnasts, actors and dancers — use everyday objects, like doors, stairs and chairs for dramatic movement, as well as the three mobile pyramids for “Foreign Bodies.”

“I believe if you have the child inside you and you walk down the streets, things happen to you,” he said. “Intuition. That’s how I operate.”

Diandra Leslie-Pelecky, a physics professor, said she got her idea when she was changing the channels one day and happened upon a Nascar race. Without warning, she recalled, one of the cars hit an outside wall. None of the cars had bumped, she said, and there were no engine failures or flat tires. So what happened?

It was not idle curiosity. To solve the problem, she immersed herself in racing by spending time with pit crews, crew chiefs, mechanics and drivers, and eventually wrote, “The Physics of Nascar.” The book traces a race car from its design to its race to the finish line.

Sometimes, Ms. Leslie-Pelecky said, she finds herself on the track and thinks, “How did I get here?” It is because of her “pit bull gene,” she decided. “When you get to a problem, you don’t let go until you solve it.”

Our mission is to make sure that our International Business and Investing courses in Ecuador and North Carolina inspire.