Monday 2.13.12

Lin-Sanity – A long-shot player (who was actually pretty good in college!) gets an opportunity, makes the most of it and becomes an overnight social media phenomenon being credited with leading his team to wins. No, not another Tim Tebow story. This is Jeremy Lin who is playing for the New York Knicks. The Harvard graduate is the first Chinese American NBA player. Another great part of the story is the character and faith that he possesses. Here is an interview he did while still in college.

Turkey’s Test – This post raises some serious questions about Turkey and its role in relation to the violence that is being carried out in Syria. While certainly it would be foolish for anyone to try to paint this as a simple scenario it is one where action needs to be taken. The most compelling statement from this post was this:

Power stems not just from size, strategic location, a strong economy, able diplomacy, and military capacity. It also requires the will to act – the understanding that true leadership means the courage to take and implement even decisions that are deeply unpopular in some quarters.

Changing Education Paradigms – This animate was adapted from a talk given at the RSA by Sir Ken Robinson, world-renowned education and creativity expert and recipient of the RSA’s Benjamin Franklin award.
For more information on Sir Ken’s work visit: http://www.sirkenrobinson.com

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Thinking Fiction↑

When I was younger I used to read tons of fiction. Then around high school I struggled to find good books to read. I wanted to keep reading and tried sports biographies for awhile (John Harkes, David Beckham, Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley are the ones I can remember). Really reading became more of a chore than an enjoyment.

Then came college. I didn’t have much time for non-assigned reading. Though there were a few times when I’d sneak down in a stairwell and fly through a book that a professor recommended. For awhile I got into the habit of reading a book I chose the last 15 minutes before I went to bed. I was surprised how quickly I made it through a few books just doing that. Then came grad school and the workload increased and forced me to become a faster reader. I also started to find more books that I really enjoyed reading – most of them were non-fiction. It wasn’t until I was given a kindle that I started reading by choice and in volume and reading fiction.

Since then I’ve found that I enjoy fiction. It is a good way to relax but still involves more mental energy than surfing the internet or watching TV. It is also a great way to learn about new cultures. One of the best examples of that recently was Island of the World. I got to the end and felt as if I’d seen a whole world of which I’d been completely ignorant before.

So is fiction worth reading? I’d say yes. It is a window into the world. It stretches your own thinking. It engages your mind. And usually it is enjoyable!

Do you read fiction? What do you read? Why do you read?

Monday’s Links→

Over the weekend I spent some time thinking and talking over the schedule for posting and think I have it worked out. Rather than spell it out here, I’ll put it into practice and let you figure it out!

To start of the week here are some links to interesting or otherwise notable articles. (In time maybe I’ll come up with a catchy or corny title for it like “Monday Mentions” or “Lead-off Links” or something like that)

So here you go…

A Brother’s Reflection on His Brother’s death – This is now a few weeks old but I read it this morning and found it quite gripping. It is the response of Peter Hitchens on the death of his brother Christopher Hitchens. The way he describes his brother is: Courageous.

“Courage is deliberately taking a known risk, sometimes physical, sometimes to your livelihood, because you think it is too important not to. […] I’ve mentioned here before C.S.Lewis’s statement that courage is the supreme virtue, making all the others possible. It should be praised and celebrated, and is the thing I‘d most wish to remember.”

A Top Military Man Arrested – For those who have followed Turkish politics at all this is a fairly significant development. There is a positive development of more transparency and civilian oversight of the military but also a negative trend of arbitrary arrests and an abuse of the judicial system. It’s a story to watch.

Goodbye Google, Facebook, and Twitter – Can you imagine if all three of those services shut down? Just gone? What would it do to you? I know much of my communication with friends and family around the world is run through those services. It could happen. Why? It is being discussed as a protest to SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) that will fundamentally change the way the internet works. It is an interesting – and perhaps sobering idea.

Iran Sentences an American to Death – American Amir Mirzaei Hekmati has been sentenced to death for allegedly spying on Iran for the CIA. Iran again seems to be occupying a lot of headline space in American media. It is definitely a country to keep your eye on. Although Fareed Zakaria offers his opinion that Iran is in fact growing weaker.

BRONCOS WIN – It just seems appropriate! Last night was a GREAT football game. The Broncos won an overtime. There are a lot of story lines from this season (most involve Tim Tebow in one way or another). Now on to face the New England Patriots (again).

Broncos Legend and Current VP John Elway and QB Tim Tebow