There are only a few passages that didn't resonate, though this book came along at just the right time. This has been a challenging year and I first p...moreThere are only a few passages that didn't resonate, though this book came along at just the right time. This has been a challenging year and I first picked this book up back in October, when I was starting on a downward track emotionally, physically and socially. Still, I was reading more of Paulo Coelho's, "The Manual of the Warrior of Light", which when randomly opened, you can find short gems on maintaining that Warrior of Light status.
Many of those I care about are not in the brightest lights right now, this portion goes out to them: page 52 - 53
"What of Pain? Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.
Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain.
Much of your pain is self-chosen. It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self. Thus trust the physician and drink his remedy in silence and tranquility.
For his hand, though heavy and hard, is guided by the tender hand of the Unseen, And the cup he brings, though it burns your lips, has been fashion from the clay by which the Potter has moistened with his own sacred tears." (less)
They were not heroes, they were simply men of virtue doing what had to be done. Those six who placed that replacement flag atop Mount Suribachi, Iwo J...moreThey were not heroes, they were simply men of virtue doing what had to be done. Those six who placed that replacement flag atop Mount Suribachi, Iwo Jima, never thought of themselves as anything special. Most of them were haunted by the true heroes, "Those who never left that island."
This book does a great justice rectifying many of the misconceptions, lies, myths and misunderstandings about this iconic photo of six young boys following orders.
I wish Bradley [author] dealt more clearly and completely with the August 6, and August 9 bombings on Mainland, Japan. He glossed over Hiroshima and truly missed a great opportunity to inform and enlighten further, especially since many reading this may not have much prior knowledge about these events. Surely, plenty more has been written about those terrible events, but it would have been a great contrast to the struggle to mention the reasons behind the SECOND bombing [Nagasaki] three days after, where an estimated 80,000 more were killed. Was this second bomb necessary? Was the first?
Love the 10 Commandments on page 27, and profiles of chefs Alice Waters, Ferran, and kid-brother, Albert Adria and elBulli co-owner, Juli Soler. Howev...moreLove the 10 Commandments on page 27, and profiles of chefs Alice Waters, Ferran, and kid-brother, Albert Adria and elBulli co-owner, Juli Soler. However, this is my favorite quote, so far:
23—I always say a gastronome who isn’t an environmentalist is just stupid, and I say an environmentalist who isn’t a gastronome is just sad. Carlo Petrini, who began the “Slow Food” Movement, in Italy in 1986— (less)
These guys are like the Seinfelds of Economics. While many struggle to find connections to the world of numbers, d...moreAssume nothing. Question Everything.
These guys are like the Seinfelds of Economics. While many struggle to find connections to the world of numbers, dollars and cents, Levitt and Dubner analyze the psychological and sociological impacts humans respond to in order to obtain their wants. Some criticize the book because there isn't an underlying theme. Really? How about this: You don't need to have a theme. If each story or article illustrates how we operate, think or feel, AND we take whatever we wish away from even one of these observations; perhaps questioning or researching more, and never falling victim to "conventional wisdom", then the book has done its job. For those of you who MUST MUST MUST have themes, here's a few off the top of my head:
1. We operate, are manipulated or ruled by three major incentives: economic, societal and emotional. Fear is an essential motivator as are "Keeping up with the Akhbars", not appearing weak or less than your neighbor and saving money on every purchase or transaction.
2. Within every story, every life, every event, there are multiple versions or perspectives up for interpretation.
3. Experimentation is the key to unlocking some of the most confounding mysteries. I think of Neil deGrasse-Tyson and others like him, when it comes to this theme.
I love books like this, especially when there's more angry or negative lashback or responses than the normal, "Loved it!" BS. Even Levitt applauds much of the criticisms because it means those are interacting with the text, not simply letting the words wash over them. This is exactly how I teach. Never take anything I say, anything you read, hear or view as 100% truth. Yes, it may be someone's "truth", but it's all relative. Levitt and Dubner have done a great job of opening doors to questions never even asked before....at least not the way they have approached them.
They name-drop Maxwell Gladwell a couple of times, and he's another one whose thematic books - except for that one with the dog on the cover - also look at problems from different points of view. Then, like these guys, he asks different questions attempting to solve said issue. Are they right? It’s not important. That fact that they have illustrated an alternative view is key. It’s up to each one of us to dig deeper, research for ourselves, INTERACTING with the materials in order to formulate our own opinions based upon these newly formulated “truths”. (less)
This account of one son’s grief and regrets at “doing his duty” telling his dying mother, Susan Sontag, what she needed to hear the most – hollow hope...moreThis account of one son’s grief and regrets at “doing his duty” telling his dying mother, Susan Sontag, what she needed to hear the most – hollow hopes – was difficult at times. Fortunately, I’ve never had to sit by lying to a loved one as they slip away. I hope that never passes my plate. However, if it does, my honesty policy would probably disappear for those moments. Even when Sontag knew he and others were simply placating her, all parties seemed to continue painting these imagines on erasable canvases. 126 – “Of course she knew.” Even from the initial diagnosis of the MDS and the very high possibilities of it “growing” into full-blown AML, she knew her chances of surviving a third attack of cancer—this time leukemia—were slim.
151—“The choice seemed clear at the time, and clearer still now. If that meant making myself an accomplice in an illusion, it was not a steep price to pay for any measure of solace.” Of course, my mother did not get swift release in death any more than she got good health in life. Instead, she who feared isolation and had the most terrible difficulties connecting with people had the loneliest of deaths….I find myself wondering whether the false hope those close to her strived so hard to provide here with in the end consoled her or just increased that isolation.
I love how author hits on all the classic points of guilt and then finds even more. Was I wrong not telling her the truth or was I wrong being there? Or was I wrong being born? Was it my fault she got sick? Why wasn’t I here for her other bouts with cancer? Where am I to go after this? And so on… Not to be too hard on the man, but like I said, in the same position, I’d lie too. I think. How do you tell a dying person, “Yup, this time you’re DONE! Put a fork in, turn you over, you’re ass is cooked!” (less)
I really loved this book, especially the last third with all his semi-NF stuff. I don’t believe a word of his denials. I think everything in this is t...moreI really loved this book, especially the last third with all his semi-NF stuff. I don’t believe a word of his denials. I think everything in this is true. I mean, if he would admit to being raped by two tranies, I think all the other things are tame in comparison. What are the odds of pulling two Royal Flushes and not able to actually collect? It’s the kind of thing that sounds so far-fetched it can ONLY be truth.
My three favorite quotes:
223— “…and why waste your energy digging a bigger grave than you really needed?”
How many times have I thought this!? Not really - Carey is too funny, sometimes.
Page 6—“The difference between LV [Las Vegas] and AC [Atlantic City] is the difference between getting conned by a beautiful Call Girl and getting mugged by a crack head.”
Sadly, I've never been to either, but I just love this!
210— I’d rather have a bottle in front of me than deal with some dumb shit.
Again, not my philosophy, but I can definitely empathize with those who feel this strong aversion to listening to others' trifling problems or drunken ramblings.
I love this book for its simplicity and it’s ease with which young adults can access common themes of trying to fit in, being bullied or left out, str...moreI love this book for its simplicity and it’s ease with which young adults can access common themes of trying to fit in, being bullied or left out, struggling to remember who you were and who you wish to be.
Here are a few of my favorite quotes:
"The best thing about summer; no "To Do" lists." - page 23 I still have them, but I can remember those pre-To Do List days or our youth. Not only had I never heard this term, making plans for anything but relaxing and fun was not only not necessary, it would've taken away from the carefree atmosphere that is childhood.
86—For now, the key had infinite possibilities. It would be nice to have a day of infinite possibilities.
97—Trying to figure out why things change is probably even harder than trying to figure out how they started.
pages 15 [bottom] – 16—“SINGING UGLY” One of the things she [Momma] built into my brain was to never “flake out” on a note. She told me that if a note...morepages 15 [bottom] – 16—“SINGING UGLY” One of the things she [Momma] built into my brain was to never “flake out” on a note. She told me that if a note is high but within your natural range you have to go for it instead of chickening out and going to the falsetto. I don’t have great range. My top note is about a B-flat, so to hit the night notes that are considered out of my range, I have to sing ugly. You can’t be worried about looking pretty when you are pushing your voice to hit those high notes. You have to strain and push and so often you look like your poor face is being squeezed by a giant set of pliers. That’s singing ugly.”
This is what I’m currently struggling with some of more listos students right now. I was told, you give them a choice and they will opt for NOT taking ANY road, let alone the one least traveled. They are running away from any difficult “high notes” though they’ve been playing them for a few weeks already. This echoes when Gladys explains how she was taught and sang the Ave Maria for years [from age 6] having no idea what the words meant.Sometimes we push youth, KNOWING they can handle it - they NEED it. If no one ever pushes any of us, we atrophy. Too many adults, let alone youth, have begun to become despondent, with no drive for anything. I'll continue trying to show them how life is much more rich when we push towards something bigger than we ever imagined. (less)