The lifelong pursuit of a mind-body skill is the path.

Photo by Fezbot2000 on Unsplash

“Dō expresses progress in the practice of an art, whatever it may be. Indeed, the kanji is particularly used in traditional Japanese arts, whether martial arts or aesthetic arts. So kado 花道, is ‘the way of flowers’, that is, the art of flower arranging... Shodo 書道, ‘the way of writing’, is the art of calligraphy. Kyudo 弓道 is ‘the way of the bow’, or Japanese archery. And kendo 剣道, the martial art using bamboo swords, is ‘the way of the sword’. Some words also refer to religious or philosophical doctrines, such as Shinto, literally ‘the way of god’”.

The…


It wasn’t just an iceberg that led to the infamous tragedy

Titanic leaving Southampton. Photo: F.G.O. Stuart

Most people know the story of the Titanic—a massive luxury liner deemed the “unsinkable” ship. At the time of its completion, the Titanic was the largest man-made moving object on earth. The company building the ship was so sure it wouldn’t sink, they didn’t include enough lifeboats for all the passengers. Of course the ship wasn’t what it was advertised to be and sunk after hitting an iceberg. Approximately 1,500 people were lost with the ship, including many prominent citizens from multiple nations.

It’s an event known throughout history, a real-life event with the plot of a movie. In fact…


It happened right on the East Coast of North America

Halifax Explosion Commemorative Stamp — Canadian Post Office Website

“Chebucto School was turned into a morgue. I can remember seeing low sleighs piled high with the load covered with tarpaulin. The tarpaulin didn’t hide the fact that the load was bodies. I thought that all the legs and arms were covered with black stockings. It was years later that I realized there were no black stockings — that was burned or frozen human flesh. I remember this very vividly but at the time I did not realize the significance of what I was seeing. It didn’t upset me. …


Stress management techniques from ancient warriors.

Photo by Krys Amon on Unsplash

“Today is victory over yourself of yesterday; tomorrow is your victory over lesser men.”

— Miyamoto Musashi, “A Book Of Five Rings

Many things change over the course of history, but one thing hasn’t — stress. Humans have been dealing with stress well before modern society and psychology. Stress management is a cottage industry today with a market size of $7 billion according to Grand View Research. It’s not hard to find a study pointing to the endless stresses we modern people face today.

But what did people in stressful times do previously to make it through the day? We…


Magic mushrooms, pipes to different worlds, and the significance of a plumber-hero

Photo by Cláudio Luiz Castro on Unsplash

I guess I’m like most 40-somethings nowadays. I grew up with video games. Nintendo was a particular staple of my childhood, and with it came its hero. Although he didn’t look like a hero.

A short, fat plumber isn’t exactly who you’d expect to come running to your rescue, but Mario did the job. Let me rephrase that. He did more than “do the job”, the plumber always saved the day.

In fact, he became a cultural icon as well. Pop a picture of Mario up just about anywhere, and he’ll be recognized. …


Explorers discover Ernest Shackleton’s hidden stash in permafrost

Ernest Shackleton And His Crew (1908) — Antarctic Heritage Trust

If you were in a certain secluded location in 2010, you would have seen one of the oddest missions in history. A flamboyant, well-dressed man named Richard Paterson boarded a private plane with two beer coolers handcuffed to his wrists. Okay, you might be thinking CIA, MI-6, or maybe KGB.

You’d be wrong.

Mr. Paterson is a 3rd-generation whiskey aficionado. Charles McGrath in his New York Times article notes at work, he’s referred to as “the nose” for his ability to smell out the contents of various whiskeys. He also tends to speak to the spirit as he does this…


Our ego often shades the world from us

Photo by Kyle Johnson on Unsplash

Since you clicked on this story, I’ll go out on a limb and assume you want to improve your life. Well, I have an answer for you. It won’t solve the mysteries of the universe, or make you rich, or find the love of your life. But it will make things better.

How do I know? About 20 years ago, I received a magical gift which changed my world view and how I thought. The gift you ask? Embarrassment.

It sounds like a strange present, but it was the one I needed at the time. You can find similar gifts…


The heavenly sign that never arrived to usher in the new American Government

Photo by Matt Wang on Unsplash

“The month he was to be sworn in as the first vice president of the United States, John Adams expected to see a comet. In fact, Adams helped to pay for a publication announcing the celestial appearance, an auspicious astronomical event for the first month of the new federal government.”

Gordon Fraser, Lampham’s Quarterly

In her article in the Chicago Tribune, Bianca Sanchez explains founding father John Adams thought the anniversary of America’s independence would be an event worthy of celebration far into the future.

He believed it would be “solemnized with pomp and parade, with shews, games, sports…


There’s no numbered shortcut through life

Photo by Denys Nevozhai on Unsplash

I’m continually amazed by the sheer quantity of numbered lists I see to solve just about every worldly problem.

At one point, it just struck me as laziness. Now, it’s something else. It’s a well-meaning attempt to take the complexities of life and turn them into an acronym.

Like SCUBA is a simple way of remembering “self-contained underwater breathing apparatus”. Obviously, the 5 letters are way easier to belt out. However, you lose something in the translation as you simplify the device into an acronym.

The devices you put on your back to breathe underwater are way more complicated than…


The mushroom cloud after the Atom bomb came from a fire

Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash

What if the power of a natural disaster could be used as a weapon? It’s something that populated the minds of ancient Greek poets like Homer. But he saw fit to put the power into the hands of the gods. Zeus commanded lightning and Poseidon the thundering waves of the ocean.

Their brothers and sisters filled in the gaps wielding the other forces of nature.

If you asked Homer to give this power to mankind, the storyteller might have laughed it off as “too farfetched”. However, what if I told you humanity did master a little-known natural disaster that defies…

Erik Brown

Work out fanatic, martial artist, student, MBA, and connoisseur of useless information. CantWriteToSaveMyLife@yahoo.com

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store