To be honest and upfront, I don’t enjoy gift giving. I’m not a materialistic person and don’t want to buy something for someone if they aren’t going to use it. That just seems wasteful. Which means I end up putting extra care and thought into the gifts I do give people.
This isn’t to say I gift everybody in my life books. I’m well aware that I have friends who aren’t going to pick up a book and read it just because it was a gift. …
As you can probably guess by this article series based on learning, I’m a huge advocate for education. So it should be no surprise that I’m strongly in favor of free books and libraries. That’s why item number one is the best thing I’ve heard in a while.
It’s not news to me that free books are good. But, I did learn the Chicago Public Library eliminated late fees on their books and saw some pretty amazing results:
I consider myself an armchair politician. I know what I do and don’t support, and love talking with others about policies. This also means I love arguing about policies.
I feel confident in my opinions even though I expect they will change over time. And I’m well aware I’m nowhere near understanding the complexities of American politics. But understanding the basic foundations of how the government works is knowledge I need no matter my political leaning.
These book recommendations are not designed to try and change your political ideology. They’re not books written about politicians or by politicians. …
This week I went in a few different directions. I first got a little nostalgic and decided to look back 9,000 years in human history. However, items two and three are closer to my heart (and modern times) in that I feel health and wellness are among the most important things in our lives.
When growing up and learning about ancient civilizations, most of us heard about hunter-gatherer societies. Men went out to hunt animals, while women gathered fruits and vegetables. Thus beginning the societal norms for men and women that have persisted in modern times.
But new findings from Peru have given scientists evidence that for some societies in the Americas, between 30–50% of hunters were women. …
As human behavior changes, we learn more and more about the environment, specifically protecting it.
In terms of protection, the government created the world’s most popular private internet browsing software. And once again, I share a reminder that the world's course can drastically change because of one single decision.
An early story from this year was the dramatic drop in CO2 levels worldwide when people were forced to quarantine. As more time has passed, and people continue to work from home, a recent climate research study found that personal transportation CO2 levels have decreased by 40% worldwide.
While reducing CO2 levels is good for the environment, this is clearly not sustainable. As the researchers suggest, it still wouldn’t be enough to make a big impact on long-term CO2 concentration in the atmosphere. Meaning, substantial changes to energy production and consumption remains crucial to our survival. …
In my view, it’s important to be aware of the world around us. That’s why this week, I begin by sharing two time-relevant pieces of information that affect all of us. But I then make sure to end with a… fun?… historical anecdote.
The General Strike
As a result of COVID, more and more people are losing their job, skimping on food, and missing rent or mortgage payments. The calls for a general strike are growing louder. A general strike is just as it sounds, a strike of workers (across industries) in solidarity of the same basic ideas or demands.
Compared to more recent strikes, like those of teachers, Amazon workers, or auto workers, for higher wages and safer working conditions, the general strike could be used for things like rent and mortgage cancellations, police reform, or Universal Basic Income (UBI). …
These are not books that simply made me think. These are books that went a step further and changed how I think. They continue to have an impact on my life beyond the time I spent reading them.
The words “life-changing” seem a little too grand, even though it’s technically accurate. If a book has a lasting impact on me, no matter how small or large, I guess it has in some way changed my life. The more important note is these five books changed how I think and see the world.
Ironically enough this book is about questioning best practices (take a sneak peek at the third book I’ve listed below). But it also talks about intuition and doing what works for you, not what others have said works for them. …
First, I need to share with you one of the more fun and amazing things I’ve learned in a long time. Followed up by a bit of bright news that’s probably needed at this moment. We’ll then finish with one more piece of positive news I found while going down the eSports rabbit hole.
She Bought a Tank During WWII
This story begins on a sad note by first recognizing that Mariya Oktyabrskaya lost her husband during WWII. He, a Soviet Union (Russian) soldier, was killed in action by the German Army. Mariya’s response? To sell all her belongings, including her house, and purchase a tank. …
Historical events continue to be relevant in modern times.
In recent days there’s been talk of court-packing in relation to the Supreme Court, and the potential elimination of the Senate filibuster. But first, space exploration continues to shape our future.
Finally, some good news from 2020 was shared when scientists added Venus to the list of planets that could possibly support life. Phosphine is the reason for this discovery as it’s a gas produced by organic life forms.
Nothing definitive can be said yet about previous or current life on Venus. But NASA is considering two potential missions to learn more. One would photograph the surface of Venus, the other would collect air samples with hopes of collecting more information about phosphine levels. …
I’ll keep this short and let you get to item number one because it’s one of the craziest and scariest things I’ve learned in a long time. But make sure to stick around for the last two as one has to do with the good-hearted non-profit folks and the last with living longer. Kind of.
I still remember the first time I watched episode one of Black Mirror. Where people had a public social rating visible to everyone. Well, this week I learned it’s actually being developed in China.
The “Social Credit System” was sold by the government as a way to increase trust and good behavior and is mandatory for everyone. You get points for doing good things and lose points for bad things, like jaywalking or buying too many video games. …