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It's a fine line between living for the moment and being a sociopath.

Patricia B McConnell: For The Love Of A Dog.

Pema Chodron: The Places That Scare You

Daniel Wallace: Mr Sebastian & the Negro Magician

All paths lead to the same goal: to convey to others what we are. --Pablo Neruda

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Location: Oxfordshire, United Kingdom

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Sunday, March 23, 2008


I've spent part of the Easter weekend listening to TED talks. I've blogged about TED before, but every time I dip in, I'm amazed at the resourcer that it is. It's a remarkable source of perspective-stretching inspiration.

TED talks.

The Art of Possibility

This weekend I finished the last few pages of The Art of Possibility. My one-phrase review: inspiring, but patchy. Ben Zander's narratives are, alone, worth the small time investment the book requires. But this is not, principally, a book of stories. The pejorative label for it would be "self-help book". And, as such, it's more salsa than burrito.

The book tries to present a framework of insights. It is on this framework that Zander's stories hang. And the framework, itself, is somewhat unfulfilling. Not quite a complete meal. That's not much of a criticism, though. The book isn't intended as a recipe. It's got a modest premise: a few ideas that might, if used well, be tools for the self to become more of what it wants to be, or to allow expansiveness into one's life -- expansiveness that promises a different existence than the zero-sum game so many of us are lulled into believing is the natural condition of life.

Closing the book after its last sentence, I recalled why I had picked it up in the first place. Though I can't remember who made the recommendation, I was turned on to Zander as a great speaker. Googling him, I found some great video online. Seriously inspiring. From there, links to his book, and great reviews, and I was awaiting my shipment from Amazon.

Looking back, I reckon Zander's more powerful as a speaker than as an author. Compared to his effervescent speaking style, the book lies a little flat, even though some of its stories soar. That said, some of its messsages -- some of the more challenging ones, in fact -- will stay with me. And that's not such a bad review, after all.


Sunday, March 16, 2008

Oliver still rocks

...and I still fantasize about the day when I will again have a dog.

Daily Oliver


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Not Coming to America

Sadly, this post on Jon Taplin's blog rang true to me.

Its not just the sad stories of British Muslim academics and filmmakers ... who have stopped coming into the U.S. because of all the profiling, but also the average European who has lost their taste for America.

I've spent the last several years in France and the UK. In neither place have I been surrounded by folks itching to vacation in the US. The mystique is gone, and the hassle of visiting the US is objectively greater than visiting any other free nation. I am left shaking my head.

Taplin's blog impresses every time I point my browser in its direction. I don't always agree, but I always learn.


Being and nothingness for the geek crowd

Saw this in Harper's Weekly, and loved it so much I've read it to at least 50 people. I'm not sure any of them were as moved as I was:

...and two teams of physicists, one in Calgary and the other in Tokyo, successfully stored nothing within a gas, in the form of a squeezed vacuum composed of uncertainty. They then retrieved the nothing.


Saturday, March 08, 2008

Time out

Just reading this op-ed piece in the New York Times.

In scrambling to use time to the hilt, we wind up with less of it.

I'm rather glad I was sitting in a sunbeam in Paris when I read that.