We’re all over the map this week! Off we go:
This is a wonderful, important interview:
Lesley Stahl: Did you meet a lot of people who perpetrated war crimes who would otherwise in your opinion have been just a normal, upstanding citizen?
Benjamin Ferencz: Of course, is my answer. These men would never have been murderers had it not been for the war. These were people who could quote Goethe, who loved Wagner, who were polite–
Lesley Stahl: What turns a man into a savage beast like that?
Benjamin Ferencz: He’s not a savage. He’s an intelligent, patriotic human being.
Lesley Stahl: He’s a savage when he does the murder though.
Benjamin Ferencz: No. He’s a patriotic human being acting in the interest of his country, in his mind.
Lesley Stahl: You don’t think they turn into savages even for the act?
Benjamin Ferencz: Do you think the man who dropped the nuclear bomb on Hiroshima was a savage? Now I will tell you something very profound, which I have learned after many years. War makes murderers out of otherwise decent people. All wars, and all decent people.
Let all who have ears to hear, listen.
2. You’re Not Going to Believe What I’m about to Tell You: The Oatmeal
Learn about how the lizard brain works. In all of us. And resolve to do better.
You’ve heard it said, “Don’t compare your insides to other people’s outsides.” We know people’s Facebook personas aren’t completely authentic, but it’s easy to forget that when we’re tangled up in our own insecurities.
A fascinating exercise, to compare what gets shared publicly on Facebook with what people search for in the relative privacy and obscurity of Google:
The Las Vegas budget hotel Circus Circus and the luxurious hotel Bellagio each holds about the same number of people. But the Bellagio gets about three times as many check-ins on Facebook.
Lots more fun examples in the article.
Churchy friends–I had the sad privilege of attending a memorial service on Saturday for Jeff Krehbiel, a friend and minister colleague here in the DC area. It was a wonderful celebration of his life. Jeff was a community organizer as well as a pastor, working with the Washington Interfaith Network (WIN) on all kinds of initiatives with the people of Washington DC. He also wrote a short book connecting scripture with organizing. Here is an excerpt. Beautiful and wise. He will be missed.
5. Fun Home!
I got to see Fun Home at the National Theater in DC a couple of weeks ago. What a fantastic show–about coming of age, coming out, and coming to terms with a family secret. Here’s a little taste from the Tonys a few years ago. (Sydney Lucas. WHOA.)
OK, this is a running link, but I promise it relates to “real life” as well. The author, Greg MacMillan, argues that we get stronger by stressing the body. The body adapts to this stress, and we improve. But we have to stress it the right way:
The optimal rate of adaptation occurs when the body is stressed to a tolerable level, allowing it time to adapt without having to draw on every ounce of its physical and mental reserves. It gradually adapts and is at far less risk for injury or burnout. At the end of a training run you feel pleasantly fatigued but also know that you could have done a little more.
Thus, the challenge during speed work is not to give the old 110 percent, or even 100 percent — it’s to train at around 90 percent. Great coaches such as Arthur Lydiard, David Martin, Bob Larsen and Bill Squires advocate this method of “controlled” training. You’ll find that your body is never overstressed and adapts gradually but progressively, always leaving you hungry for more. A little control will make training more enjoyable and lead to greater overall improvement and, most importantly, better race performance. I call it finding your sweet spot in training. Once you do, you’ll never have so much fun with your running.
See what I mean? How many of us work right up against the red line, pushing through exhaustion, and crowing “Eh, I’ll sleep when I’m dead”? We need to calibrate our activity level better. I heard a different coach say last week, “It’s better to be 10% undertrained for a race than even 1% overtrained.” Good advice for running and life.
7. Biisuke!! (video)
What’s the only thing better than a Rube Goldberg device? A Rube Goldberg device that tells a story of courage and family.
“You did it, brothers!”
8. Cool Tools
I love the Improvised Life blog–they feature all kinds of creative, inspiring artists and thinkers there. This week they were singing the praises of the Cool Tools catalog, which we have and have enjoyed as well.
Read more about Cool Tools.
I am on a big Athena kick lately (I’ll explain why in a future blog post), and I loved Badass of the Week’s romp into Greek mythology. (Rated PG-13 for language; you’ve been warned, so don’t send me letters.)
OK, I’ve been sitting here trying to excerpt just one piece of this blog post, and I can’t. I can’t. It’s all awesome and badass and again, PG-13 so REALLY don’t send me letters, but go read it.
10. Wonder Woman!!
Speaking of strong goddess-women, I am so stoked for this movie. (Also worried they’ll mess it up–like the Pop Culture Happy Hour team, I’m feeling some “antici-ppointment”).
I’ve also added the song “Warriors” by Imagine Dragons to my running playlist. RAWR!!
What are you stoked about today?