Read Jon Liew

To understand football, or sport, and its relationship to life, read Jonathan Liew. If you can only read one sports writer, read Liew. When he is absent from these pages, even for the few days as it must be, there is a hole. No offense intended, but the gap with everyone else is galactic. And I love that it is by this particular Englishman. Turning to the article, I would bet, anything, that as the game ended and Harry Kane and Son Heung-min looked across at their bitter rivals, not-too-deep down inside they would want to play on this flowing, … Continue reading Read Jon Liew

Fee-Fi-Fo-Fum, I Smell the Stink of Some Football Men

Wish I can say something that’s not been said about the most recent turn of events at the organization everyone loves to hate. FIFA members were indicted last week by the U.S. Justice Department, of all places. Something more than the obvious. How could Sepp Blatter not resign out of simple shame? But we’ve seen that before, truth be told. How could the members not vote him out out of simple dignity? Seen that before too. It seems it must be a completely corrupt, morally bankrupt organization. But life suggests it might be more complicated than that. Something, maybe, to … Continue reading Fee-Fi-Fo-Fum, I Smell the Stink of Some Football Men

Arsenal’s FA Cup Win: Hollow Celebrations

There’s little like it. Grown men in absolute joy after winning a title. Jumping up and down like ten year olds. It forces a smile; the happiness is contagious. But there is sadness in the Arsenal celebrations. Disproportionate, it borders on obscene. This is not the first time Arsenal have reacted to a victory as if they’ve been crowned kings of Europe. Or the Premier League. What is worrying is that they seem to mistake these victories as more sufficient than they are. Worse still, as if they indicate some achievement greater than they do. Some profound step on the … Continue reading Arsenal’s FA Cup Win: Hollow Celebrations

The Fantastic Michael B. Jordan

Been an MJ fan ever since haphazardly catching him in That Awkward Moment during a transatlantic flight. But like him even more after some rather simple, thoughtful comments in response to the vitriol he faces being cast as Johnny Storm . . . This is a family movie about four friends—two of whom are myself and Kate Mara as my adopted sister—who are brought together by a series of unfortunate events to create unity and a team. That’s the message of the movie, if people can just allow themselves to see it. Sometimes you have to be the person who … Continue reading The Fantastic Michael B. Jordan

Arsène Wenger: On Beauty, and Virtue, and the Journey

I spend so much time reading about Arsenal these days, it’s embarrassing. Of course it has a lot to do with their recent run of form. Actually, truth be told, the form is as miserably inconsistent as always; but they have been winning. And the chance of them ending up Second wakes me up at Four in the morning to watch the game. More truthfully, it is the glimpse of potential greatness that has me obsessed. I actually see the possibility of a title, with a few additions, and deletions. Gibbs and Ramsey and Wilshere, along with Mertesacker, Arteta are going … Continue reading Arsène Wenger: On Beauty, and Virtue, and the Journey

Dive for Dreams or . . . Drown in Life

Maybe I should be ashamed to admit it. But I am a Zac Efron fan. I know nothing about his High School Musical days. For me, it began with Charlie St. Cloud. Say what you will about that movie — I thought much more of it than many — it brought the following into a lot of lives . . . dive for dreams or a slogan may topple you (trees are their roots and wind is wind) trust your heart if the seas catch fire (and live by love though the stars walk backward) e.e. cummings Continue reading Dive for Dreams or . . . Drown in Life

David Brooks: The Moral Bucket List

David Brooks hits a home run. Would he stick to essays about living better rather than treatises on politics . . . There is so much here that should be examined closely. The essentiality of humility and connection. We cannot walk alone, despite the cultural hype to the contrary. There is salvation in love outside ourselves . . . “should the stars walk backward” or otherwise.     David Brooks ABOUT once a month I run across a person who radiates an inner light. These people can be in any walk of life. They seem deeply good. They listen well. … Continue reading David Brooks: The Moral Bucket List

Timmy . . . Go . . . Go

“Serious stuff. Howard did all he could to save his team in a 2-1 loss to Belgium, but he may ultimately have a much larger role: as a game-changer for soccer in the United States. “Why? The answer is simple. Timothy Matthew Howard, a 35-year-old keeper from central New Jersey and a son of a truck driver, elicited more cheers than perhaps any other player in this World Cup for single-handedly holding off Belgium for most of the game. At a basic level, he was out there on his own, sacrificing his body to protect his country’s team when the … Continue reading Timmy . . . Go . . . Go

Jose Mourinho on Mesut Özil

Mesut Özil is a player who requires “trust and confidence” in order to reach his best form, according to Jose Mourinho. Özil, who is currently at the World Cup with Germany, experienced a difficult season first season in the Premier League after joining Arsenal from Real Madrid for a club-record £42.5 million fee. He scored six goals and managed 11 assists in 37 appearances for the Gunners last season, but his level of performance in games against their title rivals was fiercely scrutinised by fans. However, Mourinho insists it’s simply a case of providing the 25-year-old with the right man-management, … Continue reading Jose Mourinho on Mesut Özil

Some Freedom for Lupita

Whether Lupita Nyong’o has permanently, or like past cultural phenomena, merely briefly, expanded conceptions of beauty is still to be played out.  But her arrangement with Lancôme means that she will never have to accept Hollywood drivel as her next project, should that notorious industry do, again, what it has done in the past, with such outside the box wonders.   *                    *                    * It goes without saying that when you’re handed the part of a lifetime, you play it to the hilt. In the case of Lupita Nyong’o, the 31-year old Oscar winner — born in Mexico, raised in Kenya, … Continue reading Some Freedom for Lupita

Marina Keegan: The Opposite of Loneliness

University | 3:10 am | May 27, 2012 | By Marina Keegan Marina Keegan ’12. Photo by Joy Shan.   The piece below was written by Marina Keegan ’12 for a special edition of the News distributed at the class of 2012′s commencement exercises last week. Keegan died in a car accident on Saturday. She was 22. We don’t have a word for the opposite of loneliness, but if we did, I could say that’s what I want in life. What I’m grateful and thankful to have found at Yale, and what I’m scared of losing when we wake up … Continue reading Marina Keegan: The Opposite of Loneliness

“I Love You, I Love You”

At one time, maybe still, you could have read everywhere about “The Secret” and “Law of Attraction,” and this ubiquity, and the mystical panacea they promised, resulted in an understandable, predictable backlash. But if you get beyond this, you will see that their essential principles merely recast basic tenets of various religions, philosophers and self-help books. Akhil Sharma himself recasts these tenets quite nicely in The Trick of Life in this week’s NYT Sunday Review.  Lost in depression, inertia and the fear driving them, Sharma found the way out simply to “be outside myself” because “[m]y mind had become uninhabitable.”  … Continue reading “I Love You, I Love You”

Tiny Pinpricks that Disrupt, Distract and Debilitate

‘Enough is enough’: the fight against everyday sexism Laura Bates The Guardian, Saturday 29 March 2014 When Laura Bates set up her blog Everyday Sexism, she was told to relax: the battle for equality was pretty much won, wasn’t it? Here, she looks at the extraordinary pressures on girls today. ‘People didn’t want to acknowledge sexism, or talk about it. And it wasn’t just men who took this view; it was women, too.’ Photograph: Getty Images Everyone has a tipping point. The funny thing is that when mine came, in March 2012, it wasn’t something dramatic. It was just another week … Continue reading Tiny Pinpricks that Disrupt, Distract and Debilitate

Images of Who We Are: Mother And Daughter, 37-Years Apart

by Ugne Henriko People often comment on the similarities between 25-year-old Lithuanian photographer Ugne Henriko and her mother Laimute Vasyliene, but it was completing the Mother And Daughter series that really brought it home. “My mother cried when she saw the pictures,” Henriko says. “She laughed and cried at the same time – she couldn’t believe it.” To explore the relationship between them, Henriko recreated images taken 37 years earlier, when her mother was an 18-year-old photography student in the Soviet Union. She not only wanted to explore the idea of being a “copy” of someone else, but also to … Continue reading Images of Who We Are: Mother And Daughter, 37-Years Apart

Defining Cool: Patrick O’Neale, football coach, 45 (London)

I like to wear one thing that stands out – today it’s the boots, by Oliver Sweeney – and the rest I’m not worried about. I’m in trainers or football boots all week, so I like to have on a nice pair of shoes the rest of the time. Today’s a Jimi Hendrix day – that’s what I’m listening to right now. I love the man, I love the guitar. When I’m cruising around, I like to plug myself in and get myself going. I’m very much a family person. I live with my wife and two beautiful children. My nine-year-old son kiteboards, … Continue reading Defining Cool: Patrick O’Neale, football coach, 45 (London)

Good People Fail

Been regretting my recent conclusion that Arsène Wenger should step aside because, frankly, he comes across as a good guy. A nice man. I don’t know him, of course, but there has been nothing about the way he has conducted himself that suggests anything but a quality individual. He is thoughtful and reflective, balanced and nuanced. He suggests honesty, and the most important quality of all, integrity. You can have a coffee with him, or a pint, and likely find much to talk about. He strikes me as that professor we use to like talking to. His pregame responses this … Continue reading Good People Fail

Fighting the Good Fight: Bethann Hardison

But for individuals like Bethann Hardison, we would be a lot worse off. While the intractable persistence of racism engenders cancerous cynicism and bitterness, pathological individualism and debilitating insularity, and, yes, self-hate in many, there are those who persist in little, seemingly insignificant steps that do matter, that are impactful, that are largely self-less, and that are just about doing the right thing. There intense and noble actions seem ill-equipped to win the broader struggle, or even prevail permanently, lasting as long as the hyper-passionate, hyper-articulate individual — how we often we have read of some pioneer, some prior movement … Continue reading Fighting the Good Fight: Bethann Hardison

Men’s Men: George Clooney

George Clooney is the quintessential man’s man, don’t let anyone try to tell you different.  And they’re all really, really happy to see that he might have finally gotten over whatever has been going on to roll with a woman they quite expect him to . . . Amal Alamuddin is an English barrister who has handled cases before various International Courts, been an adviser to Kofi Annan, and represented Julian Assange. Bonafide Babe. Bonafide Brains. Continue reading Men’s Men: George Clooney

Women We Love (Now): Professor Hill

She was a Yale Grad.  Professor of Law.  Worked in two positions for the government that involved caring about others. And she was treated very, very badly. Vilified does not quite convey it. If you think about it, she really had no incentive at all to lie. Nada. Zilch. She didn’t even want to testify. Her accused, however, did have this incentive. And he testified with righteous indignation, passion, and the complete absence of shame. In retrospect, there can be no reasonable doubt left. You just don’t come up with that stuff out of whole cloth. Silent, seething, petty and minor, … Continue reading Women We Love (Now): Professor Hill

. . . and Pain: Özil Plays On Despite Being Injured — Out 4 to 6 Weeks

Feeling the pressure to deliver, Mesut plays through an injury, likely making it a lot worse: Now it’s clear: During the match against Bayern I suffered a muscle injury in the second minute. I tried to give my best and played until the end of the first half. Rest assured that I’ll be back even stronger! Continue reading . . . and Pain: Özil Plays On Despite Being Injured — Out 4 to 6 Weeks

Sweden: A Completely Different Way

Monocle’s  Interview Series talks with five political “heavyweights” is killing it. Posted earlier an excerpt with Sebastian Pinera, President of Chile. Next in line was Fedrick Reinfeldt, Prime Minister of Sweden. Mr. Reinfeldt is center-right, in Euro politico-speak, which means that he runs a tad more conservative than the mainstream. But as we are talking about Sweden, in the US he would be “a dangerous leftie who would struggle to become a congressman in California.” To hear a moderate conservative speak in the following terms gives a glimpse of not just alternative ways of conceiving society, but also the possibility that … Continue reading Sweden: A Completely Different Way

Sebastián Piñera: His Greatest Lesson and the Wealthy

Outgoing President of Chile is a smart guy.  He reminds us that even when right, we must still persuade.  And we might fail.  Don’t give up. He also reaffirms the need for equal education and jobs to end extreme inequality.  Things we know but are vigorously opposed by too many in this nation. Monocle:What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned as president? Sebastián Piñera: You learn to be more humble, more patient. You realise that you cannot get everything done immediately. That you have to negotiate and compromise. Even if you’re right, you have to spend a lot of time convincing … Continue reading Sebastián Piñera: His Greatest Lesson and the Wealthy

10 Things Happy People Don’t Care For | Alden Tan

In my own personal journey of trying to be a better person, I realised that it was all about aiming to be happy. Nothing more, nothing less. When you’re happy, you’re effectively better in every aspect of your life. The second realisation is that happiness comes from shedding the unnecessary in life, as in you need to stop caring about certain things. The third realisation? A lot of these unnecessary things are painfully obvious. More often than not, it’s plain common sense. Here’s 10 things happy people don’t care for. 1. AGE Indeed, age is just a number. And happy people know this … Continue reading 10 Things Happy People Don’t Care For | Alden Tan

Sunday Review | The Compassion Gap

SOME readers collectively hissed after I wrote a week ago about the need for early-childhood interventions to broaden opportunity in America. I focused on a 3-year-old boy in West Virginia named Johnny Weethee whose hearing impairment had gone undetected, leading him to suffer speech and development problems that may dog him for the rest of his life. A photo of Johnny and his mom, Truffles Weethee, accompanied the column and readers honed in on Truffles’ tattoos and weight. “You show a photograph of a fat woman with tons of tattoos all over that she paid for,” one caller said. “And … Continue reading Sunday Review | The Compassion Gap

Sunday Review | Don’t Quote Me on This | MARIA KONNIKOVA

Facilitating an “Impulse to Shortcut Actual Thought” In providing access to information and knowledge that would have required a potentially, and for many, likely, preclusive amount of time, research and reading, the Internet shortcut has had equally perverse consequences as well.  It facilitates natural tendencies towards intellectual laziness, where we co-opt and substitute others’ hard wrought conclusions for our own, without the benefits of the intellectual rigor, hypothesizing and failing, refinement and evolution from which those conclusions sprang.  While we are busy manipulating others’ validation , we are missing nuances they discovered from developing it on our own.  Eager to … Continue reading Sunday Review | Don’t Quote Me on This | MARIA KONNIKOVA

A Commercial We Hate to Love: Cadillac’s “In America, We Work Hard”

Cadillac’s electric hybrid commercial is incredibly effective. It chills. Inspires. It’s arrogant. It is justified American smugness. And it fills the quintessential longing: it tells us who we are. Americans are in constant, desperate need of reassuring and validation: our … Continue reading A Commercial We Hate to Love: Cadillac’s “In America, We Work Hard”

Why Creative Geniuses Often Keep a Messy Desk | lifehacker

Why Creative Geniuses Often Keep a Messy Desk Steve Jobs, Albert Einstein, and Mark Twain. What is one thing these three visionaries have in common? They all had very messy workspaces. This post originally appeared on the Busy Building Things Blog. These three game-changers were never ones to follow the crowd. We can see this by how unconventionally disorganized their desks are. There was a method to this madness: under the mass of papers, magazines, and various objects, there is a sense of organization only the creator can operate through. Here are some other creative powerhouses that have messy desks: … Continue reading Why Creative Geniuses Often Keep a Messy Desk | lifehacker

18 Things Highly Creative People Do Differently | Carolyn Gregoire

“It’s actually hard for creative people to know themselves because the creative self is more complex than the non-creative self,” Scott Barry Kaufman, a psychologist at New York University who has spent years researching creativity, told The Huffington Post. “The things that stand out the most are the paradoxes of the creative self … Imaginative people have messier minds.” While there’s no “typical” creative type, there are some tell-tale characteristics and behaviors of highly creative people. Here are 18 things they do differently. They daydream. Although daydreaming may seem mindless, a 2012 study suggested it could actually involve a highly … Continue reading 18 Things Highly Creative People Do Differently | Carolyn Gregoire

Putin Will Ultimately Lose — Unless We Prevent Him

Just as we’ve turned the coverage of politics into sports, we’re doing the same with geopolitics. There is much nonsense being written about how Vladimir Putin showed how he is “tougher” than Barack Obama and how Obama now needs to demonstrate his manhood. This is how great powers get drawn into the politics of small tribes and end up in great wars that end badly for everyone. We vastly exaggerate Putin’s strength — so does he — and we vastly underestimate our own strength, and ability to weaken him through nonmilitary means. Let’s start with Putin. Any man who actually … Continue reading Putin Will Ultimately Lose — Unless We Prevent Him

NYT SundayReview | What You Learn in Your 40s | Pamela Druckerman

PARIS — IF all goes according to plan, I’ll turn 44 soon after this column appears. So far in my adult life, I’ve never managed to grasp a decade’s main point until long after it was over. It turns out that I wasn’t supposed to spend my 20s frantically looking for a husband; I should have been building my career and enjoying my last gasp of freedom. I then spent my 30s ruminating on grievances accumulated in my 20s. This time around, I’d like to save time by figuring out the decade while I’m still in it. Entering middle age … Continue reading NYT SundayReview | What You Learn in Your 40s | Pamela Druckerman