Friday, October 17, 2014
Thursday, October 16, 2014
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Russell Simmons? you ask. The moving and shaking founder of Def Jam Records, wrote a book called Success Through Stillness?
Yes. Yes, he did. And get this: it's about meditation, and about how devoting twenty minutes to meditation twice a day, each day, will make you more successful at anything you turn your mind to.
Simmons tells stories of how he found his way to meditation, as well as how it benefits other major players he knows, from basketball greats to Oprah and Jay Z. He also talks about how much he enjoys yoga, although that's not a prerequisite to meditating.
The book begins by declaring that meditation is the path to true happiness.
Why should you meditate?Soon after discussing his own start meditating, Simmons launches into five different chapters designed to shoot holes in any excuses you might have not to do it, including the most common ones like "I Don't Have Time" and "I'm No Good at It", along with some more complicated, in some cases theological, reasons. From there, he moves onto explaining the positive physical reasons you should meditate, which includes improving your brain's health and potential, followed by the very real benefits people find in their lives once they start meditating.
The answer is very simple: to be happy.
Which is the only reason you're here.
This may sound like a very simple take on the meaning of life,
but I believe it with every fiber in my body.
Raymond, a gold farmer Anda befriends, turns out to be a teen in China who is hired as a miner. The money he earns for his employer is needed but the exhaustion from long hours is making him sick. Without a union or health care Anda tried to persuade him to get other gamers to collectively bargain but then Raymond's avatar disappears from the game, and Anda's parents cut her off from gaming and she worries about what has happened.
Monday, October 13, 2014
WELCOME BACK TO THE BOOK FAIR FOR BALLOU!
As our regular readers know, Guys Lit Wire annually teams up with Ballou Senior High School librarian Melissa Jackson to host a book fair for this Washington DC high school. Ballou has some big changes on the horizon—a brand new school will be opening in January. This is long overdue (the original school was built in the 1950s) and we are very excited for the Ballou students, teachers and staff. But...even though we were hoping that with the new school and new library/media center there would be an increased budget for books, (and that's what we thought was happening a few months ago), it turns out that is simply not the case.
So, just like in years past, we all need to work together to help these students get the books they want to read. It's important that we buy from the wish list because we want these teens to be excited about the titles. Here's some hard truths about Ballou from the Washington Post:
Students tend to arrive at Ballou years behind grade level; by 10th grade, about one in five are proficient in reading and math, according to city tests. Fewer than half of students graduate on time and more than 60 percent are considered chronically truant.
Like far too many kids in America, the students at Ballou have some very real struggles. For them a library full of books is not just a treat and a pleasure but a necessity. It's a refuge in the best sense of the word, and we feel that everything we can do to make it a more empowering place is time & money well spent.
We've got all kinds of great books for Ballou on the Powells Books wish list and we do hope you will send a title or two in their direction or, if you can't, please help us spread the word via twitter, facebook and more about the book fair. All the details are behind the cut and if you have any questions, let us know!
Wednesday, October 8, 2014
Just wanted to give everyone a heads-up that we will be again hosting a book fair starting Monday, October 13th for Ballou Sr. High School in Washington DC. Regular readers know already that is an annual thing for us (the photo above is from spring 2013 when the books arrived for that book fair), although it is a little late this year. Ballou is moving into a new school in January after 50+ years in their current building however, so we wanted to give them a few more boxes to take along to the new digs. (So exciting!!!)
Unfortunately, as wonderful as the new library & media center is, as it turns out, there will be no increase in the budget for books. So now there is all this gorgeous space but far too few titles to fill it up with.
Along with Melissa Jackson, the tireless Ballou librarian, and her faithful book clubbers, we have built a list at Powells Books that will be open for business on Monday. I'll have all the ordering information posted here, so you can select a title or two (or more!) and send them on their way direct to Ballou. If you can't buy books, we would very much appreciate any efforts you make to help spread the word on what we're doing.
There are fewer things we can do in this world that matter as much as sharing the written word. Guys Lit Wire continues to assist Ballou Sr High School because we think this library is home to a lot of great kids who deserve access to a lot more books then they currently have. Catch you back here Monday with all the details!
Tuesday, October 7, 2014
This gets Kaplan thinking. What does it mean to "believe" in Santa Claus? Does Tammi believe in Santa Claus? If she doesn't then is she just lying to her son? Does she both believe and not believe? Is that possible? If someone believes in something that obviously doesn't exist, wouldn't that make them, well, insane? What does it mean to exist anyway? Is there some sense in which Santa Clause really does exist? Kaplan realizes he doesn't really know, and sets about trying to figure it out. The result is Does Santa Exist: A Philosophical Investigation.
This is a nice holiday book. It makes references to a lot of your favorite Christmas stories. It has--spoiler alert--a feel good ending. It's also very funny, though not quiet as funny as the movie Elf, the funniest Christmas tale of all time.
That said, it is probably unlike any other holiday book you'll ever read.
Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Tyson is a crack shot when it involves hunting in video games, and he'd love to try it in real life. For as long as he can remember, Gramps has promised to take him on his first elk hunt, and the time has finally come. Or has it?
Several events are threatening to derail the promised hunting trip. #1 - Attacks by a grizzly bear are popping up all over the news. One victim lost an arm, and worse yet, an Ohio couple was killed. Tyson's parents aren't thrilled about the idea of sending their son into the claws or jaws of a grizzly. #2 - Something is up with Gramps. Tyson's parents are keeping a secret about why Gramps has to leave their home and move hours away to live in a nursing home. They are insisting that Gramps is in no condition to go on horseback into the wilderness to hunt anything.