It’s Not Just A Teenager Show- I Swear!

The intention of this blog was to find hopeful and optimistic things going on around me – sometimes you just needed to be reminded that intelligent life is still out there.  I needed to find a way to combat the depressing fact that the Bachelor Pad and Jersey Shore continue to pull extremely high ratings.   However, this week’s Emmy Awards have given me a little renewed hope after Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton (Coach Taylor and his wife respectively) were nominated for one of the greatest shows on television right now – Friday Night Lights.

My friend b is a real connaisseuse of television, however she is skeptical of FNL and refuses to watch it.  This is very frustrating for me.   Maybe it’s the football “jock talk”, maybe it’s the Texas accents, but I have been forced to spend an exorbitant amount of time trying to convince people that FNL is not the Texan equivalent of 90210, but rather an intelligent, and insightful show with REAL characters.

Right from the opening credits the cinematography grabs your attention, and it’s clear that this isn’t your regular teenage soap opera.  This season grappled with abortion in a sensitive and critical manner – one of the first TV shows that was willing to deal with this issue and take the inevitable criticism that they knew would accompany that plot sequence.

Sadly, FNL has just finished filming its fifth and final season – which means that I have very little time left with Tim Riggins and Vince.  These boys kill me.  Luckily they’re not adolescents in real life, or my crushes would be a bit more uncomfortable than they already are. Quiet sensitive boys carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders – I seem to always be attracted to the mysterious boys with baggage.

Sadly, this show is just starting to get the critical acclaim it deserves… so get ahead of the crowds, and when the show takes over at next year’s Emmys, you’ll be able to say that you were ahead of the game.  I encourage you to borrow seasons 1-4 from the internets and get ready for Season 5 – coming at you on Direct TV in October.


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Hans Rosling: Homme Extraordinaire

My first post was about something that makes me smile and feel nostalgic: Awesome Things. Today’s post is dedicated to Hans Rosling – a man I consider to be a pure genius – and his wonderful ideas.

Reasons why I consider Hans Rosling to be one of the smartest people that I know of (unfortunately we’re not friends yet..).

1. He invented the nonprofit Gapminder – visualization software that will “unveil the beauty of statistics for a fact based world”. This website has now been bought by Google, but possesses amazing graphs that explore socials and economic development issues. Alot of the graphs, programs, games and videos are aimed to dispel myths about poverty and the so-called developing world, and he speaks about current topics including HIV/AIDS, poverty, and population growth.

2. He has been a part of numerous TED talks – at the conferences which focus on big, bright ideas of the future.

3. He used lego in one of the most articulate (and optimistic!) explanations of population growth – Check out the vid. I also love lego.

4. He is also an accomplished sword-swallower. Are you kidding me? This needs no explanation.

The world needs more people like Hans Rosling. Hans, if you are reading this, can we please meet for coffee?

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The Wall: Hope in Shadows

Since World Cup fever has hit hard, I thought it would be fitting to write about it. Today’s amazing thing is a little mix of soccer + politics.

So a wall built by Israelis has divided the Palestinian territories from the rest of Israel for several years now, and its supposed intention has been to divide and separate the two groups. There are checkpoints manned by Israelis, and the stated goal of the wall is to increase the security of the region. I’m not going to get into politics of the wall too much today because a) I will get all riled up and b) this is not a trite issue that can be explained in a few sentences. I will leave the politics of the wall for another day, other than to state that it has been condemned by the United Nations, and has been compared to the Berlin Wall by others.

This blog is supposed to be about hopeful things, and finding light in darkness (and all of that cheesy stuff) which is why I was so excited to find out that a restaurant owner in Bethlehem is using the Wall on which to project World Cup soccer games to international crowds, in the hopes of bringing the city together.. What a beautiful thing!

Check out what the Bahamas SeaFood Restaurant is doing… The owner states that “the wall is a very negative thing, so if we can do something positive with it, we will. My goal is to bring everybody together. It’s good for business, and it’s good for Bethlehem.”

Awesome.

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Numero Uno: It’s Awesome

I must give credit where credit is due – my first post about amazing things is thanks to Neil Pasricha – a guy that has taken the time to notice the little things that make us smile. He’s developed quite the list – 1000 Awesome Things, and his is my website of choice for today.

How do you define ‘awesome’, you might ask? How about finding money you didn’t know you lost, broccoflower, or my personal favorite – old, dangerous playground equipment? How could I ever forget what is was like to slide down the fire pole at recess until my hands began to bleed? Or jumping off the teeter-totter at the bottom so that your friend slams into the ground and risks potential injury? I remember that being really funny. Today’s playgrounds have nothing on the good old days – safety standards have ruined everything.

So Neil started his blog called 1000 Awesome Things as a way of dealing with some stress, and now he has a bestseller called The Book of Awesome and is pretty famous. He’s quite inspiring really, and the best part is that he appears to be a really nice guy (or he’s tricked me with his writing skills). Either way, check out his website, and re-discover something wonderful that you’ve forgotten about.

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Opening Musings

Let’s face it, read a newspaper for ten minutes and it’s clear that the world is an sad state of affairs… Wait, let me rephrase that because barely anyone I know still reads the newspaper anymore which is indicative in itself.

Sometimes I feel like the world is going to end really soon. There’s practically no mountain gorillas left (and i just really like them), the Gulf of Mexico looks like the Black Sea, and people continue to believe that Sarah Palin is intelligent after everything we’ve been through. So, I figure we have two options, we can sink our heads in the sand and believe in ridiculous theories like 2012 (are you kidding me?), or we can look for amazing things that are happening all around us. If we choose the latter, then hopefully a sense of optimism about the state of our planet will emerge.

This blog will be an attempt to highlight events, people, and things that are hopeful, sustainable, and downright intelligent. Or maybe I will present silly things that are just funny. Like this picture below – “he has seen it” – I don’t even like cats and I think this is hilarious.

I won’t promise to provide a solution to climate change, nor am I the wittiest writer on the world wide webs. I will simply point you in the direction of something that might make your day (or just make you smile). In the best case scenario, I might help convince you that the next generation of children is not necessarily destined to end up in a scene from Cormac McCarthy’s The Road.

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