In October of last year, Wise & Shine started a podcast. In the weeks ahead, we’ll be recording new episodes for your listening pleasure. Tuesday will be the day we publish new podcasts to the site. If you haven’t already done so, please have a listen to our recordings from 2022. We are interested in hearing … More Wise & Shine Podcasts in 2023
In the latest installment of the Wise & Shine podcast, I talk with Billy Osogo—one of our writers and a brilliant young man who lives in Nairobi, Kenya—about what the world can learn from Africa. In Billy’s very insightful response, he tells me about “Ubuntu” and a variety of other subjects. Have a listen and … More New Podcast: What Can the World Learn from Africa?
Are Americans freer than Europeans? Find out when Troy Headrick and Cristiana (“crisbiecoach”) have a thought-provoking discussion on freedom, enslavement, choice, possessions, money, and a variety of related topics.
Politics…has started to metastasize into gleefully naked power grabs in which the basic assumptions that make democracies functional have been replaced by a mosh pit, a zero sum game in which the sole object is the accretion of power. … More Thoughts from the Ledge of Democracy
Note: I’ve included some thinking exercises in this piece, toward the second half of the blog. Please participate in completing those and leaving your answers in the comment section. I hope you don’t feel that I’m beating a dead horse here, talking so much and with such passion about thinking. It’s just that I’m reminded … More Building the Muscular Mind (Final Installment with Exercises)
I apologize for the lateness of posting this. I had an unexpectedly hard time finishing the follow-up to my first installment. I actually completed it more than a week ago, but I didn’t feel good about what I’d written. It felt like the tone was all wrong. I was being too strident and too dark, … More Building the Muscular Mind (Installment Two)
I’m going to stick my neck out today. I’m going to talk about something I’ve been avoiding for certain political and professional reasons for some time now. A topic that is close to my heart. As it turns out, aircrew are extremely reluctant to talk about mental health. On the rare occasions I’ve brought it … More The Elephant in the Cockpit
We are born with brains, so we come into this life with the basic equipment needed to think, but that doesn’t mean we all have the innate ability to think well. I guess this is analogous to the fact that we have been given arms, but the average bicep looks and functions considerably differently from … More Building the Muscular Mind (Installment One)
If you’re a long-time reader of my blogs, you know that I spent about two decades living the life of an expatriated American. I am proud of that time in my life. I first went abroad as a Peace Corps Volunteer, to Poland, not long after the collapse of the Soviet system, and then lived … More Beware: Garbage In, Garbage Out
Disclaimer: Previously known by the Anglicized spelling of Turkey, President Erdoğan has asked the international community to recognize the nation by its Turkish spelling, Türkiye, on June 28th, 2022. Türkiye is a country distinguished by it’s blend of European and Asian culture. Although after speaking with some locals, they consider themselves not to be European, … More Turkish Literature: Where diverse culture meets unique literature
San Antonio, Texas, the city where I currently live, is located about eighty miles away from Uvalde, a town that has been in the news a lot in recent days. Unless you’ve been doing a Rip Van Winkle lately or are someone who lives outside the United States, I probably don’t need to tell you … More Uvalde, the State of the Electorate, and a Rant
Our lack of action to curb gun violence sends the message that we don’t care about the problem, even if it means dead kids. … More We Don’t Care About Dead Kids
I spent a good portion of this past Saturday helping my wife with her small business. She is a master baker and makes a variety of Mediterranean breads and desserts. Her goodies are artisanal and high-end. She sells them each Saturday at a farmer’s market located in Boerne, Texas, a town with a large German-speaking … More Sacred Places
On Saturday I listened to an interview to a Belgian politician who was saying that Governments should let out of the political scene extreme rights parties. He claimed that they receive too much visibility from the media and this is a reason for their popularity. He suggested not talking to them, as simple as that. … More Declaration of Honour
Note: This blog was originally published as an Op-Ed in the San Antonio Express-News. I’m republishing it here today because it relates nicely with Learning to Question: A Pedagogy of Liberation, a book I’m reading and one I wrote about in my most recent Pointless Overthinking blog. *** I am an American educator. My job … More Community Colleges Are Helping to Transform America
Some weeks ago, I checked out Learning to Question: A Pedagogy of Liberation, by Paulo Freire and Antonio Faundez, from the library at the college where I work. Yesterday, after having the book sit around unread since I’d taken it home, I decided the time was right and opened it up. I’m not far enough … More Participating in Something New and Special
Would you stop using your car? Do you know that by increasing the road capacity to reduce traffic jams would make the situation worse? This is an interesting story about a practical application of the “Braess Paradox”. 2009, The Netherlands. Some inhabitants of one Rotterdam’s neighbourhood receive a strange email: they have been watched while … More Would You Stop Using Your Car?
Several days ago, I invited my wife out for a meal at Hong Kong Harbor, a buffet-style restaurant that serves Chinese, Japanese, and Korean food. Toward the end of our time at the eatery, a waiter dropped off two fortune cookies. I’ve gotten some really good advice and words of wisdom over the years, so … More I Ate the Cookie
As someone who manages a couple of writing centers at Palo Alto College in San Antonio, Texas, USA, I’m often asked, by faculty members of one sort of another, to do writing workshops for students. Exactly one week ago today, I did a critical thinking activity with a class of writers. It’s a workshop I’ve … More I’ve Been Thinking about Thinking
Today, we celebrate the International Women’s Day. Do you know the true origin of women’s day, why is it on March 8? Fire in the Triangle factory The fire in the Triangle factory in New York on March 25, 1911 was the most serious industrial accident in New York history. It caused the death of … More March 8, the True Origin of Women’s Day