Question of the Day (Inspired by the Red-headed Stranger)

I’m currently reading The Tao of Willie:  A Guide to the Happiness in Your Heart, with “Willie” being the great Willie Nelson, musician and songwriter extraordinaire. As you might guess from the title, the book, coauthored by Nelson and Turk Pipkin, elucidates the singer’s philosophy of life, which was strongly influenced by Buddhist and Taoist … More Question of the Day (Inspired by the Red-headed Stranger)

New Podcast:  What Can the World Learn from Africa?

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?

Non-Pharmaceutical Anti-Depressants and Environmental Causes of Depression: Johann Hari’s Lost Connections

Johann Hari’s book Lost Connections: Why You’re Depressed and How to Find Hope, is one of the very best things I read in 2022. It’s one of those unusual gems you find, that make you want to tell everyone about it, but because it’s so rich and deep, it’s very difficult to convey, in a … More Non-Pharmaceutical Anti-Depressants and Environmental Causes of Depression: Johann Hari’s Lost Connections

Max Dodo

The tutors who work at the Palo Alto College Writing Assistance Center are mostly in their late twenties and early thirties which means they’re young and energetic.  Because they haven’t clocked many years on this planet, they’re not yet tired or jaded.  This is likely the reason they’re so incredibly gung-ho about everything.  So, when … More Max Dodo

New Podcast Today!

Hi!  We’ve just posted a new episode of the Wise & Shine podcast.  Have a listen as I talk with the uber-talented and insightful Art Russell.  In this podcast, we attempt to answer the question “What’s Really Important?”  Thanks for tuning in! 

That’s Punny!

I’m pretty upset with myself.  I grew up in the Austin area (and yet!) I never once heard of El Arroyo restaurant, not until a few days ago. Since the 1980s, besides serving fine Tex-Mex cuisine to countless customers, the eatery has been posting imaginably funny and clever signs in its parking lot.  In fact, … More That’s Punny!

“We Know What We Are, But Know Not What We May Be”

Who Am I? Depends Who You Ask Barring a few Zen Masters, all of us spend virtually every waking moment (and every non-waking moment) in our own heads. These accommodations may strike you as lightless prison cells, bright, soft palaces, or something in between, depending on your moods and/or medications. Hamlet claimed, “I could be … More “We Know What We Are, But Know Not What We May Be”

New Podcast!

It’s Tuesday! That means we’ve posted a new podcast. In this episode, I have a cool conversation with Jack Canfora, one of Wise & Shine’s writers and our resident humorist. We discuss writing, blogging, the writing process, humor, and sundry related topics. Check it out. Show Notes: About the participants: Troy Headrick started writing before … More New Podcast!

New Podcast!

Check out Wise & Shine’s new podcast.  In our latest episode, I talk with Wynne Leon about “Finding My Father’s Faith,” her memoir.  Enjoy! 

Building the Muscular Mind (Final Installment with Exercises)

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)

Zugzwang

First of all, let’s just take a moment to enjoy the aesthetic decadence of that word. It’s zippy, it’s got zest. In some ways, as we will see, it captures a greater than zero percentage of the zeitgeist. It is every bit the equal of “zozzled,” a Jazz Age term for drunk. But “zugzwang” isn’t … More Zugzwang