Author Archives: Tom

ideas from movies: Camp X-Ray 

(contains spoilers) A movie about downtrodden men forced to live in tiny cells under the relentless guard of cold and often harshly rude soldiers is bound to draw us emotionally closer to the prisoners. In some scenes we might even mistake the “captors” for the terrorists, so de-humanizing is their conduct; the “detainees”, on the contrary, could […]

ideas from books: Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters

As a father of two young daughters, I was drawn to Meg Meeker’s bestseller Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters as a way to reflect on my role, particularly in the context of a society which seems to relegate fathers – and parents for that matter – to a secondary position. Meeker’s words resounded with me when, […]

ideas from movies: The Fault in our Stars

(contains spoilers) Is life worth living even when we know death is around the corner? Does life need to have a transcendental meaning to be meaningful? The wonderful motion picture “The Fault in our Stars” attempts to answer these timeless questions by focusing on the love story of two terminally ill teenagers. Teenage love should be filled […]

ideas from books: Black Boy

In reading Richard Wright’s Black Boy, the autobiographical novel of the childhood and youth of the prominent Afro-American author of the first half of the last century, I was struck by the America that was depicted. It is not the American I am so fond of, the America that prides itself in being the land of freedom, hope […]

ideas from documentaries: Life Itself 

I grew up with Roger Ebert’s movie reviews. I first read one of his pieces in high school and have been hooked ever since. I would usually consult him before deciding to watch a particular movie, especially if the IMDB rating was not very high: his judgment would be the tiebreak that would convince me […]

ideas from books: The Conservative’s Handbook

Radio host Phil Valentine does an excellent job at illustrating his conservative vision, breaking it down issue by issue, using a colloquial style and vivid (and often funny) anecdotes. He also highlights the core principles that underpin conservatism, if in an unsystematic and almost haphazard way: he goes about in no particular order in tackling […]

ideas from books: The Power of Full Engagement

The message is clear: optimal performance comes from living a balanced life, not from working 12-15 hours straight. What will get us results is not the number of hours we put in, but the quality of those hours, which is affected not only by the specific skills we bring to our job, but by what we […]

Revolutionary Road

I’m 31; I live with my wife and two girls in a pleasant middle-class apartment paid for by a relatively stable office job. As most young adults of my generation in this (privileged) condition, I have a relatively positive outlook on life and about what the future holds, even though – I must admit – […]

The Ultimate Book of Mind Maps (part 2): the success formula

In my previous post I explored the concept of mind mapping and the theory behind its effectiveness, based on Tony Buzan’s approach. Now I want to touch on a related topic, to which Buzan dedicates the second part of his mind mapping book: success! Chapter 3 is literally titled: The ultimate success formula (we are definitely in cliché […]

ideas from books: The Ultimate Book of Mind Maps (part 1)

Tony Buzan is widely considered the “father” of Mind Maps – a revolutionary way of representing ideas and their interrelations – so I thought it fit for to discuss this powerful tool by exploring his beautifully illustrated book, The Ultimate Book of Mind Maps. I am particularly passionate about the subject since I’ve used mind maps for […]