Summary of “The most important skill nobody taught you”

While the book is mostly a mathematician’s case for choosing a life of faith and belief, the more curious thing about it is its clear and lucid ruminations on what it means to be human.
Today, more than ever, Pascal’s message rings true.
Beyond the current talk about privacy and data collection, there is perhaps an even more detrimental side-effect here.
The less comfortable you are with solitude, the more likely it is that you won’t know yourself.
You’ll spend even more time avoiding it to focus elsewhere.
The more the world advances, the more stimulation it will provide as an incentive for us to get outside of our own mind to engage with it.
We are so busy being distracted that we are forgetting to tend to ourselves, which is consequently making us feel more and more alone.
That’s ironic because it’s more important than most of the ones they do.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Photos: Soccer Fields Around the World”

One of the most appealing aspects of soccer is its simplicity-a ball, some open space, goal markers, and you can play.
As the 2018 World Cup kicks off in Russia, with matches held in massive modern arenas, here is a look at the beautiful game in action in some smaller and more unusual venues around the world, including pitches built on a glacier, on a beach, floating in a river, made of straw, on a rooftop, and more.
Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→..

The orginal article.

Summary of “How Russia won the World Cup”

On 8 June 2010, three days before the kickoff of the World Cup in South Africa, envoys from Russia and England stood outside a meeting room in Johannesburg’s Sandton Convention Centre, nervously waiting to make their pitch to host the 2018 tournament.
Born into grinding poverty in rural Trinidad, Warner had risen to become the third-ranking vice president of Fifa and the longest-serving member of its executive committee, or ExCo, the 24-man body tasked with making Fifa’s most important decisions – including determining where World Cups are held.
A sort of commercial trade show for the World Cup itself, the event provided all nine countries competing for the right to host the 2018 and 2022 tournaments the chance to meet delegates from around the world.
“These arguments,” Fifa later noted, “Were decisive.” Unwilling or unable to make such financial commitments, the other countries dropped their bids, and 13 nations ultimately competed in the first World Cup, which was an instant hit.
Because such a large share of Fifa’s revenue began to derive from the World Cup, the nonprofit opted to measure its finances in four-year cycles concluding with the championship tournament.
The cycle ending with the 1974 World Cup netted a tidy profit of just under $20m. For the 2007-2010 period culminating in South Africa, Fifa booked a record profit of $631m, and Fifa’s cash reserves reached nearly $1.3bn. The World Cup had become the largest and most lucrative sporting event in history.
The hotel, on the banks of Lake Zurich, prides itself on absolute discretion, but does admit to having put up, among others, Haile Selassie, Empress Elisabeth of Austria and Kaiser Wilhelm II. During Fifa meetings, the men controlling world soccer could often be found sprawled on overstuffed couches in the Baur au Lac’s lounge, in suits, thawbs and robes, gossiping about the sport’s recondite politics over pricey cocktails and elaborate tea services on silver trays.
Just weeks before the December 2010 World Cup vote, two ExCo members, Nigerian Amos Adamu and Tahitian Reynald Temarii, had been suspended by Fifa’s ethics committee following an undercover sting operation by the Sunday Times, which caught them on tape offering to sell their votes in exchange for six- and seven-figure bribes.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why Managers Don’t Matter and Why the U.S. Could Win the 2026 World Cup”

I caught up with Stefan over the phone and Simon via email to get their take on the state of world soccer before things kick off in Russia.
If you added up all the revenues generated by European soccer in 1990, it was less money than any one of the revenues generated by the NFL, the NBA, or MLB. However, today the revenues of European soccer actually exceed the combined reviews of those three leagues.
1 greatest soccer nation in the history of the world? Some might say Germany, but I think most of us still think that unbelievably disorganized and chaotic nation, Brazil.
Eight countries have won World Cups, and yet at the same time, I know that soccer, at least on a game-by-game level, is such a random game.
Remember also that the vast majority of countries in the world are too small or have too little soccer tradition to even hope to qualify for a World Cup more than once in a blue moon.
It’s chiefly because the training of players from age 6 is better in western Europe than anywhere else-which is why, e.g., Jürgen Klinsmann selected so many “European” players when he coached the U.S. Likewise, Morocco will probably kick off this World Cup with a team drawn entirely from their European diaspora.
Finally, the World Cup also might be in the U.S. So: The U.S. is going to win the 2026 World Cup.
There’s no reason to think that the U.S. couldn’t win the World Cup.

The orginal article.

Summary of “World Cup Preview 2018: Messi vs. Ronaldo, Magic Cats, Iceland!!, and More”

In the summer of 2010, he successfully predicted the outcomes of all seven of Germany’s World Cup matches, unerringly choosing to eat first from the box marked by what would prove to be the winning nation’s flag.
Any run-of-the-mill billion-dollar sporting event can produce one magical animal; in less than a decade, the World Cup has generated an entire animal-oracle tradition.
It’s an open question whether winning the World Cup is a reasonable criterion for establishing an individual soccer player’s greatness.
That’s probably why soccer fans tend not to care too much about whether Messi or Ronaldo ever win the World C-ha! I’m kidding.
Eight years ago, the legendary Argentine star turned hapless Argentine manager Diego Maradona ran over a journalist on the way to his own World Cup squad announcement; I sometimes think that Messi has a better chance of being named the king of Faerie than of winning a World Cup with Argentina.
If you tune in only for the World Cup you’re more likely to remember him as the Uruguayan chaos agent who’s been ejected from the past two tournaments, first for a fateful handball against Ghana, in 2010, and then, in 2014, for biting Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini during a match.
The tight-knit Icelandic squad followed its incredible run through Euro 2016-where it beat mighty, or, anyway, mighty-ish, England to reach the quarter-final-by qualifying for its first-ever World Cup.
France won the World Cup in 1998 and the European Championship in 2000, but has spent the past eighteen years Gallically declining to win anything.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How to Live, According to Anthony Bourdain”

Over the course of his wildly prolific career, he taught us so much-about eating, about traveling, and about experiencing the world with an open mind and heart.
The Editors of MUNCHIES. “We are, after all, citizens of the world-a world filled with bacteria, some friendly, some not so friendly. Do we really want to travel in hermetically sealed popemobiles through the rural provinces of France, Mexico, and the Far East, eating only in Hard Rock Cafés and McDonald’s? Or do we want to eat without fear, tearing into the local stew, the humble taqueria’s mystery meat, the sincerely offered gift of a lightly grilled fish head? I know what I want. I want it all. I want to try everything once.”
“The school counsellors always told my parents, ‘Anthony needs a controlled environment.’ That’s what the kitchen is. For an undisciplined, dysfunctional guy like me, it’s a world of absolutes. I like the regimentation. You either fuck up or you don’t. My mission in life is conquering fear. Back there I’m strong; out here, as a civilian, I’m the biggest fucking pussycat in the world. I can go to someone else’s restaurant as a customer and I’ll put up with the worst abominations and still tip the waiter 20 cents at the end of the meal.”
“The people who cook for you, clean up after you, open doors, drive you home-where do they go when the work day’s over? What do they eat?”.
“One constant, then and now, is my still ironclad ground rule regarding music both during and after work: In any kitchen where I am in control, there is a strict NO Billy Joel, NO Grateful Dead policy. If you are seen visibly enjoying either act, whether during or even after your working hours, you can clean out your locker now. You’re fired.”
“If you’re twenty-two, physically fit, hungry to learn and be better, I urge you to travel-as far and as widely as possible. Sleep on floors if you have to. Find out how other people live and eat and cook. Learn from them-wherever you go. Use every possible resource you have to work in the very best kitchens that will have you-however little they pay-and relentlessly harangue every possible connection, every great chef whose kitchen offers a glimmer of hope of acceptance Money borrowed at this point in your life so that you can afford to travel and gain work experience in really good kitchens will arguably be better invested than any student loan.”
“Everyone should be able to make an omelet. Egg cookery is as good a beginning as any, as it’s the first meal of the day, and because the process of learning to make an omelet is, I believe, not just a technique but a builder of character I have long believed that it is only right and appropriate that before one sleeps with someone, one should be able-if called upon to do so-to make them a proper omelet in the morning. Surely that kind of civility and selflessness would be both food manners and good for the wold. Perhaps omelet skills should be learned at the same time you learn to fuck.”
“We are clearly at a long overdue moment in history where everyone, good hearted or not, will HAVE to look at themselves, the part they played in the past, the things they’ve seen, ignored, accepted as normal, or simply missed-and consider what side of history they want to be on in the future.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “Nature and the Serious Business of Joy – Brain Pickings”

“Our origins are of the earth. And so there is in us a deeply seated response to the natural universe, which is part of our humanity,” Rachel Carson wrote in reflecting on our spiritual bond with nature shortly before she awakened the modern environmental conscience.
The rewards and redemptions of that elemental yet endangered response is what British naturalist and environmental writer Michael McCarthy, a modern-day Carson, explores in The Moth Snowstorm: Nature and Joy – part memoir and part manifesto, a work of philosophy rooted in environmental science and buoyed by a soaring poetic imagination.
The natural world can offer us more than the means to survive, on the one hand, or mortal risks to be avoided, on the other: it can offer us joy.
Referring to it as joy may not facilitate its immediate comprehension either, not least because joy is not a concept, nor indeed a word, that we are entirely comfortable with, in the present age.
On glimpsing the planet from deep space, we saw not only the true wonder of its shimmering blue beauty, but also the true nature of its limits.
Shelley did so with his skylark, and Keats with his nightingale, and Thomas Hardy with the skylark of Shelley, and Edward Thomas with his unknown bird, and Philip Larkin with his song thrush in a chilly spring garden, but we need to remake, remake, remake, not just rely on the poems of the past, we need to do it ourselves – proclaim these worths through our own experiences in the coming century of destruction, and proclaim them loudly, as the reason why nature must not go down.
That most unquantifiable, most precious value of nature to human life, McCarthy insists, is the gift nestled in the responsibility – the gift of joy.
The union can be found, the union of ourselves and nature, in the joy which nature can spark and fire in us.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Mo Salah Is Ready to Make the Whole World Smile”

In Liverpool, the fans follow Mohamed Salah when he bows in prayer.
“I don’t know why it happens or why it is happening, but it is something I think about.” I ask Salah about the way Egypt is changing because of him-how he has given young people a sports star to aspire to become-and he pauses.
“We’ll fight for the first. It’s a fighting mentality.”-Mo Salah to B/R Football, on returning from injury for Egypt’s first World Cup matchSalah is humble by nature, though he exudes a natural confidence that you might expect comes with the territory of being one of the greatest athletes in the world.
Still, Salah is thrilled and often surprised by the enthusiasm of the people who adore him.
A statement from the Egyptian national team, that its doctors expected Salah to recover in time for the country’s second match of the World Cup group stage, brought relief to millions.
A phone call with B/R may do more than that: “We’ll fight for the first,” Salah says.
Salah is aware of his celebrity throughout the world and is bold enough to want to push it further.
“I saw some YouTube of him-not just basketball, but when he’s talking-and I like him.” Salah insists that he wants to be the biggest player in the world.

The orginal article.

Summary of “On The Radio, It’s Always Midnight”

“Ultimately, we don’t belong in the world governed by time,” says Michael Cremo, a guest on KNWZ, a radio station in Palm Springs, California.
Cremo is talking about the end-time, which he thinks could well be imminent, but his point is relevant to the experience of listening to local radio from somewhere I am not.
If I am feeling afternoony in the morning, I can leave the world that is “Governed by time” and join whichever community of radio listeners-in Mumbai, Perth, or Hong Kong-is currently experiencing three P.M. The optimism of a morning show somewhere to my west offers a fresh beginning to a day that’s become lousy by midafternoon, whereas the broadcasts of early evening, burbling across the towns and cities to my east, can turn my morning shower into a kind of short-haul time machine past those hours in which I’m expected to be productive.
“When you listen to radio, you are a witness of the everlasting war between idea and appearance, between time and eternity, between the human and the divine,” Herman Hesse writes.
Elsewhere, rather than accommodate through-the-night presenters, many stations switch on a preselected playlist-but even so, I like the hand-picked playlists on KCRW Berlin or Three D Radio in Adelaide far more than any sequence of music selected by algorithm.
They can be beautifully produced, as good as a good book, and perhaps they will supersede radio.
When I listen to radio from other time zones, I am reminded that I do not move through times of day but rather they move through me.
Somewhere in the world, it is always far too late to be up listening to the radio.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Witnessing the Obama Presidency, from Start to Finish”

Barack Obama was a writer before he became a politician, and he saw his Presidency as a struggle over narrative.
Many of them were written by Rhodes, who joined the campaign as a foreign-policy speechwriter in mid-2007, when he was twenty-nine; rose to become a deputy national-security adviser; accompanied Obama on every trip overseas but one; stayed to the last day of the Presidency; and even joined the Obamas on the flight to their first post-Presidential vacation, in Palm Springs, wanting to ease the loneliness of their sudden return to private life.
It’s impossible to imagine Rhodes giving Obama that kind of advice, or writing a book like “A Thousand Days,” which isn’t so much a White House memoir as a history of the New Frontier.
When Obama mused that Ray Charles’s version of “America the Beautiful” should be the national anthem, Rhodes added, “They should play it before every game.” Obama seems to have wanted his right-hand man to be smart, loyal, and unlikely to offer a serious challenge.
“Pull yourself together. We have to be professional here.” Rhodes wanted to plead that he was overtasked and underslept, but instead he used the rebuke to understand Obama better: “I realized that these little flashes were how he relieved some of the stress that he had to be feeling, and that being composed and professional-doing the job-was how he managed to take everything in stride. I hadn’t just failed to shave; I’d deviated from his ethos of unflappability.”
He was strongly influenced by Samantha Power’s book on genocide in the twentieth century, ” ‘A Problem from Hell.’ ” Power was an adviser in Obama’s Senate office, and she and Rhodes became comrades in the Obama cause, with “a sense of destiny” about their work on the campaign and their place in “a movement that would remake the world order.” Rhodes saw Obama as a symbol of aspiration for billions of people, including Muslims who had become alienated from the United States in the years since 9/11. He believed that the identity of the new President could transform America’s relation to the rest of the world.
Rhodes drafted a speech for Obama to give in Cairo in June of 2009, outlining the difficulties with the Muslim world and promising a new start.
Obama told Rhodes that he knew all about the Putins of the world-from the Tea Party, Fox News, and the Republican extremists who had been trying from the start to delegitimize his Presidency.

The orginal article.