Ancient Mayan Village Preserved In Volcanic Ash Lets Us Peer Into The Lives Of Ordinary People

Found Here:


6 Great YouTube Channels That Will Make You Smarter

CGP Grey – Complex Things Explained

How to Adult – Everything that school didn’t teach you

National Geographic – Inspiring people to care about the planet!

Youtube EDU – some of the most popular educational videos across YouTube

Thnkr – extraordinary access to the people, stories, and ideas changing the world

Mental Floss – weekly series of trivia-tastic information

2014 Crash Course: The History of a Year

Merely a selection of sources.
Yours to use for writing, teaching, etc.


Top Sources for Review:

  1. What America was tweeting about in 2014, & Echelon Insights

  2. By the Numbers: How the World Changed in 2014, The Atlantic

  3. The 2014 Year in Review,

  4. 10 Most Important Environmental Stories of 2014, Earth Island Journal

  5. Eleven Stunning Graphs from 2014 That You Should See,

  6. 17 Things We Learned About Income Inequality in 2014, The Atlantic

  7. The Best Longreads of 2014, Various Authors

  8. 2014 The Year in Pictures, The New York Times

  9. (Photo Gallery) 2014: The Year in Protest,

  10.  (Charts) The Year in Management Told in 20 Charts, Harvard Business Review

Lists by Publisher:

The Kicker 2014 Year in 10,

The Very Best Mashable Reads of 2014,

Best Books of 2014: Editors’ Picks, Council on Foreign Relations & various sources

14 Must Reads of 2014, Council on Foreign Relations & various sources

The Best of 2014, Foreign Affairs Editors

Most Popular Features and Essays of 2014,

(Comic) 2014 in Review, This Modern World by Tom Tomorrow

Part 1:
Part 2:

10 Must-Read Reddit AMAs of 2014,

Notable Articles:

The Torture Report, Senate Select Committee on Intelligence

14 From ’14: Quick Takes on the Midterm Elections, University of Virginia Center for Politics

All We Need is the Will to Change, The Atlantic

The Fortune Global 500 Isn’t All That Global, Harvard Business Review

Investment Management Director Offers Top 10 Lessons Learned in 2014, Above the Law

Megan Smith Thinks Every Child Should Be Able to Code, The Atlantic

Why This War?,

Opinion: France & Britain’s Poorly-Drawn Middle East Was Destined to Collapse


Opening Lines:
John B. Judis of New Republic argues that the United States is powerless to combat the breaking up of nonsensical Middle East borders drawn nearly a hundred years ago by colonial powers. This collapse, he argues, is and has been quite inevitable:

What is happening is that the arrangements that the British and French created during and after World War I—which established the very existence of Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, and Jordan, and later contributed to the creation of Israel—are unraveling. Some of these states will survive in their present form, but others will not.

As Judis explains, the names Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Jordan, and Palestine were affixed to territories formerly of the Ottoman Empire that were parsed out to Britain and France as spoils of World War I.

Full Synopsis Here:

Full Article Here:

Ultimate Maps Post…and one chart

Countless Maps to teach us about our world!

HBR: Four Keys to Thinking About the Future

A publishing company has discovered that one of its well-known authors has plagiarized. The publisher has pulled the title. But does the publisher’s responsibility end there? Does one disclose the transgression to the public? Or to the author’s university employer? Or insist that the author do so him/herself?

Dilemmas are situations that require us to make a choice between equally unfavorable options.

I recall an instance as President and CEO of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) when I was informed by my security chief — he and I both held top secret security clearances — that one of our journalists had once worked undercover for a hostile intelligence service. Mind you, while the discovery was recent, this transgression had occurred years ago. The intelligence service (and regime) had since ceased to exist. In the meantime, the journalist in question had become a respected colleague. What to do with the fellow? Dismiss him? On what grounds? And to what effect inside the company?

Confronting ambiguity is one of the issues that came up time and again in a symposium I had the pleasure of convening recently with the Harvard Business Review and the Sidney Harman Academy for Polymathic Study at the University of Southern California. The day-long symposium, called “The Next Big Thing: a Historical Approach to Thinking about the Future,” included a small, formidable mix of business leaders, technologists, historians, economists, defense experts, pollsters, and philosophers.

We all think about the future, but my first conclusion from this London gathering was that some people are better equipped than others to see it. Reflecting on the discussion, my own conclusion is that, if you want to become more prescient, you should do four things:

1. Enhance Your Power of Observation. For starters, be empirical and always be sure you’re working with the fullest data set possible when making judgments and discerning trends. Careful listening, a lost art in today’s culture of certitude and compulsive pontificating, can help us distinguish the signal from the noise.

In fact, read Nate Silver’s 2012 book, The Signal and the Noise : Why Most Predictions Fail – but Some Don’t. Also see psychologist Maria Konnikova’s 2013 Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes. Drawing on recent research from psychology and neuroscience, Konnikova presents ways to sharpen one’s methods of observation and deductive reasoning. I also recommend the essay “The Power of Patience” in the current issue of Harvard Magazine. Art historian Jennifer L. Roberts has her students spend what appears at first to be an excruciatingly long period — three hours! — with a painting in a gallery. “It is commonly assumed,” observes Roberts, “that vision is immediate. … But what students learn in a visceral way in this assignment is that in any work of art there are details and orders and relationships that take time to perceive.” Ditto in any shifting business environment.

2. Appreciate the Value of Being (a Little) Asocial. I had a colleague once, a distinguished China scholar, who eschewed conferences and professional gatherings. His logic was simple. He was convinced that this otherwise entirely pleasant socializing and socialization led invariably to a kind of groupthink among the community of experts. “Thinking outside the box,” is one of the most well-worn clichés in any business or creative endeavor. We all prize it. Yet how do you actually do it, when life and livelihood generally depend on operating inside a box?

I’m convinced that a company culture that encourages curiosity is vitally important. Read the essay by Rutgers historian James Delbourgo in The Chronicle of Higher Education on “Triumph of the Strange” and Brian Dillon’s volume of essays titled Curiosity: Art and the Pleasures of Knowing.Curiosity keeps us learning and helps us, like the virtue of patience, to see the hidden, or understand the unexplained.

3. Study History. Do this not because history repeats itself, but because history often rhymes, as Mark Twain put it. The rhymes may be about social patterns, the impact of technology, or how nations tend to adapt. Charles Emmerson of Chatham House was a member of our roundtable. He’s the author of 1913: In Search of the World Before the Great War, a recent book that depicts a civilization a century ago that was interconnected and fragmented, cosmopolitan and chauvinistic, prosperous, decadent, and in danger of decline. It sounds similar to the situation of the West today.

I think you study history to study human nature, the human condition, and human behavior. This is the realm of patterns, but also — frustratingly and fascinatingly — of infinite complexity and unpredictability. Apart from the intrinsic beauty, power, and simple enjoyment, it’s why reading great fiction is to be commended. HBR writers have more than once made the business case for reading literature. Training in emotional intelligence is life-long work, and most of us need as many tutors as possible.

4. Learn to Deal with Ambiguity. A banker in our group emphasized the importance of this. Whether it’s nature or nurture, most of us seem hard-wired to sort the world into simple binary choices. Alas, there’s often lots of grey out there. I’m not sure what the publisher ended up doing in the case I cited at the outset. Nor am I at liberty to reveal my own decision regarding that former intelligence officer. But those are matters of the past anyway. Thinking about the future, here’s a final reading tip. It’s the 1992 novel Einstein’s Dreams by MIT physicist Alan Lightman. I’m fond of this passage:

In this world, time has three dimensions, like space. Just as an object may move in three perpendicular directions, corresponding to horizontal, vertical, and longitudinal, so an object may participate in three perpendicular futures. Each future moves in a different direction of time. Each future is real. At every point of decision, the world splits into three worlds, each with the same people, but different fates for those people. In time, there are an infinity of worlds.

Consciously attempt to act on these four pieces of advice and I think you can only get better at anticipating the big things (and small things) that will come next.

Of course, the wisest among us will always hedge our forecasts with qualifiers such as “will likely” or “is apt to.” Life is seldom linear and best estimates frequently become undermined by those eternal “unknown unknowns.”  But don’t let them stop you from preparing for an uncertain future by learning more from the past and present. Think long, think deep, think laterally — and brace yourself. 2014 is nearly upon us.


Jeffrey Gedmin is President and CEO of the Legatum Institute in London. Prior to joining in 2011, he spent four years as President and CEO of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, where he oversaw the company’s strategy and broadcast operations in 22 countries.

A New Map Reveals the Geography of American TV News

The visualization shows a world unevenly aglow with television attention.
 DEC 17 2013, 12:42 PM ET

Using the Archive’s massive archive of television news, Georgetown scholar Kalev Leetaru tracked all the locations mentioned on U.S. television news between June 2009 and October 2013, then plotted them on a world map.

On the foundation’s blog, archivist Roger Macdonald writes that the map constitutes the “first large-scale glimpses of the geography of American television news, beginning to reveal which areas receive outsized attention and which are neglected.”


Hyacinth Mascarenhas: 21 Images of Where Children Sleep Around the World Paints a Powerful Picture of Inequality

21, images, of, where, children, sleep, around, the, world, paints, a, powerful, picture, of, inequality,
21 Images of Where Children Sleep Around the World Paints a Powerful Picture of Inequality
Image Credit: MyModernNet

“As a child, that’s your little space within the house,” said James Mollison, a Kenyan-born, England-raised, Venice-based photographer whose 2011 photo book, Where Children Sleep draws attention to a child’s “material and cultural circumstances” and offers a remarkable view on class, poverty, and the diversity of children around the world.

After spending more than three years traveling the world from Senegal to Tokyo, Mollison’s series include portraits of children in front of a white background accompanied by a single snapshot of their bedrooms, leaving the later to speak volumes about their the social and cultural circumstances that contribute to their lifestyle.

“I hope the book gives a a glimpse into the lives some children are living in very diverse situations around the world; a chance to reflect on the inequality that exists, and realize just how lucky most of us in the developed world are,” said Mollison.

Documenting his series in a book called Where Children Sleep, these striking images range from a mattress outside Rome to a bedroom filled with crowns and sashes. The book was, interestingly enough, written and designed for 9 to 13 year olds to learn about and better understand the diversity and disparity among children in the world. However, it has also proven to be an important photography series for adults. It’s not just as an empathy tool; it’s an insightful commentary on poverty, privilege, and human rights.

RAGHAVA KK: I Promise to Bias My Children with as Many Perspectives as Possible

Originally posted at:


I come from an extremely traditional South Indian family.  I was tucked into bed with engineering books, Russian engineering books.  I was told that I am going to become an engineer.  But, you know, I wanted to become a cartoonist.

So in a sense I negotiated with my dad.  I remember he was having his favorite whiskey and I said, “Pop, what’s the purpose of education?”  And he became really emotional and he said, “You know, education was highjacked by the industrial revolution.”  And he gave me a list of six reasons why education is important.

He said it’s good citizenship.  You have to learn how to learn.  It’s about curiosity.  It’s about working hard.  It’s about discipline.  He made a whole bunch of good reasons, arguments for education.  So I came back to him a couple of months later and I said, “Pop, I’ve agreed with you on everything you’ve said and I am going to do all of this.  Can I quit formal education?  Can I do this by myself?”

It was a bit of a shock to him but he let me quit school and become a cartoonist.  But one of the agreements was that I’m emotionally and financially independent of my family because that’s a part of the whole education process.

So I had to go out there into the real world from this little protected bubble and try to find my own voice.  And in doing that I realized that there are different kinds of families.  I hitchhiked.  I backpacked.  I stayed with different kinds of people.  And I learned that moms can have tattoos.  Dads can be moms.  Moms can be dads.  And anything can happen and still you can have a loving family.

That’s when I decided that when I have children I’m going to promise to bias them with as many perspectives as possible as opposed to just biasing them with my little understanding of the world.  And with this I realized that my art was being a little didactic.  I felt the need to incorporate this sort of learning in my art.