Old Dogs, Old Tricks

February 23rd, 2015

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In the 1990s scientists discovered that the adult mammalian brain is capable of sprouting thousands of new neurons. They allow us to keep learning new things. But most of them don’t stick around long enough to do this. Why is that?

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A Bit More Liberal

February 16th, 2015

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A graduate of a Christian college posted this on Facebook: His education “didn’t prepare one for business in the real world.” Colleagues treat him like a “sweet puppy.” But grads from recognized b-schools are also unprepared. They stumble over purpose. Both traditions would benefit from becoming a bit more liberal.

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Graveyard Shift

February 9th, 2015

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Paradigm shifts can be difficult to see. They’re slow to develop, about a century in the making. But a cemetery can compress a century, so a stroll through a graveyard can highlight century-long shifts. My wife and I were recently reminded of this.

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Incognito

February 2nd, 2015

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Groundhog Day has come to mean two different things. Will there be six more weeks of winter? … or something that is repeated over and over. C. S. Lewis probably would have liked both, as they’re instances of God walking around incognito.

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Gone Canopy

January 26th, 2015

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To figure out who the Academy might select for Best Actress, catch the film Gone Girl. And to get a glimpse what the United States Supreme Court might decide regarding same-sex marriage, watch a 1971 movie that could have been titled Gone Canopy.

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Weeks before the massacre at Charlie Hebdo, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi urged Islamic leaders to look at their faith from another angle. Shortly after the attack, David Brooks urged all religions to do likewise. They’re referring to faith’s fourth estate.

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Not Very Profitable

January 12th, 2015

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Outsiders often see what insiders don’t. Take McKinsey’s recent report on the nonprofit sector. McKinsey works mostly in the for-profit world. As outsiders, their findings in the nonprofit sector should, as they put it, “give us pause.”

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Effective Closers

January 5th, 2015

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Mariano Rivera had a little help. Baseball’s all-time saves leader could only save a game if the New York Yankees held the lead when he entered it in the late innings. That’s how baseball works. It’s also how apologetics works.

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Sticky Resolutions

December 29th, 2014

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Chip and Dan Heath know a few things about sticky ideas. They’re the authors of Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die. New Year’s resolutions are often good ideas. Few stick however. Here are four ways I think you can make ideas sticky.

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Ferguson. Chandler. “I can’t breathe.” ISIS. Beheadings. It’s Christmas time in the city. But you’d have to know the story behind the Christmas story to recognize this.

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Who’s Next?

December 15th, 2014

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Albert Einstein said the most important thing you can do is name something. What would you name the next generation? Jon Stewart posed this question last year to Paul Taylor of the Pew Research Center. Taylor didn’t have an answer. I have one.

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My Christmas Wish

December 8th, 2014

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Our son Stephen is known for his audacious Christmas lists. Tongue in cheek, he asks for over-the-top gifts like a Maserati or 60 inch TV. I too have an audacious Christmas wish this year. I’d like to be a part of launching something similar to John Dewey’s Laboratory School.

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Copernican Capitalism

December 1st, 2014

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McKinsey reports that our current models of capitalism are like Newton’s system of planetary motion – inadequate. The solution is similar to Copernicus’ system, except that this model identifies how and why capitalism can be beneficial for all.

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A Drop of Glory

November 24th, 2014

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It’s not necessary to stuff Thanksgiving with all sorts of overt religious references. While they do exist, sometimes it’s better to be satisfied seeing what the Puritans called “a drop of glory.”

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“What if the secret of the universe had to do with sex?”

This was Stephen Hawking’s question to a friend during his days at Cambridge. A new movie about Hawking’s life, “The Theory of Everything,” suggests the brilliant cosmologist was on to something.

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