September 20

Look for the * for today’s advice.



Leo Strauss 1899

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“Always assume that there is one silent student in your class who is by far superior to you in head and in heart.” This is the counsel Leo Strauss, among the most consequential teachers and scholars of political philosophy in the 20th century, offered an advanced graduate student who had asked for a general rule about teaching.

*This is good advice for me as a teacher, but all of us will be teachers at one point or another. So this is indeed good life advice from Leo Strauss.


Juan Pablo Montoya 1975

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He is the only driver to win a CART Series title, the Indianapolis 500 and the 24 Hours of Daytona, all in his first attempt.

“The more you drive, the fitter you get,” Montoya, who turns 40 in September, said. “When I’m at home in the off season, I probably ride about eight hours a week on the bike. I will do Pilates twice a week. I will do the gym a couple times. I will do a little swimming. You do a little bit of everything.”

*Your choice today – bicycle, Pilates, gym, swimming, or a combination.


George R.R. Martin 1948

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The nefarious Faith Militant (a.k.a. The Sparrows) in HBO’s Game of Thrones has a rather well-known inspiration. In the show, the powerful King’s Landing cult violently punishes any perceived sin and is led by a mysterious and manipulative man called the High Sparrow. Author George R.R. Martin frequently uses events and ideas from European history for this A Song of Ice and Fire saga, and the Faith Militant is no exception. “The Sparrows are my version of the medieval Catholic Church, with its own fantasy twist,” Martin told EW

A more modern interpretation rejects the idea of physical torment and asserts that the torture of hell is mental anguish caused by separation from God.

Pope John Paul II “declared that hell is ‘not a punishment imposed externally by God’ but is the natural consequence of the unrepentant sinner’s choice to live apart from God” (ibid., p. 48). Still others have rejected the doctrine of hell outright and believe everyone will be saved.

*Should sin be violently punished? Should sinners pay for eternity? Is God merciful?  I would hope that God won’t punish people for eternity. Watch or better yet, start reading Game of Thrones.


Henry Samueli 1954

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Talk to Broadcom’s Henry Samueli, and you get the sense of a man who knows exactly how lucky he is. The son of immigrant parents, Holocaust survivors, the current chairman and chief technology officer grew up stocking store shelves, but made good as an electrical engineer and university professor. And that was before he went on to co-found a multi-billion-dollar maker of broadband-communication chips.

*Understand how lucky you are. Take that luck and build on it towards your financial goals. Give back to those who aren’t as lucky.


Sophia Loren 1934 – watch Two Women

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One of the world’s most iconic movie stars, Sophia Loren has built a formidable acting career, effortlessly moving back and forth between major Hollywood films and Italian-based productions. She made history in 1961 as the first performer to win an Academy Award for a foreign-language role with Two Women, in which she stars as a strong-willed mother who braves an assault to save her daughter.

In Vittorio De Sica’s World War II classic, Cesira (Oscar winner Sophia Loren) and her thirteen-year-old daughter Rosetta must flee Rome during the war. As they travel to the village where Cesira was born, they are faced with trials that prove to be too much for both of them.

*Watch Sophia Loren win an Oscar in Two Women for free on


Upton Sinclair 1878 – Chicago Italian Beef Sandwich

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Upton Sinclair was a famous novelist and social crusader from California, who pioneered the kind of journalism known as “muckraking.” His best-known novel was “The Jungle” which was an expose of the appalling and unsanitary conditions in the meat-packing industry. “The Jungle” was influential in obtaining passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act.

“I aimed at the public’s heart, and by accident hit it in the stomach.”

*I would suggest to read The Jungle while eating this sandwich, but you’ll need both hands and a bib for this Chicago Italian beef sandwich. Wait until after you eat before reading Upton Sinclair’s masterpiece of muckraking.

SNUB – Van Jones

Review –

  • Always assume that the quiet one is smarter than you
  • Bicycle, Pilates, gym, or swimming
  • Should sinners suffer for eternity?
  • Take your luck and build on it
  • Watch Two Women
  • Make a Chicago Italian beef sandwich