To get the “news”, I read BBC World, The Economist and The Guardian. I also flip through The Wall Street Journal on our kitchen table and check out various New York Times articles online. Most often, I find the “news” media-driven and pointed – pointed towards sad stories. I still want to be knowledgeable, but I recognize a need for positive, inspiring information as well. Here are some things that inspire me. What inspires you?

The Basement Tapes

MUSIC: I heard about The New Basement Tapes album Lost on the River on NPR. “The album celebrates the discovery of never-seen Bob Dylan lyrics from that legendary 1967 period and marks a creative highpoint for the album’s participants – Burnett, Costello, Giddens, Goldsmith, James and Mumford – who have brought them to life nearly 50 years later.”

Check out their home page,

Check out some clips on SoundCloud,

sorcerers and their apprentices

SCIENCE: MIT Media Lab is a fascinating place. I’m reading this book by Frank Moss, the former Media Lab director, and I feel renewed optimism for our country’s research. Media Lab encourages all creativity that can improve people’s lives. It’s all pretty noble and beneficial and it would be a pretty rad place to visit indeed.


THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX: My speech therapist, Dr. Phil Schneider, is amazing. Not only has he produced documentaries about stuttering (I’m in one!), but now he has branched out and made a film about Rabbi Avi Weiss who has “been an important voice speaking up against injustice for both Jews and non-Jews”.

Check it out here,


AWESOME WOMEN: I’m still learning more about my new pal, Kelly, but she too is amazing. Prior to beginning her own consulting firm, she ran UBS’ private South East Asian banking branch from Hong Kong. Now she is still saving the world, but also raising her two beautiful twins. Kelly invited me over for brunch on Sunday. When I arrived, the babes were sleeping peacefully with a view of the sky and trees through the window and Kelly had prepared an abundant brunch of buckwheat pancakes, dill and pancetta frittata, salad with goji berries & other goodies, a pot of ginger tea and steaming coffee. This woman truly can do anything.

pardis sabeti

Another awesome woman is Pardis Sabeti. This Iranian-American is not yet 40 and she is a “computational biologist, medical geneticist, and evolutionary geneticist who developed a bioformatic statistical method which identifies section of the genome”. And oh yeah, she’s also the lead singer in a rock band, Thousand Days.

Check out their jam Neda here,

sam harris

REASONABLE HUMANS: Sam Harris is pretty reasonable. I haven’t read and listened to enough of his work yet to find much to argue with, so I encourage you to check it out and see what you think. What I have heard, I like. It feels refreshing, logical and also science-driven.

Check out his homepage,

Check out a SoundCloud clip,

Kelli & Daniel

HEALTH: I dig Kelli and Daniel’s exercise videos on YouTube. They are professional, clear, have a simple visual layout and offer a range of exercise videos for anyone, anywhere.

Here’s a great morning or night stretching video. They make videos from 5 minutes to 1.5 hours:



cocciardi sunset

NATURE: Sunset from the porch of Ma & Pa Cocciardi’s.

One thought on “Inspiration

  1. This email has about a weeks worth of intensive effort, which I will try to do over more time. I am still working through a very thorough biography of Clifford Odets, who, while a great playwright, had some problems in adjusting to nearly everyone, including himself. The book is on inter library loan and must be back by early Dec.
    I joined the board of the Mother Road Theatre Company which is in its seventh season here and am trying to learn more about American playwrights.

    That is a great sunset…where do Ma & Pa Cocciardi live?

    We do have a few things in common, as we both read the Economist.


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