Selection And Supervision Are Critical In Any Great Enterprise

I have lately been rereading Candace Millard’s excellent River of Doubt, a narrative of Theodore Roosevelt’s ill-fated sojourn through the Amazon in 1914.  As is well known, the expedition was plagued by a lack of adequate food supplies and equipment.   This fact nearly caused the entire project to unravel once it was deep in the Amazon.

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Footprints Leading In, But None Coming Out (Podcast)

A reader is concerned that hanging around with a certain group of friends might get him into problems or trouble.  He is unsure how to deal with the situation, and asks for some guidance on the best course of action.  For some people, this is an easily-handled situation, but for others, it is not.  We relate a relevant fable, and discuss.

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The Pitfalls And Vices Of Old Age

We are afflicted by different vices in different periods of life.  While much energy is spent in discussing the pitfalls and failings of youth, it is just as important to be mindful of the pitfalls of old age.  It seems to me that these are especially difficult to correct if not identified for what they are; and just as ivy may slowly encroach on a neighboring plant and choke the life out of it, so may the vices of old age bring what may once have been an admirable life to a miserable conclusion.

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Three Embalming Techniques Used In Ancient Egypt

Herodotus spends more time discussing Egypt than any other nation in his Histories.  One gets the feeling that he very much enjoyed himself there.  The amiable and curious Greek had a talent for getting along with nearly everyone; he seems to have fallen into conversation with priests and merchants in every country he visited.

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The Importance Of Thinking On One’s Feet: A Lucky Escape For Ibn Abi Muslim

We all know that the ability to think on one’s feet is an important skill.  There may even be times when this ability makes the difference between survival and execution.  The amusing anecdote that follows appears in Ibn Khallikan’s biographical sketch (IV.200) of a government official and administrator (مولى) named Yazid Ibn Abi Muslim, who served under an Umayyad governor of Iraq named Al-Hajjaj Ibn Yusuf (c. 661—714 A.D.).

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It’s Your Job To Set The Record Straight (Podcast)

After reading Charles Leerhsen’s excellent biography of baseball player Ty Cobb (Ty Cobb:  A Terrible Beauty), it’s clear that each of us is responsible for making sure that misinformation and lies do not go unanswered.  Even if you are not a baseball fan–maybe especially if you are not a baseball fan–there are very important life lessons to be learned here.

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