I first came across Helen Russell’s book The Year of Living Danishly in my local library. Her experiences of immersing herself in a very different climate and culture are at times amusing, enlightening and will almost certainly make you reassess your priorities. I cannot listen to Barry White now without conjuring up memories of her tale of a Danish swimming pool session!
As a child I spent many summers in Denmark so have fond memories of my trips over there. My dad (now 86) went to stay with a Danish family as a teenager on a school exchange and kept in touch with them. One of the daughters from that family came to visit last month which prompted me to re-read the book and write this blog.
This is a talk Helen did for the wonderful people Action for Happiness.. and includes a Q and A session at the end. So grab a coffee, a pastry and watch this curled up on a comfy sofa to get a slice of Danish hygge.
I love Desert Island Discs and this one with Tidjane Thiam from 2012 is probably one of the most extraordinary episodes I have ever heard.. some great songs too ranging from opera to traditional Senegalese music.
At the time Tidjane was ‘The Man at the Pru’ (he is now CEO of Credit Suisse) and amongst other things he talks about political upheaval, Yes Minister and The Archers, his fathers imprisonment, being offered the presidency of Ivory Coast, and why he took 2 suits to big meetings!
He’s chief executive of the Prudential, but he’s about as far from the archetypal “man from the Pru” as you can get. The seeds of his success were sown amid the complex political terrain of the Ivory Coast with an extended family heavily involved in politics and a father imprisoned for his beliefs. His life quickly took on an international flavour from West Africa to Morocco, Paris to Washington, but in his early 30s a coup in his homeland left him high and dry. He says “I had no job, no career, nothing at all. It taught me a lot about myself. If you’ve been in a situation where you have nothing there’s nothing much you’re afraid of.”
The thing that amazes me most about these programmes is how Melvyn seems able to ask pertinent question regardless of the topic. He is surrounded by people who have spent years studying a particular subject and he always sounds like he knows what he is talking about whether it is the history of Mali, The Salem witch trials, X-Ray Crystallography or Rumi’s poetry.
Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the influential British philosopher Bertrand Russell. Born in 1872 into an aristocratic family, Russell is widely regarded as one of the founders of Analytic philosophy, which is today the dominant philosophical tradition in the English-speaking world. In his important book The Principles of Mathematics, he sought to reduce mathematics to logic. Its revolutionary ideas include Russell’s Paradox, a problem which inspired Ludwig Wittgenstein to pursue philosophy. Russell’s most significant and famous idea, the theory of descriptions, had profound consequences for the discipline.
I discovered Films for Action a while ago and can spend hours on their site watching fascinating documentaries or reading thought provoking blogs. They describe Films for Action as a community-powered learning library for people who want to change the world viagra generique maroc.
Over the last 8 years, they have watched hundreds of social change documentaries and cataloged the best of them on the site. There’s now so many that they decided to create a list of the very best 100 fims hand-picked for their quality, insight and potential to inspire positive change. The films cover a wide range of topics including finance, permaculture and gardening, food, energy, democracy and politics, war, happiness, community, education, architecture, media and more.
All of the films have been selected because they are either free to watch online, or can be rented online. Click on the image below to see the list of 100 films.
I love these Philosophers Notes book summaries from Brian Johnson. I came across them a few years ago and must confess I ‘tested’ Brian when I first discovered them. You used to get a free book of your choice to try and I deliberately picked one I knew well to see what he made of it.
When I read the book there were several key points that stood out, but when I heard Brian’s summary he also picked out something else which I hadn’t initially realised was so significant, but after using the techniques for a while it was clear to me how important it was.Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download
So.. I decided I liked Brian, his notes, and how his mind worked and signed up for them all!
There is absolutely loads of free stuff on the Philosphers Notes website including podcasts and short video summaries of the books. You can get 3 free notes for signing up to Brian’s daily or weekly email dose of inspiration so why not give them a try.
If you want access to everything he offers a brilliant deal of $10 a month for all the Philosophers Notes, 10 new notes a month as well as Optimal Living 101 videos on all sorts of topics like Procrastination, Confidence, Action, Optimism and much more.
I do get a bit of commission if you become a paid up member and find his site through this page.. but I wholeheartedly recommend what he does.
The Ecstacy of Wilko Johnson is a film by Julien Temple updating the remarkable story of the Dr Feelgood musician. Reflecting on his impending death following his diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, Johnson muses on the transformative power of mortality. Determined to live out his remaining months playing music, he records an album with Roger Daltrey in a mere eight days and embarks on a series of farewell tours. Yet, there is an unexpected twist in the tale, captured here by Julien Temple and interwoven with remarkable archive footage and music.
You really don’t need to be a Dr Feelgood fan or even know anything about Wilko. This is an extraordinary film about acceptance, humility, gratitude and one of the most powerful things I have seen in recent years.
click on the photo above to go to the film
I called it The Ecstasy of Wilko Johnson because Wilko was able to describe how he could see everything in a very revelatory way. It’s like the medieval saints when they have the revelation of God and eternity, but in the head of an atheist. Julien Temple
Validation is a short film by Kurt Kuenne . A fable about the magic of free parking. All about a parking attendant who gives his customers REAL validation — dispensing both free parking and free compliments.
It is only 16 minutes long but a brilliant short film with a roller coaster of emotions. It will make you smile, laugh and probably cry.. so grab a coffee and sit down and watch!