ATG’s Thinker Thoughts

Welcome to ATG’s “Thinker Thoughts”, an initiative intended to help us THINK more deeply and deliberately amid the hurried pace of life’s existence.
Every Friday, we’re posting our “Thinker Thoughts”, a short quote to reflect on from a recent commentary. Give it a think and let us know your thinker thoughts!
This week’s Thinker Thoughts comes from a May 15th article in The Atlantic, “All the Other Julie Becks and Me: What a quest for my namesake taught me about the meaning of names in the internet age“:

Online, names are more significant than they are when they’re worn by a person you can see. The internet has created ‘a whole class of name-only interactions,’ [Laura] Wattenberg says [a name researcher and creator of BabyNameWizard.com], emails and Google searches being prime examples. Even on social media, where there are pictures, much of a person’s existence is textual.

It makes sense that in this environment, parents would be motivated to give their kids more unique names. But in order to really precisely identify people on the internet, we’d have to move beyond names as they’re currently conceived, [Judith] Donath says [author of “The Social Machine: Designs for Living Online]…

Donath says she could see a future world where ‘an email is something that’s yours at birth, and in perpetuity,’ as a way of assigning people a permanent online identity. ‘But we’re not there yet.’

But Wattenberg thinks people focus too much on creating a unique identity through names. ‘A name is a social signifier more than anything, and we might be making a mistake in treating it like a username that has to be unique in a network,’ she says. ‘Day to day, having a name that is perceived as attractive and intelligent and strong is so much more important than having a name that nobody else on the internet has.'”

Keep thinking with our previous Thinker Thoughts on:
lifelong learners
star sanctuaries
artificial intelligence
the intellectual life
learning from early humans
and the importance of generosity of spirit

A Memory of a Mother’s Love

Why we should revisit children's books as adults“A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.” ―C.S. Lewis

Every night growing up, my brothers and I would curl up next to my mother as she read us a bedtime story with a gentleness and nurturing spirit that only a mother can provide.

She introduced us to the kind and imaginative Boxcar Children, took us through the mischief and mishaps of Curious George, The Berenstain Bears, and Corduroy, kept us questioning with Goosebumps, and entertained us with the rhyming cadences of Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do you See?, Jamberry, and all of Dr. Seuss’ classics (Go, Dog. Go! being a particular favorite), in addition to other beloved stories, such as Make Way for Ducklings, Goodnight Moon, and the many enchanting tales of Walt Disney. Read more

Thinker Thoughts: “Lifelong Learners”

Welcome to ATG’s “Thinker Thoughts”, an initiative intended to help us THINK more deeply and deliberately amid the hurried pace of life’s existence.
Every Friday, we’re posting our “Thinker Thoughts”, a short quote to reflect on from a recent commentary. Give it a think and let us know your thinker thoughts!
This week’s Thinker Thoughts comes from The New York Times op-ed, “Owning Your Own Future” (May 10, 2017), written by Thomas L. Friedman:

The notion that we can go to college for four years and then spend that knowledge for the next 30 is over. If you want to be a lifelong employee anywhere today, you have to be a lifelong learner. And that means: More is now on you. And that means self-motivation to learn and keep learning becomes the most important life skill.

…That’s why education-to-work expert Heather E. McGowan likes to say: ‘Stop asking a young person WHAT you want to be when you grow up. It freezes their identity into a job that may not be there. Ask them HOW you want to be when you grow up. Having an agile learning mind-set will be the new skill set of the 21st century.’

…thriving countries today won’t elect a strongman. They’ll elect leaders who inspire and equip their citizens to be strong people who can own their own futures.”

Keep thinking with our previous Thinker Thoughts on:
star sanctuaries
artificial intelligence
the intellectual life
learning from early humans
and the importance of generosity of spirit

Through the Realms: Tales from Cuba

“Much have I traveled in the realms of gold, and many goodly states and kingdoms seen.” –John Keats (English poet, 1795-1821)

Here at All Things Good, our love of traveling, exploring and embarking on adventures is grounded in our belief that a curious mind can not only stimulate the senses, but transform our sense of self in relation to the world at large. In fact, it was ultimately our love of seeking and exploring the world around us that led us to launch this blog.

Since then, we’ve had some fun adventures, including to the land of Hula Honeys, the birthplace of Harry Potter, the traditional music capital of Ireland, the oldest teashop in Europe, and a sailing adventure in the Florida Keys (to name just a few!).

We’d now like to turn to the adventures of others – you! – to hear your own stories as you travel “Through the Realms.” We love all the beautiful photos of exotic destinations and spirited excursions you can find on the social media landscape, but want to hear what you learned, who you met, and what you’ll remember about the realms you travel, too!


Katie Christensen

We’re excited to launch “Through the Realms” with Katie Christensen, a travel addict who has visited 13 countries in the past 12 months. Last May, Katie left her management job and made it a goal to visit a different country every month. Since November 15, she has traveled to Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Hong Kong, Cambodia, Thailand, Taiwan, Japan, Mexico, Paris, Rome, Amsterdam, Belgium and, most recently, Cuba! Needless to say, she has surpassed her goal – and inspired us with her adventurous spirit and traveling curiosity. Her blog, Global Novice, documents some of her experiences with beautiful photography. Read more

“Always Dreaming”…of Biscuits with Sausage Gravy

biscuits recipe from scratch

“…you dream about food – not just any food, but perfect food, the best food, magical meals, famous and awe-inspiring, the one piece of meat, the exact taste of buttery corn, tomatoes so ripe they split and sweeten the air, beans so crisp they snap between the teeth, gravy like mother’s milk singing to your bloodstream. –Dorothy Allison (writer, 1949–)

Thinking of the Kentucky Derby this weekend – where “Always Dreaming” made two Brooklyn boys’ Derby dreams come true – Mother’s Day next weekend and The Blue Coffee Pot restaurant where I had the best biscuits and sausage gravy I’ve ever had in my life.

What made this unexpected, out-in-the-middle-of-nowhere breakfast on an Indian Reservation in Kayenta, Arizona something to dream about? The scrambled eggs and the sausage gravy were like taking a bite out of a perfectly seasoned feathery light pillow of deliciousness. Never, in all of my biscuits and sausage gravy travels, have I experienced such genuine affection for what typically is a heavy lump of a dish that favors the appetite attentions of hungry men. Read more

“Circus XTREME”: The Last Greatest Show of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey

Barnum & Bailey circus“You must have always a great and progressive show and also one which is clean, pure, moral and instructive. Never cater to the baser instincts of humanity…and always remember that the children have ever been our best patrons…” –P.T. Barnum’s last letter before he died (1891), written to his “well-loved” James Bailey

“Circus XTREME”, which is making its very last appearance in Providence, Rhode Island this weekend, is Xtremely entertaining and there is no doubt that P.T. Barnum would have been proud of this very “Xpert” creation for having lived up to his life motto “Excelsior”, a Latin word meaning “ever upward” and “still higher.” Read more

ATG’s Thinker Thoughts: “Star Sanctuaries”

Welcome to ATG’s “Thinker Thoughts”, an initiative intended to help us THINK more deeply and deliberately amid the hurried pace of life’s existence.
Every Friday, we’re posting our “Thinker Thoughts”, a short quote to reflect on from a recent commentary. Give it a think and let us know your thinker thoughts!
This week’s Thinker Thoughts comes from an article in the May 2017 issue of Discover Magazine, “Protecting America’s Last Dark Skies” (not available online), written by Eric Betz:

Before the spread of electricity, humans across the planet knew the stories written in the skies. Sitting around smoldering campfires, people looked to the stars and relived the tales of their heroes. Now those experiences are confined to star sanctuaries like Grand Canyon National Park…

‘Every human being once shared this experience of looking up into the night sky and seeing it filled with stars, [says John Barentine, International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) astronomer]…[t]he human brain saw patterns in those stars. And we translated all of our human hopes and our fears and our dreams and our worries onto those stars…[t]he natural night sky inspires. We are losing this thing – ‘the night’ – that has been our common shared experience for so much of the history of humanity…[a]s a result, these common stories from our past have faded like the constellations that cradled them.'”

Keep thinking with our previous Thinker Thoughts on artificial intelligence, the intellectual lifelearning from early humans, and the importance of generosity of spirit

“The Soul of a Journey”

“The soul of a journey is liberty, perfect liberty, to think, feel, do just as one pleases.” –William Hazlett, English writer (1778-1830)
Sedona
Sedona, Arizona
And Other Journeying Quotes:
“The longest journey is the journey inward.”  –Dag Hammarskjöld, Swedish diplomat (1905-1961)
“It is better to travel than to arrive, it is because traveling is a constant arriving, while arrival that precludes further traveling is most easily attained by going to sleep or dying.”  –John Dewey, American philosopher (1859-1952), Human Nature and Conduct: An Introduction to Social Psychology
“The world may be known without leaving the house.”  –Lao Tzu, Chinese philosopher (6th century BC), Tao Te Ching (translated as “The Way of Life”)