Rules for Civility, from a 14 year old [Article]

Maria Popova discovers the rules for civility that George Washington wrote for himself, when he was 14.
Written of course in the English of his times, here’s an example, on listening:

When Another Speaks be attentive your Self and disturb not the Audience if any hesitate in his Words help him not nor Prompt him without desired, Interrupt him not, nor Answer him till his Speec[h] be ended.

The most dangerous thing, still and always, is an idea.[Video]

What does spying do to the people who do it?
That’s the question writer/director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck asks in “The Lives of Others.” And he asks it in the simplest possible way. Georg Dreyman is a successful playwright, and not just in the theater. He’s respected by his peers and tolerated by the government: “the only non-subversive writer we have.” He lives with an actress, a great beauty who has the misfortune to come to the attention of a government official. He knows he couldn’t seduce her on the strength of his own charm — but what if he got Georg Dreyman out of the way?
Problem: there’s no dirt on Dreyman.
But in the down-is-up world of dictatorships, that only proves he’s guilty of…. something. And so, in the way that officials use their power for personal gain, the Stasi assigns Capt. Gerd Wiesler to eavesdrop on Dreyman.

[via Headbutler]

Think the smallest action has very little impact? Look again [Video]

University of Toronto’s Professor Stephen Morris knock over a 1-meter tall domino that weighs over 100 pounds by starting with a 5mm high by 1mm thick domino. TINY.   There are 13 dominoes in this sequence. If Professor Morris used 29 dominoes in total, with the next one always being 1.5x larger, the last domino would be the height of the Empire State Building.

The boy who loved math [Book review]

Cory Doctorow has a review in Boing Boing of a book that he’s read thrice already to his five year old daughter. The book is about mathematician Paulo Erdos, written by Deborah Heiligman, & illustrated by LeUyen Pham.

….with lively, fun illustrations of a young Erdős learning about negative numbers, becoming obsessed with prime numbers and leading his high-school chums on a mathematical tour of Budapest. They also go to great lengths to capture the upside and downside of Erdős’s legendary eccentricity — his inability to fend for himself and his helplessness when it came to everyday tasks like cooking and doing laundry; his amazing generosity and brilliance and empathy in his working and personal life.

The octogenarian widow behind the DOMA case [article]

In a historic judgement, the US Supreme Court dismissed the Defense of Marriage Act as unconstitutional, thereby allowing same-sex couples in the US to be legally married. The reason it came to this? 84 year old Edith Windsor was ordered to pay a $363,000 estate tax when her partner of 40 years, Thea Spyer passed away, because the State did not recognise their marriage as legal. On Thursday, the Supreme Court of the US upheld their marriage.

Edith Wharton on Marriage [Short note]

I’m sticking to short notes for today – quotes or tweets or such stuff.. like this one..

I begin to see what marriage is for. It’s to keep people away from each other. Sometimes I think that two people who love each other can be saved from madness only by the things that come between them: children, duties, visits, bores, relations, the things that protect married people from each other. -Edith Wharton, novelist (1862-1937)

Read an exceprt from Eleven Rings: a book by Phil Jackson and Hugh Delehanty

Read an excerpt from a book on leadership, management or spirit, from an NBA coach, Zen Master Phil Jackson. He’s the guy who  famously told Michael Jordan: “Players who win scoring championships never play on teams that win championships.” Jordan got the message, learned to pass and won both NBA rings and scoring championships.