Les Miserables

Les Miserables movie poster

Confession: I have never seen or read the original Les Mis. As a result, when the new movie came out, I felt compelled to see it.

It was interesting seeing it because so there were so many classic songs that I never realized were from Les Mis like "I Dreamed a Dream." It was also nice that they realized that people come to musicals for the music, and there wasn't too much dialogue in between the different songs.

Ursula Le Guin - Tehanu

The cover of Tehanu

"Tehanu" steps back from the series' focus on epic journeys and instead focuses on Tenar and her place in the world.

Jane Goodall

Sam and Jane Goodall

Before hearing Dr. Jane Goodall talk, I just had the vague notion that she did something with gorillas. Well, even that wasn't right: it was chimpanzees.

Her talk was, broadly, split into three sections: history, chimpanzees, and activism. A strong theme when she was talking about her history was the importance of her mother. She grew up poor and in a time when most women didn't receive professional respect, but Goodall's mother continually inspired her to work hard and ignore obstacles.

Hanna House

Sam at the Hanna House

The Hanna House is a house designed for Paul and Jean Hanna at Stanford by Frank Lloyd Wright. It was made in 1936, but it had a very modern feel.

It's often called the "honeycomb house" because the house was designed to be hexagonal rather than square. The floor tiles are all hexagons; the house as a whole is a hexagon; the rooms, the furniture, and everything else is hexagonal.


The Ghana Cassava team, Whit Alexander, and Professor Oduro from KNUST

Winter and Spring, 2013, I took Entrepreneurial Design for Extreme Affordability. In the class, my group focused on cassava processing for subsistence farmers in Ghana, so we went to Ghana over spring break. Now, we talked to a lot of subsistence farmers, professors, students, entrepreneurs, and government folks, and we learned a ton of things, but this post is more about stories.

Happy Feet

From http://cdn.funcheap.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Happy-Feet1.jpg

Happy Feet was available on the airplane back from Ghana, so I decided to watch it.

Okay, so really I just wanted a picture of a penguin on my site.

Peter V Brett - The Daylight War

From http://www.petervbrett.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/DaylightWar_US_CVR_front-1.jpg

"The Daylight War" is my favorite novel yet by Peter V. Brett, and it's one of the best fantasy novels that I've read. It describes how, after the events of "The Desert Spear," Arlen and Jardir prepare for the coming new moon.

The rest of this review will not contain spoilers about "The Daylight War" (though it will describe plenty of broad trends and things that you learn very early on), but it will assume that you have read the previous two books and spoil those.

Rachel Maddow

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Rachel_Maddow_in_Seattle_cropped.png

Rachel Maddow gave a talk at Stanford for the Center on Ethics in Society's 25th anniversary. Apparently, Rachel Maddow graduated from Stanford and wrote an honors thesis in Ethics in Society. And, apparently, the Ethics in Society honors program has students read and critique her honors thesis even today. Cool!

Jefferson Awards Media (WSJ / AP)

Reposted from http://online.wsj.com/article/APa9708795dccf45989978762612ecbb30.html

Associated Press

NEW YORK — New York City's Robin Hood Foundation has received a lifetime achievement award from a national organization that promotes public service.

The Robin Hood Foundation was presented with the top prize at the Jefferson Awards ceremony in New York on Wednesday.

Robin Hood has donated $1.25 billion to fighting poverty in New York City since its founding in 1988.


Planescape: Torment is my favorite video game. It's story driven, it explores interesting philosophical ideas, and it it bucks a lot of trends in roleplaying games. And it's a great time for Torment! There's going to be a remake.


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