The Thinkers' Guide to The NBA Semi-Finals
There's the Chinese giant and his Congolese mentor. There's the Argentinian expat, the Slovenian and the scruffy Spaniard who mocked Chinese giants in Beijing last summer. And there's even an Italian-speaking African American. Has the NBA ever been a stronger metaphor for sports as a global village?
When the Los Angleles Lakers-Houston Rockets series started, the primary match-up focused on the teams' leading stars, Yao Ming and Pau Gasol, whose Spanish Olympic team sparked controversy last summer when a photo captured them slanting their eyes in apparent mockery of their Chinese hosts.
The Rocket's Ming went down with an injury on May 9, joining his backup, the Congolese icon Dikembe Mutombo, himself fluent in nine languages. The injuries have opened the door for players like the Argentinian, Luis Scola, and the Slovenian, Sasha Vujacic, to draw from their own divergent paths and play a mean game of ball.
The most compelling character study in the series has been superstar Kobe Bryant and his two notorious defenders of wildly different backgrounds.
There's Michigan-born Shane Battier who graduated from Duke University and passed on a Rhodes Scholarship to enter the NBA. His teammate, New-York-born Ron Artest, left school early for the NBA and once hopped into the stands to hunt down and pummel spectators. On the surface, they couldn’t be more disparate, but the necessity to shut down Bryant has united the odd couple in an incredible show of unity between the unlikeliest of peers.
If we could apply this kind of solidarity to the real world, humanity could be on to something.
The ability to speak clearly, succinctly, and powerfully is easier than you think
The ability to communicate effectively can make or break a person's assessment of your intelligence, competence, and authenticity.
The results come from a 15-year study that used ultrasound scans to track blood vessels in middle-aged adults starting in 2002.
- The study measured the stiffness of blood vessels in middle-aged patients over time.
- Stiff blood vessels can lead to the destruction of delicate blood vessels in the brain, which can contribute to cognitive decline.
- The scans could someday become a widely used tool to identify people at high risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer's.
What defines a dark horse? The all-important decision to pursue fulfillment and excellence.
When we first set the Dark Horse Project in motion, fulfillment was the last thing on our minds. We were hoping to uncover specific and possibly idiosyncratic study methods, learning techniques, and rehearsal regimes that dark horses used to attain excellence. Our training made us resistant to ambiguous variables that were difficult to quantify, and personal fulfillment seemed downright foggy. But our training also taught us never to ignore the evidence, no matter how much it violated our expectations.
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