Weekly choice, by peers

Hey Congress! 4 ways to break a stalemate!

Converse. Convince. Compromise. Cooperate

“Partnership is not easy but it requires the continual application of we can call the four C’s – conversing, convincing, compromising, and cooperating. These practices are fundamental to the biggest “c” word in management – communication – open, honest and mutual.

Mutual benefit requires mutual consent.”

http://www.forbes.com/sites/johnbaldoni/2013/10/08/hey-congress-4-ways-to-break-a-stalemate/

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Richard Dawkins answers the question: what makes us human? | BBC Radio 2

evolutionProfessor Richard Dawkins reflects on the qualities he thinks make us human, and discusses his influential theories with Jeremy Vine.

“Darwin would be fascinated if he could come back and see what is now known. We are very, very unique species. Make the point that other species are unique too. But we are unique in a very special way, in our ability to think, in our ability to place ourselves in universe, understand where we came from. No other species comes close to that.”

http://www.richarddawkins.net/news_articles/2013/11/28/richard-dawkins-answers-the-question-what-makes-us-human-bbc-radio-2

Here’s another link about some of the many talks by Dawkins:

http://www.ted.com/talks/richard_dawkins_on_militant_atheism.html

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Can Long Distance Relationships Work?

About three million Americans have long-distance relationships

“…our culture emphasizes being together physically and frequent face-to-face contact for close relationships, but long-distance relationships clearly stand against all these values. People don’t have to be so pessimistic about long-distance romance. The long-distance couples try harder than geographically close couples in communicating affection and intimacy, and their efforts do pay back.”

None of this research, though, tells us anything about which types of people can cope with long distance relationships. While some people may naturally have the skills required, others may not.

http://www.spring.org.uk/2013/12/can-long-distance-relationships-work.php

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Ted’s best of the week!

iO Tillet Wright thanks to her parents for not asking her to define herself as a child. Her experience of growing up without check boxes like “female”, “male”, “gay” or “straight” thoroughly infuses her art.

“Sometimes just the question ‘what do you do?’ can feel like somebody’s opening a tiny little box and asking you to squeeze yourself inside of it.”

“There are just as many jerks and sweethearts and Democrats and Republicans and jocks and queens and every other polarization you can possibly think of within the LGBT community as there are within the human race.”

http://www.ted.com/talks/io_tillett_wright_fifty_shades_of_gay.html

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Person of the week! Homage a symbol of a century: Nelson Mandela

Mandela

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (1918 – 2013) was born in the village of Mvezo in Umtatu. Mandela was the person that brought peace to one of the most problematic regions in the XXth century. The first black president of South Africa united people, identities of different race, color and culture. All under the same roof and vision. This great man’s funeral will be held on Sunday, December 15, after the emotional 10 days farewell.

“Our family was deeply moved by our visit to Madiba’s former cell on Robben Island during our recent trip to South Africa, and we will forever draw strength and inspiration from his extraordinary example of moral courage, kindness, and humility,” Obama said in a statement.

Mandela ground breaking work was mainly political and social to end the South African apartheid regime. He was most known for his policy and attitude of forgiveness, fostering racial reconciliation while avoiding a failure in empty retaliation out of anger and vengeance. Thus this Rolihlahla (“troublemaker” in colloquial Xhosa) became the most appreciated peacemaker this modern world has even seen.

A short biography:

http://www.biography.com/people/nelson-mandela-9397017

p.s. – Why Nelson?

“No one in my family had ever attended school […] On the first day of school my teacher, Miss Mdingane, gave each of us an English name. This was the custom among Africans in those days and was undoubtedly due to the British bias of our education. That day, Miss Mdingane told me that my new name was Nelson. Why this particular name I have no idea.”

— Mandela, 1994

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