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The Storm of Steel, by Ernst Junger. You may have seen a film or read some books about WWI. You may think that you understand what the soldiers went through during WWI. Then, you read The Storm of Steel. You realize that you didn’t understand it at all. The book by German officer Ernst Junger, which is based on his journals, takes you into the trenches, and gives the reader an unmatched, visceral look at what it was like to face death every day and kill men. Junger’s detailed descriptions of war’s absurdities and horrors are often criticized as glorifying the war. While he finds glimmers in war (mostly in his men’s fidelity), he is also criticized for glorifying it. His reports of attack after attack and casualty following injury can become repetitive, but this book is still a fascinating read. You will be amazed at how incredible WWI was.

Wool Dryer Balls Know how fabric softener sheet work? Dryer sheets deposit a chemical coating on clothes to soften them and remove wrinkles and static. You may not only want to avoid these chemicals on your clothes but they also inhibit the moisture-wicking and absorbency of towels and synthetic exercise shirts. Plus, they’re wasteful. Since several years, we have switched from dryer sheets to wool dryer balls and are very happy with our decision. The wool dryer balls don’t reduce wrinkles and soften clothes as much as dryer sheets do, but they still get the job finished and reduce drying times. You will never need to purchase fabric softener again. Our household still uses the balls linked to three years after purchasing them. They are made in America. If you don’t mind their origin, they can be purchased for a lot less.

Cake’s Fashion Nugget. In high school and in college, I was a huge Cake fan. One of the best rock concerts I’ve ever seen. It’s hard to say why I stopped listening, but recently I discovered them again and remembered why I loved them so much. They sound very different than most rock bands. They have a mixture of hip-hop and country music, as well as rock, funk and hip-hop. Fashion Nugget, their album, is a great representation of the group’s work. “Going the Distance”, still one of the best pump-ups for races or games, is one of their all-time favorites. This baseline is dope.

It’s good for your brain to work with your hands. There’s something uniquely satisfying about working with your hands. This feeling is scientifically proven. The brain is more engaged when writing by hand than when typing. According to this NYT article, doing activities such as gardening and painting with your hands can also reduce anxiety and depression symptoms. What will happen to our mental health if the need to use our hands decreases? One researcher noted that “skills involving the fine motor control in the hands is excellent training and superstimulation of the brain.” If we remove complex movements, especially fine motor movements, from our everyday lives, I believe that the brain will become weaker. So this weekend exercise your brain by writing real letters or working in the garage.

Quote of the week

The greatest Easter truth is that we will live eternally, but we can live a noble life now, because we’ll live forever.

Phillips Brooks

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Sunday Firesides: Gotta Get in the Reps

After coaching youth sports for a while, you will begin to notice the biggest difference in which athletes improve. Kids who play catch or dribble basketball on their driveways every night get better. Those who do not handle the ball during scheduled practice sessions will not improve.

The reps are what matter. The number of “touches”, or the number times the child has the ball in their hands, determines if he will develop the necessary skills.

It’s not just in sports that repetition is key. The more you practice something, like playing a musical instrument where you have to tickle the keys the more you improve, you can also train your soul.

Aristotle said, “Virtue is a habit.” Virtue is a habit.

It’s not sufficient to work out or meditate once a week to reach self-mastery. Self-mastery is built by doing things that you would rather not do. It is built through small daily habits — such as starting a difficult discussion, giving up dessert, or turning off a suspenseful film before going to bed.

It’s not sufficient to attend a church service or a date-night once or twice a year. Daily devotions are necessary to develop such dispositions.

Character is developed by doing thousands of small touches and repetitions. This builds the muscle memory in the heart, which prepares you for the high-stakes situations of life.

The man who wins the great challenge or temptation is not the one who has been practicing but the one who has made his life his practice.

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Odds & Ends: April 12, 2024

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A vintage metal box labeled

Why I hope to die at 75 by Ezekiel Emanuel. In recent years, there has been much attention paid to the idea of extending life expectancy. Oncologist Dr. Emmanuel is a bioethicist and has a strong, contrary position. He hopes to die by 75. He argues that many people believe they will be the exception to aging rules, and remain physically agile and mentally sharp until their death. But as the capacity-robbing, burden-on-loved-ones-increasing toll of age eventually comes for all, Emanuel would rather go out before he falls apart. He doesn’t plan to die at 75. But he will stop having preventative screenings, such as colonoscopies and cardiac stress tests, once he hits that age.

Flint and Tinder’s Vintage Slub Polo. One of my favorite clothing brands just released a line of polos, tees and tanks made from slub-cotton in the USA. I bought a navy blue polos. The fabric is thick and not as thin and gauzy like some slubs. Polo shirts are great for spring because they are so versatile. Dress them up or dress them down. Check out our guide on polo shirts.

William Manchester’s The Last Lion Trilogy. The best biography you will ever read. Manchester is a three-volume epic of 3,000 pages, which takes you through Winston Churchill’s life. It’s a fun and inspiring ride. You feel as though you are there, as Churchill grows up, struggles to find his political place, and leads the country through WWII. The Last Lion is a biography that’s close to being a page-turner. You know the outcome, so it’s difficult to call it enthralling. Manchester tragically died before he could finish the final volume. Another author completed it. The third volume is slightly less than the first two but still worth reading.

The Searchers. John Wayne delivers the most intense performance of his acting career in this John Ford film as Ethan Edwards. A man who vows revenge on the Comanche Raiders who killed his sister-in law and brother, and kidnapped two of their daughters. Wayne is a master at portraying a complex, conflicted man who wants revenge on the Comanche raiders that killed his sister-in-law and brother. He also kidnaps two of their daughters. The film has been beautifully shot. There are so many epic shots of the desert. The film’s pace is perfect. It doesn’t drag but it also doesn’t seem rushed.

Quote of the week

It would be a sin and a sulk against nature to not go and enjoy her bounty and rejoice with the heavens and the earth during the vernal season of the year, when the air is pleasant and calm.John Milton

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4 Ways to Remove a Broken Light Bulb From a Socket

When the glass bulb breaks on incandescent bulbs, it can be difficult to remove them from the socket. With a little ingenuity you can solve this problem.

You might ask, “Why should I know how to remove a broken incandescent bulb when they’ve been phased out?” The U.S. did ban incandescent lights last year to encourage people to switch to LED bulbs. These are usually made of plastic, and do not break like the thin glass incandescents. There are still two reasons to be able to remove a broken bulb. You probably still use incandescent light bulbs around the house. You’ll need to know what to do if they ever break. Incandescent light bulbs used to illuminate your home’s rooms are now banned. However, bulbs for bug lamps and appliances that use incandescent lights remain legal. Even in the age LED bulbs, you may still need to replace a broken bulb.

We have shown you four different methods to remove a broken light bulb. Be sure to turn off the electricity before you try any of these methods. You don’t need to electrocute yourself. Put on heavy duty work gloves, and remove any remaining glass shards from the bulb to avoid cutting yourself. As you remove the bulb, keep your gloves on.

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