James M. Scott W. W. Norton & Company

A brand new book, Rampage, details the absolutely barbaric behavior by the Japanese during the World War Two battles for control of the Philippines.  Don’t read it unless you have a strong stomach for barbarity against civilians. Which brings us to a couple questions. First of all,  how can a culture that is thousands of years old change so quickly? We’ve lived in Japan, and, even a generation ago, even their biggest cities like Tokyo were, and are, super safe. It’s impossible to imagine the white collared salarymen of Japan engaging in violence. Japan is now a country with a diminishing birthrate, in part because the people seem more interested in porn than actual sex.  Japanese men now seem most interested in getting drunk with their office workers, reading comic books, and maybe groping a woman on the subway. But just a few generations ago Japanese soldiers were barbaric, engaging in gruesome violence and rape. This occurred not just in the Philippines, but even more notably in the Rape of Nanking.  Have the Japanese people changed at some fundamental level as a result of their defeat in World War Two and the complete dismemberment of their society?  Or are all the changes a result of changed circumstance? Interesting questions explored in this book, but with more of a commercial angle. Secondly, there is an almost endless stream of American books and movies about the evils and barbarities of Nazism during World War Two, but far fewer about the equally savage activities of the Japanese. Why?

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Bob Seger Rock

This song embodies the spirit of youth at its best.

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Andy Dehnart Reality Blurred

We've told you before why we like this show, but we've always wondered how real it is. This article is about what goes on behind the scenes at Naked and Afraid. A couple of interesting points; no matter how much they research the participants, they're always surprised by how people act. And all the contestants, no matter how hopeless and beat down they appear, are sorry that they quit if they didn't make it to the end

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Mario Mattei Netflix

For some rich men, just having an expensive race car isn't enough. They want to race it in real races, against pro drivers. And they pay for the privilege.

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Groom Media Quotes
Eleanor Roosevelt
You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. ,,

- Eleanor Roosevelt (1884 - 1962)
the longest serving First Lady of the United States

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How Losers Win

We’ve highlighted one of the excellent episodes of this series before. Today we’re recommending the whole series about athletes who have been defeated and profited in some way by that defeat by learning something about themselves by changing direction,

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Recent Web

The Old Testament

Everyone talks about the bible, but we wonder how many people actually read it. The first part of the Bible, the Old Testament, is filled with stories of massacres, where every man, woman, and child is killed. And then there's the Song of Solomon, based on an ancient love poem. This is not being reinterpreted now to add hidden meanings. Centuries ago men and women were chuckling in the church pews when this was read. It takes the form of a poetic dialogue between two lovers, the Bride, and the Groom, who express their feelings for one another in the imagery of a rich and fecund natural world. The Groom compares his beloved to a garden: 'A garden inclosed is my sister, my spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed. Thy plants are an orchard of pomegranates, with pleasant fruits; camphire, with spikenard,' (4:12–13). For her part, the Bride describes the Groom as 'white and ruddy, the chiefest among ten thousand. His head is as the most fine gold, his locks are bushy, and black as a raven... His mouth is most sweet: yea, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem' (5:10-16). Finally, the Groom describes the fruition of their desires: 'How fair and how pleasant art thou, O love, for delights! This thy stature is like to a palm tree, and thy breasts to clusters of grapes. I said, I will go up to the palm tree, I will take hold of the boughs thereof; now also thy breasts shall be as clusters of the vine, and the smell of thy nose like apples; and the roof of thy mouth like the best wine for my beloved, that goeth down sweetly, causing the lips of those that are asleep to speak' (7:6-9).

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