As a father, having great kids is a double blessing. On one hand, it's nice to be proud of who your kids are and the things they do. On the other hand, it's also nice to feel proud of the small part you played in helping them become who they are.
In addition, this weekend, I spent some time thinking about my father and what a terrific influence he had on so many lives. That is him in the middle of this family photo from the mid-1980s.
My Dad was incredibly loving; yet, he was also incredibly demanding.
For example, after winning the State Championship in the shot put, I watched him run down from the stands. I figured he was coming down to celebrate. Instead, he looked deeply into my eyes and asked whether I was disappointed that I did not throw a personal best that day? I replied: "But Dad, I won." He smiled and recognized that winning was important too ... then he reminded me that the other throwers were not the real competition. In life, to be and do your best, the competition is really with yourself; and we both knew I could do better.
My Dad believed in setting high standards. He explained that most people's lives are defined by their minimum standards. Why? Because once those standards get met, it is easy to get distracted by other things and meeting the minimum standards for them as well.
Here is something else worth sharing; it was one of his favorite sayings. "The difference between good and great is infinitesimal." This applies to many things. For example, people who are good take advantage of opportunities; people who are great create them. The point is to set a higher standard and to have a better life.
Somebody has to win the election. 16sucks.com hopes it will be them, by selling "Everybody sucks" 2016 campaign signs to America's feeling about the two presumed main contestants for the presidency in November.
Presumed Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton's net "strongly unfavorable" rating is hovering at about 37% these days (around 5% higher than the previous high for candidates getting close to the general election), according to FiveThirtyEight.
Meanwhile, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump makes Clinton look beloved. His "strongly unfavorable" rating is sitting at about 53%, which is off-the-charts awful for a candidate who is supposed to compete for the White House.
Here are some of the posts that caught my eye. Hope you find something interesting.
Bad news sells. All the talk of bombings, health scares, and obituaries can make a person contemplate their impending death.
Good news ... There is an infographic for that.
Flowing Data has previously visualized when we'll die and how our loved ones will die. Now, they have put together an interactive infographic that charts out how you will likely die, based on how many years you've lived.
Here's how it works: go to the infographic on the Flowing Data page and enter your sex, race, and age into the blanks at the top of the infographic. On the left side, each dot represents the death of a simulated self, and the color of each dot corresponds to a cause of death (infection, cancer, circulatory problems, external causes, etc.). As each year passes, more of your simulated selves die. On the right side, a bar graph keeps tabs on your cumulative percentages. When the animation ends (at year 100), you're left with the percent likelihood that you will die of each cause.
It's an interesting way to visualize the data because it shows not only your chances of dying from a certain disease but your likelihood of dying in general during certain phases of your life.
The results have one pretty obvious takeaway—your chances of dying increase as you age—but it's fascinating to watch how the chances change in different age groups. Shift the age to 0, and you'll see that once you get past year one, the dots accumulate slowly over the next few decades (chances of death, from anything, are low). Past 30, the dots change color more quickly (you get the point).