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Brain Rules - John MedinaBrain Rules came to me highly recommended. When I finally picked it up, I had completely forgotten what it was about. As I read through it, I became more and more excited about how I could incorporate what I was reading into my life. It was so compelling, I ended up finishing it in about a day and a half.

The initial rules are about how exercise and sleep can improve brain function, and virtually every other aspect of your life. In the last few months, I had decided independently that I would try to get more of both of these. I’ve been exercising regularly and trying to get eight hours of sleep every night. Along comes Brain Rules and tells me I’m a genius! I knew it!

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Fahrenheit 451 - Ray BradburyFahrenheit 451 was required reading for Jake in his sophomore year of high school. Once he was done with it, I decided to get it another read. When I got the copy back, I couldn’t decide if he had read it or tried to feed it to our dog.

This is a great novel for anyone who enjoys stories of a dystopian future like Brave New World or 1984. In fact, Bradbury was often asked whether Brave New World, printed 20 years previous, was a major influence on the work. Bradbury claims to have been more influenced by the atrocities being played out in the Soviet Union by Stalin and the anti-Communist fervor being whipped up by McCarthy in the US. Having just come off of reading Leninism, this concept was especially fresh.

Although the novel itself is a short read, the prose reminds me of Charles Bukowski. I have no idea if there is anything to that idea, but as I read, I found the words starting to speed by faster than I could follow. The story really seemed to take on a life of its own, and as Montag’s plight became more desperate, the writing followed suit. For anyone interested in dystopian fiction, Fahrenheit 451 must be on your list.

Leninism - Neil HardingThis is one of those books that has been sitting around my house for many years. For whatever reason, I decided to pick it up and give it a go. I’ve been working on getting through this one a little longer than anticipated. The subject matter is dense to say the least. I thought it would be a little easier since I had at least a passing understanding of Marxism. This book went much deeper into both Marxism and Leninism than I ever expected.

Generally speaking this book was as much a history lesson on the making of Vladimir Lenin as it was a deep dive into Leninism. It thoroughly explained not only the historical context in which Leninism was born, but also the changes it went through. This was especially interesting when looking at the post revolutionary years. I would recommend this book for anyone that wants something more than a Wikipedia level understanding of Leninism.

For those interested, here’s the high-level table of contents.

  1. Lenin before Leninism
  2. The Revolution of 1905
  3. The Disintegration of Social Democracy and the Genesis of Leninism
  4. Revolution in Russia
  5. Imperialism and the Death Throes of Capitalism
  6. Politics and the State
  7. Party, Class and Consciousness
  8. Nationalism and Internationalism
  9. A Philosophy of Certainty: Dialectical Materialism
  10. Leninism and Stalinism
  11. Conclusion

100 Business Ideas

The exercise below was to first name 10 business ideas I might be interested in. Next, take those 10 ideas and turn them into 100! You would think it would be easy to come up with business ideas, but I found that I really had to dig deep to get the list below. The original 10 ideas are listed in bold.

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Everyday, I send interesting links to people via e-mail, instant message, or Twitter. There’s no reason to confine these links just to people I know.

Below you’ll find the interesting tidbits for 2011-04-24 through 2011-04-26:

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