All posts filed under “Repaso

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Repaso: World Cup 2014 Edition

+ First, a New York Times Magazine interactive piece on the so-called curse of Maracanã, which has haunted Brazilian fans since 1950.


+ I’ve picked Argentina to face Brazil in the final, and if that happens it’ll be the biggest stage of Lionel Messi’s career to this point. In another NYT Magazine piece, Jeff Himmelman considers the burden of being Messi:

Over the past nine years, Messi has led F.C. Barcelona to national and international titles while breaking individual records in ways that seem otherworldly. In 2012, he scored 91 goals in 69 games — a ridiculous number — for club and country, and he has been chosen by FIFA, soccer’s governing body, as the best player in the world an unprecedented four of the last five years. He is something of a freak, a blazing left-footer whose legs and spatial intuition operate at electrifying speed, and his performances in Europe have already put him, at age 26, on the short list of the greatest players ever. And yet, for all of that, Messi has never won widespread devotion in Argentina. The main resistance to him, beyond his uneven play for the national team thus far, is that he isn’t Argentine enough.

+ Love him or hate him, Luis Suarez is one heck of a soccer player, and whatever happens over the next month, he’ll undoubtedly make headlines. Wright Thompson’s in-depth profile for ESPN The Magazine is a worthwhile read (but fair warning: it contains explicit language). Here’s a snippet having to do with Thompson’s quest to find a referee Suarez allegedly head-butted as a teenager:

No soccer player in the world provokes such a strong emotional response as Liverpool’s striker, with less of an understanding of what lurks beneath the surface. His recent injury, which puts his World Cup fitness into doubt, makes him more intriguing. Yet knowing Suarez is difficult, since he seems to not know himself, and, regardless, he wouldn’t talk to me. The best path to that knowledge would have to be a journey through his past, looking for clues. That was the plan: talk to people who knew him and let their memories paint a picture. Those who met him during his early years, especially the first person he ever assaulted, might offer slivers of insight. So in addition to visiting Suarez’s mother, friends and neighbors, I wanted to sit down with the referee. Only I couldn’t find him.

+ According to statistical guru Nate Silver, the US has a 0.3% chance of winning the tournament. So he’s saying we have a chance!

+ American celebrities, meanwhile—whose collective statistical acumen is questionable—are slightly more confident.

+ Some great photos of goalposts from around the world.

+ On a satirical note: World’s Greatest Soccer Stars Arrive In Brazil For Monthlong Coca-Cola Ad.

+ I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that the official anthem of this year’s cup is by Santana, and the official song (there’s a difference?) is brought to us by Pitbull (with J.Lo)—apparently because FIFA wasn’t aware that Brazil has a storied music culture of its own.

And with that, we’ll conclude this week’s Repaso. Enjoy the next month of soccer… or fútbol… or futebol, or whatever you happen to call it.

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Repaso: June 6, 2014

+ David Brooks via Fr. Chris Schutte: “The purpose of life is not to find yourself; it’s to lose yourself.”

+ Mark Galli: “But the more I get to know myself, the more I see layers and layers of mixed motives.”

+ Last weekend Katie and I enjoyed a mini-vacation in southern California. We read some books, ate some food, and spent good quality time with her side of the family. I especially enjoyed a little excursion to Mission San Luis Rey de Francia, the largest of the historic California Missions.

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+ I agree with Brian Brenberg here: “Flourishing societies need talented people in all sorts of fields—nonprofit and for-profit alike.”

+ Dayo Olopade in The Atlantic: “The West now finds itself in the unfamiliar position of looking to Africa for technological inspiration.”

+ What nonprofits need to do in order to harness the power of narrative and networks for social impact.

+ 50 years ago this week, Martin Luther King, Jr. gave a speech at ASU right here in Tempe. The audio recording is here.

+ These newly discovered photos taken in Tiananmen Square 25 years ago—in the days leading up to the massacre—are pretty incredible.

+ I appreciated this clip from David Powlison of CCEF on the spiritual resources in the General Thanksgiving from the Book of Common Prayer.

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Repaso: May 23, 2014

+ Stephen Woodworth meets his neighbors in NPR’s Borderland.

+ Things started to look up for the D-backs a little bit over the past week. There was of course the announcement that the legendary Tony La Russa would be joining the club as Chief Baseball Officer. Then on Saturday night, against the hated Dodgers, the team scored 18 runs in a blowout win. Best of all, Senator John McCain celebrated one of Goldy’s home runs this way.

+ An interesting conversation in this video between James K.A. Smith and Jacob Thielman of Eerdmans Books, about Smith’s new book, How (Not) to Be Secular: Reading Charles Taylor.

+ Entrepreneurship is dead. Long live entrepreneurship.

+ Congratulations to Diane Humetewa of Arizona on becoming the first Native American woman confirmed as a federal judge.

+ The skyline of Tempe is changing.

+ My review of Nina Munk’s book The Idealist is coming soon, but in the meantime here is Bill Gates’ take on it.

+ Studies show that Latin America is the happiest region of the world. In other words, it is the region where Pharrell Williams has exerted his greatest influence. Right?

+ This SkyCam video of Guatemala City is a tad predictable in what it includes and omits, but overall I dig it.

+ Meanwhile, also in Guatemala City, there’s a new ad campaign to end “address discrimination” in the city’s Zone 18.

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Repaso: May 16, 2014

+ During grad school I spent a fair amount of time on Amtrak trains in and near Philadelphia. As magical as railways sometimes are, the environs directly adjacent to railroad tracks often can be fairly dismal. With that in mind, I welcome this effort to beautify things in Philly.


+ W. David O. Taylor is one of the more thoughtful artist-theologians I know about, and I love his new post, Liturgical Art on a Mission. In it he references a fascinating article in American Craft Magazine, which includes a photo essay of worship spaces with really beautiful art and architecture.

+ An upcoming Ernest Hemingway biopic will be the first Hollywood film shot in Cuba in 45 years.

+ We unveiled Lemonade International’s newly articulated mission statement and core values this week. Check out this announcement if you’d like.

+ John J. Thompson reviews an album in which hipster artists cover Bob Dylan’s least hip decade. You can stream said album in its entirety here.

+ Meanwhile, news broke this week about Bob Dylan’s new album coming out this year, including this uncharacteristic cover of a Frank Sinatra number.


+ In a story that repeats itself all over, Christians who flee one place end up revitalizing the church somewhere else.

+ “World-reforming Calvinism is finding its followers… through evidence-based practice.”

+ The beer wars are escalating in Guatemala.

+ Future-oriented NGOs see private sector as a partner for scaled impact, not as a mere piggy bank.

+ Arizona is among the least charitable states in the country. The most charitable states might surprise you.

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Repaso: May 9, 2014

+ “I’ve been to La Guardia and I’ve been to Guatemala, and if I were Guatemala, I’d sue for defamation.”

+ When Justin met Francis.

+ Miroslav Volf’s “modest proposal” for the reintegration of religion in higher education.

+ I owe a lot to Twitter. But are its best days behind it?

+ An excerpt from Ben Myers’ helpful guide on singing in church: “The visitor who sings like a Pentecostal during a Presbyterian service will run the risk of being escorted from the premises and given a referral to a clinical psychologist; while the one who sings like a Presbyterian during a Pentecostal service will be regarded as an infidel and may therefore become a target of Friendship Evangelism.”

+ Cities are learning that planting trees saves dollars and lives.

+ Bob Dylan is famously evasive in interviews, but sometimes interviewers are just oblivious to the obvious.

+ This interview with Andrew White, an Anglican vicar in Baghdad, is a must read.