Friday Five (or More)

Some happy links and cool clips for you this week!

This was posted a while ago, but it bears repeating. Neil Gaiman on why our future depends on libraries, reading, and daydreaming. “…reading fiction, that reading for pleasure, is one of the most important things one can do.”

Mindy Kaling’s guide to killer confidence.

The best of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. I miss him already.

Even if you don’t follow sports, this feels momentous: the first female coach in the NFL. This season, Jen Welter will be coaching the linebackers for the Arizona Cardinals. The players call her Dr. J because she has a Ph.D. in psychology. Apparently she leaves little notes in their lockers.

Vivek Menon is developing an innovative approach to protect elephants and allow them to co-exist with people in his native India

I wish this seminar had been offered when I was in college. The course is designed to “help freshmen identify their goals and reflect systematically about various aspects of their personal lives, and to connect what they discover to what they actually do at college.”  The students reflect on questions like, Where am I headed and what is my ultimate personal dream? and What are my responsibilities, if any, to my community and to make the world a better place? I’m (ahem) a few years out of college, but I thought the exercises presented were valuable for people of any age.

I haven’t been this excited for a movie release in a looong time. The Martian.

Side note to you writers: Author Andy Weir started this novel as a serial on his blog. It was really well received, so he decided to self-publish it as an ebook. The response was so tremendous, the book was picked up by Broadway (Random House), and now it’s a movie starring Matt Damon and directed by Ridley Scott. Wow!

Have a great weekend, everyone!



  1. LOVED that Mindy Kaling piece. This was great: “People get scared when you try to do something, especially when it looks like you’re succeeding. People do not get scared when you’re failing. It calms them. That’s why the show Intervention is a hit and everyone loves “worrying about” Amanda Bynes. But when you’re winning, it makes them feel like they’re losing or, worse yet, that maybe they should’ve tried to do something too, but now it’s too late. And since they didn’t, they want to stop you. You can’t let them.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I also loved the Mindy Kaling essay. Especially her point about hard work. I am sure this has happened to you: You tell people you’re a writer and they say, “I have a great idea for a book. I’ve just got to sit down and write it.” And when you tell them it takes days, weeks, months, and even years, they shake their head and say, “That long?” Hard work is the ugly, little “secret.” Thanks for the great links, Jackie, and have a great weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was just interviewing a young woman who said that a lot of her classmates felt lost after graduation. They’re cast out into the “real world” with so many options (almost too many, she said) and they feel paralyzed. A course like this helps to zero in on the next steps.


  3. First off I am super glad it’s Friday and even happier that you had a Friday Five 🙂 LOVE these. I do miss Jon Stewart. He was so amazingly smart and funny, I actually wrote a post about him near the end of his Daily Show run and sent it to him, but doubt that he read it…maybe I should mail it. Do they even have fan letters any more? Duuuuude totally miss my 10 o’clock Stewart wisdom. And I had no idea that Weir started writing blog posts that turned into a novel that then turned into a MAJOR novel that found it’s way into a script staring Matt Damon. Duuuuude a glimmer of hope for all of us 🙂 What do you think about that? Self publish or wait to hear for the houses themselves? Everything is different now, but I guess Weir was meant to be no matter what path he took, right? Good list 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t know. I mean it will be strange, I don’t know if he’s got the same juice as Stewart. I don’t think anyone does…although Colbert comes toe to toe and I’ll be tuning in to his show for sure. But I might check it out. I don’t know enough of Trevor, what do you think?


  4. Loved Kaling’s post. She’s awesome.
    Gosh, Weir must be over the moon excited; can you imagine? Can’t wait to see The Martian. Matt Damon’s perfect for the part (love him!). Great trailer. Now I want to go see it RIGHT NOW. LOL!


  5. I love how much Gaiman speaks about libraries and reading. How important they are! I’ll be redundant with all your commenters about how great Kalings post is.

    My youngest is beginning her freshman year away in college. I am pleased she is enrolled in a fantastic undecided program that counsels the students for an entire year on what their interests are and how to match it to a major. They take personality tests and really investigate who they are. In addition to this, every freshman is required to take once a week course very similar to the one you posted. I’m so very pleased and excited for my daughter. All schools should do this !


    1. I’m so glad to hear that your daughter’s college is taking a more active role in guiding students toward a course of study that fits with their life goals. It’s good that some schools are giving students the tools to choose the best path for them. My school basically sent us on our way with a hearty Good luck! and closed the door behind us.


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