Empowering People: Esperanza International

Esperanza

I was invited by a friend to a screening of a short documentary made on this fantastic organization Esperanza International. I was thoroughly impressed with the work they are doing to help empower small business’s in improvised nations so that people can permanently rise out of poverty and into prosperity.

They in particular focus on helping women, many of which have been widowed or abandoned and are responsible to take care of children on their own.

Talk about what REAL help looks like..

It’s a worthy cause to support!

http://esperanza.org/

Bulletproof Coffee: The Next-Level Breakfast

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Credit: Photograph by Travis Rathbone

(Men’s Journal) – It sounds insane – blending your morning coffee with chunks of butter and a spoonful of coconut oil. But so-called bulletproof coffee is fast becoming the go-to power breakfast. Fans say drinking just a cup of the stuff yields hours of energy and zero snack cravings. The experts are on board, too.

“The fat from the butter and the oil creates a filling effect, and the coffee’s caffeine helps make fatty acids more available for uptake into fat and muscle tissue, where it can immediately be used as energy,” says Paul Arciero, director of the Human Nutrition and Metabolism Laboratory at Skidmore College. The omega-3 fatty acids in the butter and coconut oil may help reduce inflammation and lower your triglyceride levels, adds Arciero. Research shows the oil specifically can boost your metabolism by up to 5 percent, helping you burn an extra 120 calories a day. And now that research has made it clear that a main contributor to heart disease is sugar – found readily in carb-heavy breakfast foods and juice – and not fat, butter-laced coffee may be the ideal morning meal.

Though bulletproof’s appearance is relatively recent in the U.S., Tibetans have fueled up on buttery drinks for centuries. That’s how Bulletproof creator Dave Asprey stumbled upon the idea in 2004. “What converted me was watching these Sherpas, some of the toughest human beings I have ever seen, live mostly on a mixture of yak-butter tea for days on end,” says Asprey. “It tasted creamy, good, and strangely rejuvenating; I felt better on that trip than on any other high-altitude trek.” Asprey returned home and workshopped his own version with coffee, and now his recipe is sold in more than 50 local coffee shops nationwide, with legions of fans from celebrities to pro athletes. He plans to roll out Bulletproof storefronts early next year, beginning in Santa Monica.

Read more at Men’s Journal

How To Put the World in Checkmate

Ben Stuart gave a fantastic and dead on sermon this past weekend on how to have a life of purpose that can’t be altered by your current circumstances..

You can put the volatility of world into checkmate and wake up each day with an unwavering mission of importance for your life!

Who are you living for??

Thank You, “Citizen Four”

(The Bullet Wire)-  I just got home from a screening of the Laura Poitras documentary on Edward Snowden “Citizen Four”.  As a citizen of the United States or the world, for that matter, you need to go watch this film. The film chronicles the period of time from Edward Snowden’s initial contact with Laura Poitras as a government whistleblower all the way through Edward Snowden’s current life in Russia.

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People talk about courageous men & women of history that take a stand when no one will, but we are actually getting to see one of these men’s courage play out right here, right now! This film shows a succinct layout of the Snowden revelations and the shocking ways that the government is trampling our civil liberties, but even more importantly it exposes the sociopathic and diabolical nature of power and the people who broker that power.

The mindset and moral condition of those building and using the system Snowden exposes is truly frightening. The ease with which lies, misdirections, cover-ups and intimidation go on should be a mushroom cloud size warning sign that while you may be operating in good faith, they most certainly are not.

We are moving into a “Brave New World” ushered in by “1984″ tactics and if you weren’t a libertarian when you walked into the theater you should be coming out.

If you haven’t seen the trailer yet, check it out here.

Film School : Interstellar

(Here you won’t find a film review of Interstellar but rather a point about filmmaking that is further cemented by Interstellar.)

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Chris Nolan, who is one of the most significant directors in film today shows yet again that creative risk plus a relentless pursuit of excellence always yields an effort worth watching and worth talking about.

Whether you think the movie totally works or not purely on a story level, it’s tough not to appreciate the fact that very few movies in cinematic history have even been attempted like Interstellar…a character driven “What does it all mean?” journey executed on the largest of scale. Try getting that green-lit at a studio today! There are only a few filmmakers that wouldn’t be laughed out of the room for pitching such a concept to begin with. Chris Nolan, the guy who made a film in reverse about a guy with no short term memory, before that was even a device people knew was possible.

Chris Nolan, the guy who was willing to take something so significant as the iconic Batmobile and completely blow it up on his first outing as a mega franchise feature director. Whatever critiques one may have about any of Nolan’s films, one thing that is clear is Nolan is the type of creative risk taker that many talk about but few actually are.

Now the second part of the above equation is every bit, if not more important than the first, “the relentless pursuit of excellence”.

What else is clear, yet again, by watching Interstellar is how focused Nolan and his team are on craftsmanship. Nothing is phoned in here. In fact, it’s all been meticulously worked through and refined.

From the phenomenal Hans Zimmer score that blares at deafening volume, juxtaposed against the silence of space itself. Total stimulation vs total void. The VFX looks like it doesn’t even exist, it looks like great VFX should look, exactly like the real thing! The pursuit of excellence is clear everywhere. The willingness to sand the wood over and over and over and over, till it’s not just good enough, but perfect.

I have my comments about this and other Nolan movies, both positive and negative, but I never have walked out of any Nolan film not talking about, not appreciating it, or thinking that he didn’t leave all his effort and passion on the field of play.

I am clearly not the only one who appreciates the above, because Nolan’s films, including this one, have droves of people who show up to see them, even when they don’t have the Batman in them.

The lesson here is audiences appreciate creative risk and the hard work of a fine craftsman, even if they have critiques about the final product. They have the highest regard for the endeavor and will show up on opening night for the next one.

Rediscovering India

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I am not sure if I had a bad experience or just thought I had a bad experience at some point in my life with Indian food. I can’t for the life of me understand why it has taken me so long to discover how delicious Indian food can be and make it a more regular part of my life. Until about a year ago, anytime someone suggested Indian food to me, I just sort of had this negative feeling about it, again I can’t tell you why… But after being prompted by my wife, we went for Indian food at a joint that makes it fresh and homemade… I thought to my inner foodie, “you have been an idiot and will now never be able to get back your Indian foodless previous 36 years of life.”

Well no more! Indian food is part of my regular turn table of ethnic foods. It’s full of amazing flavors and there are a ton of healthy dishes that don’t require unbuckling your belt to eat.

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If you do not have Indian food in your life, you need to! Like with any food, you need to find a place that does it right.  I have been going to this place in Austin, called New India. The owner and recipe creator gives me a little history lesson on the origins and creations of a given dish each time I try something new. Oh, and another thing- get a little more experimental with your ordering!  Just go a little outside your comfort zone! The more Americanized dishes are delicious, but get into the really traditional stuff, too. The spice blend is really going to make you happy inside!

Don’t make the same mistake I did and go too long without Indian in your life. Research and find the one that those “who know” go to and get over there yourself.

Tad Lumpkin – In High Regard

This blog is a place for Tad Lumpkin to discuss anything from wine to politics. Tad is a producer and writer who has experience in Media Production, Creative Direction, Business Strategies, and Emerging Platforms.