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A review of David Livermore's 'Cultural Intelligence'

Chris Pratt as Owen Grady, a velociraptor expert and trainer, rescues a worker from the the raptor paddock, in a scene from the new Universal Pictures movie, Jurassic World, the fourth installment in the Jurassic Park franchise (Credit: Universal Pictures)Before she was a fashion icon with her ruby slippers, Dorothy was a tornado survivor that talked to her dog.  After literally bringing the house down on the Wicked Witch of the East, Dorothy keenly observed that the tornado had taken her and her little dog too away from Kansas and to Munchkinland in the world of Oz. Cautiously observing their new surroundings, Dorothy utters the unforgettable line, "Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore."

In his book Cultural Intelligence: Improving your CQ to Engage our Multicultural World, David Livermore contends we are no longer in Kansas anymore either. In a globalized, multicultural society, Livermore argues "the biggest challenge in leadership across cultures lie in miscommunication, misunderstanding, personality conflicts, poor leadership and bad teamwork." So in order to overcome these obstacles, his research leads him to believe that cultural intelligence (CQ) helps "people work effectively across those borders" while also understanding how to show "love and respect for people who look, think, believe, act and see differently than we do."

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Jurassic World: a movie review

Chris Pratt as Owen Grady, a velociraptor expert and trainer, rescues a worker from the the raptor paddock, in a scene from the new Universal Pictures movie, Jurassic World, the fourth installment in the Jurassic Park franchise (Credit: Universal Pictures)Chris Pratt on a motorcycle racing through a forest with his raptor pack: that was all it took for me to be excited about this summer blockbuster. Stephen Spielberg's Jurassic Park came out in 1993.  I was in third grade, and it took some serious persuading on my part for my parents to allow me to see the PG-13 flick. Tickets were $3 and I saw it 5 times. It was worth every cent of my allowance.

The sequels that followed in 1997 and 2001 are not highly esteemed. People's love for the first movie kept them coming to see the sequels, but they did not compare.  As B.B. King sang, "the thrill is gone." Much like the Jaws series, Spielberg's initial offering was a silver-screen triumph. The sequels were riding in the wake of a giant success and ultimately did not survive the frenzy between the critics and general public. Even so, the sequels just kept coming.

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Beach Boy bio-pic: 'Love and Mercy'

Paul Dano as young Brian Wilson plays guitar in a concert scene from the new Roadside Attractions movie, Love and Mercy, a bio-pic about Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys (Credit: River Road Entertainment)Have you ever dreamed of being a rock star or wished you were music legend? It is easy to think they lead charmed lives.  After all, the grass is always greener on the other side, right? The bio-pic about Brian Wilson, Love and Mercy, hit theaters this weekend and has me counting my blessings and remembering the old adage "be careful what you wish for."

The Beach Boys Pet Sounds album is one of the most influential albums to come out of the 60s.  It is the rich fruit of an unspoken competition between the Beatles and the harmony-rich California band. Pet Sounds came as a response to The Beatles' Rubber Soul.  Beatles producer George Martin explained that "without Pet Sounds, Sgt. Pepper never would have happened... Pepper was an attempt to equal Pet Sounds."  Wilson and McCartney were born just two days apart in 1942 and call each other around that time to wish each other a happy birthday every year.

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A review of Kirsten Powers' 'The Silencing'

The Silencing: How the Left is Killing Free Speech by Kirsten Powers (Credit: Regnery Publishing)French writer and philosopher Alexis de Tocqueville said, "Nothing is more wonderful than the art of being free, but nothing is harder to learn how to use than freedom." Commenting on the great experiment known as the United States, Tocqueville was expounding upon the inherent freedoms that the country was built upon. These freedoms yielded great power to a young country, but with great power comes great responsibility.

George Washington, elaborating upon one of these freedoms, said, "If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter." For better or for worse, the ability to speak freely has the capacity to enlighten us so that our footsteps may move towards better and brighter days, or it may be used to silence voices that could sound as voices of reason and wisdom to redirect our paths. In Kirsten Powers' newest book, The Silencing: How the Left is Killing Free Speech, this self-identified proud liberal argues that the "illiberal left" is trying to dominate the discussion on-campus, online and in the media through intimidation.

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Rod Dreher's 'How Dante Can Save Your Life'

How Dante Can Save Your Life: The Life-Changing Wisdom of History's Greatest Poem by Rod Dreher (Credit: Regan Arts)With deep candor and wide usage of the original text, Rod Dreher's latest How Dante Can Save your Life is a quasi guide through Dante's Divine Comedy. Taking the reader on a journey through one of history's greatest poems, Dreher integrates throughout the work what the poem is painfully teaching him about himself. Habitually unpacking the poem, then identifying what the poem is teaching him, and concluding each chapter with a wide casting of the proverbial net to teach the reader, Dreher slowly works through the poem and poignantly shows its relevance today. As Dante iterated, "A wise traveler reaches his goal and rests. The wanderer never reaches it, but with great lethargy of mind forever directs his hungry eyes before him."

The book is divided into four sections: from the garden to the dark wood, Inferno (or why you are broken), Purgatorio (or how to be healed), and concludes with Paradiso (or the way things ought to be). In the Divine Comedy, Dante is accompanied by Virgil and motivated onward by his beloved Beatrice. Likewise for Dreher, he is accompanied by his pastor, therapist, down-to-earth wife, and supportive friends, but is compelled forward by a push for wholeness found in God.

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