9 Things Han Solo Taught Me About Being a Dad

Carter Gaddis

As a child of the ’70s, I considered Han Solo the epitome of manhood.

Fiercely independent, yet secretly sentimental. Skeptical, but willing to believe in magic if he sees it with his own eyes.

Secure enough in his own skin to pursue a princess, but not above taking a wide-eyed farm boy under his wing. Best friends with a Wookiee.

A lovable scoundrel who poses as a mercenary, but who deep down recognizes the best things in life are free.

In short — the ideal dad.

I readily acknowledge that my exposure to Star Wars at a young age shaped the adult I have become. And while Obi Wan was a superb mentor and Vader achieved redemption in the end, it was Han Solo who taught me the most about how to be a good dad.

Here are just a few examples of why I believe General Solo, who had not fathered children…

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What do we tell the children?

Carter Gaddis

What do we tell them?

What do we tell the children of Gaza as the tears stream down their faces, leaving tracks in the layer of dust that settled on their cheeks after bombs turned their homes into craters?

What do we say to the terrified children of Syria, where the innocent years have been smothered in bombs and blood?

What words are there for the lost and desperate children of the American border, where they stream across in their thousands, running from death, hoping for a new life?

What do we tell them? What can we do?

We see the images on TV, hear the horror even in the refined, detached voices of the men and women assigned to cover it. How can we change the channel? How can we look away?

How can we not, though?

It is easier, safer, to turn away from the horror than to…

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Ray Rice and the NFL’s Dangerous Precedent

Leo Howell's Blog

The NFL handed Ray Rice a two-game suspension this morning for “his role” in an offseason incident which involved his fiancé and an “uppercut.”

In the wake of the announcement, NFL writers and analysts on social media have begun the inevitable comparison of Rice’s two-game punishment to that of Josh Gordon, who faces a likely year-long ban for various violations of the league’s substance abuse policy.

And I think those comparisons miss the point.

Domestic violence shouldn’t have to be compared relative to anything else when considering punishment from an employer with an aim of “defending the shield.” The NFL under Roger Goodell has made an effort to be more proactive in handing out punishments for those who commit…

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Gaza through the eyes of someone far from home

Sixteen Minutes to Palestine

Guest contribution by Deena Kishawi

As the days of summer pass, I have tried hard to ignore the news. Not because I don’t want to know the goings-on in the world but because I know that if I see or hear something that strikes a nerve, my heart will shatter just as forcefully.

Since Israel’s aggressive operation on the people of the Gaza Strip began on July 8, I’ve shielded my eyes from the images of bleeding children, emotional mothers, and demolished houses. I’m afraid that I might see something I recognize from my visits to Gaza or someone I met — perhaps a relative or a friend. I’m afraid that my memories of Gaza will be tarnished with destruction and not the gleaming sun-lit beauty I remember from my time there exactly one year ago.

Today, I look back at my journeys to Gaza and desperately wish that I had stayed so that…

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Did You Add The Will Ferrell Picture?

Daniel is funny

Did you add the Will Ferrell picture?

No?

Oh, you sad moron. You pathetic shit.

So, you’re telling me that you went ahead and posted a funny quote without first plastering it on a picture of Will Ferrell’s character from the hit comedy Anchorman? You’ve made a grave error, buddy.

Are you always this dumb? You do know that you can’t list “My mother dropped me on my head” under the “Experience” section of your comedy writing resume, right?  That, or “My drinking water is full of old paint chips.” You better hope that you get a daughter that you can sing the songs from Frozen with, or return home from war with an excited dog waiting for you, because, otherwise, you’ll never go viral. Internet popularity? For you? Not a chance, when you lack that amount of foresight.

You think that you’re clever enough to make it big…

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The problem of Richard Feynman

Galileo's Pendulum

Richard Feynman (1918-1988) Richard Feynman (1918-1988)

[Updated again — see note at end of post] Very few heroes can survive scrutiny unscathed. They all have flaws, by virtue of being human. However, hero-worship blurs those flaws,  leveling them: truly nasty aspects of a person’s personality or behavior become on par with little quirks and eccentricities. In that way, we justify our worship. If everyone is a little flawed, then it doesn’t matter if our heroes are too. Right? They’re only human!

But what if a hero was a sexual predator, someone who admitted to some really creepy behavior? What if this person also happens to be a Nobel laureate, a founder of a whole field of research, and an admirable thinker on a number of complicated topics? How do we deal with the two realities together?

In short, how do we cope with the problem of Richard Feynman?

Richard Feynman the…

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