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Odds & Ends: January 26, 2024

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Pumping Iron. A classic docudrama about a subculture — bodybuilding — then in its early and golden era. Pumping Iron, released in 1977, focuses on the 1975 IFBB Mr. Universe and 1975 Mr. Olympia competitions, with a particular emphasis on the showdown between future movie stars Lou Ferrigno and Arnold Schwarzenegger (who’s got charisma and quips to spare). You don’t have to appreciate bodybuilding to appreciate what is really a showcase of the elements of sport and excellence (training, discipline, preparation) and The dynamics of male competitivenessThe rush of victory, and the crushing agony of defeat, are all part of the mix of camaraderie, rivalry, physical warfare and psychological warfare.

The Seven Habits of Highly Efficient People by Stephen Covey. I first read The Seven Habits Highly Effective People back in high school and was blown away by Covey’s ability to create fresh, compelling angles on common sense principles — put first things first; begin with the end in mind — and show how they can be implemented to create a flourishing life. Since then, I’ve re-read Seven HabitsEvery few years I remind myself of the important fundamentals which I already know, but it is so easy to forget. My son enjoyed The Seven Habits for Highly Effective TeensSean Covey is the author of this book. It makes the seven habits more accessible to teenagers. Listen to our podcast about Seven Habits with Covey’s son, Stephen M.R. Covey,You can also find out more about the following: You can read about each habit in our series.

Books and BicepsJon Finkel, an author, wrote a few guest pieces for AoM a decade or so ago. He’s got a newsletter I subscribe to and enjoy called Books & Biceps, where he recommends books that dudes might enjoy, along with some workout motivation. Thanks to Jon’s newsletter, I’ve added a few books to my to-read list. 

Blackwing 602 Pencils. You might not have thought there was any difference between pencils. Or that you could ever pay more than $2 per pencil. You thought wrong and have not tried Blackwings. I was introduced to the Blackwing 602. This is a guest article about pencils.We ran it several years ago and I was immediately hooked. The Blackwing 602 was made in Japan. It features a soft dark core encased by fragrant juniper. It’s a pleasure to write with and glides across the page (the tagline for the 602 is “half the pressure, twice the speed”). It’ll change your opinion of pencils, and maybe even get you to switch out your pens for them. 

Quote of the Week

False happiness, like false money, is temporary and can be used for some occasions. But when we touch it, we feel its lightness and alloy.

—Alexander Pope

The post Odds & Ends: January 26, 2024The first time that appeared on The Art of Manliness.


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