What Is Bravery?

  Fortino Samano Household Name Blog


An Oxford University student sits in a grand wood-paneled room waiting for his final year psychology exam to begin.

The don checks his watch then instructs the students to commence. The grad turns the page and reads the question: What is bravery?

He rocks back on his chair for a moment contemplating the question, then leans in to scribble something down, stands, and as his classmates stare in disbelief, walks from the hall.

The don walks over to his desk and picks up the paper. Beneath the question he'd written: "This is."

In sports, coaches train players to avoid paralysis by analysis. When athletes think too much it negatively affects their performance. They think too much, they choke. It's best they just get out there and play the game without thinking themselves into a hole.

Unfortunately paralysis by analysis is widespread among brands and their ad agencies. Demand for consistently favorable quarterly earnings forecasts, focus groups, a heavy-handed FCC, and gun-shy network censors have forced both clients and their agencies to become ever more risk-averse, but therein lies the paradox: at a time when ad-avoidance by consumers is at an all time high, brands need to be buying more breakthrough work, not less.

And just in case we've all forgotten what bravery looks like, it's here in the face of Mexican revolutionary Fortino Samano moments before his death by firing squad in 1917.

His very last word on this planet: "¡fuego!"









The 21 Precepts Of Miyamoto Musashi



The great samurai swordsman, Miyamoto Musashi, (1584–1645 AD) compiled a list of precepts known as the Dokudou:


1. Accept everything just the way it is.

2. Do not seek pleasure for its own sake.

3. Do not, under any circumstances, depend on a partial feeling.

4. Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world.

5. Be detached from desire your whole life long.

6. Do not regret what you have done.

7. Never be jealous.

8. Never let yourself be saddened by a separation.

9. Resentment and complaint are appropriate neither for oneself nor others.

10. Do not let yourself be guided by the feeling of lust or love.

11. In all things have no preferences.

12. Be indifferent to where you live.

13. Do not pursue the taste of good food.

14. Do not hold on to possessions you no longer need.

15. Do not act following customary beliefs.

16. Do not collect weapons or practice with weapons beyond what is useful.

17. Do not fear death.

18. Do not seek to possess either goods or fiefs for your old age.

19. Respect Buddha and the gods without counting on their help.

20. You may abandon your own body but you must preserve your honour.

21. Never stray from the Way.


The movie clip shows the real life event where Musashi showed up to a duel with a wood sword––a huge insult––and killed his adversary.

Watch an excellent documentary on his life here.

















Netflix This : The Parking Lot Movie




Over the course of three years filmmaker Meghan Eckman tracked the comings and goings of a solitary parking lot in Charlottesville, Va., chronicling the lives of the attendants who worked there.

Hanging tough as they navigate the range of human emotions––from hope to frustration, from a sense of limitless possibilities to stagnation--the film's subjects illustrate what happens when highly educated brainiacs work in a service industry.

You will enjoy. Have I let you down before?


Watch Trailer












Thoughts From The Royal Wedding

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The wedding of a royal prince and his bride satisfies many desires:

our need for a hero and a heroine,
our need for a happy story and a happy ending,
our need to believe in love.

The British establishment, whether consciously or not, have elevated this ritual to the highest level and deserve praise for the brilliance with which they carry it out.


I can vouch for this. I was at the gates.



















Amelia Earhart Prenup

[click to enlarge]


I became sufficiently smitten with Amelia Earhart while working on a research project about the ill-fated pilot to put her on my 'American heroes' list alongside Ali, and Armstrong. (No, not the pedaler/pedler.)

This prenuptial typed in 1932 from AE to GPP (George Putnam, the publishing heir) outlining the rules of their future marriage only adds to her mystique.

Ask yourself this: Would you marry this girl?

More Earhart documents



Nixon Punked

Picture 3

Players from the LA Angels douse the crook-in-chief.

Love the team-mate's incredulous look.

Love the 'ban the bomb' T-shirt.

Love the microphones eager to capture Dick's response.

Love to know who had the balls.

No way anyone gets this close to POTUS today.













The Psychology Of Procrastination

  Household Name Blog
I've been trying to write a post about procrastination for a week now, but just haven't been able to get around to it.

Well, why procrastinate today when you can put it off until tomorrow?

Because chronic procrastinators relish the thrill of riding deadlines to the eleventh hour is why. Confronted with a one week deadline people in general split into two camps:

Those who begin immediately, complete the project in three days, then spend the remaining four days fine-tuning, rewriting, and reflecting on the fruits of their labor. (If the deadline's yanked forward two days, no need to panic.)

In the other camp are those who postpone the inevitable then begin only when the tension becomes unbearable.

And that's the riddle's answer right there: procrastinators are adrenaline junkies.

The endorphin release from solving the problem at 11:59pm is a higher high than completing the project days in advance. (As those with Attention Deficit Disorder well know, it's only adrenaline that allows their minds to focus on any given assignment.)

Such brinkmanship however rarely leads to great work; studies have shown that people are less creative when fighting the clock because time pressure means they can't deeply engage with the problem fully. Creativity requires an incubation period; the subconscious mind needs time to soak in a problem and let ideas bubble up.

And although perfectionism is commonly cited as a cause of procrastination––"it'll never be good enough so I never start"––a 1996 study by Robert Slaney found that adaptive perfectionists are in fact less likely to procrastinate than non-perfectionists.

But take heart, the penalties for skipping a deadline aren't what they were: when the first penitentiary at Folsom was built it had neither walls nor fences, just a white line that if you crossed you got shot.

It was called the deadline.