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Andre Agassi and what the scoreboard doesn’t say

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Let’s get this out of the way first…this is a photo of Andre Agassi playing tennis at age 7:

Agassi at 7yo

OMG, that face! That photo is from a recent profile/interview of Agassi, who, after some struggles on and off the court early in his career, seems to have figured out how to live his life with purpose. Through his foundation and other efforts, Agassi has helped build almost 80 schools around the country for underprivileged children.

Did Agassi also wish he could be on court playing Federer or Nadal? “No. You can’t believe you once were at that level — and, even if I could do it, I think of my life now and ask: ‘Why do they do it?’ Steffi said: ‘Can you believe what these guys are still willing to put themselves through?’ It’s remarkable but if I went back in time I would probably retire sooner.”

Surely he misses the intensity? “I miss that the least. That was always the tough part for me. I enjoyed the work that went into making yourself the best you can be but I hated what the scoreboard doesn’t say. It just tells you if you won or lost. But the biggest issue for most athletes is you spend a third of your life not preparing for the next two-thirds. One day your entire way of life comes to an end. It’s a kind of death. You just have to go through it and figure it out. In her own quiet way Steffi feels stronger than me. She’s pretty linear in how she lives. I probably do a little more reminiscing than she does — which says a lot.”

As a kid, I always loved watching Agassi play, especially during the second half of his career. He’d been through some shit, dealt with it, and was playing with a different kind of verve. His game was more knowing, purposeful. I still remember Pete Sampras, overflowing with talent, pounding that amazing serve of his at Agassi, a serve that no one else on the tour could return properly. Some of these wicked serves would confound him, but every few points, Agassi would take a Sampras serve, this perfect booming thing, and absolutely paste it right down the line or cross-court for an easy winner. He took everything that was good about that serve and molded it into his return — the better Sampras hit the serve, the better Agassi’s return would be. (via mr)

Tags: Andre Agassi   education   sports   tennis
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bjtitus
5 days ago
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Nashville, TN
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codesujal
5 days ago
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Andre Agassi has no regrets about retiring... #fb
West Hartford, CT

Some of the Best Email Newsletters

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Cultivating an eager mailing list and a captive audience isn’t all about software, funnels, fancy tips and tricks. It’s about sending interesting and useful content to the people that need it, with consistency. You don’t have to wait until your audience is massive, or until you have something to sell. You just have to engage with people in a way that benefits both you and them, with a little bit of your personal flare.

Paul Jarvis, writer of the Sunday Dispatches newsletter

In the course of my work here at Tools & Toys, I consume a lot of things on the web. Whether I’m researching neat items or hand-selecting links for our Quality Linkage columns, I have to source all this stuff somewhere.

As it turns out, some of the best stuff I know of comes from email newsletters. I’ve tried many of them over the years, and there are only a handful that have really stuck with me. A few of the most stellar examples are below. Enjoy!

* * *


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The Journal by Kevin Rose »

Whereas most newsletters publish once a week or more, Kevin Rose’s The Journal only goes out once a month. Each issue is full of links to interesting articles/podcasts, product reviews, geeky tips, and more, all of which are vetted extensively by Rose before inclusion. I honestly wouldn’t mind a higher frequency of this one, but the monthly schedule does make it feel a bit more special.



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Cooking by The New York Times »

On the flip side of Kevin Rose’s monthly dispatches, the Cooking newsletter by The New York Times goes out every single weekday. Which is fine by me, because editor Sam Sifton always does a delightful job of curating and commenting on NYT recipes. He also collects the occasional link to an interesting bit of ephemera on the web.



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The Reading List by Ryan Holiday »

Here’s another once-a-month newsletter for you, this time featuring monthly book recommendations by Ryan Holiday, author of such greats as The Obstacle is the Way and Ego is the Enemy. Each edition recommends a handful of books that are likely to stick with you long after reading, if not change your life.



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Web Curios by Matt Muir of Imperica »

Similar to our Friday Quality Linkage columns — but far wider in scope, for better or worse — Matt Muir’s Web Curios are a weekly collection of interesting links he’s happened across around the internet, many of them including a heavy dose of amusing commentary. You have to create a “Community” account at Imperica to gain access to the newsletter, but it’s totally free and worth the small effort.



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One More Thing… by Patrick Rhone »

My friend Patrick Rhone is a terrific writer who has a lot of wisdom to share, particularly when it comes to being mindful (whether it’s in terms of one’s relationship with technology, the ways we treat others, etc). His One More Thing… offers some of his most personal and helpful work, and this has proven even truer since he recently began a year-long sabbatical from publishing anything online (other than the newsletter), including blog posts, tweets, and status updates.



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NextDraft by Dave Pell »

There is a lot of news in the world every day. There’s no way you can possibly absorb it all, so Dave Pell has taken it upon himself to pick through the deluge and smartly curate the ten news stories you need to know about each weekday, with witty commentary and insights galore. No algorithms here; just one human weathering a constant hurricane so you don’t have to.



some-of-our-favorite-newsletters-guide-recomendo-kevin-kelly-cool-tools

Recomendo by Kevin Kelly, Mark Frauenfelder, & Claudia Dawson of Cool Tools »

The staff of Cool Tools — a publication that has obviously been an inspiration for us here at Tools & Toys over the years — sometimes come across things that either aren’t tools or aren’t important enough to review formally. Each week they share six of those things via the Recomendo newsletter. You never know what you’ll get in each dispatch; they recommend everything from cool websites to travel hacks to tech tips to inspiring videos to neat apps to…well, the list goes on and on.

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bjtitus
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“Are Liberals on the Wrong Side of History?”

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Adam Gopnik writes about three books — Age of Anger by Pankaj Mishra, A Culture of Growth by Joel Mokyr, and Homo Deus by Yuval Noah Harari — that address the tension between liberalism and conservatism, going back to Voltaire v. Rousseau during the Enlightenment (and even further back, to Plato).

For Mishra, elements in modernity that seem violently opposed, Zionism and Islamism, Hindu nationalism and Theosophical soppiness — not to mention Nazi militarism — share a common wellspring. Their apostles all believe in some kind of blood consciousness, some kind of shared pre-rational identity, and appeal to a population enraged at being reduced to the hamster wheel of meaningless work and material reward. Mishra brings this Walpurgisnacht of romanticized violence to a nihilistic climax with the happy meeting in a Supermax prison of Timothy McVeigh, perpetrator of the Oklahoma City bombing, and Ramzi Yousef, perpetrator of the World Trade Center bombing: the fanatic, child-murdering right-wing atheist finds “lots in common” with the equally murderous Islamic militant — one of those healing conversations we’re always being urged to pursue. (“I never have [known] anyone in my life who has so similar a personality to my own as his,” Yousef gushed of McVeigh.)

Very interesting context and a stimulating argument for the middle way by Gopnik — in his estimation, Betteridge’s law applies to the title. He didn’t care much for Homo Deus, and I have to admit, as a big fan of Sapiens, that I’ve run out of steam with this new one and found myself nodding my head at Gopnik’s objections. I’m gonna get back to it, I’m sure, but with less enthusiasm than before.

Tags: A Culture of Growth   Adam Gopnik   Age of Anger   books   Homo Deus   Joel Mokyr   Pankaj Mishra   politics   Yuval Noah Harari
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bjtitus
8 days ago
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Tested: Helium-Filled Airliners and Other RC Innovations.

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RC planes made ultralight and ultraslow for realistic scale speeds. Ya gotta see it!

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bjtitus
10 days ago
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PS Mag: Why It’s Counterproductive to Call Someone Smart.

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We’ve known about the “spacing effect” for 200 years. You’re better off spreading out your learning over time. The more you revisit ideas over a period of time, the more that you learn. There’s no debate about this.
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bjtitus
10 days ago
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A fictional flight above real Mars

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Using real images of Mars taken by the HiRISE camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, Jan Fröjdman created a 3D-rendered flyover of several areas of the planet’s surface.

In this film I have chosen some locations and processed the images into panning video clips. There is a feeling that you are flying above Mars looking down watching interesting locations on the planet. And there are really great places on Mars! I would love to see images taken by a landscape photographer on Mars, especially from the polar regions. But I’m afraid I won’t see that kind of images during my lifetime.

It has really been time-consuming making these panning clips. In my 3D-process I have manually hand-picked reference points on the anaglyph image pairs. For this film I have chosen more than 33.000 reference points! It took me 3 months of calendar time working with the project every now and then.

Watch this in the highest def you can muster…gorgeous.

Tags: astronomy   Jan Frojdman   Mars   photography   physics   science   space   video
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bjtitus
13 days ago
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