Tag Archives: The Hobbit

Best Posts of Jeremiah Stanghini’s Blog in 2013

Last year when I did a best posts series, I ended up doing three different posts. This year, since all of the posts that appear on this website originated on this website, I wouldn’t need to include any posts about Genuine Thriving. My first inclination was to do a best of 2013 and a best of all-time, but after looking at the statistics, the best of 2013 and the best of all-time are essentially — identical. As a result, I decided to just do the one post of the best posts of 2013.

Before revealing the top 6 posts along with an excerpt, there is one thing to keep in mind. On the old site, there used to be only an excerpt shown with the post. So, if someone wanted to read the whole post, they had to click the link (this was just how the theme worked). On this site, however, I specifically chose a theme where folks wouldn’t have to click a link to view the whole post (only to share or comment because those links are on the post’s page). As a result, the statistics for the most popular posts are sure to be skewed because people may have read a certain post more than another, but without them clicking the link for the post, there’s no way (that I know of) for me to know. On top of that, the theme I’ve chosen here allows the viewer to scroll (all the way to the first post!) What does that mean? When you’re on the homepage, you can continue to scroll down and more posts will load… all the way ’til you get to the first post. And in looking at the statistics of the top posts, it’s clear that “scrolling down” is far and away the most popular “post” on this site (this was true last year, too). With that in mind, here they are with an excerpt for each:

The Official Final Jeopardy Spelling Rules [UPDATED]

If you know me, you know that I’m really good at finding things on the Internet. After doing a couple of cursory google searches (Final Jeopardy RulesOfficial Final Jeopardy RulesOfficial Jeopardy Rules), I was surprised that I couldn’t find them. Sometimes, the site that hosts a document like this doesn’t do a good job of using keywords. So, I thought I’d poke around the official Jeopardy site — nothing.

After some more derivations of “Rules of Jeopardy,” I was beginning to think that maybe the rules aren’t online. I thought that maybe the contestants were handed a paper copy that they signed before going on the show and that document wasn’t online. Having never been a contestant on Jeopardy (though I’d like to be some time!) I couldn’t confirm whether this was true. However, given that it’s a game show, I’m sure they signed something before going on the show. Regardless, I didn’t have access to that document.

In The End, Everything Will Be OK – If It’s Not OK, It’s Not Yet The End

It’s no secret that I like quotes. Since converting my Facebook profile to a Facebook page, I’ve gotten into the habit of sharing a “quote of the day.” If my calculations are correct, I’ve been sharing quotes of the day for over 80 days now. As you’ll notice that I also have a quotes category, I’ve shared a number of quotes here on this site, too. And if I think back to the days of AIM (AOL Instant Manager), I often had quotes as my “away” message. And even before then, I remember really liking quotes in high school and in elementary (or grade) school. So, like I said, it’s no secret that I like quotes.

If You Want to Be Happy, Spend Your Bonus On Your Coworkers

That bonus you were looking forward to at the end of the year is “yours” and you should get to spend it on you and your family. Except, research shows that’s not the case. In fact, the research indicates that spending the money on someone other than yourself actually leads to greater happiness. More than that, it can lead to your improved performance at work.

The Confirmation Bias — What Do You Really Know: List of Biases in Judgment and Decision-Making, Part 6

Why is the confirmation bias so loathed? Well, as Nickerson points out, it may be the root cause of many disputes both on an individual and an international level. Let’s think about this for a second: let’s say that in the world of objectivity “out there,” there are any number of possibilities. In the world  of subjectivity “inside my head,” there are only the possibilities that I can imagine. Humans, on the whole, tend to fear change (there are over 600,000,000 results for that search on Google!). In order to allay those fears, I’m going to prefer information that already conforms to my previously held beliefs. As a result, when I look “out there,” I’m going to unconsciously be looking for things that are “inside my head.”

Advancing America’s Public Transportation System: High-Speed Rail in the USA

When it was first announced that the US was going to work on , I was very excited! Growing up in the , I am very familiar with the value of public transportation. I often rode a bus to and from school. As I matured and wanted to explore downtown with my friends, we’d ride the  to get there from the suburban area we lived. Beyond that, when I needed to make trips between Detroit and Toronto, I would ride the  between Toronto and Windsor instead of taking the 45 minute flight. Public transportation is a great way, in my opinion, to feel better about reducing one’s .

Three Lessons from The Hobbit: On Doing What You Can, Having Faith, and Demonstrating Leadership

Anyway, as I was watching, there were a few instances I noticed that could serve as quintessential lessons. Given that The Hobbit is a good example of the hero’s journey, it’s not surprising that there’d be great lessons to be found in the story.

Three Lessons from The Hobbit: On Doing What You Can, Having Faith, and Demonstrating Leadership

The Hobbit: An Unexpected JourneyA few days ago, I went and saw The Hobbit. (Really liked the HFR, by the way.) I don’t remember if I read The Hobbit in high school, (my guess is not), so the story was completely new to me (aside from being a good representation of the hero’s journey) — just as The Lord of the Rings was when I watched the three movies. (Trivia: LOTR is not a trilogy, even though it is often referred to as such.)

Anyway, as I was watching, there were a few instances I noticed that could serve as quintessential lessons. Given that The Hobbit is a good example of the hero’s journey, it’s not surprising that there’d be great lessons to be found in the story. Of course, if you haven’t seen the movie…


The three instances I’m going to share all happen within — essentially — the same scene. If you’ve seen the movie (or read the book), you’ll probably know what I’m talking about.

The first instance comes courtesy our good friend — Bilbo Baggins. It takes place right near the end of the film when Bilbo, Gandalf, and the dwarves are stuck in the tree. Gandalf and the dwarves set the trees on fire to scare off Azog and the Orcs, but it doesn’t work. Thorin (who is to be the leader of the dwarves), descends from the tree to try to fight with Azog. As was to be expected, Azog dominates Thorin and Thorin is about to die. Bilbo — seeing this — and noticing that no one else in the trees looks like they’ll be able to help, descends from the tree to come to Thorin’s rescue to stave off imminent death.

So, the instance that I’m talking about is Bilbo doing what he could do at the time. He knew there was no way for him to be able to take on all the Orcs by himself, but it was clear, in the moment, he was the only one that could have saved Thorin from death. Bilbo had to have faith that by him doing what he did, the other dwarves could then free themselves from the tree and then come to the rescue of Thorin and Bilbo.

Lesson #1: Even though you can’t see how things will turn out, it’s important to do what you can in the moment.

The second instance also comes from this scene. While the dwarves are stuck in the tree, Gandalf catches a butterfly and whispers to it. This proves important because after Bilbo saves Thorin from Azog, a group of eagles comes to the aid of the dwarves. The eagles pick up the dwarves in their talons or swoop them onto their backs and fly off with them. While this is happening, most of the eagles are pulling the dwarves from the tree. Gandalf wasn’t pulled from the tree. In fact, he was the last one to be rescued from the tree and he wasn’t even rescued. As the tree’s roots are being pulled up from the ground, Gandalf has to jump off the cliff… and have faith that one of the eagles will fly by and pick him up. Of course, he did — and an eagle did.

Lesson #2: Even though you can’t see what’s in front of you, sometimes you have to have faith… and jump!

The last instance occurs afte the eagles have dropped off the dwarves, Bilbo, and Gandalf far from the clutches of the Orcs. While on this rock, Thorin says something to the group (and Bilbo), about the fact that he should never have taken him on this quest. And then he says something to the effect of, ‘I’m so glad I was wrong.’ I may have the wording or the bits and pieces of this wrong, but the point I wanted to highlight here is that Thorin was wrong, he knew it, and he admitted it.

Lesson #3: When you’re wrong, don’t be afraid to say so.