Today is the birthday of Norman Lloyd. The actor is 101 years old.

And I’m so grateful to Looking Closer Specialist Joshua Wilson for catching this extraordinary interview with Lloyd at The AV Club and letting me know about it. In it, Lloyd recounts memories of working with Charlie Chaplin, Peter Weir, Curtis Hanson, and other great directors — and unleashes a fury about how much he hates Richard Linklater’s film Me and Orson Welles. 

What a history this guy has. I take pleasure in the fact that one of his most memorable screen moments — in his role as the headmaster in Dead Poets Society, as it happens — includes him giving me an ultimatum.

dead poets quote

No way, Mr. Lloyd. For you, today, I’m standing on my desk.

Safetylast-1Thanks to Allison Backous Troy, another graduate of Seattle Pacific University’s MFA in Creative Writing program, for sending me a link to these intriguing thoughts about creative workers, productivity, efficiency, and workplace wellness. It’s published in The Atlantic:

Today, workers are putting in increasingly more hours — so much so that the 40-hour week has become a relic of the past. But pushing employees to clock up those extra hours is bad for their well-being and detrimental to your company.

This was interesting for me to read after listening, on Sunday, to an insightful sermon called “Work and Rest” from Timothy Keller at Redeemer in New York City. It’s about the dangers of allowing ourselves to become slaves to work, and losing the meaning of Sabbath.

I’ve known a few workaholics. And if I’m not careful, I could easily become one.

I encourage you to listen to Keller’s whole sermon — for the sake of your own physical and spiritual health and that of your coworkers.

One of the many great rewards I’ve received from the MFA in Creative Writing program, at Seattle Pacific has been the friendship of a fellow student: Cameron Dezen Hammon, who recently graduated. I going to miss her insightful critiques and her powerful writing. But I’m so glad I can look forward to listening to her on my commutes to and from work. You can too, actually. I encourage you to check out her new project — and to let her know that you’re one of those good countercultural souls who will invest something in the cultivation of beauty and art. Give a little something to this project. Or give a lot.

Are you one of the legion of fans of Mad Max: Fury Road, which remains near the top of my 2015 favorite movies list? If so, check this out. (Warning: Many of the moments in this video could be considered “spoilers.”) It’s an outstanding collage that demonstrates how director George Miller has “mirrored himself across the franchise and established visual continuity between films separated by decades, technological innovations, and different generations of actors and audiences.”

And speaking of violence…

Oh, how fondly I remember people getting offended when I first started posting about the connection between professional football and chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

It occurred as I was editing a 13-part study (still accessible here, on the Seattle Pacific University website) by New York Times-bestselling author Dr. John Medina called “Head Injuries and the NFL.”

As I began posting about what I was learning, and as I grew increasingly appalled and troubled by how little America seems to care about the brain damage that athletes are suffering in professional football, I began getting notes from readers who angrily scorned me for overreacting, or for condemning sports in general, or for failing to “be a man.” Wonderful stuff. Of course, none of those accusations had anything to do with what I was saying: I was just referring people to an eye-opening study about human suffering, sickness, and suicide, a study that might lead us to question the cost of our Sunday afternoon entertainment.

Well, since then the subject has gained a little more attention. And now, this is coming soon to a theater near you.