Matthew Lekushoff |


Trade tensions continue to cast a pall over global financial markets as the world's two largest economic powers continue their standoff. 

In a recent interview, President Trump stated that if President Xi doesn't meet him at this month's G-20 summit, he will impose tariffs on another $300 billion of Chinese goods.

However, Trump reiterated his belief that he and the Chinese leader would, in fact, get together at the G-20 and a trade deal will eventually be struck-if for no other reason than that China needs it to happen.

Despite the continued sabre rattling, most markets marginally rose over the last two weeks, but not near enough to offset the decline of May.


A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived: The Stories in Our Genes   by Adam Rutherford: While a history book, A Brief History covers the history of an unusual topic-our genes. It's an ambitious topic, especially when you consider we emerged about 300,000 years ago and have numbered 107 billion since that time.
A Brief History is written in two parts: How we evolved, and who we are now. The first section is based on information gathered from 150,000 fully sequenced human genomes. These were mostly taken from the living, but also from the long since deceased, including King Richard III, Neanderthals, and other extinct members of our extended family.
A book like this couldn't have been written 20 years ago. The sequencing of the human genome in 2001 allowed us to be certain of our ancestors. For example, most of you reading this have a small percentage-between one and three per cent-of Neanderthal genes inside you. And you thought they were long extinct...
The book's second part is on who we are today. This section delves into topics, such as, health, psychology, race, and fate. Rutherford firmly believes that genetics do not equal fate. Although identical twins will inevitably have much in common as they age, if their environments (experiences, stress levels, society, etc.) are radically different, they could end up being very different people.
A Brief History is a fascinating book on a huge and often controversial topic. It's well written so the layperson can better understand where we come from and who we are. 
Gates Law: How Progress Compounds and Why It Matters  by Farnam Street: " This happens in our lives as well. If you learn a new skill, the number of skills you could potentially learn increases because some elements may be transferable. If you are introduced to a new person, the number of people you could meet grows, because they may introduce you to others. If you start learning a language, native speakers may be more willing to have conversations with you in it, meaning you can get a broader understanding. If you read a new book, you may find it easier to read other books by linking together the information in them. The list is endless. We can't imagine what we're capable of achieving in ten years because we forget about the adjacent possibilities that will emerge."
Systems Without Goals is a Path to Mediocrity   by Nat Eliason: Some people believe setting goals is the best way to succeed in life. Others think systems are better. Nat Eliason convincingly argues that combining the two is optimal.
The Ultimate Productivity Hack is Saying No   by James Clear: "Saying no is sometimes seen as a luxury that only those in power can afford. And it is true: turning down opportunities is easier when you can fall back on the safety net provided by power, money, and authority. But it is also true that saying no is not merely a privilege reserved for the successful among us. It is also a strategy that can help you become successful."
10 Reasons Why You Fail  by Mark Manson:  Knowing how to succeed is important. But, knowing why people fail is sometimes of greater significance.
How to Get Better Sleep: The Beginner's Guide to Overcoming Sleep Deprivation   by James Clear: Not getting enough sleep is one of the more harmful things you can do to your health. James Clear explains why this is, how your sleep-wake cycle works, and provides helpful suggestions on how to get a better sleep.
Not Caring: A Unique and Powerful Skill  by Morgan Housel:  Don't be misled by the article's title. It's not about not caring. It's about choosing what's important to you, and caring a lot about it. It reminded me of the Tony Robbins quote, "Most people major in minor things," which is true. Many insignificant things can overwhelm the vital few.
Jacob Stegenga on Medical Nihilism   by EconTalk: Author and philosopher Jacob Stegenga discusses his book  Medical Nihlism   with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Stegenga argues that many medical treatments either don't achieve their intended goals, or achieve them with negative side effects. He also believes the pharmaceutical approval process in the U.S. allows companies to exaggerate their drugs' benefits to the detriment of public health.
Global Population by Region From 1950 to 2100  by Visual Capitalist: A fun animation of the past and predicted populations of geographic regions. It also includes predictions for global fertility rates and life expectancy.


"Most people overestimate what they can achieve in a year and underestimate what they can achieve in ten years."
- Bill Gates
"Ideas borrow, blend, subvert, develop and bounce off other ideas." 
- John Hegarty, Hegarty On Creativity



Tanya and I return tomorrow from a wonderful holiday in Spain (Malaga and Costa del Sol) and Portugal (Lisbon and surrounding areas). Highlights include a daily view of Gibraltar while in Costa del Sol and a trek to Castle of the Moors and the Pena Palace in Sintra, Portugal. Perhaps it was the spring air or maybe we didn't know any better, but we unexpectedly walked 14 kilometres and climbed the equivalent of 109 floors in getting to the castle and palace.

At the beginning of the hike, I looked up into the far distance and thought to myself, "I wonder who the hell would be crazy enough to climb up to that castle? And, where is the one we want to go to?" As it turned out, we were that crazy, and the palace we wanted to go to was even further away! But the grounds and views were worth it!

Matthew Lekushoff

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