Inspire Friday Issue No. 19

What animals do when humans aren’t looking, the future of space flight, a teen cheers his classmates, a record-breaking free-climb, and more…

Astronauts and record-breaking thru-hikers. In episode seven of our Trails and Trailblazers series, Ariel Tweto and astronaut John Herrington head to Florida for a visit to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, where years earlier John lifted off on his visit to space. Then it’s off to North Carolina for a stop on the Appalachian Trail with record-breaking thru-hiker Jennifer Pharr Davis who set a world record for the fastest time to complete the 2,185-mile trail: 46 days, 11 hours and 20 minutes  Watch here.

What animals do when humans aren’t watching. In the whimsical 2-minute animated short film Maestro, French animation directing team Illogic shows us what animals really do in the forest at night. The film is a follow-up to their 2017 Oscar-nominated animated short Garden Party. See if you can watch without a smile on your face. Watch here.

One heck of a ride. The future of human space flight is looking bright thanks to Sunday’s successful SpaceX rocket launch carrying four astronauts to the International Space Station. This marks the first of three commercial voyages to take place through 2020 and 2021, paving the way for future flights to the moon, Mars, and beyond. Read more.

Teen dons costumes to cheer classmates. Life during the pandemic has been tough for teenager Logan Houghtelling, but instead of letting it get him down, he decided to bring some laughter and cheer to his fellow virtual classmates by dressing up in a silly costume each day. They have fun wondering who he’ll show up as in his next zoom class. Read more.

A lesson on not giving up. Climber Emily Harrington took a terrifying fall last year while attempting to climb El Capitan in Yosemite National Park, leaving her injured and doubtful of what she was capable of. But last week, she became the first woman to free-climb the Golden Gate route of El Cap in one day. Attagirl. Read more.


Every week, MFF president Shaun MacGillivray shares what is inspiring him now, his favorite book recommendations, podcasts, articles, short films, docs, quotes, trends, innovative companies, people, and entrepreneurial stories.

The grandfather of investment wisdom. “Poor Charlie’s Almanack: The Wit and Wisdom of Charlie Munger is, I think, the most important book for anyone interested in investing and in mental models. Munger is the long-time business partner of Warren Buffet, and the book is a compilation of his speeches and writings. So many great ideas and principles. He makes you think differently. And think more methodically. This is a must-read. If I were to recommend one book to anyone, this would be it. You can only buy it in hardcover. But I guarantee if you read it you will learn a lot.”  Available here.

Investing in your life. “Sir John Templeton is one of the greatest investors ever, although he’s not as well known as many others. When I first became interested in investing, I found his story and The Templeton Touch really compelling. The book is about not only how he invested but also his principles around investing and life. One of my favorites, right up there with Berkshire’s letters and Poor Charlie’s Almanack.” Available here.

And for further inspiring reading recommendations…
Visit Shaun’s “Never Stop Learning” reading list.

It helps to plan ahead. “When Jim Freeman and I were first hired to direct and produce the IMAX film To Fly! for the Smithsonian, the museum’s director, Mike Collins, and CEO, Melvin Zisfein, gave me a list of about 30 things they felt would work well in the film. Jim and I cut that list down to about 20 and added a hang glider sequence in Hawaii at the Napali coastline in Kauai where we had filmed before. Because we had such a small budget, $590,000, we created elaborate storyboards so that everyone could agree in advance that what we were shooting was important enough to include in the film. The film had to flow, almost without narration, because we wanted the visuals and the sound to be most impactful. Jim and I tried to include as many spectacular moments as we could, what we now call “IMAX moments.” We even incorporated multi-screen images, such as 36 images on one screen, done as a pattern. When we finished two years later, the film tracked our storyboard almost perfectly. Jim and I learned early on that planning ahead pays off. The film became the IMAX medium’s first sizable success and changed the trajectory of the new format. Suddenly every museum wanted to build an IMAX theater. We were so proud to be a part of it.”
– Greg MacGillivray
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Have an inspirational news story, video, or photo our readers need to see? Submit it here.

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