He’s the Dude. Today the seven-time Academy Award nominee joins the ranks of OZY guest editors like Karl Rove, Von Miller and Sen. Kamala Harris to share the news that’s on his mind most these days. You’ve seen him star in The Big Lebowski and Crazy Heart, not to mention The Fabulous Baker Boys and True Grit. Throughout his decades-long career, Bridges has been known for his relaxed approach to life — both on and off the silver screen — and his passion for music and ending hunger.
The Presidential Daily Brief
Everyone should feel safe to worship. Yet during prayers at a north Sinai Sufi mosque on Friday, a bomb and gun attack — those fleeing were shot at — killed more than 300 people. While no group has claimed responsibility, many are pointing fingers at ISIS. I’m saddened to hear of such needless tragedy, especially in the name of religion. I long for a world free from terror.
After ruling for 37 years and trying to secure a path for his wife’s succession upon his death, Robert Mugabe, faced with impeachment, has stepped down this week. I love that this happened without violence, without scores being killed. Now I hope the country pulls together to make the most of this positive, dynamic moment. I wish his successor and the country all the best.
Sonoma Strong. For me, this Thanksgiving was a time of gratitude for the lives and homes that were saved by the sheer heroism of firefighters during last month’s worst fires in California’s history. I spent a lot of time learning what firefighters go through for my latest film, and I was particularly touched by this San Francisco Chronicle story of firefighter Terry Sanders, who lost his Santa Rosa home while he was saving hundreds of others. Sanders is turning to music to heal, and his song “Sonoma Shines” has taken on new meaning.
No one should go hungry, and yet a whopping 13 million children in America do just that. As an advocate for No Kid Hungry, I admire the first lady of Virginia, Dorothy McAuliffe, and her impressive anti-hunger work. She understands that it’s hard to learn when your stomach is growling and has led efforts to feed kids in Virginia, which have increased the number of schools serving free breakfasts by 297 percent. In a time of great political divide, there are still some issues, like feeding children, on which we all agree.
Know This: An explosion has reportedly killed at least two people and injured dozens in the Chinese port city Ningbo. The Mount Agung volcano on the Indonesian island of Bali erupted Saturday evening, sending ash 13,000 feet into the air and disrupting flights in the area. And soldiers have been deployed in Pakistan to control violent clashes in the capital, Islamabad, that resulted from changes to legislators’ Islam-oriented oath.
Ice Capade: “The financial newspaper Vedomosti, citing Kremlin sources, reported that the project was developed by a Moscow consulting agency called IMA-Consulting, which holds a reported $600,000 contract to promote the country’s presidential election in March.” — Background on Washington Capitals hockey star Alex Ovechkin’s “PutinTeam” effort to promote Russian President Vladimir Putin ahead of his expected re-election campaign.
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I dig sleep and think the world is filled with too many restless people in need of a good night’s rest. That’s why I made an album called Sleeping Tapes a while back — check it out. Turns out, not getting enough zzzzs can mess with brain cells’ ability to communicate, which causes mental lags. A recent study featured in Nature Medicine further explores the science, and more research is needed to examine why the lags happen. But according to UCLA neuroscientist Itzhak Fried, going without sleep can harm your ability to function.
The griz is so important for our ecosystem. When bears are doing well, we know all species that share their environment are going to thrive. When I see a bear, it reboots my system, and I am humbled. I want to protect and support their existence so they can continue to roam, expand and flourish for future generations. I live in Montana part time and have become a passionate advocate for protecting this species through Vital Ground. I paid attention to this piece because it shares good news for a troubled species on the rebound.
I feel better through daily meditation and mindfulness, skills I wish I’d had as a kid. Thankfully, teaching mindfulness to children is becoming more mainstream through creative programs like Tools for Peace and the International Mindfulness Teachers Association. Of course, there is no silver bullet for anything, so I’m not deterred by this contrary study getting buzz. Be sure to check out Daniel Goleman’s video at the end of the piece. In my book, mindfulness is a worthy subject for our schools to explore.
I just finished a documentary, Living in the Future’s Past, and I am keenly aware of the crisis we face. But I’m also an optimist and believe that ingenuity is in our DNA. Global leaders recently gathered in Bonn, Germany — without official U.S. participation — to make more progress, and many U.S. states and cities — including my hometown, Santa Barbara — have pledged to cut their fossil-fuel emissions so that America meets our Paris commitment. Meanwhile, despite a setback on anti–Keystone XL pipeline efforts, environmentalists are vowing to fight construction every step of the way.
I dig music and jamming, especially with my oldest friend John Goodwin, who has three tunes on Michael McDonald’s recently released album, Wide Open. I’ve always known how good music is for the soul. It’s obvious that music can lift our spirits, but did you know it can make you more generous, accepting of others and empathetic? Check out the latest science behind music as detailed by the happy folks at UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center.