10 Classic Board Games for a Winter’s Night In

The Epoch Times

As winter presses on and the temperature remains oh, so low, families find themselves spending more time inside. It can be tempting to allow kids to watch television, aimlessly scroll the Internet, or play video games, just to keep them occupied.

Doing so relinquishes a precious opportunity for simple family fun. One way to enjoy each other’s company and stay present with your family, as opposed to losing that time to digital devices, is to simply play a game together.

Here are 10 classic board games for your next night in together.

Scrabble

Practice your vocabulary skills with the ultimate word game—Scrabble. If your kids can read, they can play Scrabble.

Monopoly

Whether you prefer the iron, the thimble, the dog, or another classic piece, Monopoly is the board game of board games. This one will keep your family occupied potentially for hours, so make some snacks, and settle in for a night of strategy and fun!

Clue

Who did it? Was it Colonel Mustard in the kitchen with a revolver? A game of logic and deductive reasoning, Clue can be enjoyed by most elementary school-aged children and up, but it’s fun for all ages!

Checkers

It doesn’t get more classic than checkers. Involve the entire family by holding a checkers tournament! Don’t have a checkerboard? Make one! It can be a craft and game night all in one!

Chess

Well, maybe it does get more classic than checkers. Chess, a game that is said to have originated in seventh-century India, is the ultimate game of strategy and a game your family can continue to master throughout their lives.

500 Rummy

You need nothing more than a simple deck of cards to play 500 Rummy.

Trivial Pursuit

For maximum enjoyment, choose a version of Trivial Pursuit that will give your family members the best chance of answering questions. If you’ve got young children, the family edition may be best. If you’ve got a family of Disney fanatics, perhaps the Disney version is best. If your children are more mature, they may be ready for the classic or master edition. Either way, trivial pursuit is great fun and potentially educational.

Blockus

The most modern game on the list, Blockus is an excellent game of shapes and strategy for most ages, say 4 and up. This is one you’ll want to play again and again.

Uno

An easy game to play and fun for all ages, Uno is a classic, no-fuss option.

Candyland

Even families with very young children can enjoy Candyland—the ultimate introduction to board games. Relive your youth as you pull a colorful card and move your gingerbread man through the board. Children can practice identifying colors, counting, and, sportsmanship. Bonus points for you if you serve Candyland treats while you play!

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Book Review: ‘Tribe of Mentors: Short Life Advice From the Best in the World’ by Timothy Ferriss

The Epoch Times

Author, investor, and podcaster Tim Ferriss delivers with his latest book, “Tribe of Mentors: Short Life Advice From the Best in the World,” a timely encyclopedia of life advice curated from a variety of successful individuals from different walks of life. The result is a very giftable resource that hits shelves just in time for holiday exchanges and for formulating those New Year’s resolutions.

As Ferriss tells it, “this is the book that [he] wanted to read” but couldn’t find on bookshelves, so he created it himself. The author reached out to those he deemed the “best of the best” in business, sports, entertainment, and other fields. He posed the same 11 questions, a collection he has honed in interviews over the past few years on his wildly popular podcast, “The Tim Ferriss Show”:

  1. What is the book (or books) you’ve given most as a gift, and why? Or what are one to three books that have greatly influenced your life?
  2. What purchase of $100 or less has most positively impacted your life in the last six months (or in recent memory)? My readers love specifics like brand and model, where you found it, etc.
  3. How has a failure, or apparent failure, set you up for later success? Do you have a “favorite failure” of yours?
  4. If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it—metaphorically speaking, getting a message out to millions or billions—what would it say and why? It could be a few words or a paragraph. (If helpful, it can be someone else’s quote: Are there any quotes you think of often or live your life by?)
  5. What is one of the best or most worthwhile investments you’ve ever made? (This could be an investment of money, time, energy, etc.)
  6. What is an unusual habit or an absurd thing that you love?
  7. In the last five years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your life?
  8. What advice would you give to a smart, driven college student about to enter the “real world”? What advice should they ignore?
  9. What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?
  10. In the last five years, what have you become better at saying no to (distractions, invitations, etc.)? What new realizations and/or approaches helped? Any other tips?
  11. When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, or have lost your focus temporarily, what do you do? (If helpful: What questions do you ask yourself?)

The answers are a veritable mix of actionable advice, philosophical wisdom, and abundant wit.

Ferriss’s “mentors” include Jimmy Fallon, Arianna Huffington, Ashton Kutcher, Greg Norman, Tony Hawk, Larry King, and Tim McGraw, among many others. Investors, sports stars, authors, comedians, scientists, musicians, entrepreneurs, journalists, and more offer their takes on Ferriss’s queries, leaving something for everyone.

Ben Stiller’s billboard would read, “Be here now.”

Jimmy Fallon names “The Monster at the End of This Book” by Jon Stone as a book he frequently gifts (since, he explains, he attends more kids’ parties these days).

Ray Dalio’s most impactful purchase under $100 has been “a pocket notepad to jot down good ideas when they come to me.”

In addition to the advice itself, the list of over 130 mentors is a resource in itself. If you don’t know who some of these individuals are, their social media handles are provided, in most cases.

Easily digestible in bite-sized portions, “Tribe of Mentors” is the perfect gift for college students, self-help junkies, entrepreneurs, and dreamers who are striving for something more.

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Does Your Child Need a Smart Phone?

The Epoch Times

Former Facebook executive Chamath Palihapitiya made headlines this week when he lamented his feelings of guilt over his role in developing the social network. “I feel tremendous guilt,” he said. “In the back, deep, deep recesses of our mind, we kind of knew something bad could happen.”

He refers to the massive societal impact Facebook, and social media at large, has had in recent years.

“People need to hard break from some of these tools,” he cautioned.

”The short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops that we have created are destroying how society works. No civil discourse. No cooperation. Misinformation. Mistruth. And it’s not an American problem. This is not about Russian ads. This is a global problem. So we are in a really bad state of affairs right now, in my opinion.”

Palihapitiya went on to say that he hardly uses social media himself and doesn’t allow his children to use it at all.

This comes just a few months after another former Facebook executive—founding President Sean Parker—publicly shared his feelings of regret for co-creating the ubiquitous platform. At an event he said, “I don’t know if I really understood the consequences … because [of] the unintended consequences of a network when it grows to a billion or 2 billion people and … it literally changes your relationship with society, with each other … It probably interferes with productivity in weird ways. God only knows what it’s doing to our children’s brains.”

Palihapitiya and Parker are not the first industry giants to sound the alarm bells. Tech’s biggest names—Steve Jobs and Bill Gates—have also admitted concern over their own children’s use of technology.

The late Apple CEO Steve Jobs famously revealed in a 2010 interview with the New York Times that his kids hadn’t used the iPad. “We limit how much technology our kids use at home,” Jobs explained.

Microsoft CEO Bill Gates told the Mirror that he also sets limits on his children’s use of technology. “We often set a time after which there is no screen time and in their case that helps them get to sleep at a reasonable hour.” He continued, “We don’t have cellphones at the table when we are having a meal; we didn’t give our kids cellphones until they were 14 and they complained other kids got them earlier.”

Other leaders in tech have revealed similar personal habits that seem to contradict their professional aspirations.

As parents, it begs the question, if even these guys see the dark side to our modern-day tools, should we think twice before handing our kids (at age 10 on average) a smart phone?

Recent studies about the well being of children seems to back up such concerns.

Psychology Professor Jean Twenge detailed her devastating findings in the Atlantic showing the sharp rise in suicide rates among teens correlate to their ownership of smartphones and use of social media. “Rates of teen depression and suicide have skyrocketed since 2011. It’s not an exaggeration to describe iGen (people born between 1995 and 2012) as being on the brink of the worst mental-health crisis in decades. Much of this deterioration can be traced to their phones,” she explained.

“There is compelling evidence that the devices we’ve placed in young people’s hands are having profound effects on their lives—and making them seriously unhappy.”

Perhaps in answer to these concerns (and more) Facebook released a statement on December 15 entitled “Is Spending Time on Social Media Bad for Us?” declaring the company’s concern for these issues and framing both sides of the story—that is the positive and potentially negative effects of social media.

Of course, most parents know that teens hardly even spend time of Facebook in 2017, but they’re spending an alarming amount of time on Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and other platforms with potentially greater pressures and more complicated dynamics.

Look for more studies will be done. Until then, the question remains: Does your child need a smart phone?

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16 Parenting Quotes for Those in the Thick of It

The Epoch Times

Parenting is a wild ride—a learn as you go, call ‘em like you see ‘em, on the job training situation. All parents can use a dose of inspiration or, perhaps even more,  a good laugh. Here are some quotes to satisfy both.

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