My July 2016 Reading List

I’m an avid reader, and I think it would be cool if you were too. Because I’d love to interest you in what’s out there, I’ll start posting the books I read in the previous month. Depending on what I’ve been involved in and, of course, the book itself, the number of books will vary.

The Innocent by David Baldacci. I love reading mysteries by audio when I’m travelling. My 11yo son and I listened to this one on a two week road trip to a speaking engagement in CT. It’s a great book. I only had to fast forward one section that I thought he was too young for.

The Brand Gap by Marty Neumeier. This one came highly recommended from my good friend Kent Julian. One of the best books I’ve ever read on branding.

Cheaper by the Dozen by Frank Gilbreth Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey. I thought the Disney movies were cute and funny, but they don’t hold a candle to the true story they came from. In this case, truth is so much more spectacular than fiction.

Fighting Fit by Col. David Ben-Asher. This is a martial arts book about Israeli defense forces training. It’s a great book about basic self-defense training.

That’s it for this month.

This message was written by a team of geeks, nerds, gamers, and Dr. David Powers. You can always find us at Thanks for reading!

Is Your Team Anything Like the Star Wars Crew?

Aside from the obvious enjoyment of interstellar travel and light saber duels, the Star Wars movies offer a great many lessons in other areas. Because team building is a primary focus of my speaking, I would like to point out a few lessons from Han Solo and others as they relate to teams.


  • Small teams can accomplish great things. Rebel Alliance- 2, Death Stars- 0.
  • Every team needs an Obi-Wan Kenobi to serve as the gatherer to bring members together. This person may or may not be the team leader. It just depends.
  • The goals are sometimes more important than the team itself. Sometimes people, products, or processes are sacrificed to reach the goal. Luke Skywalker’s arm is never gonna grow back.
  • Sometimes teams need to come together for a season and then disband when the job is done. The main crew in Star Wars is constantly evolving.
  • Teams don’t always have to get along perfectly to work. Just think about all the constant infighting among the Star Wars crew.

There are so many more lessons to learn. If you want to see all of these principles in play and realize your own, have your team sit down and watch a few or all of the movies and analyze them in terms of team building.

I hope this helps you and your team. If you would like to delve deeper into team building, please get in touch. I frequently speak at conferences on this topic and also use it to coach individuals in high stress/high danger occupations in career transition.

This message was written by a team of geeks, nerds, gamers, and Dr. David Powers. You can always find us at Thanks for reading!


Buy the original Star Wars trilogy and watch it as a team

Who wants to be a Professional Speaker?

First off, what is a professional speaker? A professional is defined at its most basic as someone who makes money from their ‘thing’. If you want to make money as a speaker, then you want to be a professional speaker. It’s that simple.

This includes…


Motivational speakers

Corporate trainers


…and even more

If you’re in any of those positions and you want to learn more about becoming a professional, i.e. paid, speaker, you can’t go wrong with Kent Julian’s Speak It Forward Speaker Boot Camp.



I’ve attended the conference myself and highly recommend it. As a matter of fact, I’m actually working with Kent through a mastermind group to perfect not only my keynote presentations but also the business side of my enterprise. We had our group retreat several weeks ago.

I’ve been a professional speaker for years and speak often at various conferences all over the world, but the SIF Boot Camp was what I needed to make the next step toward greater success.

Click HERE to check it out. Kent’s an awesome guy. Be sure to tell him Dr. Dave sent you. If you do sign up, let me know. If I happen to be in town when you attend, I’ll treat you to lunch.


This message was written by a team of geeks, nerds, gamers, and Dr. David Powers. You can always find us at Thanks for reading!


Speak It Forward

Affirm Yourself by Kent Julian



Is Algebra Unnecessary?

I have long been a proponent of creating a functional education for young students as opposed to cramming unnecessary skills down their throats. The vast majority of adults in their jobs do not need or use higher skills in any of the educational subjects.

And, guess what?

If they needed to, they can learn them as needed. It’s what people do when the need arises.

Sure, teach those classes to the kids that need or want them for future careers or even out of curiosity, but don’t force it or require it. Could you imagine how much different the world would be if, instead of algebra, chemistry, calculus, and physics, we taught high school students how to balance checkbooks, stay out of debt, and get a job? Could you imagine how different it would be if we helped them find jobs that matched their skills, passions, and calling instead of telling them that four years of college and a staggering load of debt is the way to go? Could you imagine if we offered entrepreneurial classes on things like Etsy, ebay, and Amazon and used twenty dollar books by Chris Guillebeau and Dan Miller instead of boring, dry, useless $150 textbooks?

I talk about all of this in my book Creating a Functional Education, but this article was in my local paper yesterday that also covers the issue at hand.


This message was written by a team of geeks, nerds, gamers, and Dr. David Powers. You can always find us at Thanks for reading!

Functional Education-cover


Who is Chris Guillebeau?

Who is Dan Miller?

What is a Functional Education?

Sky Birds Dare! By L. Ron Hubbard (Book Review)

I just finished reading Sky Birds Dare!, another volume from the Galaxy Press editions of L. Ron Hubbard’s short fiction. This one falls into the air adventures category, as opposed to westerns, mysteries, and sci-fi, which he’s also written prolifically. I’ve really enjoyed his air adventures for their action and authenticity. You can tell Hubbard knows what he’s talking about. As a former pioneer pilot, he ought to. His tales involving the early days of flight take me back to a time in my childhood when I reveled in the stories on the Disney Talespin cartoon and the opening sequences of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

This story is no different, except for one thing. It focuses on a completely different area of flight, that of gliders instead of airplanes. I’ve always been interested in gliders for several reasons. Number one, one of my first flight experiences was in a glider that a friend took me up in. Number two, my wife’s grandfather was a glider crewman in World War II. He was one of the few men that survived the glider landings at Normandy on D-Day.

This story focuses on the hurdles that gliders had to surpass to gain their place in the military aviation arena. As you know, they eventually earned it, but, as the story unfolds, you’ll see it was not an easy road.

sky birds dare

I’m a huge fan of L. Ron Hubbard’s fiction works, so I was very pleased when Galaxy Press re-released a huge catalog of his early short stories and novellas. I’ve been reading or listening to them for years and just got in a whole new box of the audiobooks.

Although they’re available in both print and audio form, I usually opt for the audio versions. When I’m travelling to my next conference event where I’m speaking on zombies or mountain climbing or putting miles on the road on the way to my next climbing adventure I love to pass the time with a good book. Sometimes non-fiction audio puts me to sleep, but a good fiction book is an enjoyable way to pass the time.

One thing I love about the Galaxy Press editions of Hubbard’s books is that they’re well done. You know how most audio versions of fiction books only feature one voice actor and no sound effects. That always bugs me a bit, especially when the person doing the voice is not the same gender as the character in the book. Well, these are just the opposite. Various actors do the voices. There’s also sound effects and background music. They make you feel like you’re sitting by a campfire listening to an old radio theatre broadcast.

The stories also focus on adventure, romance, and suspense. Check out the catalog for yourself to see what you like best. I like the variety personally and will go from an adventure story to a detective tale or something else. I like the style of writing also. I was raised as a wee lad on books by Robert E. Howard and Edgar Rice Burroughs and the Indiana Jones movies. If you like any of those, you’ll surely enjoy these as well. Books like this stoke my own desire for adventure and excitement in life

I would highly recommend the book as a great listen. If you have kids riding with you in the car, I would rate this one as okay for them as well.

As an aside, I know that when some of you see L. Ron Hubbard’s name, all you can think of is his religious influences. If that’s a worry for you, rest assured that that is not an issue in these books. Hubbard was quite an adventurer throughout his life and these books were written well before that phase. Because of his adventurous lifestyle, you can feel a sense of authenticity in the stories that you don’t get from a lot of writers.

This message was written by a team of geeks, nerds, gamers, and Dr. David Powers. You can always find us at Thanks for reading!


Purchase this book on Amazon

Galaxy Press

What in the world is Talespin?



The Adventure of Teaching Little Ones to Read

I’d like to talk about an aspect of adventure that many of you might not have thought about…teaching kids to read. If you’ve ever done it as a teacher or parent, you know exactly what I’m talking about. If you haven’t, I’m hoping this will inspire you.

As to the adventure aspect, learning to read opens you up to innumerable adventures, From real to imagined, from actual to speculative. I’ve been on a journey with Gandalf over a ring. I’ve been to Hogwarts with Harry. I’ve climbed Everest with Hillary. I’ve crossed the Atlantic with Heyerdahl. All through reading.

I’ve also experienced the adventure of opening up those worlds for others as a teacher. As many of you know, my wife and I homeschool our kids. Two are old enough to read, and the third one is just now learning. In regard to that, I have to say that one of the biggest joys thus far in life that ranks right up there with mountain summits and marathon completions is hearing my 4yo son scream out, “I just read a whole sentence.”

If you have young ones or have the opportunity to be a blessing to other young ones, I urge you to try it out. Aside from the joy of it, teaching little ones to read also helps you personally cultivate the virtues of patience, longsuffering, and courage. That’s my way of saying it’s not always easy, but it is always worth it.

Aside from an attempt at inspiration, I’d love to offer you some concrete advice and mention a resource that we use. After trying out several programs we were so happy to try out a recommendation someone made to us. Two kids now have exclusively used Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons by Siegfried Engelmann to learn how to read. From there we simply moved on to reading books and learning grammar.


This message was written by a team of geeks, nerds, gamers, and Dr. David Powers. You can always find us at Thanks for reading!


Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons by Siegfried Engelmann

Creating a Functional Education

Teaching in the Weird



Batman Uses Alpha Brain, So Why Not You?

Yeah, that’s right. Batman uses Alpha Brain. You probably should too. You do want to be more like Batman, don’t you?

Batman-DC-Futures End-nootropics-001

I’ve been using Alpha Brain for several years, basically ever since I saw Bradley Cooper jazzing up his brain waves in Limitless. If you’re like most people, you probably don’t know much about nootropics, so I’ll give you the rundown in rapid fire fashion…

  • Nootropics are supplements that enhance brain function
  • Tim Ferriss made it big selling a nootropic enhancement
  • They improve memory, processing speed, and focus
  • This means you remember things better, get to the bottom of complex tasks faster, and increase your reaction time
  • Alpha Brain from Onnit is the most well known and probably most studied nootropic
  • The benefits of the brain effects spill over into the physical realm as well

I mainly tried them as a self-experiment. For sheer brain power I didn’t need them. After all, I have a genius level IQ, am a member of Mensa, and have six college degrees. The catch was that all of those things mainly just amount to information. In other words, you can know an awful lot of stuff about any number of subjects and still be a loser. In fact, I know a lot of brainiacs in Mensa who are socially inept idiots and nothing like Batman. I wanted to see if nootropics would help increase the speed of how I put all that information and knowledge into action.

They did.

All you have to do is go back through my blogs for the past few years and see where I’ve been and what I’ve done. Most importantly, at the ripe age of 41 I’m more like Batman now than I ever was before.

I actually experimented with several different nootropic supplements, but Alpha Brain worked the best for me. It got me closest to Limitless.

If a higher degree of cognitive performance or memory is something you crave or need, I’d suggest you go ahead and give it a try. There’s really no downside at all, and the upside is, well, Batman.

Check out my page HERE, and there’s a link to Alpha Brain from Onnit.

Like any good self-experiment, be sure to test yourself and log your performance daily. Great tests in the beginning include remembering names at parties or business events and memorizing Bible verses.

If you do try it out, I’d love to hear about your results.

This message was written by a team of geeks, nerds, gamers, and Dr. David Powers. You can always find us at Thanks for reading!


What? A real book about how to become Batman? Yes! Becoming Batman

See how Bradley Cooper does it in Limitless.

Check out my dinner with Tim Ferriss.

Jazz up your own brainwaves with Alpha Brain.