Flippin Sweet Dude

July 31, 2017

3 Cups of Tea Journey

Filed under: FlippinSweetBlog — aaron @ 10:01 pm

Recently, I finished a book that sent me on a journey that I think everyone should experience for themselves. The book, “Three Cups of Tea”, written by David Oliver Relin & Greg Mortenson is a story of a failed mountain summit ( Greg on K2 ), getting lost on the descent, and recovering for spending days in a little village in Pakistan called Korphe. Greg eventually is nursed back to health, and plans to continue on his journey. Upon leaving the impoverished village, Greg promises to return and build them a school to educate their children. Once back home, in the United States, he gathers donations and heads back to Pakistan. He learns that the village chief wants a bridge first, so he build the bridge, then the school the following year.

After a few visits back and forth, the Central Asia Institute ( CAI ), a non-profit foundation is created, funded by the generous proceeds of a dying friend. Funds provide many more trips, and a handful of schools are also built. In his book, he outlines his great success, travels, and even a story of getting captured by the Taliban for 8 days. Greg completes and publishes his book, and it becomes wildly popular, sitting on the New York Times bestseller list for more than 2 years. Greg spend much of his time traveling around, doing book tours and speaking engagements, at up to $30k an event in income.

After many years, doubts about Greg’s success, the accuracy of his stories, and rumblings of mismanagement of funds start to raise some eyebrows. Jon Krakauer and 60 minutes break a story, giving proof that Greg did not visit Korphe on his travels back from K2, that he did not get kidnapped by the Taliban, and more importantly, that Greg had used the foundation’s money to pay for travel to his speaking engagements, yet kept the income for himself. He also would not show receipts for his expenses, had a board that would not hold him accountable, and did not build and maintain the amount of schools he had claimed. The news program triggered an investigation with the Montana attorney general, where it was determined that CAI could only provided receipts for just 38 percent of their credit card charges spanning several months.

Jon Krakauer’s book, “Three Cups of Deceit” carefully enumerates through the claims and stories in the book, and sheds the light of truth. The first third of the book, where Greg spends many days in Korphe, and gathers his strength, was a complete fabrication. Even his climbing partner says that they only became separated for a couple hours, and the route Greg said he took was not correct. Krakauer give evidence of the mismanagement of funds, of testimony of Greg using the CAI as a personal ATM, and of the millions of dollars spent on Greg’s travel, family vacations and book tours, that resulted in personal income, and not donations back to the CAI.

Jon’s book is wonderfully written, with carefully laid out arguments, using highly researched data to prove his points. The book has clear references, succinct points, and does a fantastic job in uncovering the truth behind Greg’s fictional book and poor management practices.

Next in our journey, is a documentary by Jennifer Jordan named, “3000 cups of tea” that attempts to tell Greg’s side of the story. Its main points are that the schools do exist, Greg does not think like a Westerner, and therefore has no good concepts of running a NGO with basic accounting practices. Her documentary has interviews with Greg and his wife, she travels to visit the schools, and also interviews several people involved with the CAI and its programs.

3000 cups of tea has weak appeals and is full of fallacies. Jennifer asserts that because 60 minutes did not travel as she did, their data is not accurate, and her information is, simply on the fact that she was on location. It is full of poor emotional appeals, strawman arguments and misrepresentation of correlation and causation. Greg and his wife claim that the way the data was presented was unfair, and that Krakauer was only out to get them, even though there is overwhelming evidence to support their misuse of funds. The documentary is riddled with attacks on the process of investigation and journalism, but never gets to the heart of the problem.

The best part for me, is a great interview done by KUER here in Salt Lake City, where Jennifer and Jon meet and present their sides of the story. Jon does a fine job in using his professional research to make valid points, disprove Jennifer’s claims, and shows how inaccurate her logic is, and that she uses weak emotional appeals, rather than the truth or logical arguments. ( My favorite part is when Jon reads directly from Greg’s book & Jennifer gets frustrated )

Reading the books, seeing the news program, watching the documentary and finally listening to the KUER interview was a great way to see the difference between careful research and writing verses using fallacies to make an argument. These materials could easily be a school teacher’s dream, as they teach students in a logic or communications class.

It was very interesting and educational to go through this process, and learning about this unusual story. I highly recommend you get through all this material, and experience it for yourself.

Greg’s Book : https://www.amazon.com/Three-Cups-Tea-Mission-Promote/dp/0143038257/

Jon’s Book : https://www.amazon.com/Three-Cups-Deceit-Mortenson-Humanitarian/dp/0307948765/

60 Minutes program : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gw4HS_E7Yss

Jennifer’s Documentary : http://www.3000cupsoftea.org

KUER interview : http://radiowest.kuer.org/post/controversy-over-three-cups-tea

Followup article from Jon : http://www.thedailybeast.com/is-it-time-to-forgive-greg-mortenson

December 3, 2016

Soldier Hollow Peak

Filed under: FlippinSweetBlog — aaron @ 9:54 pm

Want to work on summits in the Wasatch Front area, so will be working the Wasatch Core 77 Peak list. First was the Soldier Hollow Peak today. Was a fairly easy hike, even though the snow was a little thick at times, and the animal tracks were a bit scary at times. 1.3 miles up, and about 1,000 foot elevation gain.

More Beta:
http://www.summitpost.org/soldier-hollow-peak/648452
http://www.willhiteweb.com/wasatch/soldier_hollow_ski_area/snowshoe_210.htm

August 30, 2014

Batman Begins

Filed under: FlippinSweetBlog — Tags: , , , — erika @ 7:49 pm

As I started to watch Batman Begins this week I realized that I had not watched it before. I haven’t been a big fan of Batman movies in general, as I find them to be dark and depressing. The lighting used in previous Batman movies I have watched leaves me feeling depressed after watching a couple of hours of dark, dismal Gotham City. That being said I found that I quite enjoyed watching this movie to see how the story of Batman began. I enjoyed the use of flashbacks/nightmares to be able to see Bruce’s point of view growing up.
This is the first movie I have watched after discussing what screenplay beats are and how they work through the movie. Batman Begins starts with a rich, privileged Bruce Wayne who is afraid of bats due to the trauma of falling down an old well. He feels guilty for the death of his parents and you can see that the theme is going to be him finding himself and becoming a legend. He doesn’t care for crime and sees that there is plenty of injustice going on where he lives. His parents being killed in the alley is what starts him on this journey along with not being able to have vengeance on their killer.
The B story starts with introducing new characters like Dr. Crane. You are not aware of how he is going to tie into the story until closer to the end. You also have the lack of romance that Rachel feels for Bruce. She doesn’t see a change in him and just sees him as a playboy. I enjoyed watching him try to see what kind of disguise he was going to use and all of the gadgets and toys. He has kind of an high point when he catches Falcone and his goons, but he is still not accepted as part of the “good guys”.
Then there is the lurking detail of who Dr. Crane really works for and what the real end goal is supposed to be for the criminals. Ra’s Al Ghul shows up as really being the mentor who taught him quite a few of the tricks and fighting skills Bruce now uses to try to help restore Gotham into a good city again. Ra’s was always commenting on how Bruce would never look at his surroundings and that his compassion was not a good thing. He is left for dead in his burning house while Ra’s is about to unleash his terror on the city of Gotham to bring about it’s destruction.
Alfred comes to be his cheering section and shows he hasn’t given up on Bruce as a person. He quotes Bruce’s father from the beginning of the movie, “Why do we fall?, so we can learn to pick ourselves up.” To me that is the kick in the butt Bruce needed to remember he wasn’t finished and could still keep trying to make the city a better place. It was the “dark night of the soul” part of the movie. Obviously he is able to save the city itself from complete destruction that night. He is the hero and on his way to becoming a legend. In the final image you can see him boarding up the old well where he fell years ago and Rachel is now seeing him in a new light. There are no big romantic fireworks, but he has changed. He isn’t looking for revenge any more. He is doing what he can to help rebuild a better Gotham City.

February 15, 2014

Math Art ( Nathan )

Filed under: FlippinSweetBlog — aaron @ 8:45 pm

Nathan tested our some new software I wrote this morning. It generates math art, given different formulas. Here is a couple beautiful pieces of art, that use prime numbers and palindromes that Nathan created.

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Minecraft Completed

Filed under: FlippinSweetBlog — aaron @ 8:06 pm

After playing Minecraft all winter, we finally decided to start a new map and play the game to the end. We killed the dragon as a family tonight. Here is a picture of our house, castle and garden area. Also our family picture, which is my favorite.

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August 11, 2013

Summer Fun

Filed under: FlippinSweetBlog — aaron @ 11:00 pm

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River rafting trip

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Volunteering with the Tour of Utah

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Nathan & I had drinking contest after the tour.

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Hiking with the boys

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Nathan shaving peach fuzz for the first time.

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Some a$$ put his chairs right in front of us at movie night.

Cycling Cap

Filed under: FlippinSweetBlog — aaron @ 10:00 pm
[iframe_loader height=”390″ width=”520″ src=”http://player.vimeo.com/video/22382844?title=0&byline=0&portrait=0″   ]

The Bicycle Cap by peSeta for the New Museum from casa peSeta on Vimeo.

July 20, 2013

Two Interesting Videos

Filed under: FlippinSweetBlog — aaron @ 9:58 pm



June 28, 2013

Peter Sagan Parking His Bike Like A Boss

Filed under: FlippinSweetBlog — aaron @ 9:16 pm

June 16, 2013

Happy Father’s Day

Filed under: FlippinSweetBlog — aaron @ 5:29 am

April 4, 2013

Ride Home From Work

Filed under: FlippinSweetBlog — aaron @ 9:10 pm
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