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Things to do to stay connected and distracted in quarantine, From Zoom parties to binge-watching 'Tiger King'



  • As the new reality of living through a pandemic sets in, people are searching to temper the deluge of medical information and intimidating headlines with quarantine entertainment. 
  • While typical stress relief activities may be harder to orchestrate during a time of mass social distancing and sheltering in place, there are a number of ways to steer clear of coronavirus news and enjoy the time at home. 
  • Between new Netflix series, mass gaming movements, and quarantine social media content, you can find small ways to make the most of social distancing. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The novel coronavirus is no longer culturally novel — it’s been several weeks since schools and non-essential workplaces began to close down, and many are settling into what’s become a new normal of social distancing. In lieu of face-to-face contact, people around the world have developed new ways to stay connected and still have fun, even while adhering to public health guidelines. 

From bingeing Netflix series like “Tiger King” to celebrating birthdays with family to getting really passionate about baking bread, we’ve compiled some suggestions on how to entertain yourself — and still hang out with your friends — while quarantined.

Meet up with your friends virtually while playing games together, whether it’s playing a board game like “Settlers of Catan” online or meeting up with pals in virtual worlds.

Virtual worlds provide a unique opportunity to hang out with your friends while still maintaining proper social distance. Recent release “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” is a hot topic at the moment, with plenty of gamers causing mischief while visiting their friends’ islands via Nintendo Switch Online. Others are using the game to celebrate milestones, holding weddings and graduations within the game itself after they were canceled in the real world. Turning towards games like the nostalgia-laced “Club Penguin” can help relieve stress and mitigate anxiety while distancing as well.

It might be a good time to get into the Minecraft renaissance as well, or pick up teenage favorite Roblox — even if high schools aren’t actually planning to hold graduation ceremonies in the game.

Of course, you don’t have to focus on video games alone — Business Insider Associate Editor Juliana Kaplan played an online version of popular board game Settlers of Catan while chatting with friends over a Zoom call.

There are plenty of other games that you can play online as well, ranging from classics like UNO! or Monopoly to fun, vulgar games to play with friends like Cards Against Humanity to mobile games like “Mario Kart Tour.” Feel free to get back into classics like “Words With Friends” or “Scattergories” as well.

Quarantine also affords the perfect opportunity to get into cooking by putting pantry staples to good use and testing out more ambitious recipes.

With many no longer commuting into work, there’s more time available to spend in the kitchen. Check out some tips from celebrity chefs on how to stock up your pantry and put it to good use, as well as this guide on how to leverage your pantry staples into a delicious pasta dish. If you’re feeling like learning a new skill, think about taking an online pasta-making class from an Italian grandma, and if you’re looking for more inspiration, tune in to this Michelin-starred chef’s nightly cooking streams.

If you’re looking for a way to cut down on one staple at the store, you can hop on the bread-making trend. Check out these baking hacks if you’re looking to up your bread — or cake, or cookie, or any other baked good — game. That being said, feel free to fall back to your trusty microwave as necessary, and use these tips to doll up a classic brownie mix dessert when you need something reliable.

Make efforts to stay connected with your friends using video chatting platforms to throw parties and just hang out.

While you can’t celebrate birthdays or throw parties in person, use video chatting platforms like Zoom or Google Hangouts to hang out with your friends in groups. Insider Digital culture reporter Kat Tenbarge put together a guide to hosting the perfect Zoom party while socially distancing, featuring tips on how to manage the conversation and even pick out the perfect background. 

Of course, it’s still possible to meet people (via services like QuarantineChat) and even strike up romance while isolated. Digital culture fellow Hanna Lustig went through several lightning-fast dates on the fan-made Instagram “Love is Blind” spoof “Love is Quarantine,”  but even if you can’t find a virtual dating show to join, there are plenty of other ways to date while maintaining distance. 

Plenty of others are turning to services like Google Hangouts, which lets you video chat with friends using your Google account, and Houseparty, another video chatting app popular with teenagers that allows you to play games in-app, to connect with people.


Stay connected with the people you still see outside of a screen as well, whether it’s planning fun nights to hang out or honoring birthday celebrations.

While it’s now easy to connect with remote friends online, it’s just as important to take advantage of the in-person relationships you still have, whether you’re currently living with roommates, family, or a partner. 

People have taken to TikTok and other social media platforms to share how they’ve been creatively celebrating birthdays, setting up “pub crawls” in homes to celebrate a 21st or playing beer pong with friends while video chatting. 

One family has been uploading videos to TikTok of elaborate themed dinners, cooking food and creating experiences around themes like “airplane,” “Hibachi grill,” and “Hooters.” Finding creative ways to make meals more fun can add a bright spot to your day and lead to quality time with the people you’re living with. 

Plenty of celebrity families are opening up their lives to the public on TikTok while quarantined as well, including Ciara, Usher, and Jennifer Lopez, if you’re looking for more examples of family fun.

Even though many artists have been forced to cancel tours in light of the pandemic, you can still catch performances from some of your favorite performances online.

Insider entertainment reporter Callie Ahlgrim compiled a list of virtual performances that you can watch at your own convenience from artists like Billie Eilish, BTS, and Dua Lipa. Keep an eye out on your favorite artists’ social media channels to see if they’re planning on livestreaming any time soon. 

If you’re looking for something dance too, you can try to hunt down any virtual raves and recreate the nightclub experience in your home like news fellow Sophia Ankel. While it may not be a perfect replica of the atmosphere, at the very least you’ll be able to enjoy some live beats from professional DJs!

If you want to interact with performers more directly, you can hire artists, magicians, and other performers to come to your online parties like some parents did for their kids’ birthday parties.


Cheer up quarantined friends with a shoutout from their favorite celebrity via Cameo.

If you’re looking to surprise quarantined loved ones with star-studded pick-me-ups (while possibly making a charitable donation) you can purchase a Cameo shout-out from their favorite celebrities.

The video-sharing platform has witnessed record numbers of video requests and celebrity participation since mass social distancing measures took effect in March. Cameo CEO Steven Galanis said that the company grew 83 percent in just two weeks, and public figures who had been courted by the platform for years were finally adding themselves to the talent roster. 

Now, users can purchase videos from celebrities like “Saturday Night Live” alum Rachel Dratch, pop icon and “This Is Us” star Mandy Moore, and the wildly popular Bon Appétit Test Kitchen YouTube stars.

If you’re looking to do your part to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, you can purchase Cameo content from creators who will be donating their proceeds to charities like Restaurant Workers’ Relief Fund and No Kid Hungry. 

Try out Netflix’s quarantine-friendly feature, Netflix Party, while binge-watching “Tiger King.”

If you’re hoping to forget your COVID-19 fears and get swept up in the niche drama of big cat captivity in the United States, there’s no better quarantine activity than watching Netflix’s newest docuseries “Tiger Cat: Murder, Mayhem and Madness.”

The hit documentary chronicles the escalating conflict between big cat breeders who own private zoos and animal rights activists — a conflict that culminates in an alleged murder-for-hire plot. Ultimately, though, the appeal of “Tiger King” comes from the chaotic energy of its bizarre and compelling cast. 

Accordingly, the #TigerKing hashtag has dominated Twitter since the documentary premiered and celebrities are already angling to score roles in a potential movie remake. 

You don’t have to experience the magic and chaos of “Tiger King” by yourself. Netflix Party, an increasingly popular feature from the streaming service, allows users to download a Google Chrome browser extension that facilitates group-watching. After downloading the extension, you are free to invite friends to watch content simultaneously — and everyone can share their thoughts in a virtual chat. 

For those who have already binged the series, Netflix’s endless catalog of docuseries has other options, from “Making a Murderer” to “The Staircase.” 

If the real-life drama of tiger breeding and captivity isn’t your preferred genre of entertainment, you can peruse the streaming service’s selection of sci-fi movies, from “The Matrix” to “The Lobster,” or you can check out some of the more popular tear-jerkers for a change of pace. 



Take advantage of HBO’s special social distancing offerings and watch shows for free.

In an effort to keep people entertained in quarantine, the network is allowing people to watch some of its most popular series, movies, and documentaries for free. 

“To provide some entertainment relief for those doing their part to keep everyone safe and healthy in this time of social isolation, HBO is making almost 500 hours of top programming available to stream for free for a limited time on HBO NOW and HBO GO — without a subscription — starting this Friday, April 3,” the company said in a press release.

You’ll soon be able to binge “Succession,” “True Blood, “The Sopranos,” “Veep,” and “The Wire,” among other shows, for free. 

Make the most of Quibi, a new streaming service launching in April.

Beginning on April 6, you’ll have yet another option for streaming content on your phones. Quibi, a service backed by film producer Jeffrey Katzenberg, will be available in an app for smartphones and offer short-form entertainment — or “quick bites of content” — Lifestyle Writer Gabbi Shaw reports. 

Viewers can look forward to reboots of “Varsity Blues” and “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days” as well as a “Punk’d” revival on the app.

If you’re desperate for some time away from home while practicing appropriate social distancing, you can witness the renaissance of drive-in movies.

For those needing some semblance of human interaction outside of the home, there may be a solution. While drive-in movie theaters peaked in popularity in the mid-twentieth century and have witnessed a steep decline in the last two decades, the nostalgic form of entertainment is experiencing a comeback amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

However, ever-changing city ordinances regarding social distancing and quarantine measures will affect which drive-ins can remain open, so make sure to check updated policies and recommendations before venturing to your nearest drive-in. 



Find some levity by browsing quarantine TikToks and memes — or make your own.

Over the past month, TikTok users have ramped up their “quarantine content” which provides an endless supply of distractions amid social distancing boredom. 

Quarantine TikTok has videos for every taste: there are “High School Musical” dance workouts, pet tic-tac-toe, solo dance parties, and themed dinners. 

Then, of course, there is the deluge of “Tiger King” content. Fans of the show are channeling their inner Carole Baskins and Joe Exotics for family dinner parties and makeup tutorials — and uploading the results to the platform, to the delight of millions. 

If you’re just getting started on your own TikTok presence, you could start out with Charlie D’Amelio’s “distance dance” before branching into the arena of elaborate costumes. 


Indulge your Instagram-stalking tendencies and discover quarantine memes with your friends, thanks to the app’s new Co-Watching feature.

While incessant Instagram scrolling may be unavoidable during times of social distancing boredom, the Co-Watching feature  — a perk the company decided to launch during the pandemic — makes your vice a way of connecting with friends.

Users who are video chatting within the app can share a screen and peruse their fellow callers’ liked photos and bookmarked posts, Tech Reporter Paige Leskin reported. 

“We decided to make it available soon so we could offer more ways for people to come together right now,” an Instagram spokesperson said of the feature’s expedited rollout. 

The new feature also provides the opportunity to commiserate with friends via coronavirus memes. Instagram meme pages are finding levity in the new normal of quarantine life, from working from home to unexpected family time to the new global demand for Purell. 

Peruse Twitter’s best quarantine memes.

Twitter has proven to be the best destination for memes finding the humor in the new reality of a pandemic. 

From “celebrities as hand sanitizer” memes to tweets imagining how the pandemic might play out on an episode of “Office,” the platform is inundated with content to help you laugh at the new normal. 

Entertain your neighbors with a “bear hunt.”

If you have young neighbors who might need an adorable distraction during their days of quarantine and distance learning, you can participate in a “bear hunt,” — an international project popping up in cities in the United States, Iceland, the Netherlands, Australia, and New Zealand, among other countries.

Inspired by the 1989 children’s book “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt” by Michael Rosen, participants place teddy bears in their windows for children in the neighborhood to spot from their homes or out on occasional “distance walks.” 

Tweet Embed:
Guys my dog put his teddy bear in the window 😭❤️ I think he’s been on the internet when I’m not home and read about the #BearHunt and wanted the neighborhood kids to enjoy

Some participants say the scavenger hunt has taken off in their neighborhoods, and children wander by houses wearing full safari gear. 

Others have used the opportunity to educate about hygiene during the pandemic; some bears hold up information about the best handwashing practices to use during the coronavirus outbreak. 

Tweet Embed:
Like other cities around the world, Reykjavík residents have dealt with social distancing by putting #teddybears in their windows to cheer up their young ones. Children are encouraged to go for a walk in their neighbourhood and see how many teddy bears they can spot 🐻#bearhunt



Enjoy music video parodies on YouTube.

As everyone struggles to cope with isolation, many are turning to YouTube to find some levity and showcase their musical talents. 

For equal doses of entertainment and commiseration, check out singer-songwriter Chris Mann’s quarantine music videos. 

The former contestant on season two of “The Voice” produced his own rendition of The Knack’s 1979 hit single “My Sharona,” aptly renamed “My Corona.” For his next project, Mann parodied Madonna’s “Vogue,” with his own masterpiece called “Stay Home Vogue.”

His true masterpiece, however, takes the form of a parody of Adele’s hit “Hello” — called “Hello (from the Inside).”



Join a virtual workout class (for free).

Whether you’re missing your gym and pre-quarantine fitness routine or you’re just discovering an interest in working out, you can pass the time with free workout classes that many national chains are offering online.

Options range from Planet Fitness’ home “work ins” live-streamed on Facebook to virtual yoga classes to CrossFit challenges. 

As with all quarantine activities, though, moderation is key. People with histories of disordered eating and overexercising are reporting difficulties during the isolation of social distancing. 

If you prefer to disconnect from technology, take some time to dig into your backlog of books.

Once you’ve perused every meme, memorized every TikTok dance, and watched the entirety of Netflix’s documentary section, you may want to look for offline entertainment. 

Insider’s Frank Olito spoke with authors about which books they’d recommend reading during quarantine, and top picks included Ling Ma’s “Severance” or Casey McQuiston’s “Red, White, and Royal Blue.”

Use the newfound free time to work your way through the all-time best albums of Spotify.

Naturally, quarantine needs a soundtrack, so you can entertain yourself by listening to the all-time greatest albums available for streaming on Spotify, from Adele’s “25” to Aretha Franklin’s “Aretha.”

If some of the greats get a little too intense, you can always pivot to pick-me-up songs, from “Glitter” by Tyler, the Creator to Kacey Musgraves’ “Golden Hour.”

Take virtual tours of cities, museums, and national parks to “escape” your home.

Since the ability to travel or pursue cultural enrichment is somewhat limited during quarantine, you may need to expand your horizons virtually.

Take a virtual trip to London and Prince Charles’ home, go on a remote safari, or chill out and watch some animal livestreams in order to take yourself out of the monotony of day-to-day life. There are also museums, national parks, and theme parks that you can check out from the comfort of your couch. Here are a few tips on how to get some Disney Parks magic in your home as well.


Read more:

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11 celebrity chefs share their tips for cooking during the coronavirus pandemic

Artists are playing live concerts from their homes amid the coronavirus outbreak — here’s how to watch the best ones

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Hong Kong’s financial hub will lose business to Singapore on China law



  • Tensions in Greater China have led analysts to warn that many businesses can move from Hong Kong to Singapore. 
  • China approved a law on Thursday that tightens its grip over Hong Kong, seen as a violation of Hong Kong’s “one country, two principle” systems. 
  • Hong Kong ranked as the world’s sixth-largest financial center in 2020 and Singapore took the fifth position.
  • Analysts say Singapore could overtake Hong Kong if it loses lucrative business. 
  • Singapore is facing its worst recession since Independence and expects GDP to drop as much as 7% in 2020.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Hong Kong, currently the world’s sixth-largest financial center, may struggle to retain its position as companies consider moving to neighboring Singapore to escape the wrath of a new Chinese draconian law, analysts say. 

If realized, the prediction will be a blow to Hong Kong after months of political turmoil that has rocked the region.

On Thursday, China approved a new law that targets subversion of state power, terrorism activities, and foreign interference in the former British colony.

The US responded by declaring it no longer considers Hong Kong to be autonomous from China. 

So far, stock reaction has been muted, but analysts question Hong Kong’s long-term ability to stop the decline of its financial hub. 

The 27th edition of the global Financial Centres Index (GFCI) ranked Hong Kong marginally behind Singapore, the world’s fifth-largest financial center in 2010.

GFCI ranked Singapore as fourth-biggest in 2019, a position it lost in this year’s ranking.

But analysts think Singapore is set to outperform Hong Kong significantly and the gap between both countries’ rankings could widen further.

Arthur Dong, a professor at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business, said: “The bill will accelerate the decline or demise of Hong Kong as one of the world’s biggest financial centers.”

Dong added: “Hong Kong’s status as East Asia’s premier financial center is supported by Hong Kong’s unique status under “one country two systems” granted by China during the 1997 handover from Britain to China.”

He pointed out two factors that have secured Hong Kong’s global financial center is the protection of property rights and predictability, adding that the law violates both principles. 

Dong is not alone. 

Read more: Bank of America says a new bubble may be forming in the stock market — and shares a cheap strategy for protection that is ‘significantly’ more profitable than during the past 10 years

Dr Ying Wu, Assistant Professor at School of Business at Stevens Institute of Technology, said: “This April, we already noticed a dramatic down drop of almost 100 billion dollars of the global capital out of emerging markets, including China, from all around the world. “

Dr Wu said: “The bill has strengthened the expectation that money would further be leaving the Asian financial hub, such an important bridge between China economic engine and the rest of the world.”

As of March, she pointed out that foreign currency deposits at both domestic and international banks operating in Singapore have nearly doubled since July, totaling $15 billion.

“Although it is not disclosed where the capital comes from economists perceive it is the signal that money has started to flow out of the city and into Singapore, another regional safe haven,” Dr Wu added. 

Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst, Asia-Pacific at OANDA, said: “The big winner out of this could be Singapore if we do see an exit of companies from Hong Kong. 

“If Hong Kong is imposing Chinese law by the backdoor in Hong Kong, it questions why companies need to be in Hong Kong. 

“If they don’t want to be under Chinese law but want to be more under a Western legal system, then they may as well go to Singapore,” Halley added. 

But Hernando Gomez, principal-in-charge of the business valuation division at MBAF, thinks it may not be that easy for Singapore to snatch business from Hong Kong, as the island is facing its worst recession in the history of its independence. 

Read more: GOLDMAN SACHS: Buy these 25 stocks that are wildly popular with hedge funds — and have crushed the market this year

“One could say that some rival cities like Singapore or Shanghai may benefit from the chaos but unfortunately, under the current circumstances, I do not see that many winners as the city has been dragged into a recession.”

The coronavirus pandemic has ravaged two of Singapore’s key industries, tourism and shipping. 

The country’s trade ministry warned this week the economy could contract as much as 7%  this year and 4% in a best-case scenario. Previous growth forecasts for the country lay between -4 to -1%, 

But Halley added: “I can only see Singapore progressing. Singapore is also pushing very hard for financial centers to put data centers there. Most of the world’s financial data runs between three hubs Tokyo, London, and New York.”

“Now they are starting to put huge data hubs also in Singapore. Hong Kong has been competing for some of that business as well but I don’t see how they are going to be competitive if Hong Kong is against the Great Firewall of China.”

But Hong Kong’s stock exchange group received a boost as it was able to snatch a key derivatives licensing agreement from Singapore after 23 years, this Wednesday. 

It paves the way for Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing to offer options and futures from June based on 37 of MSCI’s equities indices. 

So there may be a light at the end of the tunnel for Hong Kong. Whether the US slaps sanctions against the former British colony or China may ultimately determine how much better Singapore ranks as a financial hub relative to Hong Kong.

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Read retired Navy SEAL William McRaven’s speech to MIT’s Class of 2020



  • William H. McRaven is a retired four-star admiral in the US Navy where he served for 37 years, former chancellor of the University of Texas system, and former foreign policy advisor to Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
  • In his commencement address to MIT’s class of 2020, he shared what he believes to be the most important qualities to nurture in today’s world: courage, humility, perseverance, and compassion.
  • McRaven said that above all, in order to be great and do your part to save the world, you have to be willing to sacrifice everything.
  • Read the full transcript of McRaven’s speech below.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Thank you very much for that kind introduction. President Reif, distinguished guests, members of the faculty, and of course, the MIT graduating class of 2020. It is truly an honor for me to have the opportunity to address you today.

I had an entirely different speech prepared for this afternoon. It was a nice little speech. It was about how you, the brilliant men and women of MIT are like the Navy SEALs of academia. I made some good analogies. I had some cute little anecdotes and some lessons from my career. But somehow, that speech just didn’t seem right in light of all that has happened in the past five months. The fact that I am standing here alone, and that you are isolated somewhere at home, is proof enough that the world has changed.

But there is a part of the speech that I retained. It was the part about heroes and how after all these years I came to realize that the heroes we need are not the heroes I had been looking for. When I was a young boy growing up in the ’50s and ’60s, I always envisioned myself as the hero. I always wanted to be Superman, with his powers to fly, with his invulnerability, with his super strength. A hero who saved the world every day from some catastrophe. Or Batman, Spiderman, the Black Panther, the team of the X-men, and the Fantastic Four, and my favorite of all — Aquaman. I so wanted to ride on the back of a seahorse and fight evil underwater.

But as I grew up and travelled the world, and as I saw more than my share of war and destruction — I came to the hard truth that Captain America isn’t coming to the rescue. There is no Superman, no Batman, no Wonder Woman, no Black Widow, no Avengers, no Justice League, no Gandolf, no Harry Potter, and no Aquaman. If we are going to save the world from pandemics, war, climate change, poverty, racism, extremism, intolerance — then you, the brilliant minds of MIT — you are going to have to save the world.

But, as remarkable as you are, your intellect and talent alone will not be sufficient. I have seen my share of real heroes, on the battlefields in Iraq and Afghanistan, in the hospitals fighting COVID-19, on the streets keeping America safe and open — and I know that there are other qualities necessary to be today’s hero. So, if you will bear with this old sailor for a minute or two, I would like to offer some thoughts on the other qualities you will need to help save the world.

First, you must have courage. Winston Churchill once said that courage was the most important quality of all because it guaranteed all the rest. He was not just talking about the physical courage to charge the hill, run into a burning building, or stop a madman with a gun. He was also talking about moral courage. The courage to stand up for your convictions. Physical courage has long been the hallmark of a great warrior, but I would offer that the moral courage to stand up for what’s right has an equal place in the pantheon of heroes.

If you hope to save the world you will have to standby your convictions. You will have to confront the ignorant with facts. You will have to challenge the zealots with reason. You will have to defy the naysayers and the weak-kneed who have not the constitution to stand tall. You will have to speak truth to power.

But if your cause is good and decent and worthy and honorable and has the possibility of saving even one of God’s creatures, then you must do what all heroes do. You must summon the courage to fight and fight hard for your convictions. You must yell them from the mountaintop. You must shout them from the lectern. You must write in bold, cursive, and underlined phrases. You must bring your convictions out from the darkness and the subtly of your heart — into the light of day. They must be made public and challenged and confronted and argued.

There will always be those who don’t want to hear your convictions. Particularly if they are true.

Speaking the truth can be dangerous at times. But those that came before you, Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, Madam Curie, Grace Hooper, and Katherine Johnson — those brilliant minds, those tellers of truth, who made the world a more knowledgeable place, a more compassionate place, a more livable place, they had courage. If you are going to save the world, you will need courage.

If you are going to save the world, you will need to be humble. In my career, I have been blessed to be around some great minds. I have seen how the brilliant men and women have helped eradicate disease, reduce poverty, create technological masterpieces but, conversely I have seen how the misguided geniuses, filled with conceit and convinced of their own righteousness, have tampered with nature, built apocalyptic machines, dehumanized social interaction, and tilted toward tyranny. If you do not approach the world with humility, it will find a way to humble you quickly.

I found in my time in the military that no experience on earth was more humbling than combat. The crucible of war teaches you everyday that you are not invincible — that the enemy in bare feet and carrying only Kalashnikovs can sometimes defeat the best soldiers and the best technology in the world.

And if you believe for a moment that you are superior, you will be humbled quickly. But if you approach every mission with a decent respect for the mountains, the rivers, the oceans, and the enemy — you are more likely to succeed.

In Plato’s great rendition of Socrates Apology, Socrates defends the charges against him by telling the jury of Athenian nobles that he is the wisest man in the world — far wiser than any of the robed men sitting in judgment. When questioned about how he could be so bold as to make this statement, Socrates says that he is the wisest because he knows so very little of the world. To solve the world’s problems you will have to realize how little you know. You must be able to look to the stars, peer through a microscope, gaze at the ocean — and be humbled.

To believe for even a moment that you have all the answers, that you know the truth of the universe, that you are wiser than all the men and women who came before you, is the tale of every great man and woman who amounted to nothing. Only when you are humble, only when you realize the limits of your understanding, the shortfalls of your knowledge, the boundaries of your intellect — only then can you find the answers you are seeking.

If you are going to save the world you must persevere through the difficult times. Life as a SEAL is all about perseverance. Can you make it through SEAL training without ringing the bell? Can you make it through the long family separations, the exhausting deployments, the loss of a fellow warrior in combat? Sometimes saving the world is just about holding on. Never quitting no matter what obstacles face you.

A good friend of mine, who graduated from the University of Texas in 1969, pursued a career in medicine. His mother had died of Lymphoma when he was eleven and he was obsessed with finding a cure. For decades, he pursued an idea that most in the medical field dismissed as fantasy. Could the human body really use its own immune system to fight cancer? He never gave up on his pursuit and in 2018, Dr. Jim Allison was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine.

There are the occasional great men and women of science who changed history at an early age, but most discoveries, most achievements, most triumphs are the product of a long and painful process and only the most resolute, the ones that can persevere through the failure, the rejection, the ridicule, the emotional and physical strain of time — those are the ones most likely to save the world.

If you hope to save the world, you must be prepared to sacrifice. The special operation forces are filled with memorials of remarkable men and women who gave their all in the defense of the nation. Medal of Honor recipients like Mike Murphy, Mike Monsoor, John Chapman, and Robby Miller. Remarkable women like Ashley White and Jennifer Moreno. The heroes of helicopters Turbine 33 and Extortion 17 — SEALs and soldiers who answered the call and never returned. All great Americans who sacrificed their lives so that their teammates might live.

But, there is a more mundane, yet still essential sacrifice, that is required if you want to want to save the world. As SEALs we train every day. Long tortuous hours of hard physical pain, ruck sac marches, open ocean swims, miles of running, and hours of calisthenics. They are all sacrifices necessary to be ready — when the world needs you.

In his time, Thomas Edison developed 1,500 patents. From the electric light, to the phonograph, to the movie camera, to the vacuum diode, and the carbon microphone. He saved the world from darkness. But in doing so it required him to work 20 hour days, his home front was often strained, his other business ventures struggled to survive, and his health always seemingly in jeopardy.

It would be easy to stand up here and tell you that there is wondrous place where you can be great at both work… and life, where your efforts to make a difference in the world come easy — but I have never found that place. In the end, if your goal is a noble one, then your sacrifice will be worth it. And you will be proud of what you have accomplished.

To save the world, you will have to be men and women of great integrity. Always trying to do what is moral, legal and ethical. It will not be easy and I dare say, you will fail occasionally. You will fail because you are human. You will fail because life often forces you into a seemingly untenable position. You will fail because good and evil are always in conflict.

And when you fail to uphold your integrity, it should make you sick to your stomach. It should give you sleepless nights. You should be so tortured that you promise yourself never to do it again. You see, being a hero will not be easy. It will not be easy because, you are not men and women of steel, you are not cloaked in a suit of armor, you are not infused with unearthly powers — you are real heroes. And what makes real heroes are their struggles and their ability to overcome them.

But no matter how mightily you might struggle, the world will believe in you, follow you, allow themselves to be saved — if they know you to be honest, trustworthy, of good character and good faith. Men and women of integrity.

Finally, to save the world, you must have compassion. You must ache for the poor and disenfranchised. You must fear for the vulnerable. You must weep for the ill and infirmed. You must pray for those who are without hope. You must be kind to less fortunate. For what hero gives so much of themselves, without caring for those they are trying to save.

As we sign off from this virtual commencement, I want you to promise me one thing.

Promise me that you will be the last class — the last class to miss a commencement — because of a pandemic. The last class to miss a commencement because of war. The last class to miss a commencement because of climate change, unrest, tyranny, extremism, active shooters, intolerance, and apathy.

Batman and Superman are not coming to save the world. It will be up to you. But never, never in my life, have I been so confident that the fate of the world is in good hands. Go forth and be the heroes we need you to be.

Thank you and congratulations!

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Trump defends his ‘when the looting starts, the shooting starts’ tweet



  • President Trump attempted to clarify his early Friday morning tweet that “when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” writing on Friday afternoon that the controversial tweet was “spoken as a fact.” 
  • Twitter flagged Trump’s initial tweet for violating their policies against glorifying violence.
  • “It was spoken as a fact, not as a statement,” Trump said. “It’s very simple, nobody should have any problem with this other than the haters, and those looking to cause trouble on social media.”
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

On Friday afternoon, President Donald Trump tried to explain his “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” tweet about the protests in Minneapolis, confusingly claiming the remarks — which Twitter flagged as glorifying violence — were “spoken as a fact, not as a statement.”

At around 1 am on Friday, Trump threatened to send the military into Minneapolis as protests and widespread unrest escalated in response to the death of an unarmed black man, George Floyd, who died shortly after being violently arrested by four police officers in the city.

“These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen. Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!” Trump wrote on Twitter.

Twitter then posted a “public interest notice” on the tweet, blocking users from liking, replying, or retweeting it but leaving it up and available to view. 

On Friday afternoon, Trump attempted to clarify his comments in another Twitter thread.

“Looting leads to shooting, and that’s why a man was shot and killed in Minneapolis on Wednesday night – or look at what just happened in Louisville with 7 people shot,” Trump tweeted, referring to people who were shot as part of separate protests over the shooting death of Breoanna Taylor, a black woman in Kentucky killed in her own home as part of no-knock police raid. 

“It was spoken as a fact, not as a statement,” Trump continued. “It’s very simple, nobody should have any problem with this other than the haters, and those looking to cause trouble on social media. Honor the memory of George Floyd!”

Trump tweet

Trump’s original tweet posted early on Friday morning, which Twitter flagged as violating its rules.

Screenshot via Twitter

In a series of tweets, Twitter’s communications team explained that the language “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” ran afoul of their policies against promoting and glorifying violence “based on the historical context of the last line, its connection to violence, and the risk it could inspire similar actions today.”

As Insider reported earlier today, the line “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” was first coined in the 1960s by Walter Headley, a former chief of the Miami Police Department, whose actions in the position were responsible for racial unrest and riots in that city. 

On Friday afternoon, prosecutors announced one of the officers involved who was caught on video pinning his knee on Floyd’s neck, Derek Chauvin, had been taken into custody and charged with third degree murder. 

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