Archive for August, 2017

Does Your Cat Do This?

Of my two cats, Biddy displays significantly more intelligence than Walter. He communicates well, he finds loopholes in all of the barriers I present between him and food, and his test scores are off the charts (unfortunately, those scores are for glucose). For example, here’s Biddy digging through an old game prototype from years ago. […]


Do Sports Matter During Natural Disasters?

Do Sports Matter During Natural Disasters?

In the midst of the continued aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in Texas, I saw this on ESPN yesterday: I’ve written about sports and related media sometimes forgetting that they’re just a form of entertainment. They bring a lot of people joy and meaning, but in the end, sports are no different than movies, TV shows, […]


My Greatest Fear #60: Sonic Wave Attacks

My Greatest Fear #60: Sonic Wave Attacks

Well, folks, we have a new greatest fear to add to the list. This is one that I wouldn’t have known about…but then it happened to real people! As reported recently by the NY Times, 16 employees at the the US embassy in Cuba became mysteriously ill last year. They experienced headaches, dizziness, and hearing […]


Outward-Facing Life Hack #3

Outward-Facing Life Hack #3

I worked in a movie theater for a summer right before college, and I had a blast. I love movies, I love seeing people get excited about movies, and I love popcorn. It was a good fit. There’s one part of the job that no one at the theater enjoyed: Cleaning up a theater after […]


Do You Eat with Your Friends, Family, or Neighbors?

All throughout my youth, my family ate meals together around our kitchen table. No TV, no cell phones, just the 5 of us trying our best to communicate. The same thing happens at a larger scale during our semi-annual family reunions, when everyone takes turns contributing to meals for 30-40 people. In college, I almost […]


Why Is Finding a Hair in Your Food so Disturbing?

Why Is Finding a Hair in Your Food so Disturbing?

A few weeks ago, I was cheerfully chowing down on some leftover Korean food when it happened: I picked up a chunk of rice, only to find a long, black hair protruding from it. My stomach dropped. There was something about that hair, pieces of rice stuck to the strand, that made me lose my […]


Outward-Facing Life Hack #2

Outward-Facing Life Hack #2

A while ago, I wrote about an “outward-facing life hack” for sending DVDs back to Netflix. This is a category of life hacks that make other peoples’ lives better, easier, or happier. Back in college, I spent two summers working as a waiter at local restaurants in my hometown. We had bus boys at the […]


Did You Look at the Sun Today?

Did You Look at the Sun Today?

For the last few days, I’ve been a part of so many discussions about how people (you, me, anyone) would look at the sun during the eclipse today. And I just don’t get it. Why would you want to look at the sun, eclipse or no eclipse? Is it part of human nature to do […]


Nieces and Nephews in St. Louis

Nieces and Nephews in St. Louis

I’ve been Facetiming from my home office with my niece (4) and nephew (2) for years now, so they’ve seen every inch of my condo on a tiny screen. I was elated to finally show them a little slice of my life in person in St. Louis this past weekend when they dropped in on […]


Have You Watched “The Leftovers”?

Have You Watched "The Leftovers"?

What if, in the blink of an eye, 2% of the world’ population disappeared? That’s the question posed by The Leftovers, an HBO show that has been my go-to entertainment over the last 2 weeks (it is NOT, as I originally thought, a reality show about leftover food). The Leftovers aired for 3 seasons, completed […]


The Question of Counter-Protesting

The Question of Counter-Protesting

I had an interesting discussion with someone today about the appalling white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. We talked about a number of different aspects of it, but one element remained debatable, and I’m curious to hear your thoughts. It’s about counter-protests. At first, the idea was expressed that simply ignoring a rabble of angry, […]


My Top 10 Favorite Tabletop Games (as of August 2017)

My Top 10 Favorite Tabletop Games (as of August 2017)

Every 6 months I update my top 10 favorite tabletop games list. Those 6 months have flown by–I play a lot of games, and I’m always curious to look back at my tastes over that period to see if they’ve changed. There are many, many games that won’t make this list, including all games that […]


Are You Built Well for Time Travel?

Are You Built Well for Time Travel?

Warning: This post contains spoilers from the first 10% of a book. Even just knowing the book paired with the subject line contains a spoiler from that portion of the book. After reading Seveneves last year, I’m all-in on author Neal Stephenson. That’s why I’ve spent the past two months with The Rise and Fall […]


Just the Tip: A Question About Massages

Just the Tip: A Question About Massages

Due to the weird neck spasm thing that happened to me a year ago, I’ve resigned myself to getting the occasional massage whenever my neck starts to tighten up again. There are worse things to resign oneself to. That was the case yesterday when I woke up with a stiff neck. I called my local […]


Is Tuesday Really the Best Day for Tacos?

Is Tuesday Really the Best Day for Tacos?

Margarita Monday, Taco Tuesday, Wacky Wednesday, Throwback Thursday, Freaky Friday…these are just a few alliterations used by restaurants, social media, and movies. But do alliterations matter as much as we think? I’m here to find out. The other day, a friend mentioned that it was Taco Tuesday at her house. It was Tuesday, and she […]


What’s the Last Tournament You Played in?

What's the Last Tournament You Played in?

The last tournament I participated in was filling out a bracket for March Madness. I’m not even sure that counts as participation, but it’s something. Before that–excluding other March Madnesses, it was a soccer tournament I played in 6 years ago with the guys I played with while growing up in Virginia. We lost in […]


I Heart Robots

Alert reader Katie shared with me an amazing video today that simultaneously made me incredibly impressed with how far robot technology has come…and made me laugh out loud. The video below should begin at the 19-minute mark, which is where the fun begins. Within a few seconds, a robot moves and kicks a soccer ball…and […]


If You Give a Cat a Cookie…

If You Give a Cat a Cookie...

Are you ready for a completely hypothetical, definitely-not-something-that-happened-t0-me situation? Let’s say, just hypothetically, that you’re a big fan of cookies. Especially chocolate chip cookies. We’ll pretend that you have the good fortune of acquiring a big chocolate chip cookie, and you place it on a napkin on your counter while you sit across the room […]