Posts Tagged ‘debate’

The Tip Dilemma

The Tip Dilemma

I recently had a Seinfeld-style tip dilemma. I’ll describe the situation and what I did, and you can tell me what I should have done. My cable box was acting up, so I called Charter and they sent over someone to fix it. Julius arrived right at the beginning of the 2-hour range of time–a […]


Is Learning New Games Good for Your Brain?

Is Learning New Games Good for Your Brain?

I learn and teach a lot of board games. It recently occurred to me that learning a new game engages my brain in a way that hasn’t happened since I was in school. And not just learning the game, but remembering all of the rules. A gamer’s brain is a veritable library of game rules. Is learning new games good […]


How Would You Respond to a Shark Tank Ultimatum?

How Would You Respond to a Shark Tank Ultimatum?

I continue to be fascinated by the TV show Shark Tank. I’ve written about this before, but today I wanted to focus on a specific aspect of the show: ultimatums. At least once per episode, one of the investors will propose a deal to an entrepreneur, and they’ll end it with something like: “I need […]


Would You Accept Today’s Job Offer If Tomorrow’s Might Be Better?

Would You Accept Today's Job Offer If Tomorrow's Might Be Better?

I need your advice. For a friend, not for me. (I’m quite happy with my job!) A friend of mine has been applying for jobs, and he got an offer today. He actually missed the phone call–the offer is on his voice mail. He hasn’t called back yet, and the organization didn’t give him a […]


How Do Celebrity Photos End Up on the Wall?

How Do Celebrity Photos End Up on the Wall?

Last week I was waiting for the chiropractor to arrive when I noticed that the walls were jam-packed with photos of celebrities. Most of the photos were autographed headshots. I’ve seen walls like this before, mostly in bars, restaurants, and doctor’s offices. But it had never before occurred to me to ask the question: How […]


How Was the Food at Your College?

How Was the Food at Your College?

I’ve continued to listen to Malcolm Gladwell’s “Revisionist History” podcast, and the latest episode–Food Fight–raised some questions for me. The episode uses two universities, Vassar and Bowdoin, to demonstrate a key shortcoming in American higher education (in Gladwell’s opinion). Here’s the main comparison: 23% of Vassar’s students are Pell Grant recipients (as Gladwell says, these […]


Do You Zipper Merge?

Do You Zipper Merge?

While driving back from Indianapolis last Sunday, I started noticing cars pull over into an increasingly congested left lane. I followed suit, thinking they had seen something ahead in the right lane. Traffic quickly drew to a halt in the left lane, with right lane wide open. So after a few minutes, I inched over […]


What Should You Do When Your Friend Is Catcalled?

What Should You Do When Your Friend Is Catcalled?

I experienced something for the first time the other day that left me in a quandary. I went to see Finding Dory (quick sidenote: Wonderful movie! It has one of my favorite moments in any film) with two female friends. As we walked back to our cars after the movie, we were crossing a wide […]


Who Keeps the Leftovers?

Who Keeps the Leftovers?

Recently I’ve discovered that two of my favorite things are in direct conflict with each other. Or so it seems. Thing 1: I love leftovers. I’ve known this for many, many years. When I was growing up, I often ate leftover dinner food for breakfast. In my 20s, I loved making enough food for several meals so […]


What’s a Reasonable Timeframe for Spoilers in Different Forms of Media?

What's a Reasonable Timeframe for Spoilers in Different Forms of Media?

Yesterday a friend mentioned an interesting Facebook post to me. A person had posted that they were defriending someone because they had casually written a Game of Thrones spoiler 3 days after the most recent episode aired. (They could have just unfollowed them, but I guess that was worth the price of friendship to them.) It […]


If Aliens Arrived, Would Your Life Change?

If Aliens Arrived, Would Your Life Change?

A few days ago, a friend noticed that among my small DVD collection is a copy of Contact. Contact, as you may recall, is a movie about aliens making contact with Earth, and how we respond. It used to be one of my favorite movies, and I still recognize it for the highlights, but I […]


Is Life Easier If All of Your Clothes Are the Same?

Is Life Easier If All of Your Clothes Are the Same?

Every morning/afternoon when I get dressed, I spend about 67 seconds selecting my outfit for the day based on my mood, activities that day, and availability of clean clothes. 67 seconds isn’t much, but is that time and mental energy I could better spend on other things? Steve Jobs (who I generally try not to emulate) thought […]


The Skinny Mirror

The Skinny Mirror

There was a really interesting product pitched on Shark Tank this past week that made me wonder if the sharks had it all wrong. I’m curious about what you think. The product is called the Skinny Mirror, designed by Belinda Jasmin. It’s worth reading the story behind the mirror. In short, Belinda lives a healthy, […]


What Should You Do If You Learn That a Surprise Is Being Planned for a Friend Who Doesn’t Like Surprises?

What Should You Do If You Learn That a Surprise Is Being Planned for a Friend Who Doesn't Like Surprises?

I recently learned that some very well-meaning people were planning a surprise party for a dear friend. There were a lot of layers to the surprise–not only was the party itself a surprise, but also the reason for the celebration and a few of the people in attendance. I was only tangentially connected to the […]


The Rothfuss Airplane Dilemma

The Rothfuss Airplane Dilemma

On last week’s episode of the Untitled Rothfuss podcast, The Name of the Wind author Patrick Rothfuss told a really interesting story about a hard drive and an airplane. I’ll summarize it here so I can get to the dissection of what is a really interested moral dilemma, but I recommend checking out the podcast if […]


Is It OK for You to Bring Your Own Dessert (Not Birthday Cake) to a Restaurant and Eat It at the Table?

Is It OK for You to Bring Your Own Dessert (Not Birthday Cake) to a Restaurant and Eat It at the Table?

A friend of mine who owns a restaurant posted this question on Facebook yesterday. I don’t know the full context of it, but I was fascinated that it was even a question, because the answer to me is so clearly “no.” However, my guess is that my friend has seen guests do this at his […]


The Mystery of the Poop in the Hallway

The Mystery of the Poop in the Hallway

The following events are 100% true. They occurred on the evening of February 4, 2015 in the hallway outside of my condo unit. 10:09 pm: My friends are leaving my place following game night when one of them says, “What is that?” Someone else (identify unconfirmed) says, “Jamey, a dog pooped in the hallway.” 10:10 pm: […]


The Curious Case of the Dentist and the Popcorn

I’m in a quandary. Two quandaries, really. The first involves my dentist; specifically, my hygienist. I’ve been going to the same dentist for about 8 years now, and I consider it a pleasant experience because my hygienist (Sherry) is so awesome. She doesn’t plow through my mouth during cleanings–she’s gentle, quick, and says nice things […]


The Vote About the Vote

In the US, Tuesday was election day. In the worst turnout in almost four decades, only 44% of eligible voters actually voted. This is bad. It compares, for example, to the over 66% of voters in India who showed up for their national election back in May. What good is a democracy if people don’t […]


Is It Helpful for Introverts to Be Forced to Talk in Class?

Is It Helpful for Introverts to Be Forced to Talk in Class?

Recently an article on GeekDad cued me in to a debate about whether or not introverted or shy (two different things) students should be forced to talk in class. The author of the GeekDad article, Jenny Williams, shared the following personal note: I learn best when I can observe for a while, and then try […]


The Postcard Nipple: 20 Years Later

The Postcard Nipple: 20 Years Later

Today I watched a classic Seinfeld episode called “The Pick.” In the episode, Elaine decides to let Kramer photograph her for a Christmas card. After the card is printed and mailed to hundreds of people, Elaine realizes that her bare nipple is clearly apparent on the photograph. For years this episode has fascinated and puzzled […]


Should the Redskins Change Their Name?

Should the Redskins Change Their Name?

When I was growing up (and still to this day), my entire extended family were Washington Redskins fans. Big fans. Everyone follows the team as closely as possible, and they went to a lot of games. I personally root for the 49ers, but I’m always happy to see the Redskins do well. Recently, though, it […]


Should Humans Base Our Sleep Schedule on Daylight?

Should Humans Base Our Sleep Schedule on Daylight?

As with most things in my life, it started with cats. About a month ago, Biddy went on a wet-food diet. He loves wet food, and I’m pretty sure he would eat it non-stop if there were a machine that constantly fed him wet food. He wants that machine to be me. Even though Biddy is far […]


What If the British Had Won?

What If the British Had Won?

A few days ago, alert reader John sent me a very clever Newcastle commercial that poses the question, “What if the British had won the Revolutionary War?” (As I’m writing that, I’m realizing that I have no idea what the British call that war. Surely not the same name, right?) The commercial posits that if […]