Archive for July, 2014

Why Is Service Slow? The Answer Will Surprise You

Why Is Service Slow? The Answer Will Surprise You

For the first time in a long time, I’m taking two weeks off. From work, from blogging, and mostly from e-mail. I have a family reunion at the beach next week, followed by a week at a gaming conference. I’ll have limited internet access the whole time, and frankly, it’s important for me to focus […]


Is Morality in Our DNA?

Is Morality in Our DNA?

Yesterday I watched a fascinating video from the NY Times about how infants apparently have an ingrained sense of morality. The video is definitely worth watching, but I’ll describe it here in brief. The study involved a number of very young children (6-9 months old) who were individually shown a short puppet show with a […]


Pet Please #115: Tagged Signature Lines in Long Documents

Pet Please #115: Tagged Signature Lines in Long Documents

A few weeks ago I received my publishing contract. As with all contracts, I was a little daunted by the verbosity of it. My agent and I had already gone over it, but now I was faced with the prospect of signing it. I had that little moment of panic: What if I don’t sign […]


Dating Naked

A few weeks ago I heard about a new dating show on VH1 called Dating Naked. I don’t watch dating shows, but I like nudity, so I dug deeper into the premise. Basically, the show features a man and a woman who go on a three dates with three different people on a tropical island. […]


The Best Soccer Finisher in the World

The Best Soccer Finisher in the World

Okay, I know the World Cup is over, but I continue to love soccer, so I’m going to keep writing about it. After watching a review of the best goals of the World Cup, I went on YouTube and watched some highlight reels of the world’s best scorers. I wanted to decide who was truly […]


Pet Please #114: Unplanned Talk Show Anecdotes

Pet Please #114: Unplanned Talk Show Anecdotes

The other day I was surfing YouTube for videos of my new favorite actress, Tatiana Maslany of Orphan Black, and I stumbled upon a charming interview of her on Conan O’Brien. You can watch the interview here; this clip in particular is 2 minutes of Tatiana Maslany talking about a book of fairy tales she read when […]


Pet Peeve #59: For the Life of Me I Can’t Remember What “TL;DR” Means

Pet Peeve #59: For the Life of Me I Can't Remember What "TL;DR" Means

In my line of business–largely communicating with people online–I encounter a lot of acronyms. If I don’t know what something means, I ask for them to define it, and I usually remember it from then on. The one exception, I’ve found, is the acronym TL;DR. Seriously. For the life of me I can’t remember what […]


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 […]


Orphan Black Is the New Black

Orphan Black Is the New Black

Last night I woke up in a cold sweat. I had been dreaming that Netflix sent me a documentary film I keep pushing down on my DVD queue instead of Orphan Black Season 1 Disc 3. The horror. Oh, the horror. In the morning I checked the unopened DVD packs on my coffee table. Disc […]


My Greatest Fear Guest Post

My Greatest Fear Guest Post

The other day I was talking with my friend Katy, and as she was telling a story, I realized that we had stumbled upon a perfect example of a “greatest fear” like the ones I write about here. I invited her to tell the story in her own words. Thanks Katy! *** My Greatest Fear: […]


My New Published Author Haircut

My New Published Author Haircut

Today I revealed some news on Facebook that I’m really, really excited about: My book about Kickstarter will be published by Berrett-Koehler in 2015. Being a published author has been a lifelong dream of mine. I always pictured (and hoped, in a way) that the book in question would be a novel, but the fates […]


Puncture This: A Fascinating TED Talk

Puncture This: A Fascinating TED Talk

I subscribe to the TED Talk RSS feed, which somehow has daily updates (are there really that many TED talks?!) While I love the talks, I rarely take the time to watch them unless the topic seems interesting to me based on the title. So when I saw the topic of today’s TED Talk, it made […]


The Future of Flatulence

The Future of Flatulence

Several years ago, my girlfriend at the time would chide me for doing something called a “Dutch Oven.” That term seems offensive to people from the Netherlands, so I’ll just call it “farting under the sheets” or “night flatulence.” Apparently I was a frequent offender. At the time, we assumed that the bedtime odor du […]


Pet Please #113: When Boxers Try to Intimidate Each Other but Instead Look Like They’re Going to Kiss

Pet Please #113: When Boxers Try to Intimidate Each Other but Instead Look Like They're Going to Kiss

Every now and then I’ll pull up ESPN on a weekend night to see the homepage dominated by sports I don’t follow at all: boxing and UFC fighting. The photo is almost always the same: two huge, muscular dudes preparing to beat the crap out of each other in a stare-down before the fight. They’re […]


You Tell Me: Your Favorite Song Right Now

You Tell Me: Your Favorite Song Right Now

Lately my regular sources for new bands haven’t provided anything I’ve loved, so I was thinking I’d turn to you, faithful readers, to see your favorite song(s) right now. My taste in music skews towards alternative/folk/rock, with a little pop and electronic mixed in. Some of my favorite bands in the past year are Typhoon, […]


Pet Please #112: Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits

Pet Please #112: Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits

I don’t know where Cheddar Bay is, but I’d like to vacation there someday. In the meantime, I’ll rejoice in the fact that I can now make Cheddar Bay biscuits at home. (I’ve actually tried this a number of times and gotten close, but the mix was closer than anything I’ve put together.) Awesome!


How Should a Professional or National Sports Team Play When They’re Winning by a Significant Margin?

How Should a Professional or National Sports Team Play When They're Winning by a Significant Margin?

Today we witnessed a true rarity at a World Cup: When the teams left the field for the locker room at halftime, Germany was leading Brazil by 5 goals. In interviews later that evening, the German players confessed that they knew they had won the game at that point. It’s tough to come back from […]


My Greatest Fear #49: All Comment Notifications Sent to Spam

My Greatest Fear #49: All Comment Notifications Sent to Spam

This might be the very first “greatest fear” entry that was inspired by something that actually happened, and the fear persisted afterwards. Because this just happened. For real. And now I’m terrified it will continue to happen. An hour ago I refreshed my WordPress dashboard to see the latest stats. I happened to glance down […]


9 Years a Condo Owner

9 Years a Condo Owner

In July of 2005, I bought a condo in St. Louis. It was the first time I’d ever owned any form of real estate. I remember looking down my long hallways that first night, moonlight glinting off the floorboards, with a sense of awe. I own this floor. I own these walls. I own that ceiling. Now […]


Do Points Define Sport?

With half of my brain occupied with the World Cup and the other with board games, I’ve been thinking about quantitative victories (points) versus subjective victories (judges’ scores) and what defines a sport. One of the interesting things about soccer–or most professional team sports–is that the best team can lose the game. In the recent Belgium-US […]


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 […]


Texting and Driving in the Theater

Texting and Driving in the Theater

Every now and then I need a good reminder to not look at my phone while driving. Hence why I write about that subject here every now and then. Fortunately my latest reminder didn’t come on the road, but rather from alert reader and friend Trevor. Trev spotted a really clever PSA that a movie […]