The 13 Best Books From My 38th Year

The economist Tyler Cowen suggests reading for three purposes. The first purpose of nonfiction, according to Cowen, is to solve a specific problem or fuel an interest.  “The best kind of reading,” he says, “is focused reading.” For this sort of reading, Cowen suggests reading a cluster of books covering all sides. The second purpose is to relieve ignorance. “Every … Read More

How to “preempt” yourself to eat healthier

[Reading Time: 11 minutes— or 1/3 the nap time it took to improve karate moves] The Situation You’re a reasonably healthy eater who has eaten well all week. The problem: It’s Friday and you’ve got a holiday party tonight. In all likelihood, the food isn’t going to be healthy— some version of French fries, dumplings, and tempura rolls. Is there … Read More

Sugar Myths: 4 Misconceptions About Sugar

Everyone knows that added sugar isn’t healthy. Nobody says to add more soda to your diet, or that it might be a good idea to put Domino’s cubes in your smoothie. And the consensus science backs this up. If you look at the reviews or meta-analyses (studies of studies), they converge on a simple piece of advice: eat as little … Read More

The 13 Best Books from my 37th year

A friend and reader gave me some advice this year. (I don’t want to say his name to respect his anonymity, but it rhymes with Shark Mamalton. Coincidentally, also his porn name). He told me he reads and likes my book posts, but–and I’m paraphrasing here– would I be able to make them any less rambling, incoherent, and, generally speaking, … Read More

How To Get Yourself To Eat Healthy (Or Do Anything That You’d Really Rather Not)

Seinfeld’s Problem: Now or Later? The comedian Jerry Seinfeld once told a joke that, oddly, captures the dieter’s central problem.  The premise is that Seinfeld has a headache and he’s shopping for medicine. But when he gets to the medicine aisle, he gets overwhelmed by the choices. One brand is “quick-acting,” the other one is “long-lasting.” Jerry doesn’t know what … Read More

Three Good Ideas: Goals and Doubt

[Reading time: about eight minutes, or less time than it takes the average woman to do her makeup] One of the hardest parts about pursuing a goal is doubt. It’s getting through the bad days, days of discouragement where you’d rather stay in bed. It’s this constant balancing between “I’m really onto something” and “I’m never going to make it.” … Read More

There’s No Such Thing As Momentum (But There’s This)

The most crushing defeat happened to my Baltimore Ravens against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2011 NFL playoffs. In sports, losing sucks, but it sucks even more when you think you’re going to win. When you should have won. You were up the entire game, but then something happened, it started slipping away, and what was once a huge lead … Read More

20 Great Purchases Under (or about) $100 for an On-The-Go Lifestyle

Let’s talk on-the-go products. Over the holidays I was, as usual, traveling a lot. As I went from place to place, I noticed that I had acquired a group of little products that had disproportionately improved my abnormal nomadic existence. These products improved my life so much that, not only do I keep purchasing them, but I find myself continuously … Read More

Three Surprising Facts About People With High Willpower

[Reading Time: About 9 minutes, or less time than it takes the average woman to apply her makeup] 1. It’s Not The Size of Your Willpower, It’s How You Use it Self-control is, like, 50% funny and 50% sad. We sit in front of a plate of cookies and we just cannot stop ourselves. Cannot do it. The smell of … Read More