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

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

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

The Habit Loophole Part 1: Why Habits Fail

[READING TIME: 16 Minutes, or approximately 3x the average sexual episode] Habits are in vogue right now. The are being offered as the cure-all to everything– lack of motivation, conflicting goals, laziness. Simply turn your behaviors into habits, the argument goes, and you’ll no longer need effort, goals, or motivation. They are the key to persistent action. The problem is, … Read More

Something More Important Than Voting

Look, I know this year’s been rough. And I know the last thing you need to hear is another person telling you that they “know this year’s been rough.” They always follow it with an unconvincing— “but we’ll make it through!” Will we, though? In fact, depending on what happens Tuesday, between the fires, this virus, and the election, the … Read More

Summer Reading: 5 Great Books For The Beach

Ok, maybe it isn’t quite the August Beach Reading season you were hoping for. Usually, around this time of year, you’d head out to some mountain-front lake and shamelessly break out that teen fiction. Or perhaps you work up the courage to crack open that 700-page Chernow biography. But instead of sitting in some sandy oasis, you’re sitting on a … Read More