Using vs. Understanding

I ran across an interesting piece in the New York Times over the weekend about differences between the ways rich people and poor people use screens with children, with poorer schools leaning heavily on technology and more well-to-do families going as far as banning devices from the home entirely. The jury is still out on exactly … [Read more…]

The Swiss Army Philosophy

The iconic design design of the Swiss Army Knife is known the world over, and in my mind this tool is associated with improvisation and resourcefulness (thanks O.G. 1980s MacGyver). I received my very own years ago, as a gift for my 18th birthday if memory serves, and I still carry it today. Over the … [Read more…]

Motivating the Minions

For many of us motivation is a tricky thing. Virtually everything that isn’t sitting on the couch, napping, or watching television requires some amount of motivation, and for a lot of us that motivation isn’t always there. Motivation has been a hot research topic lately, with different ideas being tested on the personal and team … [Read more…]

Making the Connection

It may not be the most accurate analogy, but sometimes I think of the brain as an old-timey telephone switchboard. To learn new things we need to make connections between different switches. We can think of the learning process as a switchboard operator who starts out fast and gradually slows down over time. Children have … [Read more…]

When Life Gives You Lemons

One of the things I’ve come to realize about the internet in general, and Facebook in particular, is that it is a breeding ground for just plain bad science. If you’re anything like me, you’ll run across something in your feed that is flashy and interesting… and just plain wrong. This morning was no exception, … [Read more…]

Writer’s Kitchen: Cleaning the Cutting Board

From time to time I’m reminded of similarities between the work I do in the kitchen and the work I do at the keyboard. Both cooking and writing are creative activities that take clear thought to do well. A distracted and disorganized cook forgets ingredients, burns food, and generally makes the process a stressful and … [Read more…]

Blue Norther

Today was another cool and gray February day. Although we miss out on the extreme cold and snow that’s been hitting D.C. this winter, we have managed to have a few borderline cold days in Houston. Temperatures in the 30s aren’t really worth complaining about, but when it goes from 80 to 35 in the … [Read more…]