- Hanging things on a clothes line is not for drying them; it’s for conducting mildew and mold growing experiments.
- Wearing seat belts while driving on rough gravel roads can cause more injury than not wearing them.
- Too warm? Underwear is optional.
- Stop signs are for aesthetic purposes only. Who doesn’t love a splash of red?
- Being driven through heavily trafficked areas by a native driver is as exciting as any ride at Great America.
- It’s not bugs crawling on you, it’s just sweat dripping on your skin.
- I lied. It’s probably bugs crawling on you.
- Dead Toucans sometimes drop from the sky. Seriously, I have a picture of one.
- Toucans are assholes. At least according to a German massage therapist specializing in foot reflexology.
- Costa Rica is an amazing and beautiful country with the highest concentration of wildlife I’ve ever seen. You should go!
You know a store is too big when you need Google Maps to navigate it:
Some of the big-box stores such as IKEA, Macy’s, Bloomingdales and Home Depot have already been mapped, but not Target. Not Wal-Mart. And not nearly as many malls as you’d like to see, especially in this holiday season.
Support your normal-sized, local, family-owned retailer!
(Note that in 2018 an article was published that supports what I’m saying here)
For a long time, I put homeopathy in the same category as organized religion. I felt both were based primarily on faith with little science to back them up. I believed that both were the refuge of the weak or less intelligent among us.
The problem is that even among smart people, homeopathy is very popular and many people swear by it. Heck, in much of Europe and Asia, homeopathy is practically mainstream. Is this a pervasive mass delusion?
Before too many people think I’m crazy, I should mention that I strongly believe that homepathic remedies simply cannot work based on their physical content. They are basically salt or sugar pills or plain water and the notion that they contain some “essence” or “memory” that has a physical effect on the body makes little sense.… READ THE REST
I babbled about philanthropy in an earlier posting called “Wealth now, philanthropy later”, so I was thrilled to see this blog posting on the Harvard Business Review website:
Try to ignore the hyperbolic title of the article and just absorb the content.
Making the world a better place means making decisions your whole life that either incrementally or substantially make people’s lives better. People dislike hearing that investing in a promising new company could potentially have more of an impact on the world that the more common charitable action of, say, donating food to starving children.
However, if your conscious investments create jobs for people who are treated kindly and with respect, and something is also created that benefits the customers of your company, it can have a huge multiplier effect.
This all fits nicely in with the concept of Slow Money. There are certainly wealthy people that have made their money in ways that cause suffering to people and give nothing back to the world other than charity-by-guilt or by giving to causes that exacerbate problems rather than solving them.… READ THE REST
First world problem.
I record a lot of tennis on TiVo partly because it’s usually inconvenient to watch it live (time zone differences) and if I time-shift it, I can zap the commercials or skim matches I don’t have time to watch all of.
It’s gotten increasingly difficult to not have the outcomes of matches I’ve queued up be spoiled before I’ve gotten a chance to see them. I almost need to cut myself off from the outside world during a tournament I’m watching. Here are the various ways matches can be easily spoiled:
- I follow tennis players on social media and they obviously are going to announce the outcomes of their matches.
- I play tennis often and players love to chatter about matches and will spoil ones I haven’t watched. Even if I tell them not to spoil it, they’ll do it in some subtle way (e.g. If they say a match was “shocking”, then it’s probably the underdog that won).
It seems like every time I make a phone call to the customer service department of a big company, I get an email, a return phone call, or a postal mail survey asking how my customer experience was. They always say I was randomly chosen but that defies the laws of probability.
It’s hard to argue conceptually with the idea that you should ask your customers how they are doing. But how about this:
- Talk to your employees manning the phones. They probably have a good idea about whether customers are generally happy or not.
- Listen in on some phone calls and take notes.
- If you’re going to survey, try to do a very small random selection so it’s an uncommon occurrence.
When I think of companies that have outstanding customer service (Zappos, Apple, Air New Zealand, Charles Schwab, Sonic.net, American Express), I can’t recall ever getting surveyed by them.
Spending effort to make customer service great is far better than wasting money to find out if it’s great or not.… READ THE REST
The highlight of the Australian Open this year for me was seeing three very promising players that I’ve never seen before, two of which I’ve never even heard of:
- Bernard Tomic, who has a very unconventional style that really messes with people’s minds. You never know quite what he’s going to do. Does need to ditch his father as a coach.
- Alexandr Dolgopolov, who also has somewhat of an unusual style, but can surprise you with easy power.
- Milos Raonic was the most impressive of all, although he didn’t make it as far as Dolgopolov. He’s much more of a classic player, with an incredible serve.
All three clearly need more experience and to work on some things, but I was very impressed with their calm and collected attitudes and I will be very excited to see them play in 2011.
Often when people get into a vigorous debate of ideas, especially with those that disagree with them, it gets derailed by someone complaining about the “tone” of the debate or pleading for “civil discourse”.
As usual, Glenn Greenwald has a brilliant summation of this issue:
“One other point about this fixation on the “tone” of our politics. Political debates are inherently acrimonious – much of the rhetoric during the time of the American Founding, as well as throughout the 19th Century, easily competes with, if not exceeds, what we have now in terms of noxiousness and extremity – but far more important than tone, in my view, is content. I don’t think anyone disputes that our discourse would benefit if it were more substantive and rational, but it’s usually the ideas themselves – not the tone used to express them – that are the culprits.“
If only that could fit on a bumper sticker!… READ THE REST
In a country where there are no newspapers or news organizations left that do real journalism and where there are only a small handful of real journalists left, it’s nice to see AP take a principled stand. However, it’s also sad that taking a stand like this is considered newsworthy in the first place!