1. Add your home as a venue. 2. Become mayor of your home. 3. Add your work as a venue. 4. Become mayor of your job. 5. Add places that are clearly not venues like THE BEACH. The beach is not a venue. 6. Become mayor of the beach. 7. Lie. 8. Lie a lot. Note: I have done none of these things. Update: 12/1/12 In the world of cheaters, monetizers, gamers, and people who need external motivation, do things for gold, XP, and badges, and those who seek only to level up, NONE of these 4Sq ethics seem to matter. Hence, the “Commission toRead More →

The debilitating debt of graduate school includes hidden costs that most people don’t consider even later in life after graduation. Many academics have a deep sense of nostalgia for their days of TA poverty, where living on ramen and cheap beer shared in the company of good friends in the same boat got us through until the next measly paycheck. We have an equally deep resentment for the huge bite that loan repayments take from our well-deserved and much-delayed faculty salaries. But the unacknowledged costs of graduate school add up to a substantial amount of cash, yet no one ever includes these costs in any ROI. When youRead More →

Today’s Times Book Review section has a nicely written, humorous article on Ben Franklin and his Almanac: Ben Franklin is a Big Fat Idiot. The title makes it mandatory reading given my utter adoration of Al Franken. In fact, the author, Joe Queenan, seems to have a similar crush on Franklin. To his disappointment, Queenan discovers that the Almanac was not nearly as inspirational as he remembered, so he laments the resulting bit of tarnish on Franklin’s halo. His claims that Franklin’s aphorisms fail “the acid test of validity and usefulness.” Take this one, for example: “Keep your mouth wet, feet dry.” The first thingRead More →