Category Archives: self-indulgence

The Gym

After many frustrating months of trying to run for exercise and failing because of ongoing problems with my calf muscles and Achilles tendons, I started working out at 8th Day Gym (they’re on Facebook). I was already aware that I … Continue reading 


Handedness and Decisiveness

Researchers have firmly established as a very true factâ„¢ that left-handed people are more creative than right-handed people and that ambidextrous monkeys are more talented than both. But what about people and robots who are neither right- nor left-handed and cannot show off their ambidextrosity at the talent show? What do researchers have to say about those who are right-handed at some things and left-handed at others? And why would anyone care?


Monday through Thursday

When I put myself on a diet two years ago this month, I had no idea I’d still be on it today. In fact, the only thing I cared about was making it to the weekend. It’s all I’ve cared about ever since. The place where I was working had bowls full of chocolates everywhere I turned. Each time I passed by them, I felt obliged to stuff my face with at least one. No willpower…


Early Christmas

When I got home from work this evening, a package was waiting for me on my desk. I sat down, tore off one end of the padded envelope, and pulled out a book written in Korean. Of course I can’t read a word of Korean, but I was absolutely thrilled to receive it…


Book Report

As many of my friends and relatives know, I spent the first half of 2007 writing a book with my friend Jonathan Chaffer. The book turned into two books, and they were both published last summer. Since a couple people have recently asked me about how it all turned out in the end, I thought I’d post a quick progress report here, in case anyone else is interested, as well…


My Week to Geek

This week I’m at a conference in Boston called The Ajax Experience. No, it’s not four days of learning how to use cleaning products. It’s all about technologies that allow for cool user interactions with content on web pages…


Taking Stock and Slowing Down

I’ve lost track of how long the English Rules website has been running, but its transformation from a simple online reference for my students to a multifaceted weblog occurred in August 2003, when I installed the Movable Type Publishing Platform and posted my very first entry, The Economist Steven Levitt and Other Heroes, which was based on a New York times article I had just read…


Egg Poacher Toaster

When it comes to food, my main concern is almost always efficiency. Efficiency and convenience. Don’t get me wrong–I think flavor is important, too, and I appreciate good-tasting foods as much as the next guy (though apparently *not* as much as my wife and her friends, who geek out on recipes and related culinary matters as much as I do on computers). But in the end, taste is only secondary for me…


Crowning Achievement

A few months ago I received a large manila envelope in the mail. It came from my mother, and it contained an award certificate that I had apparently received. In the 7th grade. My mother, bless her heart, is somewhat of a packrat. And I mean that in the best, most positive sense of the word…


Strepping Out

The entire day yesterday consisted of long, fitful sleep punctuated by bleary wakefulness. The culprit: strep throat. For some strange reason that nobody can figure out yet, our family has been especially susceptible to the bacteria, especially this year. Since February all four of us have been bitten by the bug four times. This time, my fifth…