Nothing is a sure thing. Life in the present is hard ’cause you never know what’s going to happen next. You can make predictions and act based on data and evidence we’ve collected, and live in almost-certainty, but that’s the best we will ever be able to do. The question is do we gamble on the uncertainty or stick with safe-bets; do we risk it all on the big payoff or do we shield ourselves from the pain of loss and of failure. What algorithm do I follow?


Emotions and Bandwidth

It’s easy to let our emotions consume our productivity. When something is on your mind that is affecting you emotionally, it’s hard to let it go. What’s the best way to deal with that? Head-on confrontation? Suppression? Distraction? Feel like they all have pretty glaring drawbacks. Time, as they say, heals all wounds, which is true, but good hygiene, nutrition, and clean dressings definitely facilitate that process.


I’ve always like sunrise more than sunset. It’s not so much that I think that they’re prettier, it’s more about the way they make me feel. During sunrise, you still have a whole day ahead of you. There’s this optimism that things are going only going to get better. The day is just beginning, and you are going to make it the best one yet.

Giant Comet 2019


Season 8 of Game of Thrones pretty bizarre. I feel like it’s rushing through (or completely throwing out the window) the storylines of all the characters and arcs that we care about most, in ways that are neither satisfying or justified. Not going to go into every episode of the season so far; I’m gonna focus on this week’s Episode 5. I’ve been hearing a lot of people saying this was a terrible episode yada yada, but I think most of that comes from what seemed like unfitting ends to some of the most odious characters in the series, as well as the failure of the series’s most beloved. The deaths of Cersei, Qyburn, the Mountain, and Euron, were all so lackluster, especially given the show’s history of dramatic deaths. The failures of Dany and of Jaime to maintain who they have become over the past 7 seasons, left a bad taste in my mouth.

Yes I was looking forward to a badass dragon scene, but not 28 shots a dragon decimating building and people. It feels like the writers are set on a specific ending and can see the finish line, and are just trying to get to there with no regard for how they get there.

BUT to play devil’s advocate, I could see that perhaps they didn’t want to give the crowd pleaser deaths and heroic finales because that would be too idealistic. Power corrupts, even those who we believe to be good in heart and intentions. Humans are fallible and can only be pushed so far, after all Dany did lose Viserion, Rhaegal, Jorah, and Missandei in the span of weeks, if that (not super clear on the timeline, so correct me if I’m wrong), and was also betrayed in her eyes by the person she loves most and the people she trusted most. Maybe Dany is going to end up giving up the throne to Jon after realizing what she’s done. Maybe a giant comet will hit Westeros and destroy everything. Who knows.

I’m not a film and tv expert, or an expert on anything for that matter. Maybe this was the greatest set-up for the greatest ending the world has ever seen. All I know is right now I’m not happy and don’t see a way for things to end satisfyingly… and like Varys (RIP), I hope I’m wrong.


There’s a little boy who comes to the museum a lot with his mom and two little brothers. He’s super curious and loves engaging with all the exhibits. His favorite question, like many kids his age is, “Why?” Whatever the situation, that is his go-to. The incessant whys sometimes can be frustrating, and I can only imagine what his mother goes through, but then I started to think about why whys frustrate people so much. I think part of it is a sense of futility; that if one could explained why, he wouldn’t fully understand at the time. And the other part of it is a sense of pride; people don’t like being questioned. Both of which are stupid reasons to be frustrated about a question.

At that age, and throughout adolescence, asking why seems to often be perceived as disrespect. Asking why is considered talking-back rather than just doing as you’re told. To me this is kind of messed up, and perhaps stems from culture and from personal insecurity. If a child is genuinely asking why something is the way it is or why they are being asked to do something, I think they should get an answer. Shutting down their “why” is shutting down their curiosity; its telling them to accept things the way they are, because that the way it is.

Yes there probably is a point where “why” becomes a real talking-back tool, but I think a genuine “why” is pretty easy to distinguish. And obviously working/ dealing with children is not as simple as that, there are a bajillion other things to consider, (e.g. time constraints, cognitive ability, psychology, etc.) but I think we owe it to their future, and to our own, to support curiosity whenever possible.

Change for Good

This is kinda an addendum on something I touched on in my last post. I mentioned how me changing my food habits won’t change culture/ the world/ etc. But few things change overnight. That’s why education, and seeking to understand, and awareness are important. Those are things that inspire and inform change. A seed is planted and if we as individuals are convinced by sufficient evidence one way or another we decide to seek change or not.

Today someone told me how they have been buying only fair-trade clothes for about a year and a half. This is never something I’ve thought much about in the past, much less considered, but it got me thinking, obviously enough to write about. I probably won’t all of a sudden join in on this movement, but that’s how it starts and spreads; people talk. Then slowly over time the culture shifts, much like biological evolution. Some ideas take hold and survive and others die out. Who know what the cultural habits of our future selves and the future generations will be, but hopefully we in the present can push things in the right direction.


I love food and I love eating. I feel like most people do. However, I think my relationship with food is different than others. It seems like there’s a cultural thing going on that says loving food means eating a lot of it. People are obsessed with all you can eat, with giant portions, and eating massive amounts of food in general. Some people love the challenge aspect of it. For others it’s a bang-for-your-buck kinda thing. Personally I prefer just to eat good tasting food until im satisfied.

There also seem to be an implication that eating tons of food equates to “manliness” or strength. To me it’s just wasteful, here’s my two main why’s:

Economics: I may get a lot of flak for this especially among my friends, but I will use Korean Barbeque as an example, which hurts cause I do love KBBQ. I can spend $16+ at a KBBQ place and eat as much as my body will allow, or I can spend $10-12 somewhere else and eat to a comfortable level. Sure $4 can get me a shit-ton more food, but I don’t need that excess to be happy and healthy. In fact, me consuming that excess pushes me away from happiness and healthiness post-meal.

Environmental: We waste a lot of food. Last year $218 billion worth of food went to waste last year. Think about how many resources went into producing that; water, land, energy, etc. I’m not naive enough to think though that me opting for reasonably portioned food is going to solve our food waste problem. There needs to be a culture shift, but that begins with educating ourselves and owning up to facts.

I’m not trying to shame anyone through this post or to sound self-righteous, I’ve just gotten tired of eating to the point where I’m uncomfortable to fulfill some arbitrary culture standard. This is not meant to get anyone to change habits or diets, this is about my own relationship with food. Though I do hope this makes you at least think about your relationship with food. Whether your make a change is up to you, but I do think anytime people can align their own happiness and health with that of the planet, that’s a step towards a better future.

Find the Area of the Cross Section of…

I tutored someone in Calculus today for the first time since college. Not gonna lie, I was pretty nervous, ’cause I wasn’t sure if I still had it. I won’t say I’m a good tutor because I have no idea and can’t judge my own performance, but I do enjoy doing it.

I like showing cool relationships or applications of the material to whoever it is I’m working with because they are interesting and exciting to me and I think it helps integrate (no pun intended) the material into something more tangible. But when I present those types of things, sometimes I feel like my student (not specifically the one worked with today) just wants to get on with the lesson or wants me to give them the answer, which I can’t fault them for.

That’s the struggle, getting someone to care. Not just as a tutor, but in education in general, in my work a MOXI, and even in my work with Doctors Without Walls. You can’t force someone to be interested in what you are saying no matter how much logic you are using. I recently was at a talk on motivational interviewing. It’s a way of being with someone that can help them find there own way through a situation. This specific talk was in the context of working with individuals suffering from substance addiction, mental health disorders, chronic homelessness, or a combination of two or all three, but the concepts really apply to anything. One of the big tenants of the motivational interviewing process, is recognizing that no matter how much education, power, resources, etc. one has, the other person is the expert on themselves, and they are the only person who can ultimately choose to move in one direction or another.

In the case of tutoring, it’s hard to make progress in that regard. How the heck do you get someone to care about math. Math bears a huge cultural stigma, as do the people who fraternize with it, and it can be conceptually difficult. People want to do stuff that makes them look good and are easy.

But anyways, yea I still like tutoring, so if you know anyone looking for some, lmk.


One of my favorite smells is the smell of ironing starch. Smell, as I understand it, is a powerful thing and is a physical sense that is closely related to emotion. The smell of starch always reminds me of my childhood. We’d all get our clothes ironed out in the morning for a wedding, a party, or some other important event. But I don’t just like the memories associated with starch, I genuine love the smell, I just don’t know if that is due to the strong emotions attached to it. Is the smell the same for me as it is for others; does another person experience the olfactory sensation completely differently than me? Someone’s probably done a study on this or something.


I love superhero movies. I love being able to, for a time, suspend disbelief and be present in a world where anything can happen. That being said I do appreciate when they make an effort to make things seem at plausible based on real-world physics, and tKhere are somethings that happen in these types of movies that bother me. I still enjoy them, and these are not movie-ruining, I’m just nitpicking.

**Potential Shazam spoilers below**

For example I watched Shazam today with the family. There’s one of those classic scenes where some form of public transportation, in this case a bus, is in peril and our hero needs to save it and everyone on it. The bus is falling off of a bridge and Shazam is on the ground below and stops the fall with his body. Yay! But how is him catching the bus any different than it hitting the ground. Even if he was doing some special technique to act like a shock absorber (which it doesn’t seem like he was even trying to do), he still would be stopping this freefalling bus in a matter of seconds over 5.5-6 feet. If that fall was going to kill the people on the bus without him there it should have at the very least injured them with the “catch” but they all walked off the bus virtually unharmed. Then again it has been a while since I have taken physics and perhaps this specific peeve is completely baseless, which I would be happy to hear.

I am not as annoyed or upset with this as my tone may seem to suggest. And some say thinking about such things in a superhero movie is stupid and pointless because there’s a bajillion other things that defy physics/ science/ explanation. But what I love about these movies is the idea that it could be possible, but without some of consistency with the basics of our reality, it becomes detached from it. Rather than supernatural characters and events occuring in a natural world, we simply would have supernatural characters and events occuring in a supernatural world, which can also be a lot of fun (Looney Tunes comes to mind), but it’s just different.