Cooling Down the Nexus 6, Once and For All


Long have I writhed in doubt, regret, and anger over the heat emitted by the Nexus 6. What ought to be the perfect phone for me – for its design, its high-resolution display, its pure Android software, and its sheer size – has always stopped me just short of sheer contentment by getting simply too hot to be comfortable to hold for long periods of time. And I want to be able to hold it for long. Periods. Of time.I know that this is not some endemic flaw with the Nexus 6. My anecdotal surveys o … [Read more...]

Introducing Thinkery, My New Podcast with Brian Hogg

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Oh, the teeth-gnashing I have indulged in over not being able to come up with The Perfect Podcast Project™ for myself! Then, out of the blue, a very silly person who I have long respected emerges and ropes me into his own podcast jiggery-pokery.That man is Brian Hogg, of whom I’ve been a great fan since discovering the painfully hilarious Walt Mosspuppet. One day, Brian’s all, hey, let’s do a podcast together, talking about stuff. And I was like, okay!And thus, more or less, was born Thin … [Read more...]

The Trump-Loving GOP McCain Helped Create

Photos by Frank Plitt and David Shankbone

I keep starting and then deleting tweets that convey my overall feeling about the whole Trump-v-McCain slap fight going on right now. I know that if I'm not careful, I'll trip a wire. But this morning, via @VideoSawyer, I find an essay by Jim Wright that, while not a tweet, gets the point across very well. You really have to read the whole thing, because it cleverly builds to a kind of crescendo, but here's a taste of what I mean: Donald Trump is the face of the modern Republican … [Read more...]

Neal Stephenson’s “Seveneves”: Thoughts on an Impact Event

The International Space Station gets a snapshot of the Moon.

I’ve been deeply affected by Neal Stephenson’s latest novel Seveneves. While I am often a slow and somewhat lazy reader, I found myself taking every opportunity I could to dive back into it. While my favorite novel, Anathem, also by Stephenson, presented a world I wanted to explore more deeply and spend more time in, I found that the story of Seveneves was one that I wanted to tell everyone I spoke to. I didn’t of course because everyone would hate that.But this is the kind of book we’re talk … [Read more...]

Let’s Pick a Decent Pair of Cheap Earbuds


The bargain I made with myself after my tortuous search for the perfect over-ear headphones, for the purposes of meditational escape and overall awesomeness, was that I could also have a pair of decent earbuds as long as they were cheap. (Such things do exist!) Sometimes the Sony MDR–7506s are too big to take somewhere, or it’s just too hot to put big electronic earmuffs on, and buds become necessary. I have before me three highly-regarded such buds in the sub-$35 price range, and I thought I’d g … [Read more...]

I’m Special to CNN

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Last week, a contact of mine at CNN asked me to write an op-ed for the website on the recent Gallup poll showing an uptick in the number of Americans who would be okay with voting for an atheist for president (now at 58%). I was delighted to be asked, and not a little bit surprised. It had to be somewhat hastily written, but the response to the piece has been great, so here's a chunk of it: The conventional wisdom has long held that despite the constitutional guarantee of "no religious test" … [Read more...]

Permission to be Unproductive

A thing a sack of problems like me is supposed to do to mitigate crippling anxiety and PTSD is to allow oneself to escape, to decompress. I am notoriously terrible at this. And it’s not just because of the overt crazy from which I suffer, but all manner of tangential hangups.Let me begin with an experience from earlier this afternoon. I was having my twice-yearly dentist appointment, which is really just a chunk of time during which a very nice hygienist scrapes, polishes, and flosses my t … [Read more...]


What I think people don’t understand about those of us who suffer from intense anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder, and the like, is that having an intense response to something is not a mere intellectual construction that one can be argued out of. We don’t put a few bits of data together and make a rational decision to freak out. The freak-out comes as a result of something our body, including the deepest and most animalistic parts of our brain, has learned, rehearsed, and taken as the unc … [Read more...]

Hold On to Your Kindle (Exiled from the Everything Store, Part IV)

Here is the deal for an Amazon refugee in terms of the Kindle. (The story behind that is here, then part 2, and part 3.)I continue to have access to any Kindle content I’d already purchased, which is substantial, and I have a lot of books still to get to.I continue to be able to purchase Kindle content on my existing devices. I happen not to own an actual Kindle e-ink reader now, and do all my reading on my LG G3, though I might like to have a real Kindle e-reader again at some point. B … [Read more...]

I Thync This Might Be Bullshyt

Image via

There’s been a little bit of curious excitement over a new product called Thync, a wearable module that is intended to reduce stress, induce relaxation, or energize through stimulation of the brain. Here’s how they put it: Thync uses neurosignaling to activate specific cranial and peripheral nerves to influence this balance and shift you to a state of calm or give you a boost of energy in minutes. …Neurosignaling is the coupling of an energy waveform to a neural structure (receptor, nerve or … [Read more...]