This is an example of generating category filters for Jekyll posts with Isotope. You can find the code for this page on GitHub and a writeup about it in the Projects section.

How I Approach Social Media

On a recent episode of Office Hours, a listener asked about the purpose of social media. Isaac and TK recommended taking a pragmatic approach. Here is my take on what that looks like. Bonus: The blogs I read, newsletters I subscribe to, podcasts I listen to, and magazines I read.

What work/life balance means to me

Late-night thoughts on work-life balance.

Praxis Daily - Happiness Requires Action

Happiness isn't our natural state, and that is okay. You just have to take deliberate steps to get there.

Praxis Daily Video - Compound effects on your career (Part 1)

Why you need to stick it out in one position for two years.

Compound Your Career Opportunities

You know about how compound interest grows your wealth. Let's apply that to your career.

Praxis Daily - Building a Personal Brand

Ways to build your personal brand, featuring examples from the Praxis community.

Portfolio Project Ideas with Python

So, you are learning Python and want to build a portfolio that helps you land your first technical job at a company. Here are some project ideas for building your portfolio.

10 Ways to Build Your Personal Brand

College degrees don't send the signals they once used to. You have to take charge of building your personal brand and work out loud instead. Here are ten ways to build your brand.

Praxis Daily - Clipboard Managers

What if you didn't have to copy, switch window, paste, switch window, copy, switch window, paste, switch window, copy, switch window, and paste just to copy multiple items? With a clipboard manager, you don't have to.

How to Leave Your Job

So you have a job offer from another company and are ready to leave your existing role. You want to leave without burning the social capital you’ve built up over time. What do you do?

First, relax. Having that first conversation with your manager is usually nerve wracking, but everything will be okay. Switching jobs is expected, and chances are that your manager has been on both sides of the table before. Follow these guidelines and you’ll be on your way to your new gig in no time.

Celebrating 10 Years

I started this blog ten years ago today. I was in a room at the Doubletree in Tarrytown, NY. It was a Sunday and it was the weekend in-between my first FEE seminars. I ordered a pizza and some ziti from Capri Pizza and decided to tear down my old HTML site and give blogging a try.

Automated Accountability Check-ins

During the Praxis bootcamp, participants are expected to make every single day a non-zero day. Most participants ask us to hold them accountable, so they email one of our staff each day and that person emails them the next day if they miss a check-in. This takes an enormous number of emails, staff overhead to keep track of, and is difficult to search. Here is my solution to that problem.

12 Tips for New Managers

Praxis alumni Nate Baker and Nick Rundlett both became new managers this month. Congrats, guys! Nate asked the community for tips on how to be a good supervisor. Here is what our advisors and alumni had to say.

16 Books That Shaped How I Interact with the World

Yesterday my friend Derek Magill asked the Praxis community about the books that have had the most impact on their career/education.

I love this question. Notice the use of the word impact. He isn't asking for your favorite books, the books you recommend on a specific subject, or the books you agree with the most. He is asking for the books that have had a significant impact on your education. Books that influenced and changed the way you think and interact with the world.

Here is my list, in order of when I read them. I explain what impact they had on my education and how that shifted the way I interact with the world.

How to send custom conversion events back to Facebook advertising with ConvertFlow

I made a video that shows you how to send custom conversion events to Facebook whenever a visitor, lead or customer engages with one of your website's calls-to-action – all without having to touch your website’s code. It was featured on the ConvertFlow blog!

New book notes: Reamde by Neal Stephenson

Reamde is a wild ride that traverses half the globe, has multiple storylines intertwined, and jumps back and forth from the virtual and physical world. Stephenson is a captivating writer who pulls you into the story. He makes 1000+ pages feel like 300.

Improving Jekyll Build Time

TIL how to improve the build time on my Jekyll site. Here is what I did to cut my build time in half.

Troubleshooting Problems Installing Craft CMS on Laravel Homestead

TIL that PHP 7.2 doesn't support mcrypt and MySQL 5.7.5+ changed GROUP BY behavior. Both break Craft CMS. Here is how to solve those issues.

A letter to David Hogg: You are better than college

Hey David Hogg, don't sweat the college rejections. You don't need college. You have skills that you can put to use and improve instead of wasting four years in class. Take the gap year you are thinking about and don't look back.

How to Get Your GitHub Profile Ready For Job Applications

If you are going out for a development job or any sort of technical job, especially if you don’t have a lot of professional experience in the field, the best thing you can do is put some of your work on display. GitHub is the most popular place to do that.

Here are the guidelines we give our technically skilled participants at Praxis for getting their GitHub accounts ready for their apprenticeship applications and interviews.

How to Get Work Done: A Primer

Here are the three pillars of getting work done. If you are having trouble with staying on top of your work, chances are that it comes back to one of these three main areas.

This is common advice for our participants as they complete their challenging apprenticeships at growing startups.

Three Recent Participant Projects I Love

We have a big focus on projects (learning by doing!) at Praxis. Here are three recent participant projects I love and what the projects signaled.

The Sheep at Sawkill Farm

Amanda and I spent the weekend exploring the Hudson Valley. On our way back today we stopped at the Sawkill Farm store. I had my camera gear in tow and they graciously allowed me to take some photos of their sheep. It was a drizzly day, but I had a wonderful time. The sheep have so much character and personality!

Compared to What?

People often compare actual things with imagined, perfect, idealized alternatives. Asking Compared to what? helps you frame your decisions in relation to the relevant alternatives and ground them in reality.

Changing the CSV Delimiter and Enclosure Characters on a Mac

TIL that you can't change the CSV delimiter or enclosure characters on Excel for Mac or Apple Numbers. You have to use Open Office.

Building JSON for WPComplete in Excel with Concatenate

TIL how to build JSON strings in Excel with concatenate.

macOS Excel Fill Down Keyboard Shortcut

I never remember the keyboard shortcut for Fill Down in Excel on macOS, so I'm posting it here where I'll have it. Control + D.

Three More Book Notes

I'm catching up on my book notes. Today I posted three more: Show Your Work, Shoe Dog, and E-Myth Revisited.

Catching up on Book Notes

I'm catching up on my book notes. There are a lot of books I read this past year that I neglected to post notes for, so I'm getting caught up on that. I posted five new books to my Book Notes section today: Kindred, Stories of Your Life and Others, A Burglar's Guide to the City, Boon Island, and The Story of Sushi.

How to Back Up Your Laravel Homestead Databases

Today I upgraded from Homestead 4.0.0 to 5.0.1 so I could test my sites in PHP 7. That was a major upgrade and a number of things changed, so I decided that I needed to back up my databases before I did the upgrade. I'd only ever dumped specific databases before, but TIL how to dump them all at once. Here is how to do that in Laravel Homestead.

Free Charting Tools for Your Next Article

A Praxis participant emailed me last week asking for recommendations on free embeddable charting tools for an article he is writing. I thought that the information would be useful for everyone, so I wrote an article with examples!

Rebuilding and Moving Old WordPress Posts to Jekyll

Earlier this week I did a major revamp of It started with redesigning my page templates to include a sidebar, then it morphed into making a long-standing goal of mine reality: Reviving the posts from my old 2008-2012 WordPress blog and getting them into Jekyll while preserving old links. Here's how I did it.

SVG Viewbox

TIL how to use the viewbox attribute on an SVG to make it responsive and preserve the aspect ratio.

Altcoin Research: What is Sia?

This month I'm spending some time researching altcoins. I'm posting my notes on First up: Sia.

Persistence with Chrome Dev Tools

TIL that you can save changes you make with Chrome Dev Tools directly to your disk.

CSS Confetti

TIL how to make confetti with CSS. No javascript needed.

WordPress Template Hierarchy

TIL a ton about the WordPress template hierarchy and the conditionals that select them.

Genesis Framework's Hooks and Filters

TIL about Genesis hooks and filters.

100 Highlights of 2017

Derek Magill's 100 Things That Made My Year post inspired me to write one, too. Here are my 100 highlights of 2017:

CSS Grid

TIL about CSS Grid

Basic Elements of Communication

TIL that all forms of communication can be described by the same process, no matter the sender, receiver, or medium.

Guidelines for Putting Your Projects on Display

We emphasize the importance of working out loud throughout our curriculum. Each of our participants make portfolio sections on their websites where they collect projects they've built. How you package and present your projects matter as much as the projects themselves! Here are some general guidelines for what makes a good project write up.

My WordPress Development, Testing, and Deployment Workflows

Using Homestead, WPengine, and Git.

Remember to Ask for Help

I don't know all the answers, even if I think I do. Sometimes I need to ask for help.

Turn Your Defeat Into a Growth Story

How do you address being fired when asked in an interview? Turn it into a growth story.

Responsive Breakpoints in Sass

How to structure responsive breakpoints in Sass, with examples.

10 Steps to Becoming a Manager

I saw this question on Reddit: I recently graduated with a degree in business management, but I’m having a hard time finding a management job. I’m not getting any interviews because I have no experience. What can I do? Here is my answer.

A Crystemas Goman

A translation of my favorite passage of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight to mark my own Christmas Game.

How can I come up with more ideas?

The old saying, 'You are what you eat', applies to the creative process. If you want to be creative and come up with ideas, the best thing you can do is engage the creative ideas that are already out there. Not because you want to copy or emulate them, but because creative ideas catalyze other creative ideas.

My BTC, BCH, and Ripple Strategies

The past few days have been quite a ride in the crypto world! This rollercoaster is reminiscent of late 2013, except now there is much more skin in the game. My latest piece on covers my history with BTC, BCH, and Ripple, and my investment and use strategies for the currencies.

Does the Environmental Case Against Bitcoin Have Merit?

I'm not sure that we have a bitcoin-caused environmental energy crisis on our hands. This piece on points out some of the issues with the articles going arount about bitcoin and the environment.

Selling Photos on

I'm testing out an idea on If you pay and then a section is revealed to you, that doesn't have to be just for articles. It can be used for anything digital!

Bulk Clearing Expiration Dates in Restrict Content Pro

At Praxis we use Restrict Content Pro as the membership system for our curriculum portal. We decided that all grads get access for life, not just during the program. So, I needed a way to clear over 200 member expiration dates. Here is how I accomplished that task with SQL.

Adding Months to a Calculated Date in Salesforce

Adding dates is tricky. Months have different numbers of days, so you can't rely on just adding 30 days to get an extra month. You also can't just add a certain number of months because formulas in Salesforce don't auto increment the year. The solution is modular arithmetic and conditionals.

Automating MySQL Backups with Gulp

No more forgetting to export the database regularly.

Fixing s3_website Java 9 Error with jEnv

s3_website doesn't work with Java 9. Use jEnv to define an earlier version.

Making line height work with spans

Line height doesn't work on spans by default


Using d3.nest to transform stacked data.

Giving Atom a try

Switching IDEs after 10 years.

Gulp and Sketch first use notes

Gulp and Sketch first use notes

Tldr Pages Simplified Man Pages With Practical Examples Probably Covers 80 Of Your Daily Use Cases Looks Super Cool

TLDR pages – Simplified man pages with practical examples. Probably covers 80% of your daily use cases. Looks super cool.


Great email from Paul Jarvis’s Sunday Dispatches this week. The relationship doesn’t end once you make the sale. That is just the beginning. Don’t be the hot tub guy.

Fixing “Media kit reports not enough space on device” error in Disk Utility

I got this error today when trying to partition a Western Digital My Passport 4TB:

Get Back On Track

Sometimes I get off track. This is what I need to do to get back on track:

Venkatesh Rao on Big Data, Machine Learning, and Blockchains

Venkatesh Rao had a good take on the big data/machine learning/blockchain mania in Breaking Smart a few weeks ago:


Sometimes you have to stop what you are doing and climb out on the roof to take a #ManhattanSkyline photo because the sunset is so beautiful. #nofilter

Video: How Panobook is Made

Studio Neat put together a cool video showing how the Panobook is made. I preordered three Panobooks and can’t wait for them to arrive.

Inhibiting Email Tracking

A lot of email services track you by putting a tiny transparent image in your email and logging when you load it. You can prevent this by turning off autoloading of remote images in your favorite email app’s settings. If your app doesn’t have that setting, consider switching. I’m currently using Airmail across all of my devices and the setting is under Settings > Advanced.

Quick iPad Sketches

One evening last week I had the idea to draw some quick sketches to illustrate some concepts in the Praxis curriculum. I used my iPad, Apple Pencil, Procreate, Paper by 53, and Pixelmator.


A quick vacation sketch a few weeks ago at a diner after seeing many buoys along the Maine coast.

New Wes Anderson Trailer: Isle of Dogs

Wes Anderson and his team are so good. Their attention to detail is extraordinary. Every single one of the dogs in this animation have a deep level of emotion and personality. I’m looking forward to seeing this in theaters next year.

EYES by Lucas Zanotto

This is a super cool short film documenting a series of art installations by Lucas Zanotto. Simple colors, shapes, and movements can convey so much emotion and character.

My Inbox Clearing Method

Like many, I’m all about that Inbox Zero life. I’m not going to preach here about it. You’ve heard enough of that elsewhere. I’m going to show you how I get it done.

How to turn off curly quotes in iOS 11

If you write any sort of code or markup in iOS 11, constantly getting curly quotes out of your keyboard will drive you crazy.

Fallacies, Illusions, and Biases (Part 2)

I’m working my way through Rolf Dobelli’s The Art of Thinking Clearly by reading a few sections each morning. Below are my notes on sections 12-23. Read 1-11 here.


A lactic sour wheat beer with guava from Yonkers Brewing.

TK Coleman’s Career Journey on the Isaac Morehouse Podcast

TK Coleman, my coworker on the education team at Praxis, told his career journey story in two parts on the Isaac Morehouse podcast. It is worth a listen:

Fallacies, Illusions, and Biases (Part 1)

I’m working my way through Rolf Dobelli’s The Art of Thinking Clearly by reading a few sections each morning. Here are my notes on the first 11 sections (Confirmation Bias had two sections, which I’ve only noted as one below):</p>

Notes on how React and Angular work

I got this question from a Praxis participant last night: “Hey Chuck quick general question: do frameworks like angular and react compile to JS? How exactly do they work?”</p>

On Jury Duty

I’m very torn on jury duty. I despise politics, I don’t vote, I rarely follow the news, and I think that most laws should be nullified. I’d prefer to be rid of the whole business.

Building a Wide Base of Knowledge

Someone I’m advising asked me this morning how to build a wide base of knowledge across many subjects and disciplines. Here was my answer:


They used to make elevators here. Now it is where they make NYC’s subway cars.

A Week with AirPods



An Exercise for Professional Clarity

Isaac, Praxis’s founder and CEO, had me do an exercise today that helped me clarify what the education part of our product is and how we expect customers to use it.


Garden garlic! 👨‍🌾

Three Weeks with the 10.5” iPad Pro

I bought the 10.5” iPad Pro the day it was announced and received it the following Monday. My old Gen 3 iPad didn’t support multitasking, Touch ID, iOS 10, or True Tone. Basically nothing that makes an iPad awesome for work. It was getting pretty slow and desperately needed an upgrade. I’m super happy with the new iPad Pro. Here’s what I love about it after the first three weeks of use:

Finding Wilderness Within Civilization

I read this article from The Guardian about an ophthalmologist who is spending his retirement living out of a backpack and hiking all around the US. Most of it is only mildly interesting, but I loved this part:


I was having trouble connecting to my Karma Go device on my iPad. Wasn’t auto connecting to the website to authenticate. So I tried the old trick (happened to be the device’s IP) and it worked!

3 Ways to Use Your HBO Subscription 

If you are like me, you just rebooted your HBO subscription in order to watch the new Game of Thrones season. Here are three great shows you can watch Monday through Saturday:

Putting Daily Drawing On Hold

I’m putting my daily drawing exercises on hold. They tax me more than I want in terms of both time and mental focus. Instead of a fun creative exercise, pushing through these at the end of long work days ends each day on a low note.

Learning to Draw, Day 21: Coffee Cup

Instead of another try at my portrait, I decided to try another drawing with a focus on light and shadow, so I set up a swinging arm lamp to light up a coffee cup on a pedestal. 

Learning to Draw, Day 20: Rushed Self Portrait

I was supposed to do another self portrait today after learning about seeing light, shapes, and lines. 

Learning to Draw, Day 19: Shadows and Crosshatching

Read about different intensities of shadows and various crosshatching techniques, then practiced them:

Why I Canceled My Medium Membership

I jumped on-board the Medium Membership train back in March, as soon as I could. I was excited about it. I couldn’t wait to see the great content behind the paywall and to see what new features they were going to roll out just for members.

Learning to Draw, Day 18: Light Logic

Today I read about light logic, which results in four aspects of light and shadow:

Learning to Draw, Day 17: Filling in the Details

Today I filled in the details of yesterday’s drawing and fixed some of the scale issues. It isn’t perfect, but I’m going to call it complete today and move on to another drawing tomorrow.

Learning to Draw, Day 16: In Progress

Today’s drawing is still in progress. I had a busy day today and spent the entire evening down in the city, so I only got about 30 minutes to start a drawing of a leaf on the cover of this book I’m reading. I’m going to work on filling in the details tomorrow.

Learning to Draw, Day 15: Broadway Bridge

Today I did a quick sketch of the Broadway Bridge over the Harlem River on my iPad. 

Learning to Draw, Day 14: Drawing on the iPad

Today I decided to take a break from the specific Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain exercises and try out drawing on my new 10.5″ iPad Pro with the Apple Pencil. I used the Linea app and did another pass at my Day 8 hand drawing.


Trying out Things 3. I really like the hierarchy: Areas > Projects > Sub headings/groupings > To do items > Checklists. Exactly what I’ve wanted. Goes 1-2 levels deeper than most to-do apps.

Learning to Draw, Day 13: Live Profile Portrait of Amanda

Today I drew a portrait of Amanda’s profile. She graciously sat at the table and worked while I drew and revised.

Learning to Draw, Day 12: Profile Portrait Warm-Up

Burning the midnight oil. Today I read about expanding the sighting and spacing I’ve been working on the last few days to faces. Then I spent about an hour applying what I learned to a line drawing of a portrait by Sargent. 

Focus on the Day-to-Day Work

Currently reading: Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday

Learning to Draw, Day 11: Perspective

Today I did exercises to learn how to draw perspectives. The first was about finding scales and angles, then the second was a drawing of a complex scene to put those to use. I chose our entryway, complete with a crooked doormat and a pile of our shoes. 

Learning to Draw, Day 10: Negative Space

Today I had to draw a chair, but not in the usual way. Instead of drawing the lines and shapes that make up the chair, I had to draw the negative space instead. I didn’t take a photo or use the plastic pane very much, but drew from looking at the chair and occasionally using the frame to check proportions. This exercise is supposed to help with noticing negative space, framing, picking a guide for scaling, and comparing angles. After I was finished, I erased out the tone from the area between the shapes I drew. In this case, that ended up being the chair. 

Learning to Draw, Day 9: Hand with Object

I repeated yesterday’s exercise, but this time with a fountain pen in my hand, cap on. It took me about an hour. I still don’t quite get the shading, but it is becoming easier to zoom in on details and lines. 

Learning to Draw, Day 8: My First “Real” Drawing

Today I did my first “real” drawing. Not a trace, not an upside down copy, but an actual drawing. I focused with one eye on my hand and drew the lines and curves the best I could. 


The NYTimes Magazine’s set of graphic stories (read: comics) they published last week are fantastic. Check them out:

Learning to Draw, Day 7: Tracing a Foreshortened Hand on a Plane

Today I did an exercise to help see like an artist sees: Using a plastic viewfinder to create a flat plane, resting it on my hand, and then using a non-permanent marker to trace all of the edges. (Reminder: In drawing, an edge is where any two areas meet, not just an outline.)

Using Walks, Drives, and Commutes For Work

I used to think that walking, driving somewhere, and commuting were things that we fundamentally opposed to work. Complete downtime. Even using them to listen to podcasts isn’t working. It is a good use of the time, but it isn’t working.

Learning to Draw, Day 6: Pure Contour Exercise

Today I read a section on childhood drawings and then did another exercise to help me shift my perception: Pure Contour Drawing. 

Listening Notes: Venkatesh Rao on The Three Types of Decision Makers, Mental Models, and How to Process Information | The Knowledge Podcast

Listening Notes for Venkatesh Rao on The Three Types of Decision Makers, Mental Models, and How to Process Information The Knowledge Podcast


That was a good keynote. Makes me excited about Apple’s future again. I’m preordering a 10.5″ iPad Pro. I’ve been waiting a full year for an update to the line and this looks incredible.

Learning to Draw, Day 5: Upside Down Tufted Titmouse

Today was the last upside down copying exercise: Picking a line drawing on your own and copying it. I searched around for a few minutes on Google Images and found a drawing of a Tufted Titmouse from

Learning to Draw, Day 4: Upside Down Knight

Betty Edwards in Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain recommends copying 2-3 line drawings upside down to get a sense of how it feels to shift to a different way of seeing. Today I copied a line drawing of a knight on a horse by an unknown German artist.

Learning to Draw, Day 3: Copying Upside Down

Yesterday I had about 30 pages of information about the brain and how it works and a short symmetrical vase (an optical illusion made out of two face profiles) drawing exercise to do. That took up the whole hour I set aside with only a few squiggly lines on a piece of paper to show, so I didn’t think it was worth a post.


First radish of the season! (D’Avignon)

Learning to Draw, Day 1

This month I’m learning to draw. This is a skill I’ve never had. I once thought that there are analytical people and artistic people, but I’m no longer willing to accept that. Just like swimming or writing is a particular skill that can be taught and learned, drawing and calculus are both skills that can be taught and learned. I already know calculus (all the way through real analysis), so it is time to learn to draw.

Forget Daily “Work/Life Balance”

Forget about daily work/life balance. Juggling too many things at once leads to stress and poor performance. Trying to balance everything by offsetting stuff with other stuff just leads to too much stuff. Set your priorities for each day (or each week or part of each day) and focus intensely on those few things.

A Prediction for the 2020 Election

I think that the 2020 presidential election will finally be when we’ll see colors other than red, white, and blue showing up as main branding colors in a mainstream candidate. 

How to Avoid Pastoralism

I’m rereading Breaking Smart Season 1 right now and I got to thinking about Rao’s concept of pastoralism vs prometheanism and how to avoid it. 

Focused vs Unfocused Reading

  1. The gap between focused and unfocused reading is huge, especially when compounded over time. 
  2. Reducing distractions can lead to huge improvements in the number of pages read and understood. Maybe even more than traditional speed reading methods. 
  3. On my flight to Chicago this weekend, I read half of James Hogan’s Inherit the Stars. On the flight back to NYC, I reread 60% of Breaking Smart Season 1. Each leg was a little over 2 hours. I got through much more of each of these books than I have in equivalent amounts of time at home. It was like I had tunnel vision on the flight because I couldn’t get up and had no distractions available. 
  4. I need to do a better job at implementing airplane-like focus at home so that I can cover more ground in less time. I’m going though the 10 Days to Faster Reading book right now, but its methods aren’t that appealing to me. Working on my focus might be a better route. 


At dinner with Amanda’s French-Canadian Grandmother: “I don’t drink Bud Light. It tastes like rat saliva. Give me a nice IPA.”


Flying out of LGA’s Marine Terminal (A) is always an unexpected pleasure. It has a classic Art Deco look to the outside, has some cool murals inside, and the lines are always short. The coffee options are slim, but I’ll take the tradeoff for a laid-back experience. 

Cronuts (Finally)

After watching the Cronut craze and wanting to try one for the last few years, I finally decided to go get some. I work from home and set my own hours, so why not? I preordered them two weeks ago, worked late night on a project, and took the morning to go pick some up and take them to my wife’s office. 

New Music Friday: Indie Edition

Dr. Quandry. Guy out of Boston I’ve been following since 2008. Experimental instrumental stuff. Great working music.

My answer to “What are the best things to do on weekends as a student at Hillsdale College?” on Quora

Over at Quora: What are the best things to do on weekends as a student at Hillsdale College?


Freeter looks like a good app for gathering various project tools in one place. I’ve spent some time setting up my own automations with TextExpander, AppleScript, Automator, and Keyboard Maestro, but I’m going to try making dashboards for a few of my projects in Freeter to bring everything under one roof.

Two questions to ask when you are stuck on a project

  1. What is this project about?
This is sometimes a tough question, but figuring it out makes all the difference. If you figured it out at the beginning of the project, simply reminding yourself what the goal of the project is and what the core parts of the project are can be enough to get you back on track. If you haven&#8217;t answered that question before and are doing it for the first time, start broad, then keep refining it and narrowing it down. Don&#8217;t throw in the towel just because it is tough. When you come out on the other side, your project will be much clearer. Don&#8217;t do anything in your project that doesn&#8217;t lead directly to the main theme of the project.   2. **What&#8217;s missing?

** Once you’ve figured out what the project is all about, ask yourself what is missing. What does your still need in order to reach its stated purpose? Write those things down and start working down the list.

January-June 2017 Self-Improvement Projects

Every month I do a PDP – a personal development project. These PDPs are either theme or project-based and I must do something specific every single day to further that project or theme.

Ted Kooser on Writer’s Block

Writing Routines, a great new sites that gives behind-the-scenes look at the daily habits of writers and authors, has an interview with Ted Kooser, a former US Poet Laureate. I love his answer to a question on writer’s block:


The new Bonobo album is perfect for a rainy, contemplative day like today.


Amanda and I sampled my barrel-aged Vieux Carre after dinner tonight. This is going to be a fantastic drink after another month in the barrel. It is already smooth and delicious.

How to clean up text pasted from Google Docs with Atom and Regular Expressions

Have you ever pasted text from Google Docs onto your blog (WordPress or otherwise) and had to fix wacky formatting? Here is how to quickly strip out all those extra HTML tags using regular expressions with, a free text editor.


PBS used a photo today that I took back in college:

Documenting the Process of Data Visualizations

The project has awesome process documentation for how Nadieh and Shirley go about making their incredible visualizations each month. This is a treasure trove of valuable insights for how they approach projects, how the projects evolve, and how they overcome issues they run in to.

Ideas for WordPress Projects

A la James Altucher’s Ten Ideas a Day


After 10 years of knowing about Pixelmator for the last 10 years, I finally dumped Adobe Photoshop and made the switch last month. The hardest part has been relearning how to do certain tasks, but the tutorials and documentation are great. I don’t see myself going back any time soon.


The Mystic Whaler is out on the Hudson in Yonkers today.

Learning and Perception 

Deconstructing and seeing things in different ways is often the first step toward understanding something new. 

JavaScript Learning Project Ideas

A la James Altucher’s Ten Ideas a Day

Two Ways to Handle Client Requests

There are two ways to handle client requests:


Good test for determining whether or not I’m actually hungry: Would I eat a carrot right now? If not, I’m probably just craving something sweet and I should drink some water instead.


I’ve been feeling stuck with some creative issues at work and decided to try a new tactic today: 

What to Do When You Mess Up

  • Own up to it and take responsibility for it.
  • Fix it immediately.
  • Put a system in place to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Could be a checklist, could be checks by multiple coworkers before something goes out, etc. Whatever works best for you and your team.
  • Remember that feeling bad about it helps keep it from happening again, but don’t dwell on the mistake for multiple days. Make the necessary changes and keep working.
  • Simple Microblog WordPress Theme

    When I learned about the project by Manton Reece, I decided that I wanted to host my own microblog, so I made a minimalist microblogging WordPress theme for that purpose.

    A Reminder to Meditate

    Reminder for myself: Meditation is good. Every time I do it I feel better afterward. Doing it continually leads to longer periods of contentment and focus. I tend to not want to meditate when I’m having a tough time because it is easier to complain and shut down than it is to clear my mind and deal with the problems at hand. But I must turn to meditation, especially when things are tough. It helps every time.

    When Stopping Makes Sense (and when you need to get back to work)

    I’m all about committing and being relentless about pushing through tough situations no matter what comes up. Stopping because something is hard, you are tired, you don’t feel well, or it isn’t fun is unacceptable. Collect yourself and get back to work. 


    Want to learn to program? Actually building things is the best way to learn. Here is a great list of projects that you can complete in popular languages:


    The struggle of reading non-fiction is cutting through the filler quickly and determining what is unique and useful out of hundreds of pages. So many books are much longer than they need to be. 


    The biggest advantage of a microblog: Lowering the posting barrier. I can post whatever I feel like instead of trying to make it “worthy.” I can get my ideas out with less anxiety. As I get into this mindset, I bet it will make putting stuff out elsewhere easier, too.

    The Most Important Thing About Creative Work

    One of the things I’ve had to learn about transitioning into a more creative and visionary role with my new job is to change the way I think about when and where work gets done.

    Integrating Care into the Customer Experience

    I was at an Intelligentsia coffee shop in Venice, CA, a few weeks ago. I ordered an espresso. As my order came up, I watched the barista. He pulled the shot, and as I was ready to take and enjoy it with the side of sparkling water they include, he paused before he gave it to me. He took the towel tucked into his apron and carefully wiped off the few tiny splashes of espresso that ended up on the rim of the cup and around the saucer.


    You aren’t the first to romanticize failure. Keats was way ahead of you:


    The moment you consider a possibility, you are responsible for it. You can choose whether or not you do something about that possibility, but you must own that decision.


    Working outside this morning and enjoying a bowl of Cult’s Blood Red Moon from this month’s Tin Society box.



    There is no right time to quit a job, have kids, or start something new. If you want something, you have to take the first step immediately and figure things out along the way. The right time will never come. Jump now.

    Inge Druckrey: Teaching to See

    Awesome video on design thinking:


    Takeaways from this week’s Breaking Smart newsletter, Betting the Spread on Inexorables:

    Derek Magill on Activation over Awareness

    Great stuff on marketing from my coworker Derek Magill:

    Ignore the Rules and Be True to Yourself

    “Writers write every single day.” “If you aren’t writing code every day, you can’t call yourself a developer.” “The best in every field get up at 4am and start working by 6am after a workout and an hour of reading.”


    Cool writing prompt from Cheryl Strayed on the Tim Ferriss Show: Pull out your keychain and write about the history of each key.


    I just made a WordPress theme made to be used with It is simple, minimalist, and includes a small tool to verify your site with You can download or fork it here:


    Testing out this Twitter cross-posting bot from

    Great Falls

    Yesterday Amanda and I visited Great Falls in Paterson, NJ.


    Testing a new post from’s iOS app.

    Cooking Rice

    I got a tip today from a Persian chef about cooking rice the Persian way: After it boils for a few minutes, drain and rinse it. Then put it back in the pot for 25 minutes. You get a nice crispy layer at the bottom and rice that is completely separated, not gummy.

    Leonard E. Read’s bookplate

    Check out Leonard E. Read’s sweet bookplate that I found:

    Scratch your own itch

    The best projects are ones that build something you want to use or solve a problem you actually have. They don’t need to be big or new. Almost every project starts out as small and a remix of something else. Then you take it and build on it.

    Creating Consistently

    Creating is awesome. Creating consistently is even better. Here are some strategies for being consistent in your creative endeavors.

    Why I Set Personal Deadlines

    We all understand the importance of setting deadlines at work. Everything revolves around intentionally set deadlines and there are consequences if they aren’t met. Deadlines are a useful tool at work to keep progress moving forward. If there were no deadlines and no consequences for missing them, how many projects would realistically get done?

    Running Zapier Actions During Business Hours Only

    Two weeks ago I had a problem I wanted to solve with Zapier: Only running a particular Zapier action during business hours and delaying everything that happens outside of business hours until the next day.

    HTML and CSS Basics for WordPress

    Resources for Wordpress users who want to use HTML and CSS to alter the structure, look, and feel of their themes, posts, and pages.

    When is the last time you sent a Thank You note?

    Sending a thank you note is one of those pieces of common wisdom we always hear, yet an astonishingly low number of people actually do it.

    Yes, There are Stupid Questions

    You should never ask someone else a question without first attempting to answer it on your own.

    Get the Most out of Your Kindle with These 4 Tools

    Take screenshots, get reading statistics, export your highlights, and remove the ads from your Kindle.

    Taking a Day Trip to Joshua Tree from LA

    Taking a day trip from Los Angeles to Joshua Tree National Park is completely doable as long as you plan ahead. Here is what you need to know.

    My WordPress Stack

    Here are the tools, hosts, themes, and plugins I use to build WordPress sites quickly and get the most out of them after they launch.

    The Afternoon Check-in

    Two and a half months ago I started asking myself two simple questions every afternoon and I've seen a clear improvement in my mood as a direct result. Don't take your mood as a given. You are in control and can take actions to improve it.

    How to Hit Reset and Keep Going

    We’ve all been there: It is 4:30pm, our energy is low, we have at least four hours of work left to do, and we feel like giving up and taking a nap. Here is what I do to hit reset and keep going.

    My Setup and Tools

    I often get asked about what I use to get my work done. This post will be updated regularly with my current toolkit and setup.

    Adding Full Width Front Page Widgets to Genesis Themes

    Most Genesis themes don't allow content to go edge-to-edge out of the box. Here's how to add a new full width widget area to your Genesis theme.

    Moving your Jekyll Site to Amazon S3 and Cloudfront with Outside DNS

    Are you moving your Jekyll site from shared hosting over to S3 and Cloudfront while using your own DNS? Here is what you need to do.

    3 Lesser-Known Hubspot Tools

    Do you use Hubspot? Here are three lesser-known Hubspot tools to help you get the most out of your marketing and sales workflows.

    At Praxis, Commitments Are Better Than Rules

    Commitments are a key part of our program. Praxis is not the kind of product that can simply be purchased and sat on a shelf.

    LER on Light

    There is but one cure for ignorance: enlightenment! Lesser treatments, such as ‘selling the masses,’ political activism, and the like, are an utter waste of time; as well try to bring daylight by cursing the darkness!” (To Free or Freeze, p. 18)

    The Great American Road Trip

    I got the chance to spend a week driving from coast to coast with my parents last summer. We started just north of Seattle, took Route 2 across Washington, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, then went across the UP and drove down through Michigan, then across Ohio and Pennsylvania on I-80 to NYC. Here are my notes from the trip.

    Do More. Improve on it. Repeat.

    Do you want to be on top in your field? The bar is lower than you think, but few people even attempt to jump it.

    How to Serve Static Website Assets from Amazon S3

    Earlier this week I looked at my web hosting's usage stats and decided that I needed to move a bunch of static assets somewhere else because they were eating my available bandwidth. I decided to use Amazon S3, and to my surprise, it took less than an hour to get everything up and running.

    Book Review Jekyll Collection Template

    A book review template for Jekyll sites using Collections. Complete with a star rating system.

    Cook Like Chuck 2016 Gift Guide

    Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa are quickly approaching. Here are some gift ideas for your friends and family who like to spend time in the kitchen. Everything is under $50, half of the list is under $30. I approve of it all.

    Sol LeWitt in D3.js

    I am fascinated by Sol LeWitt's conceptual work, so last year I explored it further by interpreting and implementing some of them on my medium of choice, the web, using JavaScript. I used this project to gain a deeper understanding of Sol LeWitt's work and to teach myself how to use the D3.js library. I tried to learn something new with each piece I implemented.

    Our Inflated Thanksgiving, 2016 Edition

    It’s not just the balloons at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade that are inflated. At first glance, it seems like the price of food has trended upward since 1986. Once you adjust for inflation, however, you get a different story.

    Sol LeWitt's Wall Drawings 852 and 853 with D3.js

    Learning all about D3.js's area and sorting functions to implement Sol LeWitt's Wall Drawings 852 and 853 with random generation.

    Make Your Own Sol LeWitt 614!

    I took my implementation of Sol LeWitt's Wall Drawing 614 using a D3.js Treemap and made it possible for users to change the number of rectangles and the width of the bands. Now you can make your own!

    Sol LeWitt's Wall Drawing 614 with D3.js Treemap and Randomization

    Implementing Sol LeWitt's Wall Drawing 614 with D3.js Treemap and randomization.

    Sol LeWitt's Wall Drawing 289 with D3.js Transitions

    Implementing Sol LeWitt's Wall Drawing 289 with D3.js transitions, randomization, and responsiveness.

    Sol LeWitt's Wall Drawing 86 with D3.js Transitions

    Implementing Sol LeWitt's Wall Drawing 86 with D3.js transitions, randomization, and responsiveness.

    Sol LeWitt's Wall Drawing 87 with D3.js Transitions

    Exploring Sol LeWitt's Wall Drawing 87 with D3.js transitions.

    Praxis Data Workshop - Telling a Stronger Story with Data Visualization

    The video, slides, and notes from my Praxis workshop on data analysis and visualization.

    Sol LeWitt's Wall Drawing 391 with D3.js

    Design decisions and notes I made in implementing Sol LeWitt's Wall Drawing 391 with D3.js.

    Sol LeWitt's Wall Drawing 11 with D3.js

    Design decisions and notes I made while implementing Sol LeWitt's Wall Drawing 11 with D3.js.

    Sol LeWitt's Wall Drawing 56 with D3.js

    My first attempt at implementing Sol LeWitt's work on the web! Here are the design decisions and notes I made while implementing Sol LeWitt's Wall Drawing 56 with D3.js.

    Category Filtering with Isotope in Jekyll

    This is the most recent addition to my Jekyll Tools repository on GitHub. Isotope is a popular jQuery filtering and sorting plugin. I combined it with Liquid to generate category filtering in Jekyll.

    Point Reyes National Seashore

    Amanda and I spent a few days in California wine country at the end of March before we drove over to Yosemite. We were kind of disappointed in wine country because we expected to learn a lot more than any of the tour guides seemed to be interested in teaching us, so we took one of the days and drove over to the Point Reyes National Seashore. That turned out to be a great idea.

    Jekyll 3.2 Undefined Method Downcase Error

    Here is how to get rid of a pesky Jekyll undefined method downcase error.

    Comparing Sheet of Data in Excel

    How to compare data columns of data from different sheets in Excel.

    Smooth Pie Chart Transitions with D3.js

    This tutorial shows how to make smooth transitions in a pie chart using d3.interpolate.

    Let's Update a Pie Chart in Realtime with D3.js

    This tutorial builds on previous work and updates a pie chart in realtime.

    Yosemite National Park

    We love going to national parks in the spring. The weather is cool, the parks aren't crowded, and the waterfalls are spectacular due to snowmelt. Here is a small collection of photos I shot in Yosemite at the end of March 2016.

    Let's Make a Pie Chart with D3.js

    Here I learn the basics of making a pie chart with D3.js

    Let's Make a Grid with D3.js

    This tutorial is a way to apply what I learned about data joins, click events, and selections in D3.js. Along the way I learned about building arrays.

    Fun with Circles in D3

    Learning D3 by playing with circles

    D3 Intro and Joins Notes

    Notes from the Introduction and Thinking With Joins


    Emmet is a tool that expands your HTML and CSS workflow.

    Relearning D3.js

    How I'm relearning D3.js.

    Error Document Handling with .htaccess

    TIL how to forward error pages to real pages with .htaccess.

    Loading scripts in Wordpress with wp_enqueue_scripts

    Here is how to load scripts on specific pages in Wordpress with wp_enqueue_scripts

    jQuery replaceWith

    TIL how to quickly replace elements with jQuery

    How to Implement Search on a Jekyll Site

    TIL how to implement search on a Jekyll site.

    How to Back Up Your Online Life

    Your stuff in the cloud could disappear at any time. Here is how to download a copy of your data from popular online services. (Written by me, published on Medium)

    Moving Files to a Mac from Microsoft Remote Desktop

    TIL how to copy files from a Microsoft Remote Desktop connection to my local machine.

    Setting and retrieving cookies from form data

    TIL how to set and retrieve JavaScript cookies from form data.

    Powering a Blog Through Medium

    It is super easy to power your blog with a custom domain through Medium. Here is what you need to do.

    iOS 10.0 Public Beta Thoughts

    The iOS 10.0 Public Beta came out Thursday, July 7, 2016. I installed it within a few hours of its release and began using it on my main phone. Here are my thoughts so far.

    How to Pre-fill Google Forms

    Did you know that you can pre-fill Google Forms based on a URL? Did you also know that automate it with a database and send personalized forms via services like Mailchimp?

    Take Notes During Your Next Crisis

    TIL that the best time to learn how to handle crises is right after you just had one.

    jQuery's Greater and Less Than Selectors

    TIL about jQuery's greater and less than selectors

    Scheduling Jobs with Cron

    TIL how to schedule tasks with Cron.

    Posts Heatmap Calendar for Jekyll

    This heatmap calendar gives you a visual representation of when you posted on your Jekyll site.

    DNS Terms Cheatsheet

    Automating Blog Posts with AppleScript v2

    Today I took another stab at automating my blog posts.

    Many-to-Many Relationships in Relational Data Models

    Today I learned about Many-to-Many relationships in relational data models

    Trifacta Wrangler

    TIL how awesome Trifacta Wrangler is for transforming and digging through data.

    Linux Webserver Cheat Sheet

    TIL where to find certain things on Linux servers

    Cleaning up your Mac with Hazel

    Today I learned how to clean up my Mac with Hazel

    Using Word Frequency Charts for Better Word Clouds

    You can use word count charts to complement word clouds for better understanding.

    Isaac Morehouse Podcast Episode 75 - How to Learn Anything, with Chuck Grimmett

    How to learn anything:
    1. Spend a focused hour reading and watching videos to pick up the basics of what you want to learn.
    2. Apply those new skills immediately by working on a tiny project that uses what you just researched and gives you the opportunity to pick up more skills along the way.
    3. Get constructive feedback on your tiny project from people who know more than you do in that field.
    4. Repeat.

    If you want to learn more, check out this episode of the Isaac Morehouse podcast!

    Ember.js Basics

    TIL the basics of Ember.js.

    Link Posts with Jekyll

    TIL how to make link posts a la Daring Fireball and with Jekyll.

    Snack Time Episode 3 - Negroni Week

    Episode 3 of Snack Time is out! Sean and I celebrate Negroni Week on the air. We discuss recipes, bitters, art, hipsters, and glassware. I get a little tipsy and say "incredible" too much, and I have minor recording issues that I'll fix on the next episode.

    Counting and JSON output in Jekyll

    TIL how to count and make JSON output in Jekyll

    Photo Metadata Analysis Project

    A post-game write-up of what I learned from a recent personal data project, complete with instructions so you can try it!

    Glacier National Park

    Last year Amanda and I visited Glacier for a couple days before the official start of the summer season. Going to the Sun Road was still closed, but we avoided the crowds, explored the park in solitude, took in the wonderful scenery, and ran into some incredible wildlife. Here is the best of what I shot over three days in Glacier.

    Identifying and killing background Python processes

    TIL how to kill rogue background Python processes

    Simple HTTP server with Python

    TIL how to make a simple HTTP server with Python

    Regex Lookahead and Lookbehind

    TIL how to do lookarounds in Regex

    Responsive D3.js bar chart with labels

    TIL how to make

    Strange issues with stacking on iOS Safari

    Safari on iOS and Safari on Mac OS X are not created equal.

    Having trouble accessing your website from Google's public DNS? Check your DNSSEC.

    Having trouble accessing your website from Google's public DNS? Check your DNSSEC.

    Web crawlers, Regex for Markdown URLs, and Removing your site from Google search results

    TIL about some resources for making web work easier.

    Circular Progress Bar Count Up with Javascript

    I used ProgressBar.js to build a date counter that counts up from a particular point in time visually.

    Converting an Aperture Library to Lightroom

    Converting Aperture photo libraries to Lightroom

    Snack Time Episode 2 - Our Biggest Pfand

    When you enjoy a beer in Germany, there's a very good chance that the bottle you're drinking out of wasn't the first time it was filled with Berliner Kindl. This time on Snack Time we talk about recycling glass and the German bottle deposit system.

    Amending Commits, Matplotlib, and More Python

    Today I collected the things I learned in the past week.

    Toggling divs with jQuery

    Today I reminded myself how to toggle divs with buttons.

    Javascript Counter

    TIL how to make a javascript counter.

    Running other scripts with AppleScript

    TIL how to run other scripts with AppleScript

    Reading CSVs, counting, lambda expressions, and plotting with Python

    TIL how to read CSVs, count, order via lambda expressions, and plot with Python.

    Dealing with Files in AppleScript and Conditional Counts in Excel

    TIL how to deal with files in AppleScript and how to do conditional counts in Excel.

    Steph Curry's Advantage (Or How to Become a Leader in the NBA)

    How do you become a leader in the NBA? Take more shots than everyone else.

    Excel formulas to combine columns and convert time, More SQL functions

    TIL how to concatenate columns and convert time in Excel and some more SQL functions.

    Aliases in SQL and Sorting Tables with jQuery

    TIL how to make aliases for tables in SQL and how to sort tables with jQuery

    There are Multiple Paths to the End Goal

    TIL there are multiple paths to every end goal and sometimes you need to try another one instead of spinning your wheels.

    Summing with Filters in Excel, Reminding Yourself "Why"

    TIL how to sum in Excel with filters and a trick for bringing myself back in perspective.

    Textures and Colors of Yellowstone

    Last year Amanda and I visited Yellowstone for a couple days before the official start of the summer season. It was chilly and some roads were closed due to snow, but we avoided the crowds and got to explore the park in relative solitude. Here are the best photos I shot over two days. I took a few landscapes, but I mostly focused on the colors and textures I encountered.

    Hiding Categories from the Jekyll Paginator, Unless, and Insert statements

    TIL how to hide my TIL posts from the front page of my site, the Unless tag, and inserting mysql with PHP.

    Snack Time Episode 1 - Supreme Court Nominations

    Sean and Chuck are launching a podcast! This first episode is a bit rough around the edges, but it is a start of great things to come. We discuss the Supreme Court vacancy left by Scalia's death and what happens during the nomination process.

    Connecting and Writing to MySQL with PHP

    TIL the basics of connecting to a MySQL database and creating tables in PHP.

    Wordpress Plugins, Development Planning for New Developers

    TIL a new-to-me development philosophy and the basic parts of creating a Wordpress plugin.

    Easier Syntax Highlighting, Downloading Email Followers, and Jekyll Tools

    TIL about easier syntax highlighting and how to download email subscribers in a CSV.

    Jekyll Tools

    A collection of Liquid templates I made for my Jekyll-powered blog: Adding open graph and Twitter cards, Disqus comments, posts by tag, a heatmap calendar for posts, and a book review template.

    Infrastructure and Git Best Practices

    Today I learned about best practices in development infrastructure and git.

    Checking for Keys and Looking Up Values in Arrays, Restricting Files in .htaccess

    TIL how to check for keys and look up values in arrays, as well as how to restrict files via .htaccess.

    Basic Logging with PHP and Syntax Highlighting in Jekyll

    TIL how to do basic logging to CSV in PHP and how to highlight syntax in Jekyll.

    Thoughts on Providing Solutions, Learning, Culture, and Distractions

    I didn’t do much technical work today besides some front-end debugging. Instead I did a lot of administrative and project management work and ended up thinking a lot about how I work.

    Unicode Conversions in PHP and Remote Git Repos

    TIL how to convert unicode characters in PHP and I released my first personal project on Github.

    Toggl Slash Command for Slack

    My first personal project that I released on Github - A custom slash command that enables users to put time entries into Toggl from Slack.

    CSS Inheritance, Datetime Conversions in PHP

    TIL about date/time conversions in PHP and a lesson about automatic inheritance in CSS.

    Doing the Work, Flipping the Status Quo, and Alphabetizing in Liquid

    TIL how to sort tags alphabetically in Liquid and I did some reflection on work and the status quo.

    How to keep track of files and requests in Slack

    TIL how to keep track of files and requests in Slack.

    Useful Analytics, Scalability, and RSI

    Today I learned how to tackle my RSI issues and I thought about useful analytics and product scalability.

    Meteor Basics, Secure Hash Algorithms, and 404 Error Pages

    TIL the basics of Meteor, how to tell Apache where to find your 404 page, and all about secure hash algorithms.

    Readable Code Snippets, VPN Clients, and Privacy

    TIL how to make code snippets pretty, which VPN client to use, and common misconceptions about privacy.

    Photoshop Patterns, Homestead Provisioning, Composer Basics

    TIL two ways to tile patterns in Photoshop. One is manual and time consuming, the other is fast, easy, and less prone to error. I also re-learned some stuff about Homestead and Composer.

    Automating Drudgery, Project Planning, Parent Selectors, and Find and Replace

    TIL about what to consider when architecting and planning out a software development project, how to automate the tedious parts of my TIL posts, how to tackle the lack of parent selectors in CSS, and project-wide find and replace in Coda.

    Jekyll Upgrades and Liquid Templates

    TIL about upgrading Jekyll from 2 to 3 and how to make a TIL index template in Liquid.

    Pull requests, scraping Reddit, and flexbox quirks

    TIL about creating pull requests on Github, accessing Reddit's APIs with Python and storing that data in MySQL, and quirks with CSS's flexbox module

    Five Minute Journal TextExpander Snippets

    A few days ago I listened to Tim Ferriss’s show on The Magic of Mindfulness and learned about the Five Minute Journal. I made some TextExpander snippets for it.

    Single iPhone Home Screen

    For the past two weeks I’ve been using a single iPhone home screen configuration a la CGP Grey.

    Follow-up for Praxis

    I joined Praxis for a group discussion last night on technology and building a personal website. Here are the apps, services, and pieces of advice I mentioned during our conversation.

    Faux Basecamp to Slack Integration

    A few weeks ago, Slack rolled out a very useful email integration. I didn’t think I had much use for it at first because Slack drastically cut down on the amount of email I receive.

    Illum Light Graffiti

    A photography project that explored the light, exposure times, and shadows.

    Spotlight on Speech Codes 2015 Animated Web Infographic

    I took a static infographic made by a client in Illustrator and applied some web magic to make it animated and interactive. Along the way I developed stronger JavaScript, jQuery, and CSS animation skills.

    Our Inflated Thanksgiving

    For the past 29 years, the American Farm Bureau Federation has conducted an informal survey of the price of a classic Thanksgiving dinner for 10 people. At first glance, it looks like the price of food has been steadily rising. But when you adjust the numbers for inflation, you get a different story. It isn’t the cost of our food that has been rising, but the amount of US currency in circulation.

    Rebuilding Mogadishu with Local Knowledge

    Underneath the bombed-out buildings and bullet-riddled doorways of Mogadishu lies a vibrant marketplace and hidden infrastructure known only to locals. Mitchell Sipus is trying to make that data public that with his “project to digitally map Mogadishu, encoding not just geography but also businesses, infrastructure, and people” (Wired).

    Big Wins: Small Changes That Accumulate Over Time

    This is a big win (making a very small change in your routine that you don’t even notice after a week but that adds up over time) disguised as a small one (taking the stairs.) I am more concerned that you get the big lesson here, but I think that a story about a small application of this lesson is the best way to explain it.

    Big Wins: Audiobooks

    This is the first post of a series that will focus on improvements I’ve made in my life that have led to advances in my productivity, effectiveness, or general well-being. I call these things big wins.

    Photo Credit at The Daily Caller

    Last week I had a photo credit at The Daily Caller.

    Giving to beggars: My policy, reasons, and recent outcomes

    I have a policy when it comes to giving to people who come up to me in the street and ask for money to buy food or some basic necessity: I tell them that I do not carry cash (this is the truth, I do not carry cash), then offer to purchase for them what they say they need the money for. (I won’t purchase them alcohol, drugs, weapons, cigarettes, or things like that. But, who actually tells you they need those things?)

    Photo Credit at Huffington Post College

    Back in March, I had a photo of a Hillsdale College Center for Constructive Alternatives lecture picked up by Huffington Post College in an article entitled, “The 13 Most Conservative Colleges.”

    Photo of Reagan Statue in Dream Villager Magazine

    My photo of the Reagan Statue at Hillsdale College that was picked up by the National Review Online was just picked up by Dream Villager Magazine to accompany an article by Andrew Roberts! Download the PDF of the article, or view the article online (go to page 30.)

    I am Engaged!

    On December 24, 2011, at around 12:45 a.m., Amanda Kate Rubino and I got engaged.

    Interview with John Durant

    Originally posted at The Primal Challenge blog. Enjoy!


    At the beginning of the semester, I got to spend some time down at the pool shooting some fun photos for the Hillsdale Collegian. The sports editor wanted to run a profile on the swim team’s new diver, Gretchen. She is the first diver Hillsdale has had since the 2008 season.

    Lighting Smoke Trails

    I shot this for a story at my college paper about the city deferring the medical marijuana decision ruling four consecutive times. We needed a catchy jump from A1, so I came up with this. This was a fun shoot. We got some strange looks, but good results.

    Disclaimer: These are hand-rolled tobacco cigarettes. No illegal drugs were used in these photos. While I am in favor of drug legalization, I am most certainly not in favor of using drugs. They destroy our most valuable asset, our mind.

    National Review Online

    One of my photos was on National Review Online today!

    Light temperature, Sleep, and F.lux

    I posted again over at The Primal Challenge today. Here is the post, in its entirety, below:

    Homemade Primal Kits

    A Year Ago… Longs Peak

    A year ago today I summited Longs Peak in Estes Park, CO with a wonderful group of people from the RMNP Forums. We took the Keyhole Route. At 14,259 ft, Longs Peak was the first “fourteener” I’ve ever climbed. Here are a few photos by John Swadley. Click to enlarge. I will post some of my photos from the hike this coming week.

    Canna Leaf

    Eggplant Dish

    Zucchini “Pasta”

    Zucchini Pasta with Chicken

    Trevor Freudenburg

    As I edit the photos from the wedding I photographed this weekend, I will continue to post photos I took last semester.

    Ryan Black, Actor

    In the spring I shot some portraits of Ryan Black for his acting portfolio. I included strobist info underneath each photo. Thank you to Alex Cothran for assisting me on this shoot.

    Meghan Haines, Rocker Chic

    I shot these photos of Meghan Haines last semester for a fashion section of the Hillsdale Collegian. See a few more photos and some commentary over at the Hillsdale Arts Blog. A special thank you to Marieke van der Vaart and Rachel Hoffer for helping me with this shoot.

    Hillsdale Tower Dancers

    I shot these photos of the Tower Dancers for the Hillsdale Collegian and the arts department last semester.

    Josh Taccolini

    Josh Taccolini is a very talented musician with a passion for helping others. I shot these photos for an article on Josh’s fundraiser for his Detroit missions work last semester for the Collegian. Check out the article to see what he is doing for Youthworks Detroit this summer.

    Jenifer at W@tercooler

    For the next few weeks, I am participating in the Strobist Boot Camp III in order to have some fun and hone my skills.

    New York Harbor

    Pier 16

    Patterns, Textures, and Shapes

    I gave myself an assignment this week to photograph patterns, textures, and shapes. Here is what I ended up with.

    The Cost of the War on Drugs

    Today marks the 40th anniversary of Nixon’s War on Drugs. Check out the video and infographic below to see what the war on drugs costs and decide if it is worth it.

    Me on Mount Nemrut

    Roman Ruins in the Countryside

    A fallen column at Sardis.


    Click on the photos to view them larger.

    Celsus Library at Ephesus

    Click on the photos to view them larger.


    Click on the photos to view them larger.

    Mount Nemrut

    Read more information about Mount Nemrut.

    Portraits of Şanlıurfa

    Purple is the traditional headscarf color in this heavily arab-influenced region of Turkey, which is close to the Syrian border.


    St. Peter’s Cave Church

    We visited a cave church in Antioch, believed to have been dug by Apostle Peter so the early Christians in Antioch would have a place to meet.

    Another Portrait in Boğazköy

    Here is another portrait of a shop owner in Boğazköy. I posted one of him outside of his shop a few days ago. After I took that one, he wanted me to come in and shoot another:


    Ancient homes in Cappadocia, Turkey were traditionally made out of these natural formations, called hoodoos.

    Cappadocian Arts

    Making silk

    Double Rainbow

    A Grand Adventure before 6:30 a.m.

    We only stayed one night in Boğazköy, but that little village has been my favorite so far. The group from Hillsdale who came to Turkey last year told tales of climbing a hill with a single tree on top outside of the village early in the morning. We were on a mission to locate the hill as soon as we got to the hotel. From the third floor of the hotel, we quickly located the hill. It sat staring at us just beyond the village. Seven friends and I decided to leave at 5 a.m. to hike up the hill to watch the sunrise. We knew the way through the village from exploring the evening before, so we were able to make it to the hill in short order. It only took us 25 minutes total to get from the hotel to the top.

    Bogazkale: Portraits of a Village

    We spent some time in Boğazköy, the modern-day village of Hittusas where the ancient Hittite ruins lie. We stayed at this wonderfully cozy hotel.


    Our fantastic tour guide, Mehmet Yuksel. He is an Istanbul native who loves history and has an encyclopedic knowledge of the places we’ve been so far. We are all having a wonderful time thanks to his guidance and interpreting.

    Turkey, an introduction

    General photo highlights from the first week. I will keep most of the updates brief as I would like to spend as much time as I can exploring. I have many stories, however, that I would love to talk about over coffee. Text on the internet can hardly do them justice.


    I shot this photo for an above the fold A1 Collegian story on the reinstatement of the varsity women’s tennis team. Disbanded in 2005 due to lack of funding, the tennis program is coming back next year.

    Fire It Up

    I shot these photos of Hillsdale freshman John Walsh for a Collegian article. He practices an ancient form of juggling called Poi. Read the article over at the Hillsdale Collegian site.

    The Brothers Flint

    I shot these photos for a story in the Collegian about the talented Flint Brothers. Read it here. The brothers, students at Hillsdale, wrote and conducted the entire score for the Tower Players’ production of King Stag. Visit their website.

    Food & Mood: Lighting Setup

    The semester moved into high gear quickly and I’ve spent my time recently finishing other projects and keeping on top of my classwork and exams. I want to post some photos I’ve shot recently for The Collegian.

    RMNP 3 of 5: Mount Ida

    On August 24, I posted this on my blog about August 23:

    RMNP 2 of 5: Blue Lake

    On day two the Staffords and I did an approximately 11 mile hike from the Glacier Gorge Trailhead to Blue Lake and back.

    RMNP 1 of 5: Odessa Loop

    This is the first in a series of five posts about my trip to Rocky Mountain National Park back in August. I anticipated writing detailed posts, but I left my hiking journal at Hillsdale. I will try to recall my hikes from memory, but I will have to rely mostly on photos. I don’t remember the exact milages for each hike, but I do remember the approximate route. I will do my best. If you want a reference to the places I am referring to, consult this map (PDF).


    Merry Christmas!

    Summer Job

    This summer I had an internship with the Foundation for Economic Education. I was based out of Atlanta where I worked with the Programs branch of the organization. We did a total of 7 week-long seminars in 3 cities (Atlanta, Estes Park, CO, and Irvington, NY) with over 600 students in attendance during the 2010 summer seminar series.

    At Semester’s End, or Home, Relaxation, and Cookies

    After a semester-long hiatus away from my blog, I am back. My papers are turned in and so are my finals, so now I am home for Christmas break. I’ve been enjoying the many comforts of home, including the small things: the wind chimes outside, the fireplace, the smell of wood fire smoke outside in the air, and our downstairs clock that chimes on the half-hour and hour. Most of all, I am enjoying being home with my parents. (I haven’t been home much at all this year.)


    About Monday, August 23:

    Great Day For a Hike

    I am in Estes Park, Colorado this week for the Foundation for Economic Education‘s Freedom Academy for high school students. (I know that I haven’t posted on my blog much this summer. I’ve been quite busy. I have a wonderful internship with the Foundation for Economic Education. I am working out of Atlanta with trips to Colorado and New York. More on that in a later post!) The seminar staff all flew in on Friday night, then we did as much prep work as we could in order to take some time to ourselves today before the students show up on Monday morning. Since we are right next to Rocky Mountain National Park, we decided to do a short 3.6 mile (roundtrip) hike in the late morning/early afternoon.

    Charleston, SC

    A few weeks ago I spent a long weekend in Charleston, SC visiting my friend Alex Cothran. I went to Charleston last year for spring break, but Alex showed me around a bunch of places I haven’t seen around the city. I had a great time!

    Happy Independence Day

    Read the Declaration today. Print it out and discuss it with friends and family. It is profoundly important. Spend time going through the structure and diction. Each word is important and was not idly chosen––the words written here have power, meaning, and purpose.

    Ozone Falls

    On Friday morning, I started my trip down to Atlanta for my summer internship with the Foundation for Economic Education. I got to my grandparents’ house in Kingston, Tennessee in the early evening and stayed with them for two nights. I had a nice time staying with them, and they took me to a few neat places on Saturday. We went to Ozone Falls and Black Mountain. Here are a few photos of Ozone Falls:

    (Click on the photos to view them at a larger size)

    Spring Break Part 4 of 4 – Nice

    The last city I stayed in was Nice, a beautiful city in the on the French Riviera in south-eastern France. It is such a gorgeous place! David and I took an overnight train from Bordeaux and arrived around 8:30 in the morning. The train was an experience… we stayed in a couchette car with four other people and were woke up multiple times during the night by either a shaking train or children with asthema. Anyway, once we arrived we put our stuff at the hotel, freshened up, and bought some pastries and ate them on the edge of the Mediterranean. The rest of that day and the next were devoted to much exploring and eating, then I had to take another overnight train to Paris to fly home.

    Spring Break Part 3 of 4 – Bordeaux

    Finally, after a stressful week, I have a few hours before I have to start studying for finals.


    Institutions, Institutional Change and Economic Performance by Doug North. Read it; it will likely change the way you think about why some nations manage to become rich and others stay poor, despite the billions of dollars being thrown at them annually.

    Spring Break Part 2 of 4 – Arcachon

    After my short stay in Paris, I took a train a few hours south to Bordeaux, where my friend David lives. After a short nap at David’s apartment, we immediately went to the town of Arcachon, a small but beautiful place on the Atlantic (well, technically on Arcachon Bay, but we could see where the bay opened up to the Atlantic from the beach.) We were originally going to go there two days later, but the forecast was rain for that day, so we went right after arriving from Paris. Below are a few photos. As always, you can click on the photos to make them appear at a larger size.

    Spring Break Part 1 of 4 – Paris

    I am finally getting around to posting some of my spring break photos from France! I won’t write the story of my trip on here… I would much prefer to tell you in person, so call me and ask me to hang out! (Or if you are too far away to do that, call me and we can talk!)

    March Madness

    Sorry basketball fans. This blog post is talking about the March madness of Hillsdale and my life. Complete with photos!


    A few photos from Hillsdale College’s CCA III: The New Deal, which went from Jan. 31- Feb. 3.

    Answer to Logic Quiz

    Here is the answer to the logic quiz I posted a week and one day ago.

    Logic Quiz

    Here is a little logic quiz for you:

    Charger Basketball

    Professor Knecht

    Update on My Life

    Wow, it has been over a month since I last updated! It was so relaxing to not have to come up with a post every day that I came up with no posts at all. For those of you who used this blog as a window into my life, rest assured after you read this. I have not taken off to the wilderness of Alaska to live in seclusion from the social world. I just took a break from updating this blog. Below is the highlight of what has happened during that time.

    Palindrome Dates

    I didn’t have time to post about it yesterday, but yesterday’s date was a palindrome! (For those of you who don’t know, a palindrome is something that reads the same backward as it does forward- Yesterday’s date was 01022010.) It was only the second palindrome date of the 21st century. The first was 10022001 (October 2, 2001), and before that the last palindrome date was August 31, 1380! (Note: I am talking about palindromes of the form MMDDYYYY or YYYYMMDD. Both of these forms, when reversed on the dates listed below, read the same.)

    Day 365 – Final Post

    Year two thousand and nine has been an exciting, grace-filled year full of adventures, lessons, and valuable time spent with family and friends. This post draws my modified Project 365 to a close. Posting every day this year has been a challenge and a lesson in discipline, to be sure. Sometimes the posts came after midnight (never after 2 a.m., however), but there was a post for every day and the majority of them came in on time. My friend Emily Fisher did a good job making that happen by scolding me whenever she noticed a late post.

    Day 364 – The Fireplace

    As I stood in front of the fireplace this evening, I realized that I don’t remember a time when my family has not had one. Both of our houses have had one, and so has my grandmother’s house. It is so wonderful to come inside from a cold, snowy, windy day and warm up in front of the fire. It is also a wonderful place to sit in front of and read or think. As soon as the weather turns cool, I yearn for the smell of a wood fire in the air outside and the warmth inside that it provides. It is something I miss greatly in cold Hillsdale, MI.

    Day 363 – New Year’s Resolutions

    I did a little thinking on New Year’s resolutions today, and they do not make much sense to me. Why resolve to do something that you think will better your life in some way starting at a future date? Whether what you are doing is trying to break a bad habit (smoking, drinking, overeating, procrastinating, etc.) or doing something positive (reading your Bible and praying more, saving money, becoming more disciplined, getting in shape, etc.), why not start as soon as it occurs to you to make a resolution for the upcoming year? January 1, 2010 is really not much different than December 31, 2009, or even December 10, 2009. If you have a change you want to make in your life, it is best to implement that change immediately. Waiting to make a change does not make much sense to me (with one exception, stated below.) If, for example, you want to lose weight but keep overeating until January 1, what have you accomplished? You have only made it more difficult for yourself. If you’ve waited until January 1, what is one more day? Pretty soon those “one more” days might add up… If you are going to do something, do it now.

    Day 362 – Snowy Hike

    Today, Amanda and I went for an afternoon hike in the snow at Schoepfle Gardens and the woods behind. It was snowing a lot, but we had fun. Here are some photos:

    Day 361 – Train Depot

    It has been quite a while since I have done much of anything with long exposures, so my parents and I went down to the old train depot and took a few shots. I am getting rusty!

    Day 360 – Answer To Calendar Question and Misc.

    This is my answer to the Friday the 13th calendar question my friend David posed to me on Monday:

    Day 358 – My Little Cousin Evie

    Tonight we celebrated Christmas with my Mom’s side of the family. Here is a picture I took of my little cousin Evie:

    Day 357 – Hummus

    Day 356 – Biscotti, Stir Fry, and Parfait

    After a routine checkup at the dentist this morning and a quick lunch with Dad, I went to Amanda’s house and helped her make three batches of cranberry pecan biscotti. I’ll admit, I was not much help besides mixing together dry ingredients, but it was nice to spend part of the afternoon with her, anyway.

    Day 355 – Calendar Question

    I visited my friend David Wagner today, and we drove all around the Huron/Sandusky/Port Clinton area this afternoon. David just got home for Christmas from his teaching position on Bordeaux, France. I haven’t seen him since the beginning of September, so it was wonderful to spend all afternoon and evening with him. If everything goes according to plan, I am going to fly to France to visit him (and take photos!) over spring break at the end of March.

    Day 354 – Shopping as a Discovery Process

    While I was out finishing my Christmas shopping on Saturday, I couldn’t help but think a little bit about economics. I know I am strange, but it is what I am majoring in and what I’ve been studying these past three semesters at Hillsdale, and I am not very successful at turning my mind off (not that I’d ever want to…) More specifically, the work of Israel Kirzner. I read quite a bit of Kirzner in Austrian Economics I with Dr. Steele this past semester, so I thought I’d look at the world immediately around me through the lens of his work. The result? Shopping as a learning and discovery process.

    Day 352 – Home for Christmas!

    Today was my last day of finals, and I finally got to come home! I am very excited to be home for a few weeks.

    Day 351 – Almost Finished!

    Four down, one to go!

    Day 350 – Studying, Studying, Studying

    Here is where I’ve been studying all night – a room in the math building. I pushed multiple desks together to make a table.

    My linear algebra exam is tomorrow morning. I am feeling a little better about it than I was yesterday.

    Day 346 – Charger Basketball

    The Hillsdale men’s basketball team played their home opener today! They played a tough game, but unfortunately lost to Ferris State 78-67.

    Day 345 – Last Day of Classes

    Today was the last day of classes. Thankfully, all of my papers are turned in now, so all I have to worry about is finals.

    Day 344 – Be A Number

    “Senior Kevin Hershock keeps careful count of his T-shirts. As the president of Be A Number, every $20 shirt he sells has a twin that will become the property of an underprivileged child in America or a third world country.” Read the rest of the article.

    Day 343 – Braving the Winter Storm

    Two statues of great Americans braving the harsh winter while their ideas do the same.

    Click on the photos to view them at a larger size.

    Day 342 – Charger Basketball

    I took some photos of the men’s basketball team practicing today:

    Day 341 – A Year Ago Yesterday…

    As I was looking through my photo library tonight, I realized that it was exactly a year ago yesterday that I saw Handel’s Messiah performed at Hillsdale. (If you didn’t read yesterday’s post, I went to see it performed in Detroit yesterday.) I saw the performances exactly a year apart! I thought that was pretty exciting.

    Day 340 – Handel’s Messiah

    Today, Amanda and I drove to Detroit to see Handel’s Messiah performed by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (I bought her tickets for her birthday). We had a wonderful time! The performance was excellent, we had great seats, and we ate good food afterwards at Union Street. Overall, today was a great day!

    Day 339 – Logic Puzzle Answer

    Here is the answer to the Blue Eyes Logic Puzzle I posted.

    Day 338 – CCA Papers

    I shot this photo of a few CCA papers for a Collegian article that was featured on page A1. Read the corresponding story at (I had two A1 photos this week!)

    Day 337 – “Cash for Caulkers” ??

    When I first heard of this, I thought someone misspelled “Clunkers”… then I read on and realized this is another CfC-named program the government is putting on. I am sure you remember Cash for Clunkers, the $3 billion transfer program that destroyed wealth, right? Well, here is a new one- Cash for Caulkers, a “stimulus” program that plans to retrofit energy inefficient houses to make them more energy efficient, while providing jobs at the same time.

    Day 336 – My Halloween Costume

    Let’s turn back the clock back a little bit to halloween (and no, I am not talking about retrodating this post…)

    Day 335 – Deck the Halls

    As soon as everyone returned from Thanksgiving break, they got in the Christmas spirit! Here are two quick and rough shots I took of areas around Simpson dorm:

    Day 334 – “Blue Eyes” Logic Puzzle

    As you probably know, I love logic puzzles. I came across a particularly difficult one today, so I thought I would share it with you. I first came across it on mathematician Terence Tao’s blog, but I saw another formulation by xkcd creator Randall Munroe, and I like his formulation better. It is his formulation which is reproduced below. This puzzle is not of my own thinking. It has been around for a long, long time.

    Day 333 – Guitar

    My grandparents on my Mom’s side moved to back to Tennessee 10 years ago after living in northern Ohio for over 40 years. I don’t get to see them as much as I would like, but whenever I do, my grandfather usually gets a guitar out and plays a little bit, especially if other musicians are around. My grandparents came to visit for Thanksgiving, and my grandfather and my cousins’ other grandfather got out their instruments and played for a little while.

    Day 332 – Ship of Theseus

    The ship wherein Theseus and the youth of Athens returned had thirty oars, and was preserved by the Athenians down even to the time of Demetrius Phalereus, for they took away the old planks as they decayed, putting in new and stronger timber in their place, insomuch that this ship became a standing example among the philosophers, for the logical question of things that grow; one side holding that the ship remained the same, and the other contending that it was not the same.

    Life of Theseus by Plutarch

    Day 331 – Pool Collisions

    I took this shot on Thanksgiving day, when a bunch of us went in my aunt’s basement to play pool after dinner. This is my Dad with the break:

    Day 329 – Richard’s First Day in Northern Ohio

    My friend Richard Amos came home with me for Thanksgiving, and since it was his first time in Northern Ohio, I showed him around. After we took Aaron Mortier to the airport so he could fly to Virginia, we started exploring. First we went to Crocker Park, which was closed still since it was only 8 a.m. So, from there we drove along Lake Erie from Avon Lake to Amherst, stopping along the way. We stopped twice in Avon Lake, then at the Lorain pier and Black River Landing. Even though it was kind of chilly, it was a pretty nice day, and the lake was as smooth as glass. Luckily, the rain held off until late afternoon, so we had clear skies for our adventures.

    Day 327 – Fire Aftermath

    The Chicago Water Grill caught on fire and burnt down last night. I did not know about it until long after the fire was under control, but The Collegian and Will Clayton were there!

    Day 326 – Stats on ‘U.S. Consumerism’

    I often hear individuals on the news or read articles that lament about “U.S. consumerism.”

    Today, during a discuss about an economics article with a friend, the question of consumerism came up. After the discussion, as I browsed my bookshelf, I spotted my Pocket World in Figures 2009 edition by The Economist, and thought, “I wonder what the stats show about how ‘consumerist’ the U.S. is compared to other countries?”

    Day 325 – Two Types of Fair Trade

    I realized tonight that there are two different, commonly accepted meanings of “Fair Trade,” and only one meaning I support.

    Day 324 – Liberty Fund

    Hillsdale College just had a Liberty Fund Library dedication ceremony today that I attended. Liberty Fund gave the college an entire set of the books it publishes, which is available to students in the Grewcock Formal Lounge.

    Day 323 – Men of Mu Alpha

    While on my way to take a photo for The Collegian Tuesday night, I ran into the men of Mu Alpha serenading various women’s dorms. I decided to snap a few shots, as I am friends with and respect many of the Mu Alphans. (For those of you who do not know, Mu Alpha is a men’s music honorary fraternity at Hillsdale.)

    Day 322 – False Alarm

    First of all, today is Sean Nelson’s birthday. Happy Birthday Sean!

    Day 321 – Richard Brookhiser

    Richard Brookhiser held a public lecture and book signing at Hillsdale tonight:

    Day 318 – Charger Volleyball

    Today was a big day for Hillsdale sports!

    The football team won 27-24 against Minnesota State in OT at their first ever D2 playoff appearance.

    Then, the volleyball team won their GLIAC playoff match against Ashland! They go to the championship tomorrow!

    Day 317 – Night Shot at Baw Beese Lake

    I went out tonight to do a dry run before the Leonids show up on Tuesday or Wednesday.

    Day 316 – Richard Brookhiser

    Author and journalist Richard Brookhiser has been on campus for the last week giving a journalism seminar, and will be holding a public lecture on Tuesday here on campus.

    Day 315 – Paul Schmitt

    Even though I’ve been carrying my camera around for the last three days, I haven’t taken any photos for posting. I’ve had close to 30 people to track down over the last three days in order to take their photo in some fashion, so I’ve met people all over campus at any time between 8:00am and 12:00am Monday, Tuesday, and today. I finally got them all finished around 6 this evening, so I am glad that is over. Now it is time to work on my Collegian photos for next week!

    Day 314 – Amanda’s Birthday

    Today is Amanda’s Birthday!

    Day 313 – Twenty Year Anniversary of Tearing Down The Berlin Wall

    Today, the Classical Liberal Organization (a group at Hillsdale I am the president of) organized a speaker panel on the topic: “The Fall of the Berlin Wall: Past, Present, and Future.” The CLO set up this panel to bring to light the reality of communism and how it affected the entire world. For far too many students today who did not live through the Cold War era, communism and its end can become just another set of historical facts. We don’t want this to happen here.

    Day 312 – The Gentiles

    My friends Paul, Joe, Forrest, Richard, and Seth (L-R in the top photo) have a band named “The Gentiles,” and they are competing in Hillsdale’s Battle of the Bands next week.

    Day 311 – QB Sack!

    …one of many that took place during the 59 Hillsdale-24 Tiffin game this afternoon.

    Day 310 – Break Time

    Dr. Wenzel, an economics professor here at Hillsdale, occasionally gives his students an atypical assignment: Do nothing for 15 minutes. Turn off the cell phone, computer, music, television, etc. Get rid of all distractions, even books. Just sit on the edge of your bed in silence and think for 15 minutes. That’s all.

    Day 309 – Dr. Richard Ebeling

    Tonight, Richard Ebeling travelled to Hillsdale to give a thought-provoking and engaging lecture, titled “Why the Berlin Wall Came Down and Socialism Failed: Ludwig von Mises and the Power of Ideas.”

    Day 308 – Articles to Read

    Have some spare time (unlike me)?

    Day 306 – Grand Valley Game Shirt

    Hillsdale made a limited supply of shirts commemorating the homecoming game where the Chargers Football team beat No. 1 ranked Grand Valley State.

    Day 305 – Halloween Pt. Two

    Two more Halloween Photos:

    Day 303 – Spring Semester’s Schedule

    It is time to schedule classes for next semester!

    Day 302 – Patri Friedman at Hillsdale

    Tuesday, political theorist, activist, former Google engineer, and World Series of Poker player Patri Friedman came to Hillsdale to give a talk on structural activism and seasteading. Friedman is the founder of The Seasteading Institute, whose mission is “to further the establishment and growth of permanent, autonomous ocean communities, enabling innovation with new political and social systems.”

    Day 301 – Dilemma

    Yesterday afternoon, I was pulled over by a Michigan State Trooper for a traffic violation. I received a citation for violating code 257.637: passing a vehicle on the right.

    Day 300 – More Autumn Photos

    Here are more of the photos from yesterday:

    Day 299 – Wonderful Autumn Day

    The weather was absolutely beautiful today. I took a little time this afternoon to go out and take photos. I will post a few more tomorrow!

    Click on the photos to enlarge them.

    Day 298 – Two Little Known 40D Settings

    Here are two settings on the Canon 40D that few owners know about. If you know someone with a 40D, send this along to them!

    Day 296 – Market Anarchy Links

    I originally compiled this list for Mr. and Mrs. Odell, but I thought it would be good for everyone to check out.

    Day 295 – Last Run of Chicago Photos

    I have a lot more photos from my Chicago trip, but I am not posting anymore after today.

    Day 294 – Chicago Skyline at Night

    Taken during a riverboat architecture tour:

    Day 293 – Chicago Photos, Round Two

    Click on the photos to view them at a larger size.

    Day 292 – Chicago Photos, Round One

    Hancock Building & Others

    Day 291 – Jewish Deli and Art Institute

    Today was the last day of Fall Break and my last day in Chicago. I celebrated by sleeping in, going to Eleven City Diner with Ryan and Carrie for lunch, then visiting the Art Institute. Shortly afterward, I made my way back to Hillsdale.

    Day 290 – Second Full Day in Chicago

    I had another great day today! We got a late start (slept until 11), but Ryan and I met Carrie at Jake Melnick’s for lunch, which was excellent. I had a beef brisket sandwich, and we got an order of the XXX wings. Those wings are the hottest, yet most flavorful wings I’ve ever had. They blow Quaker Steak’s atomic sauce out of the water. They were very good, but insanely hot. Even now, 7 hours later, I can still feel the dull burn in my stomach from those wings.

    Day 289 – Jam, Michigan Ave, and BMG

    I had an excellent day today!

    Day 288 – Chicago Arrival

    I finally got my paper finished, turned it in, then hopped in the vehicle and drive to visit Ryan in Chicago. Before I left, it was snowing in Hillsdale! It stopped after 10am, but there was definitely snow falling for a few hours. The ground was warm enough that it melted right away, though.

    Day 287 – Football Alumni Game

    I am on my way to Chicago on Thursday. I am excited!

    Day 286 – More Charger Swimming

    All three pre-fall break exams are finished! Now I have to put the finishing touches on my Austrian Economics paper on the notion of cost and its use in economic regulation, and I will be on my way to visit Ryan in Chicago!

    Day 285 – Baseball Alumni Game

    The Hillsdale Baseball Alumni came together last weekend to play a memorial softball game:

    Day 284 – ∆T∆ Fraternity

    A shot of ∆T∆ (pronounced Delta Tau Delta) in the homecoming parade:

    Day 282 – Economizing on Brain Power

    I had an interesting concept brought up to me today while I was discussing the difference between rationality and reason with Professor Lea. To try to understand the difference, we did a thought experiment about making choices. When a person makes a choice, he or she weighs the expected utility (broadly defined) of each unit, ranks the units by preference, then chooses the one with the highest utility. This happens whether or not a person is conscious of it, and it is a systematic way of making choices and rationally fulfilling ends. Professor Lea and I both understood this.

    Day 281 – IM Football

    This photo ran in today’s Collegian with this article. I also had a number of portraits I took for the homecoming bios, and I compiled the quick hits this week.

    Day 279 – Aggregates

    Today’s post is short.

    Day 278 – Central Hall Clock Tower

    I got to go in the clock tower of Central Hall today! What a cool place! The webcams up there had smudges on the lenses, so I volunteered to go up to clean them for ITS. The journey up the various ladders and the rough hand-hewn stairs is a long one, but definitely worth it. The view is amazing from the platform at the top. I took my camera with me (with only one lens, unfortunately). There are some very neat rooms and spaces up in the clock tower. Here are a few photos:

    Day 277 – Beautiful Sky

    I looked out of my window while I was studying after dinner, and I saw this beautifully colored sky.

    Day 276 – Coffee House

    Coffee House is a venue where student musicians can perform for the campus in the student union. Hillsdale has some very talented musicians! Unfortunately, I could only stay for an hour. Click on the photos to view them at a larger size:

    Day 275 – Swimming Photo

    This photo was the sports sections header in The Collegian this week.

    Day 273 – Sick Away From Home

    Last year, I managed to not get any sicker than a sore throat or sinus problems. Nothing I had to miss class over. I am not so fortunate this year. I caught a bug which managed to take me down. I slept 16 of the past 24 hours and missed 3 classes today. I went to one, thinking I would be okay to go to more, but I felt worse as the class progressed, so I went back to my dorm and slept more. I plan to go back to bed as soon as I am finished with this four hour shift I have sitting at a computer lab.

    Day 271 – Fountain Pens

    The fountain pens I ordered from arrived today! I’ve been practicing writing with them, and I hope to use them exclusively after I get used to them.

    Day 270 – Theatre Auditions & Rehearsals

    A few shots from the auditions for Red Herring and rehearsals for Our Town. It looks like this year is going to be a good one for the Hillsdale theatre department!

    Day 269 – SAI Ball

    Tonight, Amanda and I went to the SAI Ball!

    Day 268 – Men of The Graveyard

    Here are two of the men who live in a house named “The Graveyard.” I took the photo for The Collegian, but it ended up not running. Oh well.

    Day 267 – The Dark North

    I took photos for a Collegian article this week that featured senior Tyler Sharette, co-owner of The Dark North.

    Day 266 – New Internationalist Planner

    On Day 249 I wrote about Illum’s photos in the New Internationalist 2010 Planner. Mine arrived in the mail today!

    Day 265 – Hillsdale Blogs I Read

    Today I thought about the blogs I read authored by people at Hillsdale. I want to recognize them because I think there are wonderful insights and photos on these blogs. Please check them out.

    Day 264 – Studying on the Quad, Part II

    Part II of my Studying on the Quad series. I was walking around campus taking photos for the college last week, and I saw my friend Casey studying in what was left of the dwindling sunlight of the late afternoon.

    Day 263 – Flag Football is Dangerous!

    Today’s lesson from watching flag football: Make sure you always grab the flags, not someone’s shorts. Also, it is useful to have an extra pair of shorts in case someone does not follow the first lesson and rips your shorts to shreds.

    Day 262 – Chargers Win 23-0

    At their first evening game in 3 years, the Hillsdale Chargers football team had a shutout victory over University of Indianapolis. Here are a few shots from the evening. Click on the photos to view them at a larger size:

    Day 261 – Professor Jones

    This photo ran in The Collegian on Thursday. Read the corresponding article.

    Day 260 – Computers

    I had a few photos in the Collegian today, but here is one I took that did not get published. It was supposed to go with an article that ended up not running this week.

    Day 258 – David Henderson

    Today, economist and professor David Henderson visited Hillsdale today and gave a talk to Praxis, the political economy club. David Henderson blogs at Econlog. (This is not a photo from the CCA. I have yet to edit those photos.)

    Day 257 – Links I Found Today

    I have only been taking photos for paper assignments the last few days, as I have been pretty busy with homework. So, here are some cool links I found today. I will post a photo from the CCA tomorrow.

    Day 256 – When I’m On the Other Side of the Camera…

    I rarely hand my camera off to someone else, and I rarely wind up in photos. When I do, however, here are the kinds of things I find on my camera (or on Facebook) afterward. I thought some of you might enjoy these:

    Day 255 – Scenes from the Mock Naval Battle

    Scenes from the Mock Naval Battle in the Arb Pond:

    Day 254 – Another Beautiful Day

    Here is a shot I snapped of Dr. Weaire teaching at the outdoor forum. After the fog cleared this morning, the weather was beautiful, and many professors took their classes outdoors. Click on the photo to view it at a larger size.

    Day 251 – “Cleaned By Capitalism”

    Starting on Earth Day in 2004, Don Boudreaux at did a series of posts titled “Cleaned by Capitalism”. These posts display low cost pollution-fighting technology that capitalism has brought the world. He only did a few posts in 2004, but in the last couple months, he has made a lot more posts displaying how capitalism cleans our lives.

    Day 250 – Expectations

    An aspect of human behavior has been puzzling me lately…Expectations. When we are asked a question, why do we expect there to be an answer? Since this is probably not terribly clear, consider this:

    A friend walked up to me in my dorm one day and asked me if I noticed anything different about his looks. I didn’t right offhand, so I looked at him for a minute, then said, “It looks like you have makeup under your eyes.” He was kind of puzzled at this answer, because he thought his hair looked strange, when in fact it looked no different than any other day. I did not know that he had his hair in mind when he asked me, so I studied him, looking for something different about his appearance. I looked to the point of actually making up something which was not there (makeup). Why? I expected something to be different since he asked me. Since I thought this, I rejected reality (that nothing was different about his appearance) and tricked myself into seeing something that did not exist. Why did I expect there to be an answer? I have no idea.

    Day 249 – What’s Different?

    What is different about these two photos? Please leave your answers in the comments. This is for a project I am working on, so I appreciate your answers. Click on the photos to view them at a larger size. You can then toggle between the two to examine them.

    Day 248 – Touchdown!

    Hillsdale beat Michigan Tech 37–35 in a close game today at home. The photos below show number 22, Vinnie Panizzi, scoring a magnificent touchdown late in the fourth quarter. Click on the photos to view them at a larger size.

    Day 246 – Shadow

    Today was the second first day of classes (Hillsdale has two schedules…MWF and TTH). I have a lot of homework, so I am just posting a photo today.

    Day 244 – Snow Leopard

    Click on the photo to view it at a larger size:

    Day 243 – The Goodbye

    I took this shot at Freshman Convocation yesterday. These two sisters were saying goodbye before the older one went to officially start her college career.

    Day 242 – Freshman Convocation

    Dr. Arnn, President of Hillsdale College, speaking at Freshman Convocation:

    Day 241 – Michindoh Retreat Cont.

    Today was the last full day at the retreat. In addition to going to the excellent lectures, I went on the blob in the lake, and on the waterslide. Here are a few more shots (also taken on my phone) of Michindoh.

    The blob (someone sits at the far end, and someone jumps from the platform onto the blob, and the person at the other end flies into the water) :

    The slide:

    The lake:

    The honors program:

    Day 240 – Michindoh Retreat

    Today was the first full day at the honors program retreat at Michindoh. So far the retreat has been great. We did some icebreaker activities to get to know the new freshmen, played ultimate frisbee, went on the huge waterslide, listened to wonderful discussions on Oscar Wilde and Picture of Dorian Gray, and had a bonfire. Here is a photo (taken with my phone…sorry about the low quality) at the bonfire:

    Day 238 – Another Quarry Photo

    Here is another Amherst quarries photo. Click on the photo to view it at a larger size.

    Day 237 – Teacher for a Day

    I got the chance to teach two classes today at the spur of the moment! I went to work this morning (at Amherst Steele High School), and found out the teacher that the district hired to teach two visual design courses quit the night before. Since it was the first day of school, there were two full classes of students who were without a teacher, and the classes started in a half-hour. The students were just going to have a long, boring study hall, so I volunteered to teach some basics of web design and photography to the two classes. I really enjoyed it, and I hope the students got something out of it. The rest of the day was hectic with lots of tech problems, but at least those 3 hours went well. Today was my last day of work. I am spending Wednesday packing, then I am going back to Hillsdale on Thursday.

    Day 236 – Amherst Quarries

    My home town of Amherst, Ohio, has numerous sandstone quarries. In fact, from the late 19th to the middle of the 20th century, Amherst was known as the Sandstone Center of the World. Now, only one or two of the quarries are still in operation. Here are a few shots of some of the beautiful, old quarries that are now filled with water:

    Day 235 – Sky Lift 2002 and 2009

    On day 184, I posted about visiting Gatlinburg, TN for the day. During the course of the day, I got my photo taken on the Sky Lift, which runs up the side of the mountain. When my parents and I got home, I found out that I had my photo taken on the Sky Lift in 2002, too! (Also, my Dad has his photo from when he is on it in the 70s.)

    Day 232 – Bottling Wine

    I spent the evening at my Aunt and Uncle’s house tonight where my Dad and Uncle bottled some wine that my Uncle made. Here are some photos:

    Day 231 – Girls Soccer Seniors

    I’ve been taking sports team photos for Amherst Steele High School this week. In the middle of taking headshots of the seniors on the girls soccer team, the four seniors wanted me to take a quick shot of them together. (I made sure they were okay with me posting this after I took it.)

    Day 230 – Palm Pre

    I got a Palm Pre! I’ve only had it for a few hours, but I really like it. I will write an in-depth review in a few days, after I’ve had time to find the ins and out of it. For now, here is a low quality photo of it charging on the touchstone:

    Day 229 – Candle Photos

    I was in the picture taking mood tonight, so I decided to take some photos of a candle that is part of the centerpiece on our kitchen table. Which one do you like best? What could I do better? Click on the photos to view them at a larger size.

    Day 228 – Hanging out a the Pool

    Today, my Dad’s side of the family had a party at my Grandma’s house. Amanda joined us! Here are a few quick shots:

    Day 227 – Amanda’s Post

    Hello everyone! As you have probably deduced from the title, this is not CAG posting, but his girlfriend. I would first like to apologize to Emily Fisher and all of Chuck’s other avid readers for posting after 12:00 AM. We just returned from swimming with Sean Nelson, Lydia Witte, Nick Bonominio, and Erica Gigliotti in Grandma Grimmett’s pool. We finished swimming about an hour ago and were sitting by the pool talking when Chuck realized that he would not return in time to update the “CAG Blag.” He had a few ideas in mind for tonight’s post but was concerned about sacrificing quality for immediacy and decided to allow me to post in his stead. I have been teasing Chuck for quite some time about letting me write a guest post, so I am excited to finally take my place amongst the prestigious ranks of Cag Blag Guest Posters.

    Day 226 – Three Lessons of Freedom

    In this interview with, the Foundation for Economic Education’s President, Larry Reed, gave three lessons of freedom we are in danger of forgetting:

    Day 225 – “Pre-existing Conditions”

    I was thinking about all the nonsense coming out in the health care reform debates about insurance companies denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions. I want to question what will happen if insurance companies can no longer pick who they insure based on this.

    Day 224 – Miller Bell Tower

    Here are a few shots of the Miller Bell Tower at the Chautauqua Institution. The lake was pretty rough today, so I only took a few shots, then Brad and I brought the boat back to the dock.

    Day 223 – Beautiful Sunset

    Today was a beautiful day! Here are two shots of the lake as the sun was going down:

    Day 222 – More Thunderstorms

    The weather has been pretty unpredictable these past few days.

    Day 221 – Lightning on Chautauqua Lake

    There was major lightning before the full-blown thunderstorm rolled in tonight, so I hurried out and took a few rough shots:

    Day 220 – Philosophical vs Utilitarian Arguments

    Brad and I drove up to his house on Chautauqua Lake this morning. On the way, we discussed some of the recent health care issues taking place in this country. (We also discussed various other things, but that is not the topic of this post.) While discussing the arguments against the health care reforms and how effective these arguments are, I was reminded of the importance of using philosophical arguments to win these types of battles.

    Day 219 – Schmap Atlanta Photo Guide

    I just got word that one of my photos was selected for the Schmap photo guide of Atlanta! It was one that I took on my trip down there to visit my aunt and uncle. Check it out.

    Day 218 – Google Voice

    My Google Voice account got activated! (If you do not know what a Google Voice account is, visit

    Day 217 – A Beaver on the Vermilion River

    I went kayaking on the Vermilion River after dinner today (or should I say half-kayaking and half-hiking?). The Vermilion River is too shallow, at least right now on the part I went on, to easily navigate with a kayak. I had to climb out and carry it around trees and across shallow areas countless times. I am not going back on that river unless we get a lot of rain!

    Day 216 – Long Exposure Art

    If you ever wondered how the long exposure art (a.k.a. light graffiti) shown below is created, Sean and I put together a short guide about it. Everything below was created in camera, not effects put in with a photo editor afterwards. Download the PDF to see how it is done! If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at

    Day 215 – Wedding Part 3

    More photos from the Ferber wedding:

    Day 214 – Ferber Wedding Cont.

    As promised, here are more wedding photos. Some info: the ceremony was at St. Joseph’s Church in Avon Lake, then we took photos by the lake in Avon Lake and at a formal garden in Birmingham. The reception was at the Ferber house.

    Day 213 – Ferber Wedding

    Today my first hired wedding photography gig! It was Bill and Angie Ferber’s wedding. I just got home and I have over 1900 photos to edit, but here are a few of the reception hall. I will post some more once I edit them. Tomorrow will be a solid day of editing for me!

    Day 212 – Trout

    I took this photo outside the Castalia Fish Hatchery on the Cold Creek in Castalia, Ohio. The hatchery raises rainbow trout, and these guys are the ones that got out. They live freely outside of the hatchery where people like me can come and take photos of them. Click on the photo to view it at a larger size.

    Day 211 – Put in Bay

    Today, Amanda and I spent the day at Put in Bay. (For those of you not from the Ohio area, Put in Bay is South Bass Island out on Lake Erie, off of the Sandusky/Catawba area.) After canceling because of rain twice, we finally had a beautiful day to go and hang out on the island. Here are a few shots from our adventures there:

    Day 210 – Photos from Amherst

    On Tuesday, I went out and took some photos that will be part of the set of the local Amherst cable station. They told me they wanted photos that exemplified the uniqueness of Amherst, and they all have to be horizontal. Here are some of the photos I am submitting to the station:

    Day 209 – Day in Huron and Surrounding Area

    Today, I spent the afternoon and early evening with David Wagner. We went all over the place–Huron, Sandusky, and Castalia. Here are a few photos from our adventures. As always, click on the photos to view them at a larger size:

    Day 208 – Ohio / Tentative Schedule

    Here is a shot I took a few days ago. This sign was put up in front of my town’s city hall during the Ohio Bicentennial in 2003. The sign is commemorating my town’s heritage as the Sandstone Center of the World.

    Day 207 – Trap Shooting

    Early afternoon today, I went and shot four rounds of trap to try out the choke tubes I just bought and to continue breaking in my over & under for the shotgunning course I am taking when I get to Hillsdale in a month. Here are a few shots my Dad took while I was shooting:

    Day 206 – Night Portraits

    Tonight, I went out and took a few night portraits with my friends Shelby and Josh. Shelby was the model and her boyfriend Josh helped me with the lighting. Below are a few shots. Click on the photos to view them at a larger size:

    Day 205 – Visit From Old Friends

    This evening, my Mom’s friend and her son from Seattle came to visit. They are in town for a wedding, so they stopped by for the evening. My Mom and Terry have been friends for 28 years. I first met her son (his name is also Chuck) in 1998 and again in 2000. He has lived in Seattle, Vancouver, and around Australia, where he worked at an Apple store! He is studying to become a dentist. It was nice to see him again!

    Day 204 – Major Photo Edit

    A few years ago, I did a major photo edit for a lady in my school district. The original 4×6 photo had 5 people in it, and she wanted the guy on the far left taken out, but there was a problem: the guy next to him had his arm around him. So, I spent about two hours putting the guy’s arm back in and fixing the back ground. Click on the image below to see the before and after at a larger size:

    Day 203 – Black Eyed Susans

    I got a few comments on the Black Eyed Susans that were in the back ground of the photos in yesterday’s post, so here is a photo of them:

    Day 202 – After the Rain

    A heavy rainstorm came through right after dinner. Luckily, it ended quickly and the sun came out, so I went outside to take pictures around my yard. Which one do you like best? I recommend you click on the photos to view them at a larger size:

    Day 201 – Muffalettas

    Tonight, Amanda came over for dinner with my parents and me, and I made muffalettas! The sandwiches had capicola, salami, pepperoni, provolone, and a freshly-made olive tapenade. They were delicious!

    Day 200

    At 4:00 today, I met a friend of mine at the Amherst Townhall to take some photos. He is in an intro photography class, and he needed to use a SLR for this week’s assignment. After he finished the assignment, I let him try out all of the different lenses I have. To show to what extent a wide-angle lens distorts things, I let him take a photo of me holding out my hand in front of me:

    Day 199 – Quotes from YSC

    “My goal is to confuse you at a higher level about more important things.” – Dr. Wenzel

    Day 198 – Last Day of YSC

    Today was the last day of FEE’s YSC in Midland. I had a wonderful time this week! I met so many wonderful scholars and defenders of liberty here. Tomorrow, Brad and I are driving down to Hillsdale for a little while, then we are driving home.

    Day 197 – Privatizing Roads

    Today was another great day at FEE’s YSC. Among other things, Walter Block talked about privatizing roads, which he recently authored a book about. I also got to participate in a discussion over lunch with Block, Ben Powell, and some other students about the legitimacy of fractional reserve banking. I also went out to dinner with a group of pretty cool people from around the world and discussed various liberty-oriented topics. In addition to all of this, the weather was beautiful, so it was a wonderful day. Two photos:

    Day 196 – Third Day of YSC

    There were some wonderful lectures today, including an immigration talk from Ben Powell, in which he destroyed every argument brought up against open borders. Another highlight of my day today was that I spent some time having a discussion with Walter Block. Also, Brad and I went to an asian restaurant for dinner, and I ate my first Korean meal: Bibimbap. It was very good, even with the fried egg on top!

    Day 195 – Young Scholars Colloquium

    I am having a wonderful time at the FEE Young Scholars Colloquium seminar at Northwood University. Here are some shots from today:

    Day 194 – On My Way to Midland

    I am on my way to Midland, MI to Northwood University for FEE’s Young Scholars Colloquium. I will be back in Amherst on Saturday, July 18. This wonderful man, Dr. Birzer (pictured below) is speaking there tonight. (He was my history professor this last semester.) I am excited to see him!

    Day 193 – Softball All-Star Game

    I spent last Friday evening taking photos at an All-Star Girls Softball game (middle school/junior high league, I think) at the request of one of the parents. I gave my CF cards to someone who edited and printed the photos, so I just got them back today. Here are some of the photos:

    Day 192 – ‘Mistake’ Photo

    I follow the Digital Photography School‘s feed in my RSS reader. They have weekly assignments for their readers to complete. Though I have never submitted any photos to their contests, I occasionally do the assignment for fun. This week’s assignment is A Mistake: a photo, originally thought of as a mistake, which turned out better than expected. When I read this, I immediately thought of this photo I took of Liz and Andrew dancing at a jazz performance at Hillsdale. I forgot to change the settings on my camera, and the shot ended up being a long exposure. Luckily, I had the strobe on rear-curtain and a steady hand, so the ‘mistake’ shot ended up as a photo which froze Liz and Andrew in place, but still showed their motion. I miss Liz and Andrew. I can’t wait to see them on August 27!

    Day 190 – Kickball

    Tonight I took photos at my cousin Hank D’s kickball game. Below are some photos form the game. View the full gallery. Also, check out the kickball team’s website.

    Day 189 – What I Listen To

    I thought I would give you all a look into what I listen to. If I could take only 5 albums with me on a very long road trip, this is what I would take:

    Day 188 – More Kayaking & Misc.

    I have only had my kayak out four times since I bought it a little over a week ago, but I am really enjoying it! I took it out tonight at the Wellington Reservation. Here is the view from where I sit:

    Day 187 – HTML 5

    As many of you already know, HTML 5 was released a few days ago. Say goodbye to XHTML! (Finally!)

    Day 186 – Fireworks & Climbing

    My parents and I are on our way home today, so here are some photos I took yesterday. I suggest viewing the photos at a larger size by clicking on them.

    Day 185 – “Independence” Day

    There was once a dream that was America. And friends, this is not it. This is not it.” –Robert Hawes

    Day 184 – Adventures in Gatlinburg & The Smokies

    Today, my family and I went to Bass Pro Shops and the Smoky Mountain Knife Works in Sevierville, then through Gatlinburg, and part way through the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.

    Day 183- Tellico Lake

    My grandparents, aunt, uncle, two cousins, parents, and I rented a boat and spent the day on Tellico Lake, one of the TVA lakes in east Tennessee. We had a wonderful time. We also bought along my kayak, and almost everyone tried it out. The weather was wonderful, and we had a full day of water, sun, and fun. Here are some photos. As always, click on the photos to view them at a larger size:

    Day 182 – Jazz Outdoors

    Here is another shot from the outdoor jazz concert two weeks ago. Click on the photo to view it at a larger size.

    Day 181 – Secession Week

    To celebrate Independence Day (coming this Saturday), it is Secession Week over at Let A Thousand Nations Bloom. Here is a blurb from their intro post about why they are calling it secession rather than independence:

    Day 180 – Niedfeldt Dorm ’08-09

    The wonderful dorm I lived in this year at Hillsdale was Niedfeldt, at 86 E. College St. Here is a dorm photo, taken by William Clayton. Click on the photo to view it at a larger size.

    Day 179 – Kayaking

    I bought a kayak today! My parents, Amanda, and I took it up the the Oberlin above-ground reservoir to try it out. Here are photos of Amanda, my Mom, my Dad, and me trying it out. As always, click on the photos to view them at a larger size.

    Day 178 – Huron Herb Fair

    Today, my parents and I went to the Huron Herb Fair at the Mulberry Creek Herb Farm in Huron. I am not all that interested in herbs, so I wandered around and took photos.

    Day 177 – Peabody’s

    A few of my friends played at Peabody’s in Cleveland tonight, so I went out to take some photos of them and another band. As always, click on the photos to view them at a larger size.

    Day 176 – Aesop’s Fables

    I came across a PDF version of Aesop’s Fables today, and I spent a while reading them. While reading them, I was struck by the economic principles his fables contained! Though the principles were not named until long after his time, some of his fables definitely contained some ideas that modern economics uses. I suspect that this is because Aesop, much like economists, tried to understand human action. Obviously the two differ immensely, I think the same foundation is there for both. By the way, don’t fall into the trap of thinking economics is all about numbers and money; it is, at its core, trying to understand human action.

    Day 175 – My Thoughts on Jeff Knaebel

    A friend of mine sent me a link to an article about an anti-war protestor renouncing his U.S. citizenship in New Delhi. The man, Jeff Knaebel, declared independence from not just the U.S. government, but all governments, and made a speech about how non-voluntary citizenship is forced slavery. He afterwards destroyed his passport, birth certificate, and all other forms of government-issued identification. The local police then carried him out of the Ghandi national monument area and directed him to turn himself into the local police officials, which he did. Jeff Knaebel voluntarily walked three blocks and informed the police that he was trespassing and did not have a passport. His current status is unknown.

    Day 174 – Youth Soccer Camp

    I took photos at the Amherst Youth Soccer Camp this morning for the Amherst school system. Here is a nice shot I took of a boy leaning up against the goal net. View the rest of the gallery.

    Day 172 – Father’s Day / Chalk Walk

    First of all, Happy Father’s Day, Dad! I love you!

    Day 171 – Cleaning

    Today was a day of cleaning for me. Amanda came over and helped me clean out my room and we took a few bags of trash out and reorganized things significantly. Then, after she left, I helped my parents take the cover off of the pool and start the cleaning process to get the big in-ground pool, which is up the street at my grandma’s house, ready for swimming. I estimate that by next weekend it will be ready! We usually open it up earlier than this, but the weather has been unusually cool for this time of year, so we held off.

    Day 170 – Canoeing in Huron

    Today, I worked in the morning, then went to visit David Wagner. We decided to go canoeing on the Huron River, which was quite an adventure. The weather was excellent when we started out, but by the time we got about a mile and a half up the river, a huge thunderstorm rolled in. Around that same time, the river was blocked by about 5 fallen trees, so we were out of the river searching for a way around when the lightning started, so we stayed on shore during the storm (which, lucky for us, passed quickly). We got soaked, but we managed to keep David’s camera dry, so there are a few photos of me below.

    Day 169 – Music in the Park

    This summer, the Amherst Rotary Club is sponsoring live music on Thursdays at 7 p.m. in the park that it maintains in front of Amherst Hospital on Cleveland Ave. Tonight the LCCC Jazz Band was playing. I took the opportunity to go out and take some photos. Let me know what you think.

    Day 167 – Transformers 2

    A week from when I am writing this, I will be standing in line waiting to get in to the midnight showing of Transformers 2 – Revenge of the Fallen. In order to celebrate this and get everyone excited about the upcoming movie, here are two desktop wallpapers that my friend Sean Nelson made last year when Michael Bay released high quality images of Optimus Prime and Ironhide on his website. Sean laid them overtop of Apple Aqua backgrounds. I currently have Optimus Prime as my desktop background. You can download the two backgrounds in a .zip file right now.

    Day 166 – Sosnowski Family Photo

    Here is a shot of the Sosnowski family (my aunt, uncle, and cousins) at OU’s graduation:

    Day 165 – Weekend Recap

    First of all, thank you Joe Teets (nonarchist) for doing my updates for the past two days on such short notice. I flew home from New York on Friday, come home for 20 minutes to repack, then drove south to Ohio University for the weekend for my cousin’s graduation. We stayed in a cabin, which I assumed was going to have internet access. On the way down, I found out it was not going to, so I called Joe and asked him if he could do two guest updates while I was gone. Thanks, Joe!

    Day 164 – Another Guest Post

    Hey, it’s Joe again posting in the place of Chuck, who is out of town probably shoving his camera in the faces of unsuspecting strangers. Thanks again for letting me post the last 2 days, thereby making my contribution .547945% of Project 365!

    Day 163 – Guest Post

    Unfortunately, Chuck is MIA today, so the Nonarchist will be filling in for him today and tomorrow in order to keep Project 365 alive.

    Day 162 – A Contest

    Yesterday during one of the question and answer sessions at FEE, one of the professors, Gene Callahan, brought up this hypothetical situation for the students to think about and attempt to answer, then he revealed the actual answer to us. So, since I occasionally ask questions on here for people to answer, I am going to post this one. Also, I will make it a contest. The first person to post the correct answer and valid explanation will receive a copy of Gene Callahan’s Economics for Real People.

    Day 161 – Manhattan Adventure

    The lectures and discussions at FEE ended a little earlier than normal today (we did not have any lectures or discussion after dinner), so 5 of us decided to take the train up to NYC for the evening. We wandered all around Manhattan and had a lot of fun. We didn’t know each other before Monday, so it was nice to get to know each other.

    Day 160 – FEE, Second Day

    Today was my second day at FEE (but the first full day). The seminars have been great so far! A few of my friends from Hillsdale are here, so I have enjoyed catching up with them in between seminars. Here is a shot from the room that the seminars are in:

    Day 158 – ASHS Graduation

    I took photos at Amherst Marion L. Steele High School’s graduation ceremony tonight. Here is a shot of graduate Josh Gonzalez shaking the Superintendent’s hand after receiving his diploma. View the Steele HS website for three more photos.

    Day 157 – Hammock

    Day 156 – Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

    I thought a little bit this evening about how much Hillsdale has challenged and changed my ideas, just over the last year. What started this tonight was that I read a note from my friend Matt Stone, who is interning in DC this summer. He went to a lecture hosted by the Leadership Institute, and the speaker, Ian Ivey, stated that Bastiat’s The Law was the greatest book written in the history of mankind. When I read this, I immediately thought, “how absurd!”. I like The Law, but is it the greatest book in the history of mankind? Of course not!

    Day 154 – Fat Fish Blue/HOB

    Tonight, Amanda and I ate at Fat Fish Blue in downtown Cleveland, and then went to the concert at the House of Blues that I won tickets for. (Pete Yorn and Ryan Humbert) The music was alright, but not something I would have paid for. Amanda liked it a lot, though, so that was good. Fat Fish Blue was definitely the best part of the evening. Our food was excellent, and we actually left the concert a little early so we could go back to FFB for dessert before it closed. We ate the famous Carpetbagger for dessert. For those who don’t know what it is, here is the description on the menu: “the amazing chocolate sack, loaded with sponge cake, fresh fruit and Godiva white chocolate mousse.” Excellent. Since I did not take my SLR with me, here is a shot of FFB from their website:

    Day 153 – Hillsdale in WSJ / Birzer Pre-Order

    Hillsdale was in the Wall Street Journal today! Read the article.

    Day 152 – Update on Life

    I have been posting lots of photos and thoughts lately, and I have neglected to post about what is going on in my life, so I will do that today.

    Day 151 – I Would Like Advice, Please

    I have been struggling with this question for quite some time, and it came up tonight, which rekindled my thinking on it:

    How do you ask a man behind the counter for a soda when you don’t think there is a man there?

    Day 150 – Portraits, Portraits, Portraits

    I took portraits all day today, starting with my cousin and her daughter in the early afternoon, and Michelle in the late afternoon/evening. I learned a great deal about how to use off-camera strobes and different outcomes from different setups. Please check out the galleries and let me know what you think.

    Day 149 – Spider Holster

    Today, my cousin sent me a message about something new to carry your camera: the Spider Holster. View the press release. I am going to get one as soon as it comes out!

    Day 148 – Scenes Around Steele

    I spent part of the day taking photos around Steele High School. Here are a few shots of the Senior Steak Fry and some students in the TV studio:

    Day 144 – Subjective Burger

    I went and shot a round of trap and a round of skeet this morning. The people at the Gun & Reel club on Middle Ridge Road are very nice and super friendly! I like shooting there.

    Day 143 – Chris Volante

    Here is another shot of Chris Volante from The Sharp Edges:

    Day 142 – The Sharp Edges

    Tonight, my friends The Sharp Edges played at the Tower City Amphitheater. Here are some photos:

    Day 141 – Another Collab Photo

    Here is another photo from the Night Lights & Illum collaboration. This one has our stencils in it!

    Day 140 – Smoky Mountains

    I drove back to my grandparents’ house in Tennessee this morning, then we spent the day driving through the Smoky Mountains. We had a wonderful time! Here are two photos I took. More will follow in a few days when I am back home and have reliable internet access again.

    Day 139* – Illum + Night Lights Collaboration

    Tonight I met up with Michelle Wood and her friend (a.k.a. Night Lights on Flickr) to do some light graffiti. Michelle take photos in the Gwinnett, GA area, which is a little less than an hour away from my aunt and uncle’s house, so we decided me meet up while I was down here. We only had a few hours free tonight, and unfortunately tonight was the only night we could meet, so we were only able to take a few shots after we explored the area and got everything set up.

    Day 136 – Samford Graduation

    It was raining in Birmingham today, so I did not get any more shots of campus. I did, however, take some photos of the graduation ceremony.

    Day 135 – Samford University

    Correction: My post yesterday said that my uncle is getting his PhD from the University of Alabama. This is wrong. He is getting it from Samford University.

    Day 130 – Mother’s Day

    Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!

    Day 129 – Graduation 2009

    Hillsdale’s Commencement for the class of 2009 was today! There were lots of hugs, laughs, and smiles.

    Day 127 – Friends

    Day 124 – Happiness

    Day 121 – Dr. Raney

    Day 119 – Club Euro

    Last night, a fraternity on campus threw a “Club Euro” themed dance party to celebrate the end of classes. In between studying, I went to take some photos. I tried out a few new techniques, so I thought I would post the results. The photos below are not edited. They are straight out of my camera. What I did: 1/2 second exposure at f/5 and a rear-sync flash. In one of the shots, I twisted the camera while the shutter was open. Click on the photos to view them larger.

    Day 112 – Earth Day

    Day 106 – Beautiful Day

    First of all, Happy Birthday, Will Clayton!

    Day 103 – Daffodils

    Day 101 – Barn Fire

    Day 100 – Favorite Photoblogs

    I know that my blog frequently lacks interesting and quality photos, so here are my favorite photoblogs for you to check out:

    Day 98 – Fall ’09 Schedule

    • ECO 203-01 Macroeconomics T-TH 1 p.m. Lea
    • ECO 412-01 Austrian Economics T-TH 9:30 a.m. Steele
    • HON 251-01 Lost art of Epistolary Communication W 2 p.m. Wenzel
    • MTH 400-01 Linear Algebra MWF 8 a.m. Webster
    • PED 393-06 Basic Shotgun Sat. 10-11 a.m.
    • POL 101-05 Constitution T-TH 2:30 p.m. Krannawitter
    • MUS 204-01 Understanding Music MWF 1 p.m. Jones

    Day 96 – Snow, Exams, and Political Essays

    What do all of these things have in common? My day today!

    Day 92 – Spring!

    Day 91 – April Fool’s Day

    I did not pull any April Fool’s Day pranks today; in fact, I forgot about it until my econ professor passed out an exam at the beginning of class, which is a week earlier than it is scheduled for. Anyway, as soon as I remembered, I went online to Google’s home page to look for April Fool’s hoax this year. They always post it as a legitimate announcement at 11:59:59 on March 31. Their announcement always looks like it could be real, but once you look at the links attached to the announcement, you quickly realize the hoax.

    Day 90 – Anti-Productivity Apps

    Yesterday I wrote about my 6 favorite productivity apps. I thought it only appropriate that today I write about the opposite: anti-productivity apps. These are things that help me waste time (like I need a lot of help doing that…) while I am supposed to be doing work. I am not a huge gamer, but I like to play some small games when I am killing time. Here are the three applications (besides my internet browser) that I most often find lowering my productivity.

    Day 89 – Productivity Apps

    We read articles like “Top 10 [insert adjective here] Apps” on Digg at least once a week. Well, I decided to out together a list, not because I think I know better what is best, or I am discontented with the few thousand other top 10 articles out there, but because I wanted to put a list together of what I use most and often to make my life easier. In fact, there are not even 10 apps on this list, nor do I claim that these are the best designed, or the best for the job. They are simply the ones I have found and use almost on a daily basis. I will provide a brief description of each one, why I use it, and a link to where you can get it. I will also indicate the cost, though most of these apps are free. Keep in mind, I use Mac OS X, so the PC users are out of luck unless the developers make a Windows or Linux version of these apps I don’t know about it. Also, I am running these on 10.5.6, so if you are running older versions of a Mac OS, they might not work. (Look, if you are using 10.3, 10.4, or below, it is time to upgrade. If you are still using system 9 or below, it is definitely time to upgrade, and I am surprised you can actually view this site on that system.) With that said, here are 6 applications I use pretty much daily to keep my life in order and running smoothly.

    Day 88 – Epiphanies While Writing Papers

    Epiphanies in two senses: 1.) I am getting great ideas while digging into the text of Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler to support my arguments. 2.) I am realizing there is not as big of a difference between math, economics, and English as people think. All three are just different uses of the same basic approach: constructing arguments, logically moving through proving them, and providing ample support for those arguments. All three rely heavily on how you move through the matter at hand, and I think that if you figure out how to do one of these three subjects well, it will only take a little effort to apply those skills to another realm. I hope this works for me in the future. As for now, I am far from figuring out how to best approach any of these three.

    Day 84 – Abolish the Postal System’s Monopoly

    As I was going through my daily list of blogs that I read, I stumbled upon an article by Jacob Hornberger advocating an end on the postal monopoly. This caught my attention because I argued for the very same thing in my AP Government class in high school. Of course, many of my fellow students thought that idea was lunacy (which it probably the same thing they thought of me, as I frequently brought up similar ideas…).

    Day 83 – History of Economic Thought


    Image from the Mises Institute

    Day 81 – Back to the Routine

    Hillsdale Alumni Walkway</a>

    Day 75 – Charleston Day 2

    Day 69 – ARRA, Papers, and Photo Assignments

    First, good news! The photo of blueberries I posted yesterday is being printed in a student literary publication on campus called The Tower Light. I will post a photo of it when it gets printed.

    Day 67 – A Blast From the Past

    Do you recognize this screenshot?

    Day 64 – Live on Twitter!

    Today I decided to join the Twitter revolution. I admit, this could get addicting. I am really enjoying it so far. Don’t know what Twitter is? Read this article in the Hillsdale Collegian.

    Day 63 – Almost Here!

    Day 55 – Fat Tuesday

    Today’s post is also going to be pretty short because I want to devote as much time as possible to working on my paper for Dr. Jackson and getting all of my reading done for my other classes. 

    Day 54 – Quake Lake

    Day 52 – Ann Arbor

    Ann Arbor

    Day 50 – Green Light

    Day 49 – A.J.’s Cafe

    Day 43 – Studying

    Day 42 – Guest Post

    Chuck and Sean

    Day 41 – Much To Do

    Day 40 – Math Problem

    When I was in South Haven, I went to a used book store and bought a “Mathematical Games” book. It had all kinds of neat math games to play with shapes and simple everyday objects such as matches. There were riddles in the back of the book and one intrigued me. Let’s see if the people who read my blog can get it:

    Day 38 – Clever Snowmen

    A few people here at Hillsdale had extra time on their hands and made Calvin and Hobbes-esque snowmen outside of the student union.

    Day 37 – Baw Beese Lake at Night

    David Wagner and I went to Baw Beese Lake tonight to walk around and take photos. He has never seen me to long exposures or light graffiti before, so I demonstrated with a few different shots. In a few of the shots we were walking around on the frozen lake.

    Day 36 – Reading Hamlet

    Day 32 – Ice Sculpting

    Day 31 – South Haven, MI

    Day 30 – Good Intentions

    “The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.” ~ Louis D. Brandeis

    Day 29 – Dr. Jackson

    Day 28 – Last CCA Lecture

    Day 25 – CCA Week

    Day 24 – Response to Comments

    Today’s post is a response to the numerous comments that I received, both online and in person, on my post about President Obama’s Inaugural Address. Please read the comments before reading this post.

    Day 23 – Jeff Wysong

    Day 21 – Bowling

    Day 20 – Inauguration Day

    As nearly everyone knows, President Obama was sworn in today at noon eastern time by Chief Justice Roberts on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol. I was in English class with Dr. Jackson during the whole process, so I missed it, but I watched the speeches online later in the day. I admit that the new President is a wonderful speaker, but be wary of this. As Alan Caruba wrote over at The Progress of Liberty, “[I]f words alone could lift this nation out of its current financial crisis, its wars, and other problems, President Barack Obama could make that happen.” Unfortunately for America and its new President, good intentions do not guarantee desirable outcomes.

    Day 18 – Thespian Statue

    Day 13 – Reflections

    Day 11 – Back at Hillsdale

    Today I drove back to Hillsdale after a nice break at home. The new semester starts on Wednesday.

    Day 10 – Snowstorm

    Day 9 – I, Pencil

    I, Pencil

    Day 5 – “Free” Country

    Thank goodness we live in a free country where we can live the way we want and the government does not control us!

    Day 3 – Dr. Freeh

    Day 2 – Illum in 2008

    Day 1 – Lorain Lighthouse

    Year 2009

    For 2009, I decided to start posting more. I posted regularly last year until I went to college and all of my time went to reading, writing, calculating, and thinking. To get in the habit of putting time aside each day to update my blog or work on my website, I decided that in 2009 I will do a “Project 365”. 

    Fear for America

    I have heard many people, especially here at Hillsdale, say they are afraid for America today. Most of them say this because they fear Obama getting elected. I believe it does not matter who has more votes when the polls close tonight. My fear for America will go on, no matter who gets elected. Things made a change for the worse before any of us, or our parents, were born. Until people in America embrace freedom and realize the coercive state is feeding them nonsense, things will be no better. 

    Essay Weekend

    I apologize for not updating for a few weeks. Also, I have yet to take pictures of the campus. I have, however, taken football and volleyball photos, as well as photos for articles in The Collegian (the nationally acclaimed student-run newspaper on campus).

    Hillsdale – First Impressions

    I moved into my room on Thursday, August 21. I only had a chance to drop off my stuff and then I had to take off and go to a camp about ten minutes down the road for the Honors Program annual fall retreat.

    Leaving for College

    Governments do not “Create Jobs” – An excellent article from Isaac Morehouse over at the Mises Institute. Read it.

    2008 AAPT Physics Photo Contest

    I was just notified that I won second place in the Contrived category in the 2008 AAPT Physics Photo Contest!

    Lake Chautauqua

    I spent the last week in Chautauqua, NY with my friend Brad Akin. I had a great time. We spent the week fishing, jetskiing (I was able to get the jetski up to 53mph!), kayaking, and loitering around searching the internet.  Brad introduced me to Andriaccio’s Stuffed Olives Asiago which are quite possibly the tastiest appetizers I have eaten. In between eating lots of pizza and doing the above mentioned things, I had time to take some photos with my new Canon 40D.  

    What is Value?

    A friend of mine was reading New Ideas from Dead Economists, a book by Todd Buchholz that explains and critiques economic thought from Adam Smith to Keynes. In it, there is a section about Karl Marx and his theories. In explaining Marx’s labor exploitation theory, Buchholz points out that Marx rests his claims on the premise that the value of a product is determined by the amount of labor needed to produce it. (Classical economists like Smith and Ricardo also believed this.) Buchholz writes later on the page that critics of Marx argue that this premise is wrong, but he does not go on to explain any of these arguments. My friend asked me what these arguments were, so I did my best to explain them for him. 

    July 4

    This July 4, people all across America will be at cookouts and celebrations, their hearts swelling with patriotism for their country and everything in it. Many people will watch fireworks, sing the national anthem, honor the flag, and listen to stories of how the founding fathers inspired a nation to gain its independence. The media will once again rave with support for the United States’ military presence in the middle east and lecture on how the all-powerful state is protecting us and our “freedoms”. We will read in the paper and watch on television the importance of patriotism, obeying the “law”, and paying tribute to all of our “civil servants”. 

    Cleveland Orchestra Star Spangled Spectacular

    …not so spectacular this year.

    Post-Graduation Party Update

    My trip to NY and two weeks of FEE seminars came to an end on Friday. I was originally scheduled to fly home at 7:30, but I managed to get a flight at 5:30 (which I was thankful for because LGA had a 2-hour backup for take-offs). I had a great time and learned a lot. I also had the privilege of seeing two TSA personnel harass a man for making a comment under his breath. 

    Good Reads

    I decided to link to a few articles that I think are worth reading. If you have some time, look through them.

    Personal Beliefs vs. Political Beliefs

    I have been thinking about this for a while.

    Lessons from FEE

    I am learning a lot from the seminars at FEE that I have been attending. I plan to overview some of the lessons from the seminars on here this week. They will be in no particular order.

    Layout Issues

    I was just informed that I have a few layout issues in IE and Firefox. I am going to continue to try and fix them. The layout is supposed to look like this:

    FEE, NYC

    So last week and this coming week, I have been right outside of NYC attending seminars at the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE, henceforth). The first week was Freedom University and next week is History & Liberty. FEE has brought in some great speakers for the week: Gene Callahan, Sheldon Richman, Paul Cwik, Ivan Pongracic, and Burt Folsom to name a few.


    Yes, that is actually a person flying through the Swiss Alps. He calls himself Fusionman. He is the first man ever to successfully fly with wings, powered by four engines on his back. Click on the photo to view more photos from Reuters.

    O brave new (blog), That has such (posts) in it!

    Okay, okay, so it does not exactly match that famous line from The Tempest, but you get the idea. Yes, this is the new blog. And yes, it actually works and will be updated, unlike the old one.