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Podcast #700: The Life and Afterlife of Harry Houdini

Quick, think of a famous magician. Dimes to donuts, you just thought of Harry Houdini. Though it’s been almost a century since his death, Houdini still occupies a prime place in the cultural imagination, and my guest explains why in his book, The Life and Afterlife of Harry Houdini, and for us today on the show. His name is Joe Posnanski, and we begin...

The Power of Writing by Hand

In spite of the countless note-taking and to-do list apps and software I’ve experimented with over the years, I always come back to writing things down on paper. Though I still use the apps for checklists and for master lists of things, my day-to-day note-taking and prioritizing happens on pen and paper (or dry erase marker and whiteboard).  While...

Podcast #699: The No-Nonsense Guide to Simplifying Every Aspect of Your Life

Before Gary Collins left a bureaucratic government job to pursue a more independent existence off the grid, he had to work on downsizing and decluttering his life. The lessons he learned in ultimately achieving that aim apply to everyone — even those with no plans to leave civilization — who would like to lead a simpler life. Gary shares those lessons...

Sunday Firesides: Want to Solve Your Social Problems? Get Over Your Self

Shyness, social-interaction-sabotaging awkwardness, is commonly chalked up to a variety of causes. Genetics, personality, upbringing, a simple lack of confidence. But its real root is typically overlooked.  The shy are self-centered. Now, that may seem harsh, but, it’s literally true. When you’re suffering from shyness, you’re focused on yourself,...

How Long Does It Take to Put on Muscle?

You’ve started a serious weightlifting program.  You’ve increased your protein consumption. Now, how long before you start looking jacked? While the primary goal of weightlifting should be overall health, for many dudes, one of the aims of strength training is to get swole. It’s understandable. Big muscles make you look and feel manly. Nothing wrong...

How to Choose Shoes That Fit Perfectly

Shoe shopping may not top many men’s lists of favorite activities, but from time to time, it has to be done. And it’s a process that should be done with a bit of care. Beyond the style considerations that may be foremost in your mind, your shoes will have a disproportionate influence on your overall comfort level. Ill-fitting shoes can make standing...

How to Use Bitters to Elevate Your Drinks

There are five elements of flavor in any dish or drink: sweet, sour, bitter, salty, umami. (Those first four are pretty self-explanatory; umami is a somewhat elusive term that basically means “savory.”) The best flavor experiences combine as many of those elements as possible; while some are sure to stick out — in a cake, it’s no doubt the sweetness...

Podcast #698: The Secrets of Public Speaking From History’s Greatest Orators

Despite the fact that public speaking remains an important and relevant skill in our modern age — you never know when you’ll need to give a toast at a wedding, pitch an idea at work, or champion a proposal at a city council meeting — most of us get very little instruction these days in how to do it effectively. Fortunately, my guest says, we can look...

How to Give and Take Criticism like a Man

Dealing with criticism is a skill every well-adjusted man should possess. We give and take criticism among our co-workers, our friends, and our family. Criticism is an important part of our personal self-improvement, for it is other people who can point out mistakes and shortcomings that we can’t see because we lack objectivity. Unfortunately, many...

Podcast #697: Social Psychology Won’t Save Us

When it comes to proposed solutions to life’s problems, whether on an individual or societal scale, the four most commonly used words these days are “According to a study . . . ” This phrase is used by journalists and media outlets; we certainly use it a lot in AoM articles. And it’s used in the rationales that are forwarded for implementing some new...

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