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How to Tame the Timing Anxiety Around Texting

The tough thing about communication technologies is that they typically become widespread and ubiquitous before society informally codifies a set of agreed-upon norms around their use. Such is the case with texting. Even though it’s been around for a couple decades now, folks still have varying opinions as to what texting behaviors are appropriate...

Erich Fromm on Why It’s Difficult to Think Originally and Critically in the Modern Age

Editor’s note: Erich Fromm was a German sociologist and psychologist of the 20th century. His most famous work, Escape From Freedom, examined a most interesting paradox: while human beings long for freedom, when they get it, they often experience it as disorienting and anxiety-producing — something to flee from, rather than embrace. Given the time the...

Podcast #725: The Curse of the Self

What a gift the human self is. It enables you to sense and reflect upon your own existence; examine the past and plan for the future; check certain impulses in order to reach for other aims; and conceptualize how others see you, allowing you to better connect with them. But, my guest says, the blessing of the self also comes with a curse, one we need...

A Beginner’s Guide to Concrete

Concrete is the most widely used building material on earth. Humans have been using it for thousands of years and have built impressive structures with it that have stood the test of time. If you’re a homeowner, you’ll likely use concrete for some simple DIY jobs: setting a fence post or a basketball hoop, or laying a concrete slab for a patio.  Despite...

How to Jump From a Height Into Water

It can be quite the summertime thrill to jump from a cliff or bridge into a body of water. But it’s not a thrill that should be engaged in recklessly. Although some professional divers can enter the water safely from more than 100 feet, chances are good that you’re not a trained professional, and all jumps — even those from a low height — risk serious...

Podcast #724: The Strange Science of Sweat

Start jogging around the block, or simply sitting outside on a hot summer day, and you begin to feel moisture develop all over your body. Maybe a drop of sweat will roll down your face. Your clothes get sticky. You start feeling in greater intensity a process that’s actually going on all the time: sweating. You may never have thought too much about...

Sunday Firesides: Are You Making an Escape From Freedom?

Freedom is a funny thing. Societally, individually, we struggle for it. Fight for it.  But when we get it, we often find we don’t like it all that much.  As freedom goes up, so do feelings of anxiety, restlessness, and insignificance. While freedom can be experienced as an exhilarating thrill, it can also be experienced as a panic-inducing threat....

How to Make Coffee Like a Civil War Soldier

For soldiers at war, there aren’t too many creature comforts at hand. Living conditions may be Spartan, food barely edible, and daily routines either terribly boring, or thoroughly terrifying, depending on proximity to the heat of combat. That makes the morale-boosters that are available all the more appreciated, and numbered in the top tier of these...

Podcast #723: Men Without Chests

“We make men without chests and expect from them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst.” While this quote from C.S. Lewis is often cited, few completely understand what Lewis meant by it, nor understand the book from which it was taken, The Abolition of Man, which, unlike Lewis’s more popular works of...

2 Keys to Staying Mentally Sharp as You Age

People have an almost universal desire to not only live longer, but to have the years they add to their lives be healthy, vibrant, and fulfilling.  A big part of making that happen is maintaining your physical fitness, particularly your strength. Muscle loss is a significant driver in decreasing life quality as you age. If you can’t pick heavy things...

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