The Sunscreen Song

If you were in college or thereabouts in the late 90’s, no doubt you’ve heard The Sunscreen Song based on the fictitious MIT commencement address by Kurt Vonnegut. It’s simple, humble advice for everyone and only a few minutes long. It actually wasn’t by Kurt Vonnegut but a hypothetical address (if she were to give one) by a Chicago writer named Mary Schmich. It was later turned into an international hit song by Baz Luhrmann. I like to listen to it for advice every so often. Remember that many things in this site are my opinion, trust me on the sunscreen.

My Mobile Payments Writing

Ashwin Shivaikar from Citi’s Equity Research group and I joined forces to write two reports Upwardly Mobile I and Upwardly Mobile II. The pieces were very well received and we had the honor of giving out 2000 of these at Money 2020. I also gave a 10 minute summary of the paper at a payments conference. Kate Fitzgerald wrote it up in surprising detail in American Banker in an article called Simplicity, Usefulness Should Guide Mobile Wallet Development.


Radiolab is a more sciency take on podcasts (“lab” is short for laboratory). They do episodes on hard topics like logarithms and chirality. They’ve also done more lighthearted bits like the transformation of Professional Wrestling. They also did a great episode on a man who took a very different approach to the prisoner’s dilemma (for anyone who loves game theory, you’ll really love this!) Abigail and I saw them live. It was amazing. I learned about Radiolab from This American Life – Ira really likes them.

Never Be Stuck Without an Umbrella

This one is from Mark Hurst. Buy two umbrellas, and keep one at home and the other at work or school. (Perhaps store another in the car.) Then grab an umbrella whenever it’s raining, and – this is the only hard part – remember to put the umbrella back in its place afterward. I find it best to leave the umbrella with my bag or whatever I’m taking back in the other direction.