I wanted a place to put all the stuff I think is awesome. Growing up, I always wanted to have a great library in my house. I remembered the excitement when I learned that I could buy the entire collection of The New Yorker in bound volumes and put them in my house. I’d imagined that I would collect great encyclopedia’s from the past to peruse whenever I pleased. They would live in mahogany bookcases that looked like they’d belonged to JP Morgan. Then I realized that a New York City apartment doesn’t have space for a physical library. So I did the next best thing. I’ve created a virtual library that includes lots of the things I enjoy, like my favorite books, words, and humor. You can check it out on the menu at the top of the page.
I’ve broken the library into a number of sections. For me, the sections aren’t hard lines but themes of ways I’ve collected things. Rather than looking at them as Dewey Decimal numbers in a library, think of them as exhibitions on tables as you move through.
- Happiness and Inspiration. Over the years, I’ve found that more than anything people want tips on being happy. I have a number of fun tips that can help make you happy. If you’re looking for one link, take a look at my post on Yale’s happiness class.
- On Humor. The best humor goes beyond amusement. It can help people see the world from a new point of view and help people change the way they think. The humorist is a gadfly in the best sense of the word, one who annoys the powerful but provokes positive action. Even when kings wielded absolute power, they had the licensed fool or court jester to provide them with the truth in a humorous way.
- My Published Writing. Back before blogging and self-publishing, we used to have these things called magazines. They were very pretty but much heavier to carry than bits. Some of my favorite articles are when I visited Star Wars, and met the world’s most interesting calculus professor, who played an amazing prank on his students.
- My Speeches. In 2020 I joined Toastmasters. Here’s the text of some of the speeches I’ve made.
- Other Media. Here’s a list of videos, podcasts, and other media.
- Tips on Living.
- Life Hacking. Hacking your mood, memory, and other forms of reality.
- Tips and Tricks. Things to start doing, stop doing, and “How-To” items like “Start getting your friends to put down their phones,” “Stop refrigerating your butter,” and “How to Have More Fun on Roller Coasters.”
- Fun Mental Models. Any good Almanac needs some clever ideas to help its readers get through their lives. I’ve realized that many of my favorite ideas are all named after people. Some are are useful, others are just fun.
- Lessons from My Grandparents. My grandparents taught me so many lessons. This is my homage to them.
- Things I Like. (opens in a new tab)
- Kid Stuff. With two young boys, I’ve found a lot of fun stuff for us. Here’s a collection of general parenting, science & math, media, and toys that I like.
- Favorite Words. I love words. I wrote about how looking at various different words, I can see the contours of our common human experience. It’s amazing to find a word in Japanese or Russian that totally describes something that I’ve always been looking for. There’s something magical when you finally have a name for it! Here are some of my favorite foreign words, British/Irish Words, old words, words with an “s” sound, high falulin words, weird names of real people, the Allusionist Podcast, and some other words.
- Website History and Reviews. Here’s a list of some of the updates I’ve made over the years. It also includes some of the reviews I’ve gotten from readers that I’ve particularly enjoyed.