Great moments in merging

Moving from one lane to another in traffic is a delicate dance involving at least two drivers that when done well goes off smoothly. Ideally, the person wishing to change lanes signals their intention and the person already in that lane drops back and allows them to do so, sometimes signaling that they have created space by flashing their headlights or even a gentle honk of the horn. Then after merging, the lane changer thanks the other driver with the standard signal of the raised forward facing flat palm. Most of the time, that is what happens, and life is good.
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Why was no penalty called?

Australian rules football is noted for the fact that there are few rules (there is no offside rule, for example) and as a result the game is fast moving with few interruptions, unlike the snooze-fest that is American football where in a game that lasts for over three hours, there is usually only about ten minutes of actual action.

But this minimalist attitude was tested when during a recent amateur game in Melbourne, a two-year old child wandered on to the field. Surely one of the sides should have been penalized for having an extra player?

Future slack

One of the most valuable things I learned early on from psychologist Robert Boice who studied academic productivity was that a writer must write, every day. But most people find writing to not be appealing and it is easy to find excuses to not write because pretty much anything can seem more urgent and appealing (doing the laundry, cutting the grass, sorting paper clips) when compared to writing. Some also feel that inspiration has to strike for them to write.
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The new Opportunity Corridor in Cleveland

The area known as University Circle on the eastern edge of Cleveland is home to a significant portion of the city’s cultural, education, and medical services. Case Western Reserve University where I used to work is located there, as well as the city’s museums of art, modern art, natural history, automotive history, and Severance Hall, the beautiful home of the Cleveland Orchestra. The area also hosts two massive hospital complexes, University Hospitals and the Cleveland Clinic. All these institutions have resulted in a rapid growth in housing stock and this in turn has spawned new retail and shopping and eating options. The area has seen massive changes since I arrived here nearly three decades ago.
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Why malign kangaroos?

The sacked defense secretary of the UK Gavin Williamson said that he was the victim of a ‘kangaroo court’ that unfairly blamed him for a leak from the National Security Council. The term ‘kangaroo court’ is so common that its strangeness slipped past me and until now I had never wondered where such unusual turn of phrase might have come from. It is only after I had made that post that the thought occurred to me: Why kangaroo? What has that animal done to become synonymous with an unfair judicial proceeding where the normal procedures of justice are perverted so that the outcome is determined is even before proceedings start?

You would think that the term originated in Australia but its first recorded use in print was in the US back in 1853. The origins are unclear but Merriam Webster has some theories.
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Outsourcing the mailing of letters

Once in a while, one needs to actually send a physical letter. For those of you for whom this is an unfamiliar exercise, this involves writing or typing (and then printing) the message, addressing an envelope, sealing the envelope, putting a stamp, and then popping it in the mail box.

Do you find that process onerous? Rob Beschizza says that there is a company that will do all that for you for a cost that starts at $1.52 per letter. All you have to do is email them the text of the letter and the address you want it sent to.

This may be the beginning of a new class of service industries for retro services.


Recently I was at an airport waiting for a plane. I noticed a young woman a few seats down from me who was taking one selfie after another of just herself in a pretty ordinary waiting area. She had her back to me so I could see the photos she was taking on her camera and they seemed pretty much all the same but clearly she was seeking the perfect photo because she must have taken around 20 before she was satisfied.
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