Terrified Obama Trapped Inside Healthcare.gov Website

“Goddammit, I don’t know what to do!” Obama said, banging his hands in frustration against a wall of binary as the entire healthcare.gov mainframe suddenly froze, forcing all previously flowing lines of code to come to a complete standstill. “I can’t fix this! Get me out of this place!” “Please! Just get me out of here!” Obama added as the data grid below his feet shattered into millions of infinitesimal…


Do television and electronic games predict children’s psychosocial adjustment?

Wow… what a drab, unquoteworthy, unsoundbiteable, graphics-free presentation of findings that will be of tremendous interest to the general public. TV but not electronic games predicted a small increase in conduct problems. Screen time did not predict other aspects of psychosocial adjustment. Further work is required to establish causal mechanisms..

Screen Shot 2013-10-10 at 1.34.45 PM

Obamacare’s broken website cost more than LinkedIn, Spotify combined

Much of the criticism of Healthcare.gov has come from people who are fundamentally opposed to the idea of a government-mandaded website that manages the individual citizen’s purchase of health insurance from private providers. So, while I have been following with shock and dismay the  horror stories (long waits, incomprehensible error message, unhelpful live chats, unpopulated drop-down lists, etc.), when the critique of the website is used to justify opposition to…

Sinéad O’Connor’s open letter to Miley Cyrus

I was never a fan of Sinéad O’Connor, but I remember being impressed back in the 80s when Madonna’s bohemian antics were threatening to overwhelm her talent (not that I was a fan of Madonna, either), and a wise-sounding O’Connor told her some of the same things she has just told Miley Cyrus. You are worth more than your body or your sexual appeal. The world of showbiz doesn’t see…


The Case Against High-School Sports

“I’ve been in hundreds of classrooms,” says Singleton, who has spent 15 years as a principal and helped turn around other struggling schools. “This was the worst I’ve seen in my career. The kids were in control. The language was filthy. The teachers were not prepared.” By suspending sports, Singleton realized, he could save $150,000 in one year. A third of this amount was being paid to teachers as coaching…

Screen Shot 2013-09-24 at 1.58.40 PM

Intimations of Mortality

Plato, Montaigne, Pascal—those were the major figures in the philosophical pantheon of my student days. But concurrently, in my literature classes, I came to be moved by poems such as John Donne’s defiant sonnet “Death Be Not Proud,” which concludes on the paradoxically triumphant note that, for the dead, death shall be no more, that death shall die. I was later even more moved—no doubt because of the association with…