It’s Good To Be King

(Listen to this post, here.) According to the Data Storytelling daily newsletter published by Chartr (hey, they’re statisticians, not good spellers), my first name – Michael – was the most popular boy’s name in the U.S. in 44 out of 45 straight years. That’s correct. Beginning in 1954 and running through the next four-plus decades with just one exception (David, in 1960), Michael took first place more than any other name over the past century. Not that I find this surprising. Throughout my entire K-12 education, I was rarely the only Michael in any of my […] Click to read more…

Goldilocks Newsletters

(Listen to this post, here.) I don’t know who was more startled – me or the duck. Either way, neither of us was expecting the other. I was walking around the side of my house, headed to the backyard. As I approached a small bush, a duck flew out from underneath. That seemed odd. So, I took a look under the bush and … surprise! Eight, big blue eggs sitting right there. The eggs were strikingly beautiful. And yet, as I soon discovered, not nearly as tasty as one might have thought. […] Click to read more…

What’s Your Value Imbalance?

(Listen to this post, here.) Did you hear the recent story about Shaquille O’Neal? Apparently, and according to the … let’s say, “journalists” … at Inside Edition, the retired basketball star was jewelry shopping at a store in Atlanta, when he overheard a young man talking with the salesperson about layaway terms for an engagement ring. So, Shaq pulled out his credit card and paid for the ring. I love that story – and not just because any video involving Shaq is an opportunity to gawk at how insanely large he […] Click to read more…

I Hate You The Least

(Listen to this post, here.) Wondering how to scare the parents of a college-age child? Here’s all you need to do: sneak up behind them and whisper, “It’s time to fill out the FAFSA for next year.” FAFSA – the Free Application for Federal Student Aid – is a document that needs to be completed annually and for each child, if you hope to reduce the financial burden known as college. It’s a bear, requiring you to gather and decipher any number of financial and tax-related documents of both parent and student. […] Click to read more…

Winning the Content Game

(Listen to this post, here.) Amazon doesn’t know it, but its delivery drivers are unwitting participants in a game that my son Evan and I have been playing for the past several months. Here’s how it works… Like most of us, Evan orders a lot of things on Amazon; he might get two or even three deliveries in a single week. And Amazon, you may have noticed, now has its drivers take pictures of the packages after leaving them at your door. The pictures appear with the delivery confirmation emails. […] Click to read more…