The discovery of our heritage provided a huge surprise that I should have seen coming.

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My girlfriend and I have often talked about having kids. It’s fun to speculate: What they’d look like, if they’d get her smarts, my sense of humor.

Coincidentally, my family bought us a DNA test last Christmas. It was a mildly awkward present to receive. It wasn’t like we lived in Alabama and “needed to be sure”. But we didn’t think anything more of it. It would be a fun exercise, to find out what we are and if we have healthy ancestors. We both swabbed the inside of our mouth and sent it off for analysis. …

Life Lessons | Science | Animals

Decoding physical attraction and what it means for our own life.

Author via iStock Photos

Every morning, lines form outside of the Higashiyama Zoo in Nagoya, Japan. And just minutes after opening, you’ll see crowds flowing past the giraffes, past the African aviaries, stopping at the southern portion of the zoo, gathered around the Gorilla exhibit.

Seated in front of them is the statuesque form of the mighty Shabani. He’s considered “the world’s most handsome gorilla” garnering national headlines for his modelesque facial proportions:

Self | Life Lessons

Stop caring about these things to free up time, money, and energy.

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Life is short, just like the jeans I wore in college. Sometimes ya just gotta say, “Fuggit.”

Our caring is a depleting resource, a tax on our mental and emotional energy. We become fixated on being liked, on saying the right thing. We indulge our Rolodex of cringy memories.

Some people keep a list of things they care to do before they die. They should keep a list of things they’ll no longer care about.

This problem is everywhere

I call it the Kardashian Rage Effect. It’s a rant that transcends every writing platform and represents broader problem with human behavior. …

The system I’ve used to find success as a professional writer

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I recently saw someone announce, “I don’t need writing advice. I just need someone to give me a break!” When I hear rants like this, I can’t help but think, “This person is doomed.” A healthy dose of doubt and self-critique is of religious importance to a writer.

My decade as a financial analyst gave me an unconventional writing and editing process. It’s helped me achieve more success than I ever thought I would (or could). My process is less about talent and more about being systematic.

How to maximize writing performance

A business is mostly about optimization. They break the company up into departments…

Business | Humor

The nightmare services provided to America’s best friend.

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My friend had just returned from his first warzone. Both of us were curious as to how it would change him. Strangely, he said the first thing that annoyed him was people complaining about their cell phone bills.

I suppose it changes one’s perspective after seeing people blown up and then turning around, seeing people red in the face, yelling, “You said it was $59.99 and you charged me $64.99!”

This article started with me intending to write about one incident, but as is often the case, I discovered a tomb of problems— to the point that it's comical.

Canadians are famous for being nice


Life Lessons | Self

Embrace the opportunity to do something completely different and you’ll benefit for decades.

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When we talk about must-have life experiences, overly obvious things often come to mind: falling in love, having a child, landing your dream job. But what else?

The best experiences having staying power. Years later, they come back and make you think, “Man, I’m so glad I did that.” They are perspective-changing. They make you smile in the darkness on your sleepless nights.

Something greater than yourself

One of my absolute favorite life memories came when I was volunteering as a coach for the Special Olympics swim team. I was at a swim meet, standing at the edge of the pool, getting ready to…

Business | Entrepreneurship | Life Lessons

The insanely expensive business model of NYC hotdog vendors.

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Hypothetical scenario: You are only allowed one career path in life. You must sell hot dogs in New York City.

There are rules. You can’t just buy a cart and park it outside of Yankee stadium. You’d likely end up in a brawl with other vendors or get arrested. Buying rights to a high-traffic location is your best bet. Of the 3100 hotdog licenses in the city, there are 150 coveted spots in public parks.

The cheapest location is $700 a year. You'll be seated in Inwood Park. But that vendor only averages $5000 in yearly profit. Clearly, this won’t…

Self | Humor | Life Lessons

Criticism is an opportunity to grow and doesn’t always mean someone is a troll.

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I’ve been harassed to the moon and back in my five years of online writing. Heck, on Quora, I can’t even load my blocklist because it’s so large. My browser crashes.

Harassment doesn’t bother me anymore. If anything, it’s a sad indictment on humanity. I don’t write about politics or controversial issues. Yet here I am, working a second job as a digital bouncer, throwing people “out of the club” for getting too belligerent.

As someone who makes his living with content that is open to comments, I’ve learned to harness that feedback. You can too.

Not all negative comments are trolls

I learned a deceptively…

Fiction | Humor

A story of an evolution in technology that is driving us nuts.

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My girlfriend and I walked along the sidewalk the other day. We heard a buzzing sound behind us.

“Babe. It’s following us again,” Laura said. I turned around. The black Roomba S22+ paused on the sidewalk. We faced each other in silence.

“Well?” I said, “What do you want?” I waved my hands, “Shoo! Go!” It rotated side to side in short bursts almost like a dog wagging its tail.

“Is that the same one?” I said, turning to Laura. She laughed, “Oh are they reproducing now?” I held Laura’s gaze. …

A lesson from Lou Pai and his escape from a crumbling company.

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Enron was the glittering goldfish in the moral toilet bowl of corporate America. It lives on as an undead mascot of greed and excess, a warning to future entrepreneurs.

The short explanation: Enron took advantage of loose accounting laws and lied about how well it was doing. So when people saw their meteoric earnings and no risk, they bought up the stock at inflated prices, only to eventually lose everything.

To make a medical analogy, it was like they were lying about having diabetes, high blood pressure, and three forms of cancer.

An energy company typically grows at 5% per…

Sean Kernan

Quality over quantity. That guy from Quora. Open to gigs

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