My brief love affair with Ingress

I stand before you today as a recovering Ingressoholic. Oh, the Ingress obsession had its spindly teeth buried deep in my gaming side. So why did it spit me out so decisively and so easily? The same reason that MMO designers struggle with maintaining player subscriptions, month after month; the elder game. That, and a less than ideal implementation of some gamification elements. […]

Environmental Baby Steps

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about habits, and the power of small changes over time. We apply the concept to health and fitness readily; just take the stairs more often, go for a walk a couple times during the day, or do some squats when you get up from your work desk. And those changes can add up to […]

Are YOU FARMcurious?

As a kid, one of my fondest memories is of my Great Aunt Edna Federinko’s dill pickles. They were cold fermented, and everyone called them “Russian dills.” I don’t know what about them made them Russian (other than her lineage), but I do remember how wonderfully crisp they were, and that they would literally fizz when you bit into them. They […]

Bucket List: Star Trek Convention

I wasn’t always a fan of Star Trek. Growing up, I used to HATE that my Dad would record over our VHS tapes with original series episodes, and refused to have anything to do with them. Later on I liked the movies, but never followed any of the television series. That all changed in my final year of college. I was interning at […]

‘The Knowledge: How to Rebuild Our World from Scratch‘ is a thought experiment about how to reboot civilization following an apocalypse (zombie or otherwise). It’s a perfect blend, appealing to the fictional survivalist day-dreamer side of me while at the same time employing real science and practical action. It’s like the Crispix of survival guides. I bought this for the […]

Impressions of a Completed Coursera MOOC

This week marks the end of the Gamification course I enrolled in on Coursera. Part of the reason I took this course in the first place was to take a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) for a spin and see what the experience was like. This particular course, taught by Kevin Werbach (author of For the Win: How Game Thinking […]

I recently watched Valve’s Free to Play documentary, which, like the Dota 2 game it chronicles, is free to play on Steam. I had it queued up there, but it also landed on one of my favorite websites,, in its YouTube form, so I watched that version instead. Valve continues to impress. I have wanted to know more about […]

It seems like a growing trend in forward-thinking corporations involves employee empowerment, and a real team mentality. The two recent examples that got me thinking about this are the unusual org structure at Valve, and the fact that Whole Foods keeps their employee salaries open for scrutiny. This week Kotaku released the Valve employee handbook (verified authentic by Valve). Evidently […]

I expected to beat Tropico 4 on President’s Day, but the final level turned out to be hell. Over that weekend, I failed it at least 6 times in a row, and walked away angry and vowing that I was done with Tropico. I went from loving the game to loathing it. I’d logged over 100 hours on it, played […]

The Latest of Us – 2-5-2014

So instead of a weekly thing, this has turned into a bi-weekly, maybe monthly, thing. Consistency is overrated! Since I last posted, I have signed up for my first MOOC (Massive Open Online Course), via Coursera, about Gamification. I’m interested in MOOCs for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that, with any luck, they will be […]