• NerdFit: Why Techies Love CrossFit

    CrossFit, the ultra-competitive, high-intensity, stat-obsessed fitness and strength training program, plays well to left-brained analytical types, because every workout has discrete weight measurements, a stopwatch time, or both. "It's an obsessive thing that dovetails nicely with my tendency toward quantified self," observes Jim Stogdill, who used to run O'Reilly Associates' Strata conference. "I'm of a mixed mind on this: it strikes me as ridiculous to spend so much time and energy collecting and analyzing data on oneself. But the data, in life and CrossFit turns out to be useful. For CrossFit, it's both a benchmark and motivator for self-competition."

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  • Collaborating with your kids: the story of "A Dark and Dismal Flower"

    Like Alice in Wonderland and Winnie the Pooh, many of the children's books I love best began as conversations between a writer and a child. A Dark & Dismal Flower began that way, as a conversation with my five-year-old daughter Eve, who was read too many gothic fairy tales as a child (The Thirteen Clocks was a favorite), and has a tendency to speak in archaic literary language ("Never to be seen again" might describe a lost sock). "I think the morning is the seed of the day," she said. "However you are in the morning, that's what your day turns into."
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