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University of Toronto Anthropology folder


Anthropology is, with music and mathematics, one of the few true vocations; and the anthropologist may become aware of it within himself before ever he has been taught it. (Claude Lévi-Strauss, Tristes Tropiques, 1961) It is a notable curiosity that many anthropologists who made foundational contributions to the discipline were originally trained outside of it. […]

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A home phone for $3/month

At first glance, a home phone seems like a somewhat quaint, old-fashioned thing to have these days. With mobile phones everywhere, it seems unnecessary and perhaps a little wasteful. Call me nostalgic, then, but I really like to have one. I have a few specific reasons for this: calling long distance (internationally) still seems cheaper, […]

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Marcus Aurelius by Ed Uthman Creative Commons via Flickr

Marcus Aurelius on being present, in the present

I struggle to focus on my work, for the same reasons most people do: we are surrounded by seemingly never ending distractions (social media, email, phone calls) and it’s difficult to focus on a project without interruptions. I also find that my mind is distracted and wants to escape from being ‘tethered’ to a desk […]

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Motherboard by Tim Simpson Creative Commons via Flickr

The case for building my own computer

Men’s hobbies tend to fall into one of two broad categories. There are extroverted leisure time pursuits, often related to sports, gaming, grilling meat or drinking; and more introverted activities, often related to material things, such as woodworking, model building, photography, stereos and the like. Some men develop very detailed relationships with their things, even […]

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Reflecting pool

9/11 Memorial

First, we have to go through the security theatre. The long lineups are partially for crowd control (you don’t want the wait to seem too long, so it’s best to break up the line into a few smaller ones), partially to ensure that authority is appropriately represented, showcased, visually asserted. The tone is friendly, the […]

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UP by Jawbone (press photo)

Review: Jawbone UP

Three weeks ago, I bought a Jawbone UP. It’s a movement-tracking bracelet that can be plugged into your iPhone (or Android device) once or twice a day to transmit your activity to a mobile app. (You can also download your tracking data as a CSV spreadsheet by logging into the UP website and ‘crunch’ it […]

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Toronto Reference Library by ocas123 via Flickr Creative Commons License

What I’m up to

I’m taking the spring and summer off (from paying work) this year. My relationship with my former employer ended recently, and I decided to be a free agent for a while. There were many motivations for this decision, but most importantly (and like most people) I had not taken substantial ‘time off’ from employment in […]

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Airport by morberg via Flickr

How to survive business travel

Most of us, whether we like it or not, have to go on business trips from time to time. When you’re in your twenties, this seems like a glamorous thing, and your partying stamina helps you deal with the adverse effects of air travel, sleep deprivation and bad food at irregular times. When you get […]

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