How Puzzling!

If you stop and think about it for a moment, solving puzzles is a pretty strange pastime. We spend hours reconstructing a fragmented image or untwisting a multicolored cube or filling in numbers on a grid. To what end? Yet there’s something so compelling about puzzles that keeps us coming back for more, and it … Continue reading How Puzzling!

Fostering a Blameless Culture

Like I did, some of you may have received a blank email a few months ago accidentally sent from HBO Max with the subject, “Integration Test Email #1.” Later that day, HBO tweeted an explanation: “As the jokes pile in, yes, it was the intern.” While many of the 6,500+ comments offered support (“we’ve all … Continue reading Fostering a Blameless Culture

Defining Moments

Most of us have “Where were you?” stories for major world events that we can recall with vivid accuracy — exactly what we were doing, seeing, and feeling at a given moment in history (even as we barely remember what we ate for breakfast just this morning). While personal events may have a more acute … Continue reading Defining Moments

She’s So Bossy

What’s the difference between being assertive and being aggressive? Your gender. This joke tends to ring true, even in 2021, over a century since women’s suffrage and more than six decades since the modern feminist movement began. One would think the unconscious bias we all carry would be lessened by proof points and progress — … Continue reading She’s So Bossy

When the Chips Are Down

Last year, when our refrigerator was on the fritz, it took months for the local appliance store to get another in stock. That was at the beginning of the global semiconductor chip shortage that has gotten progressively worse. Instigated by fewer microelectronics manufacturers and exacerbated by the pandemic, today it is becoming difficult to get … Continue reading When the Chips Are Down

A Tribute to Summer Camp

My grandfather was co-owner of Camp Chippewa, an overnight camp set in the woods along the shore of Mascoma Lake in New Hampshire. He spent his summers delighting campers with stories and puns, while supervising boys and girls in their home away from home. It was rustic living: sleeping in cabins without electricity, showering in … Continue reading A Tribute to Summer Camp

Emerging Stronger

When I was learning to drive, my father would toss a tennis ball across the car in front of my face. “You have to be ready for anything!” he’d bark as the ball ricocheted off the driver’s side window. And he was right. Driving circles in an empty parking lot wasn’t going to prepare me … Continue reading Emerging Stronger

A Rising Distrust of Science and Technology

Science and technology are essential tools that help us answer questions, solve problems, improve productivity, and enhance quality of life. Look no further than the COVID-19 vaccines — developed by scientists in record time — that have immunized nearly a billion people around the globe, stemming the infection rate and death toll of the pandemic. … Continue reading A Rising Distrust of Science and Technology

The Play’s the Thing

I received a call from our local school around noon on a Friday. At my desk (in an office, pre-COVID), I answered with some trepidation, fearful about news of an injured child. “Do we have your permission to pull your son out of class so he can rehearse?” the school secretary asked. “He’s going on … Continue reading The Play’s the Thing

Words Matter

A few years ago, I was asked to give a talk about the future of technology to some senior executives. The presentation was a beautiful, polished set of charts, all ready to go. I began practicing the pitch. Printed in big, bold letters on a page was: “Man + Machine.” I read from the accompanying … Continue reading Words Matter