Book Club: The Geography of Madness

Is PMS real? Can you die from voodoo? Is it possible for a man to have his penis stolen?

These things all seem real to people who experience them. But science can’t prove that they actually exist. These cultural syndromes “exists in a swirl of belief and expectancy and biology.”

Our business book club just finished reading a fascinating book: The Geography of Madness: Penis Thieves, Voodoo Death, and the Search for the Meaning of the World’s Strangest Syndromes by Frank Bures.

Five men standing close together holding the book in the middle L to R: me, Steve Kamb, Ramit Sethi, Wayne Mulligan, and Derek Halpern.

In selecting this book, Ramit Sethi said:

I loved this book and it made me think differently. How many of our “diseases” are cultural? How many are in our head? What assumptions do we make? What else is cultural? What can we control and change? It was one of the most interesting books I’ve ever read. It’s also very different than the other books we’ve read in our book club.

Table of Contents

Yellow book cover with title of book and sub-title Cover of the book The Geography of Madness by Frank Bures


2019-11-13T13:14:27-05:00November 13th, 2019|Books, General|

Havana, Cuba: My Pictures and Visit Notes

What comes to mind when you think about Cuba? For me now: Classic American cars. Empty grocery store shelves. Beautiful beaches. Delicious food. Long lines at the bank. Great people. Socialism. And embargoes.

I spent a long weekend in Havana, Cuba. I loved it.

Two people smiling and wearing sunglasses with ocean / beach behind them Rachel and I are sun-kissed and happy at the beach in Havana, Cuba. This was actually within the city limits of Havana!

Click here or scroll down to read my 5 must-do suggestions in Havana.

I saw a totally new side of the city. My girlfriend’s childhood friend showed us around town.

Two women wearing sunglasses and smiling Maile and Rachel after a day at the beach. They grew up together in Oregon. Now Maile is living in Havana doing research with the American Studies program at Yale University.

Here are my best photos and random observations.

2019-11-06T21:53:05-05:00November 6th, 2019|General, Travel|

First Aid and CPR Workshop in NYC

My friend Danielle Strle invited me to join a First Aid and CPR workshop today in New York City.

It was five hours long and we each paid $105.

I’m glad that I went!

Find a class in your area here: Red Cross: CPR Classes in NYC

I learned many things such as:

  • Yes, you can pump the chest to the song “Staying Alive.”
  • You can also do it to the “Baby Shark” song.
  • How to do CPR: 30 pumps, then 2 recovery breaths mouth-to-mouth (repeat)
  • How to use an AED: that’s the defibrillator you see frequently now which can administer heart shocks to save someone from cardiac arrest!
  • SAMPLE and FAST: acronyms in case of an emergency.
  • How to use an EpiPen: stab it in someone’s leg if they go into anaphylactic shock.

Woman holding the AED at First Aid class in NYC Danielle Strle holding the AED with a test dummy


2019-10-14T21:30:51-04:00October 14th, 2019|General|

Goliathon Obstacle Course: Review and Pictures (2019)

I’m not very athletic. I don’t particularly enjoy these races. But if my friend Nina invites me to something, I’ll do it. She’s great and I like hanging out with her.

My friend Nina Simon invited me to compete in the Goliathon obstacle course race on 5 October 2019.

I invited my girlfriend Rachel to join us. We all did it (or most of it) together and it was fun!

Three people at the start line of Goliathon Group photo! Rachel, me, and Nina at the start of Goliathon 2019 Two women who completed the Goliathon 2019 obstacle course race, standing with arms flexed out in front of the Finish line. Both are wearing black leggings Rachel and Nina at the Finish line for Goliathon 2019

Jump to:


2019-10-08T20:30:35-04:00October 6th, 2019|General|

Car Buying Tips: How I Saved 14% And Bought a Car In 4 Days

This is a guest post by my friend Michael Galpert about his experience buying a used car in four days. Here’s what he did to save $4,618 on buying a used 2017 Honda CRV near San Francisco.

Michael Galpert and Nick Gray Michael Galpert and me at his wedding in California a few years ago, from my video at his wedding

Hi, I’m Michael. I live in San Francisco with my wife and two daughters.

My wife and I wanted to buy a car. We came across this listing on TrueCar we liked:

listing for a 2017 Honda CR-V EX-L

We wanted to see if we could get this car any lower. So we went to the dealership to ask.

I posted the following to Twitter while we were waiting at the Honda dealership:

Any tips on negotiating with a car dealership?

This is everything that I learned.


2019-09-19T11:14:16-04:00September 10th, 2019|General|

Hair Loss: What I’m Doing About It

I’m 37 years old now and the hair on the crown of my head is thinning. 

I did some research, talked to experts, and started taking some medicine to mitigate future loss and instill new growth.

Here are the resources that were helpful to me and what I’m doing now.

My Hair Loss Plans And Next Steps

I spoke to a dermatologist, my doctor, asked a lot of friends, and then hired Bauman Medical from the below podcast to do a medical consult with me.


2019-10-20T16:31:36-04:00August 23rd, 2019|General|

Medellin, Colombia: Travel Tips and Tricks

I spent about 10 days in Medellin with my girlfriend, Rachel, during July 2019. We found: the best local SIM card in Medellin was Avantel. The safest neighborhood was Poblado and my favorite coffee shop there was Pergamino. Our favorite tour was Comuna 13. We made a bunch of videos. And more!

See all the places we were recommended and (and some of which we liked) on this shared Google Map.


2019-09-06T16:56:42-04:00July 20th, 2019|General, Travel|