It’s time to question our assumptions about crime and punishment.

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Everybody knows that prisons don’t work to rehabilitate. If, in fact, we know they do just the opposite, which is to say they turn minor criminals into major ones, why do we have them? Why do we send our social outcasts to criminal academies?

— “The Ethical Assassin” by David Liss

“Do the crime, do the time” is a pretty accurate summary of American judicial philosophy. The assumption that law-breakers should be incarcerated is so fundamental that most people have trouble imagining anything else. …


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The fitness industry has a saying: simplify for results; complicate for profits.

In order to stay in business, muscle magazines have to publish fresh articles every month, trainers have to provide clients with novel routines, and equipment manufacturers need interesting new machines to sell. Yet, when it comes to actually getting in shape, coaches and trainers are well aware that the methods for strengthening muscle and reducing fat have not changed substantially in at least the last 3,000 years. Indeed, the taut abs and toned limbs of classical Greek and Roman art prove that the ideals of physical fitness have been consistent for millennia.


(And All Other Prejudice)

First, a disclaimer. I am well aware that the title of this post may come across as arrogant and reductive. How can I, some random guy on the internet, claim to have the answer to something as huge as racism? What gives me the right to even claim something like that?

I’m going to answer those questions, but this isn’t about me, it’s about all of us, so think of me what you will, I ask only that you consider what I have to say.

Common Ground

Let’s start with something we can all agree on, but often forget. Your experience on…


Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love TEOTWAWKI

Global pandemic, mass unemployment, empty store shelves, governments in turmoil, frightened citizens sheltering at home … Doesn’t it feel like our lives have turned into the opening montage of a disaster movie?

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This may look like a screenshot from CNN, but it’s actually from the opening of “Death Race: Beyond Anarchy.”

Faced with this maelstrom of uncertainty, people (at least in America) seem to have two responses: either they believe that the situation will get better and go back to normal within a reasonable timeframe; or they are worried that the worst is yet to come, and that it’s going to be very bad for quite a while.

Which…


Today’s fear-driven policies were jokes for Sylvester Stallone in 1993

Dr. Fauci's recent suggestion that we abandon the custom of shaking hands confirms that we are rapidly approaching the hyper-sanitized dystopia of the 1993 film "Demolition Man."

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Stallone and Snipes in their prime.

The movie's plot is negligible. Sylvester Stallone is a cop, and Wesley Snipes is a criminal, both of whom are frozen in 1996 Los Angeles, and thawed out in 2032 to duke it out in a "San Angeles" neither of them recognizes. …


As the number of active shootings increases, clear patterns emerge.

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Why would a young man arm himself with a gun or knife, go to an unprotected area full of defenseless strangers, and try to kill as many people as possible, usually including himself? The “Active Killer” — that most modern of criminals — is perhaps the 21st Century equivalent of a medieval werewolf: a core of genuine human violence artificially aggrandized by widespread fear and ignorance.

Sherlock Holmes famously identified three universal attributes of crime: Means, Motive and Opportunity. Unless he had a complete understanding of all three, Holmes did not consider a mystery to be solved. Yet today, the…


Can watching TV help you stick to your workout goals? If you do it properly, the answer is yes!

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“Spartacus” is one of the best workout shows ever.

The fact of the matter is that, with exercise, consistency is the most important factor. WHAT you do doesn’t matter nearly as much as WHETHER you do it. With people stuck at home while gyms are closed for COVID-19, lots of folks will be picking out new exercise programs, and the challenge for many of us will be sticking with those programs long enough to make exercise a healthy, long-term habit.

In the book, “The Power of Habit,”Charles Duhigg explains that every Routine action (whether good, like exercise, or bad, like smoking) is associated in the brain with both a…


Have you noticed that there’s a tremendous amount of confusion associated with nutrition in general, and carbohydrates in particular? Let’s clear things up.

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What Is A Carb?

First of all a carb is not a TYPE of food, it is a PART of food. There are three substances that are classified as carbohydrates.

  1. Sugar. This can be sugar from fruit, honey, or a box labeled “Dixie Crystals.” While there are different types of sugar that we eat, they are all considered “simple” carbohydrates.
  2. Starch. This is a long chain of sugar molecules. Once we eat it, the body breaks it down into sugar. However, because it is “complex,” the process takes longer.
  3. Fiber. Fiber is also considered a complex carbohydrate, but unlike sugar and starch, it is…

Are unpleasant feelings a valuable doorway to personal insight, or are they the destructive byproduct of misdirected survival instincts?

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In Emotional Agility, psychologist and TED Talk favorite Susan David encourages us to seek the wisdom in our sadness, anger, and heartbreak. Conversely, in Positive Intelligence, neuroscientist Shirzad Chamine argues that mental anguish is the equivalent of physical pain — useful as a warning, but unhelpful and unnecessary once its message has been received.

Both authors agree that we should not ignore difficult feelings, and suggest tactics to manage them. From this common starting point, they diverge completely.

“Too much stress on being positive is just one more way our culture figuratively overmedicates the normal fluctuations of our emotions,” David…


In times of uncertainty, the humble chicken reigns supreme.

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As the soon-to-legendary 2020 toilet paper panic vividly demonstrated, the supply chain that keeps our stores stocked is dangerously fragile. A little bit of public anxiety, and suddenly an abundant household staple is impossible to find. Now … Imagine the same problem, but with food.

Even at the best of times, the most densely populated parts of the USA are also the areas at highest risk for natural disasters. Add COVID-19 to the mix, and emergency preparedness goes from being a fringe obsession to a mainstream priority.

Traditional WWII-era “Victory Gardens” are back in vogue, as is interest in home-scale…

Alexander Fox

Digital media guru by day, writer by night.

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