The Power Of The Teddy Bear


As a child, I was fascinated by machines; as an adult, I am increasingly obsessed by the operation of the human mind. Note that I don’t say “the human brain”, although that’s interesting as well. But that’s the hardware end, if you will. It’s the mind, the software, that I’d like to understand. Humanity, to our knowledge, is utterly unique in the possession of consciousness. Which is in and of itself a problem. How do we know we are conscious?

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Nobody’s Asked Me What I Want For My Birthday… And A New Website Feature


…but this is probably it.

It occurs to me that somehow I’ve gotten through about five hundred posts on this site without really explaining the whole squid/Squidco/Calamarco/Kraken pseudo-mythology surrounding my life. I’ll get right on that for the none of you who care.

In the meantime, let’s try out the newest feature on this amazing website: polling!

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Greetings From The Blue Ridge Mountains, Over Near Tennessee


My brother where do you intend to go tonight
I heard that you missed your connecting flight

Most of my valued readers are not Fleet Foxes fans and will not recognize the opening lines of “Blue Ridge Mountains”. I spent this weekend in Tennessee and North Carolina, working on a comparison test for an upcoming issue of Road&Track. Any guesses as to the car in the picture?

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Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Musicians


Let’s say that you’re a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed eighteen year old, and you LOVE music. In fact, you love music so much that you have decided that you’d like to be a Professor of Music at an Institute of Higher Learning someday. So, you embark on a journey to gain not only an undergraduate degree in Music Performance, but a Masters and Doctorate, as well.

Why would you need all those pieces of paper? Well, that’s what is required of all collegiate Music Professors, even at places like East Tennessee State University or Catawba College.

But let’s say that you are determined, and you know that in order to get one of college teaching jobs, you’re not just going to need a Doctor of Musical Arts degree, you’re going to probably need one from one of the top music schools in America. Why? Well, when you graduate with your third degree, there may be only one or two full-time, tenure-track positions available on your principal instrument in the entire freaking country. Period. You will have to compete with literally hundreds of applicants for every position, all of whom will be fully qualified with doctorates and most of whom will have prior collegiate teaching experience.

So you audition at all of the very top music schools, and you actually get in to one of them—which is tough, because the top music schools only accept about 15-30% percent of all applicants. You decide to double major in performance and education, which is a smart career move, but it means that you’ll need a minimum of five years of college to graduate with both undergraduate degrees. Let’s see how much that’s going to cost you, shall we?

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You Simply Must Have These Items In Your Closet


I’m tired of seeing people who have no clue how to dress for business. I don’t give a hoot that you’re a “creative” person, or that you feel “more comfortable” in jeans. I don’t think that you’re hip or trendy because you’re wearing square-toed shoes—I just think that you shop at Kohl’s. I’m not impressed that you went to the gift shop at Pebble Beach once—stop wearing golf shirts to the office.

But I’m a giving, generous man, and I always say that you shouldn’t complain about things without offering a solution. So, I’m going to give you the Bark-approved man’s must-have closet items. It’s damned close to a listicle, but whatever.

Click to read what’s missing from your wardrobe, and how you should rectify it.

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How Does Something Like This Happen?


Ever wondered what a two-seater Hyundai convertible would be like? Thanks to the people at Auto Solutions magazine, a classified listings publication in the Northeast, you no longer have to wonder!

As you can see, right on the cover of the magazine, our friends at Torrington Hyundai have a “Hyundai Miata” for sale, listed in a magazine that has 25,000 copies distributed in 3,000 locations. ON THE COVER. Oops.

The day of the classified cars magazine has been over for a long time, and this is just another example of that.