TOPSHOT - This picture taken on November 14, 2017 shows a woman taking pictures at the Tianjin Binhai Library.
A futuristic Chinese library has wowed book lovers around the world with its white, undulating shelves rising from floor to ceiling, but if you read between the lines you'll spot one problem. Those rows upon rows of book spines are mostly images printed on the aluminium plates that make up the backs of shelves. / AFP PHOTO / FRED DUFOUR / To go with AFP story China-library-architecture, FOCUS by Becky Davis        (Photo credit should read FRED DUFOUR/AFP/Getty Images)

Book Thoughts

Back in my college days, I worked at the library at Iowa State University. Each day, I’d receive a small stack of government publications, and my job was to put them in the correct place on the shelves, deep in the musty dungeon of a basement. I loved it. It’s not that I was particularly fascinated by the latest prints…

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The Bus and Mrs. Human

The moment I thought about writing about how content I felt sitting on the bus, the moment was ruined. Before this, I was thinking about all the people sitting in bumper to bumper traffic at that very moment. Oh the stress that would cover the road if it were to materialize as a visible cloud — however that would work.…

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Thanks, Internet

If you browse the Internet enough, you’re bound to utter the phrase at some point. “Thanks, Internet.” Sometimes it comes out sarcastically, like when you do some quick online shopping for a new shower squeegee, and it turns into a 1-hour pursuit through the drudgery of Amazon reviews about the best and worst features of each one out there (and…

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Time Shopping

I just went calendar shopping. What a fiasco. I’m no expert in psychology, but I’ve watched enough Derren Brown and studied enough on my own to know the things we see throughout a day can be extremely formative of our thoughts and choices we make. Hell, why would advertisers drop billions each year just to get a little slice of…

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Humans in an airport — Source:

People Crossing

I’ve expressed it before (again and again and again, in fact), but I’ll say it again: I’m completely fascinated by the many layers of a place — the stories that happened there, events that changed the world, the natural wonders, quirky trivia, all those dark stages of history — all of it. In fact, I could probably express this same idea again (and…

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Human Embryo — Source: PBS

Babyhood to Parenthood

I used to be a baby. So did you. So did the Rock. And Kim Jong Un, the Queen of England, Kanye West and a whole bunch of others. It’s one of those taken-for-granted things that we share as humans (and the entire animal kingdom, for that matter). We all used to be babies. Yes, very profound, I know. The part that…

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Only a Blog

I just realized it’s been a while since I last posted on my beloved Life On a Planet blog. It’s not that I haven’t had interesting experiences or topics on my mind. It’s just that, somewhere throughout, I seem to have forgotten that this whole thing is just a blog. Nothing more. Such a basic thought, I know, but quite…

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Helmets Off: This is the Netherlands.

The Dutch like their bikes. You’ve probably heard this before, but it’s hard to overstate, even coming from a place where biking is relatively common – Austin, Texas, USA But our bike scene is nothing compared to that of the Netherlands. In fact, I wouldn’t even describe their way as a “scene” — it’s more like a way of life.…

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My family history map, zoomed in on the Netherlands — from

How to Map Your Family History

Humans can do some incredible things when you put 3.7 billion of us in the same room together. That’s essentially what happened with the internet — it connected diverse people and places around the world, and of course, it’s still growing. And when it comes to humans, we do some pretty incredible things when we’re connected. Like, build huge family…

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Screen overload — Image from Health CGB

The Next Big Thing for Writers?

No matter where you’re at in history, the latest technology looks like a pathetic version of the future’s technology. We’re picky little creatures, and we have enough ingenuity to know we can do better, so that’s what we do. The better things get, the more pathetic the old stuff starts to look. And of course, we’re just getting started. While it’s…

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