April 2011

Build New Habits With HabitJudo

I learned about HabitJudo a few weeks ago from Metafilter Projects. Its creator, Allen Reece, wanted to build a "gamified" system for enforcing new habits.

"Gamification" is a new thing in productivity circles - I believe it comes from video game designer and philosopher Jane McGonigal. McGonigal has dedicated her life to analyzing why we love video games so much, and why they are better than real life. 

One thing games have over real life is a reliable - yet variable - rewards system. Every time you harvest a crop in Farmville, kill a monster in World of Warcraft, or shoot an alien invader in Halo 2, you get points. As points accrue, you level up and get rewards. Leveling up usually means getting some visual symbol to show how far you have come, and rewards can be anything from better fertilizer for your crops to a more effective weapon.

Culinary Adventure: Eat at Your Local Triple D

Last fall we were planning a trip to Memphis to meet with a good friend and her fiancée, now husband. Unfortunately we didn’t make it out to meet her, but we did set up some fun plans for when we are able to do so. One of our plans was to hit a couple of the restaurants that were featured on Guy Fieri’s “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives” television program on Food Network. Every time we see the show, as annoyed as we are by Guy (who eventually grew on us), we always wish that it was us visiting the restaurants instead!

Culinary Adventure: Visit Your Local Mom & Pop

If you’re searching for some amazing food, skip your local Olive Garden or TGI Friday’s or whatever cookie cutter restaurant you’ve got around the corner. Instead, try going on a real culinary adventure by seeking out your nearest Mom & Pop place. You know, one of those hole in the walls that you never think twice about; you might not even notice it very much at all, driving past on your way to work or school. You might have wondered about it—“Hmm, I wonder if Jeffco Diner is any good?” but then promptly left it forgotten when it came time to pick somewhere to go Friday night.