Last weekend, we decided to go for a hike at the nearby Blue Hills Reservation to celebrate the arrival of lovely spring weather. We arrived to find plenty of free parking, a visitor center with clean restrooms, and clearly displayed instructions for hiking trails with varying difficulty levels and lengths. It all seemed great, until we tried to follow the directions to the head of our chosen trail: Continue reading Designing from the User Standpoint (Literally)
Congratulations to all of the runners in today’s 120th Boston Marathon. You’re going to feel amazing after you cross that finish line.
I had a little bit of a hard time not signing up again because it was such a fulfilling experience to run the marathon last year in support of Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge. As the day has drawn closer, I’ve found myself feeling grateful that I overcame that initial temptation. Continue reading It’s Marathon Monday!
Self-determination theory, at a high level, would predict that giving people choice is a good thing. Giving people the opportunity to choose seems like it would be a great way to support a sense of autonomy. But research also shows that too much choice makes people unhappy. They may struggle to choose, feel less satisfied with their eventual choice, or even opt out of the choice entirely (Iyengar, 2010). And that’s not even getting into issues of individual preferences around choices. Continue reading “Goldilocksing” on Choice: How Much Is the Right Amount?
I was wandering through the Boston Public Library‘s main branch at Copley Square (a truly enchanted building) when I stumbled across an interactive exhibit to accompany their current exhibit about the Revolutionary War. The exhibit is called The Liberty Tree, and is a human-sized framework covered in visitor-created paper leaves describing different definitions of liberty. The library explains: Continue reading Is Freedom the Pursuit of Happiness? The Boston Public Library Liberty Tree
Since signing up to run the Boston Marathon for Dana-Farber Cancer Institute last year, I’ve had some people express interest in doing the same. Now that it’s September, Dana-Farber and many of the other charities that have bibs available for marathon runners will be starting their application processes. So, now is the time to think about whether you want to run the 2016 Boston Marathon and raise funds for a cause close to your heart. (If you missed it, I do not plan to run–loved it, but once was enough.) Continue reading So You Want to Run the Boston Marathon for Charity?
In January of 2015, the US Olympic Committee chose the city of Boston as their candidate to host the 2024 Olympics. This selection meant that the USOC would put together a campaign to win the right to host the 2024 Winter Games, granted by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Unfortunately, the committee that petitioned the USOC for the bid and created the initial hosting plans did not consult the citizens of Boston. As residents became aware of the specifics of the bid and what it might mean for the city, approval ratings for the Olympics dropped in the city. Eventually, after the mayor of Boston stated that he could not commit to the contract as written before further investigation*, the USOC decided to drop Boston as its candidate. Continue reading A Self-Determination Theory Perspective on the Boston 2024 Olympics Bid
For the second week in a row, I ran a specific race for the fourth time in four years. On Sunday I participated in Boston’s annual Run to Remember, a half marathon and 5 mile race that supports the families of fallen police officers.
I registered for the half marathon distance, figuring that I should be able to handle it after running Boston a month earlier. I had originally planned to squeeze in one or maybe two long runs (10-12 miles) in the weeks before the race, but then of course I got a fairly bad cold and ended up not doing it. As a result, the Run to Remember was by far my longest run since the marathon and I was nervous about not being well-prepared. Continue reading Race Recap: Run to Remember Half Marathon
Last weekend I ran my fourth Harpoon 5-Miler, the annual fundraising race hosted by Boston’s Harpoon Brewery to support The Angel Fund. This is one of my favorite running events; not only is 5 miles one of my favorite race distances, but the race is followed by an outdoor party featuring delicious Harpoon beer. Continue reading Race Recap: 2015 Harpoon 5-Miler
If you follow sports at all, and perhaps even if you don’t, you’ve seen the news about “Deflategate.” The New England Patriots, my hometown NFL team, stand accused of deliberately under-inflating footballs for the AFC championship game against the Indianapolis Colts in 2015. Earlier this week, following the publication of an investigative report, the NFL handed down a punishment of a four game suspension for quarterback Tom Brady, and a $1 million fine and loss of future draft picks for the Patriots franchise. Continue reading Case Study: Deflategate and the Psychology of Ingroup Bias