: High on the Hog Blog
Purveyor of Idle Observation

Please note: I'm no longer updating this particular blog, but keep it around for archival purposes. Visit me at the current blog at

Fun Theory: The Piano Stairs

We believe that the easiest way to change people’s behaviour for the better is by making it fun to do. We call it the fun theory.

The newly pianoed stairs got 66% more foot traffic than before. I think they’re on to something. Read the rest of this entry »

Music I Like: Beautiful World, Duet Dierks Bentley and Patty Griffin

via Patty Central off of Dierks Bentley’s Feel That Fire Read the rest of this entry »

Apocalypse Not Now: Paul Krugman on the State and Direction of the American Economy


Paul Krugman, perhaps the United States best-known active economist by virtue of his NY Times column and popular books, has posted a though-provoking lecture from his class at Princeton – The Return of Depression Economics?

Among the contentions of just how bad the current financial condition of the country really was, Krugman notes that “we basically replayed the first year of the Great Depression” in that “year one was a full match for the Great Depression itself.” His relative optimism springs from the conclusion thatafter “the mother of all asset bubbles in housing, probably the biggest mis-pricing and overvaluing of assets in history … we do not appear to be replaying the second year of the Great Depression.”

Audio: Paul Krugman, The Return of Depression Economics?, Oct. 21, 2009 (download mp3)

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Krugman’s narrative – an economic catastrophe originating in Reagan’s deregulation was saved by the stabilizing influence of big government (“deficit spending saved the world”!) – is not one I’m entirely willing to accept, but the discussion is nothing if not thought-provoking.

Music I Like: Orpheum Bell


Michigan-based Orpheum Bell describes their music as “country and eastern.” It’s easy to see why with down-home instrumentation and a jangly percussiveness channeled through the wide ranging musical backgrounds of the band members. Somehow it works.

Check out a few of the tracks from their 2007 album Pretty as You on

Orpheum Bell: Live Compilation

Aaron Klein – vocals, banjo, ukuleles, tenor & regulation guitars
Annie Crawford – vocals, violin
Laurel Premo – vocals, banjo, dobro, cittern, violin
Merrill Hodnefield – vocals, violin, autoharp, saw
Michael Billmire – accordion, trumpet, shepherd harp, mandolin
Serge van der Voo – double bass, percussion

The Not-So-Secret Cat Fetish of Architect Philip Johnson


Swamplot, my favorite Houston real estate blog, had a great find in Your Secret Cat Code Has Been Cracked, Mr. Johnson. Mr. Johnson is of course Philip Johnson, the influential architect who shaped much of Houston’s skyline. Read the rest of this entry »

Stefan Sagmeister: The Power of Time Off

TED Talks Stefan Sagmeister: The power of time off

Every seven years, designer Stefan Sagmeister closes his New York studio for a yearlong sabbatical to rejuvenate and refresh their creative outlook. He explains the often overlooked value of time off and shows the innovative projects inspired by his time in Bali.

It’s interesting to wonder what the cost of closing for a yearlong sabbatical would be. More interesting would be to calculate the cost of not doing it. Read the rest of this entry »

Video: House of Cards

Brilliant PSA for a housing charity by Leo Burnett, via AdFreak. Read the rest of this entry »