Day 11, Idea Machine: Yoga Poses

Today is Day 11 in my Idea Machine Project. If you're new and found this post because of the yoga reference, I thought it might be helpful to explain what's up. Claudia Altucher, wife of James Altucher, recently published a book titled Become an Idea Machine (affiliate link to the Kindle edition) building off of James' admonition that "ideas are the currency of the 21st century." Since I'm … [Read more...]

Idea Machine, Day 10: Meetups

Today's Idea Machine topic is to come up with 10 meet-ups I could organize for my local area and include ideas about how to make sure everyone participates. Ben Franklin was the master of organizing meet-ups in Philadelphia, back in the day. The meet-up ideas are pretty simple and some of them may already exist in my area. 1. Form a Ben Franklin-style Junto book club for book discussions … [Read more...]

Idea Machine, Day 9: Airlines Show Love to Coach

Today's Become an Idea Machine topic is, to paraphrase slightly, to list 10 ways that commercial airlines could make air travel more pleasant for us. Here goes: 1. Provide free noise-canceling headphones. 2. Give us free fresh fruit. 3. Place a fresh flower on each seat cushion. 4. Guarantee space in overhead bin. 5. Provide more oxygen (better air quality). 6. Have the pilot … [Read more...]

Idea Machine, Day 8: 10 Movies

Today's prompt for the Idea Machine project is to list 10 movies that made a deep impression and explain why. This project was inspired by Claudia Altucher's new book, Become an Idea Machine, which itself was prompted by her husband's 10 ideas practice. I'm listing these in the order they popped into my head as I wrote them in my moleskine. They aren't necessarily my favorite movies (some … [Read more...]

Idea Machine, Day 7: Favorite Books of All Time

Books are the focus for day 7 of Claudia Altucher's new book, Become an Idea Machine—which I adopted as a blogging project for The Ben Franklin Follies. Here are some of favorite books of all time and why, which explain a little bit about what I learned from them. I'm basically typing directly from my journal entry the morning of January 31 with little-to-no additional thought or editing. In a … [Read more...]

Idea Machine Day 6: Easier Air Travel

Today is Day 6 of the Idea Machine Project, following along with Claudia Altucher's new book, Become an Idea Machine. Today's topic: 10 things I could do to make my personal air travel easier. Air travel is a huge headache, so I should definitely make the effort to implement at least some of these ideas. 1. Take the time now to configure my password software across all my devices so that … [Read more...]

Idea Machine, Day 4: Coursera

For Day 4 of Claudia Altucher's Become an Idea Machine project, the prompt is to describe 10 course topics for Coursera with the emphasis on "courses I would take." As much as I love to learn, this one was a bit tougher for me because of the requirement that these be "courses I would take." Why does that make the topic difficult? I have 4 degrees: BA, JD, LL.M., Ph.D., along with a … [Read more...]

10 Ideas: Time for Quiet, Gratitude

This is Day 3 in the Idea Machine practice. As explained here, I'm following along with the prompts in Claudia Altucher's new book Become An Idea Machine. Today's Topic: List 10 places or moments in the day where I can pause, get centered and experience gratitude. Since I'm already doing this, or at making an effort to get quiet each day for at least 10 minutes of silent breathing … [Read more...]

Idea Machine: Apps I Would Use

For Day 2, Claudia Altucher's prompt is to list 10 apps I'd like to use. The rules say it doesn't matter if the app already exists. Here's the list I came up in about 15 minutes. I included more than 10 apps because some (most?) of them do exist--just not to my satisfaction! Reminder that I'm simply re-typing these from my journal and not taking time to do much, if any, editing. 1. App that … [Read more...]

Turning Dislikes Into Opportunities for Gratitude

As I explain over on my professional blog,, I decided to take on Claudia Altucher's project to come up with (at least) 10 ideas a day using the  daily prompts she lists in her new book, Become An Idea Machine (affiliate link). Given the nature of this project (I'm doing it mainly as an exercise in creativity) I'm not spending much time on self-editing, so I'm typing these … [Read more...]