A guide to the art of the conversation

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New York City’s Bryant Park is an oasis of green surrounded by a desert of grey concrete buildings. I sat on a dark green chair underneath a dark green umbrella overlooking a square of bright green grass.

“So how important is luck?” a voice inquired next to me.

I turned my head and met the eyes of an older gentleman sitting to the right of me. He looked like your stereotypical grandfather with a blue polo shirt, tan shorts, and hair gone completely white.

“Are you talking to me?” I asked.

“Yes! I was wondering what you learned from your…


Some names are hot. Other names are named after U.S. Presidents.

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I was supposed to be born on July 4th. Eager to fit into a country they just immigrated to, my parents named me after America’s first president. So I became a “George.”

Growing up, I liked my name. It’s recognizable without being overly common. I never had to compete with another “George” in any of my classes nor did I ever have to spell out my name to someone over the phone.

But then hormones hit. Suddenly the topic of girls swept through my brain like a horde of Dothraki riders and I started to resent my name because of…


The untold story of “intelligent” design

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“Alright, let’s get started,” said Holius. He plugged the conference room’s holy HDMI cord into his holy laptop and looked expectantly at the holy TV screen.

The screen remained black.

Holius sighed. “We can create the heavens and the earth but we still can’t design a functioning IT system,” he muttered. Holius unplugged and replugged the cord several more times before the screen started flickering. A slide appeared with the title QUADRUPED DESIGN MEETING appeared.

“Do we need to dial anyone in?” asked Kashel, who was sitting across from Holius.

For an angel, she had impressively fair-skin that contrasted with…


A semi-serious guide to modern dating

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You met him on an app. Tumble or Hinder or Binge. One of them. All of them. You forget which. You swiped right based off a picture and a 25 word bio — he loves dogs and traveling.

Now you’re at a trendy coffee shop/restaurant/bar. He’s talking about his recent trip to Rome. It’s a well-rehearsed story told with the perfect mixture of humor, impressiveness, and humbleness. You act like it’s the most fascinating adventure you’ve ever heard. It’s not. Both of you pretend this awkward interaction isn’t awkward. …


And why the “local” experience is overrated

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If I polled a handful of friends about their favorite activities, “traveling” would fall somewhere between breathing and bottomless brunch. Judging by the number of articles, blogs, and Instagram accounts dedicated to traveling, my friends aren’t alone in their wanderlust. The “millennial” generation travels far more than any other previous generation.[1] And why not? Seeing the world is easier than ever and traveling offers a chance to experience new cultures and broaden our worldview.

But I’ve noticed a developing trend among my friends: the search for the “local” experience. Although what that means seems to vary person by person, it…


And why you should never make decisions when hungry

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I, like most red blooded Americans, love Costco. It’s like Disneyland for adults except instead of marveling at fantastical rides, you marvel at Costco’s ridiculously cheap prices — where else can you buy enough bulk-sized containers of peanut butter to last you for the next 3 years?

One of the many things that makes Costco magical is its food court. There you can feed yourself or your family on the cheap with options such as a chicken bake, pizza, and Costco’s infamous hot dog combo. Shoppers can enjoy a hot dog and a 20 oz soda (with free refills!) for…


Or at least reconsider asking someone to take our photo

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After standing in line for 30 minutes at what felt like a ride to Disney World, the doors finally opened and my group was ushered into a cavernous room. Painted directly on the wall in front of me was the Da Vinci masterpiece, The Last Supper.

It’s a surreal experience facing a piece of artwork you’ve only seen in books and movies. I felt a bit bashful, almost like I was meeting a celebrity. …


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A (semi) scientific answer

I’ve always wanted to be the type of person who has a tattoo. That person rides a Harley, plays drums in a band, and leads a more badass life than the one I have now.

However, I’ve always been too afraid to get a tattoo. I have a hard time committing to a magazine subscription for a year, let alone artwork that will stay on my body for the rest of my life.

Consequently, people with tattoos fascinate me. Who are these magical beings that confidently mark themselves for life? Even though I believe people should do whatever they want…


A guide on what “fashionably late” actually means

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Ugh….a party

If you dislike me you won’t talk to me. If you hate me you’ll invite me to your party.

Aside from needing to talk to people at a party, one of the other problems with parties is deciding when to show up. I’m a punctual person. Being “fashionably late” conflicts with the core of my being.

Yet I have been to enough parties to realize that punctuality is not always appreciated. I remember going to a party thrown by a friend of a friend. The Facebook invite had a 9 PM start time. …


And if they don’t, how should we live our lives?

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Slavery is good.

Your instant reaction is to strongly disagree with that statement. Slavery was a historical atrocity we are still making amends for today. When we look back at history, we’re astonished that people could have been so cruel and backwards. We’re glad that the world has become enlightened enough to get rid of such a horrible practice.

Now consider this statement.

Eating meat is perfectly acceptable.

Most of you agree with it. And while you may not necessarily be proud of your ability to scarf down a 36oz Tomahawk steak, you have no problems with eating animals. This…

George Li

love, life, and more — topics that spark conversations: http://latenightfroyo.com

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