blog archive


Terry Teachout reports on a “trivial little exercise in inter-generational trolling” he undertook on Twitter last week. The results are + more

“A Tiny Masterpiece”

“Robert Rauschenberg,* who once said that he wanted to make the biggest drawing in the world, also created one of + more

Public Service Announcement

If you ever find yourself in Dillon, Montana—and really, why wouldn’t you?—do yourself a favor and stop in at the + more

Thank You, Captain Obvious

The correct answer to this question, of course, is “Yes.” #SavedYouAClick However, since reading “calms the nerves, increases language and + more

Say Goodbye to Workplace Productivity

As usual, I’m late to the party on this. But I just discovered Open Culture, “The best free cultural & + more

The Wonder of It All

I’ve been mildly annoyed by REI’s #ForceOfNature social media campaign, if only because they seem to be trying really, really + more

On Names Good and Bad

“Consider the Oreo cookie,” wrote Harlan Ellison. “Mealy. Chocolate only in the same way that an H-bomb blast-effect is a + more

Today’s Reading Assignment

Over at Current Affairs, Nathan J. Robinson offers an impressive—and, to be honest, convicting—defense of liking stupid things. “Not everything + more


Check this out: In 2009, Richard Stephens, a psychologist at Keele University, in England, asked a group of volunteers to + more


This explains why I’m easily the friendliest, kindest, and most thoughtful and empathetic person at helveticka world headquarters. Ugh: “People + more

France Defeated in Minor Battle; Wins War Anyway

It’s May 5th today. Which means all the 20-somethings will be out celebrating a fake holiday by eating Taco Bell takeout + more

What’s Next? Pre-Chewed Food?

If you’re someone who thinks that the very existence of President Donald J. Trump is proof of the coming apocalypse, + more


Is life a problem to be solved, with happiness awaiting those who solve it? No. And…no. In fact, “optimizing one’s life and + more

Ode to Billy Joel

Over at The Atlantic, Adam Chandler describes the scene at a Billy Joel concert: A mother tries to cajole her + more

So THAT’s why CK smells funny today…

Happy Weed Day, everyone. In the fall of ’71 Waldo Steve was given a treasure map to a patch of + more


The subhead of this article says it all: “What began as an attempt at a simpler life quickly became a + more

The B.S. Goes to 11

Jeff Koons is unveiling his latest project, and, from the sounds of it, well…let’s just let him describe it: “They touch + more

Today in History

Lord Byron to Thomas Moore, from Venice, April 11, 1817: My late physician, Dr Polidori, is here on his way + more

Fake News

Pretty much everything about this article, written two years ago and shared over a hundred thousand times since, is wrong. “While + more

The Whole World’s Gone Nuts

The truly jaw-dropping line in this story about pet plastic surgery isn’t the one about botox for Dobermans’ ears. Nor + more

Stop! Grammar Time!

Which pronoun is best when referring to a person: who or that? For a long time, I’ve labored under that + more


“Billy Joel, bald and glistening, looks like a big, smooth stone, as if the years and the sorrows, like so + more

Music for All Time

I vividly recall the thrill of discovering Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony—with Toscanini conducting the NBC orchestra and the Robert Shaw Chorale—as an eight-year-old + more

Assume Nothing

I’m really, really sorry to bring politics up. But this is pretty dang interesting. Someone restaged the 2016 Trump-Clinton debates with + more

Going Swimming? Urine for a Surprise

How much pee is in our swimming pools? Up to 75 liters, it turns out. Which seems like a lot—until + more

Odds and Ends from an “Arch-Genius”

David Gelernter, Yale University computer scientist and subject of one of the stupider (not to mention more lazily partisan) newspaper headlines in + more

Answering Life’s Important Questions

In an effort to “establish, once and for all, the absolute best fast food items in America” the fine folks + more


Happy Twin Peaks Day, everyone. Hearty recommendation: The History of English Podcast. I mean, dig this Indo-European Family Tree. Whatever + more

The Coolest Story You’ll Read All Day

“As I scurried down a frost-covered slope into the cave, I couldn’t shake the distinct feeling that I was stepping + more

Pardon the Fanboy Moment

Brian Eno’s long been one of my favorite musicians in any genre—I’m listening to his 1993 album Neroli as I write + more

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