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random thoughts

Miscellany: Architecture & Music Edition

Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House: “a magnificent catastrophe.” Thelonious Monk’s 25 Tips for Musicians: “You’ve got to dig it + more

The Simple Life

Wilf Davies has lived in Wales’ Teifi valley for all of his 72 years. He’s never been married (“it’s not + more


Andrew Blum on fusion: “On the evening of March 18, 1987…three thousand [physicists] crammed into the Hilton ballroom for the + more

Don’t Relax Just Yet

Now that there appears to be some light at the end of the tunnel—the CDC’s COVID Data Tracker actually brings + more

When Did I Become My Grandfather?

I’m not the kind of person who stresses out about his age. Not much I can do about it, I + more

Wonders Never Cease

Yesterday I saw a dude riding a skateboard—downhill, mind you—while playing a banjo and smoking a cigarette. And he wasn’t + more

Monday Ramblings

“The first note known to have sounded on earth,” writes Mathew Lyons, “was an E natural. It was produced some + more

Miscellany: The Glorious, the Sublime, and the Cool Edition

Il glorioso: Project C-90, the ultimate audiotape guide. Il sublime: Promises, the new album by Floating Points, Pharoah Sanders, and + more

“Now with more MOLECULES!”

This morning on Twitter I saw an ad for Chipotle’s new “hand-crafted quesadilla.” No, I’m not making this up. It’s + more

On My Bookshelf

I’ve been reading A Year with Swollen Appendices: Brian Eno’s Diary by, well…Brian Eno. It’s literally his diary, but from + more

Six of One, Half a Dozen of the Other

On the one hand, 61 percent of Americans reported undesired weight gain during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Check out the average + more

Just a Puff Between Your Cheek and…Cheek

The practice of smoke enemas—something that “early modern Europeans in particular took up with a surprising degree of enthusiasm”—was apparently + more

One of the Greats

Somebody check the temperature in Hell. Rolling Stone has actually published something worth reading: For a brief moment in the + more

Curmudgeonly Post of the Week

In an article about my favorite record label over at City Journal, Ted Gioia closes with an astute observation about + more


In the 1930s, the USSR began building hundreds of lighthouses along its 3,500-mile arctic coastline. Eventually, neither keepers nor electricity + more

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