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random thoughts


Over at the New Yorker, Douglas Preston writes about a young paleontologist who “may have discovered a record of the + more


Larry Silverberg, a dynamicist at North Carolina State University – and an expert in the modeling of physical phenomena – + more

Abandon all hope…

“Hell,” Jean-Paul Sartre famously said, “is other people.” I think he may have been on to something. But is it? + more


It took Estelle Betzold Doheny nearly 40 years to acquire a Gutenberg Bible. Yet when it finally arrives, “she resists + more

Music Monday

Been listening to some new-ish stuff I picked up in Portland a couple of weeks ago. David Torn’s Sun of + more

Poetry Break

SEPARATIONW. S. Merwin* Your absence has gone through meLike thread through a needle.Everything I do is stitched with its color. + more


Planning a summer vacation on the Oregon coast? Maybe you should have a Plan B. “Roughly 100 miles off the + more

Etymology Wednesday

This is pretty cool (and by “cool” I mean fun for word nerds and, for everyone else, a painful reminder + more

The Great Database in the Sky

Just when I thought the nerds of Silicon Valley couldn’t get any weirder, news of a super-secret brain-trust of highly + more

You Win Some, You Lose Some

Bad news, folks: Naturalist Adrian Shine, who has led the Loch Ness Project since 1973, says Nessie doesn’t exist. “The + more

WTF Is Wrong with Us?

Well, this is depressing: Most of us now discriminate against members of the other political side explicitly and implicitly—in hiring, + more

Murder, Mayhem, and…Mapmaking?

In addition to torturing dissidents, starving millions of their own people to death, and running several countries’ economies into the + more

Infinitesimal Deviations

In War and Peace – “the greatest of all novels” – Tolstoy “shows us how our minds work even though + more


The most prolific art thief who ever lived? Over at GQ, Stéphane Breitwieser reveals his secrets. “In the annals of + more

“Sometimes, it’s the beauty of what you can’t hear that makes a sound.”

Mark Hollis has died. The Talk Talk front man was only 64. Two of the band’s albums – 1988’s Spirit of + more

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