Quote of the Day

What really shapes and conditions and makes us is somebody only a few of us ever have the courage to face: and that is the child you once were, long before formal education ever got its… Continue reading


Yosemite Valley, to me, is always a sunrise, a glitter of green and golden wonder in a vast edifice of stone and space.–Ansel Adams

For me, his words evoke that country even better than his photographs of it.… Continue reading

ANNALS OF PTSD: One More Casualty

Joseph Dwyer was a hero who became famous for carrying a wounded child toward help, an act of courage documented in one of the most famous photographs to emerge from the Iraq War.

A… Continue reading

After 32 Years, Network Still Nails It

Network is probably the greatest rant movie ever made. (I can’t think of another contender with so many great rants from so many different characters.) And this rant (newscaster Howard Beale’s magnificent on-air… Continue reading

Officially Cheerful

Had a rough day? Stressed about the looming Apocalypse and your dwindling bank balance? You need James Lileks. You need The Institute of Official Cheer. It’s got everything, all enhanced by elegantly phrased snarky commentary:

* Clothing ads… Continue reading

IN MEMORIAM: Thomas M. Disch

He wrote beautiful prose. He wrote beautiful poetry. The rage and pain and beauty of his work shone like supernovas at sunset. He was viciously original and sometimes just vicious.

He was notoriously hard to… Continue reading

Remembering History

On June 25, 1876, the Sioux and Cheyenne (under the leadership of Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse) defeated the Seventh Cavalry (under George Armstrong Custer) at the battle of the Little Bighorn. Custer’s detachment was wiped out. The… Continue reading

Better Than Bloomsday

Legal same-sex marriage starts today in California.

A very happy wedding season to all who can finally marry their partners, and may you live to see your marriage recognized and respected everywhere in the world.

As Nanny Ogg Would Say, Tempers Fuggit

I went to Office Depot today, looking for a replacement stylus for my Palm. It’s not new — I replaced my old M100 a year or so ago, choosing a low-end, monochrome model… Continue reading

May We Have the Envelope, Please?

The National Trust’s 2008 list of Most Endangered Places is out. This annual rite gathers historians, naturalists, and architects in nail-biting suspense. What monuments to our heritage are closest to being razed, paved, or… Continue reading

The greatest thing
in the world
is the Alphabet
as all knowledge
is contained therein
except the wisdom
of putting it together.
—from an old German bookplate