Thursday, July 29, 2010

How jokes are like philosophy: "Part of the delight, part of what you laugh at in a joke is your own acumen. You know, a part of what’s delightful is that you get it, you know? And so when somebody tells you a joke and you have that split second when you finally get it, it brings out a response of delight in you, because you’re just so delighted with yourself that you got it. Well, that's part of the appeal of philosophy too." 

If only every ukulele cover of The Beatles were this incredible...then maybe I'd listen to more ukulele covers...

A Truly Badass Saint Writes a Poem that Applies to Your Life:
"On The Sabbath" by Thomas Aquinas

On the Sabbath try and make no noise that
goes beyond your

Cries of passion between lovers
are exempt.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

High Summer

Texas mandates reading groups instead of prison sentences for criminals.

Three chilling paragraphs explain life for women in Burundi.

A list of the best magazine articles ever written, as chosen by other essayists. An embarrassing paucity of women writers represented, but there are still a bunch of gems in there.

"Art, when really understood, is the province of every human being. It is simply a question of doing things, anything, well. It is not an outside, extra thing." - Robert Henri (The Art Spirit, 1923)

Monday, July 26, 2010


New Lauryn Hill? New/old Lauryn Hill? Trying hard not to even *think* the word 'comeback' for fear it'll scare her off. But, um, yeah. It's gotta happen.

Friday, July 23, 2010

30 Nights at the Museum

Attention all writers, armchair scientists and social media mavens! The Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago wants to pay you $10,000 to live in their museum for a month and write/blog/tweet about it. Seriously - they're going to pay you to become a minor science celebrity. The only catch? You can't leave the building for thirty days. Oh yeah, and no conjugal visits either. More information + the application here.

The guy playing Michael Jackson in this video used to be my boss.

Sure, you knew Simone de Beauvoir was a brilliant philosopher and social theorist. But did you also know she got her start as an advice columnist?

On The Great Gatsby: “It grieves me deeply that we Americans should take as our classic a book that is no more than a lengthy description of the doings of fops.” One-star reviews of Time’s 100 best novels.

"From Paris to the blue waves of the Mediterranean, from Marseille to Bordeaux, passing along the roseate and dreaming roads sleeping under the sun, across the calm of the fields of the Vendée, following the Loire, which flows on still and silent, our men are going to race madly, unflaggingly." – Henri Desgrange, founder of the Tour de France

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Bomb Threats and Weak Links

There’s a Planned Parenthood a few blocks from my work, one of a handful in Chicago offering pregnancy termination. This morning clinic workers showed up to find a box waiting on the sidewalk outside their office. Later, someone called threatening to detonate the bomb inside.

Police moved quickly. In a few minutes they’d cordoned off most of the neighborhood, rerouting buses and frustrating the last of the morning commuters. We watched the lockdown from our window. Displaced nurses stood on the corner hugging each other and glancing over their shoulders. My boss fretted over whether to send us home.