Redux: Anne Sasso has a stand-up calculator

It is Thing Appreciation Week at LWON, where we bring you the Greatest Hits of our previous posts about inanimate objects.  Anne Sasso wrote this post in January of last year celebrating her pocket calculator, which has stood by her for 40 years while planned obsolescence ate all of her other devices — and their replacements. […]

Redux: Nell on Paper Clips

This week at LWON we’re digging into the archives to celebrate the uncelebrated: inanimate objects. Many of them aren’t very impressive inanimate objects. And yet we love them. In December 2014 Nell Greenfieldboyce explained her obsession with paper clips. If you’ve ever worried about the feelings of an inanimate object, or thought about how amazing […]

Guest Post: Ode to a Gay Bar

Let me tell you a story. In the summer of 1991, when I was 21 years old, I worked in a genetics lab at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. I wasn’t yet out, but had heard about a popular gay bar called Heaven in the city’s Montrose neighborhood. When a new friend asked me to […]

Guest Post: A Mathy Mechanism for Solving a Problem Like The Donald

Over the last several years, Harvard economist Eric Maskin has been delivering a talk asking: “How Should We Elect Presidents?” Should the candidate with the most votes win? Not necessarily, according to Maskin. Maskin blames the U.S. system of plurality voting—whereby each voter casts their vote for one candidate and the candidate with the most […]

Guest Post: When Everything Good Is Also Beautiful

For the better part of 30 years, my head was firmly stuck in English. But when I moved to Italy three years ago, I also started my first genuine effort at picking up a second language. My barely remembered high school Spanish prepared me for some things about Italian, like the gendered nouns and overwhelming […]

Guest Post: Moire in the Wild

My first sighting of one of life’s everyday astonishments was as a little fellow in the 1960s, sitting unbuckled in the back seat of my family’s ’57 Chevy. Whenever we hit the highway on our way to the Jersey shore or the Lower East Side of Manhattan where my grandparents lived, we would approach and […]

Guest Post: Pip, Part Two

(Pip too big for jar) One year ago I rescued a one-eyed tiny frog, a spring peeper, from my pool.  Since then I have gone to lengths to not only keep it alive, but also to try and make it happy, as if that is something that is doable, rational, or admirable. I have long […]