Mrs. Whitcher and the Renegade Numbers

In 1938 a wallet manufacturer called the E.H. Ferree company had a genius idea: to show people just how well cards would fit in the wallet, by using a placeholder. This was before credit cards and before many drivers licenses were small enough to fit into wallets. So the thing they used to showcase the […]

Before You Can Enter, We Need to Search Your Brain

On Friday, January 27th, Donald Trump signed an executive order banning people from seven countries from entering the United States. And in the wake of that executive order, there have been a continuos stream of reports that people trying to enter the United States (whether from those countries or not) have been subjected to a […]

What Golems and Robots Have in Common

In Jewish folklore there’s a thing called a golem — a creature created by magic to serve its creator. There are lots of variations on the golem story, but the way I learned it goes like this: to bring a golem to life you form it out of dirt and then walk around it several […]

In Defense of Private Projects

It’s January, which means we’re still in the throes of people announcing and performing their resolutions. In a few weeks many of those resolutions will likely slip into guilty obscurity. By March people will mercifully stop asking you about that resolution. And by June you’ll be blissfully free of any memory of the resolution in the first […]

The Ghost of Old Mom

Any suburban teenager can tell you that rumors live and die in the over-lit hallways of malls. How many times was I dumped outside a Wet Seal? None, because I was not popular enough to have boyfriends in high school. But plenty of other people were! Anyway, you know what I mean. Malls are the […]

The Last Word

December 5-9. 2016 At a writing residency in Oregon, Emma finds a bird foot in coyote scat, and then sees death all around her in the forest. When I stopped for lunch, I took out my notebook and wrote, “Thinking mostly about nothing much except how the forest is death, death, life out of death, death accumulated so it […]

My Latest Bad Business Idea: 3D Printed Custom Menstrual Cups

Friends of mine know that I’m full of weird, mostly bad business ideas. There was the science tattoo consultant service, to help fact check your tattoo before you put the wrong DNA sequence on your body. There was the Brooklyn dog running company, that would go for runs with your dog. There was the proposal […]