Redux: Ixnay on the iPod: In Praise of Crap Technology

Tom Hayden, an ex-LWONian whom we miss beyond measure, posted this on Nov. 2, 2011.  At the time it seemed to hit a national nerve, but knowing Tom, we bet every detail of it is still true. I’ve been thinking about my Zune a lot since Steve Jobs passed away. You know, the revolutionary portable […]

Redux Post: The thin white line

This first ran 12/17/2012. The subject is timely and so is the take-home: don’t be too ready to hand over the keys. It was hardly the first time a ref had gotten it wrong. But the error at the 2010 World Cup was the last straw. Germany (the machine) was only beating England (the perpetual […]

Redux: The Knowledge

 This first ran on Nov. 18, 2011, before Sally took indefinite leave.  We just know you’re missing her so here’s the next best, the redux Sally. A transatlantic phone call ended badly the other day. “You can just turn left at the next light,” I heard my friend tell the New York cab driver over […]

How losing my smart phone made me smarter

A few weekends ago, I hiked a deep canyon with a couple of friends. As has become my habit, I toted my smart phone along. I set it to mute so that I’d remain undisturbed by pings and rings, and I pulled it out of my pack only to take a few photos. After the […]

Why I’ve Become a Distracted Driving Bore

Lately, I’ve become a nag. I reprimanded my husband for fiddling with the navigation on his smartphone while he was driving. I chastised a friend who said she talked on her speakerphone on the road and another who admitted to texting while “only going 30 miles an hour.” Last weekend, I looked up a bunch […]

I Regret the Error

Happy 2014, the year after The Year We Broke the Internet. Last week, in a gloomy essay in Esquire, Luke O’Neil wrote that publications old and new have abandoned basic reporting—and worse, their basic concern for the truth—for the sake of speed and splash. “Big Viral, a Lovecraftian nightmare … has tightened its thousand-tentacled grip on […]

My love-hate relationship with e-books

Ever since I read a New York Times article about the possibility of bedbugs spreading through library books, I’ve been too paranoid to check out a book from my local library. (Yes, I know people have argued that the article was way overblown. What can I say? I have an irrational fear of the bedbug.) […]

The Rime of the Ancient Astronomers

I received an email the other day from Nicholas Suntzeff, the director of the Astronomy Program at Texas A&M as well as a friend. (Readers might remember that he has published two guest posts with LWON.) His email was in fact a series of emails that he thought I might enjoy. It started with a […]