The Last Word

May 23 – 27, 2016 Remember Erik’s argument that cultures have their own keywords/cyphers? Guest Sean Treacy says that the keyword for Italian culture is “bella,” beauty, to such an extent that the beautiful also defines the good.  Think about that a minute. Every year since he was a kid, Erik’s gone on The Ride […]

Pain Management Hurts

I take painkillers. The kind with names that end with “done” and start with “oxy” or “hydro.” I’m not happy about it, but, like millions of others out there—actually about 100 million—I suffer from chronic pain, mine related in some way to my twisted gut and mixed-up immune system. I’ve seen all kinds of doctors, […]

The Last Word

May 16-20, 2016 In the hierarchy of correspondence forms, nothing beats a physical letter, writes Christie, particularly for their superior ability to be stumbled upon. Cassie threw up her hands in despair about climate change – and her intractable fatalism about it – and LWON’s trusty commenters took the ball and ran with it. Wherever […]

Going Paleo in Florida

The Florida panhandle got some big press this week, yet another early human find confirmed in North America, people entrenched along the Aucilla River south of Tallahassee 14,550 years ago. This came from an underwater excavation where archaeologists have been plumbing a sinkhole through which the river flows. Artifacts and megafauna remains have gathered in the […]

Environmentalism Lost

Somewhere there is an old recording of me. I can’t find the tape, but I’ll tell you what I remember. I’m young — maybe sixth grade — and inexplicably wearing a burgundy blazer. My school is holding some sort of an event for Earth Day. The local TV reporter asks me why I’m participating. “I think […]

Redux: Lost in the Cloud

This post first ran on September 26, 2012.My mother sent me an old letter recently. It was a handwritten note scrawled across two pages that she’d written to her sister more than 30 years ago. My family had just moved to West Germany, where my dad was stationed in the Air Force, and in the […]

The Last Word

May 9-13 This week, Richard set out to prove, unscientifically, that slow readers are slow language learners. When he failed, he realized his method was scientific after all — just not in the way he expected. Jennifer discovered she was just fine with being woken up in the wee hours by hysterical laughter, so long […]

Funny Bird

  Here comes dawn. The sky yawns and the sun flicks its lids above the horizon. But just before the lights come up on Virginia’s rolling hills, the sound of morning commences. Can we call it a song? That might be a stretch. There’s a certain musicality to it. You’re no doubt familiar with its silly refrain. […]