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Grab bag

Il tarocco dell’opera

At various points, I've had friends who did Tarot readings, and who could occasionally be prevailed upon to read my cards. I've always found the Tarot iconography interesting to think about, even though I'm a terribly amateurish reader myself. Last year I was amused to come across both a Knitting Tarot deck and an Edward […]

Verbal drag

[It's not just NaNoWriMo this month, it's also NaBloPoMo. While I suspect I won't manage to post something here every day, I do feel the urge to stretch my writing muscles a bit. Amazing what a bit of peer pressure can do. So here's a quick post, part of my effort to write more.] I […]

Halloween link roundup

Stunning jack-o-lanterns on Flickr. My particular favorites are Cthulhu Pumpkin and Zombie Pumpkin. I'm also liking the recurring pumpkin cannibalism theme. (And then there are the jack-o-lanterns for Obama.) Creepy story recommendations from About Last Night, here, here, and here. Speaking of stories, a perennial favorite: the ghost stories of M.R. James. His Ghost Stories […]

The quotation effect

The other night, wanting something to read, I asked my Twitter friends if they could recommend any poems they liked. One of them suggested Conrad Aiken's "Morning Song of Senlin," which I'd never read before but was very glad to have pointed out to me. At the end of the first stanza I was stopped […]

Gratuitiously cute alpaca post

Because I just can't take any more anxiety about the state of the economy, I'm going to blog about fluffy animals today. Well, that and because I went to see some fluffy animals this afternoon. Specifically, alpacas. This weekend is National Alpaca Open House weekend, an event I'd never heard of until some of my […]

In praise of tiny houses

I love the concept of the tiny house, and clever alternative housing in general. So I was intrigued by this story from the Hartford Courant: a soon-to-be Yale forestry grad student is building herself a mini-house, complete with solar array, instead of moving into student housing. Check out the video tour! (Via Apartment Therapy: Re-Nest.) […]

This explains a lot.

Brain researcher thinks we’re hard-wired to be infovores. Apparently, the act of interpreting something that needs interpretation makes the brain produce happy-making neurotransmitters: coming across what Dr. Biederman calls new and richly interpretable information triggers a chemical reaction that makes us feel good, which in turn causes us to seek out even more of it. […]


"I always think those WWJD? bracelets really ought to stand for ‘What would Jeeves do?’" (Courtesy of my friend R., who was in town for a visit this weekend. It’s finals week and I have a ton of stuff to finish, so blogging will be sparse for the next few days, but I just had […]

I want to be a library detective…

As seen at Making Light: Jason Shiga’s Bookhunter is very (very!) loosely based on a real book theft, but turned into an action movie. Special Agent Bay of the Library Police tracks down missing library books. Small-time perps just steal or deface books, but sometimes Bay faces more complicated cases, such as when a valuable […]

Time-sink warning!

In the vain hope that sharing a time-sink with the interwebs will somehow stop me wasting my own time, I present to you my most recently-discovered procrastination enablers: Flight of the Hamsters. I think I’m probably the last person in the blogosphere to link to this game, but it’s bizarrely addictive. The fact that the […]