The Blank Page as a Petri Dish for Thought

Essayist Arthur Krystal on why writers are often smarter on the page than in conversation: [W]riters don’t have to be brilliant conversationalists; it’s not their job to be smart except, of course, when they write. Hazlitt, that most self-conscious of writers, remarked that he did not see why an author “is bound to talk, any more [Read More…]

50 Things a Woman Should Be Able To Do

Last week I posted  a list of “50 Things a Man Should Be Able To Do.” In the interest of gender equality I thought I should compile a similar list oriented toward woman. I’m not qualified to compose a complete list myself, of course, so I only came up with 35 and let Eishes Chayil provide the [Read More…]

The Solitude of Friendship

There are so many gems of wisdom in William Deresiewicz’s lecture on “Solitude and Leadership“—delivered to a plebe class at West Point—that it’s difficult to find a single point to excerpt. But his section on introspection and solitude is especially insightful and worthy of reflection: So solitude can mean introspection, it can mean the concentration [Read More…]

Cowboys, Puritans, and Poker

James McManus on the importance of understanding poker’s role in American culture: Humanities professors should recognize that the ways we’ve done battle and business, made art and literature have echoed, and been echoed by, poker’s definitive tactics, as well as its rich lore and history. The long list of questions that students might ponder include: Why [Read More…]

50 Things a Man Should Be Able To Do

Every man does not need to know how to tie a bow tie. Let’s get that clear up front. I don’t know why it is on every “Things a Man Should Know How to Do” list but it’s simply not true. If you have a reason to wear a bow tie (e.g., you’re going to prom, your [Read More…]

Portion Distortion and the Last Supper

How much would Jesus eat? The answer—as determined by depictions of the last supper—vary by era, say two brothers—an eating behavior expert and a religious studies scholar: Brian and Craig Wansink teamed up to analyze the amount of food depicted in 52 of the best-known paintings of the Last Supper. After indexing the sizes of [Read More…]

Why Don’t Doctors Wash Their Hands More?

After reading this, I don’t think I’ll be shaking hands with doctors anymore: Hand hygiene and sterile technique are so successfully maintained in operating rooms not because of the reminders that hang over scrub sinks, but because it is part of the culture and identity of those who work there. No self-respecting surgeon, nurse, anesthesiologist or [Read More…]

The 50 Best/Worst Childhood Fads

They were the best of fads, they were the worst of fads—all at the same time. The faddish objects of our childhood were sometimes loved and sometimes hated but they were hard to ignore. Here are a list of the 50 best/worst from the 1960s to today: 1. Beanie Babies What made it the best: You [Read More…]

What Does Beauty Taste Like?

“De gustibus non disputandum est,” the Romans used to say: Concerning taste, it is not to be argued. But concerning taste—the physical sense, not the aesthetic sentiment—Carolyn Korsmeyer argues that it is not as philosophically inconsequential as once believed: For centuries it was commonly asserted that beauty could only be apprehended by means of the senses [Read More…]

Human Anatomy Terms That Sound Like Things You Would Go See On A Vacation

Aortic Arch Corpus Callosum Islets of Langerhans Bowman’s Capsule Cranial Vault Semicircular Canals Medullary Pyramids Brodmann Areas Crypts of Lieberkühn Prussack’s Space Fissure of Rolando McBurney’s Point Anterior Horn Alcock’s Canal Hesselbach’s Triangle Loop of Henle Renal Columns of Bertin Text via The Science Creative Quarterly; Image via GOOD magazine [Read more…]