7QT: Building Imaginary Bridges, Destroying Phantom Boats

--- 1 --- I'm totally delighted by these mischievous bridges.  Euro notes apparently each feature a picture of a bridge, drawn in different architectural styles, but none modelled on a real bridge, so that the nations of the EU wouldn't be divided into "included in/excluded from currency" factions.  But the Netherlands has scuppered that compromise -- they've built all seven!The local council responsible for constructing a new housing development in Spijkenisse, a suburb of Rotterdam, hear … [Read more...]

7QT: Beautifully Built Things

--- 1 --- I always take pleasure in thinking about made things, so I especially enjoyed this article from the Kickstarter team on why so many Kickstarter projects have been focused on making a better wallet.  Apparently, they're a common starter project -- if you can manage to produce and ship wallets, you probably have the skills to Kickstart and deliver on the complicated project you really want to do: Using the wallet as a conceptual starting point isn’t just a Kickstarter thing, either. At … [Read more...]

My 10 Best Books of 2014

Every year, I like to make a list of my favorite books I read for the first time in that year.  Thus, my ten best books of the year aren't limited to those that came out in this year.  In chronological order of when I read them, these are my favorites.Oh, and if you'd like to get once-a-month, behind the scene updates about my book, Arriving at Amen: Seven Catholic Prayer that Even I Can Offer, you can sign up here -- my first email goes out on Monday, and includes the copyediting note that a … [Read more...]

7QT: Time, Taylor Swift, and other deeply philosophical matters

--- 1 --- Ok, move fast readers!  The NYT is doing a wacky contest to supply the opening paragraph that you feel should go with this pulpy book cover.Full details are here, and the deadline is midnight tonight.  Before any of you think of writing me into it -- I'll have you know that I happen to be a tough kid from Nassau.(If you do enter, feel free to cross-post in the comments here) --- 2 --- This is the second time I've read about this particular experiment to check whether, whe … [Read more...]

7QT: Artful Illusion and Clever Construction

--- 1 --- I totally understand if you read the first take here and then don't get around to reading takes 2-7 for an hour, or even until tomorrow, because I've got good news: Monument Valley has released new levels!  In case you're not familiar with the game, its tagline is "An illusory adventure of impossible architecture and forgiveness" and here's the little trailer for the original game:You play by exploring the MC Escher like landscapes and can often bridge an impossible gap by … [Read more...]

7QT: Tallying Rats, Robbing Houses, and Judging Barbers

--- 1 --- I know we're all done with Halloween, but I wanted to share these delightful, historical costumes with you all.  I love the "Radio Queen" one (which reminds me of the set direction in Rocky Horror), but my favorite has to be this plane.You could plan to do a less naked one next year, if it suits your fancy!  Halloween is less than twelve months away! --- 2 --- I love clever construction, whether physical or methodological.  And, speaking of the latter category, the NYT had a … [Read more...]

7QT: Costuming, Conspiracy, and Counterfeiting

--- 1 --- Guys, I have some exciting news.  Here's how I feel about what I'm going to tell you: Here's when I'm going to tell you: November 5th. And here's what....   ....well, that would be telling.  For now, let's just say you'll find out what Janet, the sunk cost fallacy, and Japanese pottery repair all have in common.  --- 2 --- But, if we're speaking of deadlines, let me remind you that today is the last day to comment and tell … [Read more...]