Category: Etc

Free of labels, which is also a good rule for living

Fandom as Cargo Cult

IF WE BUILD IT, THEY will come — again. First, you need to know what a “cargo cult” is: a folk religion among some groups of Melanesian Islanders who believed that they could attract cargo-carrying airplanes by engaging in sympathetic…

Blow ‘Em Out

AS DETAILED IN A PREVIOUS post (c. 2010), every March my sister asks what I would like for my birthday (it’s on the 22d, BTW) and my answer is always the same: “I already have everything I need.” That said,…

The Brotherhood of Blood

SOMETHING ELSE THAT HASN’T SURVIVED into adulthood is the kid-concept of “blood brotherhood.” It works like this: Two boys (did girls ever do this?) make an incision or a pinprick on their thumbs, then rub the wounds together. “Now we…

The greatest mystery is not that we have been flung at random between the profusion of matter and of the stars, but that within this prison we can draw from ourselves images powerful enough to deny our nothingness.”
— Andre Malraux

The only difference between a madman and myself is that I am not mad.”
— Salvador Dali

Ask Me Another

IT’S HARD TO STAND OUT from the billions of people using social media — but you can do it in a small way, at least among friends. I’m speaking as a self-appointed Facebook Questioner, posing queries every Monday through Friday…

ORL Interview: Ivan Stang

INTERVIEWING ONE’S CULTURAL HEROES IS one of the greatest thrills of a career in journalism — even of amateur journalism. Such was the position in which I found myself while working for Obscure Research Labs in the early-to-mid-1990s. It gave…

Backyard astronomers are a special breed. They savor their moments under the stars. They have an infatuation — a love affair — with the cosmos that grows and nurtures itself just as meaningful human relationships do. Of course, it is a less definable one-way relationship, but I have come to regard that feeling as the closest I can ever come to being at one with nature. After a night under the stars, I have a sense of mellowness, an amalgam of humility, wonder and discovery. The universe is beautiful, in both the visual and spiritual sense.”

–Terence Dickinson, Nightwatch: A Practical Guide to Viewing the Universe