1. humansofnewyork:

“Is that flower real?” “Yeah, but it’s made of plastic.”
(San Francisco, CA)


    “Is that flower real?”
    “Yeah, but it’s made of plastic.”

    (San Francisco, CA)

  2. This adorable girl is now very, very old, if she’s alive at all. This is what I think about when I look at old photos.

Smiling young woman holds chick above chicken-filled incubator drawer in Arkansas, July 1944.Photograph by B. Anthony Stewart, National Geographic

    This adorable girl is now very, very old, if she’s alive at all. This is what I think about when I look at old photos.


    Smiling young woman holds chick above chicken-filled incubator drawer in Arkansas, July 1944.
    Photograph by B. Anthony Stewart, National Geographic

  3. 9 March 2013

    5 notes

    Reblogged from

    I feel a little like this guy today.

    I feel a little like this guy today.

  4. Apple to Android? →

    Apparently, there have been a string of Apple fanboys in the press, including Guy Kawasaki and Robert Scoble, who have defected from iPhones to Android phones, and now I’m feeling all confused. 

  5. The solar system as it moves through space.

    The solar system as it moves through space.

  6. "It’s Only Money"

  7. Enlightened, Daniel Deronda, and Deferred Plots

    I watched both seasons of Enlightened late at night over the past week, on the advice, frankly, of Patton Oswalt, who couldn’t stop tweeting about it. I only persisted through the first season because of Laura Dern’s acting, which is exhausting but compelling in the same way that watching a fight over a parking spot is compelling. There was no plot in the sense that we’re used to on television, even among the best shows. Instead, we got 3 or 4 hours of understanding a character and how she reacts to the stresses of everyday life. It’s slightly boring at times, excruciating at times, and just sad.

    It wasn’t until the second season that Mike White, creator and writer of the show, established a plot that reached out beyond Amy Jellicoe’s insular world. I didn’t understand what White was doing until I felt the impact of Amy’s changes in the second season. (I realize I’m being circumspect. No spoilers here.) What he did was brave in any medium, but on television, it’s incredible.

    I’ve been reading, for the first time, Daniel Deronda, the very long 1876 novel by George Eliot. Eliot’s plot doesn’t really get going for hundreds of pages. We get a character study of Gwendolen, and some backstory for the title character, but I’m already 290 pages into this 850 page book and Gwendolen is finally starting to be tested.

    Of course, when a character is so solid in your mind, you feel more deeply. The second half of the second season of Enlightened I felt more deeply than almost anything I’ve seen on TV. 

    It’s a tough decision to make as a storyteller. I always think of Hamlet, which obviously contains a marvelous plot: will Hamlet avenge his father’s death? But what makes Hamlet’s tarrying so urgent, of course, is the advancing army. The internal struggles of Denmark need to be handled now. The plot is on, right from the first scene. Then we can settle back a bit into soliloquy

    Perhaps we can have both. I’m not sure.

  8. Bus - February (Taken with Cinemagram)

    Bus - February (Taken with Cinemagram)

  9. Machine learning helping treat cancer →

    To follow up on my previous post about technology, here’s another example of why I’m thrilled to be living today. Just bonkers.

  10. 12-22-12 (Taken with Cinemagram)

    12-22-12 (Taken with Cinemagram)

  11. This animated GIF simply makes me happy. 

    This animated GIF simply makes me happy. 

  12. Numbers 9 and 33 from Fred Barthelme's 39 Steps: A Primer on Story Writing →

    9. Grace Slick.

    33. No characters named Brooke or Amber. 


  13. Why I Bet Google's Hi-Def, Touchscreen Chromebook Is Real →

    I’ve been having this conversation with a colleague recently: Technology is thrilling to me in a way it hasn’t been in a while. Soon, displays will be perfect to the human eye. Motion as well. Natural user interfaces, from touch, gestures, speech, and more, are reaching a point where computing will feel like conjuring. I mean, self-driving cars. Truly amazing.

  14. piratetreasure:




  15. Zadie Smith on “Joy”

    It’s already two weeks into 2013, and I haven’t yet read a word in a book with the intention of finishing that book. Almost all of my reading has been online. My reading time has been spent catching up with the television show Fringe, which has both delighted me and turned my brains into lentil soup. I yearn to get entrenched in a world-changing book, something that will, in the words of Rob Delaney, “scramble my biscuits.”

    No book—novel or nonfiction—has done this to me in so long that I despair.

    My online reading typically follows a workflow. I have many (too many) subscriptions that come into Google Reader. I have a Twitter stream. In both of these applications, I send a piece I want to read to Pocket, a fantastic (free) service that used to be called Read It Later. Later, I read it. (I can also send videos.)

    One piece that came through the feed last week has changed the way I look at the world. Zadie Smith’s recent essay in the New York Review of Books about joy. Here is the lead paragraph:

    It might be useful to distinguish between pleasure and joy. But maybe everybody does this very easily, all the time, and only I am confused. A lot of people seem to feel that joy is only the most intense version of pleasure, arrived at by the same road—you simply have to go a little further down the track. That has not been my experience. And if you asked me if I wanted more joyful experiences in my life, I wouldn’t be at all sure I did, exactly because it proves such a difficult emotion to manage. It’s not at all obvious to me how we should make an accommodation between joy and the rest of our everyday lives.

    Part of her argument is that her and her husband’s daughter, now almost three years old, is a source of joy, not pleasure, and that can feel unbearable. 

    Occasionally the child, too, is a pleasure, though mostly she is a joy, which means in fact she gives us not much pleasure at all, but rather that strange admixture of terror, pain, and delight that I have come to recognize as joy, and now must find some way to live with daily. This is a new problem. Until quite recently I had known joy only five times in my life, perhaps six, and each time tried to forget it soon after it happened, out of the fear that the memory of it would dement and destroy everything else.

    I love that: “occasionally” she is a pleasure. I also have an almost-three-year-old, and an almost-eight-year-old, and I find myself thinking about this distinction often. I complain constantly and loudly about my children, yet I love them so much it is too much to take. It got me thinking about the idea of the sublime. I remember running across the idea in Kant. I love the idea: The sublime object, beautiful as it is, has the ability to utterly crush us, and there’s nothing pleasurable about that. I think that’s what Smith is talking about when she talks of parenthood. It’s like encountering a new Grand Canyon, a new Starry Night, Pollock’s One, multiple times a day.

    I thought of this this morning as I walked home from dropping off my seven-year-old at school, holding my crying two-year-old, who wanted Mama. She was headed to our neighbor so we can work, and she didn’t want to. It was cold, just starting to snow, and it was quiet. I also held an unwieldy panda Pillow Pet, which kept knocking my glasses aside. This was not pleasurable. Suddenly she quieted down, and put her head on my shoulder, and I talked quietly in her ear, telling her to listen to my voice, and see the snow, and hear the sound of my feet on the sidewalk. There was some pleasure in the feel of her ear against my lips, but mostly it was a terrible joy.