Bruce Springsteen on his 2012 European tour / photo by Juan Ramon Rodrigeuz Sosa, courtesy Creative Commons

Singin’ for the Lonely

LET ME tell you about the Bruce Springsteen concert I went to in London this summer. I first got fascinated with Springsteen the same way I learned to shave, in secret imitation of my father. I remember in junior high…

Boyce and I don't have any pictures together because basically our entire friendship plays out online. I had to get a little creative (sorry Jess).

Where Does Friendship Take Place in a Digital World?

My favorite interaction with Boyce Upholt, the guy who created land that I live with me, happened eight years ago at a movie theater in Connecticut. It was the summer after my freshman year of college, and I was with…

The Gherkin in London

There and Back Again

February 1 I am now booked for four domestic and international trips over the next two months: Seattle, India, Boston, England. Some for work, some for pleasure, some for both. Lately, my life has seemed like a train on the…

Reflections on running and the terror attacks

Last Friday, with one Boston Marathon bombing suspect dead and the other subject to a massive manhunt, I left their picture open on my laptop all day. I wasn’t even in the U.S. when the bombing occurred, but a kind…

Campo de' Fiori / courtesy flickr user O. Bendorf


According to most history books, timelines are horizontal. But in Rome history drew its own line vertically: new was built upon old and an urban layer-cake was formed. You can’t even build a subway line without ceding the project to archaeology for…

Imagining America imagining Israel

Imagining America imagining Israel

Last month, I spent a week in Israel on an educational seminar, experiencing the country’s stunning diversity and trying to wrap my head around its wrenching contradictions. Moments of ecstasy and heartbreak felt like they were tearing me in two….

Explore Everything

We’ve discussed before the appeal and complications of ruined and abandoned buildings–but I don’t think any of us have taken things as far as Bradley Garrett, an academic who studies urban explorers–and has become a leader of the movement himself….



Yet another map in which Mississippi looks like the center of a black hole: See the full set of data here.

50 New States

We’ve written before about how a border–just an imaginary line–can change realities. Politically, especially. Back during election season, Andrew pointed out how those state lines can be skewed. Well, artist Neil Freeman has a novel solution: let’s just make all the states have…

Trailblazing the Internet

Trailblazing the Internet

When I was a kid on camping trips, I always made sure on the last day to carve a special mark into the tree closest to where I’d pitched my tent. I thought of it as my signature, two small…