Photo courtesy Creative Commons / by Flickr user Vivienne Gucwa

Three Poems

  On Returning to Baker, California The World’s Largest Thermometer is dark now, most of the ten-degree bulbs shot out for target practice and the Starbucks’ windows boarded up and splintering to dust in the gritted-desert wind are cordoned off…

Is this the hardest game on the internet? Photo courtesy of Flickr user jimmywayne

The State Highway Signs Quiz

Proceed to quiz   Most people, when they’re giving directions, describe all highways with the uncomplicated prefix “Route” (pronounced as root or rawte, according to taste). Take Route 85 for a few miles, then merge on Route 151, then south on Route 16….

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…

Photo by ER Post

To Boldly Go

A few minutes into the new Star Trek movie, I had to stifle a giggle. Jim Kirk, captain of a space vessel capable of blipping straight across the galaxy, pulls out his “communicator,” a far-future version of the cell phone. And it…

A SoCal Summer

A SoCal Summer

The best time to surf is always now. There is never time unless it is stolen, or constructed–saved. The calendar carves it up and serves it to the coyotes scavenging around the fringes for scraps of moments that can never…

On Digging In

On Digging In

“I think you can never really do something well unless you’re able to leave it and, you know, have a family and have a home, and have a place that you’re from that you’re really dug in, you know. I…

Some Things Don’t Change

Some Things Don’t Change

We seem to believe that there’s a safety blanket covering these mountains. As kids we run in packs with our cousins or bike around the campground, exhilarated to be out from under out parents’ watchful presence. Helmets are more optional…



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…

Gold Rush, Google Rush

If you’ve got ten minutes free, pause and read this beautiful, terrifying essay, “Google Invades,” by Rebecca Solnit. If you don’t have ten minutes, come back when you do. Here’s a taste: [T]echnology is just another boom and the Bay…