The Queue: The Receiving End of Sirens, Tycho and Microwave

The Queue: The Receiving End of Sirens, Tycho and Microwave

The Queue is a recurring feature in which I discuss some of the music that I've been listening to recently. This week I examine an old favorite, an artist's early release that I'm only now getting into and a slow-burning single. Let's investigate. Between the Heart and the Synapse – The Receiving End of Sirens [...]

The Analogy: Edwin Abbott’s Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions

The Analogy: Edwin Abbott’s Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions

At the outset of A Field Guide to Getting Lost, Rebecca Solnit explains how the book was inspired by a student bringing her an ancient koan: How will you go about finding that thing the nature of which is totally unknown to you? I don't know that Solnit ever satisfactorily answers that question, unless the [...]

Unplugged: 5 Acoustic Versions That Are Better Than the Originals

Unplugged: 5 Acoustic Versions That Are Better Than the Originals

If you play guitar—and often enough, even if you don't—there's a good chance you have an acoustic lying around somewhere. Simpler and quieter than an electric, acoustic guitars are the most universal incarnation of the world's most popular six-stringed instrument (sorry, violists) and perhaps the laziest commodification of that ubiquity is the never-ending trend of [...]

Murky Depths: Rebecca Solnit’s A Field Guide to Getting Lost

Murky Depths: Rebecca Solnit’s A Field Guide to Getting Lost

Rebecca Solnit's A Field Guide to Getting Lost is ostensibly a collection of essays on the varying ways that we, as the title suggests, "get lost." Solnit approaches the idea of getting lost through the baseline implication of finding yourself directionless in an unknown place but, much more interestingly, she also approaches the idea from [...]

Slow Down: James Gleick’s Faster and Dead Swords’ Enders

Slow Down: James Gleick’s Faster and Dead Swords’ Enders

Before I even arrived on campus for my freshman year, I had a homework assignment. A copy of James Gleick's Faster: The Acceleration of Just About Everything had been sent to every incoming freshman at my college and we had been instructed to read it prior to orientation. At the time, this really pissed me [...]

Hunting: Ursula Le Guin’s A Wizard of Earthsea

Hunting: Ursula Le Guin’s A Wizard of Earthsea

Having loosed a monster that he does not understand and which threatens to destroy him, Ged spends much of A Wizard of Earthsea running. The titular wizard's constant flight eventually leaves him wholly exhausted and on the brink of annihilation, at which point he returns to the mage who was his first master, Ogion. Under [...]

Under Fire: 4 Adults Who Completely Failed in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Under Fire: 4 Adults Who Completely Failed in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

During the interminable hours that are spent rocking my teething son back to sleep in the middle of the night, I've taken to re-reading old books on my Kindle. As I made my way through Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire with my son fussing, squirming and, eventually, sleeping in my arms, I couldn't help [...]