What's All This Then?

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What's All This Then?

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Thursday Edition

To err is human. To break every commandment before
breakfast takes skill: Scott Smith's Ten.

Coudal Partners

fresh signals categorical archives

Writing and Reading

From The Complete Works of Shakespeare.

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Ben Bradlee, "speaking truth to spin doctors". jc-10.23.14

An Ode to the Original Six. ms-10.22.14

"He called me 'Legs' when I was hired as a fashion news aide in 1985, because I'm tall and because he didn't know my name. Eventually I had a byline, a better job and I became 'Sherrill.' In Bradlee's newsroom, you knew you'd made his team when your first name disappeared down the memory hole." Martha Sherrill on Ben Bradlee. jc-10.22.14

"Death is never kind to artists, but it has been particularly harsh on Algren. But now he is back with a roar as loud as the 'L,' which Algren once described as 'the city's rusty heart.'" Rick Kogan on two new Nelson Algren films. jc-10.21.14

"I refuse to give you a discount on principle because I know those shoes cost $200 and because anyone carrying a Vera Bradley handbag can afford to pay full price. I own a barn, lady- I wasn't born in one. Besides, you're wrong. I don't take this sh*t back to the farm; I take it to the food bank and sleep the sleep of the just." ms-10.21.14

"In the Potluck Dilemma, a per-agent algorithm of motivation ("M") and previous performance ("P2") predicts compliance. Mary, for example, brought a blueberry French toast casserole to the last potluck. It was straight baller. She will most likely phone it in next time and bring cheese or something." Game Theory: The Potluck Dilemma, by Jason Hayes. jc-10.20.14

Patricia Marx takes a fun look at emotional-support animal fraud: "How to Take Your Pet Everywhere." sd-10.17.14

"Nicole, can you take Matt's temp on the brodal shower idea? But first, find out if he has hot friends!!!! :) Also, Nicole you're not attracted to Matt right?? Don't want another offering to have sex with our friend's husband situation, right Jen? LOL. Awk-ward!" Hey Ladies: Autumnal Shower. jc-10.16.14

"Already most of the chairs were taken, girls in cargo pants and a few guys who looked like they were chewing on tin foil. Guys like me, I guess. Guys who'd said the wrong thing, looked the wrong way, picked the wrong bird to start plucking. 'Harassment,' they called it. Well, that was jake with me, as long as my suspended license got un-suspended." ms-10.15.14

Just a taste of the Studs Terkel Radio Archive. Great news. jc-10.14.14

Agreed. ms-10.14.14

The First Spacewalk, how the first human to take steps in outer space nearly didn't return the Earth. Via MeFi ms-10.14.14

The Telegraph gives us their picks for the 40 Best Space Movies. ms-10.13.14

Long read of the day, The Human Factor. ms-10.08.14

On this day in 1929, William Faulkner's "splendid failure" The Sound and the Fury was published. jc-10.07.14

King of the Click: the story of the greatest keyboard ever made. ms-10.07.14

What if the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 never happened? dw-10.07.14

"Nothing beats autumn in New England," said His Excellency, the Duke of Fall. jc-10.06.14

"Serial is a new podcast from the creators of This American Life, hosted by Sarah Koenig. Serial will follow one story - a true story - over the course of a whole season. We'll follow the plot and characters wherever they take us and we won't know what happens at the end of the story until we get there, not long before you get there with us." ms-10.06.14

"What is the age your mother cites when saying, 'I thought that by the time you turned ____ you'd be married.'?" Security Questions For Single, Childless People. dw-10.03.14

"For some months, Amtrak was my home. It began simply somewhat unintentionally...." Spencer McCormick's travels, "Aboard Amtrak" jc-10.03.14

"The cycle never breaks; our sordid tales end always with ellipses, not full stops. When yesternight our courtship freshly failed, you saw the cue to take it to the top.--- But now that we are once again apart, I swear you shan't again reclaim my heart." ms-10.03.14

For my Mom, who reads the ending of books first, In Defense of Spoilers. ms-10.02.14

The NY Times confirms what we have put into practice for years here at CP, Procrastination leads to creativity. ms-10.02.14

"There were 20 other people shot that night. But the dad waited, and so I did, too. A father saying good-bye to his dead son. It was a tiny little city tale, and I watched it f*cking happen." ms-10.01.14

"I miss the time when we were still defined by our music. When our music was still our music. I miss being younger, with a head full of subversive ideas; white cables snaking down my neck, stolen songs in my pocket. There will never be an app for that. ms-09.30.14

"...all he ever wanted to be was the shortstop for the New York Yankees." John Gruber on #2. Only perfect. jc-09.26.14

Sorry, Clay Risen Is Not Sorry. jc-09.25.14

Due to a rash of suicides in the 1930s, Budapest launched a campaign to be "The City of Smiles." A wonderful, bizarre hoax, but attributed to whom exactly is the big mystery. sd-09.24.14

Welcome to Colon, Magic Capital of the World. Delightful. ms-09.24.14

"A four-year design education in four inches worth of typesetting." Bierut on Rand. jc-09.23.14

A McSweeney's tradition, It's Decorative Gourd Season, Motherf*ckers. ms-09.23.14

"My point is that it's counterproductive, counter creative, to morally charge the art of working with type. We wouldn't moralize cadmium red or C sharp major when teaching brush technique or the scales. To do so in typography stunts the full breadth of expression that designers need to draw upon." ms-09.23.14

The little-known story of how The Shawshank Redemption became one of the most beloved films of all time. ms-09.22.14

"...a perpetual state of almost right." Jason Fried has faith in eventually. Amen. jc-09.22.14

Related to the last, I, Pencil, by Leonard E. Read. jc-09.22.14

"The tool chain that created this simple product is incomprehensibly complex." Kevin Ashton on what's in a Coke. Great. Via Jim Dalrymple. jc-09.22.14

"That Stranger Who Showed Up In Town Sure Looks a Lot Like My Dead Father Who Was Murdered Years Ago When I Was Just a Kid But It Couldn't Be Because I Saw Pa Killed With My Own Eyes Though Looks Can Be Deceiving, Especially Since I Lost My Eyesight In That Horrible Fire Last June. ms-09.19.14

"A schoolboy pops into the library to find a book on taxation in the Ottoman empire - this is his first mistake."A sneak peek at Haruki Murakami's illustrated The Strange Library. jc-09.18.14

Everyone bookmark this Enigma Machine Simulator. From now on we'll post Fresh Signals in code. bb-09.17.14

"No future generation will know the joy of biking through the blistering Central Texas heat and slipping into the cool embrace of Hastings while the Knack or Blue Oyster Cult chases away the summer doldrums." ms-09.17.14

Today's Office Digital Edition, by Jan Chipchase. jc-09.17.14

"Japanese Maple" a poem by Clive James, who is terminally ill. More from Katy Waldman. jc-09.16.14

"Of course, we continue to innovate on the product side--we recently incorporated raisins into our oatmeal cookies and just released our latest version of confectionaries, Petits 4.0." ms-09.09.14

Bet you didn't know that on this day in 1607 Hamlet was performed on board the merchant ship "Red Dragon," anchored off the coast of Sierra Leone. jc-09.05.14

"Giving a shit does not require capital, simply attention and humility and diligence." Let's Talk About Margins, by Craig Mod. Amen. Via Daring Fireball. jc-09.04.14

Along one of the world's busiest and most treacherous shipping lanes, fifteen men risk life and limb on a daily basis to guide colossal cargo ships to safety ms-09.04.14

Stories from The Onion as interpreted by Facebook, Literally Unbelievable ms-09.04.14

2014: A Facebook Odyssey. ms-09.02.14

Infinite Jest in LEGO. ms-08.29.14

The Star Wars George Lucas doesn't want you to see. ms-08.28.14

"Ms. Lyons, Hi, if you are reading this then they killed me. I wanted to tell you that I enjoyed talking to you, you seem like a really great lady. I'm sorry we didn't meet under different circumstances. . . . . Thank you for your kindness. Have a wonderful day." The Witness. Via MeFi. ms-08.27.14

Truth. dw-08.26.14

"This book is the property of the people of Detroit, and must be taken special care of, and not allowed to lie around where injury may happen to it. For damages done to the books of the Library the following fines will be imposed..." dw-08.22.14

"For nearly thirty years, a phantom haunted the woods of Central Maine. Unseen and unknown, he lived in secret, creeping into homes in the dead of night and surviving on what he could steal. To the spooked locals, he became a legend--or maybe a myth. They wondered how he could possibly be real. Until one day last year, the hermit came out of the forest. ms-08.22.14

"In a dust,, seemingly empty field 60 miles east of L.A., Dr. Alexis Gray, a forensic anthropologist from the San Bernardino County Sheriff Department, points to a chain-link fence far in the distance, the mountains rising beyond in the hazy heat. 'There are 7,000 people between us and that next fence there,' she says. For almost a decade, her job has been to confirm the identification of every single one of them." ms-08.19.14

"The engine runs on a mixture of gasoline and holy water. The stereo is configured to only play hymns. Hell, the cup holder only fits grails! Oh, I shouldn't say 'hell' near this thing, it may have some anti-Satan security device. Or maybe they just banked on God keeping it safe. ms-08.19.14

Uh, thanks Marshall. ms-08.18.14

"That means a child attending her first day of school the day you found out would be old enough to die driving one of your cars the day you f*cking did something about it." How John Oliver Beats Apathy. ms-08.18.14

The Hanx Writer iPhone app by Tom Hanks. dw-08.14.14

An excerpt from the new graphic novel by Jules Feiffer, Kill My Mother. jc-08.13.14

"Pajama Bottoms: Will be flying either to or from a city with a Senor Frog's." Airplane Passengers as Explained By Their Pants, by Wendi Aarons. jc-08.12.14

"Try discussing a brand new language via Skype with two hearing linguists, plus another via text, who happens to be deaf, and see what you learn." The Medium, by Michael Erard. Fascinating. jc-08.11.14

"That fall, eight empty semitrailers, each 53 feet long, arrived outside Mawhinney's warehouse in Pittsburgh. The convoy left, heavy with vinyl. Mawhinney never met the buyer." ms-08.11.14

"...it looks like there's a decent chance we could be in for record high temperatures today. The current mark is a toasty 98 degrees, set on this date back in 2005, which also happens to be the last time Karen said that she loved me." A Meterologist Works Out Some Personal Issues During His Forecast, by Pete Reynolds. jc-08.07.14

"Buildings are all very well, but it seems you haven't truly made it as an architect until you've given us something to sit on." ms-08.06.14

So you know, what happens when you enter the Witness Protection Program. Via TMN. ms-08.05.14

Driving back into the city from the burbs last night, heard a really great episode of Snap Judgement; The Grand Illusion. Elmyr's story is fascinating and Queen of the Night had me laughing out loud. ms-08.04.14

The path followed to the publication of Robert Frost's "Road Not Taken", on today's date in 1915. jc-08.01.14

For SD, The drone you should buy right now. ms-07.31.14

"Dating theory and Mom suggest that I will meet many other awesome women as I grow older and that I should therefore not stress this Samantha thing too hard, since there are likely 'other Samanthas' out there for me. But is the conclusion of this theoretical framework really just a total lie meant to dupe me into a lonely death?" ms-07.30.14

Reddit 101. dw-07.29.14

Print Isn't Dead, a showcase of outstanding illustration and design work demonstrating and pushing the boundaries of print in all forms. dw-07.28.14

Lost Scenes from Generic Hipster Indie Romance Films Found in 2076 During a Museum Restoration of an Old Macbook Air and Subsequently Adapted for the Stage During Heritage Week at a Camp for 7th and 8th Graders Later That Summer. ms-07.24.14

How the recent DashCon 2014 conference quickly went to hell in a handbasket. ms-07.16.14

"If you want a good early morning airport customer, respond to Angela G. Light luggage, no talking, phone on silent. I knocked off one star because she said NW corner and she was actually on the NE." ms-07.14.14

Local note, get out there tomorrow and support Chicago's first Independent Bookstore Day! ms-07.11.14

The man who makes me swoon talks about the Foodie Revolution. ms-07.09.14

Our buddies at The Distance profile Hala Kahiki, Chicagoland's favorite tiki bar that's been in operation since way back in 1966. dw-07.09.14

Our pal and super-hero Liz Danzico is on The Great Discontent today. jc-07.08.14

"Inevitable ruin haunts Orwell's book because it's what lurked around his writing desk at the edge of this island." Chasing Orwell's Ghost. ms-07.03.14

"Fretful, melancholy, untalkative, dissatisfied and sickly," On this day in 1883 Franz Kafka was born in Prague. jc-07.03.14

"As you enter the main area, you will see an EKHARD oiled solid-oak dining sideboard. Quickly kick it apart to acquire the TABLE LEG WITH NAIL." IKEA Walkthrough v2.3.1, a classic from Matthew Baldwin. jc-07.03.14

The great Ben Kay writing about Always' "Like a Girl" campaign and the continued Dove-ifyed faux altruism. sd-07.02.14

The NY Times comes to the rescue and validates an argument I've been having for years, that Walgreens is missing an apostrophe. In this story, they call the company simply "Walgreen," which is correct. Bless you, Grey Lady. sd-07.02.14

"My first memory is of my father carrying a hammer into our bedrooms and smashing open our piggy banks on the night Roberto died." A Drive into the Gap by Kevin Guilfoile. jc-07.02.14

Our band only sold one copy of our album and we'd like it back, by Jake Tuck. jc-07.01.14

"His paintings of apples confused critics and art enthusiasts alike. People were astonished that apples could look so ugly, and be so poorly painted. Some thought Cezanne's still lifes were actually a joke, or an insult." ms-06.30.14

"...usage guide authors find themselves in the role of pornographers serving a community of masochistic perverts." I expect Mr Pullam's talk at the Cambridge Symposium on Usage Guides and Usage Problems is going to get some attention. jc-06.27.14

"Gazing down at the motionless escalators, dead plants and empty benches below, he adds: 'It's still beautiful, though. It's almost like ancient ruins." The Death of the American Mall. ms-06.27.14

"Renk has watched his fights captivate fans, even though many don't follow the sport. 'The Spaniards--all Latin people--refer to the passion for bullfighting as el gusano the worm, and it eats at you the rest of your life. El gusano never leaves you." Gorgeous photos. ms-06.26.14

"The hopefuls are toting their most prized possessions- a vase lovingly wrapped in a towel and riding in a laundry basket on a wagon; a carousel deer with real antlers and a chunk missing from its head; a 4-foot-tall painting of a nude woman; a Winchester rifle; a cart filled with antique dolls. At one point, the sound of shattering china echoes through the set; you can hear people gasp, as everyone looks around nervously, clutching their heirlooms a little more tightly." ms-06.24.14

"Throughout this article we've made imprecise statements and statements that ought to have had all sorts of qualifications and reservations attached to them; and some of our statements may be flatly false." Alternative Histories, by Miles Klee for Lapham's Quarterly. jc-06.24.14

"In early May, a product evangelist and tech blogger from San Francisco, Robert Scoble, visited Hogeg. Hogeg showed him Yo and asked for his feedback. 'This is the stupidest, most addictive app I've ever seen in my life,' Scoble told him. Hogeg agreed." ms-06.24.14

On this day in 1961, John Steinbeck's The Winter of our Discontent was published despite the "pale and emasculated critical priesthood singing their litanies in empty churches." jc-06.23.14

"Well, I don't care if your friend Brad doesn't have to learn the piano. He isn't actually your friend at all. He's a person you think you should like because he's part of the popular crowd, but if you try to glom on to that group, the end result will be tears and humiliation, and you'll question your self-worth while lying in bed at night, creating imaginary torture devices you'd like to use on him." ms-06.23.14

"Mr Holmes as a character, plus the majority of his characteristics and those of his chums, are decidedly in the public domain." Elementary. jc-06.23.14

Great long read, Baptism By Fire: A New York Firefighter Confronts his First Test. ms-06.22.14

"There's no doubt about it. We picked up several from different parts of the planet, took them aboard our recon vessels, and probed them all the way through. They're completely meat." bb-06.17.14

"Exposing the truth of human-alien interaction and interplanetary travel, Len Kasten reveals not only that the Ebens have returned to Earth eight times but also that our government continues to have an ongoing relationship with them." Secret Journey to Planet Serpo: A True Story of Interplanetary Travel. Huh. sd-06.17.14

"I was part of their 'Great Minds' tour where you can talk to some of history's geniuses. The nicest one was Ben Franklin, but he had intestinal parasites and spent most of the time on the toilet. Edison didn't want to talk to any of us, although his lab was interesting (no A/C, fyi)." ms-06.17.14

Open Culture on everything you need to enjoy reading James Joyce's Ulysses, including what Stephen Fry has to say about it. jc-06.16.14

James Joyce reading "Anna Livia Plurabelle" from Finnegans Wake in 1929. Plus, Sylvia Beach tells the story of how the the recording was made. jc-06.16.14

"Mr. Joyce manages to give the effect of unedited human minds, drifting aimlessly along from one triviality to another, confused and diverted by memory, by sensation and by inhibition, is, in short, perhaps the most faithful X-ray ever taken of the ordinary human consciousness." Edmund Wilson's July 5, 1922 review of Ulysses for TNR. "Mr. Joyce has told the whole truth." jc-06.16.14

"Silence, exile and cunning." Djuna Barne's interview with Joyce, Vanity Fair, March 1922. (pdf) jc-06.16.14

Happy Bloomsday, here's WB Yeats' receipt for his copy of Ulysses. jc-06.16.14

jc-06.16.14

Meet the man who made the World Cup trophy. ms-06.13.14

Ben Rosen explains Dad's jokes. jc-06.13.14

PaperLater is a new service to help take stuff you don't want to read on screen and print it as a newspaper. dw-06.12.14

"I approached two scouts with a red wool blanket and explained that I was an Eagle Scout, I'd never traded before, but I did happen to have in my possession something uncommon and perhaps extraordinary: the lamest patch in creation. Eyes went wide. Hand unfurled. 'That,' the first one said, 'is pretty bad.' 'Yeah, I've never seen it before,' the second said. 'Okay, I'll trade you.' What do you want for it?" ms-06.12.14

"Professionalism can be the icing on the cake, but first you need a cake." John Higgs explains why we shouldn't fix typos. Via TMN. jc-06.11.14

"Man, do not fuck with the white robots. Are they robots? There's a black one! With asthma. Okay, that's a guy in a suit then. Nobody else is breathing like that though..." Star Wars, First Impressions. jc-06.11.14

"Throughout your life, there are signals telling you you are a writer. Unless you are not a writer. In which case, there are no signals whatever. At least not signals telling you you are a writer." —Earl Pomerantz. jc-06.09.14

The Telegraph has a rolling timeline of the D-Day Landings of June 6th, 1944 hour by hour, as events unfolded on the day. ms-06.06.14

So you know, Tim is is killing it at kottke.org today. jc-06.05.14

Nate & Co. go in search of America's Best Burrito. Volunteer taste-tester here. ms-06.05.14

John Cheever Reads "The Swimmer." December 19, 1977. jc-06.04.14

"The day after Christmas, in 2012, I packed my rented Chevrolet Impala in New Orleans and drove five hours northwest to Shreveport. My plan was to spend a couple of days with Dr. Cuthbert Simpkins, Coltrane biographer and trauma surgeon." An Absolute Truth: On Writing a Life of Coltrane, by Sam Stephenson. Splendid. jc-06.04.14

"That's how the heart works—it doesn't give a shit about what it's supposed to feel, it just feels. Inconvenient? Inappropriate? Embarrassing? Too bad. Deal." One Giant Cliché, by Steve Edwards for The Rumpus. A lovely and brave essay. jc-06.03.14

"5- Right now we're only seeing two great lights in the sky...a greater one for day and a lesser one for night? Thinking that maybe we weren't clear in the original briefing. Definitely need more than just two great lights. Need to make this a memorable, high-value experience for our users. Please revisit slides thirteen and fourteen in the deck. Shout with questions." ms-05.30.14

"You may be the only person who will ever read their sonnets, or their prose poems, or their dystopian novellas. Don't take that privilege lightly." 55 Thoughts for English Teachers, written by one, Nick Ripatrazone. jc-05.29.14

Alternative Ideas from an Intraoffice Memo at the Museum of Sex After Discovering That the Planned Location for a Los Angeles Branch, 69 Swallow Drive, is not Actually for Sale, and the Closest Property Available is 67 Swallow Drive, by Jordy Greenblatt. jc-05.29.14

LeVar Burton has launched a Kickstarter to bring back Reading Rainbow. There are even a few Star Trek reward levels. dw-05.28.14

Nice, our favorite "smutty-metaphor Queen of Lawrence, Kansas," Patricia Lockwood is profiled in this weeks NYT Magazine. "Lockwood finds herself on the verge of literary fame, a product of ill fortune followed by good fortune and the perhaps naive expectations of success that only an outsider can maintain." Follow her here. jc-05.28.14

The headline says it all. ms-05.27.14

In 1966, author John Steinbeck wrote a letter making the case for Deep Sea exploration. ms-05.27.14

"But whereas Cheever, Chekhov, Roth, John Updike, and other literary artists used their keen perceptive abilities in the pursuit of sober realism, Gauguin put his artistry to the purpose of imaginative proto-surrealism." ms-05.27.14

"From under a tent just left of the small stage, a panel of judges doled out their points, but the real power lay with the moderators onstage, whose task it was to confirm that each new volley was indeed a pun, and not a mere cliche or, worse still, the kind of double entendre whose second meaning is derived from suggestive inflection rather than a legitimate play on words." ms-05.23.14

"Determined to quit his tired government job, one D.C. office drone saves $25,000 by renting his apartment nightly and secretly sleeping on the office floor." The Secret Life of an Obsessive Airbnb Host. ms-05.23.14

"This is a story about me and a video game. Although I have always been and expect I always will be a nerd, the events of this story take place when I was approximately 8-10 years old, meaning I had not yet worn away the extra layer of turbo-nerd that little boys of that inclination tend to have at that age." Arcade Story by Steven Frank. Terrific. Via John Gruber. jc-05.22.14

"I look freaking intense; make it seem like there are flames in my retinas and lasers are shooting out of my pupils. Zoom out. The tree I've been punching falls down and a family of squirrels runs out of it, shrieking and horrified." Notes for the Director of My Kickass Workout Video, by Chas Gillespie. jc-05.21.14

Frank Delaney on seeing, rather than reading Joyce. Delaney is on episode #204 of his podcast re:Joyce. But a warning, if you're a Joyce fan and you listen to one, you might just be scurrying back to the beginning to start from there. jc-05.20.14

"The objectification of women has got to stop. I can't even go for a jog without guys commenting on my ass." Feminist Humblebrags. ms-05.20.14

Thug: A Life of Caravaggio in Sixty-Nine Paragraphs, by Stephen Akey. jc-05.20.14

Sexual intercourse began | In nineteen sixty-three | (which was rather late for me) - | Between the end of the "Chatterley" ban | And the Beatles' first LP. —Philip Larkin. jc-05.20.14

A quick chat with Steven Heller about the publication of his new book 100 Classic Graphic Design Journals. jc-05.19.14

It's So Hard to Say Good-Bye. A new Bake Shop is up at Grantland, best sports mailbag by a long-shot, from Katie Baker. jc-05.16.14

"Amid the bloodiest throes of the Civil War, a beautiful actress in search of adventure donned disguises, dodged death, and slipped secretly behind Confederate lines." ms-05.16.14

"Our agency is getting big. That's something to be happy about. But it's something to worry about, too, and I don't mind telling you I'm damned worried." Bill Bernbach wrote to his bosses in 1947. jc-05.15.14

"If I wanted a capital, I would have typed a capital. I know how to work the shift key." George R.R. Martin explains why he writes on a DOS machine. dw-05.14.14

"In the 1850s, Leonardo da Vinci was considered no match for giants of Renaissance art like Titian and Raphael, whose works were worth almost ten times as much as the 'Mona Lisa'. It was only in the 20th century that Leonardo's portrait of his patron's wife rocketed to the number-one spot. What propelled it there wasn't a scholarly re-evaluation, but a burglary." ms-05.14.14

"Alone at night, Charlie reflected on the events of the day- Lucy's fun-spirited request for a rematch, his hopeful trot to the park, the sun glancing down on them like a terrific, smiling lemon drop. Lucy's face seemed to shine at him as she held the ball, seemed to say to him, 'I want to make things right this time'." ms-05.14.14

"He found me on Craigslist. I found him on America's Most Wanted." My Roommate, The Diamond Thief. ms-05.12.14

F*ck Yeah, Thoreau. Nice background. ms-05.09.14

"We made small talk in the checkout line at Trader Joe's. You said that you literally could not live without the salsa you were buying. I wish we could talk again. You used 'literally' incorrectly. It really pissed me off. I wish you could literally not live without that salsa, because then I'd take it from you." Missed Connections for Assholes, by Ethan Kuperberg. jc-05.08.14

"I've got an idea for Mickey Mouse." On this day in 1932 William Faulkner reluctantly arrived in Hollywood to begin work as a screenwriter. More here, Faulkner's Hollywood Odyssey. jc-05.07.14

"Each month, we will publish a story about a privately held company that has been operating for at least 25 years." The inaugural issue of The Distance, created by our pals at Basecamp. Chicago's Last Tannery, The Horween Leather Company. jc-05.06.14

"Walter R. Walsh, a world-class marksman who shot clothespins off laundry lines as a boy and went on to become an F.B.I. legend in shootouts with gangsters in the 1930s, an Olympic competitor and a trainer of generations of Marine Corps sharpshooters, died on Tuesday at his home in Arlington, Va. He was 106. Amazing obit. ms-05.02.14

The 2014 Edgar Award winners have been announced. ms-05.02.14

A Single Guy's Date Story as Interpreted in the Mind of his Married Friend. ms-05.02.14

"In 2012, on my Facebook feed, I stumbled across a hilarious excerpt from a legal transcript. In a deposition in Ohio, a lawyer became embroiled in an absurd argument about the definition of a photocopier." jc-04.30.14

"On this episode, I finally got to see them. Better yet, to eat all of them, the Greatest Hits of the Glorious career of Paul Bocus--while he sat next to me. It was an amazing, unexpected, never-dreamed of, late in life windfall. Like a lifelong Yankee fan, somehow finding himself throwing the ball around the backyard with Joe DiMaggio." The Man Who Makes me Swoon talks about going to Lyon. I saw this episode and it was fantastic. *Le sigh* ms-04.29.14

So, When We Had Sex at the 'How to Host a Murder' Party, Were You In Character? By Tim Sniffen. jc-04.28.14

From the University of Chicago, "The donor of the Bibliotheca Homerica Langiana is offering a prize of $1,000 to the first person who identifies the script, provides evidence to support the conclusion, and executes a translation of selected portions of the mysterious marginalia." jc-04.28.14

The Hackers who Recovered NASA's Lost Lunar Photos. ms-04.28.14

A classic that needs to be revisited periodically. Paul Brians' Commonly Made Suggestions about commonly made errors, and more importantly, Non-Errors, "those usages people keep telling you are wrong but which are actually standard in English." Which is exactly the sort of attitude up with which I will not put. jc-04.25.14

"On this day in 1898 William S. Porter -- the drug store clerk, cowboy, fugitive, bank teller, cartoonist and future 'O. Henry' -- began a five-year prison sentence for embezzlement." jc-04.25.14

Hot Singles are In Your Area! By Jack Urwin. jc-04.24.14

Vladimir Nabokov had three birthdays, including today. Andrea Pitzer explains. jc-04.22.14

Excerpts of generally-misguided One-Star Book Reviews. bb-04.21.14

No jokes, no attitude, just tips on punctuation, clearly stated. By Janis Bell. jc-04.21.14

How Silicon Valley entrepreneurs are rushing to cash in on cannabis. ms-04.18.14

FotA and former Guest Editor, Mike Sacks, has just gotten a publication date for his follow up to And Here's the Kicker, his hit book about comedians and their writing process: Poking a Dead Frog: Conversations with Today's Top Comedy Writers. sd-04.17.14

"But I was able to plot out the locations for every foundry that had been active in New York between 1828 (the earliest records I could find with addresses) to 1909 (see below). All of the buildings have been demolished, and in some cases the entire street has since been erased. But a startling picture still emerged: New York once had a neighborhood for typography." ms-04.16.14

Grantland celebrates the city of Detroit . ms-04.16.14

The First Emoticon May Have Appeared in 1648. ms-04.16.14

"For instance, how often do a deciduous tree and a coniferous tree appear in the same painting? We know that 57 percent of paintings contain a deciduous tree and 53 percent of paintings contain a coniferous tree. According to our data set, 20 percent of paintings contain at least one of each." A Statistical Analysis of the Work of the Bob Ross. Via Waxy. ms-04.15.14

Why it doesn't matter that you may never reach inbox zero. ms-04.14.14

Great lost manuscripts of Science Fiction and Fantasy. ms-04.14.14

Re-link as the entire piece is now online, a fantastic long read, The Murders at the Lake. ms-04.12.14

"I learned to eat my vegetables on a Grateful Dead tour in the late 1980s, when I was a high school dropout with boundless enthusiasm for hallucinogens and hitchhiking." —Rosie Schaap. jc-04.11.14

Survivors and Responders return to finish line, Dear World: Boston Marathon. Via Mefi. ms-04.10.14

The Atlantic has some tips on how to protect yourself from the Heartbleed Bug . ms-04.09.14

For BB and MJ, the invention of the Slurpee. ms-04.09.14

"In the devout Buddhist city of Chiang Mai, gambling, alcohol and greed are strictly frowned upon, and a booze-soaked racetrack is the most popular place in town" ms-04.08.14

"And I'm hunkered down in my bed with my husband, very pregnant, and we got a call from a dear friend of mine and producer named Jack Nitzsche. Jack Nitzsche called and said you know, Merry, are you busy? I said No, I'm in bed. he says, well, you know, There are some guys in town from England. And they need someone to come and sing a duet with them, but I can't get anybody to do it. Could you come?" ms-04.08.14

"In 1932, a rising writer from Mississippi found himself amid the bright lights and dry heat of Tinseltown, at the start of what would become a lengthy dalliance with the screenwriting biz. In the wilds of L.A., Faulkner met movie stars, found a bourbon haunt, chased true love, and tried to stay sane in a place that often seemed very far from home." Be sure to check the photos too. ms-04.04.14

"10. During the lengthy list of side effects, a man, a woman and a dog waking on the beach at sunset shall be shown. When especially lengthy legal copy is being read, have the man throw the dog a Frisbee, or the woman pick up a shell and show it to the man, or the dog barking and the man and the woman giddy with laughter because they love their silly dog and the wonderful new drug they are taking." ms-04.03.14

"People reacted in different ways, but many people felt like they always had to go through everything. Including me. To this day." Mark All as Read, by Brent Simmons at Inessential. A great piece from the newest member of The Deck, our advertising network serving web, design and creative professionals. jc-04.02.14

"My guess is if you took all the time that you've spent considering writing a book and translated that into actual writing time, you'd be a quarter of your way into writing that book you're not writing." Rands on How to Write a Book. jc-04.02.14

So you know, how to get published on McSweeney's Internet Tendency. jc-04.02.14

Why We Haven't Built a Better Black Box. ms-04.02.14

"The One Who Disappeared," by Charles Simic. jc-04.01.14

Confessions of a Non-Serial Killer. ms-04.01.14

"The resulting campaign was, in true Portland fashion, unconventional. Understanding that young locals prefer to discover things instead of being told what to buy, Helm suggested a subtle campaign focused on billboards. 'It had no call to action, no name of the team, no mention of the sport, no URL,' says Helm." ms-03.31.14

"The early bird gets the Pulitzer... sort of." Famous Writers' Sleep Habits vs. Literary Productivity, Visualized. sd-03.28.14

"A great poet, a famous novelist, a powerful intellect and a son of a bitch I hated." On this day in 1970, James Dickey's Deliverance was published. jc-03.28.14

"Whatever goes up, that's what we do.' Dustin Curtis on Facebook. jc-03.28.14

"Their plight eats at him but devours Zeller, who lies awake brooding about the country he fought for - and the one that sent him there to fight. 'In Afghanistan, we learned a phrase - nana watai - which means 'I seek asylum' in Pashto,' says Zeller. 'If you say that to an Afghan, he's duty-bound to protect you. You'd think we'd be big enough to return the favor." The Interpreters We Left Behind. Via MeFi. ms-03.28.14

Find out how uncool you really are with the Hipster Music Index. Via MeFi. ms-03.27.14

"Which brings me, by an admittedly roundabout route, to my favourite political speech - one that embodies all of Sir Ernest Gowers's golden rules, as well as Churchill's. In 1966 a man called Dick Tuck stood as a Democrat in the California Senate elections. When the votes were counted and Tuck realised that he'd been soundly beaten, he conceded defeat with this all-too-human masterpiece of concision: "The people have spoken - the bastards." ms-03.27.14

"We high-school players were pool players, although we would have liked to be billiard players, if for no other reason than that each billiard player was so elite he had a woman besides a wife, but we could rarely finance our aspirations." Related to today's main feature, Norman Maclean on shooting pool with physicist Albert Michelson in 1975. Thanks Duke. jc-03.26.14

"Toddlers know your weaknesses and will exploit them. They are supervillains-- just give them a volcanic lair and a freaky cat to stroke. The trick is, of course, that toddlers are big-eyed little adorbs-machines. They radiate cuteness waves that wash over you, drawing all the sand on your beaches out to sea until every last defense is down." Via MeFi. ms-03.26.14

The folks over at Jalopnik helpfully break down the realities of Cosmopolitan's Guide to Having Sex in Cars. ms-03.25.14

Joseph Stromberg sold his undergraduate thesis to a content farm. Then things got weird. jc-03.24.14

"You know what?" said the Stork. "I don't need this. Things are crazy at work, and I don't have time to babysit you and your fragile psyche." The Fox left angrily, and the Stork immediately went to her computer and blocked him on Facebook." Aesop's Lesser Fables. ms-03.24.14

"In 1982, a brutal triple homicide shook the city of Waco and soon became one of the most confounding criminal cases in Texas history- one that still haunts the many people who have tried to solve it." The Murders at the Lake. Fascinating long read, a serial worth following. ms-03.22.14

"It was the greatest art theft in history: 650,000 works looted from Europe by the Nazis, many of which were never recovered. But last November the world learned that German authorities had found a trove of 1,280 paintings, drawings, and prints worth more than a billion dollars in the Munich apartment of a haunted white-haired recluse." ms-03.21.14

"Some of you may be asking yourselves, is it too soon? Should we give it more time before performing a theatrical reenactment of the events that occurred here?" The First Civil War Reenactment, by Colin Nissan. jc-03.20.14

A pilot weighs in with his theory on the missing Malaysia Airlines jet. ms-03.18.14

"Obligatory victuals, it seems, only to accompany the true object of my excursion-- to suckle the toothsome strawfuls of your wintry Celtic-themed libation as briskly as I can manage, a carnal act performed with full awareness that such pace shall certainly heighten my risk of developing an Arctic cranial ache of epic proportion. No matter, the suffrage will be brief and deserved and pale in compare to the forthcoming Grimaconian rapture." ms-03.17.14

Interesting read of the day, Inside Airbnb's Grand Hotel Plans. ms-03.17.14

"If you've force-fed him organic foods, paired meals with assorted wine flights, even gotten him to identify which wines play best off which dishes, make no mistake, I will rain terror down on you so hard!" Give Me Back My Husband! At Some Point! By David Henne. jc-03.14.14

"Interviews with interesting people, pulled from Reddit, organized, and made prettier." Welcome to Interviewly. Via Waxy. ms-03.13.14

Totally related to the last. The magnificent The Beast in the Jungle, by Henry James. jc-03.12.14

"I started catching myself trying to be less excited about things." The Art of Waiting, by Spencer Tweedy. jc-03.12.14

Read of the week, The Murders Before the Marathon. Then listen to the This American Life collaboration, Dead Men Tell No Tales. ms-03.11.14

Thanks for this LifeHacker, I'm a Telemarketer. Here's How to Get Rid of me. ms-03.11.14

"Watching The Empire Strikes Back as a child does not prepare you for the first time you field-dress an animal in the snow." Rosecrans learns to Hunt Deer in 7 Days or Less for GQ. jc-03.10.14

"Clad in feathers and a supreme sense of pride, New Orleans women from thirteen to eighty provide a colorful and regal punch at the annual Mardi Gras parades." ms-03.07.14

Heartbreaking read on how dementia has taken away legendary college basketball coach Dean Smith's Precious Memories. ms-03.07.14

They sure picked a good week to back into print. Leah McGrath Goodman finds the man behind Bitcoin for Newsweek. jc-03.06.14

The Opening Round is up and surprising, in The Morning News Tournament of Books - Presented by Field Notes. jc-03.06.14

"I'm sure not even sure I'm eligible for civil liberties. The government's website, Constitution.gov, which is a partisan name, didn't help. It was really complicated, and took four seconds to load on my phone and didn't have single animated GIF." ms-03.05.14

All of the sudden, flush and hang style, and the difference between truth and Truth. Chicago Style Q&A. jc-03.04.14

The University of Chicago Library has made the Norman Maclean Papers 1880-1990 available for research. CP hero Maclean was the author of A River Runs Through It (a perfect book which was made into a seriously imperfect movie) and Young Men and Fire, an account of the 1949 Mann Gulch fire that claimed the lives of thirteen forest service smokejumpers. jc-03.03.14

"SOCRATES: Tell me, Marty, you produce, direct and write many of your films. In other words, you have firm control over all major aspects of your art. Yet you're creating product for Hollywood's large studios, which are, in turn, owned by even larger multinational conglomerates, making you a contributor to the profits and power of a soulless, dehumanizing, commercial force. Tell me, does this make you, ultimately, an artist, a slave or an oligarch?" ms-03.03.14

With imagination beyond measure, maybe we can cure violence and students with diabetes too. You never know. Tomorrow starts here. jc-02.28.14

"Power, in business, comes from sharing money and valuing love." What Bill Drentell Knew, by Michael Bierut. Yes. jc-02.28.14

"Bringing extinct animals back to life is really happening-- and it's going to be very, very cool. Unless it ends up being very, very bad." The Mammoth Cometh. ms-02.28.14

Far be it from me to point you somewhere that will completely suck the productivity out of your workday but, so you know, I haven't got anything worthwhile done since I started browsing the Interviews section of the Paris Review yesterday. Giroux, Cortazar, Dos Passos, Bellow from '66. jc-02.27.14

Oral History: Sex! Drugs! Apps! SXSW Interactive at 20. ms-02.27.14

"It's time to pay the piper. It just so happens this piper actually smokes a vintage pipe. But make no mistake, I'm going to hit you so hard, the probiotic microorganisms living in your lower colon are going to feel it. Now, take off those really awesome oversized glasses from Tortoise & Blonde so I can punch you, you back-stabbing son of a bitch." ms-02.27.14

"It must baffle a reasonably intelligent reader." One of Raymond Chandler's Ten Commandments for writing a detective novel. Heed them. Via Explore. jc-02.25.14

John Berryman's "tiny little secret hope." An inspiring quote pulled by Buzz Andersen from the poet's 1970 interview with Peter A. Stitt for the Paris Review. jc-02.25.14

Mark Peters on how Sarah Silverman is a master of writing the clean joke in dirty joke's clothes. jc-02.24.14

"Well now, I don't know about the whole truth, but I swear to tell some of it." Earl Pomerantz's blog post, A Simple Issue Of Clarity is based on actual events. jc-02.24.14

"As Wikipedia has grown in size and complexity, so has the task of quality control; today that responsibility falls to a cadre of cleverly programmed robots and 'cyborgs'-- software-assisted volunteers who spend hours patrolling recent edits. Beneath its calm exterior, Wikipedia is a battlezone, and these are its front lines." ms-02.24.14

Newspaper publisher Dean Coombs puts out his paper the old-school way. ms-02.23.14

"When I think about the mall pet store where I was born, my tiny jet black eyes fill with tears. I will never forget the day my mother — who was also born in a mall pet store, as was her mother before her — looked at me and said, 'Cashew, I heard Netflix is going to start creating original, subscriber-only programming.' I said, 'Mother, what an incredibly complex idea to get across with high-pitched squeaks,' and she said, 'My beloved Cashew! All creatures intuitively understand the concept of high quality on-demand programming.' I promised one day I'd make her proud. Now that day has come." Cashew's Diary. dw-02.21.14

Katie Baker's review of the New York Times "Vows" section is always eagerly awaited, and this one is a double-month, YOLO Edition of Wedded Blitz! jc-02.18.14

"You should read the book that you see someone on the train reading and trying to hide that they're laughing. You should read the book that you see someone on the train reading and trying to hide that they're crying." Great advice from Janet Potter, 28 Books You Should Read If You Want To. jc-02.18.14

On this date in 1945, British and U.S. air forces began the 48-hour bombing of Dresden, Germany. Kurt Vonnegut was there when it happened. jc-02.13.14

"1 adverbs. Aim for 0 or fewer." Mark Liberman sets up the "Hemingway" App to analyze Hemingway's writing. jc-02.13.14

"Though was endorsed by Either for Introducing a Dependent Clause. If was endorsed by Then for Teamwork." ms-02.12.14

A 1967 Paris Review interview: Terry Southern on Screenwriting. bb-02.11.14

Penguin plots Pelican's return. jc-02.11.14

Relayed to the last. Another Day in Bricksburg, by Arlaina Tibensky. Brilliant. jc-02.07.14

"Does anybody know if the Bauhaus is still taking applications?" Based On a Few Primitive Lego Assemblies I am Confident in Proclaiming That My Toddler Will Become America's Next Great Architect, by Coleman Larkin. jc-02.07.14

"But we also do business in the U.S.A. Or want you to think we do. Check out this wind energy thing in Indiana, and this blue collar guy with dirt on his face. Phew." ms-02.06.14

Long read of the day, Secrets From Belfast. How Boston College's oral history of the Troubles fell victim to an international murder investigation. ms-02.04.14

"ANNOUNCER #1: AND HE COULD GO ALL. THE. WAY. INTO. TARGET. AND. GET. HALF OFF. ON. FEATURED. ITEMS. THIS. COMING. WEEK!" ms-01.31.14

Shaun Usher's book project #2, Lists of Note, is currently funding via Unbound. jc-01.31.14

"When the history of the web is written, the final word will obviously belong to Reddit. What else will be left?" An oral history of Gawker, by Reddit. dw-01.28.14

"It would make more sense to do laundry after we have sex, except I prefer to lie down with him on sheets surrounded by the alpine-mountain scent of my fabric softener, which is great for children because it's hypoallergenic." I'm a Busy Mom in a TV Commercial for Household Products, by Teddy Wayne. jc-01.28.14

Taken by T-Rex (a book of dinosaur porn) vs. Dave Eggers's The Circle. Lois Beckett brilliantly compares and contrasts. jc-01.27.14

Bill Murray on Ask Me Anything. dw-01.22.14

Ha. "The Jabberwocky" as a Star Wars crawl. jc-01.22.14

"You dumb mug, get your mitts off the marbles before I stuff that mud-pipe down your mush --and tell your moll to hand over the mazuma."Twists, Slugs and Roscoes, a glossary of hardboiled slang. jc-01.21.14

Coyote v. Acme, from Pentagram, with diagrams of gadgets by Daniel Weil. See also, what inspired this, Ian Frazier's NYer piece of the same name. jc-01.20.14

The parentheses, the em-dash, the ellipses, the colon, and the period. Kathryn Schulz examines specific punctuation marks in the history of literature. Just great. jc-01.16.14

Whoa and its Variants, by Matthew JX Malady. We have a strong opinion on this, at least as it relates to a certain habanero sauce. jc-01.16.14

Kama Sutra for Couples Who Have Been Dating for Over Three Years, by Chelsea Davison. jc-01.16.14

"1PM-2PM: Driving down a windy road in a sport utility vehicle with bicycles strapped to the roof." From Claire's most fun day ever. jc-01.16.14

"I tried the hardest puzzle on the internet and failed spectacularly." ms-01.15.14

Why do you get drunk and sing? This guy. ms-01.14.14

"Almost every day I get asked, 'What's it like being a Senior Search Engine Marketing Specialist?' Everyone is dying to know, and let me tell you, it's everything I ever dreamed it would be." By Christopher Mah. jc-01.14.14

"One of the strange and slightly creepy pleasures that I get from using Twitter is observing, in real time, the disappearance of words from my stream as they are deleted by their regretful authors." Twitter Regret: First Thought, Worst Thought, by Mark O'Connell. jc-01.14.14

"Having written Ulysses about the day, I wanted to write this book about the night... Since 1922 my book has been a greater reality for me than reality." On this date in 1941 James Joyce died in Zurich. jc-01.13.14

Jon Evans on Standard Written English, as if there were such a thing. jc-01.13.14

Bruce McCulloch reminisces about his 'old' Calgary bb-01.10.14

Language nerd alert. "A sentence written in passive voice is the shifty desperado who tries to win the gun-fight by shooting the sheriff in the back, stealing his horse, and sneaking out of town." Fear and Loathing of the English Passive, by Geoffret K. Pullman. Hang with it until Section 3, that's where all the fun stuff happens. jc-01.09.14

A kindergarten fight for Napper of the Year. sd-01.08.14

Snowstorms, Then and Now. ms-01.07.14

"Conan Doyle's other alluring creation was London. Although the author lived only a few months in the capital before moving to the suburbs, he visited the city frequently throughout his life. Victorian London takes on almost the presence of a character in the novels and stories, as fully realize--in all its fogs, back alleys and shadowy quarter-- as Holmes himself." ms-01.06.14

"In the 1960s, no one wanted bluefin. In the United States, the fish sold for pennies per pound, and it was usually ground up for cat food. Japan fished for it, but few people there liked the bluefin's bloody, fatty meat." How Bluefin Tuna Went From Cat Food to Solid Gold. ms-01.06.14

"The Canadians finally stopped eating me" and other six-word science fiction stories. dw-01.03.14

Where Should Richard III lie? More info here. ms-01.03.14

"Why am I spending so much time consuming other people's moments?" The Builder's High, by Michael Lopp. jc-01.03.14

"Sosinski ran to the VHF radio, which was bolted to the ceiling in the small wheelhouse toward the front of the boat, and grabbed the microphone. He switched to channel 16, the distress channel, and at 6:22 a.m., he called for help, his voice shaking: 'Coast Guard, this is the Anna Mary. We've got a man overboard.'" ms-01.03.14

Since you are really not going to get anything done at work today, you may as well head over spend some time reading Longreads Top 10 Stories of 2013. ms-12.31.13

"Funny, I don't remember telling her my dream was to one day open a chapter of the Audubon Society. Jesus. You know what would have been nice? Some birdseed. I'm out of saltines and things are starting to get weird in here. ms-12.27.13

My Mentor, the Pornographer by Steven Heller. Who knew? jc-12.20.13

Charming John Freeman interview with John Updike animated! jc-12.20.13

"'We expected them to do the snowbird thing,' said Thorrold. Well, it's December and Mary Lee has, in fact, returned to Florida, but Lydia isn't following that script. Her most recent flurry of pings has come from just off of Newfoundland, 1,000 miles away, in water just a few degrees above freezing." ms-12.19.13

Letters of Note's Best of 2013 includes this beauty. jc-12.19.13

The Blog is Dead, Long Live the Blog. A smart piece by Jason Kottke, from a year-end series of predictions assembled by the Nieman Journalism Lab. jc-12.19.13

"You know what I'm really excited about? Pizza Hut now has a pizza with a hot dog in the crust." ms-12.18.13

"Happy New Year from the Hixon-Palmers! It's been a wild ride on the bleeding edge of social media here in the Hixon-Palmer household! We spent the better part of 2013 strengthening our footprint both online and in our local community, and our family has never been stronger for it. Let us show you how we share!" ms-12.18.13

The Long List for the tenth Tournament of Books has been announced. Oh boy. jc-12.13.13

"She keeps a knife or two hidden under her clothes because when it comes down to it, they called her Gentle, but sometimes loving means fighting for what you care for." Can we talk about Susan's fabulous adventures after Narnia? jc-12.13.13

Phoning in Wallace Stevens' The Snowman from my car a few years ago. Here is the text and other poetry, collected after the beep. jc-12.12.13

"Collecting vintage Burgundies, Rudy Kurniawan drove the rare-wine market to new heights, then began selling his treasures. Or so it seemed." Long read of the day, A Vintage Crime. ms-12.12.13

So you know, how these 5 dirtbags radically advanced your digital rights. ms-12.11.13

"Enter. Love comma Steven. STEEFEN. With a pee aitch." Dear Aunt Rose Comma Thank You for the Speech Recognition Software Exclamation Point, by Erick K. Auld. jc-12.10.13

"Packaged in a daily phone call. Lacks originality; rarely advances past remarks on job status and significant others. Consists of 'tisks' and interrogation, most of which can be diverted with white lies. Pairs with: Career hurdles. Relationships, or lack thereof. Mostly everything." ms-12.10.13

So you know, how to make your own major publishing house. jc-12.05.13

Long read of the day, American Mariachi. Via MeFi. ms-12.05.13

The Guardian wants your vote for the Bad Sex Award in writing. ms-12.03.13

"Despite occasional speculation over the years that an optical device somehow enabled Vermeer to paint his pictures, the art-history establishment has remained adamant in its romantic conviction: maybe he was inspired somehow by lens-projected images, but his only exceptional tool for making art was his astounding eye, his otherworldly genius." ms-12.03.13

The Atlantic asks Are You Smart Enough to Be a Citizen? ms-12.03.13

Largehearted Boy's sixth annual aggregation of all the "Best of 2013" book lists. Related, chime in on what books will compete in The Morning News Tournament of Books X. jc-11.27.13

Bookmarked this three months ago and finally just read it last night: Jon Krakauer's follow up to Into the Wild, answering the book's primary, unresolved question: "How Chris McCandless Died." sd-11.26.13

A Tale of Two Lolitas. ms-11.26.13

Waiters weigh in on how not to be a horrible restaurant customer. ms-11.25.13

"Because stamps have long been used as a historical record of American culture, the philatelist emphasizes his role as historian, partly because it legitimizes a pastime most people still view as the world's feeblest hobby." The Mail Room, by Sam Sweet for the Paris Review. jc-11.25.13

So you know, a textual analysis of Hunger Games, Twilight, and Harry Potter. SD, this is obvs is for you. ms-11.22.13

"Lithium: That big promotion you've been hoping for will go to the coworker you most despise! Congratulate her, knowing full well that your words won't make her happy. Or maybe they will. Either nobody is happy or everybody is happy but you. Your lucky number today is zero." Antidepressant Horoscopes, by Kristen Steenbeeke and Shawn Laramie. jc-11.22.13

I can't even. jc-11.20.13

Most of us ladies are looking for a guy who likes Girls Who Read. Some language NSFW. ms-11.20.13

So you know, how to get your book onto The New York Times Bestsellers List. Hint: $. jc-11.20.13

"You cannot anticipate it before you go there, as you cannot forget it once you have gone." C. S. Lewis reviewed The Hobbit for the Times Literary Supplement in October of 1937. jc-11.20.13

In honor of the 150th anniversary today, Johnny Cash reads The Gettysburg Address. ms-11.19.13

The Morning News Tournament of Books for 2014 will be tenth edition. Chime in about your favorite book from 2013 as the editors prepare the longlist. jc-11.15.13

The psycholinguistic properties of expletive infixation. Absofuckinglutely. jc-11.14.13

"One. Two. Three. Are you still there? Yeah, me, too. Okay, I'm really hanging up this time. One. Two. Three. Hello?" Alexander Graham Bell's First Five Phone Calls, by Jesse Eisenberg. jc-11.12.13

This is the dedication from my new book. Rob Delaney making all us other sons look bad. jc-11.08.13

"If you haven't woken up after a two-day Twitter-bender in an unfamiliar hotel room with bleeding thumbs and a shattered iPhone, this job might not be for you." ms-11.07.13

A box of otherworldly notes. dw-11.06.13

A fascinating and fun read about the Dr. Bronner soap company and its current CEO, David Bronner. sd-11.06.13

The folks at Warby Parker sit down for a chat with FoTA SwissMiss. ms-11.06.13

A big congrats to FotA Alissa Walker for her new post as Urbanism Editor at Gizmodo. sd-11.05.13

"The idea of a meal before an execution is compassionate or perverse, depending on your perspective, but it contains an inherently curious paradox: marking the end of a life with the stuff that sustains it seems at once laden with meaning and beside the point." Last Meals, by Brent Cunningham. jc-11.04.13

"We present here for the first time in digital form all the known manuscripts of Frankenstein, perhaps the most famous and widely reproduced work of British Romanticism." The Frankenstein Notebooks. ms-11.01.13

The folks over at TMN have some suggestions for scary movies you should watch. Yes, JC, your movie is on the list. ms-10.31.13

"Our hayride is a family-friendly excursion consisting of hot apple cider, group sing-a-longs, and some of the most beautiful autumn foliage upstate New York has to offer. It does not involve a swarm of deranged men flitting through the trees around us and shouting horrible threats while gleefully mutilating themselves with broken bottles." ms-10.30.13

On this day in 1933 Dylan Thomas's "The force that through the green fuse" was published. jc-10.29.13

"An apex predator doesn't wake up one day and decide it is done hunting." Eugene Wei on Amazon and the "profitless business model" fallacy. jc-10.28.13

So you know, ten figures of speech explained, by Monty Python. Via Jon Parker. jc-10.28.13

An awesome long piece by Robert Whitaker, Proto-Spam: Spanish Prisoners and Confidence Games. Via Mefi. jc-10.28.13

Dude abides, but it also evolves. jc-10.25.13

"It is essentially now." Keith Phipp's "Laser Age" series for The Dissolve continues with Chaos, oppression, and the grim worlds of A Clockwork Orange and THX-1138. jc-10.25.13

An update to my favorite radio story ever, Danny and Annie. Tissue alert. ms-10.25.13

Long read of the day, Lost Soul. ms-10.24.13

Long read of the day, How a Radical New Teaching Method Could Unleash a Generation of Geniuses. ms-10.23.13

"Science... f*ck yeah. The cool part about learning science on Facebook is that they use pictures and the words aren't very big and you get to browse Facebook the entire time. Plus, the swearing. You can't swear in school which is bullsh*t." ms-10.23.13

Places in the UK or High-Minded British Insults? ms-10.23.13

"There is time enough for everything in the course of the day, if you do but one thing at once, but there is not time enough in the year, if you will do two things at a time." Christine Rosen on The Myth of Multitasking. (pdf) jc-10.21.13

You Are Boring. jc-10.18.13

So you know, 10 words to cut from your writing. ms-10.18.13

Always a good day when you learn a new word. Chicago, prepare for Graupel. ms-10.18.13

"He attended the opening night of Manchester's Hacienda nightclub, which he said later became full of 'disfigured disco dancers and goblinesque pork-pie chubbos with carroty-red curls smelling of pickled pig who claimed the Hacienda as their own public toilet'." *Sigh* it could only be Moz. ms-10.17.13

Big Brother is alive, well, and apparently living in Chicago. ms-10.16.13

Breaking Bad self-help books by Eduardo Salles. dw-10.15.13

"This document does not advocate or condone the extinction or betrayal of ewoks, it merely reports upon a physical situation and the acts involved." Star Wars Technical Commentaries: Endor Holocaust. Via DRB. ms-10.10.13

"I could stop worrying. If fiction didn't have to make sense perhaps life didn't either. It was a revelation." Related to the last, Jonathan Grimwood on TM&M for The Independent's "Book of a Lifetime" series. jc-10.10.13

"FINALLY, REMEMBER, YOUNG PEOPLE: just because you don't want to pay for health insurance now doesn't mean you'll be able to bit-torrent it for free when you need it later." Via MeFi. ms-10.09.13

GUEST: I was pushing the button in the subway to ask directions, and the people who answered were very rude to me and unhelpful. CONCIERGE: Sir, you were pushing the emergency intercom. GUEST: Well I had to catch my flight!!! How May We Hate You? ms-10.09.13

A "splendid failure." On this day in 1929, William Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury was published. jc-10.07.13

And Then Steve Said, "Let There Be an iPhone." Interesting, long excerpt about the original iPhone launch, from Fred Vogelstein's new book, Dogfight: How Apple and Google Went to War and Started a Revolution, jc-10.04.13

"The music business doesn't give a sh*t about you, or any of us. They will prostitute you for all you are worth, and cleverly make you think its what YOU wanted.. and when you end up in rehab as a result of being prostituted, 'they' will be sunning themselves on their yachts in Antigua, which they bought by selling your body and you will find yourself very alone." Sinead Writes Miley a Letter. ms-10.03.13

"Since history is doomed to repeat itself, it'll happen again. It's already happened over and over in Chicago, going back for more than 100 years, ever since the Fine Arts Building opened and created the city's first artists' colony." The Migration of the Hipster. Via Gapers Block. ms-10.03.13

"Collagen, in turn, is necessary to keep your body together, and as scurvy advances joint pain and swelling accompany wounds that do not heal or even re-open and begin to bleed again. (Trapped in the Arctic in 1832, explorer John Ross began to bleed from wounds he'd received decades earlier in the Napoleonic Wars.) Your teeth come loose from your gums, because your body literally can no longer hold itself together.." ms-10.02.13

Inside Detroit's War With Arson. ms-10.02.13

Dancing with Black Widow Spiders. ms-10.02.13

A Post Gender Normative Woman Tries to Pick Up a Man at a Bar, by Jesse Eisenberg. jc-10.02.13

"The way I see it, Christopher Robin was feeling lonely and sad last night--maybe his girlfriend just dumped him, maybe he got rejected from the graduate program he was hoping to get in to. He'd probably been drinking, and he started getting wistful for days-gone-by, so he searched us all on Facebook and so-on-and-so-on and there we have it." ms-10.01.13

"If a record takes more than a week to make, somebody's f**king up." Albini's letter to the Nirvanas regarding what sorta became "In Utero." So much truth. Via Jamie 37. bb-09.26.13

The Internet Hates Me. ms-09.19.13

"I went on a cleanse once; it was a mixed blessing. On the one hand, I detoxified, I purified, I lost weight. On the other hand, I fell asleep on the highway, fantasized about eating a pigeon, and crapped my pants. I think I'll stick with the whole eating thing." ms-09.18.13

"The more charged a swear word is the more susceptible it becomes to grammatical transformation. This means that the boundaries between nouns and adjectives and adverbs can all get completely fucked up by swear words, and before you know it the little fuckers are everywhere." Colin Burrow's long, entertaining and profane review of Holy Shit by Melissa Mohr. Fucking great. jc-09.18.13

"Boil Simmer Reduce," and other important Notes on Design from the mind of Mr. Brendan Dawes. jc-09.17.13

Nick Sidwell on where every novel nominated for the Booker Prize since 1969 has been set. Related: Sometimes it really matters where you read a book jc-09.17.13

"And count it. And count it. And count it. It took so long to count that much cash, they got bored." Argo Author Joshuah Bearman on the Coronado Company Drug Ring. Great read, via TMN. jc-09.12.13

So you know, sometimes it is easier to say it in another language, Better Than English. For example, our business plan is a bricoleur du dimanche. jc-09.11.13

Study questions sent by my english teacher on an e-mail from his wife, while they were going through a divorce, by James Slaymaker. jc-09.11.13

The further in you go, the better the captions. Via Buzzfeed. ms-09.10.13

The Herald Scotland picks their list of the 50 greatest graphic novels of all time. ms-09.09.13

"...the kind of five-cent psychiatry that gives a bad name to nickels." Adam Gopnik for the NYer on the new Salinger bio and film. jc-09.05.13

Lexican is a collection of forgotten words by Studio Jubilee. dw-09.04.13

"ConAirbnb: A website where you rent to convicted felons and the rooms have a collection of Nicolas Cage films." Spinoffs of Airbnb.com. ms-09.03.13

Therefore, it is essential that you understand something about the French toast: it is not only my breakfast, it is the film. An Excerpt from Some Instructions to the New Guy Concerning the Preparation and Presentation of my French Toast, by Stanley Kubrick.. ms-08.29.13

The syllabus from the class taught by David Foster Wallace that you didn't get to take. jc-08.28.13

"Used to register extreme discomfort, frequently accompanied by a gif of an octopus skittering away." Nicole Cliffe's Glossary For Annotated Email Correspondence From 2013. jc-08.28.13

Terrific post at Kottke, by Tim Carmody on the 50th anniversary of the Great March and Martin Luther King, In Living Memory. jc-08.28.13

We Few. We Happy Few. Via MeFi. ms-08.27.13

Maria Bustillos on The Birth of the Bleep and Modern American Censorship. jc-08.27.13

"I was 21 when I got the call that they liked my packet and I was getting the job. I was throwing out a box of pizza into a dumpster at the moment. The next week I was in a room with Jimmy Kimmel. And his writers. And it was my 22nd birthday. And I felt like throwing up." Zulkey's interview with Jeff Loveness, a writer on Jimmy Kimmel Live! sd-08.23.13

For the next four months @WhitechapelRealTime will tweet Jack the Ripper murders as they happened along with other bits of Victorian life. dw-08.23.13

My thoughts exactly! ms-08.23.13

A Q & A with Chris Ware. ms-08.23.13

McSweeneys' interviews with people who have interesting or unusual jobs. jc-08.23.13

40 words Chicago gave to the English Language. You're welcome. Illustrations by the mighty Rod Hunting. bb-08.22.13

Don't say Lauren Passell didn't warn you. Do Not Read This Post: The 10 Biggest Book Spoilers, Ever. Via Claire. jc-08.22.13

Elmore Leonard wrote great opening lines, Here are all of them. jc-08.22.13

"Whom is vocabulary drenched in bourbon, monocles, and mustaches." dw-08.20.13

"Once, however, we had a company-wide meeting, and I had to let things go unfinished. A co-worker could tell I was antsy about being away and taunted me that there might be typos on the Internet." What It's Really Like To Be A Copy Editor, by Lori Fradkin. jc-08.19.13

We love ambitious, and big, print projects and Digest, a new magazine from Keir Whitaker and Elliot Jay Stocks certainly qualifies. Can't wait for it to fill the mailbox. jc-08.16.13

Bacon, an early bedtime, and a few tattoos to mark where the electrodes go. 13 Little Things NASA Did to Get Alan Shepard Ready for Space. ms-08.14.13

"James Joyce is a good model for punctuation. He keeps it to an absolute minimum. There's no reason to blot the page up with weird little marks. I mean, if you write properly you shouldn't have to punctuate." —Cormac McCarthy jc-08.13.13

A beautiful, heartbreaking, creative Missed Connection - M4W. Must read. jc-08.07.13

"Pardon me? No, sir, no hatchets. Nope, no pickaxes either. OK, listen, people, this isn't really that kind of place. It's always the same complaint: 'Joe, you don't have any of the essential items that every other trading post has. Why don't you have saddles? Or gunpowder? Or basic tools?' Because I have soy chorizo, that's why! Because I have chocolate-covered peanut-butter-filled pretzels! Because I have Parsnip Chips!" ms-08.07.13

Mat Honan on the Apple Newton's "Prophetic Failure and Lasting Impact." jc-08.05.13

"Every now and then somebody would ask, 'Whatever happened to Danny from The Shining,?'" Stephen King answers. (First ever Fresh Signals link to an AARP publication. Yipes.) Thanks Jamie. jc-08.05.13

"A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word on paper." The daily routines of famous writers. mt-08.05.13

"...as God — along with Bach, Beethoven and Mozart — is my witness, you cannot 'reach' a crescendo." jc-08.01.13

"The cooler you keep your bit the longer it will last." Sage advice from Future Perfect. jc-07.31.13

Looking back at the week in animal science news, our SD's piece for Paper Machete. bb-07.29.13

"And we need to say to ourselves that the moment has come when we have to treat every last moving image as reverently and respectfully as the oldest book in the Library of Congress." An essay by Martin Scorsese, Reading the Language of Cinema. ms-07.29.13

The Atlantic asked 22 authors for their favorite first lines of books. ms-07.26.13

"Every Pixar movie is connected. I explain how, and possibly why." The incredibly detailed Pixar Theory. ms-07.26.13

"Yet the nightmare cast its shroud in the guise of a contagion of a deer-in-the-headlights paralysis." Prospero finds the world's worst sentence and offers some help to its author with the assistance of George Orwell. Via Language Log. jc-07.23.13

Bookmarked for future use, since it's the topic of about half the conversations BB and I have together: Hyphen, En Dash, Em Dash, Minus, and how to use each one. sd-07.22.13

"Your kind makes me puke; you low, vacuous, malodorous perverts. Your dearth of sensitivity is equaled only by your plethora of obnoxiousness." Very Untruly Yours. jc-07.22.13

"I have had my own bloody relationship with Nixon for many years, but I am not worried about it landing me in hell with him. I have already been there with that bastard, and I am a better person for it." HST on RMN. jc-07.18.13

"There was a time when I attempted to make 'cheers' more interesting by imagining that it referred to the popular sitcom starring Ted Danson, and thus began signing off emails by namechecking various 1980s comedies. However, as novel as this is, in the end signing off with 'The Golden Girls, Ben' or 'Family Ties, Ben' tends to come off a bit unprofessional, especially when dealing with HR." ms-07.18.13

Waters 4339 Muddy. Via Ant. jc-07.18.13

"So now there are 100 of you left. Nice round number. But not for long! We're at the point in the page where you have to scroll to see more. Of the 100 of you who didn't bounce, five are never going to scroll. Bye!" jc-07.17.13

"If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason." We've been been quoting Deep Thoughts around the office all day, after reading this great NYT Jack Handey profile. bb-07.16.13

"You, however, will just want some ideas, please, by EOD Friday, two weeks after our initial Discovery session, which ended with an awkward hug. And we will give you ideas. We will suggest all sorts of creative things to do with your company! You will reject each and every one of them. ms-07.16.13

"Because inside that chiseled cover boy of privilege exterior, you're a fucking hipster." Craigslist bike listing, Look like Lincoln Park. Ride like Wicker Park. Via John Geletka. jc-07.12.13

An Open Letter to the Worst Wax Museum in America. ms-07.11.13

"But look beneath the technique and what did you find? A sameness, a mental weariness, a mediocrity of ideas. But they could defend every ad on the basis that it obeyed the rules of advertising. It was like worshiping a ritual instead of the God." Bill Bernbach writing to his bosses at Grey, two years before he left to start DDB and change American advertising forever. jc-07.10.13

"Hey team, sorry for the last-minute meeting. I know there are a ton of distractions going on right now and morale here at Glimmerly has been getting pretty low due to long hours, missed deadlines, lower Manhattan being engulfed by the sea, and Southern California being razed to cinders by wildfire and RPG skirmishes. But I wanted to make sure everybody's totally focused on priority one: getting Glimmerly into the App Store by the first of the month." ms-07.09.13

The Letter, by Elon Green. A fine, long piece on the editorial history of The New Yorker. jc-07.08.13

"I noticed that in your fitness philosophy that you blog about, you tell me you want me to be my best everyday. If I were to subscribe to your RSS though, I was wondering if I could ever get a day off?" An Open Letter to #fitgirls, by Emma Froggatt. jc-07.08.13

100 opening lines from novels collected by American Book Review. jc-07.03.13

This has "Coudal" written all over it, but we sadly had nothing to do with it. bb-07.02.13

Funny lion always feasible, innovative policies hatred assured. jc-07.02.13

The "Blog" of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks. jc-06.29.13

Zulkey says farewell to WBEZ, preps to re-launch the original Zulkey.com. sd-06.28.13

Twenty questions for authors, none about writing. Kevin Guilfoile take on Giganticide admirably. jc-06.27.13

"Anatomy of a Hack: How crackers ransack passwords like qeadzcwrsfxv1331." ms-06.27.13

I Wish That We Could Both Be There, by William Dettloff for TMN. A brilliant piece using narrative and statistics to examine an accident from 1974, and how it has echoed through the last 40 years. jc-06.26.13

"Brandon Bollig skated expectantly toward the Zamboni entrance, searching for his loved ones the way a child leaving school scans the parking lot for his parents." Katie Baker on last night. jc-06.25.13

Paris, I Love You but You're Bringing Me Down by Rosecrans Baldwin is now out in paperback. It's just about the perfect summer read. jc-06.25.13

"I hereby acknowledge all camp dangers, hazards, and risks, which include but are not limited to: heat exhaustion; brain freeze; subatomic wedgies; pinkeye/pinkeverything; indelible nicknames; super-lice; religious conversions; copperhead bites; MRSA-related amputations; Truth or Dare games that end in felonies; death; and a lifelong aversion to pinto beans." ms-06.25.13

On today's date in 1964, the Supreme Court overturned a lower court ruling that found Henry Miller's Tropic of Cancer to be obscene. That and more on the SLAPS test here. jc-06.22.13

"We will need help deadlifting these oil drums filled with marbles." An Imagined Conversation Between the Construction Workers Upstairs From Me, by Ben Jurney. jc-06.20.13

The Art of the Trailer. ms-06.19.13

"Zozam managed five chilies. The winner, Namlui Rongmei, finished 14. He's crouched on the floor, glassy-eyed. I see him reach for the hem of the doctor's white coat. A man behind me squats in the shrubbery, checking his smartphone while he waits waits for the vomiting to commence.. ms-06.18.13

"It was a quiet morning, the town covered over with darkness and at ease in bed. Summer gathered in the weather, the wind had the proper touch, the breathing of the world was long and warm and slow. You had only to rise, lean from your window, and know that this indeed was the first real time of freedom and living, this was the first morning of summer." So begins Ray Bradbury's Dandelion Wine. jc-06.14.13

"To characterize the similarities and differences between 'geek' and 'nerd,' maybe we can find the other words that tend to keep them company, and see if these linguistic companions support my point of view?" jc-06.13.13

Fly Fishing Fly or Cosmo-Approved Sex Position? By Kelly Slivka. jc-06.13.13

"S.81, a bill to allow asylum for persecuted democracy activists. Senator Kelly Ayotte invokes Rule 212, which sends the bill back to committee for review, then to every other Senate committee, then to every other political body within 3,000 miles. The bill is currently under review by the student council of Santa Rosa High School in the Dominican Republic." ms-06.12.13

"'If you're reading this letter, it means I've passed on to the other side, into the valley of perpetual brightness,' your light bulb will tell you," The Internet of Actual Things, by Giles Turnbull. jc-06.12.13

People who like this sort of thing will find it exactly the sort of thing they like. This long, insightful LRB article by Michael Wood on the four translations of Michael Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita has me jacked to read the book again. Sympathy For the Devil. jc-06.07.13

"Sure, I'd cleared my name after the police had pegged me for pocketing a peck of pickled peppers, but ever since my previous partner got plugged poking his peepers into one too many private places, the only thing I've been interested in pickling my liver." ms-06.07.13

Sprint for Glory by Charles Graeber. Across the USA on an outlaw attempt to break the speed record in an M5. Via @TMN. jc-06.05.13

"The one that caught my eye first was the one in the plaid green two-piece. She was a chunky kid, with a good tan and a sweet broad soft-looking can with those two crescents of white just under it, where the sun never seems to hit, at the top of the backs of her legs." Tangentially related to a Twitter conversation, John Updike's "A&P". jc-06.05.13

"Since no one can see the future, I will answer by presenting twenty possible scenarios, which, admittedly, vary in their likelihood. Nevertheless, I feel it is best to try to be thorough so that at least one of the scenarios may prove true in five years. Most of the scenarios are positive, but a few negative scenarios are included for balance. Please note that during previous performance reviews I have been repeatedly told that I need to 'think outside the box'." ms-06.03.13

A look at the book La Tacopedia: Enciclopedia Del Taco, a reference for all things taco. Though why you would ever need consider one that isn't Sonoran style is beyond me. sd-05.30.13

"tweetthink - The impulse you have, after naturally saying something funny in conversation, to craft that statement into a social media post." Updates to the Newspeak Dictionary 2013. ms-05.30.13

Sometimes you're lucky enough to stumble onto something great. We all have our own version of the sorority girl email living inside of us, by Hannahmight. Bam. jc-05.28.13

Local note. You May Ask Yourself, How Did I Get Here? Bar none, Sam Fels is the funniest, smartest, most honest hockey writer in the city. In fact, it's not even close. jc-05.28.13

Me and Sad Keanu: A 3-D Printing Story. ms-05.28.13

"I started at noon and I was done by 1pm. I'd expected that maybe a hundred nerds would read it and enjoy it, and that some people would have had a fun lunch hour because of me. Instead, it changed the trajectory of my life. By the time I went home at five it'd had a quarter-of-a-million readers, a week later I had a manager, and a week after that I had a contract with Warner Brothers. They brought me on to write a treatment, and then a screenplay based on that treatment." jc-05.28.13

Zulkey interviews Stephen Rodrick, author of The Magical Stranger and recently, the fascinating, much-discussed NY Times story, "Here Is What Happens When You Cast Lindsay Lohan in Your Movie." sd-05.23.13

Watergate: The Video Game. There goes your 1972. I mean afternoon. bb-05.22.13

A rare piece that's both nerdy and fascinating, methinks. Tony Kroch uses a single famous sentence to examine the evolution of English, Protesting Too Much, for Language Log. jc-05.22.13

"I put all the dishes away, is that OK?" and other questions that get all women horny. By Claire Zulkey. jc-05.21.13

"I thought that the very concept of a man who was kidnapped by aliens was truly unbelievable and a tad ludicrous." Lone Star Statements, by Matthew Baldwin. A compilation of one-star Amazon reviews of great books. jc-05.17.13

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern and Hall and Oates. ms-05.14.13

"So many times as I walk the city, I can feel the quiet, as if it reaches from down into the soil, up into the sky. One night at my desk, I hear, with what seems like great violence, the noise of a car driving at a normal speed down Pragerstrasse, the street outside my apartment, followed by the noise of another. It is night and a weekday, and so unusual, it is almost like thunder." Everything in This City Must, by Alexander Chee. jc-05.14.13

"The hippo who tried to kill me wasn't a stranger - he and I had met before a number of times." ms-05.14.13

"I remember asking Christiane Kubrick what her husband was looking for during those ever lengthening gaps between films. She said, 'The magical moment of falling in love with a story.' I know that feeling well." Zulkey's interview with Jon Ronson, author of Them: Adventures with Extremists and The Men Who Stare at Goats, and director of Stanley Kubrick's Boxes. sd-05.13.13

"The Good Fairy Fairfuck helps him conquer his addiction to self-abuse, so he can embrace the joys of holy matrimony with his betrothed, the Princess Shovituppa." Melissa Mohr knows where all the dirtiest words come from. jc-05.13.13

Breaking Down the April NYT Vows Section. So great, as we've said a couple times before, Katie Baker is the bomb. jc-05.10.13

"Disappearing over the horizon at such speed as to leave a diminishing jet trail along its path, the Rocket Sled soon brought Mr. Coyote abreast of his prey. At that moment the animal he was pursuing veered sharply to the right. Mr. Coyote vigorously attempted to follow this maneuver but was unable to, due to poorly designed steering on the Rocket Sled..." An absolute classic, Ian Frazier's Wile E. Coyote, Plaintiff v. Acme Company, Defendant. jc-05.09.13

Long read of the day: The Body in Room 348. ms-05.09.13

So That If I Died It Mattered, by Jon Sands. Beautiful and honest and heart-breaking. Read this if you are a mother, or if you have one. jc-05.07.13

"Changing something from 'draft' to 'published' is like climbing a hill and looking down. The change in perspective makes certain things obvious." Elegy for the Text Box, by Paul Ford. jc-05.07.13

"A poster going by the screennames 'TimeTravel_0' and 'John Titor' on a variety of message boards, beginning with the forum at the Time Travel Institute, claimed he was a soldier sent from 2036, the year the computer virus wiped the world." The Mystery of John Titor, by Rick Paulas. jc-05.07.13

"Here, I mean, it's a movie. Which, by definition, is not real. Despite that challenging obstacle, the actors, with their swearing, their crappy furniture, their regular speech patterns, and their crying, they're trying to convince me that it is!" Earl Pomerantz is jaded about movies (except when he's not) jc-05.06.13

A classic that needs to be revisited periodically. Paul Brians' Commonly Made Suggestions about commonly made errors, and more importantly, Non-Errors, "those usages people keep telling you are wrong but which are actually standard in English." Which is exactly the sort of attitude up with which I will not put. jc-05.02.13

"Additionally, and I don't know what this has to do with anything, but I cried during Les Miserables." Paul Miller is back online after a year without the internet. Great read. jc-05.02.13

"Because we didn't know what we were doing, we simply did whatever we had to do to make things work." Good advice from Jason Fried, The Importance of Quick and Dirty. I am a big proponent of not knowing what you're doing, in fact that's pretty much our entire business plan. jc-05.02.13

"It was one of countless hockey games we attended over the years, and certainly not the first between the two Original Six teams representing his home state of Michigan and the city he adopted and loved all out of proportion, Chicago." James Hughes on his father and hockey. Long and just lovely, with a fabulous photo of Buck Russell at Center Ice of the Chicago Stadium in 1989. Highly recommended. jc-05.01.13

"One opalescent night in childhood we played on our silver-frozen lake. A filthy boy in ragged skates swung his stick as I dove. Catching soft pink tissue inside my mouth, he tore a lone bicuspid free and shot it into the moonlit sky, enamel flashing overhead as I lay supine before the goal." Nabokov Wins One for the Islanders, by Andrea Pitzer. jc-05.01.13

"I haven't ever seen so many people staring at their phones like idiots,' he said, observing what I might have if I'd been looking up from my phone. 'They actually believe this stuff is worthwhile." ms-04.29.13

"You spend the first forty years of your life trying to get in this ----ing business, and the next forty years trying to get out. And then when you're making the bread, who needs it?" Saturday at Lee ----ing Marvin's, by Roger Ebert. jc-04.29.13

Charlotte's Web as branding case study, by Josh Berta. jc-04.26.13

"The most common of the genus ellipses, the Actual Ellipsis (AE) [not to be confused with '..,' the Moron's Ellipses (ME)] finds regular use in correspondence meant to suggest a sense of impending doom..." A Field Guide to Common Punctuation, by Peter K.. jc-04.25.13

Long read of the day: Out in the Great Alone. Via MeFi. ms-04.25.13

"I use fresh Rocky Mountain Spring Water from the break room water cooler for my PowerPoint Pilsner. I actually grow my own hops here, sustainably, on this Chia Pet in the sunny corner of my cubicle. My carbon footprint is like, negative." ms-04.24.13

"Even more insidious and common is in terms of, a fine phrase if you are talking about mathematical equations or economic functions in which specific "terms" are defined, but it is just loose and woolly when you say things like "in terms of culture," for which there are simply no clear terms." A great interview by Mark Danner with Robert Silvers, founding editor of the New York Review of Books. jc-04.24.13

"Ask an artist about the things they make, and you'll get the strangest answers. They are the closest to that work and sometimes, as a result, the furthest from it as well. They are not objective observers and so they do not always have reason, but they have hope and that is reason enough to ask them." Ben Greenman learns about his own book from other people's paintings. Brilliant. jc-04.22.13

Eight writers and the walks that inspired them. Via MeFi. ms-04.22.13

Related to the last, the whole great story is beautifully told in Simon Winchester's The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary. jc-04.19.13

Just finished reading Making Patton. A must-read for any fan of the film. A great review, here. sd-04.19.13

We are solidly confirmed Sriracha fans here at the studio so it's nice to see this article about how it was introduced to the U.S.. ms-04.18.13

It's excellent news that John le Carré has not mellowed with age, by Dwight Garner. jc-04.18.13

The Morning News Tournament of Books is 4 for 9 in picking Pulitzers. jc-04.17.13

Maximal Meaning in Minimal Space: The History of Punctuation, by Keith Houston. Also, Houston's book on the same subject, Shady Characters, is available for pre-order. jc-04.17.13

"Books are ordered with an eye to their level of artistry, their long-term impact, and the extent to which they capture Chicago." Geoffrey Johnson's Top 40 Chicago Novels and another five from Book Riot. jc-04.16.13

Jay Fanelli is a failure and we like him that way. Thanks for the shout. jc-04.15.13

A couple of years ago, Australian illustrator James Gulliver Hancock moved to New York City and, in an effort to "own" his new home in his unique way, set out to draw every single building in town. ab-04.15.13

Long read of the day, Ain't It Cool's Harry Knowles: The Cash Strapped King of the Nerds Plots a Comeback. ms-04.12.13

The disruptive potential of native advertising as it relates to online ads. Very smart, by Felix Salmon. Via John Gruber. jc-04.12.13

"Once you've selected your Jingle Template, we will request that you provide us with the lyrical content you would like for Fred to incorporate into the finished product. We will not proceed without you submitting your desired lyrics. We will never use the lyrics you provide." ms-04.11.13

After receiving dozens of hand-drawn maps, Becky Cooper has collated some of the finest into a book: Mapping Manhattan: A Love (Sometimes Hate) Story in Maps by 75 New Yorkers. ab-04.10.13

English Consecutive Oral Sex Beijing Division Semi-Finals. Wait, what? jc-04.10.13

With all the high-stakes proofreading and press-checking we do around here, I routinely have nightmares about embarrassing typos sneaking into Field Notes, but my imagination will never top this. bb-04.09.13

In 1957, writer, public intellectual, lifelong art aficionado, and self-described "aging anthologist" Selden Rodman collected several dozen of his informal, lively, amusing, and insightful interviews with iconic artists and architects -- including Frank Lloyd Wright, Willem de Kooning, and Saul Steinberg -- in Conversations with Artists. ab-04.09.13

I've only just discovered The Paris Review, but it's celebrating its 60th year. I'd learned from another post that if you're creative and feeling a bit stuck, a great thing to do is read a biography or autobiography. The Paris Review has interviews with authors over seven decades. You can search by decade or by author. Prepare to be unstuck. ab-04.09.13

That's Different "AKA: Signs That You're Getting Older - One of A Series - Unless You Hate It Or I Hate It In Which Case It's 'One and Out', (which would have made it my longest post title ever but it isn't, because I moved it down to the body of the post and used 'That's Different' instead which, as a title, would tie for my second shortest.) By Earl Pomerantz. jc-04.08.13

On this day in 1950, J. D. Salinger's "For Esme - With Love and Squalor" was published in The New Yorker. jc-04.08.13

"Early on in the investigation, a lawyer from a Senate subcommittee investigating corruption in boxing came to interview Maffia and asked him if Don King was tied to organized crime. Hauser, who was in the room as Maffia's legal adviser, told the lawyer, 'You don't understand. Don King is organized crime.'" Jay Caspian Kang on Don King for Grantland. jc-04.06.13

"As the lights went down one last time, Ebert would have loved it if all those people sitting in the dark and hoping for the best understood that his approach to movies was big enough, openhearted enough to embrace far more than the movies he'd loved all his life." ms-04.04.13

"But in addition to its magnificent legacy in the history of letter writing, the comma gives us pause to build our anticipation or steel ourselves in preparation." The Comma From Which My Heart Hangs, by Benjamin Samuel. Bravo sir, bravo. jc-04.04.13

Long read of the day, Heart of Sharkness. Not for faint of heart. ms-04.03.13

I'm a day late with this, what a schnook. jc-04.02.13

In honor of opening day here in Chicago today, James Earl Jones reads Casey at the Bat. ms-04.01.13

"James the Less agrees with Jesus and says that Jesus's entry into Jerusalem while riding a donkey and wearing a hoodie got him major cred with twenty-something startup CEOs." Official Meeting Minutes From the Last Supper. ms-03.29.13

Natasha Vargas-Cooper calmly detonates a bomb in the first of two Zombie Round matches in The Morning News Tournament of Books, featuring John Green's The Fault in Our Stars vs. Chris Ware's Building Stories. I expect the comment section will go right up in flames as well. Fabulous. jc-03.27.13

And then there were four. jc-03.26.13

The case of the 727 that vanished, by Tim Wright. Via Things Mag. jc-03.26.13

"Indeed, the list became a Rorschach test, if you will, for how you perceive journalism in the 21st century..." To Be Sure, Journalists Love Cliches, by Carl Lozada. Via EJ Dionne. jc-03.25.13

"Her work is characterized by a keen eye for the most flattering angle, the frequent inclusion of an ever-changing cast of BFFs and stunning repetition." Selfies of Becky Jones: A Retrospective, by Sarah Anders. jc-03.25.13

"This has to be the biggest upset in the nine years of the Tournament. We're talking NC State over Phi Slama Jama Houston, or Buster Douglas taking down Mike Tyson, or AfterMASH getting a second season." John Warner on today's last Quarterfinal Match in the ToB. jc-03.22.13

"The idea of crowd-sourcing personal decisions did not occur to Merrill until after he disclosed to shareholders... that he had moved in with his then-girlfriend. One shareholder promptly complained that the decision, which could easily impact Merrill's creative output, constituted a unilateral management maneuver that put investor capital at risk." How One Man Turned Himself Into a Publicly Owned Company, by Rob Walker. jc-03.21.13

Michael Lopp knows you are a beautiful snowflake, despite what it says on your business card. Titles are Toxic. jc-03.19.13

Things are getting serious now. The Quarterfinals have begun in the The Morning News Tournament of Books. Today pits John Green's The Fault in our Stars against Adam Johnson's The Orphan Master's Son. jc-03.19.13

March Madness for Book Geeks. Thanks for that. ms-03.18.13

"Remember, that while the captain may have played the genial host under normal conditions, his authority is absolute." The Unlikely Event, by Avi Steinberg. jc-03.18.13

"A lot could happen to her boobs. Probably a lot has." jc-03.15.13

Long read of the day, Last Call for a Garden Party. Via Huckberry. ms-03.14.13

Jake Knapp can't handle infinity in his pocket. jc-03.14.13

A roundtable on this year's Tournament of Books, and how it got that way. jc-03.12.13

The new "Mental Illness" entry in the AP Stylebook is worth a read for everyone. bb-03.12.13

On the Writing of the Insane, a book of observations on the peculiarities of writing styles as shown by asylum patients. dw-03.12.13

Vonnegut, Kurt Snarfield, Class of 1940. Via Dmitry Samarov. jc-03.12.13

Documentary Ars Magna, obsessed with anagrams. jc-03.12.13

"You chose the Fire Pit Bacon Burger, and she chose the Chicken Quesadilla Grande, and in that moment, all was perfect. Remember that, my friend. When it was go time, you brought her to the Neighborhood. And you ate good in the Neighborhood. You ate good, damn it." ms-03.11.13

"Both of these were so good. As I type this out I'm realizing that I haven't quite made up my mind. Did I just sit down and start writing, hoping that I'd figure it out? Maybe. Was this maybe not the greatest plan? Maybe not. And what if I don't figure it out? Can this end in a tie? Do we go to overtime?" Charles Yu has to decide betweeen Chris Ware's Building Stories and Alice Munro's Dear Life in today's Opening Round Match of the Tournament of Books. jc-03.11.13

"As it turned out, Lucas had already done the cataloging. His company maintained a database called the Holocron, named after a crystal cube powered by the Force. The real-world Holocron lists 17,000 characters in the Star Wars universe inhabiting several thousand planets over a span of more than 20,000 years." How Disney Bought Lucasfilm. ms-03.08.13

"All of these books work as fully realized narratives by virtue of how the authors forged text and imagery, making for truly singular works." Buzz Poole on illustrated books. jc-03.06.13

The Morning News Tournament of Books kicks off this morning with a three book "play-in" for the final spot on the brackets and it's off to a fine start. First round matches start on Thursday. jc-03.04.13

So you know, the strangest unsolved mystery of the last century, the Russian Dyatlov Pass Incident. ms-03.04.13

"In his first week, he pulled aside a colleague to ask a question: How hard it is for a nonemployee to enter the building?" The story of an ongoing, month-long 23 year old game of tag between four friends. Likely already optioned as a film for Vince Vaughn to star in. sd-03.01.13

We Found Our Son in the Subway. Like Jason, I seem to have something in my eye. jc-03.01.13

Jeff at Book Riot handicaps the 2013 Tournament of Books which tips off next week. jc-03.01.13

"...tasteful covers rarely stand out on the shelves and from a marketing perspective there isn't anything necessarily wrong with something being dissonant." You'll Never Get Anywhere Like That, Or a Few Thoughts on the Cover Design of The Bell Jar, by Dan Wagstaff. jc-02.27.13

Long read of the day, The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food . ms-02.27.13

The Morning News 2013 Tournament of Books Brackets are up with a sweet poster by Liz Meyer. jc-02.27.13

"I decided that if I was ever going to do anything more substantial, then I had to only do that thing." Adam Lisagor on The Great Discontent. jc-02.27.13

"Don't be a jerk" and other ideas that are the result of our pal Chris Coyier's translation of Terms of Service into English. Bravo. jc-02.26.13

The man who makes me swoon answers some questions. ms-02.26.13

"As social chair of my fraternity, AXA, I not only increased the attendance of our weekly No Pants Parties by 30%, I successfully persuaded the Dartmouth Disciplinary Council to permit AXA to conduct internal reviews of alleged incidents of sexual harassment and bullying. I am a problem solver." John Ortved would like to be Pope. jc-02.25.13

"My dad died before he was nominated for two Academy Awards. So my mom took me instead." Kate Arthur's "My Father, All That Jazz, the 1980 Oscars - And Me." Great read. sd-02.22.13

Zulkey put together a Random Roles feature for the AV Club with Linda Cardellini, from the short-lived but beloved, Freaks and Geeks. sd-02.21.13

Shannon Heffernan's great read about Riverview, the long-ago demolished amusement park here in Chicago. Thanks Claire. sd-02.21.13

Great long read of the day: "Michael Jordan Has Not Left the Building" by Wright Thompson for ESPN. sd-02.19.13

"Given his aloofness, it's easy to see how Washington the man became Washington the Mona Lisa gracing the American dollar bill. Not necessarily as pretty, but just as enigmatic." Huzzah, George Washington, Secret Basketcase And First President. Discuss. jc-02.18.13

Fascinating true crime story from Natasha Vargas-Cooper: "When A 10-Year-Old Kills His Nazi Father, Who's To Blame?" sd-02.15.13

Alex Kotlowitz's painful piece in this week's Time Out: "Youth Violence in Chicago." sd-02.14.13

Really great long read of the day, Kevin Pang's piece on Chicago chef Curtis Duffy, His Saving Grace. ms-02.14.13

"The fact is that most of the people in this world will never know what the weather in February here feels like. We own that here. We're proud of it. It's what seems to set us apart." February in Chicago. Via GB. ms-02.13.13

While the article itself is a great, detailed breakdown of The Battle of Hoth, commenter JordanViray completely steals the show. ms-02.13.13

A great read on social media do's and don'ts. dw-02.08.13

Ben Zimmer dives deep on the curious case of the rise of bounding asterisks. (*claps*) A discussion started by Daring Fireball. jc-02.08.13

Rick Meyerowitz talks about his new book on the writers and artists of the National Lampoon, Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead. A bit more from Steven Heller. jc-02.08.13

"Good morning, and welcome to Advanced English Literature— I'm Professor Anglosoundingname. As you can see, I have a mane of silver hair and wear a corduroy blazer with leather elbow patches..." I'm an English Professor In a Movie, by Teddy Wayne. jc-02.07.13

The Rise of Bounding Asterisks (*ahem*) in Lieu of Italicization for Styling Text, by John Gruber. jc-02.07.13

"Coachella is being headlined by Blur, Wu-Tang Clan, Dinosaur Jr, and Moby." New York's Carl Swanson discusses the New Museum's belief that it's been 1993 for the past twenty years. "Are We Still Living in 1993?" sd-02.06.13

Great read about a family of six, lost in Siberia for more than 40 years, discovered by a Soviet geology team in 1978. sd-02.05.13

Start the Week explores George Orwell's undergrad staple: "Politics and the English Language." jdr-02.05.13

On this dat in 1969 Neal "Fastestmanalive" Cassady died. jc-02.04.13

"We are an attractive demographic, so our foibles attract a certain amount of interest." Zulkey interviews Hal Higdon, the running legend and prolific writer about running. sd-02.01.13

"The French elite pretend not to read him, but they all do." The Spy Novelist Who Knows Too Much, by Robert F. Worth. jc-01.31.13

"full day of island activities tomorrow! Gonna play some sorta game. think we may also be hunting." The #MostDangerousGame. ms-01.31.13

The Fish estimates sea thicket is angry. jc-01.29.13

Using screen recording software, novelist Brandon Sanderson lets his fans watch as he writes his new book. jc-01.29.13

This is what you call a class act. ms-01.28.13

"I will make at least one effort per month to engage my direct reports on a more personal level, whether that means talking about sports, asking about their children, or telling them about my marital problems. The topic is not important, so long as I have demonstrated that I am not too proud to stoop down to their level for a few seconds." ms-01.25.13

This Pictorial Atlas is a collection of over 225 illustrations depicting all the major representations of Homer's Iliad and Odyssey as can be found in classical antiquity. dw-01.22.13

So you know, Chrono-Synclastic Infundibulum. jc-01.22.13

"I'd wait for the 4:15 screening in theater fifteen, presented in 2D Action Focus format. It has a running time of 70 minutes with no dwarf songs..." An Unexpected Screening Format Decision, by Martin Azevedo. jc-01.22.13

A nostalgic and nerdy read that could easily serve as my personal history from 1994 - 1996 as well, having worked at two stores myself: "How I Launched 3 Consoles (and Found True Love) at Babbage's Store No. 9." sd-01.21.13

Zulkey interviews Matt Besser, founding member of the Upright Citizens Brigade (and Little Donny himself). sd-01.18.13

2013 Tournament of Books Zombie Poll! jc-01.16.13

A big, ambitious piece that delivers, by Laura June for The Verge, For Amusement Only: The Life and Death of the American Arcade. jc-01.16.13

The true story of a Mutiny in Space. ms-01.16.13

An amazing set of circumstances lead to a life saved. ms-01.15.13

"I must confess to being rather blindsided by the end of our relationship. It seems Captain Von Trapp and I misunderstood each other. I assumed he was looking for a wife of taste and sophistication, who was a dead ringer for Tippi Hedren; instead he wanted to marry a curtain-wearing religious fanatic who shouts every word she says." ms-01.15.13

"He plays a schmaltzy video where Portuguese children teach adults to use Windows 8 accompanied by a hyperloud xylophone soundtrack that slices through my hangover like cheesewire though lukewarm gouda." ms-01.15.13

Do Svidaniya to All That. I've said it before and I'm sure I'll say it again, "Kety Beyker" is the bomb. jc-01.10.13

A must-read story about a Chicago tavern and an odd confrontation with "shameless" Richard Marx. Right Here Waiting by Ted McClelland for TMN. jc-01.09.13

Pretty sure I write at least two. ms-01.09.13

"Refresh was clicked, again and again, but still did Internet Explorer 6 not load The Google. Perhaps The Google was broken, the people thought, but then The Yahoo too did not load." A classic. In Which I Fix My Girlfriend's Grandparents' WiFi and Am Hailed as a Conquering Hero, by Mike Lacher. jc-01.08.13

FotA Steve Heisler's fantastic, thorough response to this indefensible defense of heckling. sd-01.07.13

It's always fun and instructive when Jeff O'Neal posts his Tournament of Books Pre-Game Analysis. jc-01.07.13

"The Running Boy," Ron Tanner's short history of and meditation on the children at play road sign and its various iterations. sd-01.04.13

"Is Wright happy? Impossible to tell; he reacts in neither a positive nor negative way, he simply moves on to the next lot." Behind the scenes at the Wright Auction House, which is just down the street from us. Fascinating. Via Jason Fried. jc-01.03.13

Two great true stories from WWII, Why A German Pilot Escorted An American Bomber to Safety and The Power of Music. ms-01.03.13

Nothing terribly revealing here, but it's always nice to read an interview with John Lurie talking about Fishing with John. sd-01.02.13

Nicely designed site and print edition of Western Washington University's Jeopardy Magazine. sd-12.27.12

Fantastic long read of the day, Snow Fall: The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek. ms-12.23.12

"And yet today, we are being explicitly invited to consider everything as being a little dollop from one giant homogenous lump of 'contemporary culture', an exercise in flattening and blending that takes away the delight of discovery." What Things Magazine is thinking here, at the end of the year. Amen. jc-12.21.12

TMN's The Year That Was and Wasn't. jc-12.21.12

The Rooster crows in December! The contestants and judges have been announced for The 2013 Tournament of Books at The Morning News. jc-12.20.12

Audience Participation Cues for the My Dinner With Andre Midnight Madness Screening, by Luke Burns. jc-12.19.12

Related to the last, John Warner on Getting to Know the Real Ralphie. jc-12.18.12

"The language of our culture no longer describes real life and, pretty soon, something's gonna blow." Cool. Donald Fagan on Jean Shepherd, The Man Who Told A Christmas Story. jc-12.18.12

For Skyler, how to download your Instagram photos and kill your account. ms-12.18.12

It's the unfortunate end of an era as FotA Keith Phipps has departed as the editor of the AV Club. Here's a glass raised to all of the good things surely on the horizon for him in the future. sd-12.13.12

The Atlantic's Best (Worst?) Typos, Mistakes, and Correrctions of 2012, by Jen Doll. Via Kottke. jc-12.13.12

The Origin and Development of the Quotation Mark, by Philippe Theophanidis. jc-12.12.12

The New Yorker gives us their picks for the Best Movies of 2012. ms-12.12.12

"I lead a crew of energetic but woefully trendy young designers who have never learned to set type by hand and never will. My account team is combative and seems to delight in miscommunicating with clients." The World's First and Only Completely Honest Resume of a Graphic Designer, by Marco Kaye. jc-12.11.12

The Floppy Disk Means Save, and 14 Other Old People Icons That Don't Make Sense Anymore, by Scott Hanselman. jc-12.10.12

Long read of the day and a must for all who loved the show like I did, The Oral History of Freaks and Geeks. ms-12.10.12

"Or check this out: an .rtf containing the text of the original 42-line Gutenberg Bible, elegantly typeset in MS Courier New. I have a couple thousand other copies of the file on an external hard drive, but I'll happily delete them to make this one rarer if you like." ms-12.06.12

So you know, the history of boredom. ms-12.04.12

"The simple channeling of that anger into a funnel of spite. There's something undeniably beautiful about a well-worded curse. Go ahead. Give it a try." Removing My Curse, by Robin Hemley. jc-12.03.12

Justification ms-12.01.12

In honor of Samuel Longhorn Clemens' birthday today, a letter to An Idiot of the 33rd Degree. ms-11.30.12

"We are raising a nation of sticker putter-on-ers." Sad but true. Dr. Amy Fusselman's Handy Guide to Minivan Stick-Figure Decals. Note: Amy Fusselman is not a doctor. jc-11.28.12

"Disappearing over the horizon at such speed as to leave a diminishing jet trail along its path, the Rocket Sled soon brought Mr. Coyote abreast of his prey. At that moment the animal he was pursuing veered sharply to the right. Mr. Coyote vigorously attempted to follow this maneuver but was unable to, due to poorly designed steering on the Rocket Sled..." Related to the last, an absolute classic, Ian Frazier's Wile E. Coyote, Plaintiff v. Acme Company, Defendant. jc-11.27.12

"And ideally, you'll grant me access to your bedroom so I can be a witness to the moment your baby is conceived." Artisanal Baby Naming, by Bob Powers. jc-11.27.12

Relink. "We found out that my hooker with a heart of gold had spent some time the previous night doing what many of us do while waiting for a john to return from a smoke break: editing photos on facebook." Sledgehammer and Whore, a great story by a screenwriter named Josh. jc-11.26.12

Everyone Get the Hell Out of the Kitchen Right Now Before I Kill All of You Cranberry-Orange Dressing and other Recipes for a Fun-Filled Thanksgiving. ms-11.21.12

"A world that has only periods is a world without inflections." Related to an earlier post, In Praise of the Humble Comma, by Pico Iyer. Thanks @velick. jc-11.21.12

So you know, 17 euphemisms for sex from the 1800s. See also The Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue by Francis Grose, 1811. Via Mefi. jc-11.21.12

"That's a gross exaggeration. Henry James adored me; incidentally, many consider him the paradigm of subtlety; he was certainly more subtle than that Vonnegut fellow." Interview with a semicolon. ms-11.21.12

Great long read of the day, Why Trevell Coleman Charged Himself With Murder. ms-11.20.12

Largehearted Boy, "For the fifth straight year, I will be aggregating every online 'best of 2012' book list I find in this post." jc-11.20.12

Thanks for the reminder Coop. Here's something I wrote in October of 2005. That sure seems like a long time ago now, and a lot has changed, but the heart of the matter is as true today as it was then. jc-11.16.12

Great read, When the Nerds Go Marching In. ms-11.16.12

"Venice is certifiably one of the last places on earth where you'd think of walking through a restaurant door and ordering a turkey dinner on the fourth Thursday in November. But that kind of logic is weak beer to my mother." Rosecrans Baldwin's Thanksgiving in Venice. jc-11.14.12

Everyone in the studio is laughing out loud right now. A look at just how desperate some guys get when looking to get laid. Via Gawker. ms-11.13.12

A fascinating story from NPR yesterday about the the differences in educating and indicating intelligence: "Struggle for Smarts? How Eastern and Western Cultures Tackle Learning." sd-11.13.12

Maria Popova's illustrated review of My Ideal Bookshelf, Jane Mount's portraits of artists through the spines of their favorite books. jc-11.13.12

Related to the last. Archy at work and lots more on Don, Archy and Mehitabel jc-11.13.12

"The device of having a cockroach leave messages in his typewriter in the Sun office was a lucky accident and a happy solution for an acute problem." E.B. White's introduction for The Lives and Times of Archy and Mehitabel by Don Marquis. jc-11.13.12

Google Poetics, auto-completed search results as verse. Awesome. jc-11.12.12

"Think of it as a well-meaning doff of a roundel-sized hat - one, mind you, that has nothing to do with Transport for London or the office of the Mayor of London." 150 Great Things About the Underground. ms-11.12.12

"I really wanted to be extremely open-minded about this novel. Obviously because we take our Classic Trash deathly seriously, but also because people who are super into Atlas Shrugged are the sort of people who send nasty emails about how you are a parasitic Communist who couldn't make a better kind of steel to save your life." Who Is John Galt's Chiropractor? by Nicole Cliffe. Terrific. jc-11.09.12

"A Short Lesson in Perspective," a great essay about the perils of working in advertising, written by Linds Redding, who passed away last week. sd-11.08.12

The man who makes me swoon has a request for those who can in NYC to Eat Out and Tip Big. ms-11.05.12

Ben Hedin on whether the 1962 National Book Award to The Moviegoer was a fix. Via KG. jc-11.05.12

Liam Callanan also wrote a book called Cloud Atlas. jc-11.05.12

Easy does it for Jason Fried. jc-11.05.12

The Curious Case of the Sherlock Pilgrims. ms-11.02.12

Popular Mechanics give us their 100 Best Sci-Fi Movies of all time. ms-10.31.12

A bride disappears on her wedding day, never to be seen again—or will she? The Missing Bride, a Halloween tradition at TMN. jc-10.31.12

John Gruber's iPad Mini review. jc-10.31.12

"Verbing weirds language." jc-10.30.12

The Atlantic makes "The Case Against Sending TV Reporters Out in Hurricanes." But to play devil's advocate, how else then would we know that there is rain and powerful wind? sd-10.30.12

Joe Queenan's "My 6,128 Favorite Books," an excerpt in the WSJ from his new book about the joys and perils of being a reader, One for the Books. sd-10.30.12

"I am going to own up in advance to all the wickedness I have done, and if any congressional committee is disposed to prowl around my biography in the hope of discovering any dark and deadly deed that I have secreted, why—let it prowl." Campaign Promises from Mark Twain. jc-10.30.12

Did you ever have one of those weeks where you have a bunch of stuff to do and you have no problem starting anything but then after a little while, either because you're unhappy with the progress you have made or because you suddenly find it difficult to focus on the work at hand, you become distracted and then you have to start all over, but now that project doesn't seems so attractive anymore so you rummage around and pick up another bit of work only to find that your enthusiasm, which at first seemed boundless, has disappeared right in the middle of jc-10.30.12

"Sometimes it seems as if her creatures were born merely to give Jane Austen the supreme delight of slicing their heads off." Sense and Sensibility was published ob this date in 1811. jc-10.30.12

"This morning over breakfast S. asked me why I looked so glum. 'Because,' I said, 'everything that exists is born for no reason, carries on living through weakness, and dies by accident. 'Jesus,' S. said. 'Aren't you ever off the clock?' Jean-Paul Sarte's Blog. ms-10.30.12

It's often lost in the candy-coated, super-styled proceedings of the holiday, but Halloween is really all about departed souls and dealing with loss. jc-10.30.12

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of Coraline, author Neil Gaiman asked a few of his friends to each read a chapter. Fab. ms-10.29.12

An oldie but a goodie from KG, and appropriate for today. How I Voted in the Weather Channel's Top 10 Storms of the Century Poll. jc-10.29.12

God's Little Acre of Diamonds: Observations On Travel Ball in Cobb County, Georgia. Take the Field, Boys, by Stella A. jc-10.24.12

"Highlighting forgotten, neglected, abandoned, forsaken, unrecognized, unacknowledged, overshadowed, out-of-fashion, under-translated writers. Has no one read your books? You are in good company." Writers No One Reads from Will Schofield. jc-10.23.12

Congrats to FotA and former CP Guest Editor, Jami Attenberg, for the big publication day of her new novel, The Middlesteins. Not too shabby with the gushing Franzen blurb there, Jami. sd-10.23.12

"Mog, opponent: Gog not make crop die. Mog know this. Mog know Gog inherit Bad Times after sorcerer enchant puppet. But Mog say Gog make problem worse with stone tablet that have many word on it." Election 20,012 B.C.: Where the Candidates Stand on the Issues. ms-10.22.12

In Pursuit of the Great American Jean. ms-10.20.12

Sportswriting-wise, Katie Baker is the bomb. jc-10.19.12

A heartbreaking interview with two best friends, one an undocumented immigrant, aired on WBEZ this morning. ms-10.19.12

A series of graphics for Brockhaus Encyclopedia by Martin Oberhäuser. Lovely compositions of information presented clearly and dramatically. jc-10.19.12

Disney has announced a new grant program for storytellers. According to the FAQ, participants will retain ownership of their work throughout the process. Via Sara Thatcher. dh-10.18.12

Related to the last. A Drive into the Gap by Kevin Guilfoile from Field Notes Brand Books. A true story about fathers and sons, baseball and memory, and the improbable journey of a bat from one of the most iconic moments in the history of the game to the bedroom of a 12-year-old boy. jc-10.17.12

"...as I fanned through the pages, this little piece of pink and orange cardboard, with a string attached, popped out of the book and fluttered to the carpet." Kevin Guilfoile makes a sweet find. The Secret Of Pitcher Pollock, at ChicagoSide and also in TimeOut Chicago this week. jc-10.17.12

Q & A with Chris Ware. ms-10.16.12

Don't worry, it is not just you. ms-10.16.12

Take out "Let's" replace with "Just." jc-10.15.12

Great Stories About the CIA. Via TMN. ms-10.15.12

Speaking of John "The Biblioracle" Warner, he writes, "That one's my favorite. I'm never going to be invited to the Top 10 table with Patterson, Rowling, and Grisham, but at 4,609, if the authors of the world are meeting at a mid-sized arena, I can at least get an invite." Putting on Clean Underwear Before You Leave the House. jc-10.15.12

Reading Is in the Air, the Bilblioracle is live today to 2pm ET. Tell him the last five books you've read and he'll tell you what to read next. jc-10.15.12

"Most noticeably, the magazine dispenses with the tone that the critic Alexander Cockburn described as 'cookbook pastoral'-- the sense that the ideal dinner is a sit-down for 16 with candlelight and hydrangea and unbridled toasting, a pseudo-Mediterranean hedonism that precludes wailing toddlers and mismatched silverware." A look at the man behind Cook's Illustrated. ms-10.15.12

"The potatoes looked amazing fading off into the blur of a shallow focal range that ends at the saturated greens and yellows of herbs, and cornbread, and lemon garnish on the left just below where the sunset creates the lens flare that bounces off your icy bottle of beer." Pleased to Meet the Facebook Version of You. ms-10.12.12

"Go back five years, ten, fifty and reconsider how dusty, tinted, scratched, warped the lens through which these events will be considered." —Jan Chipchase, Your Memories Laid Bare. Just brilliant. jc-10.12.12

National Book Award finalists announced. So the arguments about the next TMN Tournament of Books can't be far off. Past champ Diaz vs Eggers?! jc-10.10.12

Kliph Nesteroff continues to post fascinating glimpses into the seedy side of mid-20th century show biz. The latest is titled, "The Comedian Who Became a Joke." dh-10.10.12

TMN's Dennis Mahoney has five horror films you must see. ms-10.05.12

"I have read like a man on fire my whole life because the genius of English teachers touched me with the dazzling beauty of language. Because of them I rode with Don Quixote and danced with Anna Karenina at a ball in St. Petersburg and lassoed a steer in Lonesome Dove and had nightmares about slavery in Beloved and walked the streets of Dublin in Ulysses and made up a hundred stories in The Arabian Nights and saw my mother killed by a baseball in A Prayer for Owen Meany." Book-Banners are Invariably Idiots. ms-10.05.12

William Carlos Williams reads his famous poem, "This Is Just To Say." But, I think, Claire Zulkey did a better job with it when she left it on our answering machine. jc-10.04.12

Zadie Smith reads Frank O'Hara, as does Rosecrans Baldwin. jc-10.04.12

"A baby then, now a middle-aged man, Ferry would go on to gain weight, change his name to the more ethnic-sounding Fieri, frost the tips of his hair blond, wear his sunglasses on the back of his head, become a Food Network star and open, at the beginning of September, Guy's American Kitchen and Bar in Times Square, a restaurant that would be indicted for crimes against humanity, if only that crime fell within Department of Health's purview." Trashed. ms-10.04.12

Book trailer for Instant: The Story of Polaroid. ms-10.03.12

"Injun Summer, by John T. McCutcheon, appeared on the front cover of the Chicago Tribune Sunday magazine every autumn from 1907 until 1986, looking exactly as it does here." —Roger Ebert. jc-10.02.12

"Others, however, hold that it refers to the haze in the air that resulted from Indian prairie fires—fires that were lit predominantly in these early weeks of autumn." Shades of Red: On Indian Summer, by Maria Konnikova. Via Kirstin Butler. jc-10.02.12

GQ's James Bond Special Covers. ms-10.02.12

A nice interview with Randall Munroe, creator of the fab XKCD. ms-09.29.12

Related to the last: Zulkey interviews Steve Edwards as he leaves radio to become the head of the University of Chicago's new Institute of Politics. sd-09.28.12

The Greatest Day in Canadian History. Via MeFi. ms-09.28.12

"That affection and frequency and quality of sexual relations dropped precipitously and quite nearly to zero following the 'nearly unforgiveable betrayal/horrible, but honest mistake' is to expected, the normal course following a relationship's near collapse, as is the increase in negative measurements like amount of shouting, and overall alcohol intake." John Warner wants to know if We Are Better Off Than We Were Four Years Ago? Great. jc-09.27.12

"Not that they didn't try to produce some interesting twists. There was the mid-season ratings push with the episode about finally catching Osama Bin Laden--but even that felt forced and poorly handled. Where was the MISSION ACCOMPLISHED banner? Where were the fighter jets?" Mid-Season Review of Hit Television Series American Election 2012. ms-09.27.12

The Awl's Classic Trash. Nicole Cliffe on Stranger In A Strange Land. Can You Grok That? jc-09.26.12

"We won't use it in the 'Weddings/Celebrations' section, because that would be crass, even though our readers know every article could accurately conclude with the happy couple going to take part in the very act depicted by the word we have now resolved to print on occasion." The New York Times Announces an Editorial Policy Change, by Sarah Rosenshine jc-09.24.12

75 years. 100 million copies. 14 covers of The Hobbit. jc-09.22.12

Fifty Years of Bond. ms-09.21.12

Fuck Jet Packs. Good writing, strong opinions and a layout that's a breath of fresh air. jc-09.19.12

Related again, scans of a sweet 1976 Russian illustrated edition of The Hobbit. jc-09.19.12

"He wheezed with laughter. He laughed at his own jokes. He was practical. He was shy. He amused himself, during workshops, by doodling." An essay on what Kurt Vonnegut was like as a teacher at the Writers' Workshop. sd-09.18.12

"Man produces evil as a bee produces honey." On this day in 1954 William Golding's first novel, The Lord of the Flies, was published after being rejected twenty-one times. jc-09.17.12

"A logo exploration that includes at least five unique logo designs. These will consist of differently sized circles and in one case the words will be rotated to a landscape rather than a portrait view. If you want your actual company name below the logo, that will be part of round two and will require additional dollars and conceptual exploration time." A Candid Proposal from an Advertising Firm's Creative Director. ms-09.17.12

Zulkey's interview with Cheryl Strayed, the author and advice columnist whose book, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, relaunched Oprah's Book Club. sd-09.14.12

Death of a Pressman, by Fritz Swanson. A beautiful appreciation of a tradesman and his trade. jc-09.12.12

"No, but five minutes ago she posted a photo of her wearing green roller skates on Instagram. Is this what they look like?" Wikipedia handed his dad the phone. "Yes, except they don't look old and blurry like that." "That's just the filter she's using," Leroy said. "They don't really look like that." Wikipedia Brown. ms-09.11.12

"As the title of this filter suggests, you are tirelessly optimistic. Your images are the pictorial equivalent of lyrics to a Sheryl Crow song, which goes something like, 'Outside of a car wash/There's my silver Honda Civic/Here are my feet on green grass/I got a new haircut!" Your Instagram Horoscope. ms-09.07.12

"So let me get this straight, I'm supposed to buy expensive wrinkle cream because my crows feet are so unappealing? All of that laughing and smiling was such a bad idea. But how will I have time to apply this cream if I'm so concerned about getting the grass stains out of my child's jeans?" An Open Letter from Elaina Deboard to the People in Charge of Commercials Targeting Women. jc-09.07.12

"Henry does nothing. ever. He's good at mowing the lawn while i garden and then throwing it up as soon as we come back inside." Review of My Cat. ms-09.07.12

So you know, the accidental history of the @ symbol. ms-09.07.12

"You are currently subscribed to Casual Romantic And Sexual Relationship That Is Becoming Serious. You are requesting to modify our relationship, is that correct?" Click Here to Unsubscribe From This Relationship, by Sarah Pavis. jc-09.05.12

"Lists maybe the simplest way to organize-- we have our to-do lists --but they do so much more. They can tell a story, unveil personal dramas and influence history." Ode to the List. ms-09.04.12

Interesting read, The Blogger and the Radio Star. ms-08.29.12

"I understand, because of cellphones, the three-finger-curled-thumb-up-pinkie-down 'Call me' has generally replaced it. But I had no idea the fist 'Call me' was now persona non grata in polite society." Leading The Trend, by Earl Pomerantz. jc-08.29.12

Speaking of Roberto and chasing ghosts, KG's A Drive into the Gap is available. Your Dad needs one. You need one. The whole darn Little League team needs one. jc-08.28.12

Related to the last and a classic that needs to be revisited periodically. Paul Brians' Commonly Made Suggestions about commonly made errors, and more importantly, Non-Errors, "those usages people keep telling you are wrong but which are actually standard in English." Which is exactly the sort of attitude up with which I will not put. jc-08.28.12

"Boys, can you make a website?" Z gets The Great Discontent treatment. I love stories about how people got where they are and where they're going next, and this is a good one. jc-08.28.12

"When everyone is known by name, the value of being known shifts to the extremes." Let's Agree That I Don't Know You —Jan Chipchase. jc-08.27.12

David Hill loves horse racing for the same reasons I love horse racing. jc-08.27.12

A vision for the future of newspapers from 20 years ago. dw-08.20.12

As an urban gardener, I totally feel Mike's frustration with thieving squirrels. Many a morning I have awoken to half-eaten tomatoes jalapenos and bell peppers scattered on the deck. Not to mention the red flower body parts savagely strewn about, never the yellow or orange, just the red flowers. That said, I'm not sure I am ready to take revenge the way he did. ms-08.17.12

FotA and author Kevin Guilfoile will be on WGN Radio tonight at 11pm CST talking with Rick Kogan about our very first Field Notes book A Drive Into the Gap. ms-08.13.12

"She was a doozy of a dame, with dangerous eyes like blue screens of death and a dark umber HP Pavilion laptop with a 640 GB hard drive she'd dropped off the day before. I'd taken her case at the recommendation of her father, the landlord, on account of my being two months behind on the rent." Raymond Chandler's The Man Who Repaired Laptops. ms-08.13.12

Zulkey's interview with Chad Harbach, author of The Art of Fielding. sd-08.08.12

"Q: When did you lose your faith in humanity? A: I work at a casino. About six years ago a guy keeled over on the smoking patio. There were two women with him. One ran into the casino to get help, but the other one who was still out there—she stole his chips." jc-08.08.12

Family Vacation Week Debate Schedule. ms-08.08.12

This is exactly what makes the internet great. Science proves Luke Skywalker should have died in the Tauntaun's belly. ms-08.07.12

"I demand that you seize this book." The fascinating story of James Joyce's Ulysses coming to America. On this day in 1934 the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled on the novel's fate. jc-08.07.12

The Great Taxonomy of Literary Tumblrs: Round Two, by Nick Moran. A great resource and a serious procrastination trigger. jc-08.07.12

"She had sort of oaky hair that the sun and salt had bleached, done up in a bun that was unravelling, and a kind of prim face. Walking into the A & P with your straps down, I suppose it's the only kind of face you can have." Apropos of nothing except the weather, "A&P" by John Updike. jc-08.06.12

Related to below, Helping Men Choose the Right Jeans. Help them. Please. ms-08.03.12

Give it five minutes. Amen Jason. jc-08.03.12

"I feel I have company about me when I'm alone in the woods." Nick O'Connell interviewed Maclean for The Writer's Workshop. jc-08.02.12

"How can a question be answered that asks a lifetime of questions?" Philip Connors' brilliant essay on Maclean is mandatory reading if you're a devoted fan, and a great place to start if you're not one, yet. jc-08.02.12

US Forest Service Intermountain Research Station General Technical Report by Richard C. Rothermel, Mann Gulch Fire: A Race That Couldn't Be Won. (pdf) jc-08.02.12

"A new fire often looks beautiful, first a wisp of white like a feather, a single snag puffing a little finger of smoke in the air. I see it before it has a name. Like Adam with an animal before him..." A Talent for Sloth, by Philip Conners. jc-08.02.12

"A new fire often looks beautiful, first a wisp of white like a feather, a single snag puffing a little finger of smoke in the air. I see it before it has a name. Like Adam with an animal before him..." A Talent for Sloth, by Philip Conners. jc-08.02.12

Norman Maclean, quoted. jc-08.02.12

"...the finest fuck-you prose in the English language." Maclean writes back to an editor who had previously rejected A River Runs Through It. jc-08.02.12

Related to the last. Dick Gordon interviews Bob Sallee whose very first fire-jump was into the Mann Gulch Fire as a 17 year-old in 1949. jc-08.02.12

An excerpt from Maclean's remarkable Young Men and Fire. jc-08.02.12

"When I was young, a teacher had forbidden me to say 'more perfect' because she said if a thing is perfect it can't be more so. But by now I had seen enough of life to have regained my confidence in it." CP hero Norman Maclean died on this date in 1990. jc-08.02.12

"I don't think anyone should be surprised to find odd odors in a lakeside rental cabin, and I see no reason why anyone should use this book to address other renters." Excerpts from Lohanda Lake Cabin's Guest Book, 2006-2011, by Bob Powers. jc-08.01.12

"If you get a salami from home, you have to share it." Earl Pomerantz recalls Friday night dinners at summer camp. jc-07.31.12

"Campaign finance regulations used to place a cap on individual contributions, and the identity of each donor had to be logged with the FEC--so even He-Who-Must-Not- Be-Named had to be, you know, named. It was public information, for example, that Tom Marvolo Riddle contributed the maximum-allowed $5,000 to John McCain's '08 presidential run." ms-07.31.12

A Sign Set for Any College Town, by Larry Buchanan, from his series "Graphic Dispatches from a Recent College Grad Still Living in a College Town." jc-07.23.12

"The semicolon keeps the words above water." So you know, how to use semicolons, by Mary Norris. jc-07.19.12

A very low-fi recording of something that will appeal only to a small group of people: an edition of Live from Prairie Lights with readings from the The Burg: A Writer's Diner, a new collection of personal essays about Iowa City's iconic Hamburg Inn. Not sure if there are any mentions of the pie shakes. sd-07.19.12

"How will this information help you in any way? 'But it's a list, so it's short,' you say to yourself without realizing that you are saying that to yourself." This is a list of things in list form that you are now reading a list of, by Oliver Miller. jc-07.18.12

Attention people: The Universe is now on Twitter. ms-07.17.12

"Most words are rare, and rare words occur almost entirely in print." On Word Learning, Incidentally, by Jessica Love. A fascinating piece on how we use context to unravel meaning. Not a bit cumbrous jc-07.17.12

On this day in 1951 J. D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye was published. jc-07.16.12

Attention Cable and Satellite Subscribers: This Network is Being Dropped Because Your Provider is Being a Giant Douche, by John Flowers. jc-07.13.12

So you know: "The Little-Known History of How the Modern Olympics Got Their Start." ms-07.12.12

"You might say that human beings are analog creatures with certain digital tendencies..." Not Fade Away: On Living, Dying, and the Digital Afterlife by Maria Bustillos. jc-07.11.12

Old MacDonald Had an Organic Urban Rooftop Farm. "And on that farm he had a vegan girlfriend named September who he met at a sheep shearing class at 3rdWard in Brooklyn." sd-07.11.12

Why I Love Westerns (Which I May Have Written Already But Am Doing Again In A Refreshingly Different Context) —Earl Pomerantz. jc-07.11.12

"For yif yt be nat oon thyng, yt ys anothir." Geoffrey Chaucer Hath a Blog. jc-07.10.12

"For yif yt be nat oon thyng, yt ys anothir." Geoffrey Chaucer Hath a Blog. jc-07.10.12

"Despite the warnings of the teenagers loitering outside the building, I was not murdered during my stay." Great Vacation Rental Available! by Jeremy Blachman. jc-07.09.12

Kurt Vonnegut interview in the Paris Review. tl-07.03.12

Great title and a fun, definitely-of-its-era read: "Never Before Published Transcript of a Conversation Between John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Timothy Leary and Rosemary Leary - at the Montreal Bed-In, May 1969." sd-06.26.12

"It'd be nice to think that every single ad award was a clear, neutral judgement of pure quality, but if you believe that you probably still write letters to Santa." Great read by Ben Kay about the brouhaha at Cannes: "Tactical Voting at Cannes: Storm in a Rose Glass." sd-06.26.12

For the love of jargon, a would-be anthropologist talks like a trucker, by Carol Saller. jc-06.26.12

Peter Mendelsund asks, "What color is your Ishmael's hair?" and "What does Anna Karenina look like?" in an insightful essay on Picturing Books. Highly recommended. jc-06.26.12

"Those of you who are able to read can see that between the added revenue stream of selling placements from other brands and the increased awareness by cross-marketing into previously untapped venues, we have begun to turn the corner." Eeyore Gets a Marketing Boost Through Synergetic Merchandising Cross-Promotion. ms-06.26.12

Giles Turnbull answers the crazy questions that get asked in big company job interviews. Define the Ratio of People to Cake for TMN. jc-06.25.12

"There's almost never a time when every decision you make is correct and every step is in the right direction. Life, like bowling, is full of complicating factors, unpredictable variables, plenty of times when there is no right answer." The Most Amazing Bowling Story Ever. Via MeFi. ms-06.25.12

Microsoft Surface: Between a Rock and a Hardware Place. That boom you just heard was the last sentence landing. A perfect example of what we love about Daring Fireball. jc-06.21.12

Today's long read: "Kenneth Lonergan's Thwarted Masterpiece." ms-06.21.12

"On nights like that..." jc-06.20.12

Drunk texts from famous authors. dw-06.20.12

Today's long read: "A Case So Cold It Was Blue." ms-06.20.12

"It's gotta be a topless bar! This is the greatest fucking headline of my career!" jc-06.20.12

A fun read from the NY Times about the legacy of the Automat: "Revisiting the Era of Automatic Dining." sd-06.19.12

"As with the novel, the play was very much a test of endurance." A review of the 24 hour long theatrical adaptation of Infinite Jest. sd-06.19.12

A San Diego high school student's 1963 survey of famous authors regarding Symbolism in their work. (Spoiler alert: Ayn Rand is a jerk.) bb-06.18.12

Another fantastic long read of the day: "Raising the Dead." Via MeFi. ms-06.18.12

Long read of the day: Natasha Vargas-Cooper's feature story for Spin: "Bath Salts: Deep in the Heart of America's New Drug Nightmare." sd-06.18.12

Pretty sure no one here could do it. ms-06.18.12

Ulysses, selectively annotated with images. Fab. jc-06.16.12

"Silence, exile and cunning." Djuna Barne's interview with Joyce, Vanity Fair, March 1922. (pdf) jc-06.16.12

"Mr. Joyce manages to give the effect of unedited human minds, drifting aimlessly along from one triviality to another, confused and diverted by memory, by sensation and by inhibition, is, in short, perhaps the most faithful X-ray ever taken of the ordinary human consciousness." Edmund Wilson's July 5, 1922 review of Ulysses for TNR. "Mr. Joyce has told the whole truth." jc-06.16.12

"...for all its renown and notoriety, it is a book that few have read and even fewer comprehend. To rectify this, BBC News Online presents an irreverent simple chapter-by-chapter guide to the key events, characters and Homeric parallels." A cheat's guide to Ulysses. jc-06.16.12

James Joyce reading "Anna Livia Plurabelle" from Finnegans Wake in 1929. Plus, Sylvia Beach tells the story of how the the recording was made. jc-06.16.12

Terence Killeen on the difficult-to-navigate and not especially well scanned, treasure trove of James Joyce manuscripts placed online by the National Library of Ireland last month. It's great, great news in any case. I started here and just dove in. Amazing. jc-06.16.12

"Hold to the now, the here, through which all future plunges to the past." I'm quite sure Joyce was not anticipating this. All of Ulysses converted to 2D Barcodes. Via Penguin Books Australia. jc-06.16.12

Sometimes, there is crying in baseball, by Elliott Harris. jc-06.15.12

"...here's the upsetting punch line: intelligence seems to make things worse." Interesting read of the day, all about how more fancy book learnin' often results in higher susceptibility to cognitive bias. Or in other words: "Why Smart People Are Stupid." sd-06.15.12

"I was very flattered when Joyce dropped the 'Mister.' Everybody was 'Mister.' There were no Christian names, no first names. The nearest you would get to friendly name was to drop the 'Mister.' I was never 'Sam.' I was always 'Beckett' at the best. We'd drink in any old pub or cafe." This Recording in which Samuel Beckett didn't intend to be a writer jc-06.15.12

jc-06.15.12

Buzz on getting final cut. Amen to that. jc-06.14.12

"When the interview was over, one of the girl's cousins said to him, gently, 'I'm sorry about what's happening to your newspaper.'" An interesting/difficult read about the recent gutting of the Times-Picayune. sd-06.13.12

"We would especially like to thank some of our key corporate partners who continue tossing us their spare change, not because they care about the arts, but because somebody there feels bad for us and the life choices we made." An Honest Theatrical Playbill, by Daniel Falk. jc-06.13.12

Local note. Shakespeare in the Parks this summer. jc-06.13.12

"It appears now that Kurniawan may have sold millions of dollars' worth of counterfeit wines and scammed some of the world's biggest collectors. It is potentially the largest case of wine fraud in history and may have left the market for rare and old wines irredeemably corrupted." Today's long read, A Vintage Crime. ms-06.12.12

Bacon ipsum dolor sit amet frankfurter andouille shank drumstick ham chicken. Ham ground round tri-tip kielbasa beef jerky. dw-06.11.12

The history of a Soviet relic in Budapest, from the birth of the legend that spawned it, to the post-Communism tear down: "Captain Ostapenko's Statue." sd-06.11.12

Relink. "The official swatch of desert tan is housed in Franconia, Va., just outside Washington's beltway, in a warehouse filled with the rest of the federal government's certified color chips." Americhrome, by Graham T. Beck for The Morning News. fab. jc-06.05.12

Skywords! My Article for an In-Flight Magazine. ms-06.01.12

"I do not complain of her coming late and going early; on the contrary, I wish she had come later and gone earlier." GBS had a bad night at the opera. jc-05.31.12

Long read for the day: The Verge's "Scamworld," about the people behind internet marketing schemes. sd-05.30.12

"People who know the rules know what is possible and what is impossible. You do not and you should not. The rules of what is possible and impossible were made by people who have not tested the bounds of possible by going beyond them - and you can." Neil Gaiman's graduation speech to the University of Arts class of 2012. ms-05.29.12

William Deresiewicz on reading Vonnegut again after all this time. Great essay, highly recommended. Via Kristin Butler. jc-05.29.12

"...you don't notice the learning because you're too busy playing." Two Universes and what they can teach each other, by Michael Lopp. jc-05.29.12

Tangentially related to the last, that's Laura, beautifully reciting Gerard Manley Hopkins' Spring and Fall, for our Verse by Voice project. jc-05.25.12

"Nothing tastes quite like the hand that feeds you." Laura Demanski selects some favorite aphorisms from Aaron Haspel. Lots more can be found in his Everything. jc-05.25.12

"Here, the cover is a protector of the signatures and the binding. It allows the books to fly in and out of the stacks a thousand times, and still be usable. In the digital world, our books are protected by ubiquity. They are everywhere and nowhere." From Hack the Cover, by Craig Mod. Aces. jc-05.24.12

"In an airy studio on a high floor of the London College of Fashion, featuring a long conference table, white walls, and a view to an adjoining patio - where, a sign warns, bees are being kept - the hues you will see in two years are being divined by a pan-European group of colorists." Sneaking Into Pantone HQ. Via MeFi. ms-05.22.12

How to pronounce... dw-05.21.12

Paul Ford's seminal essay about internet intellectualism is getting a new round of well-deserved attention recently. Do yourself a favor and read (or re-read) Why Wasn't I Consulted?! Via Jim Ray. jc-05.21.12

Zulkey's interview with Gene Honda, announcer for the Blackhawks and the White Sox. sd-05.18.12

"This is my personal site. There are many like it, but this one is mine." —Z. Right on. jc-05.18.12

I'd often heard the story that William Faulkner wanted to publish The Sound and the Fury using colored inks to signify the time of various sections of Benjy's narrative. Well, what do you know? The Folio Society has done it. Wow. jc-05.17.12

A fun read/watch: Aaron Sorkin's commencement speech at Syracuse last Friday. sd-05.16.12

Relink for Coop. The funniest thing a parent will ever read. "Sit just as I have told you, and do not lean to one side or the other, nor slide down until you are nearly slid away. Heed me; for if you sit like that, your hair will go into the syrup. And now behold, even as I have said, it has come to pass." Ian Frazier's Laws Concerning Food and Drink. kg-05.16.12

Statement from McSweeney's Chairman Regarding Recent Losses, by Ben Greenman. jc-05.16.12

"Don't use an exclamation mark in a moment of anger. If you insert one in a fit of temper, lay aside the letter until morning. You will be surprised how silly it will seem then -- not only the exclamation mark but the whole letter." —James Thurber. jc-05.15.12

By taking a closer look at Shakespeare's words – specifically his insults – we see why he is known as a master playwright whose works transcend time and appeal to audiences all over the world. dw-05.15.12

"During the Games an aircraft carrier will dock on the Thames. Surface-to-air missile systems will scan the skies. Unmanned drones, thankfully without lethal missiles, will loiter above the gleaming stadiums and opening and closing ceremonies. RAF Typhoon Eurofighters will fly from RAF Northolt. A thousand armed US diplomatic and FBI agents and 55 dog teams will patrol an Olympic zone partitioned off from the wider city by an 11-mile, £80m, 5,000-volt electric fence." A look at the security for the 2012 London Olympics. ms-05.15.12

Dinah Fried, a RISD grad student, knows what book you should read. jc-05.15.12

"I expect the majority of my readers will be unaffected by this change. At last count, in a typical month, almost 100% of my potential readership visited zero or fewer pages on the site." Sorry, Everyone, My Personal Website Is Now Behind A Paywall, by Jeremy Blachman. jc-05.10.12

Depressed Copywriter. jc-05.10.12

"'It's weird that Seinfeld signed in pencil though.' That was weird. Almost as weird as how the S in Seinfeld looked exactly like the S in my dad's signature." Bygone Bureau on their parents' tallest tales. dw-05.09.12

Rosecrans writes, "In January I hit the road for two weeks to ask people around America—specifically people who live in or near U.S. towns called Paris—what they think about the French. From cowboys in Idaho to vegan shop-owners in Texas, to Kentuckians who know the right way to pronounce Versailles."Part 1 of 4 is up today. Great. jc-05.07.12

★★★★ jc-05.04.12

Why fiction is good for you. ms-05.04.12

Fun, convoluted long read about sports betting, ESPN, IP theft, and hidden identities: "Who Is Sarah Phillips?" sd-05.03.12

Acknowledgments, by Ben Greenman. jc-05.03.12

"We believe architecture brings us closer to history the way medieval pilgrims believed relics brought them closer to Christ." Great long read/photo essay about nostalgia from Sweet Juniper: "The Fauxtopias of Detroit's Suburbs." sd-05.02.12

"If you can be bothered to read to the back of Wallpaper Magazine, I imagine you'll find the page where they list all the job openings for the position of Famous Designer: 'Need not apply unless strangely enthusiastic about crafting beautiful, terrible furniture for rich people.' The case against chairs. ms-05.01.12

"It's actually a lot of trouble, these days, to get the diaeresis to stick over the vowels." —Mary Norris for NYer. jc-04.30.12

"I will tell you this Rosalina, not as a taunt or a threat but as an evocation of joy." Werner Herzog's Note to His Cleaning Lady. sd-04.30.12

Zoe Zolbrod's love letter to the greatest city in North America. Brilliantly observed and dead-on accurate. jc-04.29.12

"While you check the weather, I find out why California dermatologists hate the one weird skin care secret discovered by a stay-at-home mom. While you read the New York Times, I rollover for more information about how to get my diabetes under control." Mike Lacher is the one who clicks banner ads. jc-04.27.12

Any project that parses a sentence from Monty Python is okay by me. Visualizing English Word Origins. Via Mefi. jc-04.27.12

The Paris Review's Literary Paint Chips. "Paint samples, suitable for the home, sourced from colors in literature." sd-04.26.12

"It is hoped we will be joined by you, and that the word will be spread to everybody known." Shaun will be joined by many tomorrow for Passive Voice Day 2012. Via Language Log. jc-04.26.12

"You have lots of old people and young people creating sexy new culture, but they're having to do it in the middle of a theme park." Rosecrans Baldwin, Interview Magazine. jc-04.24.12

That's Why You Don't Have Any Friends, by Joe Peacock. Amen. Via Waxy. jc-04.24.12

Related to the last. Fanfare for the Comma Man. Awesome. jc-04.24.12

"Only" Love Can Break Your Heart, by Ben Yagoda. jc-04.24.12

F*ck You, Broccoli. Via MeFi. ms-04.23.12

I won't spoil it but the NYer has winner in their Eliminate a Word from the English Language contest. jc-04.23.12

It's Nice That can tell a lot about a person simply by snooping around their bookshelf. jc-04.23.12

A Short History of New Yorker Corrections, by Elon Green. jc-04.20.12

"It was satire." Mary Beard on Caligula, a new biography, by Aloys Winterling. jc-04.19.12

"I imagine getting a consensus about art among any 20 people is difficult. And I very much doubt the Bronte sisters ever agreed what the best book was in any given year." A Coalition of Dunces, John Warner and Kevin Guilfoile chat about this year's Pulitzer award for fiction, or lack thereof. jc-04.19.12

While I rather impatiently await JC to finish our office copy of FotA Rosecrans Baldwin's latest book, Paris, I Love You But You're Bringing Me Down, I'll satisfy my anticipation a bit by reading this excerpt in GQ. ms-04.19.12

Related to the last and highly recommended, The University of Chicago edition of Maclean's A River Runs Through It with wood engravings by Barry Moser. jc-04.17.12

"And to think that the rare moment in history came to me when I could in actuality have written the prose masterpiece for all rejected authors- and I didn't even see that history had swung wide its doors to me." CP hero Norman Maclean called this letter to Alfred A. Knopf "one of the best things I ever wrote." jc-04.17.12

"A taxpayer with a child who qualifies as a dependent can deduct from adjusted gross income monies paid to a child care provider. If you are a lone crusader, then this deduction is not available to you--but if you have a sidekick, then consider making him or her your legal ward." Nine Tax Deductions of the Superhero Set. ms-04.17.12

"An act dwelling in the margins, an almost hidden narrative running beneath the main vehicular text." Tom Vanderbilt's great long read about the death of hoofing it: "The Crisis in American Walking." sd-04.16.12

"What makes the Renaissance different? Renaissance paintings look more realistic, good. What else? There are more decapitations, absolutely. You feel slightly attracted to the naked men and women, OK. Fewer weird-looking Jesus babies. Good, good." Advanced Amateur Art History by Chas Gillespie. jc-04.16.12

"They can play video games while we pop bonbons and watch the soaps and talk shows." Who knew former FDIC chair Sheila Bair was so funny? jc-04.14.12

"The punchline is that the woman's husband has died." FAQ: Alt Comedy. sd-04.12.12

Sure to rattle some cages: Mark Barrett makes the case that using two spaces after a period isn't the end of the world. sd-04.11.12

The Chicago Tribune has won an award for its coverage of the 2011 blizzard. We were sorta, vaguely, very distantly a part of that coverage, when Tom Skilling's TV special included our film Above the Sun. sd-04.10.12

"Don Johnson won nearly $6 million playing blackjack in one night, single-handedly decimating the monthly revenue of Atlantic City's Tropicana casino. Not long before that, he'd taken the Borgata for $5 million and Caesars for $4 million. Here's how he did it." ms-04.09.12

"The Mysterious Young Lady never utters a syllable to anyone." Dating advice from Dickens. dw-04.05.12

"They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while the other inmates and I are fed hash or some sort of dry nuggets. Although I make my contempt for the rations perfectly clear, I nevertheless must eat something in order to keep up my strength. The only thing that keeps me going is my dream of escape. In an attempt to disgust them, I once again vomit on the carpet." Excerpts from a Cat's Diary. dw-04.02.12

"What you get in this Tumblr scene is imitators of imitators of imitators, each less skilled than the one before them." Sound of Silence, Sounds of Confusion from Things Magazine. jc-03.30.12

All she wrote. The Rooster is awarded today in the Championship Match of the 2012 Tournament of Books, The Sisters Brothers versus Open City. jc-03.30.12

The original meant "a dandy, someone so insecure in his Americanness that he felt the need to act British." Robert Lane Greene traces the derivations of the word "dude". sd-03.29.12

The 2012 Tournament of Books Final Match is set after today's The Art of Fielding versus Open City as judged (sort of) by Walter Kirn. jc-03.29.12

A look inside the home of cartoonist Chris Ware. ms-03.29.12

"My predispositions: I rarely care for westerns, especially not sad ones. I quite like a smutty book, especially a funny one." The ToB version of the Final Four starts today with the first Zombie Round Match, The Sisters Brothers versus Lightning Rods as judged by E. Lockhart. Do yourself a favor and read the commentary and comment threads from the last few matches as this year's tourney heads to its epic conclusion. jc-03.28.12

Final Semifinal in the ToB today. The Sisters Brothers versus Open City. Zombie Round next. jc-03.27.12

"It all ended a few days ago, when I withdrew $120 from an ATM in the bodega on my corner. Two months of living cashlessly came to a close with that simple act." —Seth Stevenson. jc-03.26.12

"You have a man in your employ that I have thought for a long time should be fired." Sherwood Anderson's heart was not in his work. jc-03.26.12

"Here's my brain: nifty, right?" The Semifinals begin today in the ToB with a very unexpected match up, Lightning Rods versus 1Q84 ably judged by Michelle Orange. jc-03.26.12

"What saddens me is that Austin was making a linguistic observation, and it's basically almost true. This may be a budding linguist, and he's been kicked out of his high school for a syntactic observation." — Geoffrey K. Pullum. The observation? "Fuck is one of those fucking words you can fucking put anywhere in a fucking sentence and it still fucking makes sense." jc-03.26.12

Why Jeffrey Zeldman is letting his Google IO invitation expire. jc-03.26.12

So ends the ToB Quarterfinals. Alex Abramovich judges The Marriage Plot versus Open City. Semis and Zombie Round next week! jc-03.23.12

Sweet Juniper on the dangers and mysteries of The Rock Tumbler. sd-03.22.12

Things are heating up in the Quarterfinals of the Tournament of Books with today's bout featuring The Sisters Brothers versus Swamplandia as judged by Missy Mazzoli. jc-03.22.12

Native Tongues, a long, entertaining piece by Simon Winchester on the production of The Dictionary of Regional American English, including tales of "Word Wagons" scouring the landscape in search of local terms for things like "kissing vigorously" or "sleeping late" or "staring open-mouthed." jc-03.21.12

"So, I am currently serving a six-month sentence in the Outagamie County Jail for a non-violent offense. It's a bit of a slacker's paradise in here. The upside is that I can read all damn day long without guilt, if I please." So begins the Tournament of Books Quarterfinals, The Sense of an Ending versus Lightning Rods, judged by Roxy Reno. jc-03.20.12

"Technically, the biggest difference between what a burglar does and what I do is that the burglar wants to get in and out quickly and doesn't care if the safe ever gets used again." -Ken Doyle, Safecracker. jc-03.20.12

On this day in 1924 a great American novel was published. Luckily the author decided not to title it The High Bouncing Lover. jc-03.19.12

Agreed and you're welcome. ms-03.19.12

Today's The Art of Fielding versus Open City is the highly anticipated final match of the opening round of the ToB. jc-03.19.12

The Marriage Plot takes on Green Girl to wrap up the first week of The Tournament of Books today. John and Kevin's post-decision analysis is great and it's been noted but worth repeating, the comment threads are really excellent in this year's ToB. jc-03.16.12

Related to the last. Here we're pulling for Swamplandia! in the Tournament of Books, not because we've read it (which we will) but because numerous people have written to say that a certain brand of memo books may or may not play a small role in Karen Russell's celebrated novel. Thanks for that. jc-03.15.12

Today's ToB imbroglio, Swamplandia vs. The Cat's Table as judged by Haven Kimmel. jc-03.15.12

"Mandatory group yoga exercise across from my former workplace, Reel Life Video Store, on Eighth Avenue, every afternoon at two o'clock, to a chant of my new nickname, 'Dear Condo Leader.' The purpose of this will be to prove, once and for all, that I did not deserve to be fired in May 2004 for 'having an attitude' and 'stealing from the adult section.'" ms-03.14.12

First round ToB action continues with The Stranger's Child versus The Tiger's Wife, judged by Bethanne Kelly Patrick. jc-03.13.12

A simple, very smart publishing idea from Fallon London. "Dog Ear is a magazine. But it's also a bookmark. It's completely free, and you'll find it lurking in libraries and London's independent bookshops." jc-03.12.12

SD is in Portland, OR visiting/filming Field Notes retailers including Reading Frenzy, who are mixed up in (the arguably-more-honorable side of) the current Banksy/Craphound imbroglio. bb-03.12.12

"Go to the top of the tallest hill from which you can't quite see the ocean. Wait four centuries then for paving equipment and cedar tree. Sorry about the eighties, those neighbors are gone. Dress warm." Directions to Our House, By Andrew Nicholls. jc-03.12.12

The other March Madness continues with 1Q84 versus The Last Brother at the Tournament of Books. jc-03.12.12

For BB: The Better Bacon Book for iPad. dw-03.08.12

What's with will have had gone? jc-03.08.12

Opening Day of the 2012 ToB! The Sense of an Ending vs. The Devil All the Time, judged by Emma Straub. jc-03.08.12

"Thus Odysseus commanded his brave compatriot, Bob Faliveno, to bind him fast and also put on the Bangles CD as they passed the Frontage Road exit..." The Commuter's Odyssey, by Paul Houseman. jc-03.08.12

"Of course the only collective brain that matters this month belongs to the judges." The 2012 Tournament of Books Pre-Game Primer. jc-03.07.12

The Great Discontent has a nice long chat with our favorite Miss who is Swiss, Tina Roth Eisenberg. jc-03.06.12

Issue 6 of The Ride Journal just arrived in the post. I'm stating without qualification that it is the very best and most beautiful issue of the very best and most beautiful bicycle magazine on the planet, and that you should go right to the site and order your copy today. Plus, it smells great and comes with a Field Notes ad near the back. Congrats to Andrew and Philip Diprose. jc-03.05.12

Paul O'Neal handicaps the 2012 Tournament of Books and has The Cat's Table and Salvage the Bones as the morning-line favorites. The ToB starts Thursday so get your office pool set! jc-03.05.12

Northamptonshire sofa firm's slogan branded offensive. Ha. Via TMN. jc-03.05.12

"In the world of cats, there is no dog park. For cat owners, the dog park is the Internet." For DW: Perry Stein's "Why Do Cats Run the Internet? A Scientific Explanation" from The New Republic. sd-03.02.12

Just the News. dw-03.02.12

Zulkey interviews Jerry Minor, or "that guy who is in everything" comedy-related, from Arrested Development to Community. sd-03.02.12

A discussion of the English language's longest word: floccinaucinihilipilification. sd-02.29.12

Zulkey gets political by explaining why Rick Santorum lost Michigan last night and what the Filet-O-Fish has to do with it. sd-02.29.12

"It is important to remember that even though you will not be joining us at Vassar next fall and that other students will be doing exactly that, which is to say, attending Vassar, you still have many, many options at your disposal." An Apology From Vassar, by Jason Roeder. jc-02.28.12

Good to keep bookmarked, just in case: The Ethics of Zombie Killing. sd-02.27.12

Zulkey retells my experiences with stumbling across unfortunate deaths while living in Chicago: "Inadvertently Mocking the Dead." sd-02.24.12

"At the end of the street is the reassuring sight of a nightwatchman, now able to see and protect the respectable citizens. They were the great beneficiaries of the great illumination; the victims were those to whom the streets had belonged when darkness ruled - students, the young in general, servants, vagrants, prostitutes and drinkers." The Reinvention of the Night, Tim Blanning reviews Craig Koslofsky's Evening's Empire. Via Kurt Loder. jc-02.23.12

Geeky but good. If PHP Were British, by Dave Child. Via Mefi. jc-02.22.12

Writer Stephen Marche takes a look back at Canadian history and the War of 1812: "That Time We Beat the Americans." Also an interesting read: the Globe and Mail's "The War of 1812: Stupid, But Important." sd-02.21.12

Speaking of great designers' children's books, any budding infant designer will love Sparkle and Spin by Ann (not Ayn!) and Paul Rand. bb-02.21.12

In 1962, Saul Bass collaborated with former librarian Leonore Klein on his only children's book, which spent decades as a prized out-of-print collector's item. This month, exactly half a century later, Rizzoli is reprinting Henri's Walk to Paris. dw-02.21.12

Ira Glass on storytelling. ms-02.21.12

"But even if you're following the law, you can do things where people get queasy." Target Knows You're Pregnant. Original research and article from the NYT Mag by Charles Dihigg, How Companies Learn Your Secrets. jc-02.17.12

"She stands on the unpaved road with your newborn son on her breast. Even though she can't hear you over the sound of the helicopter, you're screaming the words. Six months and you'll send for her. You promise." Lots of Ways to Say I Love You, by Paul Ford. Via Maria Popova. jc-02.14.12

Related to the last: Neil Harris' book, The Chicagoan: A Lost Magazine of the Jazz Age, is a must-have for anyone living here. sd-02.14.12

A Broken Heart, Girl, Ain't a Thing You Collect. KG's helpful compendium of inappropriate Valentine's gifts. jc-02.14.12

"Estimated percentage of profiles containing the description fun-loving: 80." Dater's Index, by Emily McDowell. jc-02.14.12

Very funny story from FotA Darci Ratliff: "That Porno I Made (And Watched With My Mom)." BB, you'll enjoy the Joe Estevez references. sd-02.09.12

"So, you aren't currently doing any experiments?' I ask him. 'I'm banned.' he says. 'By whom?' I ask. 'My landlord,' he says. 'And the Swedish Radiation Authority." ms-02.09.12

"You'd die in seconds without a spacesuit. As you would die anywhere else in the known universe, except for on Earth." Everything Oliver Miller knows about Jupiter. jc-02.08.12

"...we must now regret to inform you of a future time-related mix-up, taking place earlier next Thursday shortly before what preceded it." An Important Message From the U.S. Bureau of Chronology, by Dan Guterman. jc-02.07.12

"If someone comes in and asks for a recommendation and you ask for the name of a book that they liked and they can't think of one, the person is not really a reader. Recommend Nicholas Sparks." 25 things I learned from opening a bookstore. ms-02.06.12

"In other words to be fully awake to everything about you & the more you learn the more you can appreciate & get a full measure of joy & happiness out of life. I do not think a young fellow should be too serious, he should be full of the Dickens some times to create a balance." A letter to 16 year-old Jackson Pollack from his pretty spectacular Dad. ms-02.03.12

Draft of the public service announcement for the Fair Housing Alliance. ms-02.02.12

"My whole body is apparently rotting from want of proper nourishment--frost-bitten fingertips, festerings, mucous membrane of nose gone, saliva glands of mouth refusing duty, skin coming off the whole body." The Most Terrible Polar Exploration Ever. ms-02.01.12

CMoS. Capitalization, Titles. So you know. jc-02.01.12

Abrevs are like totes adorbs. jc-01.31.12

Two interesting, little known facts of history learned from this story. First, that the designer of the US Capitol building wanted to try and reanimate George Washington. Second, that our first President's last words included "die hard." sd-01.30.12

Hey tweeters, looking for the most appropriate apt word, only shorter? Try David Friedman's Thsrs. jc-01.30.12

Steampunk, with real steam. jc-01.30.12

"It's gotta be a topless bar!" he cried. "This is the greatest f------ headline of my career!" The true, if sometimes conflicting, stories behind the most famous tabloid wood in American history. kg-01.29.12

What Your Favorite Blog Says About You, by Nick Douglas. jc-01.25.12

"This sounds friendly at first, sure. But the curt punctuation confirms that the sender is actually pretty pissed off about GOD KNOWS WHAT." Jessica Keefe's debilitating anxiety decodes her unread work emails. jc-01.25.12

"9. If all else fails, I drink half a bottle of rum and play a Handel oratorio on the gramophone. This generally produces an uncontrollable gush of copy." I Am a Lousy Copywriter by David Ogilvy. Via Jason Fried. jc-01.24.12

It's on the way out, isn't it? Michael Rosen's thoughts on the apostrophe. Via TMN. jc-01.24.12

"You will draw unemployment for five months and spend it primarily on expensive Argentinian wine and drugs. Your spouse will leave you, but not for anyone else in particular." Jay McInerney Celebrates Chinese New Year and Reads Your Zodiac Sign at The Bygone Bureau. Illustrated by Hallie Bateman. jc-01.24.12

I'm a Bear, etc. ms-01.23.12

"Some in the kingdom thought the cause of the darkness must be the Router. Little was known of the Router, legend told it had been installed behind the recliner long ago by a shadowy organization known as Comcast. Others in the kingdom believed it was brought by a distant cousin many feasts ago." (Relink, because it is awesome). ms-01.23.12

Zulkey's interview with Gregory Maguire, author of Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, which was later adapted into the popular musical. sd-01.20.12

"Lo, in the twilight days of the second year of the second decade of the third millennium did a great darkness descend over the wireless internet connectivity of the people of 276 Ferndale Street in the North-Central lands of Iowa." By conquering hero Mike Lacher. jc-01.20.12

On the Limits of Anthropomorphic Machines, Parts One and Two. By Charles Holland. jc-01.20.12

This year's Edgar Award nominees. ms-01.19.12

William Safire's Rules for Writers. ms-01.19.12

"Mono-Buttocked Buggernaut. Vinegar-Hearted Love Punishment. Jam-Queen." Simon Spurrier shills his book A Serpent Uncoiled with delightful rudeness. Via Warren Ellis. jc-01.18.12

A Day's Worth of Facts to Get You Through Wikipedia's 24-Hour Blackout. A public service from Mr. Greenman. jc-01.18.12

Since we are talking about books, do yourself a favor and pick up FotA Charlie Newton's second book, Start Shooting. Highly recommended as was his first, Calumet City. Once you start either book, cancel all your plans until you are finished, you'll thank me for that. ms-01.18.12

Jeff O'Neal's commentary and handicapping for the 2012 Tournament of Books. jc-01.17.12

In the second essay from the newly-launched ChicagoSide, a sports writing site from FotA Jonathan Eig, writer Ben Strauss comes to the realization that "Michael Jordan is a Jerk." sd-01.17.12

Ben Kay's dissects descriptions of food that have absolutely no real meaning at all. sd-01.11.12

Scans and photos from the Golden Guide series of science books. So very nice. Via The DDC. jc-01.11.12

"For those Second Lifers in my address book, you may be saddened to learn that my avatar, Molesto the Scrote' With Wheels, has been reimagined as a slacks-wearing, ideal job candidate, but-FEAR NOT!--my SL Marketplace shop will continue to sell the highest-quality virtual sex-bicycles in the Blacksilk district." Job-friendly updates to my online profiles. ms-01.11.12

Related to the last, Jon Horvath used GPS and excerpts from Jack Kerouac's On the Road to create these line drawings. dw-01.10.12

It's the end of an era. J. Hoberman has been laid off from the Voice. Here's his Hitory of Film Criticism at The Village Voice and more from David Hudson. jc-01.05.12

A series of both interesting and tragic stories are told through these fragments of a family photo album, made in Russia between the early 1900s and the 1940s. "The Fate of a Man." sd-01.03.12

David Sedaris reads his fabulous Santaland Diaries. ms-12.23.11

Forgotten Bookmarks the book. dw-12.22.11

"I respect the raptors, aloof and freewheeling killers that they are. I could not let this one die. Not because I'm a good person (obviously). But because it was awesome." Sweet Juniper's "...And a Red-Tailed Hawk in Our Christmas Tree." Best holiday story you'll read all day. Great from start to finish. sd-12.22.11

Near the end of the 1800s, it was all the rage to indicate your feelings toward a potential suitor or close friend by the angle of a stamp on a letter (e.g. placing it upside down on the bottom left-hand corner meant "I am always true to you."). The Language of Stamps. Turns out I've been unintentionally saying "I love you" on all the bills I've paid over the years. sd-12.22.11

A visual way to explore the Brain Pickings book archive. dw-12.21.11

Zulkey's interview with Julia Sweeney. sd-12.16.11

An Open Letter to Writers of Open Letters, by Teddy Wayne. jc-12.16.11

On Arthur C. Clarke's birthday, a 31 word story. jc-12.16.11

If you're still on the fence about buying a Kindle, meet Harry Disco. bb-12.14.11

A Year in Reading from The Millions. Excellent resource. Via Kottke. jc-12.14.11

"It worked like this: everyone involved sent me their postal address, while I headed down to the local Post Office and bought a job lot of stamps." Twitter by Post, by Giles Turnbull. jc-12.14.11

You can now browse through the papers and notebooks of Sir Issac Newton online. Via I09. ms-12.13.11

"We've faced many challenges over the years, and each and every time we've discovered that courage is the answer. Hyenas don't understand that." When Animals Run Attack Ads, by Ben Greenman. jc-12.13.11

Best long read, true crime story of the day: "The King of All Vegas Real Estate Scams" from Businessweek. Thanks Claire. sd-12.12.11

"So, motherfuckers, sweet sweet angels of imperfection, on this Sunday, a day I am grieving for a man I never met, I am also singing you a love song, an out of key melody with rusty rhythm, mud in the middle, and dirty words at the end." You're Not Awesome, by Melissa Pierce. Amen. jc-12.09.11

The Books They Gave Me. jc-12.08.11

"She's my everything went wrong." Swiss Life, Jimmy Webb, Glenn Campbell and Language Log. Life's Twists and Turns, a great blog post. jc-12.08.11

Quickly becoming a favorite. David Hill's Fading the Vig at McSweeney's, in which each column tells the story of a single bet. jc-12.07.11

The most hated buzzwords. ms-12.07.11

Edmund Wilson regrets that it is impossible for him to... jc-12.07.11

My brother-in-law, John Christopher Jones, translated Chekov's "The Cherry Orchard" for a new production that just opened starring John Turturro and Diane Wiest. The Times published a rave today and here's an illuminating interview about how the translation came about. jc-12.05.11

Jeff O'Neal prognosticates on what books will be in the field for the 2012 Tournament of Books. jc-12.05.11

Texts from Bennett. ms-12.01.11

The pest who shames companies into fixing security flaws. ms-12.01.11

"The guilt-tinged thrill of reading private letters to other people was dampened by the note's banality. 'Dear Douglas, I have a favor to ask...' There was nothing illicit or secret, nothing mystical or magical about it. Except that it was addressed to a dead man." Address Unknown, by Leah Anderst for TMN. Stopped me cold in the middle of a busy day. A must-read. jc-12.01.11

A look at Google's doodles. ms-12.01.11

"When a place has been around long enough, you stop measuring in minutes." A lovely short piece by Dave Pell, The Return of Amigo. jc-11.30.11

"What appears to be an ordinary period is in fact a TwitDot, and it contains a message that could never, as a result of its length, have fit within the confines of a single tweet." Size Matters, from inventor Ben Greenman. jc-11.29.11

"A Qantas Empire Airways safety card, drawn in the wink-and-grin style of a men's magazine cartoon, depicts a sporting fellow leaning over the side of a lifeboat, flirting with a long, lean, blonde mermaid, much to the annoyance of his wife." The Unlikely Event, by Avi Steinberg. Via Maud Newton. jc-11.29.11

A redesigned It's Nice That No.7 is out and, as usual, it's full of smart features and contributors like Terry Jones of i-D and Benjamin Sommerhalder of Nieves. jc-11.28.11

Finding Emilie. ms-11.25.11

Happy thoughts for the holiday from The Fly. Prepare For the Dark Ages. jc-11.23.11

Lovely interview with Mandy Brown at The Great Discontent. jc-11.22.11

I'm linking Flavorwire's Literary Mixtape for Seymour Glass in part because the image reminds me that JDS had many talents but none greater than his brilliance in choosing titles for his stories. Via the always observant Electric Literature. jc-11.22.11

Depressingly realistic sexual role play scenarios. ms-11.22.11

A rare audio interview with Philip K. Dick from 1979. Via Warren Ellis. jc-11.19.11

"Bureaucratically dowdy, rarely spotted in the field, a dull fucker by both instinct and training, Smiley drops no one-liners, romances no tarot-card readers, roars no speedboats through the Bayou." James Parker on George Smiley, The Anti-James Bond. Via Casual Optimist. jc-11.16.11

Apropos of nothing. "The Cremation of Sam McGee," by Robert Service, as read by Burgess Meredith. More here from WFMU, of course. jc-11.16.11

"The apology is for contributing to watering down the impact of certain words so that, as is currently the case in our culture, there is no longer an arsenal of expletives available to go to when you are legitimately pissed off." —Earl Pomerantz. jc-11.15.11

Errol Morris Interviews Stephen King about his new book 11/22/63. Long, fascinating exchange of ideas. jc-11.14.11

Out where the west begins. dw-11.14.11

Big Week, from your internet pal, Dan Benjamin. jc-11.11.11

"I apologize for the delay; we are currently experiencing significant existential strife as indicated by the soft wailing of the train's wheels as they are forced once more into another day of mindless repetition." ms-11.11.11

"I'm convinced the estate wants Vonnegut to remain caught, like a bug in amber, to borrow the phrase from Slaughterhouse-Five— forever a jokey, avuncular counterculture guru. That image was, and continues to be, a moneymaker." Charles Shields chats about his new KV biography And So It Goes. jc-11.10.11

"Damn baby, I don't usually send messages like this but your man be a lucky man. I'm jealous. My girlfriend is still hot though." It Happened to Sophia Kercher. jc-11.09.11

HST on the story behind a "warped Casablanca," The Rum Diary. jc-11.07.11

"...how six months can become eight years with the deceptive ease of a film dissolve, for that is how those years appear to me now, in a long sequence of sentimental dissolves and old-fashioned trick shots—the Seagram Building fountains dissolve into snowflakes, I enter a revolving door at twenty and come out a good deal older, and on a different street." —the incomparable Joan Didion. Via Sippey. jc-11.04.11

So great, Yelping With Cormac. ms-11.03.11

Filed under "Helpful Tips." The Saddest Story I Know, by Alex Balk. jc-11.02.11

"...impressed by an occasional striking passage, which, lacking the quotation marks, he is not sure whether to attribute to himself or to someone far cleverer, funnier and more articulate, whom he happened to be reading at the time." Charles Simic suggets you take care of your little notebook. jc-11.02.11

From 1953, animated short of Edgar Allan Poe's The Tell-Tale Heart. ms-10.31.11

$50 Under 11.5 Rounds Floyd Mayweather, Jr. vs. Victor Ortiz. Fading the Vig: A Gambler's Guide to Life by David Hill. "Each column will tell the story of a single bet that he made and examine what that bet reveals about life in America." jc-10.31.11

Wired's guide to Pop Culture's Buried Treasure. ms-10.26.11

An animated self-published author wearing Groucho Marx nose glasses undermines a more legit writer in the funny-because-it's-true video, I Self-Published Myself and You're Jealous. jse-10.25.11

A modern day Robinson Crusoe story? Or a complete lie? sd-10.25.11

Related to below, if you'd like to act out the scene yourself. ms-10.25.11

Richard Burton's Henry V St. Crispin's Day speech. ms-10.25.11

"Once you begin imagining yourself as the romantic lead of a novel—and convince others of it as well—you won't want to stop." Sex Lives of the Saints, by Snowden Wright. jc-10.25.11

The Second Date Story. Via MeFi. ms-10.24.11

Shakespeare Insult Kit. ms-10.24.11

Fiend Folio gets the shaft, but Wired.com's solid list of 9 books geeks should have read by now does include Dungeon Masters Guide, so we're good. jse-10.21.11

The Barber Comes Around. ms-10.20.11

"In response to the e-mail we all received from Maddie's parents, in which they shared their decision to raise their daughter dogma-free, yes, there will be an altar, but please be assured that the Day of the Dead is a pagan celebration of life and has nothing to do with God." ms-10.20.11

David Hudson on the new collection of Pauline Kael film essays, and reactions to it. jc-10.19.11

Local note: head on over to Just the Bookstore in Glen Ellyn tonight and chat with FoTA authors Kevin Guilfoile and John Warner. P.S. There will be beer. Our kind of book signing! ms-10.18.11

The always great I Am Better Than Your Kids has been turned into a book. sd-10.17.11

"There's nothing more satisfying than finding a letter." Shaun Usher on his unstoppable Letters of Note. BTW, LoN is a member of our advertising network for web, design and creative professionals, The Deck. jc-10.13.11

An amazingly extensive database of Common Errors in English Usage. ms-10.13.11

"Yossarian Lives." A nice piece by Lynn Neary for Morning Edition today, on the occasion of Catch-22 turning 50. jc-10.13.11

Zulkey's "Yet Another Unnecessarily Long Monologue By a Supervillain as He Prepares to Kill His Nemesis." sd-10.12.11

A double shot of Vonnegut. Portraits found on the fabulous Hey Oscar Wilde! It's Clobberin' Time, a site where various artists interpret their favorite literary figures. It's well worth a nice long browse. Back to Mr. Vonnegut, here's the audio of his first public reading of the classic Breakfast of Champions, three years before it was published, on May 4, 1970 at the 92nd Street Y in NYC. We're with Merlin Mann when he says, "Listen to the whole thing. It's poetry." jc-10.12.11

Two bloggers on a quest to make pigeon pie, honey spiced locusts and other dishes mentioned in George R.R. Martin's The Song of Ice and Fire series score a cookbook deal. jse-10.10.11

The latest edition in a series tying philosophy concepts to pop culture: Arrested Development and Philosophy: They've Made a Huge Mistake. More info here. sd-10.10.11

Sweet and smutty insights from the love letters of Georgia O'Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz. sd-10.10.11

Language geek alert. The King's English. "through the King James Bible, phrase by phrase." jc-10.10.11

"No human before or since Bill Rankin is known to have parachuted through a cumulonimbus tower and lived to tell about it. Lt Col William Henry Rankin passed away on 06 July 2009, almost exactly 50 years after his harrowing and history-making ride on the storm. Cue epic organ solo."Rider on the Storm. Via Mental Floss. ms-10.10.11

On this day in 1929, William Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury was published. jc-10.07.11

You can take the Nobel Prize-winning author out of Oak Park, but you can't take the Oak Park accent out of the Nobel Prize-winning author. jse-10.07.11

Related. My contribution to Candygrams from last year, To Sweet Hereafter. jc-10.07.11

Chunky in Fury by Mike Monteiro. A really great start to a new set of Candygrams by Jason Santa Maria. Beautifully crafted words, perfectly presented. jc-10.07.11

Share your creative failures over at My Unfinished Novels. ms-10.07.11

The story of Henry, Wilco, and The Whole Love, heart-breaking and uplifting all at once. Thanks Heidi. jc-10.07.11

Armin's Mom. jc-10.06.11

Universe Dented, Grass Underfoot, by John Gruber. jc-10.06.11

Philip B. Corbett on typos, The Reader's Lament. jc-10.05.11

Coordinate accusatives corresponding to non-coordinate nominatives, or to put it another way, Me and John versus John and Me. jc-10.04.11

"This disclaimer is not unlike the ceaseless blaring of a distant car alarm—a once-sincere warning that has evolved into an unpleasant nuisance, rendered meaningless by its own ubiquity." Alright, Fine, I'll Add a Disclaimer to My Emails, by James Sinclair. jc-10.04.11

Headline of the day. ms-10.03.11

Local note for NY: Tomorrow night our esteemed guest editor John Sellers will read from his memoir The Old Man and the Swamp at WORD in Brooklyn. Also, Wednesday evening he'll be chatting with Chuck Klosterman about his new novel The Visible Man. dw-10.03.11

When the actor Timothy Hutton speaks, people listen - it's just that he doesn't listen to them, as this new book trailer definitively proves. jse-10.03.11

Zulkey's interview today with Tom Skilling proves two things most people already knew: a) the guy really, really likes talking about the weather, and b) he's the nicest human on the planet. sd-09.30.11

"Afflicted by Vapors When Seeing You on Horseback". Masterpiece Theater's Missed Connections. ms-09.29.11

In 1996, Paul Lukas and some friends found 375 report cards from the Manhattan Trade School for Girls. He decided to do some investigating and the result is a fascinating series of articles for Slate, Permanent Record. ms-09.28.11

Required reading for comedy buffs: "And... Scene," an oral history of Upright Citizens Brigade. sd-09.27.11

When Kerouac Met Kesey, by Sterling Lord. Via TMN. jc-09.27.11

So you know: the Top 10 Misused English Words. ms-09.27.11

"From a linguistic point of view, this misunderstanding points to a problem that vanity plates share with most orthographic systems. A reader must decide how to group the sequence of symbols, and how to interpret the result." How do you read ILVTOFU? jc-09.26.11

Whet Moser on Dmitry Samarov, Chicago cab driver, author of Hack and a great follow on Twitter. jc-09.23.11

The most important story of Michael Miner's life, and the column that was never written. An amazing story, beautifully told. jc-09.22.11

Happy birthday to Bilbo and Frodo. jc-09.22.11

"Reluctant to admit we'd wasted our hard-earned vacations on a stupid, money-losing, cross-country ordeal that wasn't going to accomplish a damn thing, the four of us turned on one another like rabid weasels — or, I should say, my bandmates turned on me." Jim DeRogatis is a Field Tester. Read tons more reviews online, or better yet, buy the book. jc-09.22.11

The Top 5 Things That Bother Me About This Headline, by the almighty Alissa Walker. Amen to that. jc-09.22.11

How Did "Awesome" Conquer the World? by Robert Lane Greene. Via Kurt Loder. jc-09.22.11

"Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo." Via Atencioblog. sd-09.21.11

Merci de nous avoir liberes! Scans from a Belgian phrasebook published near the end of WWII. sd-09.21.11

The concept of Doubling in the Middle, and other things pallindromic, from a master. By Gregory Kornbluth. Wow, we've sure come a long way from Panama. jc-09.21.11

"With Harrison it is impossible to feel something so simple as friendship. He seems to me the closest thing we have to a tribal elder. If writers ever required permission to raid another tribe and steal its corn, we would need to ask Harrison." The Last Lion, an excellent profile of CP hero, novelist Jim Harrison, by Tom Bissell. jc-09.21.11

An amazing excerpt from The Funny Man, John Warner's new novel. jc-09.20.11

Will have to find a linguist to get a definite answer, but in the interim this will have to do, based on a long discussion from over the weekend: the origins of inverted question and exclamation marks. A bit more on this, here and here. sd-09.19.11

Andy Borowitz hears bells. jc-09.19.11

"You schmucks who use ridiculous journo-terms make me crazy!" Nice opening sentence Choire. jc-09.19.11

The David Sedaris app: David's Diary. sd-09.19.11

When Marge Simpson and Barbara Bush exchanged letters. jc-09.19.11

Compelling visual argument in favor of the Oxford Comma. jc-09.17.11

"In so much of life, I cannot relax. A part of me is assessing whether or not my contribution's needed. Another part of me is worried that my kids are annoying someone. But not at sporting events. Am I needed? Not at all. Are my kids annoying? Hardly!" Lost and Found, by my sis, at The Baseball Chronicle. jc-09.16.11

So you know: blogs from the U.S. Government. ms-09.16.11

Heart-breaking memories via Chat History, by Rebecca Armendariz. Via Waxy. jc-09.16.11

A great read by Conan writer Todd Levin on the various hurdles of writing comedy. sd-09.15.11

Just a reminder people. How to create advertising that sells, by David Ogilvy. Text here from FolioType. jc-09.15.11

Today's long read: "The Shame of College Sports." ms-09.14.11

On getting our "heart-shaped asses kicked by less beautiful girls from backwards foreign lands." A Message From Lovey Johns-Atchison The Acting President of the Trump Place Condo Association, by Kevin Guilfoile. jc-09.13.11

Incredibly juvenile, but so great: the Guardian's pick for best/worst typo in a romance novel. sd-09.12.11

"You Look at Me Like You've Never Seen a Neo-Hipster Before." sd-09.12.11

From John Warner: My Biggest Fan. ms-09.12.11

"If you come here and say, 'I need to dangle a 10,000-pound whale from the ceiling of my uncle's bathroom,' they tell you how to make it happen." An interesting profile of Compleat Sculptor, where NY artists shop for stone. sd-09.12.11

Live right now! Back to School With the Biblioracle. jc-09.09.11

Hemingway's Letters. ms-09.07.11

Dissertation Haiku. ms-09.07.11

Not entirely sure how I feel about this, but slightly eager to try it: Booktrack: Soundtracks for Books. sd-09.07.11

"Even now, I can't think of her without remembering the Good Conductor on that late-night train to Peterborough and, to this day, I won't hear a bad word said about British Rail." A Real Good Samaritan. Via MeFi. ms-09.07.11

Still related to the last. Jeff Tweedy performed the Black Eyed Peas at the book party last night too. Hilarious good time. jc-09.07.11

Related to the last. At the party for the book launch last night the real Mayor showed and signed a copy of the book in his own way. So great. jc-09.07.11

"David Shepherd, Paul Sills, Mike Nichols and Elaine May, Del Close and Charna Halpern, Studs Terkel and Lenny Bruce: Meet Dan Sinker. He's one of yours, and one of ours." Bill Savage's rave review of Dan's The Fucking Epic Twitter Quest of @MayorEmanuel. jc-09.07.11

KG's second novel, a thriller with a sense of humor and some great Chicago set pieces, The Thousand, is now available pretty much everywhere in paperback and for the Kindle too. Plus it has great new cover art. Watch our Twitter feed for a chance to win a signed copy. jc-09.06.11

Video of Kurt Vonnegut lecturing on the "shapes of stories." Four stars. Via Shaun Usher. jc-09.02.11

No thanks. ms-09.02.11

"We're bending the entire spectrum of light --infrared, ultraviolet, thermal, people are disappearing. It doesn't use cameras or mirrors or require power." Invisible, Inc, by Bruce Barcott. Via Mefi. jc-08.31.11

Totally random and not to be a smug city-dweller about things, but if this book was written today, it would have a question mark and be funny. Though the cover would stay the same because it's awesome. Via Letterology. sd-08.30.11

"The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour and Laugh-In. These two comedy-variety shows, we are often told, appealed to the same acid-tripping, free-love, anti-war demographic. Today they are often considered two sides of the same coin. Nothing could be further from the truth." The Comedy Writer That Helped Elect Richard M. Nixon, great, long piece by Kliph Nesteroff. jc-08.30.11

So you know: Errol Morris' book Believing is Seeing: Observations on the Mysteries of Photography comes out this week. An excerpt available here. sd-08.29.11

Zulkey really stirred up the pot and got some people mighty miffed by ranting against FiveFingers shoes (those types of barefoot-looking footwear, also known as "the worst thing in the world"). sd-08.26.11

Goodbye, cruel Word. dw-08.24.11

Long read of the day: Why are Finland's Schools Successful? Via MeFi. ms-08.23.11

These might be reposts, but they go together nicely: Ray Bradbury for the kids and for the ladies. (That second link couldn't be more NSFW) bb-08.22.11

Zulkey interviews Scott Aukerman, comedian, writer and performer on Mr. Show, and co-creator of Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis. sd-08.19.11

Sometimes true crime is just too strange, particularly when it involves an art gallery, hired martial arts goons, and the lead artist of a beloved cartoon franchise: "SpongeBob Artist Accused of 'Brutal' Attack." sd-08.19.11

Switch on the blue truth filter. jc-08.17.11

"Buzzwords are frequently used in news media. These are words that do not typically occur in everyday speech, but are common among newscasters, talking heads, and pundits on cable news. Newswordy is a growing collection of these words, updated every weekday. Along with each word is a definition, a quote with its use (or misuse) in the media, and a news and Twitter feed on the subject." dw-08.15.11

Mapping the Republic of Letters. dw-08.12.11

"...just some whiny annoying teenager talking about how lame he is." Great Books That Aren't Great, edited by Juliet Lapidos for Slate. jc-08.12.11

NPR listeners pick their top Top 100 Science Fiction, Fantasy books. ms-08.12.11

Harper Lee wrote To Kill a Mockingbird and she also wrote this fellow back when he told her how much it meant to him. Via Shaun Usher, of course. jc-08.12.11

Text Slang for Baby Boomers, by William Sorensen. jc-08.11.11

Several conversations Alan Trotter did not have today. jc-08.11.11

"I can remember nights at the dinner table with my parents tossing out different numbers. 'Catch-27?' Nah, my father shook his head. 'Catch-539?' Too long, too lumbering. I had no idea what they were talking about." Erica Heller, in the Paris Review. jc-08.10.11

On Monday morning, August 21 1911, inside the Louvre museum in Paris, a plumber named Sauvet came upon an unidentified man stuck in front of a locked door. The man - wearing a white smock, like all the Louvre's maintenance staff - pointed out to Sauvet that the doorknob was missing. The helpful Sauvet opened the door with his key and some pliers. The man walked out of the museum and into the Parisian heatwave. Hidden under his smock was Leonardo da Vinci's 'Mona Lisa'. ms-08.10.11

Cold War Disneyland. ms-08.09.11

The Skywalkers of Hazzard. ms-08.09.11

Even if you don't speak Dutch, they're still fun to look at: downloadable issues of De Stijl, from 1917 to 1920. sd-08.08.11

That squiggle of the design process. Smart. Via Glass. jc-08.08.11

For DW, Cats in Space. ms-08.08.11

"The noun stack — a kind of nominal train wreck that it can take an editorial Jaws of Life to untangle." Via Language Log. jc-08.05.11

The Last Generation of Typewriter Repairmen, by Matthew Shechmeister. Found among other Things. jc-08.03.11

Having gone through that very same English department a few years ahead of him, I'd have to agree with Mr. Eggers. Master educators indeed. ms-08.02.11

How 50 Big Companies Got Their Names. For example: "Sprint" is short for "Southern Pacific Railroad Internal Communications." sd-08.02.11

"I guess he noticed the familiar pupil dilation and telltale thumb calluses of a reformed junkie..." The Indoor Kids' audio chat with Todd Levin about his great series for TMN, Consoles I Have Known. jc-08.02.11

Finally. Ben lets us in on The Answers to All of Life's Questions. jc-08.02.11

"My boss said, 'You have to get rid of this cat because it was polluted by radiation. You must dump it in the sea.' However, I can't do it for the following reasons. First of all, this cat alive, second, if I dump it in the sea, the sea will be polluted by the cat." Pony and "A" Take Over the World. ms-08.01.11

"A tiny group of savvy bettors, among them highly trained computer scientists from MIT and Northeastern University, virtually take over the game." Great story about gaming the Massachusetts lottery. Via J-Walk. sd-08.01.11

Related to the last. The Chronicles of Amber are all good but it's The Corwin Cycle that is perfect. BTW: Harry fans might find something new to love here. jc-07.29.11

Smart guy. Rainn Wilson shows us the covers of his ten favorite sci-fi and fantasy paperbacks and includes the totally underappreciated Amber Series from Roger Zelazny. jc-07.29.11

"Children who are scared of clowns will be taken from their parents and treated to special one-on-one Laff Sessions with one of our clowns in a Clown Consortium Kiosk. These sessions will last as long as it take--days, even--to ensure that the children are no longer scared of clowns!" The Birthday Clown Consortium Price Guide. ms-07.29.11

"Longtime Angeleno Mark Evanier further surmised that Dino's Lodge outlasted Jerry's because 'Dean Martin's name suggested a classy evening of good Italian food and wine, whereas Jerry's implied an evening of food being thrown at you by loud waiters.'" The Rise and Fall of Dino's Lodge, by Kliph Nesteroff. jc-07.29.11

My Unfinished Novels. jc-07.29.11

"I noticed that you were about to finish your drink and I was wondering if I could possibly watch you purchase another one." A Post Gender Normative Man Tries to Pick Up a Woman at a Bar, by Jesse Eisenberg. jc-07.28.11

You could look it up. jc-07.28.11

"The creative gift is a scarce commodity, and patience and imitation have always done most of its work." Raymond Chandler on Writers in Hollywood, from the Atlantic in 1945. A bit more on this most entertaining and insightful essay from Maud Newton. jc-07.27.11

"There is a scooter in our office. People ride around on it and nobody cares. There's also rollerblades and a putting green. For a while we thought we had some pogo sticks, but they turned out to be a set of polio crutches belonging to a client. We bent them up pretty bad." I'm a Social Media Rockstar. ms-07.26.11

"As I stood among the ransacked ruin that had been my home, surveying the aftermath of the senseless horrors and atrocities that had been perpetrated on my family and everything I hold dear, I swore to myself that no matter where I had to go, no matter what I had to do or endure, I would find the man who did this... and when I did, when I did, oh, there would be words." Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest Winners. jc-07.26.11

"Hey, intellectuals! My fellow weenies! Our culture totally, world-historically, down-to-the-sub-atomic-level sucks -- even our low culture sucks now, despite all our self-important ingenious attempts to elevate it or make it seem more complicated or subversive or internally self-critiquing or whatever than it really is; I mean Harry Potter, come on, it wasn't just the biggest children's movie ever, it was the biggest everyone-including-adults-including-ones-who-went-to-"good"-colleges adults movie ever -- and it's all our fucking fault!" Good morning from Walter Kirn. jc-07.22.11

Writer Liesl Schillinger finally takes a brave stand for those quiet few of us who feel the same: "I Can't Take It Any S'more! America's Most Abominable Dessert." sd-07.21.11

There was a young lady
from Wapping
Who liked to head east for
her shopping
When Westfield arrives
She'll buy some new knives
And finally improve
her chopping.
London Limericks. dw-07.20.11

"He counted nuts. He counted seeds. He counted miles traveled, and compared them with the sometimes inaccurate distances marked on maps." George Washington: He Liked to Count Things. sd-07.20.11

50 "Americanisms" that irritate the British. sd-07.20.11

Heller on Steinweiss. jc-07.20.11

"The tide brings in status updates; the tide takes them out." Brilliantly written think-piece by Paul Ford for NY Mag on media and society (God, that makes it sound boring, it's anything but.) Facebook and the Epiphanator. jc-07.19.11

"Due to an errant cron task that ran twice an hour from September 2010 to July 2011, I accidentally collected about 12,000 screenshots of the front page of the nytimes.com." Via Doobybrain. sd-07.19.11

Lit/Math nerd alert. Mark Liberman analyzes paragraph length in Conrad's Heart of Darkness. Heavy sledding but fascinating, nice comment thread too. Via Electric Literature. jc-07.19.11

"If Vonnegut speaks to the eternal adolescent mind, it's because he so ably inhabits its favorite moods: hellacious pessimism and utopian love. How he balances the two—if he balances them, really—is an open question, and part of the wonder." Jacob Rubin for NY Mag on Kurt Vonnegut: Novels & Stories, 1963-1973. jc-07.19.11

Six more "-ageddons" Alissa Walker would like to see. jc-07.18.11

America's next great storyteller is a New York used Audi salesman bb-07.13.11

"Every concept that can ever be needed, will be expressed by exactly one word, with its meaning rigidly defined and all its subsidiary meanings rubbed out and forgotten..." jc-07.13.11

For £320,000, author JG Ballard's suburban home can be yours. sd-07.13.11

Funny book promo for Tom Lennon and Ben Garant's Writing Movies For Fun and Profit. sd-07.13.11

Local note, in today's Trib, Christopher Borrelli profiles some members of Chicago's Analog Underground, including our pal Christen Carter from Busy Beaver. jc-07.13.11

As a Background Extra in The Film's Cafe Scene, You Can Say Anything So Long as You Appear to Be Smiling and Talking, by Dan Kennedy. jc-07.12.11

So you know, a primer on British Media. ms-07.12.11

Possible Scenarios for Heaven, by Leslie Harpold, June 17, 2003. Via Andrew Womack. Thanks for that. jc-07.11.11

Zulkey interviews writer/author Aimee Bender. sd-07.08.11

The greatest Space Shuttle story ever told, Penn and Teller's "NASA'S Successful Quanitfying of Comedy Timing." bb-07.08.11

So you know, a Brief History of the Evolution of Recorded Music. ms-07.07.11

Great BBC interview with author Henning Mankell. ms-07.07.11

Related to the last, Connors on Maclean for The Nation. jc-07.05.11

I read and totally loved Philip Connor's Fire Season over the weekend. In fact, I was so taken with it I have started re-reading Norman Maclean's Young Men and Fire. Maud Newton chatted with Connors in April for The Paris Review. jc-07.05.11

"They were the only thing left to bless in this forsaken place, he thought..." Toto's Africa by Ernest Hemingway, by Anthony Sams. jc-07.01.11

American McCarver, a great new highly opinionated sports blog from Gruber, Monteiro, Snell, Sippey, Michaels, Knauss, Anker and Catalano. Seems like they need one more to make a starting nine. jc-06.30.11

"The majority of Zeppelin lyrics are about sex or Vikings or staring at large metaphorical bodies of water when you're high..." Chuck Klosterman's second-by-second analysis of Led Zeppelin's last stand. jc-06.30.11

Open Culture highlights some rare footage of J.R.R. Tolkien speaking to the BBC in 1968. jc-06.30.11

Great news in the form of a real live scientific report: "New study shows children and adolescents who eat candy are less overweight or obese." That's terrific! But wait. What's that very last sentence say down there in the fine print? "Partial support was also received from the National Confectioners Association." Oh. sd-06.29.11

Not to start this whole thing again but I'm with the University of Oxford when it comes to the "Oxford Comma." jc-06.29.11

Coming this Fall, Star Wars: The Blueprints. ms-06.28.11

"We have spent time with some of our best people and we have come up with a few ideas. Here are the four that received the most traction in-house." Al Qaeda: The Rebrand, fab, from Ben Greenman in the NYer. jc-06.28.11

Our pal Joseph Hughes of Northcoast Zeitgeist's Weapons of Mass Creation Fest presentation. bb-06.24.11

"If your flight is delayed, keep in mind that it's probably because the pilot and crew know that the airplane is full of cracks, and they're buying time." Katie Heaney's valuable advice on How to Not Die in a Plane Crash. sd-06.22.11

Byliner is live, and looks great. Original writing, not so long as a book, not so short as a newspaper article. jc-06.21.11

Really interesting long read, How To Land Your Kid in Therapy. ms-06.21.11

William Faulkner on Ernest Hemingway: "He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary." Ernest Hemingway on William Faulkner: "Poor Faulkner, Does he really think big emotions come from big words?" The 30 harshest author-on-author insults in history. ms-06.21.11

Would be difficult for anyone to ever top this lede: "K. Narayanan does not allow anyone to touch his miniature animal figurines." sd-06.20.11

Who invented email? Well, just maybe it was Noel Morris, brother of filmmaker Errol. Part one of a five part story for the NYT. Deliciously long, winding and detailed. jc-06.20.11

Need help writing your artist statement? Head on over to the Arty Bollocks Generator. ms-06.20.11

Now that the bubonic plague has appeared in Boulder, Colorado, Vice offers up Tips for Surviving the Plague. sd-06.17.11

More Richard Thompson awesomeness. Ulysses Simplified as a six panel cartoon. Via Austin Kleon. jc-06.16.11

Richard Thompson's Cartoon Roundtable Reads Ulysses. Left to right, Mark Trail, Mooch, Pig and Cathy. Thanks Bram. jc-06.16.11

"Opening bookshop in Paris. Please send money." Jessa Crispin on Joyce, Margaret Anderson and Sylvia Beach jc-06.16.11

"Ann Guilfoile: How come there are so many characters unlike your sister in your books? Kevin Guilfoile: Are you kidding? My books are filled with liars and sociopaths." KG visits Madame Perry's Salon. jc-06.16.11

The full text of Ulysses converted into 2D barcodes. jc-06.16.11

"In 1924, 1 went to the office of His Master's Voice in Paris to ask them if they would record a reading by James Joyce from Ulysses." -Sylvia Beach. jc-06.16.11

News, events, extracts, trivia and Marilyn Monroe reading Ulysses. A Piece of Monologue. jc-06.16.11

The First Editions. jc-06.16.11

Joyce's wife Nora once asked, "I guess the man's a genius, but what a dirty mind he has, hasn't he?" She ought to know. jc-06.16.11

Happy Bloomsday, Ulysses on Twitter ms-06.16.11

A map of tomorrow's worldwide Bloomsday events and Elizabeth Minkel rounds up other celebrations for the NYer. jc-06.15.11

6000 articles and 13 years later, McSweeney's gets a lovely facelift. jc-06.15.11

"...have you ever edited and sent the files to a printer to be reproduced several thousand times? It's terrifying. There is a pervasive hopelessness to the entire process." Post-Artifact Books and Publishing. It's by Craig Mod, so you must read it. jc-06.14.11

The synthesis of Circle A (Faulkner readers) and Circle B (NWA fans) is this T-shirt. wm-06.14.11

Dave Eggers makes a case for how great Wrigley Field is. However, fans of other Chicago-based teams (or baseball in general), will read it as validation of how horrible Wrigley Field is. sd-06.14.11

"Down with this sort of thing." John Rentoul's Banned List and the story behind his war on cliches. jc-06.14.11

"...when you inspect the image of Hemingway-as-hero, you uncover an extraordinary sub-stratum of self-harming. You discover that, for just over half of his life, Hemingway seemed hell-bent on destroying himself." A great long read. John Walsh unravels the mystery behind Hemingway's suicide. jc-06.14.11

Michael Wolff on David Ogilvy at 100 for Adweek. Plus, a video survey of his career. jc-06.13.11

A look inside the ER at Mt. Everest. ms-06.13.11

Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant's upcoming book Writing Movies for Fun and Profit. Can't wait. sd-06.10.11

"In all, 1,746 people were killed. The villages of Nyos, Kam, Cha, and Subum were left all but wiped out. And, more than 3,500 livestock perished in a matter of minutes." The killer? A lake. ms-06.10.11

Really great introduction to Bill Simmons' new sports/pop culture site, Grantland. ms-06.08.11

Ode to a Four Letter Word. ms-06.08.11

"When I get stewed I go to sleep, even in the presence of women and clergymen." An autobiography of a sort, as a list, written by HL Mencken in 1927. Fab, at Letters of Note, of course. jc-06.07.11

"Paul Revere's Ride," by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Sarah Palin (and Ben Greenman.) jc-06.06.11

"Short-sighted, technically illiterate penny-pinchers are wounding a great art form." Roger Ebert on The Dying of the Light. ms-06.06.11

"Collections tell stories. Often, they represent a personal narrative or reveal some interesting character traits of the collector." Collecting History from Eight:48, by the team at Display a fantastic resource for modern design. jc-06.02.11

"In 1993, when The New Yorker for the first time ran a photograph of a bare-breasted actress, a subscriber wrote me to express outrage at what had happened to a magazine once known for its elegant, understated prose. The only defence I could think of was that they were small breasts, so you could say that the tradition of understatement was still alive." How Calvin Trillin got dirty words into The New Yorker. jc-06.02.11

"Young adult fiction offers a promise to all of us that there is no suffering that's not worth it, no agony that goes unrewarded down the line." Alyssa Rosenberg launches a four-part series on YA fiction at The Atlantic.com. wm-06.01.11

"I listen to Johnny breathing beside me and feel a cloying terror. Not because of Johnny's capability for violence, but because he is reading the book manuscript I wrote about him." Lori Andrews is a Field Tester. Summer reading season is upon us. Plan well with the Field Tested Books Book. jc-05.27.11

With her show going off the air, the Norwegian browser company Opera is going to miss Oprah, because now they're sure to get fewer accidental letters sent to them. Here's their Best of Oprah Mails to Opera. sd-05.26.11

Your Mother wears Roman soldier shoes or How To Curse In Norse. ms-05.26.11

In praise of the Sci-Fi corridor. Via Swiss Cheese and Bullets. ms-05.25.11

"I never met a sentence I didn't want to make just a bit longer—and so the dash is my embarrassing best friend." The Case—Please Hear Me Out—Against the Em Dash, by Noreen Malone. jc-05.25.11

Shark Pin & Fiction a cool collaborative "object + narrative" project from Matt Singer and Ben Greenman. jc-05.24.11

Tom Gald's three attempts to make an acceptable illustration for Jenny Diski's "unspeakable" piece in the NYT. jc-05.24.11

The latest issue of McSweeney's has been released. And even though our SD just contributed a very short Letter to the Editor in it, his name is still listed above both Jonathan Franzen's and Joyce Carol Oates' in the table of contents, which surely must be worth something. bb-05.23.11

"One thinks of them as something not put there by artifice but merely preserved by happenstance." Ten design lessons from Frederick Law Olmsted, by Matt at 37s. jc-05.23.11

Dwell magazine spends 30 minutes with Dieter Rams. ms-05.20.11

Today's utterly fascinating long read, The Lazarus File. ms-05.19.11

An animated short from the book The Influencing Machine: Brook Gladstone On The Media. Via The Casual Optimist . ms-05.19.11

"In France alone between 1520 and 1630 some 30,000 individuals were labeled as werewolves, many of them underwent traumatic interrogation and torture." Werewolves Cases from Medieval French Chronicles. Found by way of Jonathan Jones' essay on werewolves in Renaissance art. sd-05.19.11

Harlan Ellison expects to be paid. Thanks, HP bb-05.19.11

"'Hi!' means I'm going to delete your email without reading it." Graham T. Beck on what your email salutation says about you. jc-05.19.11

"Shape and ring." Stanley Fish's How To Write A Sentence: And How to Read One reviewed by Simon Blackburn. jc-05.19.11

"With the Rapture coming, should I bother working on my final paper?" FAQ for my students: The Rapture. ms-05.19.11

A scan of The Playboy Club's Bunny Manual from 1968. sd-05.16.11

A funny response to the recent Weekly Standard profile of David Mamet about his shifting politics. sd-05.16.11

Do something nice today, buy a book for some kids. Cha Ching! ms-05.16.11

The five stages of Star Wars fandom grief. Via MeFi. ms-05.16.11

I'd pay good money to see this actually happen, Go Amy!!! ms-05.15.11

Jeremy Duns finds Ben Hecht's lost Casino Royale script in Chicago. Thanks KG. jc-05.15.11

Ben Yagoda notices that while is the convention is for "inside," many are in favor of "outside". jc-05.13.11

"Last weekend I almost got into a car accident with a Duck Tour." Visitors versus locals. Prague versus Seattle. En Route: Tourism, by Darryl Campbell for The Bygone Bureau. jc-05.13.11

Apropos of nothing. Always Be Closing. jc-05.13.11

"The Penguin tote: You had a really enjoyable time flirting with the idea of working in the publishing industry. This tote bag is all you have to remember those times by." What Your Tote Bag Says About You, by Jason Diamond and Tobias Carroll. jc-05.12.11

Some terrific true crime reading on the train in this morning. From the NY Times on the Raj Rajaratnam conviction: "Galleon Chief's Web of Friends Proved Crucial to Scheme." Great cast of characters. sd-05.12.11

"I knew how it was supposed to go. There would be a visit from a striking bald man in a wheelchair, visiting my parents to tell them I was a gifted child who needed to attend his special school for gifted children in Westchester. My parents would acquiesce, saying it was better for me to be with people more like me, and I would go, and in Westchester I would be told I was an X-Man now." Great lede. Fanboy by Alexander Chee at TMN. jc-05.11.11

Word Portraits by John Sokol. dw-05.10.11

"Slicing open my own corpus, I've been surprised –and upset– to find that ideas I had then were very similar to the ones I have now." Paul Ford looks backwards, Time's Inverted Index. jc-05.10.11

Evidence of the true cost of educational funding cuts, Sh*t My Students Write. Using the stylish Field Notes Tumbler theme, thanks for that. ms-05.09.11

Trailer for Hey Boo, the Mockingbird doc by Mary McDonagh Murphy. jc-05.09.11

For MJ, don't let your Mom see this article. ms-05.09.11

"Dear boys and girls..." Letters to the children of Troy, Michigan on the occasion of the opening of their new library. jc-05.06.11

"I was also shown a classified video of a child who was acting strangely after going to the dentist. And I really can't say any more than that." bb-05.05.11

This is a news website article about a scientific finding. "In the standfirst I will make a fairly obvious pun about the subject matter before posing an inane question I have no intention of really answering." By Martin Robbins. jc-05.05.11

Local note. Nice column by Kass today, Rich and Me: How We Fell Out. jc-05.05.11

So you know. Science historian Howard Markel on Karel Capek and the origin of the word 'robot.' jc-05.04.11

"Any ordinary man can buy a fancy car, but only a true playboy can demolish one with dignity." Jamie Johnson's funny piece for Vanity Fair: "In Defense of Rich People Smashing Their Nice Cars." sd-05.03.11

826 founders Eggers and Calegari speak up about education reform. bb-05.03.11

So you know, 2011 trends in logo design. ms-05.02.11

#12 The lamp just sat there, like an inanimate object. 56 terrible analogies used in high school papers. mcj-04.29.11

Zulkey interviews Claudio von Planta, the documentary filmmaker and cameraman for the terrific and addictive series Long Way Round and Long Way Down. sd-04.29.11

"The Horseshoe Sandwich and The Humble Fairgoer." Just two of many Positions Found in The Kama Sutra for Midwesterners, by Pete Reynolds. jc-04.29.11

"The book's not called The Other Hand for nothing." French video on a new printed book format. More from Boing Boing. jc-04.29.11

Brandon's first day at The French Laundry. ms-04.29.11

I'll take words that end in "nym" Alex. jc-04.28.11

"The JofUR solicits any and all types of manuscript: poetry, prose, visual art, and research articles. You name it, we take it, and reject it. Your manuscript may be formatted however you wish. Frankly, we don't care." The official blog. ms-04.28.11

Pretty sure every parent has wanted to or actually said this to their child and now there is a book. ms-04.26.11

Ways in which the Midwest Express In-Flight Catalog Describes Shirts That Won't Wrinkle by Jules Lipoff. Via Put This On. jc-04.26.11

"By then only 19 fans remained in frigid McCoy Stadium, along with players, coaches and staff; two reporters; one scorer; and two broadcasters..." Stefan Fatsis reviews Bottom of the 33rd by Dan Barry. jc-04.26.11

"Whitchse isn't a word, so there's nothing wrong with using whose to refer to things in addition to people." From The Copyediting Blog, whose mission is to improve our grammar. jc-04.26.11

Pruned's awesome series Impossible Chicagos is part fantasy, part dream, part nightmare, just like the city it's about. They're up to 10. jc-04.25.11

The house from H.P. Lovecraft's short story "The Shunned House" is for sale in Providence, Rhode Island. Unfortunately, judging from the listing, it looks like you'll need to provide your own flamethrower and sulfuric acid if you want to kill the monster in the basement. sd-04.20.11

"The mannequin seemed so happy, so carefree in his plaid shirt and cargo shorts, forever about to throw a frisbee. That could be me, I thought." The Dressing Room At Old Navy gets rated expertly by Joshua Allen. jc-04.20.11

"Here, with all the dogmatism of brevity, are 38 of the things we have learned." How to create advertising that sells, by David Ogilvy. Thanks for the reminder Jamie. jc-04.19.11

The OED, the Professor and the Madman. On this date in 1928, the final volume of the first edition of the Oxford English Dictionary was published. jc-04.19.11

3 outta 5. jc-04.19.11

Kevin Collier's latest Get to Know an Internet Commenter for McSweeney's. Lots more here. Only great. jc-04.19.11

Bill Moyers' interview with David Simon about The Wire, writing, and the drug war. sd-04.18.11

For MS: info on Spoiled, the novel by the Go Fug Yourself writers. My wife's read an advanced copy and says its fantastic. sd-04.18.11

"Why do they continue to come here? They can't all have brain tumors. The only rationally conceivable answer is: Paris. Paris has superpowers; Paris exerts a mercurial force field." A.A. Gill's wonderfully terrible review of L'Ami Louis, a restaurant popular with Americans and the British. sd-04.18.11

Wake In Progress. "This site records my foolhardy attempt to illustrate Finnegans Wake. Actually, I'll be happy to finish chapter one for now." –Stephen Crowe. Via John Coulthart. jc-04.18.11

"Sack up and revise as a bulleted list." The Washington Post Inadvertently Publishes My Online Dating Profile with the Editor's Notes Still Included, by Jack Loftus. Gold. jc-04.15.11

For the Paris Review, Maud Newton chats with Philip Connors, author of Fire Season and a man with a talent for sloth. jc-04.15.11

Tree of Codes, a film showing the making of an impossibly complicated die-cut book. Thanks JSM. jc-04.14.11

"I could never explain to anyone else how I stored our glorious sleep-deprived moments in a velvety pink balloon that floated in the back of my mind." The Routes by Which I Attempted to Contact You, by Sheridan Macauley. jc-04.12.11

Better Book Titles. ms-04.08.11

"It had all us writers literally crying with laughter, but the studio audience greeted it with confused silence." Zulkey interviews long-time Conan writer and performer, Brian Stack. sd-04.08.11

The folks at Mr. Porter help you figure out if your beard is too big. ms-04.06.11

So you know, How to Write a Generic SF novel. Via MeFi. ms-04.05.11

"The shots of the audience's amazed reactions are mostly there to give the editor a point to cut ahead in time." Full Disclosure Regarding My Appearance on the Infomercial for the TurkeyScaler, by Curtis Retherford. jc-04.05.11

Covers and Blurbs. jc-04.05.11

Today is The Morning News Tournament of Books Championship Match, Freedom versus A Visit From the Goon Squad. Hands down, this year's tourney has been the best one ever, by the quality of the judging and commentary and by the fact that it's got me to read four new books. Congrats to... I won't spoil it for you. jc-04.04.11

Long read of the day, Rodrigo Rosenberg's Murder in Guatemala. ms-04.04.11

A collection of first-world problems, White Whine. Sort of an alternative version of Humble Brag. Think before you type people. ms-04.04.11

For BB, JC, and KG, Book and Album pairings. Sure to inspire your very own list. ms-04.04.11

Zulkey interviews Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen. sd-04.01.11

In honor of opening day, James Earl Jones narrates Casey At The Bat. ms-04.01.11

NPR interviews author Henning Mankell about his latest and last Kurt Wallander novel, The Troubled Man. Part of me wants to start the book immediately, part of me just wants to wait until I am ready to say good-bye. ms-04.01.11

Sweet Juniper makes "An Attempt to Explain Why I Smell Like George Brett's Gym Bag." Hint: it's the old timey soap. sd-03.30.11

"I know quality writing, and know a lot of other people who know quality writing. A sample chapter presented to my mother's book club was described as, and I quote, "'like nothing they had ever read before.' My high school English teacher told me that I should submit it right away, even though I only shared the first half of the first draft." Real or fake, best cover letter ever. ms-03.29.11

Few people know that the program The Wire was actually an adaptation of a serialized story from the 1840s, written by Horatio Bucklesby Ogden and illustrated by Baxter "Bubz" Black. Via J-Walk. sd-03.29.11

"He killed dozens, if not hundreds. He disposed of their corpses in an unimaginably disgusting way. He murdered his accomplice. The only bright spot in this otherwise entirely unredeemed life is that he never existed." An in-depth look at Sweeney Todd's Ancestors. dw-03.28.11

People Are Awesome. Agreed. ms-03.28.11

Semifinal #1 in The Morning News Tournament of Books today, Freedom versus A Visit From the Goon Squad. jc-03.28.11

The Wonder Book of Electricity. Via Things. jc-03.28.11

This issue of Tails magazine either stresses the importance of commas or reveals Rachael Ray's horrifying secret. Thanks Claire. sd-03.24.11

Copywriter Kim Mok teaches you How to Write a Manifesto. sd-03.22.11

"I'm not going to read you any bedtime stories or sing you any lullabies, and if you think that every year on your birthday I'm going to tell you where I was when I went into labor with you, then think again, because I won't, because I didn't." I'm Not Here to Hold Your Hand: I'm Here to Run a Business, by Brian Bieber. jc-03.21.11

So you know: the AP Stylebook has been updated and now "email" no longer needs a hyphen and "cellphone" and "smartphone" are both just single words. sd-03.21.11

The Tournament of Books Quarterfinals start today. I think this has been the best ToB yet, as evidenced by the three books it has motivated me to buy and read, Savages, Bad Marie and Lord of Misrule. (All three first-round losers btw.) jc-03.21.11

Under the Red, White and Blue or The High Bouncing Lover or Among the Ash Heaps? Rejected titles on this day in 1924. jc-03.19.11

Zulkey interviews Jordan Morris, co-host of the popular podcast, Jordan, Jesse, Go! sd-03.18.11

"Starting 1970 I will achieve world fame and from then onward till the end of 1980 I will have in my possession $10,000,000." Bruce Lee's Definite Chief Aim. It's good to have goals. jc-03.17.11

Bang! jc-03.17.11

"I generally don't experience Great Literature until they make a video game out of it, so my pretension credentials (hereafter: 'pretentials') are in dire need of burnishing." Matthew Baldwin judges the Super Sad True Love Story versus Model Home match in the ToB. jc-03.16.11

"Jennifer Weiner has written one of the best judging commentaries in the history of the tournament... But here's the thing: I don't care. I couldn't put Bad Marie down." John Warner, in his commentary about Match Two of the Tournament of Books. jc-03.09.11

"Thou small-volted energizer, alkaline and acid-crammed, in a bare fortnight spent!" The contents of Scott David Herman's desk as Shakespearean insults. jc-03.09.11

A sure sign of spring, Opening Day for the Tournament of Books. jc-03.08.11

"Clothing donations sought for kids ready to leave smallpox pesthouse." For the next year, running up to state's centennial, the Arizona Daily Star is reprinting stories from 100 years ago. Via J-Walk. sd-03.07.11

Related to the last. "After too many years when stuff seemed to rule many lives, these things have been culled, sorted and mastered." Rob Walker on Web Sites That Collect Stuff So You Don't Have To. jc-03.07.11

Goodnight Dune. dw-03.06.11

"It should remind you of something you've never seen before." Notes on Design from Brendan Dawes. jc-03.05.11

"Then, they superglued the stomatopods to a strip of Plexiglass and dropped stainless steel balls on them." Out of Context Science. Via Mental Floss. ms-03.04.11

The Curious Journey of Curious George, by Erica Grieder and some highlights from a museum show. Via Dan Wagstaff. jc-03.04.11

"We Listen to NPR Precisely to Avoid This Sort of Stupidity." A great read by Farhad Manjoo about "the tedious, annoying complaints of public radio listeners." Thanks Claire. sd-03.03.11

Related to the last, a few faves from the LoN archives, What Makes Nancy So Great, by Sidney, Okay, You Lazy Bitch, Holden Caulfield is Unactable and You're Nothing But a Pimp. jc-03.02.11

Shaun Usher's fab Letters of Note has joined our advertising network for design, web and creative professionals, The Deck. If you have a product or service that could benefit by being in front of millions of savvy, curious, mostly good-looking people, give us a shout. There are a few slots still open in April and May. jc-03.02.11

A simple fun idea, nicely executed. Play Famous Objects from Classic Movies. Via that Miss Who is Swiss. jc-03.01.11

"Fall in love with the future." —Ray Bradbury. jc-03.01.11

Lessons in from the Egyptian Revolution. ms-02.28.11

Related to the last. House of Wigs = Essential. jc-02.25.11

"8. A quick burst of 'The Ocean' by Led Zeppelin, which was on the cassette before I taped over it to make this new mix." Mix Tape for Dead Girl, by Joshua Allen. Found in Kevin Fanning's excellent 11 Things By Joshua Allen That Everyone Should Read. jc-02.25.11

Sunday's NY Times Magazine has a lovely essay by FoTA John Moe as well as a feature on FoTA Heather Armstrong. kg-02.25.11

Shady Characters, the secret life of punctuation, by Keith Houston. jc-02.25.11

The incomparable Joshua Allen rates everything ever on a scale from one to ten sexy ladies. Awesome. jc-02.24.11

Double-dose of McSweeney's today. What Your Favorite Classic Rock Band Says About You, by John Peck. Great. jc-02.24.11

"I did ask one once. In the beginning, when I still had hope for escape. I cornered him alone by the Gaägtorp cabinets." For The Love Of God, Show Me The Way Out Of This IKEA, by Sarah Lelek. jc-02.24.11

Bookshelf Porn editor's faves. jc-02.23.11

FotA James Kennedy has launched a project with the New York Public Library: the 90-Second Newbery Film Festival. Take any book that's ever won a Newbery Medal and make a film covering its entire plot in 90 seconds or less. sd-02.21.11

From 1946, George Orwell's essay Why I Write. ms-02.19.11

"Ordinarily a word so odd, so distinctive from others, wouldn't be allowed in a language to begin with." OK. jc-02.18.11

Google is putting every issue of Spy Magazine online. kg-02.16.11

Long-time FotA and multi-year Field-Tested Books contributor, Mike Sacks, has just released a collection of humor pieces he's written for the likes of McSweeney's and the New Yorker in the form of his new book, Your Wildest Dreams. sd-02.16.11

Speaking of climbing, Matt at 37signals has a great look at The 1972 Chouinard climbing catalog. ms-02.16.11

Surely ruffling a few feathers right now (MS, don't read it, as it speaks ill of your boyfriend): B.R. Myers' "The Moral Crusade Against Foodies." sd-02.15.11

Web Sites That Collect Stuff So You Don't Have To. Rob Walker's Consumed column in last Sunday's NYT is the last one. jc-02.15.11

Randomly just stumbled upon this scan of the meeting minutes from the 1946 encounter between Karl Popper and Ludwig Wittgenstein, which ended in philosophy's most famous fight. Highly recommended for anyone who has read the incredible book Wittgenstein's Poker. sd-02.14.11

A big congrats to our current Guest Editor, Jami Attenberg, who just sold her latest novel, The Middlesteins. Can't wait to read it. sd-02.14.11

For the day, the year's best sex writing in fiction from Salon. jc-02.14.11

Robert Gottlieb "has helped to shape some of the most influential books of the last fifty years, but nonetheless finds it difficult to understand why anyone would be interested in the nitpicky complaints, the fights over punctuation, the informal therapy, and the reading and re-reading of manuscripts that make up his professional life." jc-02.14.11

Stretch: What George Takei, a Toaster Oven and the Boston Celtics Have in Common. The Malcolm Gladwell Book Generator. Spot on. sd-02.11.11

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Robotic Edition. dw-02.11.11

"This is the only short story I've written in ten years or so. I think you'll agree that they don't come much shorter." — Arthur C Clarke. jc-02.11.11

Tangentially related to the last, I Am Locking the Wikipedia Article On Our Sex Life, by Alan Trotter. jc-02.09.11

"I'll tell you when I've reached my limit, Pandora, which is when, after two and a half years together, Mike starts saying things like, 'I never imagined us staying together this long when we first started dating.'" Adapting My Pandora Preferences Based On My Completely Objective Opinions About Music, by Sarah Rosenshine. jc-02.09.11

"We intend to write to everyone in the world..." Mysterious Letters. jc-02.09.11

An Evening with J. D. Salinger, by Blair Fuller, for The Paris Review. jc-02.07.11

The Ride, a journal about bicycles, featuring some stunning illustrations. Via We Made This. sd-02.07.11

"Like everyone else, I assumed that the lottery was unbreakable... There's no way there could be a flaw, and there's no way I just happened to discover the flaw on my walk home." Cracking the Scratch-Off Lottery Code, by Jonah Lehrer for Wired. jc-02.07.11

The end of an interesting journey and a cautionary tale. A Bathing Ape Takes a Final Bath, by W. David Marx. jc-02.07.11

A new collaborative project "publishing lists of books that esteemed members of the design community identify as personally important, meaningful, and formative." Designers & Books. Our picks for required design reads can be found in the library. sd-02.03.11

Congrats to FotA Jeff Rutzky on the publication of his book, Shadowfolds. ms-02.03.11

The Field Notes tagline backed by science. dw-01.31.11

The Faux Arts: by Edward M. Yoder, Jr. Variations on the theme of deception. jc-01.27.11

Michael H. Miller reviews and excerpts J.D. Salinger: A Life. jc-01.26.11

Ten-year-old Jack Kennedy asks for a raise. jc-01.26.11

The Genius Bar, by Dan Kennedy. jc-01.26.11

Nice doubleheader at A List Apart today. Sketching: the Visual Thinking Power Tool by our pal Mike Rohde and The Miseducation of the Doodle by Sunni Brown. jc-01.25.11

"Note that when the people take 'in no uncertain terms' to mean something like 'in no way at all' rather than 'emphatically', they uniformly seem to use subject-aux inversion..." The Language Log states its opinion without reservation. jc-01.25.11

"After examining the painting, Penn looked on an online message board for museum registrars and found that 'Father Arthur Scott' did not exist, and neither did his rich mother nor his sister Emily in Paris. They had just played host to Mark Augustus Landis, the man responsible for the longest, strangest forgery spree the American art world has known." ms-01.24.11

The Times-Picayune accidentally lskdjf fkdasds all over the fgrasdf. sd-01.19.11

Notes from a Drowning. Pages found in a box, 2009. It's beautiful but be forewarned, it's heartbreaking too. Via This Isn't Happiness. jc-01.18.11

Q: "You've said before that your dream life is very important to you." A: "It's not been vivid for years, because I'm not having a nervous breakdown. That's when you get these really vivid electric dreams that are probably in their own way your subconscious trying to save your sorry ass." Great, entertaining Jonathan Miles interview with Jim Harrison, for Salon. jc-01.18.11

"What galls me about two-spacers isn't just their numbers. It's their certainty that they're right." An old argument in a fun new opinion piece about why two spaces never belong after a period. sd-01.17.11

Long-overdue, but finally just read David Mamet's On Directing Film last night. Highly recommended read for anyone, filmmaker or otherwise, who wants to think about the economy of storytelling. sd-01.14.11

The Sriracha Cookbook. Cha-Ching. ms-01.14.11

"...like two people heading to the bottom of a river, one falling and the other diving." On this day in 1941 James Joyce died in Zurich at the age of fifty-eight. jc-01.13.11

"But get this. The Academic Review and Planning Advisory Committee? I'm on that shit." Hey, Ladies: Check Out My Faculty ID, by Jonny Waldman. jc-01.12.11

From Mr. Sam Potts, "Regarding snow, perhaps the finest words ever written: Joyce, The Dead." No "perhaps" for me. jc-01.12.11

A Simpler Page, by Craig Mod. Solid think about publishing in a liquid environment. jc-01.11.11

"Why Wasn't I Consulted?" A must-read piece by Paul Ford, but perhaps, keep your comments to yourself. The Web Is a Customer Service Medium. jc-01.06.11

Exploring New York from underneath, The Wilderness Below Your Feet. ms-01.03.11

A simple act elevates all. ms-12.24.10

Apple V Google. ms-12.24.10

In November of 1974, a Browns fan and season ticket holder sent a letter to the team regarding a concern of his. The Cleveland Browns (specifically, their general counsel) sent back an absolutely epic response. ms-12.23.10

Photos surfaced of a huge motorcycle graveyard in western New York a few months ago, so Dynamite Dave went to check it out. It's a great story to go with the amazing photos. (Via Crafty Matt) bb-12.23.10

"Santa also employs a paranormal method of observation known as 'remote viewing.'" Santa's Privacy Policy, by Laurence Hughes. jc-12.23.10

The Girl Who Kicked the Style Guide. How June Casagrande would have edited Stieg Larsson. A monumental task, handled with wit and humor. Via GalleyCat. jc-12.23.10

The Better Marriage Blanket, Celestial Portraits and FarmVille For Dummies --Matthew Baldwin's 2010 Holiday Survival Guide for Slackers. jc-12.23.10

Everything the internet knows about Zachary M. Seward (because he asked it to). jc-12.23.10

"The wise men were in the kitchen making more cocktails while Jesus was being 'born' and they missed their cue. My mom ran into the kitchen and yelled 'Jesus is here!' to which the wise men responded 'Oh! Right! Sh*t. Hang in there, Jesus! We're coming!!" The Year Kenny Loggins Ruined Christmas. ms-12.22.10

A great piece of reporting by Mary Rogan for GQ on Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke, his son and a tragedy. Via Greg Wyshynski. jc-12.21.10

Jacket Copy collects 13 of their favorite bookplates from Etsy. Via The Casual Optimist. jc-12.20.10

"The picture of human life is complete." -December 17, 1867. jc-12.17.10

Birnbaum v. Shteyngart at TMN. jc-12.16.10

"But before we get to the list, we've got a surprise this year. It's about our 2011 judges. Namely, you could be one of them." News from the 2011 Tournament of Books. jc-12.15.10

The Twelve Terrors of Christmas, by John Updike and Edward Gorey. Splendid. Via @tomgauld. jc-12.15.10

What did Rosecrans Baldwin read this year? How about everybody else? jc-12.14.10

"Have a lollipop, you've earned it, son." Z reports that the rants will continue until morale improves. jc-12.13.10

Copywriter meltdown. ms-12.13.10

"Within an hour of landing in Buenos Aires, my already shaky relationship with a poet was over. His blog announced his sexual acts with a girl whose name was two letters different from my own, along with a declaration of his Looking For Love." Jessa Crispin is a Field Tester. Read all the reviews online or better yet, buy the Field Tested Books Book, now just nine bucks. jc-12.10.10

"Smugopedia is a collection of slightly controversial opinions about a variety of subjects. We offer you the chance to buy a fleeting sense of self-satisfaction at the small cost of alienating your friends and loved ones." ms-12.09.10

A Year in Reading 2010, a great feature to follow at The Millions. jc-12.06.10

"The way I rub my hands together | Demonstrates that I am evil | The dark, malignant overlord | Of all information retrieval" WikiLeaks! The Musical, by Ben Greenman. jc-12.02.10

"Our goal is to allow readers today to get a feel for what it was like to experience the conflict in real time, to hear the many voices trying to make sense of the conflict, and to sift through sometimes confused and misleading news accounts to try to discern what was actually taking place." An aggregator of the Civil War, The Long Recall. Via MeFi. ms-12.02.10

Newsweek takes a look at David Foster Wallace's personal files. ms-12.02.10

"In the fifth grade I was taught to speed-read on a machine that projected sentences onto a wall at high speeds, sentences in the white box of a screen, flashing in a dark room." I, Reader by Alexander Chee. jc-12.01.10

The latest issue of McSweeney's is now available in a "275-cubic-inch head crate" and features some writing by our own SD, sharing his thoughts on very minor Superman characters and indoor shooting clubs, among others. bb-12.01.10

Best New Blogs of 2010 from The Bygone Bureau. An excellent collection. jc-11.30.10

Zulkey's interview with Maria Schneider, the Onion writer behind the paper's long-running Jean Teasdale character. sd-11.24.10

"Goddamn it, boy, come slit this thing's throat, already!" Portland Mercury readers share their worst Thanksgivings ever and NYT readers have stories to tell too. jc-11.24.10

Related to the last, one of my favorite This American Life stories, from the In the Shadow of the City episode, Act One: Brooklyn Archipelago. ms-11.23.10

125 Years of Popular Science. dw-11.23.10

Check your grammar skills by taking the apostrophe tests I and II. ms-11.22.10

"Homeless king and fool companion seek hole or hovel for immediate occupancy. Recently evicted by thankless daughters." Willslist, by Caroline Bicks and Michelle Ephriam. jc-11.18.10

A 2005 story from the Chicago Tribune about Eugene Lawson, driver of the CTA's 'Happy Bus,' which I had the good fortune to ride on this weekend. sd-11.17.10

A great piece by the NY Times' A.O. Scott about his grandfather's older brother, Eli Wallach. sd-11.17.10

"Dear Bruce Vilanch, I have written the following terrible jokes for this year's Oscars telecast. I anticipate you will use one, if not all of them. Prove me wrong." sd-11.16.10

"If you respect the blade, it will respect you back." ms-11.16.10

The Kurt Vonnegut dictionary of his imagination. ms-11.16.10

The Staff Recommends launches today. A very smart idea by a very smart bunch of folks. Here are Andrew Womack's thoughts on the concept. An immediate bookmark. jc-11.15.10

"It takes at least two people to have a conversation, but the real work is in making sure you're both having the same conversation." Your Cat. My Socks, Rands. jc-11.11.10

Yep and Nope. Filed by Geoffrey K. Pullum under Awesomeness, Syntax, Variation. Via Carol Fisher Saller. jc-11.11.10

Lazy Self-Indulgent Book Reviews. jc-11.10.10

John Moe's Pop-Song Correspondences, Volume XXI, A note to parents from Bruce Springsteen, high-school cross-county coach. Only perfect. jc-11.09.10

On this day in 1602 the Bodleian Library at Oxford was officially opened to the public. It was quite a bit later when Harry studied there. jc-11.08.10

"I put my skepticism on the same shelf as my discomfort with page-view whoring and the depreciation of my chosen profession, polished up my resume, and uploaded it to Demand's resume-processing / world-domination cyberhub." Jessanne Collins' summer on a content farm/ jc-11.05.10

Christian Thorne's dense, lengthy and worthwhile read about, among other things, Godzilla, Iron Man 2, and all points in between: "Telling Stories about Superweapons; or, There's Only One Way This Can End." sd-11.03.10

"Stop right now. Go get a scone." jc-11.03.10

"Last year, we were voted one of the top ten employers in our office park, and that's because there's nothing we value more than our dedicated employees. Truly, we heart them." About Our Company, by Yuk Ling Ho. jc-11.03.10

"Today, the more people you have listening to music, the quieter it gets." How Tuning Out Led to Tuning In. Brilliant, from Tweetage Wasteland. jc-11.02.10

Related to the last. If you're interested in investigating the Civil War, Stars in Their Courses : The Gettysburg Campaign, June-July 1863 by Shelby Foote is a most excellent place to begin. jc-11.01.10

The Last Ordinary Day, Adam Goodheart blogs the Civil War "as it happens," on its 150th anniversary. Via John Gruber. jc-11.01.10

Robin Sloan doesn't like Halloween candy so he needn't worry about this. jc-10.29.10

"As Wesley would say, Rock over London. Rock on Chicago. Harlem Furniture, You'll Like Our Style'" Book Notes at Largehearted Boy with our own KG. jc-10.28.10

Khoi Vinh, My iPad Magazine Stand. Amen. jc-10.27.10

Rands: How to Be a Douche. Well-considered. jc-10.27.10

Be prepared to get lost, every single Paris Review interview from the past 60 years is now online. ms-10.27.10

Andrew shares how to carve a pumpkin. ms-10.26.10

Zulkey interviews Kevin Allison from The State. sd-10.22.10

"It's not just about the t-shirts... but it's kinda about the t-shirts." Omnivoracious on the Threadless book. jc-10.20.10

"Christmas was coming, and while I was afraid to talk to Leslie, I thought a gift might show her how I felt." Candygram from Mister Zeldman. jc-10.19.10

The Lost, Unpublished Dr. Seuss Manuscript. "It consists of nineteen handwritten and drawn pages, the first seven of which are completely in the hand of Dr. Seuss. The remaining pages are mostly written by an assistant with corrections and doodles by Dr. Seuss, some taped on." Thanks Henry. sd-10.18.10

"Even if you are the nicest guy in the world and you get to 800 million friends, you will ultimately make 30 to 33 million honest-to-goodness enemies, and maybe, if you're lucky, convert less than 3000 of those enemies into friends." The Unedited Version of 'The Social Network' movie poster. ms-10.15.10

"Shivering, I can barely make out a tiny light overhead. I sense I could reach it, but only if I fashion a ladder from these Twizzlers you've left for me." Jessi Arrington's Candygram. jc-10.13.10

Local note. Friend of the studio, Layer Tennis commentator extraordinaire and author Ben Greenman will be signing copies of his latest Celebrity Chekov at Borders on Clark tomorrow. See you there. jc-10.13.10

"My view on the matter is simple. It is not 'If it's funny, you laugh.' It is, instead, this: 'If you laugh, it's funny." Earl Pomerantz doesn't know what's funny. jc-10.13.10

The Simpsons explains its provocative Bansky opening. ms-10.13.10

Ruhlman reviews Bourdain's latest book, Review by a Frienemy. ms-10.12.10

"...so gritty and detailed and authentic and goddam convincing that, well, after the segment I found my normal present-day 'reality' pallid by comparison." A letter from PKD. jc-10.12.10

Joshua Allen fanboys, rejoice, Chokeville is live. bb-10.11.10

This is Mark Twain, a new site from The University of California Press. Via Tony Sanfilippo at Mefi. jc-10.08.10

How did hipsters become so uncool? ms-10.07.10

"In tomorrow's New York Times, reporter Helene Stapinski performs what might appear to be a near-impossible feat of journalism dexterity: producing a college professor to support her thesis that more Americans now consume spaghetti tacos than ever before." The Times' go-to professor, Robert J. Thompson, appears again. sd-10.06.10

Related to the last, my Beloc impersonation, To Sweet Hereafter, from last year. jc-10.06.10

JSM's Candygrams are back for October and start off with Frank Chimero's Retrick/Retreat. jc-10.06.10

"He used up all his powers fighting the starfish monster." What Batman taught Adam Rogers about being a good Dad. jc-10.06.10

Scientific American takes a look at why broadband service in the U.S. is so awful. ms-10.06.10

"I would like to retain 'fart in your general direction'." ms-10.06.10

Pauls Toutonghi and Ben Greenman (who tore it up as commentator in last Friday's Layer Tennis match) are reading a piece from each of the winners of the Nobel Prize in Literature and then writing letters to one another about what they've read: Nobel Reprise. sd-10.05.10

"I can work 25 hours a day if necessary, live on any reasonable salary, and don't give a black damn for job security, office politics, or adverse public relations." Hunter S. Thompson's 1958 letter to the Vancouver Sun, asking for a job. sd-10.04.10

So you know: the 2010 edition of the best anthology ever, The Best American Crime Reporting, is now available. sd-10.04.10

"The journals include a variety of colourful tales of 18th and 19th century ship life, from drunken rum-related incidents, venereal disease, scurvy, shark bites and tarantulas, to lightning strikes, gun fights, mutiny, arrests and court martial - not to mention ship wrecks and even murder." ms-10.04.10

"Almost 2,000 years after its last native speakers disappeared, the sound of Ancient Babylonian makes a comeback in an online audio archive." dw-10.01.10

"Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts." On this day in 1985, E. B. White died. jc-10.01.10

Today's long read, Why the Revolution will not be Tweeted. ms-09.29.10

American Book Review's 100 best first lines from a novel. ms-09.27.10

The Elegant Cockroach, a story about finding love in the big city. dw-09.24.10

KG, who by the way, is today's commentator over at Layer Tennis gives insight into the art of the book cover from an author's perspective. ms-09.24.10

"A dialogue with Sarah: aged 3: in which it is shown that if your Dad is a chemistry professor, asking 'Why' can be dangerous." ms-09.24.10

"I'm all about facilitating unique mail experiences, so I'm offering a little letter service, via a message in a bottle. Imagine receiving this miniature letter contained in a corked glass vial." Via Good Measure. dw-09.24.10

Amanda Enayati's simple true crime story, "My Relentless Pursuit of the Guy Who Robbed Me." sd-09.23.10

The folks at IDEO imagine the future of the book. ms-09.22.10

I Am the Orson Welles of PowerPoint, by Oyl Miller. jc-09.21.10

"I think that our future has lost that capital F we used to spell it with." William Gibson and the Future of the Future, by Douglas Gorney. jc-09.21.10

"Where you actually have the wedding in real life isn't as important as the domain name, but still probably worth thinking about." So you know, How to curate the most creative and unique viral wedding of all time. jc-09.21.10

Trailer for Michael Lopp's new book, Being Geek. jc-09.20.10

Promo video for The Exquisite Book. dw-09.17.10

A blog dedicated entirely to The Streisand Effect, which is what happens "when trying to block information backfires." Via J-Walk. sd-09.15.10

Really great interview with KG about his new novel The Thousand over at The Huffington Post. Local note, KG will be at The Book Cellar tonight for a reading, we will be there, will you? ms-09.15.10

Jon Snow interviews John Le Carré for Channel 4 on the eve of the publishing of Our Kind of Traitor. Snow writes about the "last" interview. Via Dan Wagstaff. jc-09.15.10

"We recommend that you start with two: Title them 'Spouse A,' and 'Spouse B.' Sort your contacts accordingly." Facebook Privacy Settings for Bigamists, by Sean Tabb. jc-09.13.10

Claire interviews Rosecrans. jc-09.10.10

Things I've Overheard My Roommate Say to Her On-Again/Off-Again Boyfriend or Works by Joyce Carol Oates? By Wendy Oleson. jc-09.09.10

New Joshua Allen project! New Joshua Allen project! New Joshua Allen project!. New Joshua Allen project! Can't wait. bb-09.09.10

"As I sipped, between drunk and buzzed, suddenly there the mailman was, Sitting near me at the bar, at the end near Diane Chambers' door. 'Another beer,' I ordered, sitting near Diane Chambers' door. Quoth Cliff Clavin, 'Hiya, Norm." The Clavin Via Mental Floss ms-09.08.10

"How can you not make love to me in this all-white room with white bedding while I wear white underwear?" Domestic Conflict, Explained By Stock Photos, by Kevin Nguyen. jc-09.07.10

All My Friends Are Dead. dw-09.07.10

FotA Steven Heller takes a look at Thurston Moore's book publishing company, Ecstatic Peace Library, which is now almost ten years old. sd-09.02.10

Heather K. Phillips' Stamps of Disapproval. Via design work life. dw-08.31.10

One more point for the "print is dead" team. dw-08.31.10

"In the beginning, before there was such a thing as a Gutenberg Bible, Johannes Gutenberg laid out his rows of metal type and brushed them with ink and, using the mechanism that would change the world, produced an ordinary little schoolbook." ms-08.31.10

Stunningly beautiful, stylish, highly collectible and each a limited numbered edition of 1000. Limited edition Puffin designer classics. dw-08.30.10

Fortune takes a look inside the secret world of Trader Joe's ms-08.30.10

"Some of my singing engagements take place late at night, in the homes of strangers, without audiences or music, and may appear to be elaborate art or jewel heists." Accompanist Needed, by Sean Adams. jc-08.26.10

"It amazes me, now, that any of us managed to write a word of sense during the whole decade, considering that we were all evidently stupid enough to wear flares." Kingsley and/or Martin Amis on Martin's birthday. jc-08.25.10

FotA and Field-Tested Books contributor Mike Sacks has assembled a team of experts from The Onion and The Daily Show for the helpful new book, Sex: Our Bodies, Our Junk. sd-08.24.10

Linguistic Challenge puzzles. ms-08.24.10

KG's Twitter contest for The Thousand is winding down just as the book is being released. I'd follow him if I were you. jc-08.23.10

So you know, how to turn old paperbacks into custom hardbacks. dw-08.23.10

The Sun Times has a great article on KG's latest novel, The Thousand. The book goes on sale tomorrow, pick it up and you won't be able to put it down. ms-08.23.10

Frank has some advice for graphic design students. ms-08.23.10

Rick Kogan on KG and his new thriller, The Thousand. jc-08.21.10

A great NPR review of You Lost Me There by Rosecrans Baldwin. And to think, he's doing live Layer Tennis commentary right this minute. Now that's synchronicity jc-08.20.10

"As much as Chicagoan Kevin Guilfoile loves his city, he sets it on fire in his latest thriller, The Thousand.'" A nice piece by Robert Duffer on KG's new novel. Michele and I have read it already, highly, highly recommended. jc-08.19.10

"His voice is the driest of any great writer, drier than bone." Notes on a Voice, an appreciation of Graham Greene, by Nicholas Shakespeare. jc-08.18.10

"We'll drag that sparkly little jewel that is about to become Mr. Chuck Norris's forehead eye onto our desktop and prepare to do a little digital surgery..." The Joy of Photoshopping, by Oyl Miller. jc-08.17.10

For BB: a series of memos from Trudeau Communications' CEO Kevin Trudeau, a more recent "Tiger" Mike. sd-08.16.10

The Call of Cthulhu in Under 2 Minutes. sd-08.16.10

For BB: Comedian Patton Oswalt gets interviewed very poorly and the interviewer blames Oswalt. "Q: What should people expect from these upcoming dates? A: A man doing jokes into a microphone? Q: Well, is there anything special about these dates as compared to previous ones? A: New material?" sd-08.13.10

KG is getting close to 1,000 Twitter followers ahead of the release of his new novel The Thousand. Once he's there he'll choose ten followers at random to win signed advance reader copies, with one also receiving a signed and hand-written and deleted chapter in a Field Notes Brand Memo Book. Ten others will receive a big Field Notes gift pack. ms-08.13.10

In honor of his first novel being released, FotA Rosecrans Baldwin kept a diary of the months leading up to You Lost Me There's publication: "Writing is My Peppermint-Flavored Heroin." Here's the trailer we made for his new book. sd-08.13.10

"Raw rain forest, if it's simply stripped and converted to pasture, is worth about $150 per hectare per year. But if it's used instead for sustainable uses, that figure rises to $1175." Some illustrations from The Little Book of Shocking Eco Facts. dw-08.13.10

Best read of the day: "Poor Little Rich Girls: The Ballad of Sara and Clare Bronfman," about a pair of sisters, heirs to the Seagram's fortune, and how they've already spent $100 million on a cult lead by a man who calls himself Vanguard. They're also soon to be related to singer M.I.A. through marriage. sd-08.11.10

Veer's Super-Incredible Activity Book for Creatives. dw-08.10.10

David Coburn's story of getting his pilot's license, quickly: "How I Learn to Fly (In a Week)." sd-08.09.10

Good long read for the beach this weekend: Richard Morgan's "Seven Years as a Freelance Writer, or, How To Make Vitamin Soup." sd-08.06.10

A fun response to a new level of bizarre: Are conservatives allowed to ride bikes? sd-08.06.10

A final farewell from Pindeldyboz, the literary journal responsible for lots of good things (like my meeting my wife). Thanks for a fun decade. sd-08.06.10

FotA Jami Attenberg's fantastic story of getting her bike stolen and the police sting operation that got it back. "I rode off on my bike, and I haven't been able to stop laughing and smiling for the last hour. This is one of the best days of my life, no joke." sd-08.06.10

Related to below: some background on "Tiger" Mike and a fantastic description of the man and his office. "The most noticeable object was a large porcelain leopard (about 4 ft tall) on the right hand side of his desk." sd-08.06.10

"Do not speak to me when you see me. If I want to to speak to you, I will do so. I want to save my throat. I don't want to ruin it by saying hello to all of you sons-of-bitches." The cheerful and reasonable Tiger Oil Memos. bb-08.06.10

Excerpts from Ben Greenman's new production: Favre! The Musical. sd-08.06.10

Crans gets a rave from Julia Keller in the Trib for You Lost Me There. Also, check the film we made for the book. jc-08.06.10

Vonnegut on video, How To Get a Job Like Mine. Fab, via Aaron at Kottke. jc-08.06.10

The easiest way to write your life story. ms-08.05.10

" Librarians should limit themselves to one 'cat story' per day to avoid the risk of becoming a bore around the library workplace. Also, once you are home, limit yourself to one 'library story' per day to avoid becoming a bore to your cat." From the Librarian's Guide to Etiquette. ms-08.05.10

"'Stop it!' said my Dad. 'Print is dying! Stop looking at those videos!'" The Print Is Not Dead, It Is Not Even Print. By Tess Lynch, who we have just bookmarked under 'awesome,' and not because she's using a Field Notes theme for Tumblr that we had nothing to do with. Via TMN. jc-08.04.10

So you know. How to write a book. "Your endless internal debate and self-conjured guilt about that book you haven't written yet is a sensational waste of your time." -Michael Lopp. jc-08.04.10

Emeril from Achewood teaches us that most of Emily Dickinson's poems can be sung to the tune of Gilligan's Island. Oh, wow, he's right! bb-08.03.10

Angry Birds: An Appreciation, by Paul F. Tompkins. From the awesome radio show Future Tense with John Moe. jc-08.03.10

"The top 100 most downloaded copyright free books summarized using Microsoft Word 2008's AutoSummarize 10-sentence function and organized alphabetically." ms-08.02.10

I don't even know what the hell Mark from 37s is talking about most of the time, but I love his Nuts & Bolts posts anyhow. jc-07.30.10

"I'm a geek, and I might be a nerd, but I'm not a dork." Thump. Michael Lopp's excellent new Being Geek just landed on my desk and looks great. Available now, from O'Reilly. jc-07.30.10

We heard this story from KG at Conference Room B the other evening and we're glad to see he wrote it up. I'll Be Hoping For the Big One Out of the Blue, a tale about an old book, Christy Mathewson, the '29 Series at Wrigley, and how you never really know what you'll find if you're not looking. jc-07.30.10

"When you get 200 designs with strawberries, we'd do a strawberry shoe. So that's how we would do it and having our own factory, I could have a new shoe out tomorrow." A great interview with Steve Van Doren: "The History of Vans." sd-07.29.10

Slushpile Hell held a Twitter contest for the top 25 worst children's books ever. ms-07.29.10

An excerpt from The Thousand, KG's new thriller, to be published August 24th. It's an amazing ride, beautifully written, ingeniously constructed and a ton of fun. jc-07.29.10

Today's long read, What should medicine do when it can't save your life. Worth reading. ms-07.29.10

!? jc-07.28.10

To go along with the trailer we made for You Lost Me There, Here's a quick interview with Rosecrans. jc-07.27.10

Laura Jayne Martin is tired of sharing an apartment with William Carlos Williams. Claire Zulkey, on the other hand, seems quite satisfied with the arrangement as it is. (From our Verse By Voice series.) jc-07.27.10

"The key for any soothsayer/fortune teller is to, above all, keep it vague." The Bilbioracle returns to The Morning News this afternoon. For a bit of background, see Laura Miller's piece in Salon. jc-07.27.10

"Picasso said that a great work of art comes together 'just barely.'" Literary Endings: Pretty Bows, Blunt Axes, and Modular Furniture by Sonya Chung at The Millions. jc-07.27.10

Zulkey interviews April Winchell, successful voice actor, winner of every major advertising award, and the creator of Regretsy. sd-07.26.10

"...but when my day-camp counselor asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I did not tell her that I hoped one day to correct who-whom mix-ups or determine whether 'faucetry' was a real, dictionary-approved word. I told her I wanted to be a princess." Lori Fradkin, Copy Editor. jc-07.26.10

"...the new national pastime: Baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and making determinations and judgments without a full set of facts." Tweetage Wasteland. jc-07.23.10

I'm not quite sure, but I think the point being made here is that "Login" is not a verb. jc-07.23.10

Simon Armstrong buys book for Tate Britain and Tate Modern shops in London, here are some books he loved from last year. jc-07.22.10

"Picking a font from a drop-down tool bar is not 'typography'.". ms-07.22.10

KG is getting close to 1,000 Twitter followers ahead of the release of his new novel The Thousand. Once he's there he'll choose ten followers at random to win signed advance reader copies, with one also receiving a signed and hand-written and deleted chapter in a Field Notes Brand Memo Book. Ten others will receive a big Field Notes gift pack. jc-07.21.10

"So I've resolved to reread the man. I've taken my favorite Vonnegut novel, God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater, down from the shelf. To my surprise, having it so near has made me anxious, as if an ex-girlfriend has returned." -Jacob Lambert for The Millions. jc-07.21.10

How long can food be out of the fridge before it kills me? ms-07.21.10

"Dear husband, that first weekend we spent together, I saw you when you thought I wasn't looking. You were sitting on the futon in my tiny efficiency apartment over the shoe store and didn't realize I could see you in the hallway mirror. You had leaned your head against the wall, closed your eyes and had a look on your face like you were both in pain and in bliss all at the same time. That's how I knew you were in love with me." Dead Advice. Via Gapers Block. ms-07.20.10

"Which means that more and more journalists are getting exposed to thinking in grids and bulk-editing and so forth. Or at least getting interns to do it for them. Which is interesting. Also, getting fired or taking a buyout helps people gain perspective on what they like doing; there's that." Real Editors Ship, by Paul Ford. Brilliant. jc-07.20.10

The Slow and Painful Collapse of a Relationship Over the Course of a Weeklong Vacation as Expressed by the Names Each Partner Gave Their Digital Photos Taken During Said Vacation. By Matt Hulten. jc-07.20.10

Faulkner at Virginia, background on his lectures, which have now been digitized and are available for listening. Awesome. jc-07.19.10

KG's The Outfit gets a nice write up in today's New York Times ms-07.18.10

On this day in 1951 The Catcher in the Rye was published. In 1957, JDS declared the Holden role unactable. jc-07.16.10

Little. Photographs documenting quiet moments in small settings. Via The Post Family. dw-07.16.10

The Lizard, the Catacombs, and the Clock, by Sean Michaels. What's beneath Paris and the society that's uncovering it. Things Magazine has more including links to catacomb maps, and photos. jc-07.16.10

"Your subjective experience is not observable, and you overestimate how much you telegraph your inner thoughts and emotions." The illusion of transparency. ms-07.16.10

"Why oh why oh Won't you stay in Ohio? Please don't do this to the Cavs. We'll be have-nots instead of haves." Fragments from Ben Greenman's LeBron! The Musical. sd-07.14.10

Heartbreaking but lovely letter written to actor Patrick Stewart regarding his work on Star Trek: The Next Generation. ms-07.14.10

"I don't think we capture the right moments. The camera flashes and we pose. We pose. We create moments as artificial as the memory we want of them." Pictures, by Jack Shedd. jc-07.12.10

"Lambie had a little girl, her hair was white as snow..." dw-07.12.10

The trailer for Gary Shteyngart's new book cuts a bit close to our own Copy Goes Here, but his has funny cameos by Jay McInerney and Jeffrey Eugenides, so we'll allow it. sd-07.12.10

"#15: Everyone shall have the right to spend overnight in the Studio working." Related to the last, and one reason we love Art.Lebedev. The Constitution. jc-07.09.10

"Now, don't get me wrong: I still love nude, dancing girls and the promotion of nude, dancing girls to lonely men. That's why all of my strippers will remain employed by Squeezle." To the Loyal Patrons of 4 Play Diamond Lounge, by Lucas Kavner. jc-07.09.10

Fascinating, The Writer Who Couldn't Read. ms-07.09.10

A particularly catastrophic summer reading list from The Millions. To that I'd add Earth Abides by George Stewart. For non-apocalyptic (mostly) summer reading, check our Field-Tested Books Book. jc-07.08.10

Chicagoan Tim Souers documents the bad, the worse and the delightfully irrelevant on his illustrated Cubs blog. cw-07.07.10

Congrats to KG for his new forthcoming book The Thousand being picked for The Millions Most Anticipated Summer reading list. ms-07.06.10

Humor writer Polly Frost shares her fave 10 funny novels of the 20th century. Any list that contains Post Office, Lucky Jim and Rosemary's Baby is okay by me. cw-07.02.10

"Wait - Lex Luther is your Facebook Friend?" The Man of Tomorrow gets email. cw-07.01.10

A modern, compulsively-readable epistolary novel, like Clarissa, only in emails. And funny. cw-07.01.10

An eloquent argument for engaged reading that won't take at all long to read. cw-07.01.10

"For the first month of Ricardo and Felicity's affair, they greeted one another at every stolen rendezvous with a kiss--a lengthy, ravenous kiss, Ricardo lapping and sucking at Felicity's mouth as if she were a giant cage-mounted water bottle and he were the world's thirstiest gerbil." Congrats to Molly, winner of the this year's Bulwer-Lytton contest for bad fiction. ms-07.01.10

"Many of the occupants were noticeably perspiring due to lack of ventilation or air conditioner, and had subsequently removed most of the their clothing." Building code violations for the Love Shack, by Curtis Retherford. jc-06.30.10

UPS was founded by two teenagers with one bicycle and $100, borrowed from a friend. ms-06.30.10

"Even Zynga's designers seem well aware that their game is repetitive and shallow." A. J. Patrick Liszkiewicz's great read "Cultivated Play: Farmville" on why so many people play the game. And for further reading: PumpkinZonia. Via DF. sd-06.29.10

"Her friends agree to introduce me to her on one condition: that I make no mention of 'The Book', as people here refer to it." A rare meeting with the reclusive Harper Lee. sd-06.29.10

Steve Martin has leaked Steve Martin's tour rider. sd-06.28.10

"As we walked to the car Chris asked, 'Do you think he was embarrassed by us?' 'Oh, definitely,' I said, laughing. 'And he's not using sunscreen.'" The Other Fellow First, by my Sis. jc-06.28.10

In support of his new book, What He's Poised To Do, Ben Greenman and I ran an experiment dubbed The Reverse Textual Rorschach, wherein, while traveling through Norway, I tried to guess what the stories in his book are about based on snippets he provided. sd-06.25.10

Karim Rashid on information aesthetics in industrial design. ms-06.25.10

"Résumé, Woodyard's latest, is an exasperating piece of literary claptrap worth less than the single sheet of paper it was printed on and the five to eight seconds it took me to scan it." A Literary Critic Reviews My Résumé, by Kent Woodyard. jc-06.25.10

"The older I get, the better I was." Nice piece by Earl Pomerantz. jc-06.24.10

"I know. Comparing a fifteenth-century book to a defunct home video technology from the era of leotards and big hair is a bit underwhelming." The Betamax of Printing, Laura Massey's Dispatches from a Rare Book Shop. jc-06.23.10

"What were we thinking about when we had all that extra time?" Say Hello to My Little Friend from Dave Pell. Brilliant. jc-06.22.10

Required reading for the week: Errol Morris' five part series about unknown unknowns: "The Anosognosic's Dilemma: Something's Wrong But You'll Never Know What It Is." Part two is here. sd-06.22.10

"The only difference between me and perhaps you is that my imagination earns me money." Ian Fleming's 1962 essay for the Guardian, "How to Write a Thriller." sd-06.22.10

"My new publisher, at Publishing House W, is Editor G, who left Publishing House Y for the job." Susan Orlean's first book made the rounds. jc-06.22.10

Oh mighty Biblioracle, what shall I read next? jc-06.22.10

100 staircases, 35 miles, two days, and too many new friends to count. Alissa went on a walk. ms-06.22.10

Local note for NYC. Ben Greenman is reading from What He's Poised To Do tonight at the Greenlight Bookstore. jc-06.21.10

Ulysses for Dummies. jc-06.16.10

Dear Bloom... jc-06.16.10

DT Max's great story in the New Yorker about Joyce's grandson: "The Injustice Collector." jc-06.16.10

Geoff wonders what would happen if you fed all of Ulysses into a 3D printer? jc-06.16.10

"I am kinda self-conscious about my heart, and its contents." Dispatch 14 from a guy trying unsuccessfully to sell a song In Nashville. jc-06.15.10

The Great Salami Caper -Z. jc-06.11.10

Great Literature Retitled To Boost Website Traffic, by Mike Lacher. jc-06.10.10

How to write a Malcolm Gladwell Bestseller (also known as the 'MGB'). dz-06.10.10

Too cute, icon letter and envelope. Via WhattheCool ms-06.10.10

The psychology of Darth Vader revealed. ms-06.10.10

So you know. To indent or not to indent. jc-06.09.10

"Dear Goneril, I always thought you had the ugliest name. Oh, and the ugliest character. You told your father that you loved him more than words can say. Leo Sayer said that same thing, but he didn't go on to betray his father and poison his sister, at least as far as I know." Letters With Character, "letters written to fictional characters by actual people." Inspired by Ben Greenman's new collection of short stories What He's Poised To Do. jc-06.09.10

"She will not show herself, the long-dead chambermaid. For hours I have waited in Room 217, sulking and dozing upon this hotel coverlet, my clothes flung around like a teenager's, a sock here and a sock there." ms-06.09.10

The Truth: You prefer the things you own because you rationalize your past choices to protect your sense of self." Fanboyism and Brand Loyalty. ms-06.08.10

Two years before his death, footage of William Burroughs shooting William Shakespeare, which, strangely, is exactly what it sounds like. sd-06.07.10

"Two popular types of bad copyediting are (1) editing that didn't need doing in the first place, and (2) needed editing that didn't get done. Both types can be accomplished with or without the aid of a computer, but there are reasons why a copyeditor deploying a word processor is likely to end up committing both." jc-06.07.10

The world's coolest looking bookstores. Via @lisadimona. jc-06.07.10

"Which are the most inspirational five books about film ever written?" Sight & Sound asked 51 leading critics and writers. jc-06.04.10

"On this day in 1964, T. S. Eliot wrote to Groucho Marx to confirm that he was sending a car to pick 'you and Mrs. Groucho' up for dinner." jc-06.03.10

"Avis will never know as much about advertising as DDB, and DDB will never know as much about the rent a car business as Avis." A list of advertising philosophies assembled by the rental car company. How much was put into real world practice is anyone's guess. sd-06.03.10

I can tell millions of dollars wouldn't make you happy anyway: a brief follow-up with regard to my losing your money, by Dan Kennedy. jc-06.02.10

Related to the last, sort of. Laura Ingalls Wilder on Twitter. jc-06.02.10

"We know screwups are an essential part of making something good. That's why our goal is to screw up as fast as possible." Wired takes a look at How Pixar built Toy Story 3. ms-06.01.10

Today's long read, The Pleasures of Imagination. ms-06.01.10

Design your own Wallpaper cover. dw-06.01.10

The Shop I Want -Rands. jc-05.27.10

"If your chosen book fails to please you, the Biblioracle will refund you the cost of your free recommendation." John Warner knows all. Greetings From the Biblioracle at The Morning News. Live today, you tell John which five books you've most recently read and he will tell you what to read next. Here's how this all got started. jc-05.27.10

All right! Rosecrans Baldwin's debut novel You Lost Me There is featured in Time Mag's summer preview. jc-05.25.10

"Exactly a century after rumours of his death turned out to be entirely accurate, one of Mark Twain's dying wishes is at last coming true: an extensive, outspoken and revelatory autobiography which he devoted the last decade of his life to writing is finally going to be published." ms-05.24.10

Great long read, The Afterlife of Stieg Larsson. ms-05.24.10

Zulkey interviews former Gawker editor and current memoirist Emily Gould. sd-05.21.10

So you know, the worst beverage in America: Cold Stone PB&C (Gotta Have It size, 24 fl oz) - 2,010 calories, 131 g fat (68 g saturated), 153 g sugars. Sugar Equivalent: 30 Chewy Chips Ahoy Cookies (yum). dw-05.21.10

The New York Review of Magazines is an annual published by students at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism. Ambitious and definitely worth checking out. jc-05.21.10

As Lapham's describes this graphic, "everyone who was anyone knew everybody who was anybody." jc-05.21.10

Look at Me! Long CJR piece by Maureen Tkacik on writing for various places, including the Journal and Jezebel, and how things have worked out. Or maybe haven't. jc-05.20.10

"The speed record for the nearly two thousand mile Pony Express route was set at seven days, 17 hours with the delivery of Lincoln's inaugural address. Can you imagine if the recipients of that letter opened the dust-covered envelope to find a message that only included one line: Abraham just checked-in at the U.S. Capitol." Tweetage Wasteland. jc-05.20.10

A smart new book club idea from The Rumpus. jc-05.19.10

Lesson learned: don't put your Social Security number on a billboard if your identity theft protection service can't really protect you. Great read from the Phoenix New Times about LifeLock and their ubiquitous ads. sd-05.19.10

"And no more of that talk about 'the tragedy of fame.' The tragedy of fame is when no one shows up and you're singing to the cleaning lady in some empty joint that hasn't seen a paying customer since Saint Swithin's day." Frank Sinatra writing to George Michael in 1990. jc-05.18.10

"It has been a tradition in the village since 1633, when their ancestors made a promise to God that they would perform the play if the village was spared from the bubonic plague. They were indeed spared, and as a result they are still performing the play to this day." ms-05.18.10

"Whoa, you scared the bejesus out of me. I guess I didn't hear you come in. How long have you been standing there? Anyway, welcome to Taco Bell. What can I get you?" Kevin Nguyen's imaginary conversations with American Apparel models. jc-05.17.10

It took the Secret Service ten years to find a counterfeiter so inept he spelled "Washington" wrong on his dollar bills: Snopes on counterfeiter Mr. 880. bb-05.14.10

Five Dials Magazine. Number 12. jc-05.14.10

As Heinz makes the first change to its ketchup recipe in 40 years, it's worth rereading this great Malcolm Gladwell piece on branding: The Ketchup Conundrum. kg-05.13.10

A scholarly critique of the style, symbolism and sociopolitical relevance of Gilligan's Island, Here On The Island, by Lewis Napper. So great. Via Boing. jc-05.13.10

"They must be written by a real person and must also address an unreal one." FotA Ben Greenman has put a call out asking for letters to famous fictional characters, which he'll be posting here. sd-05.12.10

The Art of American Book Covers, an illustrated blog by author Richard Minsky, author of a new book of the same name. jc-05.12.10

Harry Potter and the Waterproof Pearl. "Gandalf, Harry and some random character named Peter go on an adventure to find the Little Warriors who live in a desert city in the sea." 11 Amazing fake Harry Potter books written in China. dw-05.12.10

"Ivan needs mortar to build a power station. But this mortar is all frozen! Ivan's suffering is boundless." Baby's Touch 'N Feel Guide to Russian Literature, by Summer Block. jc-05.12.10

"This tune we're too busy to hear will not be played again." -Z. jc-05.11.10

There's only one post up so far, but I get the feeling I'm going to be a big fan of The Cataloguer's Desk, Dispatches from a Rare Book Shop by Laura Massey and Adam Douglas. jc-05.10.10

Veganizing Betty Crocker, Meet the Shannons. ms-05.06.10

Simon Akam on a bestsellers list culled from the sidewalk booksellers of NYC. Via The Casual Optimist. jc-05.05.10

Lots more on the 48 Hour Magazine Project in this big group chat at Gizmodo. We're psyched to be involved. jc-05.04.10

FotA and Field-Tested Books contributor Jonathan Eig was great last night on The Daily Show promoting his new book, Get Capone, which we can attest is terrific. sd-05.04.10

"When a hundred and sixty thousand Allied troops invaded Sicily on July 10, 1943, it became clear that the Germans had fallen victim to one of the most remarkable deceptions in in modern military history." ms-05.04.10

"Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche: Summer replacement for previous town philosopher. Stays for good." Famous Philosophers and How They Were First Discovered, by Mike Sachs. jc-05.04.10

How soap operas could save the world. ms-05.04.10

"Maybe he's one of those deluded souls who truly think that stand-up comedians get their jokes from books, and that any comedy bit is somehow public domain." Patton Oswalt's fantastic response to a joke thief, parts one and two. sd-05.03.10

Meet 48 Hour Magazine: "As the name suggests, we're going to write, photograph, illustrate, design, edit, and ship a magazine in two days." With your help. ncz-04.29.10

David Ogilvy showed Andy Maslen how to write for the web. Amen. Via @acejet170. jc-04.29.10

"I was sweating, my face was red, I kept putting the book down, going: This can't be this good this can't be this good." George Saunders is a Field-Tester. Find his essay and hundreds of others online or better yet, buy the book. jc-04.29.10

Good Show Sir- only the worst Sci-Fi/Fantasy book covers. ms-04.29.10

"We post articles, past and present, that we think are too long and too interesting to be read on a web browser." Meet Long Form. ncz-04.28.10

"1. When you are at your parents' house, alone in their bathroom, you pick up the Reader's Digest and genuinely enjoy the jokes they use as filler items at the ends of stories. (+5 points)" Is Country Music Right For You? A Quiz. The 12th dispatch from a guy trying unsuccessfully to sell a song In Nashville. jc-04.27.10

The Awl's Annual Ranking of the Most-Read Fictional Publications. jc-04.23.10

Voltaire and the not-so-random Random House logo, by Adam Tschorn. jc-04.22.10

Dave Pell walked the Brooklyn Bridge without Facebook. Sweet. jc-04.21.10

"In order to be desirable, these archives depend on the creation and maintenance of a collective social collectomania: we must all become obsessives to sustain an economy founded on pushing digitised media." Collectomania, dig that. How To Build a Library from Things Mag. jc-04.21.10

Embracing the Digital Book by Craig Mod. Amen to all that. jc-04.21.10

Fascinating long read about Dr. Steven Hatfill, the man initially suspected in the 2001 anthrax attacks, The Wrong Man. ms-04.21.10

Anyone familar with Pitman Shorthand? We need a favor. Please email Bryan. (Gregg and Teeline need not apply.) bb-04.20.10

The new literary theft isn't plagiarism but something a lot closer to actual stealing and fencing. kg-04.20.10

"If a hyphen can save you from ambiguity, then go for it." jc-04.20.10

KG's new novel, The Thousand finally has a cover. jc-04.19.10

For SD, Good Show Sir. dw-04.19.10

Ad agency creatives show off their often painful first piece of work: Freshmen Ads. Via Denver Egotist. sd-04.19.10

"I note 'where I was' when I learned of various notable deaths, and record any related thoughts. For the last few years, I have collected these entries into annual zines." Rob Walker's fascinating Where Were You? 2009 is available free. jc-04.16.10

Terry Gross: What I Read. Endlessly fascinating story and an endlessly fascinating person. ncz-04.15.10

"Fizzing. First-rate, very good, excellent: synonymous with 'stunning.' Manly slang from the 19th century. Totally using "Fizzing" in future Fresh Signals posts, look for it. ms-04.15.10

Oddly, in real life, Curious George really did save the day. ms-04.14.10

No Flood If Noah Had Known Hydraulics, from Sunday Magazine, a sweet new project from David's Ironic Sans. jc-04.13.10

A Small Gem of Negativity: The Decline Postcard. Via Maud. jc-04.13.10

"Thou shalt accept how she clearly humors you. Do not, by any means, stare at the beckoning gap at the top of her shirt. Do not, sir, stare at her hindquarters when she retreats." Midwestament, by Matthew Roberson. jc-04.13.10

How many DDs is it going to take to get me a KTTW to HH? Stumbled across while working on something else: common abbreviations and acronyms used by the "cast members" who work for Disney. sd-04.12.10

"Traveling by helicopter throughout a combat zone in body armor to hear a response to an RFP is a big change from New York, Chicago or L.A." Interesting story about advertising and production in Afghanistan. sd-04.12.10

Related to the last. Follow the Chicago Manual of Style on Twitter. jc-04.08.10

"Just you wait, I'll become famous after I'm dead about ten years." On this day in 1977 Jim Thompson died. jc-04.07.10

"Norris, 26 years his junior, was Mailer's fifth and final wife. In order to marry her, he was obliged — over the course of a few days — to divorce his third wife, then marry and immediately divorce his fourth." Memoirs of Mailer. Via Fimoculous. jc-04.06.10

"Almost every seat was full. A little boy in church clothes carefully deconstructed a vanilla cone. An old man and woman sat on the same side of a table, the woman feeding the man a Blizzard." Dairy Queen, a small-town Texas institution. ms-04.06.10

Today is the Championship at The Morning News Tournament of Books. jc-04.05.10

"Three decades after The Official Preppy Handbook was first unleashed into bookstores, a follow-up called True Prep is in the works — hoping to reignite preppy fervor, update the mindset and explain just what it means to be a Chip or a Muffy in a Barack world." dw-04.04.10

"When they were published, some where bestsellers, some were considered scandalous, and others were simply misunderstood." Beautiful covers. Beautiful website. The Penguin Decades series. ncz-04.01.10

"He is perhaps best known in pop-culture circles for conducting the infamous 1989 interview with Professor Griff of Public Enemy." Ben Greeman shares his thoughts on David Mills' passing. sd-03.31.10

Charlie Stross answers the question Why are novels generally the length that they are? sd-03.29.10

Regarding The Deck and lots and lots of other things. Amen. jc-03.26.10

The Tournament of Books Quarterfinals continue today. Yesterday in the comments, John Warner told people to list the last five books they've read and he'd tell them what to read next. Check out the results. jc-03.25.10

Heartbreaking, mundane, silly, honest. Brandon Doman asked random strangers to fill up his stack of notebooks, Don't Talk to Strangers is the result. Via Mefi. jc-03.25.10

On this day in 1957, U.S. Customs agents seized 520 copies of Allen Ginsberg's "Howl" on the grounds of obscenity." jc-03.25.10

"The math is simple: my lunch was missing for 3 nights, 3 being the first odd prime number and the second smallest prime, not to mention a Fermat prime -which Ted, you're a jackass for not catching the second time around." Missing Lunch at Wikipedia, by Jimmy Chen. jc-03.24.10

The Quarterfinals continue at The Morning News Tournament of Books. Laura Miller of Salon praises the tourney and the Guilfoile/Warner daily commentary. Amen to that, especially today's chat on how we choose what to read? jc-03.24.10

Make sure to stay with this video, or you'll miss its brilliance. The Future of Publishing. Here's a chat with director Zoe Uffindell. Via Monoscope. jc-03.23.10

"What? You want to shoot some bullets into the place he fell just to make sure? What the fuck am I? Made of bullets?" Sam Burnett is "almost positive our hero is dead now." jc-03.22.10

Zulkey interviews Amelie Gillette, the Onion AV Club's "The Hater." sd-03.19.10

"Here's an appearance I did on the Joy Behar Show with Lori Gottlieb!" Comedian/author Julie Klausner learns an important lesson of double checking YouTube links before you send them off to television producers. sd-03.18.10

It's Margaret Atwood versus Victor LaValle in the final first-round match today in the The Morning News Tournament of Books, presented by our Field Notes. Also, the Zombie contenders are revealed in KG and John Warner's comments. jc-03.18.10

Dave's head is in the cloud. jc-03.17.10

A letter from a hero to Alfred A. Knopf. Norman Maclean to Charles Elliott, 1981. That cinches it, I officially love every word he wrote. Via @UChicagoPress. jc-03.16.10

They don't make computer manuals like they used to. ms-03.16.10

"The Arctic is the world's second-largest desert. The snowflakes are large and dry like the little paper circles from a three-hole punch. You can't even eat them to stay alive. They will dehydrate you. They will kill you faster than drinking no water at all." Is your workplace as rough as the Arctic? ms-03.15.10

If Star Wars were an Icelandic Saga. Via Mental Floss ms-03.15.10

"Can I use a human pregnancy test on my dog?" and hundreds more: Yahoo! Answer Fail bb-03.12.10

From a leaked memo, a strange list of "forbidden 'newsspeak' words and phrases" not to be used by anchors and reporters on WGN-AM, a local news/talk radio station. sd-03.11.10

"...translates the visual insights of his age into the patterns of everyday life." Steve Heller on becoming a designer in the Age of Aquarius. jc-03.11.10

The ads "tended to use tropes borrowed from science fiction and from mid-century modern design to convey a sense of fantasy and possibility around the process of technological emergence that was erupting." Better Than Apollo: The Space Program We Almost Had, Alexis Madrigal chats with Megan Prelinger about her fabulous-looking new book Another Science Fiction. Cha-ching. jc-03.11.10

"Airlocks provide a buffer zone between incompatible environments and are a perfect example of how architecture can function as a spatial interface." YOU SUCK: An Airlock Lexicon. ms-03.11.10

Real doctors review each episode of the medical drama tv show House. ms-03.10.10

At Last- the full story on how Facebook was founded. Via MeFi. ms-03.10.10

You're Not Funny by Earl Pomerantz. jc-03.09.10

"Wolfe showing up to many meetings with freshly-written material, which Perkins would read, admire, and mostly cut." On this day in 1935 Thomas Wolfe's Of Time and the River was published. jc-03.08.10

"Can we call ourselves an institution yet?" The sixth edition of The Morning News Tournament of Books kicks off today. jc-03.08.10

"You used to hustle ping pong with David Mamet, right? Yeah." Zulkey interviews Jonathan Katz, who continues to win my vote as greatest person ever. sd-03.05.10

"This was Team USA's only major disappointment in the games, with American favorite Triage Jansen bowing out midway through the race when she realized she had to be at work the next morning an hour earlier than she"d realized." 24th Existential Olympics, by Jonathan Kaufman Nathan. jc-03.04.10

Walmart versus Whole Foods; The Great Grocery Smackdown. ms-03.04.10

Now that SD is back from Europe, I can post this. Fascinating and frightening long read about The Last Four Minutes of Air France Flight 447. ms-03.02.10

Reading while biking. Fernando Pessoa's poem "The Keeper of Sheep" printed on the road for bicyclists in Lisbon. sd-03.01.10

From the New York Times bestselling author of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies comes the true history of our sixteenth president. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. dw-03.01.10

Ken Burns and Robert Stone at the NYPL, on Fora TV. jc-03.01.10

The Death of Film Criticism. ms-03.01.10

The brackets are announced for this year's Morning News Tournament of Books (sponsored by Field Notes this year!) and it's a very tough field to handicap. Luckily, Andrew Seal has the inside dope in his Introduction to Nerdhalla. jc-02.25.10

Winston Hearn writes, "Here's a link to the entire archive of the Weekly World News, thanks to Google Books. Two clicks in, and I discovered how to write in fourth-person." jc-02.25.10

A time suck you can feel good about: True Slant's amazing compilation of the Best Journalism of 2009. kg-02.24.10

A Robbery of Three Liberal Arts Graduates: The Police Report, by Eliot Nelson. jc-02.23.10

Read the correction at the end. jc-02.22.10

Ten rules for writing fiction from people who know. Elmore Leonard, "Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip." Roddy Doyle. "Do not place a photograph of your favourite author on your desk, especially if the author is one of the famous ones who committed suicide." jc-02.22.10

Status, Vol. 1. A lavishly designed compilation of inspiring, funny, say-what status messages from both sides of the Atlantic. dw-02.22.10

"The Great Gatsby is an inspired title, one for the ages, but it wasn't Fitzgerald's idea. He wanted to call the novel Trimalchio in West Egg, which sounds like something Dr. Seuss might have dreamed up for The Playboy Channel." What makes a good title? Via MeFi. ms-02.22.10

What we are supposed to do when we are at our best. This goes directly to the top of my daily bookmark list, a series of personal, beautiful posts by .J. S. Yingling. I love today's and this one too. Man. Thanks a million to Richard Niejelski for sending the link. jc-02.19.10

"If your neighbour's beard is on fire, you should go soak yours in water." Pablo Defendini On Production, for The New Sleekness. Amen. Via Dan Wagstaff. jc-02.18.10

Somebody call Skully and Mulder, the UK just released a slew of UFO-related documents dating from 1994-2000. Flying Toblerones? ms-02.18.10

Are you reading Tweetage Wasteland? Thought so. jc-02.17.10

Green Marker. dw-02.17.10

From the McSw archives, I lost my greeting-card gig because of my drinking. By Dan Kennedy. jc-02.16.10

The 33rd Degree. jc-02.16.10

The World's Smallest Postal Service. dw-02.15.10

The Early Woody Allen 1952-1971. jc-02.15.10

Dick Francis RIP. jc-02.14.10

"(59) Tell her how you feel while you stand at the foot of the huge bed and look upon her sleeping body, while cursing yourself for being a ghost whose words cannot be heard by the living." Paul Ford's 100 Ways To Say "I Love You." jc-02.12.10

Two previously known and 15 brand-new closing signatures, to be inserted at the end of your love letters for Valentine's or any other day, by Mike Sacks. jc-02.12.10

Related to the last. I didn't really get what it was about when I was eleven, but I kept going back to it, over and over again. I'm not sure I really get it now either, but here it is. The Last Whole Earth Catalog from June of 1971. jc-02.11.10

A good read for times like right now, when I probably should be doing something else: Scott Hansen talks to other creative folk about their strategies for overcoming creative block. sd-02.10.10

On this day in 1926, Ernest Hemingway pulled a fast one on one publisher to sign with another. jc-02.09.10

"My deft touch with magazine collages will no doubt lend immediate impact to your companies presentations." A cover letter from an art major seeking a job that literally requires him to apply the skills he learned in school, by Andrew Miller. jc-02.09.10

"Advertising agency of the future sounds a bit like horse drawn carriage of the future." Amen. A thoughtful piece by Bud Caddell. jc-02.08.10

"My stomach lurched a little when I realized that it was Salinger, for real, on the other end of the phone, speaking rather too loudly and seeming a bit confused by my voice..." Joanna Smith Rakoff on answering J. D. Salinger's' mail. jc-02.08.10

Sumedicina, a data fiction project, that tells a story through infographics. jc-02.08.10

Mr. Pell killed his rice cooker and other tales from the excellent and excellently titled Tweetage Wasteland. Bookmarked. jc-02.04.10

Paul: More! Always more! I love putting things on the web. I like the paywall because it helps us pay writers and writers should be paid. Choire: *blinks* Choire Sicha and Paul Ford chat about magazines and the web. So awesome I probably would have paid for it. jc-02.04.10

Inside the diary of a 17-year-old, 17 years later. Kevin Pang takes a look at our pal Andrew Huff's 1954 project for the Trib. jc-02.04.10

A corpse, a false identity, spies galore, and a pre-Bond Ian Flemming. Reading this two part excerpt of Ben MacIntyre's new book Operation Mincemeat will have just one result: Cha-ching. sd-02.03.10

Tangentially related to the last. The edition of Norman MacLean's A River Runs Through It designed and illustrated with wood engravings by Barry Moser is a must-have. Also, I love this photo of MacLean by Veronica C. Wald. jc-02.03.10

Letters to dead people. ms-02.03.10

Some of Jason Santa Maria's books. jc-01.29.10

Related to the last and irreconcilable, this photo and this one. jc-01.29.10

"It settles on being a hybrid of Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure and Herk Harvey's 1962 horror film, Carnival of Souls." Local film critic Jonathan Miller has begun reviewing campaign ads. sd-01.28.10

Relink on today's news. Here's a letter JDS wrote in 1957 to a producer interested in filming Catcher in the Rye. Salinger's refusal, as you might expect, is a firm one and his reasons unimpeachable. jc-01.28.10

JDS stories in The New Yorker including the perfect, "A Perfect Day for Bannanafish." jc-01.28.10

"Oh, it isn't finished. It's about a kid in New York during the Christmas holidays." Robert Giroux on resigning from Harcourt after they refused to publish Catcher in the Rye. Via Maud Newton. jc-01.28.10

"Just because Cyber Policeman and Robocop are both set in a dystopian Detroit and involve robots, it does not mean they are the same movie." jc-01.26.10

PSFK interviews our current guest editor, Rob Walker, about the second round of his Significant Objects project. A list of all the other brilliant people who have helped us by guest editing Fresh Signals can be found here. sd-01.25.10

"This is your lunch starring: Sir Walter Strawberry, Claudia Cantaloupe, Blackberry Jones with a guest appearance by Chicken Salad Sammy." Lunch notes from my permanent roommate. dw-01.25.10

So you know, how to use a semicolon. dw-01.25.10

"Edmund Wilson regrets that it is impossible for him to:" jc-01.25.10

FotA Ben Greenman has added a second act to his Edwards! The Musical. sd-01.22.10

Has the 60-year-old tradition of roses and cognac come to an end? The mysterious stranger, or the "Poe Toaster," failed to show up at Edgar Allen Poe's grave this week to celebrate his birthday. sd-01.21.10

You are following along as Charlie Hopper tries to sell a song in Nashville, aren't you? Dispatch 7: Verse Verse Lift Chorus Verse Lift Chorus Bridge Chorus. jc-01.20.10

Stock and Flow, a metaphor from economics smartly applied to digital creation, by Robin Sloane. jc-01.19.10

"In the autumn of 1992, on a school-sponsored trip to Stratford, Ontario, for the Shakespeare Festival, I wandered into a used bookstore with some friends and made an unexpected find: a completely blank datebook from 1954." Three years align for Andrew Huff. Awesome. jc-01.19.10

Look At F-ing Idea For A Blog To Book Deal. Amusing. Drunk Or Southern? is a good one. rw-01.15.10

"...and then a rippled yam." Writing about sex and how not to do it, by Sonya Chung. jc-01.13.10

Alex Bogusky's response to the anonymous "you will be responsible for and held accountable for the murder of a bear" note he received, taped to his door. Via Denver Egotist. sd-01.13.10

"A testament to determination and the will to live." I'll say. An account of an auto-appendectomy in the Antarctic. Via Mefi. jc-01.13.10

"As I.D.'s sole editor in New York working alongside the ad salespeople, my friend spent the next year trying to manage staff in another state whom, he complained, he had not been allowed to hire and who had never heard of Philip Johnson." jc-01.13.10

"What do you mean, she'll get here 'when she comes'? That's not a time. How can I plan around that?" Mom Takes Children's Songs Literally, by Sarah Schmelling. jc-01.12.10

Rob Giampietro on the typewriter as a thing to be feared. Serial Series, Part 6. Via Byrdhouse. sd-01.11.10

ISO50 interviews Experimental Jetset. Excellent. jc-01.11.10

"Back when I was a boy, I bought a children's book at my town's library book sale called 2010: Living in the Future by Geoffrey Hoyle... I've somehow managed to hang onto it for 25 years and now, suddenly, here we are: 2010. I'm reproducing this long out-of-print book here to see how we're doing." -Daniel Sinker. jc-01.11.10

The National Archives have built an online exhibit to tell the story of When Nixon Met Elvis. There's also a great. goofy film about the strange encounter, Elvis Meets Nixon. sd-01.11.10

Paul Ford is this week's Non-Expert at TMN, he answers the question Is there an afterlife? If you scroll down a bit you can listen to him read it aloud. You should do that. jc-01.08.10

Related to below: Boontling, the language developed in the late 1800s and spoken by residents of Boonville, CA. I have a translation dictionary you can borrow, if anyone's dishing to jape out to Boont. sd-01.07.10

A forged will, bad blood, angry scholars and fans. Fascinating story behind the state of Kerouac's estate. ms-01.07.10

Write shorter. rw-01.06.10

FotA Ben Greenman passes along his "new musical to banish the old year forever": Fragments from Balloon Boy! The Musical. sd-01.05.10

This reminds me of how I'd answer test questions in high school when I hadn't studied any of the material (and why it's surprising that I still graduated, given how much I enjoyed doing it): Biography: Walt Whitman. sd-01.04.10

Little Housing Crisis on the Prairie, by Susan Schorn. Tangentially related, follow Half Pint Ingalls on Twitter. jc-01.03.10

"People haven't been just reporting on Grills's work: he's being eviscerated for it." The story behind epidemiologist Nathan Grills' medical journal-published hoax "Santa Claus: A Public Health Pariah?" sd-12.28.09

Laredo, Texas is soon to become the largest US city without bookstore. Via J-Walk. sd-12.22.09

One drawing for every page of Moby Dick. dw-12.21.09

Martha Scotford's "short tale of legal, design and production choreography." Ulysses: Fast Track to 1934 Best Seller. Great. jc-12.21.09

"When all the elements of a camel-case compound are words that could stand on their own, slice it open: Master Card, Price Waterhouse Coopers, Word Perfect. When some elements are letters or word fragments, sew it up and capitalize conventionally: Iphone, Ebay, Fedex." The Knee-Capping of Intercapping, by Caleb Crain. Amen. jc-12.19.09

The Harry Potter economy. ms-12.18.09

"They apparently thought they could squish the book like a bug, but were quickly reminded what country we live in." Zulkey interviews Michael Gross, the author of one of the best books of the year, Rogues' Gallery: The Secret History of the Moguls and the Money that Made the Metropolitan Museum. sd-12.18.09

"That could even be the secret--the emotionless efficiency of Swedish technology, paradoxically combined with the wicked allure of the pitiless elfin avenger, plus a dash of paranoia surrounding the author's demise." Vanity Fair looks at the allure of author Stieg Larsson and his books. ms-12.17.09

"This works like an advent calendar, every day from the 10th to the 24th of December a new window will open with a fresh and unsettling story behind it. To open the door click the rodent on the correct day." Terrifying Tales for Christmas. Via Things. ms-12.17.09

The world's best sommelier vs. the world's worst customer. ms-12.17.09

A fave entry in this year's Regret the Error corrections round-up. From the LA Times, "Bear sighting: An item in the National Briefing in Sunday's Section A said a bear wandered into a grocery story in Hayward, Wis., on Friday and headed for the beer cooler. It was Thursday." jc-12.16.09

Amazon's editors choose their Best Books of 2009. ms-12.15.09

Related to the last. Eliot reading The Waste Land. jc-12.15.09

"Eliot's manuscript title for the poem was 'He Do the Police in Different Voices,' taken from Dickens's Our Mutual Friend, where the orphan Sloppy is so praised for his dramatic abilities when reading out the crime news." On this day in 1922 The Waste Land was published. jc-12.15.09

"I'll try to tell you what my attitude is to the stage and screen rights of The Catcher in the Rye. I've sung this tune quite a few times, so if my heart doesn't seem to be in it, try to be tolerant..." --J. D. Salinger. Via TMN. jc-12.14.09

New Scientist's best books of 2009. dw-12.14.09

"How something as simple as typography can drive you toward or away from that $39 steak." Menu Mind Games by William Poundstone. Via Jake. jc-12.14.09

Sweet Juniper's second in a series of great profiles on local businesses in Detroit: R. Hirt Jr., Est. 1887. sd-12.14.09

"Although it topples a good many cherished myths, and does so with patent glee, it cannot properly be called revisionist for there has never been a lucid and comprehensive presentation of the Bauhaus to revise." The New Criterion reviews the current MoMA exhibit Bauhaus 1919-1933: Workshops for Modernity ms-12.12.09

The Year's Work in Lebowski Studies, from Indiana University Press. bb-12.11.09

I Am Locking the Wikipedia Article On Our Sex Life, by Alan Trotter. jc-12.10.09

"Frontier American journalism preserved a vestige of the low-church impulse toward universal literacy whereby the new country imagined it could read and write itself into existence. We were the Gutenberg Nation." Final Edition: Twilight of the American newspaper, by Richard Rodriguez. Brilliant. jc-12.10.09

"Acknowledging that few readers, if any, read exclusively newly published books, we've asked our regular contributors and distinguished guests to name, from all the books they read this year, the one(s) that meant the most to them." A Year in Reading from The Millions. jc-12.09.09

The San Francisco Panorama is published today. jc-12.08.09

Regarding today's Eye, The Letters, transcribed, translated, illustrated and annotated at the Van Gogh Museum. See you in a few hours. jc-12.08.09

"I keep checking the rearview mirror anyway. From this point on, there's no such thing as sure. Being too sure will get me caught." Evan tries to vanish. ms-12.07.09

How do the Somali pirates fund their hijackings? They have their own stock exchange. ms-12.04.09

Where do you begin when you decide to write to everyone in the world? jc-12.03.09

Slashfilm's got a peek at some of the items from the new book Star Wars: 1,000 Collectibles: Memorabilia and Stories from a Galaxy Far, Far Away. ms-12.03.09

Local note: Our SD will unveil a new Zamboni film as writers, artists and comedians opine on the subject of hockey at The Encyclopedia Show tonight at the Chopin Theatre. cp-12.02.09

"Writers should take themselves more seriously than those at Maxim, which we've actually glanced at once or twice, but shouldn't be as conceited as we imagine the writers at GQ are." Writing the Submission Guidelines for Magazines I've Never Read, by Ralph Gamelli. jc-12.01.09

Today's long read, The Rise and Fall of Design Within Reach. ms-12.01.09

"I would be delighted to spend my free time creating logos and pie charts for you based on further vague promises of future possible payment." Awesome. Via Scott Hansen. jc-11.25.09

A huge collection of vintage mid-century children's books. ms-11.25.09

A fun video tour through the alphabet of ABC3D, a pop-up book by Marion Bataille which I found listed in this Hilobrow compendium of pop-up book videos which popped up at the excellent Jacket Copy from the LAT. jc-11.24.09

Goodnight Keith Moon. bb-11.23.09

Fray #3 is now available. Hooray for Sex & Death. jc-11.23.09

Teddy Wayne's Unpopular Proverbs: Brevity. For Thanksgiving. jc-11.23.09

Cruel nicknames for overweight vampires. jc-11.20.09

Passages from the short list for this year's Literary Review's 2009 bad sex in fiction award. ms-11.20.09

The uncollected stories of JD Salinger collected. jc-11.19.09

The Guardian has a nice interview with author Neil Gaiman about the award-winning The Graveyard Book. You can watch him read the book here. ms-11.19.09

The Pop-Up Book of Phobias. dw-11.18.09

"A man and a woman lie in bed at night in the short hour between kid sleep and parent sleep, turning down page corners as they read. She is leafing through a fashion magazine, he through a cookbook." Gopnik on Why we use cookbooks. ms-11.18.09

Sage advice from Mr. Bierut, The lazy designer's guide to success. Via David Airey. jc-11.18.09

"That's why we like all the things that we assume have no limits and, therefore, no end. It's a way of escaping thoughts about death. We like lists because we don't want to die." Der Spiegel interviews Umberto Eco, who has curated The Infinity of Lists, a current exhibition at The Louvre. jc-11.18.09

"I wouldn't choose it as a font for St. Agnes Church even as a joke. Every time I go by, my vacation is, for a moment, ruined." Mistakes in typography grate the purists ms-11.17.09

"Sorry folks, the most evident way of doing something is typically the way that I do it." Frank Chimero owns up. jc-11.16.09

So you know, how to write a great novel ms-11.16.09

"Conversation is more the nuts and bolts of hardware retail than actual nuts and bolts." Sweet Juniper's Jim Griffioen on his favorite hardware store, Detroit's Busy Bee Hardware. sd-11.13.09

The Women of Bauhaus. ms-11.13.09

"It was testament to the power of print. And to the fact that old media still has a few bullets in its gun." We'll Order Now What They Ordered Then, by KG. jc-11.13.09

"When 'The Wire' gained popularity in Great Britain, we were contacted by a London-based journalist who proposed a job swap." Two crime reporters swap beats and wrote about the experience about it over at Crime: A Tale of Two Cities. Via MeFi. ms-11.13.09

"By the time the author finished his lunch, he had become a multi-millionaire." Mandership posts by Artemy Lebedev don't show up very often but they're welcome when they do. Browse archives. jc-11.06.09

Over at the You're The Boss blog at the NYT, a column is written explaining 100 things restaurant staffers should never do. Waiter Rant responds. ms-11.05.09

In this online age, writing correctly can be very difficult. Fortunately the Fake AP Stylebook is at your command with great tips like "In research papers, comic books should be cited thusly: 'This was from the most kick-ass issue of The Punisher EVER!!!'" sd-11.04.09

Christopher Walken performs Lady Gaga's Poker Face as only he can. Via Mental Floss. ms-11.03.09

The winners have been posted from A Journey Round My Skull's first ever bookplate contest, From the Library of the Evil Orchid. Great work all round. jc-11.02.09

Great collection of Sci-Fi book covers, sets I and II. ms-11.02.09

For the next time you're trying to spell something over the phone: the Nearly Anacrophonic Phonetic Alphabet, which "hews much more closely to the basic idea of anacrophony than any other phonetic alphabet of which we are aware." Thanks Everett. sd-10.30.09

Tonight, 71 years to the minute, listen to the radio broadcast that panicked people all over the country, Orson Welles' War of the Worlds. ms-10.30.09

A Sam Weber illustrated Lord of the Flies is due out in December. Cha-ching. jc-10.30.09

Heed it well, young costumed beggars. jc-10.30.09

So you know. The order by which people are admitted to heaven, by Brian Doyle. Via TMN. jc-10.28.09

"I realised that my own way was in impoverishment, in lack of knowledge and in taking away, in subtracting rather than in adding." On this day in 1958, CP hero Samuel Beckett's "Krapp's Last Tape" was first performed. jc-10.28.09

A 1980's pop up guide to the personal computer. Via Look at This. ms-10.28.09

The Visual Miscellaneum by David McCandless is available for pre-order, and judging from these shots, looks just beautiful. Via The Minister. jc-10.25.09

Living on $500,000 a Year, what F. Scott Fitzgerald's tax returns reveal about his life and times, by William J. Quirk. Via Mefi. jc-10.24.09

John Irving starts writing a novel with the last line and other insights shared in this interview with the New Statesman. Hmm, really? Case in point from APFOM, "O God -- please give him back! I shall keep asking You." Via LHB. jc-10.23.09

Related to the last, John Moe is Field Tester. jc-10.23.09

"I know I could get counseling or medication to get this whole megalomania thing under control but, again, there are so many opportunities for joy." John Moe interviews Dr. Cruelty regarding the supervillain sense of humor. jc-10.23.09

FoTA Edward Lifson has a great interview with Chicago-based architect/preservationist Grahm Balkany over at Metropolis. Hey Daley, pay attention! ms-10.22.09

Related to the last. "Nitsche, however, rejected the Neue Grafik, or Swiss International Style, that drew nourishment from the Bauhaus legacy, referring to it as 'a little too cold for our uses,' and stayed 'pretty much with the classical typefaces.' He insists that 'I really never went outside of my love for Didot.'" Amen. The Reluctant Modernist by Steven Heller. A must-read. jc-10.21.09

Alfred Nobel "had a lifelong fear of being buried alive, and in his will he left instructions to have his arteries cut after death, just to be sure." jc-10.21.09

Book City Jackets edition no. 2. dw-10.20.09

Candygram #2: Jackpot by John Gruber. jc-10.20.09

"Do not send one-word emails of 'thanks.' Thanks." From the brand-spanking new Bobulate. jc-10.19.09

A Review Of The Photography In My Gynecologist's Office, by Kyria Abrahams. jc-10.19.09

150 years ago tonight, on October 16, 1859, John Brown and twenty-one other men launched an attack on the Federal Arsenal at Harpers Ferry. Excellent analysis and a revision of conventional historical wisdom by Karen Whitman. Must read, for history dorks. jc-10.16.09

On the Length of Subtitles in Many Old, Rare and Antiquarian Books Or, the Custom of Publishers of olde to Load the title page with a Reader's Digest condensed version of the Contents so complete that when finished perusing one's need to Read the Actual Book is obviated and further Exploration Unnecessary. jc-10.15.09

The Grammar Nerd Corrective Label Pack. dw-10.14.09

At 11am Chicago time Neil Gaiman will begin an exquisite corpse story on the BBC Audiobooks America Twitter account with a single tweet. Here's how to participate. dw-10.13.09

Whoops, meant to post this a couple days ago, when we talked about it at Make Think in Memphis. Zadie Smith reading Frank O'Hara's "Animals." From our quite accidental Verse By Voice project. jc-10.12.09

"Every day for one hundred days (from October 30, 2008 to February 6, 2009) I picked a paint chip out of a bag and responded to it with a short writing. I have selected my favorite forty, titling each writing with the number of the day it was written (out of 100) and the name of the color from that day's paint chip." ms-10.12.09

Roger is right, books do furnish a life. ms-10.09.09

For October, by JSM and friends, Candygrams. jc-10.07.09

There once was a site on the net... The Omnificent English Dictionary in Limerick Form. sd-10.01.09

News that, thanks to the success of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, more literary monster mashups are in store, including Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Little Women and Werewolves. sd-09.30.09

"Thinking that you might be talking about a different 'Well of Cantankerous Souls,' or that the dungeon might have recently become vacant, we sent our intern Trevor to scout out the location..." Adventure Capital by Matthew Baldwin. Yeah, the credit markets are a bitch right now. jc-09.30.09

A trailer for The Onion A.V. Club's new Inventory book, which features lots of great writing by friends of the agency and one wife of the agency. sd-09.30.09

Related. Maud was a Field Tester for us. Read all the reviews online or better yet, buy the book. jc-09.30.09

"My Mother was a preacher until the cops shut her down." How's that for an opening sentence? Narrative Magazine has awarded Maud Newton its annual fiction prize for an excerpt from When the Flock Changed. Sweet. jc-09.30.09

Thousands of hyphens perish as English marches on. jc-09.29.09

For BB. From the prog rock ice cream shoppe: flavors inspired by a certain Canadian power trio, by Matt Bull. jc-09.29.09

The next book for Infinite Summer is Dracula, with a trio of excellent guides. Perfect weather for it in Chicago today. Get on it. jc-09.28.09

"Eclecticism was a viable and intelligent decision. While consistent design for a series of related books makes good strategic sense, these books were bound together by the editors' judgment." Covering the Good Books by Steven Heller. jc-09.28.09

I had the dream again. ms-09.28.09

What if there was physical proof that the Super Mario Bros mythology existed a long time ago on a lost chain of islands in the Pacific Ocean? The Excavation of Mushroom Island. dw-09.25.09

A scan of Vladimir Nabokov's notes about a translation of The Metamorphosis. sd-09.25.09

Umberto Eco on the lost art of handwriting. ms-09.25.09

"Our profitability has been a real drag on our valuation," said Mr. Fried. Big, exciting news for our office mates. Congrats guys. jc-09.24.09

Lusting after this. John M. Carrera's Pictorial Webster's, a short-run, hand-crafted volume of classic dictionary engravings reborn in a fine-press edition. It looks positively amazing. Here's a detailed video on the project and a chance to win one from Chronicle Books. Thanks for the tip to Anthony Drehfal, editor of Block & Burin, highly recommended. jc-09.24.09

Spelling mistakes that even smart people make. ms-09.22.09

KV's first public reading of Breakfast of Champions, three years before it was published, on May 4, 1970 at the 92nd Street Y in NYC. Do I need to say anything more? jc-09.21.09

"I theorize that everyone has what I call an inconvenience threshold (IT), a point at which something is so annoying that it actually galvanizes them into action." jc-09.21.09

Back to School with Rosecrans in the NYT. jc-09.21.09

Sci-fi from 1752! Voltaire's Micromegas. bb-09.21.09

Infinite Summer's end. jc-09.21.09

"Below we have selected 20 phrases that may grate on the ear. It's not a definitive list. It couldn't be: he has published five novels, each around 500 pages long, and the arguments over which are the worst bits will go on for a while." The Telegraph picks Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown's 20 worst sentences. ms-09.18.09

This fall might see the end of the Twilight phenomenon as angels are the new vampires. And with Wings of Desire coming out on Blu-ray in a couple of months, it's perfect timing (what teen doesn't love Wim Wenders?). sd-09.17.09

"Kill the pig! Slash its throat! Drink its blood!" On this day in 1954 Wiillam Golding's Lord of the Flies was published after being rejected by 21 publishers. jc-09.17.09

The anthology I anxiously await every year and pre-order about three months early has finally been released: The Best American Crime Reporting 2009. If you need me, I'll be hiding out back, sneaking reads. sd-09.16.09

"Making love became something they did, like bowling or playing tennis. Then it became everything. Tennis and bowling were subordinate." Key words with Peter and Jane Part 1 by Amy at Story blog. jc-09.16.09

"Are You There God? It's Me, a Sexy Vampire." In case Claire's new young-adult novel doesn't sell here are her backup ideas. jc-09.15.09

Otto Tschumi's amazing 1942 Büchergilde Edition of Moby Dick. jc-09.15.09

Related to the last. Letters of Note is a great resource and impossible to stop reading. Just one more... jc-09.14.09

A bit of humor from JFK in 1961: "I will not sign this letter." Via J-Walk. sd-09.14.09

"Please design and build me a house. I am not quite sure of what I need, so you should use your discretion." For Matt, If Architects had to work like Web Designers. ms-09.14.09

About four years ago Charlie Hopper got the idea that he should try to write a song and see if he could sell it to Nashville. So far he hasn't. Mopping Up the Blood, Dispatch #1 from a McSweeney's columnist-contest winner. jc-09.14.09

"It rarely takes more than a page to recognize that you're in the presence of someone who can write, but it only takes a sentence to know you're dealing with someone who can't." Josh Olson in The Voice. jc-09.11.09

Field Tester John Moe on why he didn't read Infinite Jest this summer. Wow. kg-09.11.09

A literary term I wasn't familiar with until just a second ago: the cozy mystery, a type of story "which includes a bloodless crime and contains very little violence, sex, or coarse language." sd-09.10.09

We Made This on the special edition do it yourself covers for Douglas Coupland's new novel Generation A. sd-09.10.09

FotA Fuzzy Gerdes unboxing An Off Year. sd-09.10.09

Books from my travels by Charles Brock. Splendid. Thanks Marshall. jc-09.10.09

jc-09.09.09

KG's got a nice piece on a local 16 year old crime blogger with autism over at The Outfit. ms-09.04.09

"That's why people invent fights. That's why we're drawn to sports. That's why we act like everything that happens to us is such a big deal." Kurt Vonnegut Explains Drama. Via J-Walk. sd-09.04.09

A Book Lover's Guide to IKEA seating. Via Czeltic Girl. sd-09.02.09

ReadyMade digs through their archives and finds copies of Apartment Life from the mid-70s. sd-09.01.09

Scents and the City. ms-08.31.09

I Lift My Lamp Beside the Golden Door. ms-08.31.09

Ikea and The Font War. ms-08.29.09

With Andy's Anagram Solver, my name becomes "Island Worshipper," and the wife's becomes "'Be congruent,' lulls Josh." aro-08.28.09

Long read of the day, One Rogue Wave. ms-08.28.09

My maternal grandparents, early 1970's. Read the notes. Via Sheila. jc-08.27.09

Mapping Hutt space, Star Wars: The Essential Atlas. ms-08.26.09

Granola bars for me next road trip for sure, What's inside a Slim Jim. ms-08.26.09

"Rockin' It, Frat-Party Style: A Short Story Geared to College Students Written By a 30-Something Author. Awesome. That author is Mike Sacks, who has provided regular Field-Tests for us, including this journey with ancient Icelanders to Greenwood Mississippi. jc-08.26.09

"After gym class, Bella heads to the office and sees Edward trying to change biology classes. She thinks it's impossible that someone can dislike her so much. I don't like her. She brags too much." Dan's blogging his reading of Twilight. ms-08.25.09

A glossary of screenwriting and filmmaking terms. aro-08.24.09

Johnny Dee's favorite one-star reviews from Amazon. jc-08.21.09

The staff at The Onion A.V. Club writes individual pieces about Art We Tried Too Late, including my lovely wife's disinterest in Harry Potter. Take that, BB and MS. sd-08.21.09

Yay! Pre-order our officemates' new book, Rework by 37signals. We know how much effort went into it. Guaranteed to be great. jc-08.21.09

The New Yorker has Dave Eggers's Max at Sea for those too excited to wait for the movie. Which means me. aro-08.19.09

The New York Times has discovered The Moth, but why do they put it under Fashion & Style instead of Arts? aro-08.18.09

"I live and travel to eat. Simple as that." And lucky for us, take pictures. The Ulterior Epicure. jc-08.14.09

"The second most common approach is what we'll call the 'I hate stuff and want to write about it,' column." Results from McSweeney's Columnist Contest. jc-08.13.09

Four days in North Korea. ms-08.13.09

Related to the last: If you like creepy tunnels under Red Hook, H.P. Lovecraft has a story for you. bb-08.12.09

"See, I don't really trust you until we talk a little shit and then I see your bookshelf." Rands is The Book Stalker. jc-08.11.09

A three part series on the rapid modernization of China and the disappearance of the traditional Hutong neighborhoods, Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. ms-08.11.09

BBC correspondent Justin Webb on returning to the UK after 8 years of living in the US. sd-08.06.09

Kraft paper book covers from Book City Jackets. Via d*s. dw-08.06.09

Metroid's Samus Aran Speaks Out About Gay Marriage. sd-08.05.09

Hey Oscar Wilde! It's Clobbering Time!!! Page after page of authors or literary characters drawn by illustrators and comic artists. I especially love the latest additions by Scott Campbell. aro-08.05.09

For the ladies, fascinating article on Laura Wilder, author of Little House on the Prairie, Wilder Women. ms-08.04.09

"Unseen, in the background, Fate was quietly slipping the lead into the boxing glove" and other random quotes from the greatest comic writer who ever lived, P.G. Wodehouse. aro-08.03.09

Big thanks to our Guest Editor Henry Cline for all his great work here in July. Now that we've reached the end of the month, Henry wanted to share a kind of parting gift with us: the launch of his Radio First Termer Restoration Project, which is telling the story and restoring audio tapes of a pirate radio station that broadcasted out of a Saigon brothel during the Vietnam War, hosted by an anonymous Air Force sergeant known only as "Dave Rabbit." sd-07.31.09

Related to the last, the Citizen Kane of corporate folktales, the mighty, mighty House of Wigs by Joshua Allen. For God's sake, click on the little arrows that mean "more." See you in a couple hours. jc-07.30.09

"Unable to convince her husband of his mentor's treachery, she fled under cover of darkness to Business School." From Grant Munroe's Corporate Folktales: The Tale of the CTO's Apprentice's Wife. See also How the Operations Analyst Slew the Monster of the 37th Floor Server Room. jc-07.30.09

"'You know, there are people at the office who think I got this job by sleeping with you. Isn't that horrible?' I said during a meal. He looked shocked and then laughed. 'Do me a favor. Please don't deny it.'" Carol Joynt's great piece about being one of Walter Cronkite's staff reporters. Remembering Old Iron Pants. sd-07.28.09

The New Yorker's Nicholas Baker's excellent piece "Kindle and the Future of Reading." sd-07.28.09

The recently discovered coded message postcards sent between spies in the 1950s by suspected double agent Graham Mitchell during the Cold War. sd-07.28.09

KG on Allan Seager and the true story of perhaps the most ripped-off plot in literary history. jc-07.24.09

"In a twist that the master satirist would have appreciated, Kurt Vonnegut continues his posthumous career despite the apparent impediments to his productivity." jc-07.23.09

A couple opinions from Artemy Lebedev. Amen. jc-07.23.09

Frank McCourt was Daniel Radosh's high-school English teacher. Check the video bit too. jc-07.22.09

Not exactly sure what this is, but very intrigued and eager to see it launched in two days: We Are The Friction, described as "an international illustration and short fiction cage match between 24 writers and illustrators (in handy book form)." Via Byrdhouse. sd-07.20.09

"Well, I've sold the paper to the Chinese," says former publisher of The Onion, T. Herman Zweibel. sd-07.20.09

Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters. dw-07.15.09

"Sanity Check: The meeting just before the meeting when you explain that things are going badly." Rands on The Words You Wear. Via John Gruber. jc-07.15.09

"Overmind: a single, non-material consciousness composed of the consciousnesses of a large number of beings." From the latest listings of the OED Science Fiction Citations site. Via @H_FJ. jc-07.15.09

Cardboard Love. ms-07.15.09

"Have you ever experienced that eerie feeling of a thought popping into your head as if from nowhere, with no clue as to why you had that particular idea at that particular time?" There's science behind that, really interesting read, Disorderly genius: How chaos drives the brain. ms-07.14.09

This month marked the publication of two great new books by FotA and multi-year Field-Tested Books contributors, Mike Sacks and Nathan Rabin. Mike's is And Here's the Kicker: Conversations with Humor Writers on Their Craft and the Industry and Nathan's is the memoir The Big Rewind. Both are hilarious and come highly recommended. sd-07.14.09

"In April 2009, we sent a personal, handwritten letter to each of the 467 households in the small Irish village of Cushendall. We hoped these unsolicited letters would prompt neighbourly discussion, spreading across the town, promoting community curiosity." Mysterious Letters. dw-07.13.09

"If you find yourself in the sole company of graphic designers, this book will likely address every professional subject that might arise, giving you enough information to laugh at an inside joke or nod in knowing agreement at a thoughtful reference." Enter to win your free copy of Graphic Design, Referenced over at idsgn. ms-07.13.09

Bidding on All-American Necking Team Button, made irresistible by Susannah Breslin. God, Significant Objects is such a great idea. jc-07.10.09

Now and Then, Sex Still Sells. ms-07.09.09

More greatness from the Infinite Summer project, KG, DFW, a pulley and a big load of bricks. jc-07.08.09

"You can't do that with glass, can you?" Apparently, you can. Still not so much for me, thanks. ms-07.08.09

Things Kirsten Giebutowski has written in cover letters. Fab. jc-07.08.09

"LEVEL 4: A Denny's restaurant near a high school right after a school play ends." The 9 Levels of Hell For The Living. jc-07.07.09

FotA Rob Walker has just launched Significant Objects, wherein writers invent stories about objects purchased from thrift stores and garage sales and distributed by the project's curators, then later sold again on eBay with each piece's new back story. sd-07.07.09

"If a book is lost, then someone will write it again, eventually." A Working Library Reading Note on With Borges. jc-07.07.09

How McDonald's conquered France. ms-07.06.09

"If they need high resolution images, make sure you send them 72 dpi thumbnails." Salt Publishing's advice on how to take a bad author photo. sd-07.02.09

Related to MS' post below: one of the best This American Life episodes, featuring Kurt Eichenwald who talks about the ADM price fixing scandal. The Informant, the book, is also comes highly recommended. sd-07.01.09

"I don't want to admit to being so superficial as to structure an entire Internet-wide event around a catchy title ... so I won't." Matthew chats with the LA Times about the Infinite Summer project. jc-06.30.09

Michael Rubin's excellent Droidmaker: George Lucas and the Digital Revolution is now available as a free pdf download. Here's a bit more on the book from The Binary Bonsai. jc-06.30.09

On this date in 1613, The Globe burned. jc-06.29.09

Zulkey's interview with Kasper Hauser, the San Francisco-based comedy group you've likely heard on This American Life and/or All Things Considered. sd-06.26.09

Former CP crew member Dave Reidy is profiled by TOC on the release of his debut collection of stories, Captive Audience. jc-06.26.09

"Sadly, Nurse Mosconi was unable to keep away from the baby and within seconds her heart was broken." John Moe's Pop-Song Correspondences, Part XX. Also here's John field-testing Carver's WWTAWWTAL. jc-06.25.09

Fiction's Dirty Little Secret, KG's first Infinite Summer post is a beauty. jc-06.24.09

Have you bookmarked Jan Chipchase's Future Perfect yet? jc-06.23.09

"Hold on, I've seen this before: How Star Wars, Star Trek, The Matrix, and Harry Potter are actually the same movie." ms-06.23.09

"Don't. It's just that simple. Pick something else. Don't do it. Go become a rug cleaner like your mother suggested." Susannah Breslin's Letter to a Young Writer. Via Murketing. sd-06.22.09

Warming up for the 21st. How to Read Infinite Jest. jc-06.18.09

Giving you lots of things to lose sleep over for the past four decades: The Top 10 Most Absurd Time Magazine Covers of the Past 40 Years. Not included and definitely not as scary, but my pick for worst: 2006's Person of the Year. sd-06.18.09

On this day in 1982 John Cheever died at the age of seventy in Ossining, New York. Related and entertaining, Cheever and Updike on Cavett. jc-06.18.09

"radiidin: 'non-holiday, a time allegedly a holiday but actually so much a burden because of work and preparations that it is a dreaded occasion; especially when there are too many guests and none of them help.'" Arika Okrent's 10 favorite invented words. Via Gapers Block. fg-06.17.09

I Am Poseidon! God of the Sea! I Also Teach Water Aerobics On Saturdays, by Colin Nissan. jc-06.17.09

On last post for Bloomsday. Geoff wonders what would happen if you fed all of Ulysses into a 3D printer? jc-06.17.09

Have just discovered the work of Sue Bentley, author of the Magic Kitten, Magic Puppy, and Magic Ponies series, all of which have the brightest, most glittery covers ever. They're hypnotic. sd-06.16.09

For Bloomsday. The man himself in Lego. jc-06.16.09

For Bloomsday. "A short animated riff on Joyce's Ulysses, in which actual pages from the book serve as frames, with figures painted over text. Joyce himself provides the vocal track." jc-06.16.09

For Bloomsday. "Mr. Joyce manages to give the effect of unedited human minds, drifting aimlessly along from one triviality to another, confused and diverted by memory, by sensation and by inhibition, is, in short, perhaps the most faithful X-ray ever taken of the ordinary human consciousness." Edmund Wilson's July 5, 1922 review of Ulysses for TNR. "Mr. Joyce has told the whole truth." jc-06.16.09

jc-06.16.09

For Bloomsday. Ulysses, selectively annotated with images. Fab. jc-06.16.09

For Bloomsday. "In 1924, 1 went to the office of His Master's Voice in Paris to ask them if they would record a reading by James Joyce from Ulysses." -Sylvia Beach. jc-06.16.09

For Bloomsday. Pitch 'n' Putt with Jim Joyce and Sam Beckett, a short film by Bórd Scannán na hEireann. jc-06.16.09

"If The New York Times ever strikes you as an abstruse glut of antediluvian perorations..." You could look it up. jc-06.15.09

Picking apart a Silva Thins cigarette ad from 1978 and finding the copywriting fallacy therein. Via One Good Move. sd-06.15.09

Scott Brick's audiobook narrator contest. Great idea. Check KG's post at The Outfit for some background. jc-06.15.09

"Meanwhile, in the Web world, I've pretty much heard/seen enough about steampunk. And I don't need to see any more pictures of unlikely things made of Legos." Zulkey's interview with Rob Walker of the NY Times' Consumed, Murketing, and stealing the whole show in Objectified. sd-06.12.09

Regarding the Infinite Summer project, what to eat before a really big meal. jc-06.12.09

"'Chapter eight,' he said. 'No, wait. Chapter nine.' When I left a few minutes later, he was on chapter ten. By the weekend, he had finished the entire work, a fourteen-hundred-page novel about foot fetishists in Malaysia." FotA Ben Greenman shares a very personal story about the dangers of Lit Juicing within the book community. sd-06.08.09

Following the last: the first 27 pages of The Woman Chaser. You'll be hooked after the first few paragraphs. And so you don't have to go searching: here's the link to order the book. sd-06.05.09

"When the other try-outs began to arrive, I was alternately relieved (I wasn't the fattest or most socially awkward person there) and terrified (the presence of so many bad haircuts and shabby gaits was a guarantee I was up against some brilliant titans of trivia)." FotA and Field-Tested Books contributor Leonard Pierce travelled to Chicago this week to try out for Jeopardy. sd-06.05.09

For DW: Zulkey interviews Jennifer Koppelman Hutt of Whatever, Martha! fame. sd-06.05.09

"Posted in Adultery, Death Penalty, Murder, Seduction, Unwritten Law." The Hope Chest, bad news from the past. Thanks Whet. jc-06.05.09

5000 Pages of Wikipedia's featured articles printed and bound. dw-06.04.09

7. :-X only w/ m8. God Texts the 10 Commandments by Jamie Quatro. jc-06.04.09

Today marks the official publication of CP alum Dave Reidy's short story collection Captive Audience. We've all been reading the advance copy and enjoying each and every page. A well-earned, hearty congratulations, Dave. sd-06.01.09

"Defection is daunting. So is starting a new, free life." Escaping North Korea. ms-06.01.09

Now available for pre-order: The Onion A.V. Club's Inventory: 16 Films Featuring Manic Pixie Dream Girls, 10 Great Songs Nearly Ruined by Saxophone, and 100 More Obsessively Specific Pop-Culture Lists, which features the writing of numerous FotA, including one I'm married to. sd-05.29.09

"Admitting it is the first step toward reading it." KG joins Matthew Baldwin, TMN and others in tackling DFW's Infinite Jest a bit at a time, in public. Infinite Summer. jc-05.29.09

Author and fellow Edgewater resident Aleksandar Hemon on the Chicago locales that influenced his latest book. sd-05.27.09

"If you arrived late for Terminator Salvation and missed the name of the director, at what moment would you realize that you were not watching a Mike Leigh film?" Another great Anthony Lane movie review. sd-05.27.09

Cover Stories, writers and designers, an essay by Steven Heller. Via Design Observer. jc-05.27.09

"So, you're in love with one of your friends, but she has a boyfriend and probably wouldn't have sex with you anyway." One time only, easy solution. ms-05.26.09

Scott's touching haiku, submitted to our Deck Network Readership survey. jc-05.22.09

MS and I can't stop laughing at this. bb-05.20.09

"The people and the organizations that really flourish prize autonomy." Amen. A chat between two of our favorite people, Alissa Walker interviews Dan Pink. jc-05.20.09

"So you're sitting there with the engine screaming its head off, and your ears bleeding, and you're doing only 23mph because that's about the top speed, and you're thinking things can't get any worse, and then they do because you run over a small piece of grit." Really great review of the new Honda Insight. ms-05.19.09

KG weighs in on the Notre Dame/Obama controversy. ms-05.15.09

"Because it is used in every e-mail address and many tweets, you might be forgiven for thinking that the remarkably common symbol @, which English-speakers know as the 'at sign,' but Italians call a 'snail,' and south Slavs know as a 'monkey,' is a fairly recent invention." jc-05.14.09

The Reanimation Library is a small, independent library based in Brooklyn. It is a collection of books that have fallen out of mainstream circulation. Outdated and discarded, they have been culled from thrift stores, stoop sales, and throw-away piles across the country and given new life as resource material for artists, writers, and other cultural archeologists. dw-05.13.09

So that's it. A fascinating article in The Atlantic by Joshua Wolf Shenk on what makes us happy. jc-05.13.09

Excerpts from Marijuana Magazine's Special Issues. Via Your Monkey Called. jc-05.07.09

"A man, unexcited by his own possessions and increasingly confused as to why he collected all these things in the first place, decides to hire someone else to live amidst his books and clothes, DVDs and framed photographs..." jc-05.07.09

Read Dracula in real time. Via Neatorama. dw-05.04.09

Okay FS readers, today is Buy Indie Day and we here at CP are STRONGLY ( I can use all caps cause JC is in London and can't yell at me until like 6 hours from now) encouraging every one of our readers and their friends to go out and support your local independent bookstore. So go forth and purchase my friends. You might even win a prize for it. Email me at michele at coudal dot com and let me know where you made your purchase and we'll pick three random winners and send you a Field Tested Book and Poster. ms-05.01.09

FotA and Field-Tested Books contributor Randy "The Ethicist" Cohen has just started a new project for the NY Times where he offers his ethical analysis of the daily news: The Moral of the Story. sd-04.30.09

"The importance of Beck's rectilinear, topologic 1933 diagram is widely recognized and praised by graphic designers. Many wonder why Beck never extended his ideas outside London. The answer is, he did - to the nearest major subway network to London; Paris." Harry Beck: The Paris Connection. Via NotCot. ms-04.30.09

More info on this Friday's Buy Indie Day. Support your local independent bookstore! ms-04.27.09

So great, JJ Abrams on The Magic of Mystery. ms-04.21.09

Getting caught up with Jan Chipchase's Future Perfect. Always insightful and frequently surprising. jc-04.17.09

Related to the last, "There is no backspace on this thing." Ben's incredible play-by-play commentary from the Vit/Potts Layer Tennis Match a couple weeks ago. jc-04.15.09

Ben Greenman's novel Please Step Back is due out next week. We already admired the book's cover and now here's a story about a cover of a different sort. Swamp Dogg performs his own version of a song taken from the novel. jc-04.15.09

"But somehow, when Lindsay is just chatting with reporters, her lips spin silky verse like William Carlos Williams emceeing at Lawrence Ferlinghetti's birthday jam." LiLoKu: The Rime of the Teenage Drama Queen. Brilliance, by our own KG for FSG. jc-04.15.09

"On a mundane morning in late summer in Paris, the impossible happened. The Mona Lisa vanished." ms-04.15.09

"All photos posted to the Free Verse project must include lines from a favorite poem written off the page in an unexpected or ephemeral way." Sweet. jc-04.13.09

William Gass, his books and what they mean to him, St. Louis 2007. Via Mefi. jc-04.08.09

Ebert sticks it to O'Reilly. ms-04.08.09

The Minister on the ambitious and beautiful St. John's Benedictine Abbey & University Bible Project. jc-04.08.09

"If he - I mean the judge, not King Oedipus - had said that he had lent the car to an Australian government secret agent whom he could not name without rendering him vulnerable to attack by terrorists, Marcus Einfeld might still be enjoying his place at the top of the heap, admired by all." ms-04.07.09

"As one researcher put it, being somewhat narcissistic is like driving a huge SUV: You're having a great time, even while you hog the road, suck up extra resources and put other drivers at higher risk." A Field Guide to Narcissism. Via Look At This. ms-04.07.09

"I've always figured the only way I could finish a book and get a plot was just to keep making it longer and longer until something happens--you know, until it finds its own plot." Terry Southern interview with Algren for The Paris Review in 1955. jc-04.06.09

Local note. Nelson Algren 100th Birthday at Steppenwolf tonight. See you there. jc-04.06.09

If Homer's Odyssey was written on Twitter. ms-04.06.09

TDRB flips through Stephen Bayley's Cars: Freedom, Style, Sex, Power, Motion, Colour, Everything. jc-04.04.09

Interesting brief interview with former editor Christina Kelly about Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love's cover feature in Sassy 17 years ago. sd-04.03.09

Great cover art for Ben Greenman's new novel Please Step Back due in May from Melville House. Ben recently did live commentary for us in a Layer Tennis match and blew pretty much everyone away. jc-04.03.09

TMN's favorite thing about the recession. jc-04.02.09

"They had lived with a bottle of Chianti between them, the scent hanging like a little purple veil between the roof and the million-candled carnival beyond --the window lights of the late office workers, piled one upon another above the river, the tavern lights that had bloomed like lilies touching each to each across the city's lawless deeps, the auto lights in one long forevering curve down miles and miles of boulevard where one dark driver after the other bore down the streets of the big night world..." Sweet Jesus, an unpublished Algren story in today's Reader, "'Entrapment." jc-04.01.09

The "Blog" of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks. Via Adland. jc-04.01.09

"Did you know there's a secret daily flight from the United States to Cuba? Or, that in 1966, the U.S. government smashed a bacteria-laden light bulb inside the New York subway system?" Find out more in the Book of Secrets. ms-04.01.09

1001 rules for my unborn son. Nice, via Ainsley at Kottke. jc-03.30.09

Lunch read. My Manhattan Project. How Michael Osinski helped build the bomb that blew up Wall Street. jc-03.30.09

Andrew and Rosecrans of TMN chat about the 2009 Tournament Of Books with All Things Considered. There's still time to lay down a bet. jc-03.29.09

Turns out it probably isn't wise to turn to Voltaire the next time you're saying something controversial, as he probably wouldn't defend to the death your right to say it after all. sd-03.27.09

"They didn't realise that nothing upstairs had been touched, this was how I worked, up to the elbows in papers, paints, maps, stones." A great personal essay by writer Iain Sinclair on living in the same house for 40 years. Via I Like. sd-03.25.09

John Hodgman judges today's second round match in the Tournament of Books. There's still time to place a bet and help us buy a truckload of new books for underprivileged kids. jc-03.24.09

The 50th Anniversary Edition of The Elements of Style. Mandatory for your reference library, this should be shelved right next to this. Via Daring Fireball. jc-03.24.09

If you enjoyed Ben Greenman's commentary for last Friday's Layer Tennis match, we highly recommend pre-ordering a copy of his upcoming new book Please Step Back. Also don't miss the book's theme song, recorded by funk legend Swamp Dogg (find it toward the bottom of the page). sd-03.23.09

The cancelled passport of Ezra Pound. Can't say I set out to find that but thanks to Maud I'm glad I did. jc-03.21.09

"This morning, I couldn't find my way into work. I drove the roads I thought would get me there but ended up on the edge of a barren field. The sky was dark." Today's Layer Tennis commentator Ben Greenman on that madness we hear so much about this time of year. jc-03.20.09

The Chicago Manual of Style questions and answers section is always worth a visit and it's edited by Carol Fisher Saller. Her new book is The Subversive Copy Editor. Cha-ching. jc-03.20.09

"He's an Irish lord and she's a long lost lady her parents thought died in a boating accident." Awesomest book discussion ever. kg-03.19.09

Stephen Hawking's bedtime stories. dw-03.19.09

Which Words Should Be Capitalized in a Headline? We're with Danny on this one. jc-03.19.09

The High Bouncing Lover. jc-03.19.09

Interesting composite interview a la Live from New York about women in comedy: "We'll Show You Who's Funny." Thanks Claire. sd-03.18.09

This has to be the headline of the day. ms-03.17.09

Related to the last. Rands on understanding your nerd which includes a handy section on "Advanced Nerd Tweakage." jc-03.16.09

"In retrospect, I'm sure he was asking if I had something I wanted him to autograph; there's no way that he was trying to "score" in front of a group of complete strangers." Funny story by FoTA (and eventual Grammy nominee) John Anderson about the day he sort of met Bob Dylan. kg-03.12.09

"I may be a thief and a liar," he says in beguiling Italian-accented French. "But I am going to tell you a true story." The Untold Story of the World's Biggest Diamond Heist. ms-03.12.09

"...she asked her husband if, instead of 'that chop suey you're writing,' he might not try 'sensible books that people can understand.'" On this day in 1923 JJ started FW. jc-03.11.09

The White House briefing room seating chart. bb-03.10.09

Vanity Fair's utterly fascinating look behind the scenes of the making of the movie The Godfather, The Godfather Wars ms-03.05.09

A huge collection of design books. Via Things. ms-03.04.09

Updike and Cheever on Cavett. jc-03.03.09

Revised Merit Badges by Rosecrans Baldwin. jc-03.02.09

A sneak peek at Madrid's 2016 Olympic bid book. ms-02.27.09

Big thanks to Nathan and the really nice folks over at Crush + Lovely for becoming a matching sponsor for the fifth annual Tournament of Books. Sponsors match up to $500.00 of wagers placed and it all goes to buy books for kids. Why don't you become a sponsor too? Just email me at michele at coudal dot com and get your name up on the list. ms-02.26.09

Traveling back more than 40,000 years to uncover the oldest English words. Via One Good Move. sd-02.26.09

"Learning to read is all about encountering words you don't understand. Unintelligibility in a text is a reason to form community." Junot Diaz, reading and answering questions in Seattle. jc-02.26.09

S/FJ describes who is on Twitter. jc-02.25.09

Snapshot revisited: The miner and the copper. So great. ms-02.24.09

My Ideas for Staged Photos Set Me Apart From Other Wedding Photographers. jc-02.23.09

Rick Poynor and Adrian Shaughnessy found it at the movies again. jc-02.18.09

"Silence and the inevitable don't really know." Clifford, by Jack Shedd. Bitter and sweet. jc-02.17.09

Chick in Kiev says, "Finally, a use for Twitter I fully endorse." (NSFW.) bb-02.11.09

Related. My very highest recommendation, Norman Maclean's Young Men and Fire, the story of the 1949 Mann Gulch Fire and the story of a writer and scholar at the end of his life. jc-02.10.09

MS and DW's Australian fire photos resemble the descriptions in one of the most terrifying, exciting books I've ever read: Under a Flaming Sky: The Great Hinckley Firestorm of 1894. Also related: the Great Peshtigo Fire of 1871, America's largest natural disaster that few people have ever heard of (because Chicago happened to burn down that same night). sd-02.10.09

Our SD will show his short films at The Poetry Center's No Love For Love benefit tonight, along with Peter Sagal, Jonathan Messinger, and other friends of poetry. bb-02.09.09

On this day in 1926 Ernest Hemingway ended his contract with his first publisher through some creative double-dealing. jc-02.09.09

About Maud's Grandfather and a prostitute she once hid from him. Unrelated: About Maud and Dostoevsky. jc-02.06.09

Esquire magazine covers going all the way back to 1933. ms-02.06.09

Amongst the Most Expensive AbeBook's Sales for 2008, George Bernard Shaw's Typewriter at $7979. Via Things. mj-02.04.09

"Updike was congenitally unembarrassable and we are the beneficiaries of that." Amis on Updike. jc-02.04.09

Interesting story about FBI agent Keith Mularski, who spent three years working undercover with identity thieves. sd-02.03.09

After posting Pride and Prejudice and Zombies last week, I learned that this isn't the only remake of the book. There's also Pride and Promiscuity: The Lost Sex Scenes of Jane Austen. sd-02.03.09

ABR's 100 best first lines from novels. jc-02.03.09

"6. Depend Upon Your Own Personal Exertions." Even the chapter titles are inspiring. The Art of Money Getting or Golden Rules For Making Money by P.T. Barnum, 1880. Via Gilbert Lee. jc-02.02.09

What could turn out to be the greatest book of all time is set to publish in April: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, "features the original text of Jane Austen's beloved novel with all-new scenes of bone-crunching zombie action." sd-01.30.09

The seven greatest stories in the history of Esquire magazine, in full. Thanks, Chrys. alw-01.30.09

February 2 is Buy a Newspaper Day. alw-01.29.09

"While my great grandfather hid in a rain barrel, a Ukrainian villager raped my great grandmother. Some time later, my grandfather was born." Now that's a lede. "Family Ties" by Z. So great. jc-01.29.09

Scenes from an Alternate Universe Where Saved by the Bell, Rather Than Law and Order, Became the Dominant Television Franchise for a Generation. sd-01.28.09

"You are not the only person in the world with high standards and refined taste. You are not the only consumer with foresight, charm and, if we may be so bold, lovely hair." Who cares how the chips taste, they had me with the copy. Real Chips. ms-01.28.09

FotA and Field-Tested Books contributor Lauren Groff has published her second book, Delicate Edible Birds, a short story collection, which was just released yesterday. Congrats, Lauren! sd-01.28.09

"KL: Old king learns too late that two of his kids only wanted power. He and most main characters die. One just gets his eyes gouged out." Shakespeare plays synopsized into 140 characters for Twitter. jc-01.28.09

Congrats to author Neil Gaiman on winning the prestigious Newbery Medal for his fantastic book The Graveyard Book. You can watch him read the entire book aloud here. And here is what he Twittered when he found out. Well said. ms-01.28.09

Rest in peace Mr. Updike. jc-01.27.09

The Printed Blog is available starting today in Chicago and San Francisco. dw-01.27.09

"One Woman's Confession: I Hate Suburbia," an essay from the September 1965 issue of Lady's Circle about life in the famous Levittown area of Long Island. sd-01.26.09

"Barkajak: noun; A person who yells answers to game show contestants on TV." Found a strange word? Look up the definition over at the Addictionary. ms-01.26.09

"The alphabet isn't dead; it just has a lot more company." Ellen Lupton on visual vs. verbal writing. alw-01.23.09

"Zombie Round" voting is open for The Morning News Tournament of Books. If your favorite book dies you don't want to think, "Damn, maybe I should have done something." jc-01.23.09

For KG. Walker Percy wrote a letter to The Boss. And The Boss wrote back. Nice. jc-01.22.09

Today's front pages from 73 countries. ms-01.21.09

Our copy (178/1000) of Things Our Friends Have Written on the Internet 2008 by Ben Terret and Russell Davies has just arrived and it's fab. We agree with everything Jason Kottke had to say about this project including that we wish we had thought of it first. jc-01.20.09

An example of when a columnist has writer's block and is up against a deadline: "CVS Receipts Are Too Long." sd-01.19.09

"The best thing about living in the White House would be running around like a maniac." Yet more student advice for the president-elect. alw-01.19.09

"There was a time when this newspaper - and many others across the south -- acted with gross neglect by largely ignoring the unfairness of segregated schools, buses, restaurants, washrooms, theaters and other public place." The Meridian Star apologizes. Amen. Via The Utne Reader. jc-01.19.09

Congrats to FoTA Charlie Newton, whose awesome, Chicago-set Calumet City has just received an Edgar nomination for Best First Novel. kg-01.16.09

Andrew Wyeth, Famed and Infamous Artist, Dies at 91. Kimmelman obit in the Times. jc-01.16.09

Consumed columnist and Buying In author Rob Walker is now doing free classroom "visits" via Skype. alw-01.15.09

The Chicago Crime Scenes Project, stories of what happened where and photos of what's there now. sd-01.14.09

In preparation for Tuesday, something to watch at lunch today. January 20, 1961. jc-01.14.09

Tips from Cory Doctorow on writing in the age of distraction. Thanks, Allan. alw-01.13.09

Illustrations by Edward Gorey, The Recently Deflowered Girl; The Right Thing to Say on Every Dubious Occasion. ms-01.13.09

"Dramatic changes in form require equally dramatic changes in terms." By Any Other Name from a working library. Via JSM. jc-01.12.09

Prepare your reading list for this year, the most anticipated books of 2009. Via TMN. ms-01.08.09

"I'll be putting on my skunk suit at other garden parties, now that I've been excessed from the Voice." Nat Hentoff gets the axe. Wow. jc-01.07.09

A really great read and fantastic images too when Selectism interviews the inventors of Freeman Transport bike. ms-01.06.09

Dallas Clayton's wonderfully illustrated children's book in its entirety: An Awesome Book! Via Transbuddha. sd-01.06.09

The rise of cell-phone novels in -- where else? -- Japan. alw-01.05.09

Fascinating article over at Wired, One Hacker's Audacious Plan to Rule the Black Market in Stolen Credit Cards. ms-01.05.09

'I now have over 2,500 songs on my iTunes at work, but they don't seem like they're mine so much as my computer's. And that somehow bothers me." How Dave Segal lost his vinyl. Via TMN. jc-01.05.09

To go along with JC's Apollo 8 post below, from today's NYT, Not-So-Lonely Planet. ms-12.24.08

sshhh! this is a working library. Mandy Brown rocks. Bookmarked. jc-12.19.08

So you'll know how to say "You can slide down my hunchback using your tongue as a brake" the next time you're in Austria: Weird Words and Bizarre Phrases. Via Arbroath. sd-12.19.08

"All of life is six to five against." On this day in '46 Damon Runyon's ashes were scattered over Broadway. Highly recommended, Jimmy Breslin's Damon Runyon: A Life. jc-12.18.08

Related to the last. An archive of Aspen issues and an ad for the magazine. "An unbound magazine in a box... the first truly new idea in publishing since paperbacks." jc-12.18.08

A look inside Marje Volezang's Eat Love, a book about her experiences as an "eating designer." sd-12.16.08

"Come in, but then go back out again." How Germans really see English ad slogans. Thanks Louis. jc-12.15.08

"Regulars are your friends-by-default, the ones you hope will recognize you in a dire emergency, when, say, you're choking on a four-dollar piece of Starbucks cheesecake and hoping your family won't remember you as 'the dead guy who paid too much for dessert.'" Rosecrans Baldwin is that guy over there with the yellow legal pads. jc-12.12.08

Three posts that I think should be required reading if you're looking for some context about the death of print (or how information is flowing today, and it's not from paper) 1. The Newspaper Industry and the Arrival of the Glaciers, 2. Content and Its Discontents, and 3. Change Happens. mst-12.10.08

"This is my statement. Holden Caulfield, Catcher in the Rye." On this date in 1980. jc-12.08.08

From the July 1948 issue of the The Atlantic, Pearl Harbour in Retrospect. ms-12.07.08

"A friend once suggested I order a 'water on the rocks', and not realizing it was a joke I ordered it. The bartender stared at me with a confused look. I stared back with a red face." Oh. Via Design Crush. dw-12.05.08

20 signs you don't want that web design project. From Z who states, "all incidents taken from life." jc-12.05.08

So you know. Take all these "so you knows" with a grain of salt. Merlin's Real Advice Hurts. jc-12.04.08

When I was growing up, we were lucky to have a cabin in the woods. It was rustic, not fancy but a place to relax and come together as a family. Times have changed and cabins are not what they used to be. ms-12.04.08

There's at least 25 ways to blog, and to think I thought there was only one way. mst-12.03.08

"Instead, the amount of data generated will rise exponentially as we create a constantly expanding record of the present, swiftly overwhelming our memories of the past." Things. jc-12.03.08

Pop-up books from the 1930s. dw-12.03.08

Bookmarked, The Designer's Review of Books. dw-12.02.08

Finalists for The Literary Review's Annual Bad Sex in Fiction award. And congrats to the winner Rachel Johnson, you earned it. ms-11.26.08

Tangentially related to the last, commonly made suggestions about commonly made errors, and more importantly, non-errors, "those usages people keep telling you are wrong but which are actually standard in English." Which is exactly the sort of attitude up with which I will not put. jc-11.25.08

So you know. That? Which? Or What? by Philip B. Corbett. Via ThoughtSpurs jc-11.25.08

"Or like the 'Thai style risotto,' a viscous gruel that's served with a clump of pork belly and intended, perhaps, for the Siamese twin of Oliver Twist." Really great restaurant review. Via MeFi. ms-11.20.08

Bram Meehan of Panel Press sent along a link to an interesting Mother Jones article that fits with our featured Laboratory Conditions film. Fear and Fallout in Los Alamos by Bill Donahue. jc-11.18.08

"Each month or so, we release a new issue of 'i left this here for you to read.- We then leave them in public places (such on park benches, on buses, in airports and dentists' offices...) for anyone to take--free of charge." From artist Tim Devin, i left this here for you to read. ms-11.18.08

Star Wars: A New Heap Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Death Star. John Power's academic essay. Over the top? Sure. Fun? You betcha. jc-11.12.08

"I could not tell you the last time I heard 'O Canada' sung in public since I do not attend many hockey games." Kate Beaton on Canadian patriotism. bb-11.12.08

"It is, however, a sluttishness probably to be expected of someone who had to make a living after he discovered that the novels he reviewed were a lot better than the novels he wrote." -John Leonard. Via TMN. jc-11.11.08

FactCheck.org's coverage of Elliott Blaufuss's 2008 Halloween party. jc-11.10.08

Pentagram's redesign of the "luxury lifestyle magazine of the Harvard elite," 02138, was just about to go to press when the publisher pulled the plug. So they posted the entire issue online. The interface isn't too swell but the mag sure looks great. Thanks Kurt. jc-11.10.08

Read this. Via Gawker. ms-11.07.08

"On the morning of November 2, 1859 -Election Day- George Kyle, a merchant with the Baltimore firm of Dinsmore & Kyle, left his house with a bundle of ballots tucked under his arm. Kyle was a Democrat. As he neared the polls in the city's Fifteenth Ward, which was heavily dominated by the American Party, a ruffian tried to snatch his ballots." The New Yorker takes a look at How we used to vote. Via MeFi. ms-11.03.08

FoTA (and more significantly, FoST) Rick Kogan has written a beautiful tribute to Studs. kg-10.31.08

Joshua Green Allen's Fireland turns thirteen years old today. We worship the guy (remember The House of Wigs?) and we carry on living just for updates to his Twitter feed and new journal Wiretap Follies. bb-10.31.08

Great moment in typos: Cambridge University's Parking Lot. sd-10.29.08

FotA John Hodgman's TED Talk. A quick, related local note: John will be at Second City tomorrow, along with another FotA and Field-Tester, Get Your War On's David Rees. sd-10.27.08

On George Lois and the big idea. Designed to Sell by Steven Heller from the NYTBR yesterday. Also, as a podcast. jc-10.27.08

"It may interest Dad to know that when Mom implemented the 'Sleeping in Separate Beds' initiative, on September 4, it was not, as she claimed at the time, because she suffers from restless-legs syndrome." Mom's And Dad's Campaign Statements, by Gregory Beyer. jc-10.22.08

Boring Books. Via 1+1=3. sd-10.22.08

William Carlos Williams is a really bad roommate. jc-10.22.08

David Barnett hunts down the best books that never existed. Via TMN. jc-10.20.08

Fair exchange. jc-10.16.08

Local note. Friend of the agency Scott Smith reads from his novel Like Dizzy Gillespie's Cheeks tonight at The Book Cellar in Lincoln Square. jc-10.15.08

"I wouldn't know what to do with a dollar even if I could remember which pants it was in." Nice story on E. B. White's "Hymn to the Barn," which was published on this date in 1952. jc-10.15.08

ADC profile of Robert Brownjohn. jc-10.13.08

So you know. It's Not Its. jc-10.10.08

Zulkey interviews David Rees of Get Your War On fame. For more Rees, don't miss his very funny Field-Tested Books entry on reading John Grisham. sd-10.08.08

Author Neil Gaiman is on tour for his latest book, The Graveyard Book. At each stop on the tour, he's filmed himself reading a chapter of the book and posted them online. You can watch the videos for each chapter here. Brilliant. ms-10.07.08

William Faulkner's "splendid failure," The Sound and the Fury was published on this day in 1929. jc-10.07.08

Chris Glass' notes to the future. Good stuff, we could all hold hands more and drink less soda. bb-10.07.08

Steven Heller and Lita Talarico's The Design Entrepreneur: Turning Graphic Design Into Goods That Sell, is a new book from SVA which includes a profile of CP. Thanks for that. Cha-ching. jc-10.06.08

Esquire's The 75 Books Every Man Should Read. "An unranked, incomplete, utterly biased list of the greatest works of literature ever published." sd-09.30.08

"I don't know. I didn't set out to do it. I just went up and made jokes, and people told me that I was an anxious, neurotic Jew. I didn't sit down and think, This is a good side of the street to work." NY Mag interview with Woody Allen. jc-09.29.08

The Guilfoile-Warner Papers are back at TMN and just in time I'd say. jc-09.29.08

"Now that there are no priests or philosophers left, artists are the most important people in the world. This is the only thing that interests me." Gordon Burn's smart overview of the career of Gerhard Richter. Mandatory. jc-09.25.08

Confused in the ways of love? Turn to the Mubai Mirror advice column. Ask the Sexpert, by Jil Wheeler. jc-09.24.08

As always, there's a fine line between "a contest" and "spec work," but this Penguin book cover design contest features some pretty impressive finalists. bb-09.23.08

The 50 Greatest Villains in Literature. sd-09.22.08

Artemy Lebedev's Mandership is published. Looks like it's only in Russian, but English speakers can find lots of common sense and uncommon opinions about design and creativity in the online archives. jc-09.19.08

Angela Landels' illustrations for a lovely series of paperbacks from Capuchin Classics. jc-09.19.08

So you know, 10 overused words in writing. ms-09.19.08

Rejected by 21 publishers and then greeted by lukewarm reviews, William Golding's first novel, The Lord of the Flies, was published on this day in 1954. jc-09.17.08

The classic Semaphore Wuthering Heights, via the Emily Bronte of History Comics bb-09.16.08

"The apocalyptic power of God has existed forever, and He's been restrained about using it, despite provocation. The apocalyptic power of science has existed only since 1945, and the A-bomb has been tried twice already." P. J. O'Rourke on God. jc-09.16.08

A diary for your whole life. ahl-09.15.08

Steering Wheel. Paul Ford rules. jc-09.12.08

Embiggen your vocabulary with these totalistic cromulent words. ahl-09.11.08

Very easy way to lose track of a couple of hours: Courthouse Confessions, Steven Hirsch's collection of photos and statements from people leaving NY courts. sd-09.11.08

FotA and Field-Tested Books contributor Ben Greenman's upcoming new book: Correspondences, which will serve as the starting point for The Postcard Project, wherein readers will help fill in blanks of the original book via postcards. How will that work? Ben will be at a reading tonight in NYC to explain it all. sd-09.11.08

So you know. Assuming you're not one of the lucky ones you might need this big list of hints for the apocalypse, including "Would You Save Your Family and Yourself, or Would You Die in the Flames?" and "How To be Invisible." jc-09.10.08

"The moment when one meets a book and knows, beyond shadow of doubt, that that book must be his - not necessarily now, but some time - is among the happiest excitements of the spirit." Christopher Morley's great essay "On Visiting Bookshops" from 1920. Via One Good Move. sd-09.09.08

Heinlein's fan mail solution, via Glass. bb-09.09.08

Trailer for an Erich Weiss/House Industries film about Ed Rondthaler, proponent of simplified American spelling. Charming. jc-09.08.08

The Waste Land by T.S. Eliot annotated via hypertext. Awesome. jc-09.08.08

Steven Heller on Paul Rand's can. jc-09.04.08

Funny graffiti from the abandoned Michael Reese Hospital makes good use of a morbid old quote often attributed to either Tom Waits or Woody Allen, regularly used on gravestones, and even the inspiration for this great book. sd-09.04.08

Oldie but so very much a goodie, 300 love letters. ms-09.04.08

Related again. Solid copy writing is important but it ain't the only thing. Ahem. Helmut Krone. The Book. jc-09.04.08

Related to the last. "But we'd rather be less efficient and better. Instead of just efficient and not as good." Everything you need to know about how to write advertising copy can be found in these vintage Doyle Dane Bernbach print ads for Karmann Ghia. jc-09.04.08

THE, a quarterly magazine from The Future Laboratory. se-09.03.08

"Many have argued that the signs ought to read 'ten items or fewer' instead of 'ten items or less.'" Tesco in the UK bows to good grammar. Bravo. sd-09.02.08

Favorite Signatures: From Ginsberg to Sedaris, writers talk about their most treasured signed copies of books. sd-08.28.08

I think I just had my moment of becoming a real Chicagoan, complete with a new found chip on my shoulder, by getting upset at this article on adjusting to life in New York: "City Fits, Eventually, for New Arrivals." sd-08.27.08

"When my father died, the woods were thirsty from summer. If you were going to make a campfire, you would hunt and hunt for kindling that dry." On Ways of Dealing With Tripping in Public by Crispin Best. More greatness from Eyeshot jc-08.22.08

Wanna blow off the whole morning? Atari: The Golden Years by Steve Fulton. Via Waxy. jc-08.22.08

"Dark! All-encompassing, eternal darkness! Human eyes cannot penetrate the stygian blackness of this unholy confection!" Selections From H.P. Lovecraft's Brief Tenure as a Whitman's Sampler Copywriter. sd-08.21.08

The Book of Surfing, via It's Nice That. se-08.21.08

300 Love letters. dw-08.20.08

Sex and the semicolon. ms-08.19.08

John Steffen field tests our Field Tested Books Book. Thanks for that. jc-08.18.08

Where Is Bob?, Tales of an Absentee Manager. I've been following this since it started last week. It's a perfect use of the weblog format to tell a serialized story. Great writing and funny too. Bookmark. jc-08.15.08

Why an Exciting Book is Just as Thrilling as a Hair-raising Movie. sd-08.15.08

Claire interviews David Pasquesi, star of Regrets: Hobbies and Spike's Factory (among countless other roles). We should mention that he's also a Field Tester. sd-08.15.08

"Mike Hummer had been a private detective so long he could remember Preparation A, his hair reminded everyone of a rat who'd bitten into an electrical cord, but he could still run faster than greased owl snot when he was on a bad guy's trail, and they said his friskings were a lot like getting a vasectomy at Sears." Winners have been chosen for the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest. ms-08.15.08

Socially and educationally, college really paid off for me, but I wholeheartedly agree with the WSJ, who says "For Most People, College Is a Waste of Time". bb-08.14.08

Dan Solomon asks, "Hey, you know who's still a douchebag?" jc-08.14.08

Fabulous, all 544 pages of Latin American Design from Taschen books is online. ms-08.12.08

"I try to explain how life is like discovering you've had the microwave set at defrost trying to make popcorn after three minutes of silence." Y Tu Yo Yo Ma Tambien by Jimmy Chen. jc-08.11.08

10 Oddest Travel Guides Ever Published. Not listed and perhaps not entirely related, but it reminded me of a favorite book: Round Ireland with a Fridge. Our Field-Tested Books Book would also serve as a fairly unique travel guide, too. sd-08.11.08

KG's piece from the Saturday Tribune on a new book by Simon Baatz about the Leopold and Loeb murders. jc-08.11.08

When politics was more clever and fun Dick Tuck's Hoaxes Against Nixon. Via Cynical-C. sd-08.08.08

Jody Rosen's "Dude, You Stole My Article," about a plagiarizing alt-weekly in Texas. sd-08.07.08

"The language is so lugubrious, like Edward Gorey or Lemony Snicket. Every tile has something, a name or a place or a word that places it firmly in the past." I Like's visit to Postman's Park to look at plaques commemorating people who died saving others. Each one feels like a Decemberists song waiting to happen. sd-08.07.08

The background on the How Magicians Control Your Mind study, and the full report itself from Nature Reviews Neuroscience magazine. A must read for any fans of magic and/or brains. sd-08.06.08

Our friends over at First Book, who we have had the pleasure of making donations to for every Field-Tested Books Book we've sold, have launched their own literary project: What Book Got You Hooked? sd-08.05.08

Now that you know what the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon is, you'll probably see some reference to it again later today. sd-08.04.08

Tangentially related to the last, a great story, Dear Monsieur Picasso. jc-07.31.08

"NBC News tried hard to find work for me, as a writer of radio newsbreaks, for example, but I wasn't very good at it. In the summer of 1958, they assigned me to the White House." Interesting, longish, personal NYer piece by Charles Van Doren with plenty of stories you didn't get in Quiz Show. kg-07.29.08

Admired yesterday at the bookstore, Goodnight Bush. se-07.28.08

Interesting interview with designer Stefan Sagmeister. Thanks Jeff. ms-07.25.08

"Then the Child ventured forth from Israel and Palestine and stepped onto the shores of the Old Continent. In the land of Queen Angela of Merkel, vast multitudes gathered to hear his voice, and he preached to them at length." Funny piece of political satire by The Times' Gerard Baker. sd-07.25.08

Passages from the shortlisted selections for this year's Literary Review Bad Sex in Fiction Awards. Iain Hollingshead took home the top prize for his bewildering scene in Twentysomething. Here are some excerpts from previous years' winners. sd-07.25.08

"The country was bustling with construction, redevelopment, and euros. I stayed at the newly-restored Hotel Adlon, near the Brandenberg Gate pictured on the front of my $0.75 Dell paperback edition of le Carré..." Michael Bierut is a Field Tester and will be reading at our event in NYC Monday. Join us, won't you? jc-07.25.08

"Paul informs Lisa that he was having an affair and, for some reason, it's never brought up again. Lisa doesn't care. She's too focused on the murder charge." Fabulous reviews of Lifetime movies. Via TMN. ms-07.23.08

I Don't Have Time for Noncontroversial Art Exhibits. se-07.22.08

Virginia Heffernan is "stumped by how to excerpt the language on message boards and blogs." jc-07.22.08

Great post by Rands, and tons of others, The Quirkbook. Mine is "Must quit all apps on Mac before leaving for the day." jc-07.19.08

"Arctic terns mate for life, unlike wives of zoology-department chairs..." Field Notes on the Arctic Tern, by Jon Methven. jc-07.18.08

Finalists for the David Foster Wallace Motivational Poster Competition. sd-07.18.08

Hail the Father of Symbol Signs, by Steven Heller. jc-07.17.08

In answer to Guest Editor Lincoln Cushing's post about %*!&@ Monday, Jonathan Hoefler says there's a word for that. That is %$@in' great. jc-07.16.08

I Was a Mad Man by William Drenttel. jc-07.15.08

A big congrats from everyone at the studio to former CP'er and Field-Tested Books founder, Dave Reidy, who just sold his first book, Captive Audience, which will be released next July by Ig Publishing. sd-07.11.08

Earlier this week, we complained about LG's improper use of an apostrophe in their Scarlet ads (TV's vs TVs). Then, this morning, we picked up a newspaper and saw that they have corrected the error. So once again, we find that our dedication to the maintaining the dignity of the English language for the good of humanity has paid off. You're welcome. sd-07.11.08

The Ghosts of My Friends is a book in which to capture inkblots created from the signatures of your friends. se-07.09.08

"She never ruled out marriage, but her romances always seemed to end with flying vases and cab rides across town in an overcoat and nightgown to sleep at Frieda's or Violet's." How it turned out for the Peanuts gang. Completely brilliant. Via Waxy. jc-07.09.08

Here's what you were looking for late last night Sheila. Zadie Smith reading Frank O'Hara's Animals from our Verse By Voice feature. jc-07.09.08

Bothering us around the table at lunch for some time whenever we see yet another ad for it, so here's a quick note to LG: if you're going to spend millions on your massive Scarlet ad campaign, it's probably wise to proof your copy before the launch. It's TVs, not TV's. sd-07.08.08

"There's not a jewelry store in this nation that doesn't have a picture of Doris Payne in the back room with her gray-haired self." An interesting article on Doris Payne, elegant jewel thief. sd-07.08.08

"I have just finished setting up the whole of Mr. Eliot's poem with my own hands --you see how my hand trembles." Virginia Woolf, typesetter. jc-07.08.08

Playing Balderdash With Ex-Girlfriends by Michael Nelson Price. jc-07.07.08

"There was no tone of thankfulness for having been spared to answer to their names, but rather a toll, and an unvoiced wish that they, too, had been among the missing." 145 years ago today. jc-07.03.08

Paper Cuts on a new book about Han van Meegeren, "a mediocre Dutch painter but a brilliant forger who, in the 1930s and early 1940s, painted six 'Vermeers.'" jc-07.03.08

"I've spent years cultivating the art of writing the way I talk, and you can't really 'speak' a semicolon out loud. (Maybe John Gielgud could, but I can't.)" Terry Teachout responds to Paul Collin's Death of the Semicolon piece. jc-07.02.08

"I just read your intro—great stuff, really. I just have a few minor changes/corrections. No big thing." jc-07.02.08

A pair of books, reviewed in the NYRB, attempt to figure out how jokes work. And, more importantly, how one joke works. jc-07.02.08

A moving day for Mr. Zeldman. The thing about Z is that he makes great, personal writing seem so easy, damn him. jc-07.01.08

The education of former U.S. poet laureate Billy Collins via Warner Bros, cartoons. Really. jc-07.01.08

Lost in Emoticons, a girl and her Mom on IM. Fab. Especially Red Fish Face. jc-06.30.08

For Diane, here's what you're looking for. Our feature, Verse By Voice: Poetry After the Beep. Specifically, here's novelist Zadie Smith reading "Animals" by Frank O'Hara. Also, a new O'Hara collection has just been published and it was reviewed by William Logan in Sunday's NYTBR. jc-06.30.08

A great, lengthy interview from 1968 with Jean Shepard about The I, Libertine Hoax. sd-06.30.08

Ron Rosenbaum on catchphrases that should be thrown under the bus before they nuke the fridge. sd-06.30.08

"Words were not simply what they connoted: they were art objects and art supplies in themselves." Douglas Coupland on visual thinking. Via Daring Fireball. jc-06.30.08

"Lately I've had trouble underbaking my work. I think I need to work past the point where I think it's finished." Computer Arts interviews typographer and artist Marian Bantjes. Also check her "Click me. Read me. Open me. Buy me. Love me." print. jc-06.30.08

CP alum Kevin Guilfoile's Cast of Shadows is now available in Russian, with an awesome cover. "Театр Теней" means "Theater of Shadows," like this, or way better yet, this. bb-06.27.08

For those who tried to rock. jc-06.27.08

"Nauseating, perverted and vicious." Carrie Frye of About Last Night on the 60th anniversary of the publication of Shirley Jackson's The Lottery. jc-06.27.08

One Dead Media, an awesome elegy to edge-notched cards by Kevin Kelly. Via Big Contrarian. jc-06.26.08

The Sweet Smell of Sin. ms-06.26.08

An afternoon at The Portland Paper Show with Aaron. jc-06.23.08

"...true things gradually disappeared and shiny easy things took their place." On this day in 1961, Steinbeck's The Winter or Our Discontent was published. jc-06.23.08

Aleksandar Hemon's The Lazarus Project. All the words are from the novel. Some pictures are contemporary and some historical. Mesmerizing. Via Rob Walker, who's Buying In is highly recommended. jc-06.23.08

KG lying on the beach with his back burned rare. jc-06.20.08

Armin on Otl Aicher. jc-06.19.08

Denise Gonzales Crisp and Rick Poynor give us their thoughts on the new survey Graphic Design History: A Critical Guide. se-06.19.08

A new letter from Paris from Rosecrans Baldwin has arrived. Also, check his field testing of The Boy Scout Handbook. jc-06.19.08

Radio Ephemera calls for entries. A Third Coast International Audio Festival contest in collaboration with the Prelinger Library. Get busy. jc-06.19.08

Vintage children's book from 1963: I Want to be a Coal Miner. se-06.18.08

Carl Alviani interviews five creative professionals about their work days for Coroflot's Creative Seeds. jc-06.17.08

Two new DIY printing books (PIY?) at p+p. bb-06.16.08

Totally in the spirit of Field Tested Books, what Derek White read and where he read it. jc-06.14.08

Alissa wants to know who will field test the Field-Tested Books Book? jc-06.13.08

Kottke posts on print design by looking way, way back to Hypnerotomachia Poliphili. jc-06.13.08

Writers' rooms. jc-06.12.08

Take the Funny and Run by Larry Getlen. jc-06.10.08

So you know. The 220 dates on which the world will end. jc-06.05.08

"4 years and 200 days until the end of the world?" That'll give you just about enough time to read everything on this site. bb-06.05.08

"...the universe can wrap up a gift tidier than all the fictionalists in the world combined." We Can Save Ourselves From Sinking. KG's latest at The Outfit. jc-06.05.08

Vanity Fair's great article on the history of the internet; How the Web Was Won. ms-06.05.08

Steven Heller burnishes his already excellent reputation by whipping out the Letratset in a time of crisis. jc-06.04.08

"On this day in 1964, T. S. Eliot wrote to Groucho Marx to confirm that a car would be at waiting at the Savoy to pick 'you and Mrs. Groucho' up for dinner." jc-06.03.08

Wonkette editor Ken Layne's column about the "angry" "half-literate" "morons" who comment on political sites, with 10 pages of comments proving his thesis. Awesome. bb-06.02.08

Something to think about from screenwriter Earl Pomerantz. "Numbers are your permanent companions, shadowing your life from 'Hello' to 'Goodbye...' jc-06.02.08

Today we learn about Canada. Jonathan Bell uncovers why Americans can so easily sniff out Canadians in their midst. jc-05.30.08

"In this version of the poem, each line is a hyperlink. Click on any line, then wait for the Apostrophe Engine to generate a new poem for you." Via Mefi. jc-05.29.08

The last ten tumultuous years in publishing as seen by The Observer's retiring literary editor Robert McCrum. A long, smart essay. jc-05.28.08

Words that sound true. jc-05.28.08

A designer must-read. Mr. Heller on German classicist O.H.W. Hadank. jc-05.23.08

Speak Up reports on the AIGA presentation by NY design collective Athletics which include some smart visuals on how they organize their business. We try to follow the "pretzel" too. Two of the presenters, Matt Owens and Jason Gnewikow, you might remember, played an epic match of Layer Tennis for us last fall. jc-05.22.08

Before and After #123: Ezra Pound. From the must-visit-frequently If Charlie Parker Was a Gunslinger, There'd Be a Whole Lot of Dead Copycats. jc-05.22.08

Carolyn Kellogg of the LA Time's excellent book blog Jacket Copy is on a cross country road trip visiting literary landmarks and locations along the way. jc-05.22.08

Sometimes erotic, sometimes menacing and sometimes a little of both, Stephen Heller examines how one leg leads to another. ms-05.21.08

"Don't bite the hand that... looks dirty." Some proverbs, rewritten by first graders. Via Chris Glass. se-05.20.08

Today's long read, Can a Dead Brand Live Again? ms-05.19.08

The Voice's favorite writers pick their favorite obscure books for summer. Via The BDR. Our Field-Tested Books compendium for 2008 debuts soon. jc-05.19.08

Increasingly opposed to the Vietnam War, Robert F. Kennedy struggled over whether he should challenge his party's incumbent president, Lyndon Johnson, in 1968. His younger brother, Teddy, was against it. His wife, Ethel, urged him on. Many feared he would be assassinated, like the older brother he mourned." An excerpt from Thurston Clarke's novel on Robert Kennedy, The Last Good Campaign. ms-05.14.08

Today's long read; Koolhaas, Constant and Dutch culture in the 1960's. ms-05.14.08

"Having had to write the book 'in a state of near drunkenness in order to deal with material that upset me very much,'" Anthony Burgess's A Clockwork Orange was published on this day in 1962 . jc-05.14.08

Happiness, the book. nh-05.12.08

"...sophisticated classics with literature in easily digestible form." Literature Donor Kebab. nh-05.12.08

"There were the Russians, the Italians, even some Chinese. Together we formed a foul little congress: the United Tarnations, the Fellowship of the Smoke Ring." Sedaris on smoking. Am I the only one who hears his voice reading his work out loud as I read it? ms-05.07.08

FilmInFocus asked five leading architect/designers to tell them what five films have inspired their own creative growth and direction. jc-05.07.08

Great long read, The True Story of a Bogus Blog. ms-05.06.08

9-1/2 Questions With Kevin Cornell, Layer Tennis legend and Peoplemals overlord. jc-05.05.08

Here's GM's 1956 Design for Dreaming and here's Rob Walker's take on it and how the "new future" compares to the "old future." jc-05.05.08

"The book objects (...) are each made from pages of existing books removed from their bindings and rebound as one." Welcome to the Infinite Library ms-05.03.08

"Which probably proves that although memory may be short, a mile and a quarter can be a long, long way." The immortal Red Smith on the Derby, from 1979. jc-05.02.08

Typo hunt across America. jc-05.02.08

KG's latest over at The Collective, The Revolution Will Be Televised (But It Won't Be On Location). ms-05.02.08

Heartbreaking but a must read, The Things That Carried Him. ms-05.02.08

"Why did the boss give them $60,000 to produce a commercial for a product that didn't exist? Because that's how corporations work." Stick Out Your Tongue, from Z. jc-05.01.08

Albert Hofmann, the Swiss chemist who first synsthesized LSD, passed away this week. Here's the complete text of his book, LSD - My Problem Child. Via PCL. jc-05.01.08

"What follows 'so' is another idea, insight, or fact --not because it's merely next in a series but because it's conceptually consequent." So here's the thing... jc-04.29.08

Kid, you'll go far. Great first sentence of a college newspaper article. ms-04.29.08

On this day in 1926 Harper Lee was born in Monroeville, Alabama. jc-04.28.08

Author Nathaniel Rich is soliciting original cover art for the various editions of the novels of Constance Eakins, a fictional mid-20th Century force of literature in Rich's novel The Mayor's Tongue. Check out the complete and completely fictional list of Eakins titles, as well as a funny, pretend interview with him from The Paris Review. kg-04.25.08

Despite his deathbed wishes, Vladimir Nabokov's last work will not be burned. Here's some more on The Original of Laura. sd-04.25.08

Related to the last: here's the story I was trying to remember from This American Life about eating an Ortolan ("Act Two: Last Meal"). sd-04.24.08

"I think advertising should be like poison gas. It should grip you by the throat, it should bowl you over, it should knock you on your ass." Adam Levy on George Lois. jc-04.24.08

"It is no secret that the real world in which the designer functions is not the world of art, but the world of buying and selling." Paul Rand on The Politics of Design.. ms-04.24.08

"When I was on Nova I was the most arrogant person in the world. There was only one view of the world and that was mine." MagCulture interview with designer David Hillman, with lots about the highly influential 1970's British style magazine. Things To Look At has a selection of Nova covers. jc-04.24.08

"So, I make about as much money as our local garbage man; and I don't smell as bad after a day of work." Ambient musician Robert Rich on the 1000 True Fans idea. Via Waxy. jc-04.23.08

"One of the things I like about the story form is how much it can imply. Not as a kind of guessing game or some cute riddle you're playing on the reader, but in the way that situations in life imply other situations." An interview with Tobias Wolff about his new short story collection. sd-04.23.08

Creativity is not a commodity! Or is it? Adii from Cape Town adds to the discussion about the recent 37signals post about us. Thanks for that. jc-04.23.08

"Give us a nominee or give us death." KG and John Warner's latest political discussion, Running and Screaming. ms-04.22.08

"You will get screwed" and other sage advice from Kevin Cornell on entering illustration. jc-04.21.08

The Museum of Bad Art: Masterworks, the new book from the collectors of bad, featuring such classics as Bone-Juggling Dog in Hula Skirt and Retch Like an Egyptian. sd-04.21.08

"I'm told that you were probably never informed that I was anything other than 'missing in action.' That leaves me a lot of explaining to do." Steve Almond on the origins of Slaughterhouse Five. jc-04.21.08

WSJ vs NYT. jc-04.21.08

Joshua Allen's Two Minutes and 42 Seconds in Heaven at TMN. jc-04.16.08

Maciej Ceglowski goes dancing in San Telmo, Argentina and includes a helpful "partial list of tango mistakes I have made." jc-04.16.08

"Child Labor's Hidden Adorable Side" jc-04.16.08

"He didn't just invent the modern detective novel, he reinvented the first-person narrator. He has been imitated so often that many of the writers influenced by Chandler have never even read him." KG on Chandler for The Oufit. jc-04.15.08

Great interview with Junot Diaz, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, but maybe more impressively, also won the 2008 Rooster. sd-04.15.08

The hotel world's first Reader in Residence. Via Arbroath. sd-04.14.08

"2063 A.D. was a book published in 1963 by General Dynamics Astronautics. The book asked politicians, military commanders and scientists to speculate as to where humanity would be, a hundred years hence, in the great push towards space." Only 200 copies were produced but Paleo-Future offers a free pdf or a reprint of the book for purchase here. ms-04.14.08

"Sure, some may call me a stalker, but I prefer to think of myself as a stranger enthusiast." Three great print ads for Barska binoculars. sd-04.11.08

"It strikes me as one of those ideas that's so bad it's good." Fiction written by fictitious people. sd-04.11.08

"Ever since I was a little boy and saw the girl across the street reading One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, I've known that I couldn't respect a woman with a taste for rhyme." Wonderfully funny response to Rachel Donadio's essay about books and romance in the NY Times. sd-04.10.08

A Jules Verne Centennial: 1905-2005 at the Smithsonian. Tons to explore, including this lovely title page from Robert the Conquerer, 1886. jc-04.10.08

Andy Baio's Waxy gets a bright redo. jc-04.09.08

Ian Fleming interviews Raymond Chandler for BBC Radio. Awesome. jc-04.09.08

Gene Weingarten's fantastic story, Pearls Before Breakfast, was one of a near-record six Washington Post Pulitzer-winners, just in case you missed it the last three times we posted it. bb-04.07.08

"People don't like it, writers are afraid of it, journalists certainly rarely use it. It's on the way out, and that's a shame." France and the Fate of the Semicolon. Via Andrew Sullivan. sd-04.07.08

Steve Ballmer's letter to Yahoo! reads like a Smoove B column. bb-04.07.08

Dean Allen's Textism returns. Alright. jc-04.04.08

"How did you know I was on Gmail?" "I am something of a genius, mom." Postcards from Yo Momma. Via Torrez. jc-04.04.08

"Yeah no." jc-04.03.08

The new children's book Billy Goes Hunting, from the author of the forthcoming Billy's First Rifle. Via AdFreak. sd-04.03.08

Dinner with Henry Miller. a cantankerous old bastard if ever there was one. Via The Cartoonist. jc-04.02.08

"I'm the sculptor, I'm not a writer." The typo in the new Ernie Banks statue. Maybe all of this attention to missing apostrophes will finally get Walgreen[']s to fix their logo so I can put my longstanding hostility to rest. sd-04.01.08

Why we dig The Nonist. Subjectivity And The Subjugated. jc-04.01.08

Dick Cavett's advice to the presidential candidates: "I'd urge taking the mountain of money reportedly squandered on pizza, coffee and bagels and spending it more wisely -- on a talented young comedy writer." sd-04.01.08

Somehow I Was Tortured By the Pygmy Love Queen and Cheese Problems Solved were both beaten by If You Want Closure in Your Relationship, Start With Your Legs in the 30th annual Diagram Prize for the Oddest Book Title of the Year. Here's more info about each of the books shortlisted for the prize. sd-03.31.08

"A terrific modern noir on a raw Chicago cityscape harboring too many untold stories. If you try to set it down, this book will kick you in the teeth." -- Kevin Guilfoile, author of the Chicago Tribune bestseller Cast of Shadows. . KG is spot on. Read it on the plane last week and could not put it down until I was finished. Charlie Newton's debut novel, Calumet City. ms-03.30.08

"I made an agreement with myself long ago that I would never complain about anything as long as my books were in print, and they've stayed in print. You can't cut your suit of clothes to fit anybody else." Oldish but great Jonathan Miles interview with Jim Harrison. jc-03.29.08

"We're not rated X for nothin' baby!" Nick Haramis interviews illustrator and animator Ralph Bakshi who has plenty to say about Fritz, Crumb, art and money. jc-03.28.08

The Architecture of Self-Measurement by Geoff Manaugh. Lovely. My *** is Hopscotch or perhaps Crown Hall. What's yours? jc-03.27.08

Paola Antonelli and Benoit Mandelbrot, the curator and the mathematician. From Seed Magazine, totally unrelated to Seed, our series of conferences on design, entrepreneurship and inspiration. jc-03.27.08

"...a manifestation of the Bauhaus spirit, of this idea of shaping your environment through creativity, in a very direct way." An interview with Jenny Tondera of Experimental Jetset. And another longer one here. Via Design Observer. jc-03.26.08

Interesting read: The Next Slum? about the death of the American suburb. sd-03.24.08

Finally, someone getting to the bottom of a question I've had for a while now: Why Won't Phone Books Die? sd-03.22.08

A two-part Hear Hear interview with art director Paul Buckley who has just won a Design Museum Brit Award for his Penguin Classics Deluxe Editions. jc-03.20.08

"Goofing off as bonafide professional development." Well said Josh. jc-03.20.08

A letter from our man in Paris. jc-03.19.08

A full scan of The Usborne Book of the Future, published in 1979. Via That's How. sd-03.19.08

Round 2 gets off to a rollicking start in the Tournament of Books with the favorite advancing. Make sure to read KG and John Warner's From the Booth too. Damn, I love this tournament. And get your bets for charity in please, we have 5000 in our sights. jc-03.19.08

Matt Soar on cultivating and embracing failure (a subject close to our hearts) and in doing so, keeping yourself open to happy accidents. jc-03.19.08

Best news ever: after killing off the site in 2004, The Plug has returned. Thanks to Torrez for making my day. sd-03.17.08

"We are your journal of meat culture." This link coming to you from someone who rarely eats the stuff. jsz-03.17.08

"Process is an antidote to working with stupid people." Tolva on a comment from Paul Hammond of Flickr. jc-03.17.08

Chelsea Holden Baker of Frog Design ties together three SXSW panels in three synthesizing steps, plus a bonus, for Cnet. Thanks for that. jc-03.15.08

Every $10 you wager in Making Book 2008 buys four new books for underprivileged kids. With generous matching donations from organizations like MetaFilter we've raised enough to buy 4952 already. But we're just getting started, ante up willya? jc-03.14.08

On this day in 1939 the novel originally titled L'Affaire Lettuceberg was published. jc-03.14.08

Our pal Mike RoHDe was in Austin for SXSW Interactive and lucky for all of us he made a big set of sketchnotes. jc-03.13.08

A long list of Onomastic Sobriquets in the Food and Beverage Industry, like The Dew Drop Inn and The Wholly Mackerel. sd-03.12.08

"Don't ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody." Among Best Last Lines from Novels. se-03.12.08

"We were riding along and listening to NPR. I felt my facial muscles tightening, and the words beginning to form in my mind: Shut the f*@k up." David Mamet's "Why I Am No Longer a 'Brain-Dead Liberal'." There's nothing quite as wonderful as a Mamet essay. sd-03.12.08

Match Four from this year's TMN Tournament of Books is complete. I won't spoil it but if you backed the loser in our Making Book project you can always make another bet. Really you should, we've raised enough money to buy 4504 books for underprivileged kids but we're just getting started. jc-03.12.08

"There must be something wrong with us, I remember thinking. Where is the joy of youth, the carefree spirit of eternal promise? Is there something inherently depressing about our family? Then I discovered we were not alone. I discovered bershon." -Michael Bierut. jc-03.11.08

This is Fly, a fly fishing magazine for hipsters. Via That's How. sd-03.11.08

Match Two from this year's TMN Tournament of Books is complete. I won't spoil it but if you backed the loser in our Making Book project you can always make another bet. Really you should, we've raised enough money to buy 4072 books for underprivileged kids but we're just getting started. jc-03.10.08

Fantastic, 50 years of Form: The Making of Design magazine, scanned for your perusal. ms-03.08.08

It was a long lunch today, so here was another topic: the story of Floyd Collins, the cave explorer who was trapped for fourteen days in Kentucky's Crystal Cave. Trapped!: The Story of Floyd Collins is the book that scared the living daylights out of my 8th grade self. sd-03.07.08

Zulkey interviews Jad Abumrad, one of the hosts of Radio Lab, the best show ever on radio. sd-03.07.08

Simply way too many cool books over at Viction:ary. se-03.06.08

"Our area of expertise has become smaller, and there are many things that we ourselves don't know about the things we are making. That is unhealthy in a way." Illustrated PingMag interview with Living World. jc-03.06.08

"In an era obsessed with blockbuster debuts, glamour-shot wonders, it's easy to forget great talent doesn't always arrive by forklift." A Lighter Shade of Updike. Via One Good Move. sd-03.05.08

Every $10 you wager in Making Book 2008 buys four new books for kids. Plus, when you add in the generous matching donations from organizations like Iconfactory, your ten bucks has the power to buy 36 books. Ahem. jc-03.05.08

Finally, I can lose weight without listening to Republica. bb-03.04.08

The Wall that Lou Dorfsman Built, by Jim Schachterle. jc-03.04.08

"Rock of Pages, 45 books for the literate music fan." A great list. bb-03.04.08

Beside wagering and helping us buy books for kids, you can now start your official office pool. The 2008 TMN Tournament of Books Brackets (pdf) have been released. jc-03.04.08

"A superhero's costume is constructed not of fabric, foam rubber, or adamantium but of halftone dots, Pantone color values, inked containment lines, and all the cartoonist's sleight of hand." Secret Skin, an essay in unitard theory by Michael Chabon. jc-03.04.08

Every $10 you wager in Making Book 2008 buys four new books for kids. Plus, when you add in the generous matching donations from organizations like Emma, who just joined up, your ten bucks has the power to buy 32 36 books. Ahem. jc-03.01.08

Idiom Shortage Leaves Nation All Sewed Up In Horse Pies. sd-02.29.08

Newborn: In More Ways Than One, a guest editorial at Speak Up by Valon Sopaj who was part of the team of artists behind the iconic sculpture in the center of Kosovo independence. A must-read. jc-02.29.08

Every $10 you wager in Making Book 2008 buys four new books for kids. Plus, when you add in the generous matching donations from organizations like Daring Fireball, your ten bucks has the power to buy 32 books. Ahem. jc-02.29.08

"The news that the train operating company called 'one' was changing its name to National Express East Anglia was greeted with relief in the railway press." A piece on branding by Andrew Martin, with implications that go beyond railways. jc-02.28.08

"I recommend Rick Stoeckel for admission to your university due to his strong academic caliber. As his mother, I am proud to say that, out of his homeschool class, Ricky finished as valedictorian." jc-02.28.08

"What kind of heartless bastard says 'no' to that?" Baby Got Books. jc-02.28.08

Nick Hornby, Ze Frank and Gary Shteyngart are just three of the judges announced for this year's TMN Tournament of Books. Perhaps this news is just the thing you were waiting for to help us buy books for kids by gambling on who will win The Rooster? jc-02.28.08

Sound betting advice for wagering on the TMN 2008 Tournament of Books from the Commissioner, Kevin Guilfoile. Lay down your ten bucks at Making Book and help us buy a boxcar full of books for underprivileged kids. jc-02.27.08

Andrew Huff visited American Science and Surplus and brought his camera too. The store is a fave in my house and makes for a great afternoon when matched up with lunch nearby. jc-02.26.08

"Who are these people and what do they do? Bloody hell if I know. But what I can find is pretty awesome." the Rhetoric Wizard finds us by accident. jc-02.26.08

150 Geeky limericks. Via Waxy. jc-02.26.08

Our office mates at 37signals aren't as tough as this article in Wired makes them out to be. But wotthehell, it's great pub regardless. jc-02.26.08

Found on the way to something else. Horse Racing Glossary, terminology, jargon and slang. jc-02.22.08

Large collection of the American Library Association's Celebrity READ Posters. sd-02.15.08

The Common Law Origins Of The Infield Fly Rule. Because, I feel like I haven't contributed enough to Fresh Signals from law school. jw-02.13.08

Jonathan Donner's The Rules of Beeping, exchanging messages via intentional "missed calls" on mobile phones. Via Future Perfect. jc-02.13.08

"On a Wednesday afternoon last August. the beast of technology came slouching down Highway 68 through the heart of Yellow Springs, a small college town in southwest Ohio, and carried away a bit of what made Yellow Springs a little different from other places. There was no blood spilled, only ink. The Yellow Springs News went offset." The rest of the piece is as good as the lede. Clipped from Quipped. jc-02.12.08

So, you sweat to make a film and carefully plan how you want to promote and distribute it and then somebody you don't even know decides is should be available free. As a general rule of thumb, if it's labeled as a "New Paradigm," you can be sure it's BS. jc-02.11.08

Why Good Ad Copy Works from a neurological perspective. Via Andy Rutledge. sd-02.01.08

For BB, because he'll freak out and we'll get no work out of him today, UK punk and post-punk fanzines 1980-1986. Sorry CampBoy. ms-02.01.08

"Quiet down, everyone. This princess isn't going to save herself, you know." Todd Levin is The Most Competitive Man Alive, at TMN. jc-01.31.08

Relink. Frequently asked questions from the team at Oxford Dictionaries. Also, Commonly made suggestions about commonly made errors, and more importantly, non-errors, "those usages people keep telling you are wrong but which are actually standard in English." Which is exactly the sort of attitude up with which I will not put. jc-01.30.08

Page 75 defined. jc-01.30.08

"Frozen pizza... cut from trees." Grain Edit interviews Wink Design from the Twin Cities. jc-01.30.08

If you pre-order it and it doesn't happen, do they still have to write it? 19-0: The Historic Championship Season of New England's Unbeatable Patriots. sd-01.29.08

Don't really feel like you got the education you wanted? No fear, all you need is An Incomplete Education to fill in the gaps. ms-01.29.08

Some memorable new words from the past few years. se-01.25.08

Wasn't I just saying the other day that Steve Albini is as good a writer as he is a musician and sound engineer? 37 Signals agrees. bb-01.23.08

Please Spool to End of Tape Before Playing Other Side. jc-01.21.08

A letter from Paris. Bonne Année, by Rosecrans Baldwin. jc-01.10.08

"One author writes a story, and others post branches to it in different directions. The result is an organic, evolving story where everyone can participate." Interactive fiction writing over at Protagonize. Via MeFi. ms-01.09.08

"Fred Thompson is running for president with the enthusiasm of a nine-year-old shopping for Sunday pants." The Huckaboom and the Obamawagon. KG and John Warner are wearing their pundit hats again for TMN. Yay. jc-01.08.08

How to Read The New Yorker in 10 Easy Steps. jc-01.08.08

Recommended from my Mexican vacation reading stack. Jim Harrison's Returning to Earth, V. S. Naipaul's A Bend in the River, Graham Greene's The Heart of the Matter and my book for the next Field-Tested reading list, Greene's The Power and the Glory. jc-01.08.08

"...given the quick and dirty nature of Layer Tennis, the pieces should not be about creating perfect things at the drop of a hat (lord knows it takes me forever to come up with something cool) but to come up with a process that talked about the tools we use everyday, and at the same time have fun with them in a manner that client work rarely allows." Matt Owens on playing Layer Tennis. Here's his match against Jason Gnewikow. Live matches restart in January. jc-12.27.07

2007 was a banner year for media errors and corrections, make sure to check the "Apology of the Year." jc-12.20.07

Best Daring Fireball headline ever and a pretty darn good story to go with it. jc-12.19.07

Matthew makes a wreath. jc-12.19.07

"Surprisingly interesting." "An unlikely delight." Book Ads from the NYTBR, 1962-73. jc-12.18.07

Scott Aaronson's claim that "Australian actresses are plagiarizing my quantum mechanics lecture to sell printers" is now resolved. Via Mefi. jc-12.17.07

Love, sex and robots. jc-12.14.07

So you know. Nominations for the TMN 2008 Tournament of Books close Friday. jc-12.13.07

As if they weren't cool enough already, Andrew Blauvelt and Rick Poyner are joining our friends at Design Observer as contributing writers. jc-12.12.07

Recommended by a viewer of our Laboratory Conditions documentary: Jennet Conant's book 109 East Palace, about the first families who arrived in Los Alamos to build the bomb. sd-12.12.07

The House of Wigs is why we had to have Joshua Allen do commentary for a Layer Tennis match. For God's sake, click on the little arrows that mean "more." See you in a couple hours. jc-12.12.07

"To tell you the truth, one day I had four landslides." The World's Most Dangerous Bookstore. jc-12.12.07

"Single words are not enough, however. Ideally, there could be a set of pre-written sentences that I could simply cut and paste into short reviews. These sentences might look something like the list below." Via TMN. jc-12.12.07

"All I started out to do was show up my brothers. I didn't have to go this far." On this day in 1976, Saul Bellow delivered his speech in acceptance of the Nobel Prize. jc-12.12.07

"Anyone can easily tell where is up and where is down. And most would agree that forward faces right while back looks left... Let us join together these four directions adding their vector sums to form a scheme with 8 directional rays." Artemy Lebedev's Emotion Matrix. jc-12.11.07

"...a full account - one that takes in the downsides and the incoherencies and failures - is always more interesting, as well as truer, than a story that looks just at the high sunlit pastures." Penguins Lose the Plot by Robin Kinross. jc-12.10.07

Looks like, with Laboratory Conditions, we kicked off some renewed interest: Wired visits the Black Hole. Thanks John! sd-12.07.07

"Don't worry about people stealing your design work. Worry about the day they stop." jc-12.07.07

My first issue of GOOD Magazine arrived last week, it's a great read, and a subscription costs only $20, 100% of which is donated to a charity of your choice. bb-12.06.07

In defense of 'irregardless,' the baddest-ass word of all time. Via Veer. jc-12.06.07

"It is permissible to define a category as a string of terms. For example, we might class Madame Bovary and Dress For Success under the heading of Clothing & Desire." From the Cataloguing Rules of The Interstitial Library. jc-12.05.07

An Open Letter to a Guy I Work With Who Always Comes Into My Office to Tell Me He Sent Me an E-mail Right After He Sends Me an E-mail. Lots more open letters. Via the recently halted Your Daily Awesome. jc-12.05.07

Jaime's illustrated essay on Minotaure (1933-39) which featured "contributors who, from the editors to the essayists to the artists, went on to storm the hallowed annals of history." jc-12.05.07

Required reading. Norman Maclean's Young Men and Fire. And while you're at it, the University of Chicago's edition of Maclean's A River Runs Through It, with wood engravings by Barry Moser needs to be on your shelf too. jc-12.04.07

The NYT launches it's very own blog about hockey, Slapshot. ms-12.02.07

Zulkey interviews Anne Elizabeth Moore, author and former Punk Planet publisher. sd-11.30.07

Joseph at The Book Design Review gives us his favorite book covers of 2007. This one is my fave. ms-11.29.07

John Gruber sends us this quote, regarding today's Laboratory Conditions episode. "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it." –Upton Sinclair. jc-11.28.07

The story of the Untergunther, the "illegal restorers" who broke into the Pantheon to repair a clock. sd-11.28.07

Related to the last, check out Verse By Voice where we asked people to call in and read us their favorite poems. Here's author Zadie Smith reading Frank O'Hara's Animals. ms-11.28.07

Derek and Co, get caught red-handed and head back in The Fray, which relaunches as a quarterly. Sweet. jc-11.28.07

Related to the last. Milk Eggs Vodka. jc-11.27.07

"She knew what she wanted- a man to take her away from the dirt road and one-room shack she called home." Vintage hillbilly romance novel covers. ms-11.27.07

From the Oxford University Press, Very Short Introductions to "almost everything." Via Mefi. jc-11.24.07

Children's Letters to George W. Bush. ms-11.21.07

The Future of Reading (A Play in Six Acts) by Mark Pilgrim. Via John Gruber. jc-11.20.07

Zulkey interviews Peter Sagal of Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me!. sd-11.16.07

KG on novelist Ira Levin at The Morning News. jc-11.15.07

"Perhaps you'd like two more chairs to contain your giant intellect." Dick Cavett on the Mailer/Vidal fight on his show in 1971. jc-11.15.07

"Archy writes without punctuation because he is forced to use his head to butt the keys of the typewriter one at a time, and he is not able to reach the shift keys of the machine in order to make punctuation marks or capital letters." jc-11.14.07

On this day in 1851, Herman Melville's Moby-Dick was published and was "so belittled and slandered in the crucial first weeks following publication in America that it never had a chance." jc-11.14.07

NYT correction of the moment. "Two picture captions with an article last Sunday about fall art auctions were reversed." jc-11.13.07

"A story is not a movie is not a TV show, and I can't tell you the number of student stories I read where I see a camera panning." Show, Don't Tell: The Great Lie of Writing Workshops. Via One Good Move. sd-11.13.07

Veerle interviewed Scott Hansen of ISO50 last week, before his Layer Tennis match (see image above) against Rob Cordiner. jc-11.13.07

"The quintessential mark." David Barringer on "X" for AIGA. Via Design Observer. jc-11.13.07

Really great story about a new D.B. Cooper suspect from New York magazine. sd-11.12.07

"One part of the menu, described as Divo Specials, lists dishes which 'were traditionally served to visiting dignitaries and the nobility of the Ukraine'. I can only assume Ukrainians have a healthy disdain for their dignitaries." This restaurant review from the Guardian only gets worse from there. Via Defective Yeti. sd-11.12.07

"...technology's changing so much, it would be as if a painter learned to paint with only a limited set of colors. Then every year there were more colors..." From a Designboom interview with video artist Bill Viola. jc-11.09.07

Required reading. AIGA Interview with John Berg, art director of Columbia/CBS Records from 1961-85. Via DO. jc-11.06.07

"(36) She stands on the unpaved road with your newborn son on her breast. Even though she can't hear you over the sound of the helicopter, you're screaming the words. Six months and you'll send for her. You promise." Paul Ford on how to say "I love you," in precisely 100 different ways. jc-11.02.07

"So, yes, beauty matters. Boy, does it matter. It is not surface, it is not an extra, it is the thing itself..." A new column in The Guardian, Welcome To Dork Talk, by Stephen Fry. Bookmarked. jc-11.01.07

For BB, whose storied legacy includes a stint at Rock Products (competitor to Pit & Quarry): AdAge's picks for magazines below their A List, including Garden & Gun and Quality Number Fill-Ins Magazine. sd-10.30.07

Inspired by recent news from the West, I'm rereading an all-time favorite, Norman Maclean's account of the Mann Gulch Fire in 1949 Montana, Young Men and Fire. Highly recommended. jc-10.25.07

Jason Kottke on the final installment of Errol Morris' brilliant, enthralling investigation of Roger Fenton's Crimean War photographs for the NYT. Make time to study the whole series, starting at the beginning. Do. jc-10.24.07

On this day in 1958, Raymond Chandler began his last novel, the never-completed Poodle Springs. jc-10.24.07

After five great, great years, Mister Aitch is saying goodnight from Giornale Nuovo. No, thank you Stuart. jc-10.22.07

Every novel on Man Booker Prize shortlist to soon be available as free downloads. sd-10.22.07

Morning Becomes a Letter. From the archives. cp-10.19.07

Once in a while we have to go back and read this, the greatest blog post of all time from the anonymous, abandoned House of Wigs. bb-10.18.07

Many congrats to FotA, Claire Zulkey, for selling her first book today. sd-10.17.07

Relink but worth it. Space Alphabet by Irene Zacks, illustrated by Peter P. Plasencia, 1964. jc-10.17.07

NYC to Santa Monica by car in 32 hours and 7 minutes. Via Daring Fireball. jc-10.17.07

People who like this sort of thing will find it exactly the sort of thing they like. Illustrated collector's notes on editions and cover art for various George Orwell books from the library at Brown. jc-10.16.07

The Tao of Deadlines. bm-10.14.07

In Search of Lost Vanguards, Excavation and Space Exploration in Constructivist Architecture. Great essay. Via Mr Gibson. bm-10.12.07

"We become a nation of navel-gazing dreamy-eyed so-called creatives who no longer consider it worthwhile to roll up their sleeves and get down to hard work to get a job done, or, even worse, who no longer deem it worth their time to bother checking out any of the stuff that anyone else has made." Michael Fallon's How Creativity Is Killing the Culture. sd-10.10.07

Advice: Do not read Daniel James Brown's book Under a Flaming Sky about the Hinkley, Minnesota firestorm of 1894 before going to sleep. It's an incredible story and a wonderful book, but it's pretty gruesome. sd-10.09.07

"The grand title editorial designer, which I sometimes use, is a slight provocation. I am not a graphic designer, and don't aim to become one, but as a design critic and editor, I have come to regard the craft of designing as essentially the craft of organizing meaningful structure." -Max Bruinsma. Lots of good reading here. Via ManyStuff. bm-10.09.07

"R is for rockets, ready to go." Via p+p. bb-10.08.07

Passages from the soundtrack album from a really obscure 1960's film adaptation of Finnegans Wake. jc-10.05.07

Architectural Representations of the City in Science Fiction Cinema. Found among other jc-10.01.07

KG is the Non-Expert at TMN today and somebody's band needs a drummer. jc-09.28.07

"...recognizing that vividly colored bindings of the modern book can be utilized effectively as a positive decorating asset." Steven Heller, Decorative Books: The End of Print. jc-09.27.07

"All my novels have been written on this desk, and old papers of every kind have accumulated like a great reef." Photos of Writers' Rooms from the Guardian. Via Zach Klein. sd-09.26.07

30,000 Years of Art. Via Cool Hunting. ms-09.26.07

On this day in 1957 West Side Story opened on Broadway. The musical's plot had been told many times and in many ways long before that. jc-09.26.07

"He does not have to give the 'V' sign back unless it feels natural to him. However, he must acknowledge them so that he does not appear to be aloof or rude." Verizon's style book for deploying "Can You Hear Me Now" guy. Via Ad Land. jc-09.25.07

"Carrying a book around in L.A is a good way to invite stares of disbelief from rubberneckers liable to view you as a strange emissary from a more literate planet..." Nathan Rabin is a Field Tester. jc-09.24.07

Kottke on perhaps the first NYT restaurant review, from 1859. jc-09.20.07

It's always nice when you find something you thought had been lost forever. dw-09.19.07

For former smokers who long for the feel of the cigarette box and a good read. jt-09.18.07

Sure signs that it's Fall: Honeycrisp apples are now available and this year's edition of The Best American Crime Reporting anthology has just been released. Both are fantastic. sd-09.18.07

A Nonist classic, Boom Computing, beauty and horror in "circular slide rules manufactured to calculate various effects and time lengths of a post nuclear landscape." Sublime. jc-09.17.07

Khoi's investigation into elevator theory and practice is more interesting than it sounds. Really it is. jc-09.14.07

John Warner launches TOW Books, "funny books for people with good senses of humor." jc-09.14.07

Retronym, a term consisting of a noun and a modifier that specifies the original meaning of the noun. jc-09.13.07

The Daily Show and Philosophy: Moments of Zen in the Art of Fake News, a new book wherein seventeen philosophers take a look at the show. Via One Good Move. sd-09.13.07

Comprehensive resource and annotations for an all-time CP fave, Mikhail Bulgakov's Master and Margarita. Also, the trailer from the Russian mini-series production. jc-09.12.07

Speaking of The Nonist, here's a needed relink to Red Hot Library Smut. sd-09.11.07

"I figured that anyone who dies at the young age of twenty-two deserves to be remembered, even if by complete strangers." Greg attends a real funeral in a virtual place. jc-09.07.07

"I'm not comfortable participating, but I'll watch." This and dozens of other truly useful phrases translated for globetrotting. jt-09.07.07

FotA and Field Tested Books contributor, Scott Korb, has a new book out: The Faith Between Us: A Jew and a Catholic Search for the Meaning of God. sd-09.06.07

FotA (Friend of the Agency) Dan Pink addresses emotion and empathy in public signs in a video created to accompany his piece for Wired, Pecha Kucha: Get to the PowerPoint in 20 Slides, Then Sit the Hell Down. jc-09.05.07

"I bragged that I had an amazing client who gave me complete creative freedom. He looked at my work and said, 'Sometimes complete creative freedom is not a good thing.'" Debbie Millman interviews James Victore, excerpted from her upcoming book How To Think Like A Great Graphic Designer. jc-09.05.07

"On this day in 1607, Shakespeare's Hamlet was performed on board the merchant ship, 'Red Dragon,' anchored off the coast of Sierra Leone." jc-09.05.07

Print is dead. Long live print? jc-09.04.07

7. jc-08.31.07

For everyone at dinner tonight: Walter Benjamin's The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction. sd-08.29.07

That Was in The New Yorker?!. Via One Good Move. sd-08.27.07

DF says this is the worst product name ever, but it's not even the worst product name of the year. bb-08.27.07

"Even people I know who self-identify as urban explorers aren't at all that interested in undergrounding - especially not in storm drains. A lot of them just don't see the actual interest." Bldblog interview with writer, photographer, and urban explorer Michael Cook. jc-08.27.07

Halftones. jc-08.25.07

The origins of prison tap code. Fascinating. Via The Nonist. jc-08.24.07

There is a new round of Matthew Baldwin's Cliche Rotation Project going on. Submit yours today. jc-08.23.07

Following up on DW's earlier post: isn't The World Without Us just a less angsty version of Douglas Coupland's Girlfriend in a Coma? Same basic "the earth becomes a wasteland when people disappear" idea. sd-08.20.07

The World Without Us. dw-08.20.07

"Rick asked me if I wanted to stop in for a quick drink. Later on, he told me the proposition was a test to see if I was the kind of girl who would drink at the Billy Goat at two in the afternoon. Turns out, I'm that kind of girl." Karen Abbott, author of the terrific Sin in the Second City, owes FotA Rick Kogan a trip to Atlanta. sd-08.14.07

"It sits as lightly on a heavy meal as it does on your conscience," and other retired ad slogans. Curiously missing, a fave for Continental Airlines, "The proud bird with the golden tail." jc-08.14.07

"All you have to do is write one true sentence." On this date in 1923, Ernest Hemingway published his first book. jc-08.13.07

Winners of this year's Bulwer Lytton Fiction Contest. If you're unfamiliar: "The goal of the contest is childishly simple: entrants are challenged to submit bad opening sentences to imaginary novels." Via Cynical C. sd-08.10.07

Really great audio interview with Rob Walker, writer of the NYT's Consumed column. Rob gave us a very nice writeup about our Swap Meat. Via Core 77. ms-08.08.07

Award winning writer Alex Kotlowitz takes a look at the immigration (or is it assimilation?) debate by focusing on one small town here in Illinois, Carpentersville. ms-08.07.07

"…while I'd like to tell you that I've returned with tales of some great adventure, I'm actually just here to scribble about this one book that has illustrations of someone taking a s**t on nearly every page: "The #2 Bestseller of 1992. bb-08.06.07

"The bloguor does not have the impression to sell his heart with the devil because it chooses publicities in connection with its contents and those do not attack the visitor." Regarding The Deck, Biologeek gets it. [translate] jc-08.02.07

"Wasn't he my earliest image of what it was to be an artist? He was very humble, I think to myself, and spoke savagely of his own work. I've always admired that, I think to myself, as if by so doing he pushes his own films away from him and lets them become something else. As though his loathing, his apparent indifference, frees them." Spurious on Bergman. jc-07.30.07

We would rather have revealed this in our own way, on our own terms, but I suppose it's inevitable that the truth come out. More background here. jc-07.30.07

"Adam and Eve on a raft. Wreck 'em." Nice resource on Diner Slang. Found along with a lot of other language and word resources at the Internet Eclectic. jc-07.27.07

Vincent to Theo November, 1883. "And my aim in my life is to make pictures and drawings, as many and as well as I can; then, at the end of my life, I hope to pass away, looking back with love and tender regret, and thinking, 'Oh, the pictures I might have made!'" Seven years later, on today's date in 1890, Van Gogh shot himself in a wheat field. jc-07.27.07

So you know. How screenwriters get paid. Via John August. jc-07.26.07

Related to the last, my favorite Vonnegut novel is The Sirens of Titan, although I much prefer the older paperback covers jc-07.26.07

"Their task is to explode a stellar bomb, 'with a mass equivalent to Manhattan island,' on the surface of the sun. The effect will be, we are told, 'to create a star within a star,' a plan that has not succeeded since the union of Vincente Minnelli and Judy Garland." Anthony Lane on Sunshine. jc-07.26.07

The history of the American supermarket. Groceteria. jc-07.25.07

Posting this '91 vid for the KLF's 3am Eternal as an excuse to repost The Manual in which the justified ancients of Mu Mu reveal their "zenarchistic method used in making the impossible happen." Comprehensive, hilarious and pretty close to the truth I imagine. jc-07.25.07

Over at TMN, Rosecrans sends another letter from the City of Lights. ms-07.25.07

Paul Theroux said, "Tourists don't know where they've been, travelers don't know where they're going." 72° Executive Producer and occasional co-conspirator John Tolva definitely falls into the "travelers" category. He's just posted his account of a trip to Barile, Italy that began with an e-mail out of the blue. jc-07.23.07

Fascinating article on the dissapearance of Microsoft researcher Jim Gray and the extraordinary effort to locate him. ms-07.23.07

"How Internet jokes helped a Japanese ad mascot make its way into American malls." Rob Walker on Domo, for Consumed in the NYT Mag. jc-07.23.07

"To make life interesting. To make the world better. To, well, to keep us alive." Please Never Find A Giant Squid, from the SF Gate. sd-07.20.07

Nice Herald Magazine profile of Anne Ward, proprietor of one of our fave blogs anywhere, I Like. jc-07.20.07

"Variables won't; constants aren't." Osborn's Law and many other eponymous laws of software development. Via Boing. jc-07.19.07

"And she started crying. It's never fun to have somebody cry, but it wasn't like I punched her or anything." Zina Saunders interviews Steven Heller. Via xBlog. jc-07.18.07

"Let me say that again: The solution to our warning woes is undo." Smart A List Apart article by Aza Raskin. jc-07.17.07

"What does it all mean? Maybe we're happy with living in simulation. Those people who 'buy the download to listen to, but ... get the vinyl to own' are clinging to the last few bits and pieces that are no longer bits and bytes." Insightful post at Things Magazine. jc-07.17.07

The LA Times' crime reporter Jill Leovy's Homicide Blog. Morbid, for sure, but very interesting. sd-07.16.07

On this day in 1951 The Catcher in the Rye was published in the Quixotian dust-jacket designed by Michael Mitchell jc-07.16.07

"Dear internet from 2001: How's it going? I miss you." Via Byrdhouse. sd-07.12.07

Ian Brown does some Field Testing of his own: reading The Black Box: All-New Cockpit Voice Recorder Accounts of In-flight Accidents on a plane. Can't imagine how unpleasant that must be. sd-07.12.07

"Every drop of fresh apple juice, carefully pressed from the reddest apples, shining in colors of the cheeks of a snow-country child, is yours to enjoy in each soft and juicy Kasugai Apple Gummy." Now that's copy. jc-07.10.07

I don't know from Harry Potter (other than watching the brilliant Wizard People, Dear Reader), but even I found this touching, so it'll likely be particularly effective for MS and BB: Stephen King on the final Harry Potter book. sd-07.10.07

Penguin Classics reissues Boys Own Books. Lovely series design. jc-07.10.07

"I think the superficial parts about geekdom are being appropriated by the mainstream, but I don't see any hipsters here in the East Village who are running out to learn how to code in Ruby on Rails just to pick up chicks." Zulkey interviews Anil Dash. sd-07.06.07

Michelangelo Antonioni's essay The Soundtrack for a Film Set in New York Circa 1970, with an introduction by CP hero Walter Murch, at BldgBlog. Great. jc-07.06.07

What code doesn't do in real life that it does in the movies. jc-07.06.07

Wound up having too many beers last night talking to John Sellers, author of Perfect from Now On: How Indie Rock Saved My Life, which is, in part, about drinking too many beers with Robert Pollard. So maybe it was appropriate after all. sd-07.03.07

If Charlie Parker was a gunslinger, there'd be a whole lot of dead copycats. Scroll this on a regular basis. jc-06.30.07

John Greenberg on our Swap Meat and Art for Art's Sake. jc-06.29.07

Following up on that last post: don't miss the the Amazon reviews for Latawnya, the Naughty Horse. sd-06.28.07

Posted without comment: Latawanya, the Naughty Horse, Learns to Say "No" to Drugs. Thanks Claire. sd-06.28.07

On this day in 1928 James had dinner with Scott. I'm not sure if this was before or after he played pitch 'n' putt golf with Sam. jc-06.27.07

"...in running the day-to-day racket of 'making stuff for good people' I just try to take gigs that I'll be proud of in the end." Hear Hear interview with the Draplin Design Co. Disclaimer, the DDC and CP are frequent co-conspirators. jc-06.26.07

"An elderly ironist has had the time to watch enough cultural flotsam go by that he can no longer pretend that one instance of human productivity is intrinsically much more ridiculous than any other...he knows what to expect from the world, and so expects nothing more." Fantastic essay from 3 Quarks Daily: Hipsters, Prepare to Die. Via One Good Move. sd-06.26.07

Kev asks are you a hummingbirds or a woodpecker? jc-06.25.07

"As data, 'maybe' is as useless as a three-star rating in a five-star system." Z. jc-06.20.07

Robert Birnbaum interviewed Harrison for TMN in June of 04. jc-06.20.07

Speaking of heroes, Jim Harrison has been elected into the The American Academy of Arts and Letters (pdf) and Mario Batali threw a party for him. jc-06.20.07

"I then start cutting --usually doing the part I am most likely to mess up on first, just in case I do, then I don't have to do the whole piece over again. But mistakes are what I like about the process. There us no way to fix it except through new choices." Cynthia Houng interviews artist and papercutter Nikki McClure. jc-06.19.07

A Short Guide to Iraq (pdf), a scan of a War Department booklet handed out to soldiers in 1943. Via Murmurs. sd-06.18.07

Another collection to love: The Book Inscriptions Project. "These inscriptions -- not to be confused with author dedications or autographs -- are personal messages written in ink (or lead or marker) and were given as gifts from one person to another." bk-06.15.07

Relink. Start in 1957 and you won't be able to stop until you reach 1977 in Paul Giambarba's highly personal account of The Branding of Polaroid. Required reading. jc-06.14.07

"The Royals were frugal. And traded Mike MacDougal. Chicago now employs him - He turns ballgames into kugel." Bardball, "resurrecting the connection between baseball and poetry" from FotA James Finn Garner. sd-06.13.07

"When someone asks you for 'edgy,' what they really mean is, 'I'll know it when I see it." And this is no way to start a project." Axel and Josh fire off another perfectly-aimed pdf mortar shell, Dirty Words & Dick Jokes. jc-06.13.07

"Green is the new black." Greener Postures, "Hacking Through the Biodegradable, Zero-Carbon, Ecochic Overhype" from New York Magazine. Very funny. Via PSFK. sd-06.12.07

Ooh, a blog dedicated to predicting the impending death of print magazines and tracking those that have recently died (and some that have come back). Who will be next in the Magazine Death Pool? bk-06.11.07

"What do you call a traffic jam caused by drivers slowing down to look at an accident or other diversion on the side of the road?" Round here it's a gapers' block. Via, of course, Gapers Block. jc-06.11.07

Everything Michael Bierut knows about design he learned from The Sopranos. jc-06.11.07

Safire hots up. jc-06.10.07

Local note: the Printers Row Book Fair is going on this weekend and will feature loads of friends of the agency and Field Tested Books contributors, including Jonathan Eig, James Finn Garner and Ben Greenman. Not to be missed: CP's own Kevin Guilfoile moderating the panel, "Criminal Minds," tomorrow at 2:30. The full schedule is here (pdf). sd-06.08.07

Is it a conspiracy? No, it's The Realist Archive Project -- a complete republishing of all 146 issues of Paul Krassner's classic and controversial magazine, The Realist. bk-06.08.07

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of On The Road, a book that started as a scroll and has had many covers since then. This one really screams literature, doesn't it? jc-06.07.07

Posting to claim this coinage, as it relates to graphic design. The 2012 London Olympics Logo is part of a larger, emerging design movement which we will now refer to as The New Brutalism. That is all. jc-06.06.07

Best name for a blog full of the "sentimental musings of an aging British expat," Crying All the Way to the Chip Shop. jc-06.06.07

"American workers, on average, spend 45 hours a week at work, but describe 16 of those hours as unproductive." So you know, our corporate mission at CP is to try to get that number up to 20. jc-06.06.07

"He must be thinking I'm a total post-Neanderthal maroon what wouldn't know an old tool if it came up and nipped him in the arse." What The Superior Works found at a yard sale. Via Mefi. jc-06.06.07

There's plenty of bashing going on in plenty of places but as you might expect, the discussion of the London 2012 logo at Speak Up is mostly thoughtful and randomly brilliant. jc-06.05.07

"I tend to lose interest quickly. My boredom threshold keeps going lower over the years." Herr Spiekermann chats with Ideas on Ideas about business. Thanks Howard. jc-06.05.07

Issue 2 of Graphic Define Magazine on the business of design. jc-06.05.07

Emily Yoffe, "For the Human Guinea Pig column, I do things you might consider doing yourself, until you reject the idea as outlandish." Like taking a vacation on a drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico for example. Via TMN. jc-06.05.07

Great illustrated excerpt from Penguin by Designers by David Pelham at CR. Required reading. jc-06.01.07

Marriage of Heaven and Hell and other books by William Blake, all with magnificiant color illustrations and words. vp-06.01.07

Naz brings Absenter, formerly his photoblog, back to life as a place to talk about cycling, and begins with a post about the beautiful cycling mag Roleur. Thanks for reminding me to order some back issues of that! Gorgeous. se-05.31.07

Underware creates some new punctuation, introducing The Irony Mark. Via Stan. A cute idea but if we can't even agree on The Interrobang, how are we going to agree on this? jc-05.31.07

"Some writers set scenes. O'Toole is at his best working with what stinks." Jonathan Eig on A Confederacy of Dunces. Plan your summer reading with the Field-Tested Books Book. jc-05.31.07

"You don't know me, but I saw you in Alien vs. Predator 2. That scene with you & all the lasers was incredibly cool. You were like, solid ice." From a booklet of love letters to the islands of the sub-Antarctic, from a Karel Martens assignment to graphic design students at Yale. Via Design Observer. vp-05.30.07

FotA and Field Tested Books contributor, Maud Newton, was a guest on NPR's Talk of the Nation yesterday, giving summer reading suggestions. sd-05.29.07

On this day in 1914 the first installment of Edgar Lee Masters's Spoon River Anthology was published. jc-05.29.07

Add bookmarks. The Morning News 2007 Editors' Awards for Online Excellence. jc-05.24.07

Steal This Poem. vp-05.23.07

Drawing for Memory by that one guy with the glasses I met in Austin. jc-05.23.07

How does the USA relax? How has that changed over the past few decades? "Leisure in America" (pdf). Via Making Sense With Facilitated Systems. vp-05.23.07

Mike D's How to Snatch an Expiring Domain. A fascinating chase story. vp-05.22.07

"'I'm far more dangerous now, because I don't care at all." Excerpts from Chris Salewicz' Redemption Song: The Ballad of Joe Strummer at PopMatters. jc-05.22.07

Collision Detection on tech-savvy parents picking unusual names for themselves and their kids, so they'll be more "googleable." jc-05.22.07

Good Magazine has a very interesting article on Five Innovations in Urban Transportation that you won't find in America, yet. I vote for Naked Streets. ms-05.18.07

The other Flatland, Edwin K. Abbott's tale of interdimensional experience from 1884. jc-05.18.07

Darn, how did we miss this profile in Step Mag on Naz, from Gapers and various other ventures? jc-05.17.07

MIT offers courses online free plus selected video and audio lectures. Via Like Art. vp-05.16.07

Regrets, they have a few, in a thread at Gapers. jc-05.16.07

The Big Noob returns. jc-05.14.07

"ME: Sydny, you're acting like a child. SYDNY: Because I am a child." Scott's back from vacation. jc-05.11.07

David Gutowski asks authors what they were listening to while they were writing. Ben Greenman answers in reference to his short-story collection, the recently published, A Circle is a Balloon and Compass Both. Coincidentally, Ben and David were both Field-Testers for us last spring. jc-05.11.07

"I'm not saying this bus will give you immortality. Oh, no. I'm just saying that if you buy it, you'll never die. There's a difference." Hands down the best eBay auction description of the cleanest 1961 VW Bus 23 Window Microbus Transporter DeLuxe ever written. Scroll for it all. Great. Great. Great. Thanks a million Marshall. jc-05.10.07

Book-A-Minute. vp-05.10.07

After a while, Emmy said, "What was the name of that nice girl he brought with him? The blond one who helped me with the dishes?" Ken shoved a forkful of meat loaf into his mouth and said, "Marilyn." KG's I Got No Papers Show You What I Am. jc-05.10.07

Need some help putting together a summer reading list? We have 78 good ideas at just thirteen cents each. jc-05.09.07

More "woody" words: Bulbous Bouffant. bb-05.09.07

Can you tell the prose that won the Nobel Prize for Literature from the prose that was randomly machine-translated from German? Try Mikhail Simkin's quiz. Via About Last Night. jc-05.09.07

"Oh thank you, dear... you know, it's a funny thing, dear... all the naughty words sound woody." A classic MP sketch [transcript] happened upon after reading this excellent Wikipedia entry. jc-05.09.07

Cabinet Magazine, A Minor History of Miniature Writing. Via Core 77. jc-05.09.07

On "Just", Awesomeness, and ™. An excellent guest editorial at Speak Up, by Alexander "Fish" Bohn. jc-05.08.07

Photoset of the moment: 1960's Teensploitation Cover Gallery. Via Cynical-C. sd-05.08.07

"City of Glass" by Paul Auster, Quinn's travel. vp-05.08.07

On this date in 1932 William Faulkner reluctantly arrived in Hollywood. jc-05.07.07

Dan Savage promotes a new urban vision: "Liberals, progressives, and Democrats do not live in a country that stretches from the Atlantic to the Pacific, from Canada to Mexico. We live on a chain of islands. We are citizens of the Urban Archipelago, the United Cities of America." Via Platial. vp-05.07.07

A smart, beautiful post on architecture at Eikongraphia, The Endgame of Minimalism. jc-05.04.07

Colour Lovers' 11 Great Color Legends, like "Why is Red the International Color for Stop?" Via Chris Glass. sd-05.04.07

Talk about an awkward couple of days for someone at that office (if they're still employed): June Issue Of Business 2.0 Deleted Before Going To Print. Via Andy Rutledge. sd-05.03.07

FotA James Finn Garner's new book Recut Madness: Favorite Movies Retold for Your Partisan Pleasure. Read the excerpt for the red state version of 2001. sd-05.01.07

I Know Who Killed Desmond Taylor, "The 'bumping off' of a famous person like William Desmond Taylor is the sort of oyster that any detective delights to open." Great read, via Etc. jc-04.30.07

"16. 10 points for arguing that a current well-established theory is 'only a theory', as if this were somehow a point against it." The Crackpot Index. jc-04.28.07

"My Dear Mr. Cleaver: This paragraph has absolutely nothing to do with anything. It is here merely to fill up space. Still, it is words, rather than repeated letters, since the latter might not give the proper appearance, namely, that of an actual note." dw-04.26.07

For Evan, here's what you're looking for. Paul Giambarba's The Branding of Polaroid, 1957-77 is a great story, well-told. There is much to be learned from following along from the inside. jc-04.24.07

KG learns about the the Flemish Bend, the Double French Shroud and the Chest Becket, in a piece for the NYT Magazine called School of Hard Knots. jc-04.23.07

Drap stops in Missouri to pick up pieces of the big ol' roadside sign he bought on eBay and it gives him, and us, a few things to think about. The Arrows of Sedalia. jc-04.22.07

Hours of fun for word nerds. bb-04.20.07

A bright, clear spring day like today is perfect for reflecting on the importance of paying attention when things are good. Saying this much more eloquently is novelist Zadie Smith reading Frank O'Hara's Animals for our Verse By Voice feature. jc-04.20.07

Crans is starting to forget the things he dislikes about NYC as he gets ready to leave it. jc-04.19.07

On this date in 1928, the final volume of the first edition of the Oxford English Dictionary was published. The complete story is told in Simon Winchester's The Professor and the Madman. Highly recommended. jc-04.19.07

"...to what extent will they rely on the shopping judgements of other people? And of course which people?" Jan Chipchase asks some good questions, as usual, at Future Perfect. jc-04.18.07

A Sherlock Holmes mystery if it were written by the writers of the TV show Lost. Via TMN ms-04.18.07

In prepping for the trip to Los Alamos tomorrow, I've been pointed to some great sites, including My Strange New Mexico and The Bomb Town News Observer, specifically this post, "Tales from Haunted Bomb Town." Really wish we had the time to go check out Urraca Mesa in Northern New Mexico, aka "the gateway to the underworld." Creepy. sd-04.16.07

Get a new middle name and new cousins. Lonesome No More! jc-04.12.07

1992 Playboy interview with Kurt Vonnegut and Joseph Heller. "Painters and poets can be deeply upset by the good luck of a colleague. Writers and novelists really don't seem to give a damn." jc-04.12.07

A world with one less hero. jc-04.12.07

"Since this project ended I have thankfully gone back to being my old not-shopping self again." More on "The Wall of Mall" from Rob Walker, including his interview with its creator, Rosemary Williams. jc-04.11.07

This is not for everyone, but as we're fond of saying, "people who like this sort of thing will find it exactly the sort of thing they like." Ezra Pound reads his own poetry. A different sort of Verse By Voice. Posted by UBU, via Mefi. jc-04.10.07

In response to the whole tiresome "civility in blogging" discussion that has been going around recently, Greg has developed The Airbag Department of Security Blog Advisory System for the good of the homeland. jc-04.10.07

The Artist's Guide to Making Money. "Disclaimer: Do not expect any actual advice, tips, or tricks for making money. We can in no way guarantee that you will ever make money as an artist, or otherwise." Fab. jc-04.09.07

Bldgblog posts an excellent, wide-ranging interview with CP hero Walter Murch. His In the Blink of an Eye is required reading btw. jc-04.09.07

"In one of the skyscrapers, on the 119 story, you will see a sign, 'Old People Restored to Youth by Electricity, While You Wait.'" The Predictions of a 14 Year Old in 1901. Via bblinks. sd-04.04.07

Why Terry Teachout is our favorite drama critic. Friday's unvarnished WSJ review of The Year of Magical Thinking. jc-04.01.07

"5. Start as close to the end as possible." Kurt Vonnegut's rules for writing fiction. jc-03.31.07

Cormac McCarthy's The Road and Gary Shteyngart's Absurdistan face off in the Championship Match of the 2007 Morning News Tournament of Books today. How'd you do in your office pool? We did pretty well. jc-03.30.07

FotA and former Coudalian, Dave Reidy, has returned to the internet at Closerlook's new blog, Work + Play. Consider it bookmarked by all here at CP, Dave. sd-03.29.07

The Winterhouse Writing Awards is calling for entries. "To recognize excellence in writing about design and encourage the development of young voices in design writing, commentary and criticism." jc-03.29.07

On this day in 1917 Leonard and Virginia Woolf purchased a small, used handpress. jc-03.23.07

"Even if you only stay on a short trip in Japan, you will get in touch with 'product poetry': small texts - almost like poems - written in a foreign language and placed on several kinds of Japanese consumer goods." Great post at PingMag. jc-03.22.07

FotA and Field-Tested Books contributor, Jonathan Eig's newest book, Opening Day: The Story of Jackie Robinson's First Season. sd-03.21.07

Stumbled upon: James M. Cameron's site for his forthcoming book about Barton Watson & The Great CyberNET Scam. Really interesting. sd-03.21.07

If You Can Read This, You're Hired, by Tamye Riggs. Via Design Observer. jc-03.21.07

Two of our favorite Chicagoans together on the radio. Our Guest Editor this month, Edward Lifson, visits Ken Nordine for Hello Beautiful! A must listen. jc-03.20.07

My favorite source of tattoo flash art, Richard Scarry's Best Word Book Ever has changed quite a bit through the years. Via Things. bb-03.19.07

Play the punctuation game, smartypants. jc-03.14.07

Like, um, two peas in a pod, Matthew Baldwin's Cliche Rotation Project and the TMN Contest for Total Idioms. jc-03.13.07

Lana Turner's Ex Maintains Dreams of Grandeur, a fab NPR profile by Jennifer Sharpe. jc-03.13.07

The top 2000 Kanji. dw-03.12.07

We're 2 for 2 in predicting the TMN 2007 Tournament of Books, and today's match looked lke a squeaker, on paper at least. jc-03.09.07

"After the zany shenanigans of Absurdistan, I was more than ready for the violence and tragedy of the Nigerian civil war." The 2007 TMN Tournament of Books is off to a fast start and so are we, we're 1 for 1 after the first day. jc-03.08.07

We're not sure if the morningline odds we set for the 2007 TMN Tournament of Books will help you win the cool contest that was just announced. But, if you knew the outcome, it wouldn't be gambling. jc-03.05.07

"The book as an art object and a collectable is an old convention that used to be reserved for the upper crust. Taschen has a made it a bit more democratic. Either that or people have more expendable income." AIGA interview by Steven Heller with Jim Heimann, Executive Editor of Taschen America. Via Z. jc-03.03.07

Instructions for "How To Be a Better Lover" and "How To Clean Out Your Desk" are similar in many ways. Essential advice from Axel Albin & Josh Kamler of Language in Common. Also, check their daily weblog Tiny Gigantic. Bookmarked. jc-03.01.07

"The Disney theme-park inspired love hotel close to my office looks like it's about to close." When memories last longer that buildings that birthed them, from the always observant Future Perfect, by Jan Chipchase. jc-03.01.07

"Compare yourself downward." Karen Ingram writes to tell us about the new book Secrets of the Superoptimist "about turning the negative into positives, in extreme situations." Here's the book site, nice cover too. jc-03.01.07

Looking to move beyond your bookmarks and read something new? You might find something to your liking at Growabrain's Blog of the Day. jc-02.28.07

"I never knew what color stuff a girl had on before I knew Ruthie. But with Ruthie you know she's got something blue on." From "Both Parties Concerned," an "under-published" story by J. D. Salinger. Via eNotes Book Blog. jc-02.28.07

"Over some Niagara. Falling." On this day in 1965, Sylvia Plath first met Ted Hughes. jc-02.26.07

Our Verse By Voice feature asked people to read their favorite short poems into our answering machine. He didn't call, but Coop found a recording of Robert Frost reading the most famous of his own. jc-02.23.07

Pingmag interviews Scott Milano, Director of "Verbal Indentity" for Interbrand Japan. jc-02.23.07

"If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out." George Orwell's 12 Writing Tips. Via Chris Glass. sd-02.23.07

The Morning News 2007 Tournament of Books announcement and "zombie round" voting. jc-02.20.07

KG remembers Hoist the Flag and Mr. Clark. jc-02.16.07

Apostrophe Catastrophe. Much is wrong here but remember, not every mistake you make is a mistake, check for Non-Errors, "those usages people keep telling you are wrong but which are actually standard in English." Which is the sort of attitude up with which I will not put. jc-02.15.07

Robert S. writes, "Check this site full of petitions to our Prime Minister, especially the ones promoting a ban on snare drums, televised public executions for failed tv show contestants, and recognition of Jedism as a religion. jc-02.13.07

On this day in 1922, the book was published. Apparently the previously mentioned round of golf took place a couple weeks earlier. jc-02.02.07

"My fellow Americans, we are learning new things about ourselves every day, and yet our idioms remain in a pickle, full of baloney!" A quick new contest from The Non-Expert. jc-02.02.07

"Before you enrolled in your shorthand class, you may have asked yourself this question: 'Can I really learn Gregg Shorthand?' Of course you can, just as millions of others have." Via Designer's Library. dw-02.01.07

Hey SE and BB, get ready to ignore everything and everyone. ms-02.01.07

"My three-year-old son has a Laura Lippman obsession." KG's latest over at The Outfit. ms-01.31.07

A magazine rack for PDF titles. Great idea. Via Airbag. jc-01.30.07

Dreaming Methods, "creative writing fused with new media." Reader-guided projects, experiments in story-telling and abstract narrative. jc-01.26.07

More data for MS's calculations. Andy Baio on "Pirating the 2007 Oscars." jc-01.23.07

"Dear Harold: I have decided to reject your rejection." John O'Hara to Harold Ross, January, 1939. A selection from the excellent Today in Letters. Via Emdashes. jc-01.19.07

The Ten Most Expensive Books Sold in 2006. Via Things. sd-01.18.07

Give this site a tv series and we'll all watch it religiously: I Did Not Know That Yesterday. Via Chris Glass. sd-01.18.07

Step inside The Titian Room at The Hermitage in St. Petersburg. Breathtaking. More room panoramas here. jc-01.18.07

"Like the arctic ice cap, the historical market penetration these weeklies had, is not coming back any time soon." A thoughtful Roger Black piece on the new Time Mag titled "Out of Time." I might have gone with "Time Out of Mind." jc-01.18.07

The End As I Know It is the first novel from longtime CP co-conspirator Kevin Shay. The book is set in the days before the year 2000 and Kevin has been retroblogging a few of the things bug-fearing people were saying online at that time in "On This Day Pre-Y2K." Great. jc-01.18.07

"Their work is one percent inspiration, the rest sweat-drenched detective work; their products are never finished or perfect, just varying degrees of 'less broken.'"An excerpt from Scott Rosenberg's new book, Dreaming in Code. Disclaimer. Crown is advertising the book on our ad network, but I'd have ordered it regardless. Looks great. jc-01.17.07

"What makes something the real thing?" Michael Bierut revisits the 1983 book, Quintessence: The Quality of Having It. jc-01.17.07

"It was brilliant. It was sophisticated. It was meaningful. And I wish I had thought of it myself." KG on meaning, Pynchon, and one in 100 people. jc-01.17.07

"I'm an evolutionary biologist, more than a designer. I don't know what design is anymore, I create form." DesignBoom interview with Ross Lovegrove. jc-01.15.07

A supervillain hideout better known as the tailrace tunnel at Niagara Falls. Via Mefi. jc-01.15.07

You are travelling with Jan Chipchase by reading Future Perfect aren't you? jc-01.12.07

Puzzles at Omniglot, a site about writing systems and languages of the world. Via Information Nation. jc-01.08.07

From two of our compatriots in The Deck, The House Style Guides from A List Apart and The Morning News. Wise advice except for their united but ultimately misguided support of the serial comma. jc-01.08.07

"Before Americans ruled America, French explorers ran rampant across the land, seeking, discovering, naming, and harming. We celebrate the leading figures of this movement and their defining facial characteristics." Via bblinks. sd-01.04.07

What Daniel Eatock has done and would like to do. jc-12.28.06

Great VF piece by Frank DiGiacomo on George Lois, Harold Hayes and Esquire Magazine in the '60s. jc-12.27.06

I never cared for Winslow Homer after Steve Martin's scathing review in "Cruel Shoes." Sadly, that is the one page of the book that's not online. bb-12.27.06

We've finally managed to trap the ghost of Stanley Kubrick inside a professional-grade DVD jewelbox, and he'll now be on permanent exhibit in the MoOM. jc-12.27.06

If I go on the record here saying Michael Crichton is a mediocre hack, will he cast me as a poorly-endowed pedophile in his next book? Maybe if I taunt KG enough, he will. bb-12.19.06

On this date in 1946, "All of life is six to five against." jc-12.18.06

On this date, "He Do the Police in Different Voices." jc-12.15.06

"These letters spell out the first seven lines of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. They were photographed in order, west to east, as I walked the Pilgrims' Way from Winchester to Canterbury." Via Ascent Stage. jc-12.15.06

Kottke on the year in errors. Awesome. Tons more at Regret the Error. Apologies accepted. jc-12.14.06

Wm$na interviews artist Daan Roosegaarde about "Dune 4.0" and the technonolgy behind this so-cool installation. jc-12.12.06

Sorta related. Mars in Radio Drama. Thanks Ryan. jc-12.06.06

The NY Times travel section discovers CP's little neighborhood. We were here when it was mostly all pork rinds and meat trucks and not so much hot models and vodka drinks. kg-12.05.06

"When you're dealing with something from Proust or Henry James, all hell breaks loose." NPR interview with Kitty Burns Florey, author of Sister Bernadette's Barking Dog, "The quirky history and lost art of diagramming sentences." Via Sycamore. jc-12.05.06

BibliOdyssey on Ancient Spanish Ballads; Historical and Romantic, an illuminated gift-book from 1841. jc-12.05.06

"No one knows exactly why or how Kate has been able to do what Martha Stewart or Whitney Houston or Levi's or the Gap can't." A Model Transformation, about the 'rebranding' of Kate Moss, by Debbie Millman for Speak Up. jc-12.04.06

Suggested new literary terms. For example, "Austentacious: A book written in the style of, or influenced by, Jane Austen. See Emma Tennant, Karen Joy Fowler." Via Sycamore. jc-12.01.06

Like Flickr, but without the photos. Salubrious. jc-11.30.06

Not so famous last words. jc-11.29.06

The Six-Word Memoir Contest. Via 52 Projects. mo-11.29.06

City of Sound on the current Alan Fletcher retrospective at London's Design Museum. jc-11.28.06

More than 1,000 picture links to places that figure in the lives and writings of famous authors. Via MGaB. jc-11.24.06

Jimmy Breslin saw Bobby recently. Here's what he remembers. jc-11.21.06

A surprisingly touching WSJ middle column about how performances of a tribal war dance before Trinity high school football games has brought together Tongans and Texans in the suburbs of Dallas. kg-11.16.06

"I have spent almost more time with these violent, imaginary friends of mine than I have with my family in recent years." Author Mark Winegardner on the last (thankfully) of The Godfather series. Via The Sycamore Review. jc-11.15.06

So you know. That and Who or Which. jc-11.15.06

Andrew Womack (The Knife) of TMN, on a new slate of Congressional nicknames. jc-11.14.06

Today in 1851. "The book he was counting on to rescue his reputation and his finances, was so belittled and slandered in the crucial first weeks following publication in America that it never had a chance." jc-11.14.06

"In 1935, well into the era of Soviet communism, Russian satirical writers Ilya Ilf and Evgeny Petrov came to the U.S as special correspondents for the Russian newspaper Pravda. They drove cross country and back on a ten-week trip, recording images of American life through humerous texts and the lens of a Leica camera." The 80 year old precursor to Borat: Ilf and Petrov's American Road Trip. sd-11.10.06

Despite its name, the book, Why Mommy is a Democrat, is surprisingly non-partisan. Those to the Left can use it to further indoctrinate their children. Those on the Right can use it to frighten, in that the illustrations, of a seemingly drunk squirrel, are more than a little terrifying. Via AdFreak. sd-11.06.06

"Nothing I've achieved since then has resonated in my mind, since all I can ever think of is, 'You moron, you're so lame, obvious, and pseudo-hip!'" Michael Musto's review of Spy: The Funny Years. Thanks Sandy! sd-11.01.06

Presidential Doodles. Some are pretty out there. Personally, I don't think you've seen Presidential Doodling until you've seen a good Dick Cheney as drawn by KG. se-10.27.06

"I would have loved to have asked her about the three steps at DeLendrecies. Even if she had no idea why I remembered, I think she would have liked to have known I remembered." Beautiful, touching Bleat today, from Lileks. jc-10.25.06

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, and The Spectre Bridegroom. From the 'Sketch Book,' by Washington Irving 1886. Illustrated with original designs by eminent artists. So cool, especially the page scans. Via gmt+9 (-15). jc-10.24.06

Notebooks, letters, drafts, etc from Woodward and Bernstein's Watergate Papers exhibited at the University of Texas HRC. jc-10.23.06

How Magazine's big feature on our officemates from 37signals this month looks nice in photos but even better in the magazine. El Boton gets a nice write-up in this issue too. jc-10.17.06

Ted McClelland is there when Red Green films his last show. jc-10.17.06

"Things Online That I Am Sick Of." jc-10.13.06

NPR interview with Nobel prize winner Orhan Pamuk. His novel Snow absolutely killed me. jc-10.13.06

Even Thomas Pynchon isn't safe when his son joins Facebook. Via Fimoculous. sd-10.11.06

"I made a conscious decision to look more open and less dense without losing that smart edge that people have come to expect," Magazine Editor Undergoes Sleek New Redesign. Via TMN. jc-10.11.06

A collection of slang from the 1920s. Via Chris Glass. sd-10.09.06

Ephemera, exploring the world of old paper. Found among other things. jc-10.09.06

"I've got 30 typefaces sitting on my hard drive right now that will never get made because I can't get them to work for more than about seven characters." Veer interviews designer Corey Holms. jc-10.05.06

Even Though I Can't Explain It I Already Know How Great It Is. KG's latest for The Outfit. jc-10.05.06

Ironic Sans interview with Seetharaman Narayanan. Now where do I know that name from? jc-10.04.06

FOTA and Field Tested contributor Mike Sacks has just launched his new website, the aptly named MikeSacks.com, an archive of his writing for GQ, The New Yorker and Esquire, among others. sd-10.02.06

"Only bad guys have goatees." From The Grand List of Overused Science Fiction Clichés jc-10.02.06

The 2006 recipients of the Winterhouse Awards for Design Writing & Criticism are Thomas de Monchaux and Katherine Feo. Here here. jc-09.30.06

"On the opening page of a small leather-bound book in a University of Virginia library, graduate student Robert Stilling found an inscription in brownish-gray ink. It was a poem by Robert Frost, in the poet's own hand, unknown and, Stilling believes, unpublished." From Bram. all-09.30.06

Two close friends of the agency, 37 Signals and John Warner are mentioned in today's WSJ story on the modern importance of list-making. kg-09.29.06

Local note. "Robert Falls' appallingly expensive desecration of 'Lear,' mounted by the Goodman Theatre in celebration of his 20th year as its artistic director, is the worst production of a Shakespeare play I've witnessed in a lifetime of theatergoing." Terry Teachout makes up my mind. jc-09.29.06

The Chicago Manual of Style, asked and answered. Via Gapers. jc-09.28.06

Hero. On this day in 1970 John Dos Passos died at the age of seventy-four. BTW: The Library of America's single-volume of The USA Trilogy edition is beautiful. jc-09.28.06

The AV Club on eighteen '70s and '80s XXX Movies with memorably, kooky trailers. Via LHB. jc-09.27.06

KG puts his Cast of Shadows to Marshall McLuhan's "Page 69 test," which says that you can pick which books you want to read by opening to page 69 and deciding if you like what you read there. jc-09.26.06

Clamor Magazine takes on American Apparel. jc-09.26.06

Doubt is better than certainty. The eighth of ten things Milton Glaser has learned. Via I LIke. jc-09.25.06

"Rather it is the collection and display of stuff with a preservative intent and historical mindset that makes a museum." Tom Scheinfeldt's response to an All Things Considered piece in part, about our Museum of Online Museums. jc-09.22.06

Martha Bayne surveys the alt-media scene in The Reader's Chicago 101 series and finds us an "anything-goes experiment in the creative potential of Web publishing." Thanks for that. jc-09.22.06

David K. Israel digs up what happened when the lawyers got a hold of the Ten Commandments, at TMN. Related: Breaking them all before breakfast. jc-09.22.06

YouWorkForThem's Profile Magazine Number Three is up and includes a talk with John Maeda. jc-09.20.06

"On the positive side of the ledger, the pry marks, where Mr. Warner used a crowbar to get the door to open again, have barely begun to rust and decay." John is selling his B210. jc-09.15.06

Anthony Qualin's Confederacy of Dunces: A Virtual Tour. "This page does neither the novel nor its distinctive hero justice." Perhaps not, but for fans, it's an interesting trip. Jonathan Eig's Field-Tested review makes for a fine accompaniment. Via the boy with the large heart. jc-09.15.06

To follow JC's video game ads post, here's an ad for John Hodgman's book, a parody of George Plimpton's Intellivision ad. "Who even needs computer baseball?" sd-09.14.06

"Nothing could have prepared me for the stupidity of this event, except perhaps an honest account of how truly awful it was. I've been unable to find such an account, online or elsewhere. I offer my dissent to the pretense that is Burning Man." From Stuart. all-09.13.06

An interview with KG in Shots Ezine about Wicker (aka Cast of Shadows) in which he talks about Kierkegaard. But don't let that put you off. He also talks about The Gilmore Girls. jc-09.11.06

"That is how I remember them, circa 1980, when I was a slip of paper in a pullover shirt." You must read Paul Ford's Men Standing Around Broken Machines. jc-09.11.06

Amoral or immoral. Proscribe or prescribe. Troublesome pairs. Via lifi. jc-09.11.06

Shift 118 is up and includes an interview with Mamoru Kanom, art director of WOW. jc-09.11.06

"The process I so reassuringly put forward at the outset had almost nothing to do with the way the project actually went." The truth from Michael Bierut, This is My Process. jc-09.09.06

Concepts for a trio of new Mac spots. From Bram. all-09.08.06

"...while it never had the book you were looking for, you always went home with five others you couldn't resist." From Terry Teachout's Serendipity Revisited at About Last Night. jc-09.07.06

About the previous post. "Humans have a hot hunger on unrealistic things." About Wilp's Afri Cola campaign, machine-translated. Wilp obit. Wiki entry on Afri Cola. German wiki entry on Wilp, translated. jc-09.06.06

JC talks about design and technology in the current issue of Communication Arts, along with our studio mate Jason from 37signals. se-09.05.06

Michigan man held in contempt of court for plagiarizing TMN's Matthew Baldwin. kg-09.04.06

Field-Tested contributor, George Saunders' latest, very funny piece in the New Yorker, Proclamation. sd-08.31.06

"Soon, students recognize that a both a 50 and a 90 are failing grades in the game of life. Is removing 90 percent of the fingerprints from the inside of an apartment after a black-bag job good enough? Good enough for five to 10 for breaking and entering maybe, but that's about it." John Warner's latest at TMN. ms-08.31.06

"The boy announces his intention to 'go back for boat ride.'" jc-08.30.06

"This is the work - the exploration we did for you in all this time. And then he would pull out the logo he designed in the first week and say: This is the ideal one." From an interview with Ross McBride at PingMag. jc-08.29.06

Devoured the paperback on vacation and just ordered the hardcover. An illuminating, bittersweet novel about memory and visual ephemera by CP fave Umberto Eco, The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana. jc-08.29.06

Michael at Design Observer says all the things I have been saying about Helmut Krone lately, only more lucidly. Both of us have been inspired by the new Helmut Krone. The Book which is mandatory for any art director's library. jc-08.25.06

Joe Meno's latest, the Boy Detective Fails is shipping now. Fabulous cover. ms-08.24.06

How to speak Gibberish. Sidiga, midiga, tridiga. av-08.24.06

Bedtime Stories by Thom Yorke of Radiohead. Via TMN. ms-08.24.06

"Here is something that the psychologists have so far neglected: the love of ugliness for its own sake, the lust to make the world intolerable. Its habitat is the United States. Out of the melting pot emerges a race which hates beauty as it hates truth." H.L. Mencken's Libido for the Ugly, from 1927. Via Things. sd-08.22.06

"I do have the tools to be an effective teacher. I understand intimidation and threat. I have a stare that could bore a hole through Kevlar." John Warner's latest at TMN. ms-08.21.06

Ran across while looking for something else entirely: World War Two Books, small press books about nearly everything. Some interesting covers too. sd-08.18.06

Read the first couple of posts and you'll be hooked, New York Hack, tales of being a cab driver in NY. sd-08.18.06

Filling in the Hudson to Rebuild New York, from the March 1934 issue of Modern Mechanix. Via Designboom. sd-08.17.06

Attention Wes Anderson, yet another letter from Walter and Donald. Very funny and insightful. jc-08.15.06

Things' collection of ads in Popular Science from 1949. Really love the company name, Gulf Hamstery, from the "Raise Hamsters" ad. sd-08.15.06

FoTA John Warner is attempting a naked ploy today in an effort to manipulate the Amazon ranking for his new book Encyclopedia Brown and the Mysterious Presidency of George W Bush. kg-08.14.06

Before Seth Godin was Seth Godin, he was F.X. Nine, writer of Nintendo game fiction. Read nearly all of those as a kid and remember enjoying them a lot, so bravo. sd-08.10.06

"To launch a taboo, a group has to be poised halfway between weakness and power. A confident group doesn't need taboos to protect it." What You Can't Say by Paul Graham. Via The Miss who is Swiss. jc-08.10.06

"So I'm an old time machine now." A rare interview with Ray Bradbury by Jacqueline Russell of the Chicago Children's Theatre, about producing Dandelion Wine. jc-08.09.06

Peacay on Martinus Houttuyn's (1720-1798) Houtkunde. A book of wood. jc-08.08.06

"Guardsmen had been protecting the offices and using the boardroom as a command post. But with tensions rising inside the Dome, the Guard pulled back to the lobbies." In 1992 I was working in the Astrodome and as I watched Hurricane Andrew pummel south Florida, I knew that if it churned due west across the Gulf I would be spending the week inside the shelter of the Dome with tens of thousands of my fellow Houstonians. That never happened but the Sunday Times has a terrific story about the housekeepers and engineers and security guards who worked inside the Superdome and who battled to save it in Katrina's wake. kg-08.06.06

An alternate explanation of the rules of cricket. Shorter, and with less pies than KG's. Thanks Michael. jc-08.04.06

"The only difference is that the advertisers paid money to someone you'll never know and the graffiti artist didn't." The Aesthetic on Billboard Improvement." jc-08.03.06

KG on doing research for writing a thriller, at The Outfit. jc-08.02.06

Cave paintings: made by wise elders or idiot teens? Paleolithic Juvenalia. sd-08.01.06

The inaugural issue of Honey Eat Your Salad. Via Lounge72. sd-07.31.06

The heroism of everyday life. The boyhood diary of Yoshio Nakatsu 1900-1969. Via Musaeum. jc-07.31.06

Thanks to Angela Gunn from