Kurt Vonnegut: Slaughterhouse 5 POW

In December of 1944 Private Kurt Vonnegut was captured by Wehrmacht troops. A month later, Vonnegut and his fellow POWs were imprisoned in an underground slaughterhouse known by German soldiers as Schlachthof Fünf (Slaughterhouse Five), beneath Dresden. The following February Vonnegut survived the allied bombing of Dresden and wrote a…

Moff’s Law

Inevitably, in an online discussion (especially a discussion about -isms in art) involving more than three people, some ignoramus will say something very like: Jeez, it was just a movie. STFU and enjoy it, okay? How to respond the next time someone accuses you of overthinking a text or a…

Art in the Oddest Places

Cupcakes, by their very nature a fleeting and clearly-delineated moment of sweetness, capturing the essence of games. A mouthful of art: How many games do you recognize? How many have you played?

TSA Knocking on Doors to Seize Hardware

Wired has the story: Two bloggers received home visits from Transportation Security Administration agents Tuesday after they published a new TSA directive that revises screening procedures and puts new restrictions on passengers in the wake of a recent bombing attempt by the so-called underwear bomber. And the follow-up: In the…

Paul Krugman on the Economics of the Last Ten Years: A Whole Lot of Nothin’

What was truly impressive about the decade past, however, was our unwillingness, as a nation, to learn from our mistakes. You can read the rest of Paul Krugman’s “The Big Zero” in the New York Times here.

The Photographic Periodic Table of Elements

This is a gorgeous, fascinating, and very fun site. It’s from the Element Collection, which includes Theodore Gray who is also the creator behind the lovely Wood Periodic Table. Sites like these remind us that science is fun, creative, and beautiful.

The Ruins of Pompeii, via Google Street View

Destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius on August 24, 79 C. E., this small town near Naples was covered by ash and lava until 1738. View Larger Map

Season’s Greetings

We are capable of such beauty and grace. May we all learn to ever reach for our best inherent qualities.

NORAD Santa-Tracking

The NORAD Santa-sighting updates have become a holiday tradition, quietly and with a remarkable lack of the late twentieth-century cynicism that too often mars our experience of things simple and sweet and innocent. In his article Behind the Scenes: NORAD’s Santa Tracker, reporter Daniel Terdiman fills in the history of this particularly…

Last Man Standing

Mental Floss posted this short film by Sean Dunne on Vimeo, excerpting an interview with 108-year-old Frank Woodruff Buckles: Buckles from Sean Dunne on Vimeo. What was it like for Frank Buckles, upon finally coming home from the war? “When I came back, the parades were all over. Nobody gave…