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…

Kevin Carey “That Old College Lie”

Carey notes that Senator Claiborne Pell died at age 90 on January 1, 2009. Senator Pell was the driving force, and the inspiration for the federal Pell Grants for under funded college students. In the context of noting that Pell Grants are no longer anything like sufficient in terms of…

Winter Solstice, 2009

You lovers, for whose sake the lesser sun At this time to the Goat is run To fetch new lust, and give it you, Enjoy your summer all, Since she enjoys her long night’s festival. Let me prepare towards her, and let me call This hour her vigil, and her…

Verlyn Flieger, Interrupted Music

Verlyn Flieger’s Interrupted Music: The Making of Tolkien’s Mythology is a brilliant study of Tolkien’s mythic creation, with particular emphasis on the role of the lesser known works behind Lord of the Rings. Flieger follows the creation of Tolkien’s mythology from inception to final flowering, relying heavily on the twelve…