Make Christmas Right-Side Up Again

Eggnog. Twinkle lights. Fresh-baked cookies. Bad sweaters. Worse music. Relatives. Family disputes. Alcohol. Making up. Perhaps a carol then sleep, and all the while, standing nobly in the corner, is a coniferous, green, conical reminder that Christmas time is here. Happiness and cheer. So why are people hanging their goddamn Christmas trees upside-down instead of upright like normal people do? Share → Tweet

College or Cult?: The Legend of Deep Springs

noggBLOG permalink The most exclusive—and, by the numbers, best—college in the country is a ranch hidden deep in the California high desert. The 26-or-s0 students (the number varies every year), all of them male, must forego alcohol and drugs, engage in a minimum required 20 hours of manual labor a week, and serve, themselves, as the school’s administration, admissions office, and custodians. This might not seem like the normal college life. It’s not, because this is no normal college. This is Deep Springs College, and the rabbit hole goes way,... Read The Rest →

Hess’ Triangle

noggBLOG permalink New York City is a mosaic of weird little nuggets hidden in plain sight. Billions of tiles, each representing a small piece of history at once both public and private (the rub of New York City life), are mortared together with the sweat and struggle of over 1.5 million people begrudgingly smooshed into less than 34 square miles of real estate. Each tile is sacred. Each tile is coveted and protected. Each tile is a war, and no New Yorker knew that better than David Hess. Share →... Read The Rest →

The Bizarre World of the Codex Seraphinianus

noggBLOG permalink  Many an ancient tome resides buried somewhere deep in a catacomb in Italy. Remnants of empires, scholars, ages of knowledge, discovery and wisdom, these fragments of humanity and higher learning dot Italy like stars, creating a constellational map of enlightenment and evolution. The Codex Seraphinianus is not one such tome. Share → Tweet

Richard the Third Wheel

noggBLOG permalink Much like the bottom of the change tray in your center console, parking lots are full of surprises. Weird smells, strange animals, the occasional set of twins, it’s a veritable grab bag-type experience every time you push the button for your ticket. One thing you may not expect to find: a dead king of Shakespeare fame. Share → Tweet

The Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library

noggBLOG permalink And on the subject of burning books: I want to congratulate librarians, not famous for their physical strength or their powerful political connections or their great wealth, who, all over this country, have staunchly resisted anti-democratic bullies who have tried to remove certain books from their shelves, and have refused to reveal to thought police the names of persons who have checked out those titles. So the America I loved still exists, if not in the White House or the Supreme Court or the Senate or the House... Read The Rest →

Ernie Pyle, Man of the Midwest

noggBLOG permalink “It takes one to know one.” The expression gets thrown around a lot. It’s a gibe, retort, pointed insult, but many of us, if we give it some careful thought, might liken it to a feeling of familiarity, a kinship. That’s something we Midwesterners have a knack for. We instinctually seek it at both broad and microscopic levels. As soon as we see it, we know it, and no recognition comes more quickly than meeting a Midwesterner far from home. Such was the effectual charisma of Ernie Pyle.... Read The Rest →

Fred and Ginger, The Dancing House of Prague

noggBLOG permalink Meet Fred and Ginger. Also known as The Dancing House of Prague, Fred and Ginger are more officially known as the Nationale-Nederlanden building, a design collaboration between Croatian-Czech architect Vlado Milunić and Canadian-American architect legend Frank Gehry. Share → Tweet

The Beak Doctors

As may be seen on picture here, In Rome the doctors do appear, When to their patients they are called, In places by the plague appalled, Their hats and cloaks, of fashion new, Are made of oilcloth, dark of hue, Their caps with glasses are designed, Their bills with antidotes all lined, That foulsome air may do no harm, Nor cause the doctor man alarm, The staff in hand must serve to show Their noble trade where’er they go. —Jean-Jacques Manget, Treatise on the Plague, 1721 Share → Tweet