Buying Beddy-Bye

Counting sheep doesn’t work too well if the one counting can only make it to ten when you say “seven” for them. Thankfully, there’s a better way to put your children down for the night. It’s not warm milk, but it’s close. It’s called “The Rabbit Who Wants To Fall Asleep,” and it’ll kick-start your little tyke on the way to dream land with the help of behavioral psychology. Share → Tweet

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

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 →

An American Shakespeare in Paris

noggBLOG permalink In the 1920s, in what was perhaps the heyday of American expatriatism, no city attracted more American artists than Paris, and no Parisian bookstore attracted more American writers than Shakespeare & Co.  Share → Tweet

Communication Breakdown #46: Books & Crannies

noggBLOG permalink A good book not only entertains us, it gives us an escape. We can drift away from life for a spell and forget about our troubles, immersing ourselves in those of the character, or the arc of the narrative, or the world of the story. But a really good book does more than just offer escape, it abducts us, and we willfully comply, leaving our entire lives and identities behind for the opportunity live within it for a few hundred more pages. That is why we love books.... Read The Rest →

Communication Breakdown #25: Gotta Make That Paper

noggBLOG permalink Timothy Barrett is old school. Like, 105 A.D. old school. He is a papermaker, and his paper is some of the finest in the world. It has been used to repair documents like the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence. Working out of his University of Iowa workshop, which is housed in the laundry facility of an old sanitarium, Barrett works diligently, crafting remarkably luxurious yet austere paper out of the bark of the kozo tree, a Japanese relative to the Western mulberry.... Read The Rest →

Communication Breakdown #21: The Resurgence of the Mythopoetic Man

Are you a man? The answer to that question, I now know, has less to do with gender and appearance than many of us might think. I know my answer. I am a man. Am I the manliest? Certainly not. I make my living as a writer. You won’t see me logging anytime soon. But are you a man? You may or may not be. I have no way of knowing, but you should find out if you don’t already. Of course, not all of us can be burly, bearded... Read The Rest →

Communication Breakdown #20 – The XX(X) Edition: ‘Jersey Shore’ Skanks Up School

noggBLOG permalink The last thing college needs is more skankiness, but what happens when a cultural phenomenon exudes so much of it that it forcefully permeates every aspect of society? You analyze it. I think. Either that or Coinstar that change bucket into singles and go wild. UChicago (yes, UChicago, the school with the student-crafted motto that reads, “Where fun comes to die”) chose the former. That is so weirdly right. The show, until now, responsible for numerous arrests, awful Halloween costumes, mind-numbing colloquialisms and the cultural institutions “GTL (Gym,... Read The Rest →

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