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Seamus Heaney died three years ago. But not before he penned this. From Literary Hub: As a child, William Wordsworth imagined he heard the moorlands breathing down his neck; he rowed in panic when he thought a cliff was pursuing him across moonlit water; and once, when he found himself on the hills east of Penrith Beacon, beside a gibbet where a murderer had been executed, the place and its associations were enough to send him fleeing in terror to the beacon summit.

How the simple definition of a hydrogen bond gives us a glimpse into the heart of chemistry

Ashutosh Jogalekar in The Curious Wavefunction: A few years ago, a committee organized by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) - the international body of chemists that defines chemical terms and guides the lexicon of the field - met to debate and finalize the precise definition of a hydrogen bond.

The Co-Founder of n+1 Is ‘Against Everything’

Daphne Merkin in the New York Times: We live in singularly unsubtle times, when presidential candidates shout invective instead of delivering talking points and Twitter posts privilege catchiness over nuance.

happy death poem

Craig Morgan Teicher at Poetry Magazine: Donald Revell has mastered a poetic genre few poets even attempt: the happy poem.


Marshall Yarbrough at The Brooklyn Rail: For a while now I’ve had a theory about a select group of artists who were making music in the 1960s and ’70s.

Nicholson Baker, Substitute Teacher

Malcolm Harris at The New Republic: Baker is often frustrated with the material he’s asked to push on students, and this reaches its peak with a graphic Holocaust documentary called Auschwitz: Death Camp starring Oprah and Elie Wiesel that he shows to successive 10th-grade English classes.

A literary guide to hating Barack Obama

Carlos Lozada in The Washington Post: Secret Muslim. Socialist. Amateur. Anti-American. Criminal. Throughout the presidency of Barack Obama, and even before it, a chorus of writers has stood stage right, reinterpreting the era but mainly eviscerating the man.

How DNA could store all the world’s data

Andy Extance in Nature: It was Wednesday 16 February 2011, and Goldman was at a hotel in Hamburg, Germany, talking with some of his fellow bioinformaticists about how they could afford to store the reams of genome sequences and other data the world was throwing at them.

Wednesday Poem

Mornings at Seven Wild geese stir in the early morning calm with the ripple of their wake. Far off, near the shore’s arm of dune that holds the pond, a kayak glides, someone seeking peace and looking up to find it in the sky.

Great Exploitations

Eric Loomis in the Boston Review: At least since the passage of California’s Proposition 13 in 1978—in which property owners voted to halve their property taxes—the United States has struggled with an anti-tax mentality revolving around the belief that government is ineffective.

The Simple, Elegant Algorithm That Makes Google Maps Possible

Michael Byrne in Motherboard: Algorithms are a science of cleverness. A natural manifestation of logical reasoning—​mathematical induction, in particular—a good algorithm is like a fleeting, damning snapshot into the very soul of a problem.

Nicole Eisenman and the Resurrection of Figuration

Morgan Meis in The Easel: The contemporary painter Nicole Eisenman tells a rather moving story about winning a MacArthur “genius” grant in the late summer of 2015.

See real democracy in action – how Chinese third-graders elect a class monitor

  [Thanks to Ruchira Paul.]

What became of the Christian intellectuals?

Alan Jacobs at Harper's Magazine: The terms “nativism,” “reactionary,” even “fascism” appear in political conversation with increasing regularity.

Death and Doctors' Fears

Bert Keizer at Threepenny Review: First, the scary subject of euthanasia. To avoid any misunderstanding: euthanasia, as I am defining it, is the handing or administering of a fatal overdose to a patient by a doctor on the patient’s request.

Who Is Kim Jong-un?

Andrew J. Nathan at The NYRB: The pudgy cheeks and flaring hairdo of North Korea’s young ruler Kim Jong-un, his bromance with tattooed and pierced former basketball star Dennis Rodman, his boy-on-a-lark grin at missile firings, combine incongruously with the regime’s pledge to drown its enemies in a “sea of fire.” They elicit a mix of revulsion and ridicule in the West.

Does Giftedness Matter?

Scott Barry Kaufman in Scientific American: The thing is, the whole concept of giftedness was, from the very beginning of its inception, tied to educational outcomes.

A Piece of Cloth?

by Maniza Naqvi I invite you to tell me why I am wrong. I wrote a similar post on facebook and now want to engage you here in this debate.

Wide Awake with Isabel Hull

by Holly A. Case German soldiers invading Belgium, August 1914 It was from Isabel Hull that I learned what tu quoque means, and how important it is to know.