Archive for June, 2009

Asia, 1989. Part X: Pakistan

May 17: We take the bus up the snowy road to the Chinese border checkpoint.  With our last few yuan we buy Chinese crackers and juice, then wait to be paraded back on to the bus by the incarnation of all that is unpleasant in Chinese bureaucracy:  a scowling border guard with a silly, time-consuming […]

The Monday Photo (a painting)

Justin Faunce; “Emperor Tomato Ketchup”; acrylic and glitter on canvas; 72″ x 72″; 2005.


SPOILER ALERT: This post discusses the plot of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series. I highly recommend reading them, rather than reading about them…but I suspect many will not.  And let’s start by acknowledging Caitlin Flanagan’s excellent article on female adolescent desire in The Atlantic Monthly.  She covers so much, but this is my personal experience of […]


Lane recently contended in comments: You go to the Apple store and you really want that new Steve Jobs gadget. (Steve Jobs is one of my pagan gods) You pay $300 for the object that has a production cost of $50. The $250 difference is the sacrifice at the altar of Apple. And that new […]

Bonus playlist Wednesday: dessert edition

(Download Part 1, “Soul Food: dinner edition,” here.) The connection between sweetness and pleasure is part of our evolutionary makeup. Sweet flavors are the first we develop the ability to sense; the message that calorie-rich, life-giving sustenance is on the way floods our brains with dopamine and makes us seek out more sweet flavors, creating […]

Asia, 1989. Part IX: Kashgar

May 10 & 11: The closer we get to Kashgar, the more stops we make.  By now it seems more like just a delirious dream than an actual place.  We keep feeling like the bus will finally pull into a station and the driver will open the doors and announce “Urumqi.”  Or, worse yet, “Beijing.”  […]

Too bad irony died in 2001

Goldman Sachs to give record bonuses as looting of world economy continues.

The Monday Photo (“we have it? yeah, we have it.”)

The struggle for self-determination, the struggle for what a character wants his life to be…I look for characters who feel strongly enough about something not to be concerned with the prevailing odds, but to struggle against those odds. Robert Aldrich

LA Times — She finally has a home: Harvard

Several months ago I featured a college application letter written by one of Susan’s students.  As a follow-up I’m posting a link to an LA Times bio piece on Khadijah Williams, Susan’s student and the author of the application letter.  If you see this, Khadijah, we at Whatsit are rooting for you and applaud this […]

The Phryday Phill In Photo (sleeping cat)