Infinite Regret

"How could a writer whose prose breathed in life so fully take his own?" asks Michael O'Donnell of David Foster Wallace. A new book tries to illuminate the writer via a five-day road trip.

David Foster Wallace's suicide "created a lacuna: the guy who wrote in the biggest, boldest type had suddenly silenced himself," writes Michael O'Donnell. "His death prompted a publishing drive that is at once soothing and a little unseemly: Wallace’s speeches, stories, and unfinished novels keep popping up smartly packaged in bookstores and in the pages of the New Yorker. This is better and worse than watching home movies of a lost loved one. Better because for most of us, words are all we ever had from Wallace; as long as new ones appear, the illusion lingers that we haven’t lost him. Worse because home movies, unlike handsome new volumes, do not pretend to be anything but dated facsimiles. Nor are they for sale."

Car culture and suburbs grow right-wing populism, claims study

New research links urban planning and political polarization.

Pixabay
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Canadian researchers find that excessive reliance on cars changes political views.
  • Decades of car-centric urban planning normalized unsustainable lifestyles.
  • People who prefer personal comfort elect politicians who represent such views.
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How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

Image: Dicken Schrader
Strange Maps
  • America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
  • Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
  • Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
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NASA astronomer Michelle Thaller on ​the multiple dimensions of space and human sexuality

Science and the squishiness of the human mind. The joys of wearing whatever the hell you want, and so much more.

Flickr / 13winds
Think Again Podcasts
  • Why can't we have a human-sized cat tree?
  • What would happen if you got a spoonful of a neutron star?
  • Why do we insist on dividing our wonderfully complex selves into boring little boxes
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