‘[Man] is not conscious of being born, he dies in pain, and he forgets to live.’ —La Bruyère


My brain tumor introduced itself to me on a grainy MRI, in the summer of 2009, when I was 28 years old. […]

Over time I would lose my memory—almost completely—of things that happened just moments before, and become unable to recall events that happened days and years earlier. […]

Through persistence, luck, and maybe something more, an incredible medical procedure returned my mind and memories to me almost all at once. I became the man who remembered events I had never experienced, due to my amnesia. The man who forgot which member of his family had died while he was sick, only to have that memory, like hundreds of others, come flooding back. The memories came back out of order, with flashbacks mystically presenting themselves in ways that left me both excited and frightened.

{ Quartz | Continue reading }

What’s up with your bad breath onion rings


Stanley: I lost my brother years ago

Ford: (from the other room) QUIT TELLING PEOPLE I’M DEAD

Stanley: Sometimes I can still hear his voice

{ Cyclone Rachel }

Who we are when we are not paying attention


One woman reported having 8 car accidents in one 150 mile journey. She was also unlucky in love. After joining a dating agency, her first date fell off his motorcycle and broke his leg. The second date walked into a glass door and broke his nose. Eventually she met her future husband and the church they were going to get married in burned down the day before the wedding. […]

In total, 80 percent of people who attended Luck School said that their luck had increased. […]

Lucky people just try stuff.

{ Barking Up The Wrong Tree | Continue reading }

A jink a jink a jawbo


After the near‐collapse of the world’s financial system has shown that we economists really do not know how the world works, I am much too embarrassed to teach economics anymore, which I have done for many years. I will teach Modern Korean Drama instead.

Although I have never been to Korea, I have watched Korean drama on a daily basis for over six years now. Therefore I can justly consider myself an expert in that subject.

{ Uwe E. Reinhardt, Princeton University | PDF | via Chris Blattman }

photo { Ji Yeo | plastic surgery in South Korea }

Gradual decline into order


The first portable audio recorder was made in 1945 by a man named Tony Schwartz. […]

Armed with his recorder (and sometimes a secret microphone attached to his wrist), Schwartz chronicled every sound in his Manhattan neighborhood.  He recorded children singing songs in the park, street festival music, jukeboxes in restaurants, vendors peddling vegetables, and more than 700 conversations with cab drivers. […]

He released 14 records of his sound collections, including a whole record of the sounds of sewing, and had a free-range weekly radio program on WNYC for more than 35 years. […]

As insatiably curious as he was, Tony Schwartz didn’t travel. He was severely agoraphobic. […]

Eventually Schwartz amassed a huge collection of more than fifteen thousand recordings of conversation, folklore, and folk music, which he then shared with his listeners. He introduced Harry Belafonte to Jamaican music, gave African music to the Weavers, and created a global sound exchange, all from within the few blocks he felt comfortable traveling.

{ 99% Invisible | Continue reading | Thanks Tim }

skateboard deck { Kronk }

Take me out, tonight


Before leaving his girlfriend’s apartment in Crown Heights, on the morning of his nineteenth arrest for impersonating and performing the functions of New York City Transit Authority employees, Darius McCollum put on an NYCTA subway conductor’s uniform and reflector vest. […]

Six weeks earlier, Darius had been paroled from the Elmira Correctional Facility, near Binghamton, New York, where he had served two years for attempted grand larceny—”attempted” because he had signed out NYCTA vehicles for surface use (extinguishing track fires, supervising maintenance projects) and then signed them back in according to procedure. Darius has never worked for the NYCTA; he has never held a steady job. He is thirty-seven and has spent a third of his adult life in prison for victim-less offenses related to transit systems. […]

His obsession with the subway manifested itself as soon as he began riding trains with his mother, at age three. […] Darius spent hundreds of hours watching trains at 179th Street. He estimated the angle of every track intersection in the yard. By the time he was eight, he could visualize the entire New York City subway system. (Later he memorized the architecture of the stations.) Family and friends with subway questions began calling the McCollum household and asking for Darius. In small notebooks he recorded arrival and departure times at various stations, and documented whatever he observed: the shrill, keyed-up atmosphere an emergency stop instantly creates on a platform, the presence of transit police, mechanical problems (“E-train to Canal st 0015 L.C. Delay of train leaving Parson’s Blvd Door Trouble”), passengers riding between cars (“A-train to 81st L.C. 4112—Girl riding in between cars approx. 17 Brown Coat Blue Pants Brown Shoes”). He hasn’t abandoned this note-taking. […]

Darius’s apprenticeship began with a motorman he called Uncle Craft, who drove the first train Darius took regularly. When Craft began working at the 179th Street yard, he taught Darius to drive along the generous stretch of track between the yard and the last F stop. Darius learned how to ease a train into a station, aligning it with the markers that match its length, how to read signals while simultaneously observing the track connections the signals predict (he was taught never to assume the infallibility of signals), and how to understand the timers that govern the signals. Darius was an exceptional, methodical student: he learned quickly and thoroughly, building on each skill he acquired and instantly memorizing terminology. Soon he was doing yard maneuvers and taking trains into passenger service, as both a train operator and a conductor. (By the time of his first arrest, he had driven trains dozens of times.) […]

A prison psychiatrist, after a cursory evaluation, noted that a neurological disorder called Asperger’s Syndrome might explain Darius’s behavior.

{ Harper’s/Long Reads | Continue reading }

image { New York City Transit Authority Graphics Standards Manual }

‘adderall is cool bc one night i spent the entire evening reading about the geopolitical situation in antarctica’ —@deanna_havas


Most people who describe themselves as demisexual say they only rarely feel desire, and only in the context of a close relationship. Gray-­asexuals (or gray-aces) roam the gray area between absolute asexuality and a more typical level of interest. […]

“Every single asexual I’ve met embraces fluidity—I might be gray or asexual or demisexual,” says Claudia, a 24-year-old student from Las Vegas. “Us aces are like: whatevs.”

{ Wired | Continue reading }

photo { Nate Walton }

Another day has gone, I’m still all alone


“I’ve actually never met Chris in person but I am definitely in love with him,” Sarah said.

“He’s just spectacular. Chris and I have discussed getting married - I believe Chris does consider me his wife.”

Chris claimed he was originally from Milan and moved to the US 18 years ago, saying he was on a business trip to South Africa when they met and is now stuck in Benin because of “trouble” with the government.

Sarah has sent him money for stolen cards, phone charges, hotel bills, lawyers, a nanny, an expired visa and when Chris claimed the money she posted had been stolen. […]

“He assured me that when he gets home he’s going to pay me back – every dime,” Sarah told Dr Phil.

“He’s made five or six attempts to come back to the US to meet me. Every time they arrest him and put him in jail and then they want more money. […]

The pair talk for up to four hours on the phone a day […] “He sounded Italian, now his accent’s kind of changed I don’t know if he’s adapted to where he’s at… in Benin,” she added.

{ Independent | Continue reading }

art { Luis Camnitzer, This is a Mirror, You are a Written Sentence, 1968 }

The desert grows


Dr. Yalom, I would like a consultation. I’ve read your novel “When Nietzsche Wept,” and wonder if you’d be willing to see a fellow writer with a writing block.

No doubt Paul sought to pique my interest with his email. […] Ten days later Paul arrived for his appointment. […]

“I was in philosophy at Princeton writing my doctorate on the incompatibility between Nietzsche’s ideas on determinism and his espousal of self-transformation. But I couldn’t finish. I kept getting distracted by such things as Nietzsche’s extraordinary correspondence, especially by his letters to his friends and fellow writers like Strindberg.

“Gradually I lost interest altogether in his philosophy and valued him more as an artist. I came to regard Nietzsche as a poet with the most powerful voice in history, a voice so majestic that it eclipsed his ideas, and soon there was nothing for me to do but to switch departments and do my doctorate in literature rather than philosophy.

“The years went by,” he continued, “my research progressed well, but I simply could not write. Finally I arrived at the position that it was only through art that an artist could be illuminated, and I abandoned the dissertation project entirely and decided instead to write a novel on Nietzsche. But the writing block was neither fooled nor deterred by my changing projects. It remained as powerful and unmovable as a granite mountain. And so it has continued until this very day.”

I was stunned. Paul was an old man now. He must have begun working on his dissertation well over a half-century ago. […]

“Tell me more,” I said. “Your family? The people in your life?”

“No siblings. Married twice. Divorced twice. Mercifully short marriages. No children, thank God.”

This is getting very odd, I thought. So talkative at first, Paul now seems intent on giving me as little information as possible. What’s going on?

{ NY Times | Continue reading }

In German, Dasein is the vernacular term for “existence,” as in “I am pleased with my existence” (Ich bin mit meinem Dasein zufrieden)


Diane. Wife’s kid sister. Well, half sister. Dad was the sperm donor. Who knows who the fuck she is. Collects ribbon.

{ Richard Prince }

She had a floppy head of marshmallow orange curls like a muppet, and she had this allover soft—but not fat—body


quote & photo { Chelsea G. Summers }

Josie Powell that was, prettiest deb in Dublin


Typically, the loser of a bar fight who later initiates a lawsuit has been beaten up pretty badly, or at least has the medical bills to suggest significant personal injuries. The loser sues the bar on one of several theories — the most common ones being inadequate security, not having banned a patron known to have a history of fighting, bar employees initiating the violence, or bar employees responding to a situation with unreasonable force. But that’s the boring legal stuff. […]

Roughly equal numbers of men and women filed these lawsuits. […] Everyone I can remember had tattoos. […]

You might think that a bar fight is most commonly started between two guys fighting over a woman. That’s not so, at least not in my experience. Ejection seems to be a more precipitating event. More than half the bar fights I had to sort out started when a too-drunk patron was asked to leave and refused to do so. […]

Women were faster to employ weapons, whether prepared (the knife) or improvised. Improvised weapons are almost always thrown, and have included highball glasses, pool balls, bar stools, knives, and in one notable case, the assailant’s own feces.

{ ordinary-Times | Continue reading }