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11.23.2005

Christmas Stars

Ever since we came to the States, my mom has been folding intricate little paper stars around the holidays. They're a traditional Polish ornament that doesn't seem to exist in the U.S. (although ominously Martha Stewart has taken an interest); for some reason even the paper strips you need aren't available in the right weight. But this year she has brought back a bunch of them with her from Pol…

11.20.2005

I Need Help From Russians

With everyone drunk on the nectar of National Novel Writing Month, I thought I'd mix it up a little and spend November working on a translation instead. The book I've chosen is Ilf and Petrov's The Golden Calf, and I'll post more about it here in a few days. However, I urgently need help from native speakers on a handful of baffling words and phrases that are proving resistant to attacks by Goo…

11.16.2005

Dating Without Kundera

One of the terrors of dating is Milan Kundera, and specifically, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, the sexually-transmitted book that this Czech-born author has inflicted on a generation of American youth.

I fully recognize the important role of the dating book, that is, the carefully selected work you lend a prospective lover someti…

11.03.2005

Secret CIA Prisons in Poland?

Yesterday's Washington Post ran an enigmatic article about secret, extralegal CIA prisons, including the tantalizing mention of prisons in "eastern european democracies". Washington Post reporter Dana Priest knows the specific countries in question, but the paper is refusing to divulge the names a…

11.03.2005

Secret CIA Prisons in Poland?

Yesterday's Washington Post ran an enigmatic article about secret, extralegal CIA prisons, including the tantalizing mention of prisons in "eastern european democracies". Washington Post reporter Dana Priest knows the specific countries in question, but the paper is refusing to divulge the names a…

Idle Words

brevity is for the weak








Greatest Hits

The Alameda-Weehawken Burrito Tunnel
The story of America's most awesome infrastructure project.

Argentina on Two Steaks A Day
Eating the happiest cows in the world

Scott and Scurvy
Why did 19th century explorers forget the simple cure for scurvy?

No Evidence of Disease
A cancer story with an unfortunate complication.

Controlled Tango Into Terrain
Trying to learn how to dance in Argentina

Dabblers and Blowhards
Calling out Paul Graham for a silly essay about painting

Attacked By Thugs
Warsaw police hijinks

Dating Without Kundera
Practical alternatives to the Slavic Dave Matthews

A Rocket To Nowhere
A Space Shuttle rant

Best Practices For Time Travelers
The story of John Titor, visitor from the future

100 Years Of Turbulence
The Wright Brothers and the harmful effects of patent law


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