New Orleans Houses

Shortening the Path to Servitude

"Anything that degrades culture shortens the path to servitude" - Albert Camus


Otiose: Lazy or indolent; pointless or superfluous; ineffective or futile.

The Poorest Details of the World

This is the way you look at the poorest details of the world resurfaced: you feel their singleness and precise location and the forlorn coincidence of your being there to see them.

Alice Munro

In the Beginning

In the beginning, there's no sudden cut, no catastrophe or collapse, only a slight sense of repetition.

Carlos Fonseca in Natural History

Garden Fresh Veggies

Balconies, Beers, and Urban Canopies


Specious: having the ring of truth or plausibility but actually fallacious.

Friends and Friends' Garages

On Our Relationship with the Moon

There is reason, after all, that some people wish to colonise the moon, and others dance before it as an ancient friend.

James Baldwin

Blue skies and green leaves


Henry Wickham was an “explorer” and braggart who, in 1876, smuggled rubber seeds out of Brazil to Kew Gardens in England, who in turn used them to grow rubber in Asia, collapsing the Brazilian economy: “The greatest act of biopiracy...maybe in history.”


agnotology (n) - the study of deliberate, culturally-induced ignorance or doubt, typically to sell a product or win favor, particularly through the publication of inaccurate or misleading scientific data.

Bird Drama

We Have to Laugh

We have to begin to laugh at everything, to the point of chaos if necessary, and create an environment in which the sanctimonious become worried, for a large part of their ills and ours come from their limitations

Sergio Pitol, paraphrasing a conversation with Carlos Monsiváis, in "The Art of Flight"


Mautâm is a cyclic ecological phenomenon occurring every ~50 years, when the vast bamboo forests in northeastern India flower simultaneously, resulting in abundant seed, a subsequent boom in the rat population, then a famine when the rats run out of seeds and turn to crops.

The Stream that Sings

“It may be that when we no longer know what to do,

we have come to our real work

and when we no longer know which way to go,

we have begun our real journey.

The mind that is not baffled is not employed.

The impeded stream is the one that sings.”

Wendell Berry

The Lenna Image

The "Lenna" image, cropped from a 1979 issue of Playboy magazine, was commonly used as a standard test image in the field of digital image processing, but its use has fallen out of favor owing to its sexist overtones and questionable suitability as a test image, as well as the disapproval of Lenna herself.

Boring Cultures

"We all know nationalist cultures are boring."

Dany Laferriere

Never Historians, Always Poets

We are never real historians, but always near poets, and our emotion is perhaps but an expression of a poetry that was lost.

Gaston Bachelard, in The Poetics of Space