Category: Miscellaneous

Snow Over West Virginia

Winter is not over yet, at least not for those in the Midwest and Northeast. I’m in West Virginia wrapping up a ten-day road trip. A winter storm has pummeled the region over the last 24 hours. The locals here are used to snow, but it’s clearly an event all the same, especially this late […]

Hangovers and Hope

I love reading people’s tweets and status updates on New Year’s Day. A mixture of hangovers and hope — and wacky resolutions. For me, the start of a new year is as good a time as any to reflect on the importance of staying grounded in the present, in the now. Here’s a line by […]

A Favorite Holiday Tradition

I’m getting into the holiday spirit by making glögg, one of my favorite holiday traditions. Here I’ve brought together cinnamon, cloves, cardemon, ginger, orange peel, and other spices and let them soak in vodka for a couple of days. Next the booze will be sifted, mixed with red wine and a little sugar, heated and […]

Steve Jobs Has Died

The news just broke that Steve Jobs has died. It comes as a bit of a shock. I never met him, but like millions of people the world over I was the beneficiary of his brilliant mind and unique vision. I’ve been using Apple computers for most of my professional life and rarely has a […]

Remembering Irwin Abrams

Irwin Abrams passed away a few days before Christmas. He was a longtime professor of history at Antioch College, a pioneer in the field of peace research, and a global authority on the Nobel Peace Prize. He was also my grandfather.

Ice Lantern

As Oslo readies for the Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony tomorrow, the city is full of luminaries. Most of them fall in the category of international celebrities, politicians and dignitaries of various kinds. But tonight I was taken in by a different kind of luminary, the sort that illuminates your path on a cold night. […]

Our Visionary Moment

Here’s a tough question: What does it mean to be a visionary? Here’s an even tougher challenge: Give your answer in 100 words or less.

A Butterfly Emerges

Yesterday I witnessed the emergence of a monarch butterfly in my backyard. It was a stirring experience. A month ago, I had noticed several caterpillars gorging themselves on a milkweed plant in our garden. After fattening up and devouring every last leaf of the plant, the caterpillars all disappeared. Later I found that one of them […]


I had my first espresso in a backstreet café in Venice. It must have been 1985 or ’86. I had arrived on the night train from Zagreb, Croatia, achy from a long and sleepless night. I stumbled out of the train station and into a café and ordered a coffee. What I didn’t know was […]

Coming Up for Air

My blog has been unusually quiet in recent weeks and months. I’ve been busy juggling several projects and it seemed as if all the deadlines converged at once. Frankly, my head has been spinning for the last two or three months. What have I been working on? One project was a year-long study I led […]

Heavy Traffic

The site topped four million hits in August — a new record. The spike can be partly explained by the popularity of my photos from the Burning Man festival. The response has been tremendous. A nod from MetaFilter, the Net’s premier “Best of the Web” site, along with links from some fifty-plus blogs, has brought a surge of […]

Burn, Baby, Burn

The 2006 Burning Man festival kicked off last night in Nevada’s Black Rock desert. In a story today, ABC News described the event variously as “the Woodstock of Generation X,” a “weeklong party for iPod nerds and punk-rock pixies,” and “a massive drug-fueled orgy of the senses.” (Click here for story.) For the record, Burning Man is […]