Category: Nonfiction

Catalan Logo 3

Homage to Catalan

If you’ve ever been to Barcelona, you might know that they don’t speak Spanish. It comes as a shock to many first-time tourists, but the language spoken in Barcelona isn’t Spanish. It’s Catalan. I’ve...

Duncan Idaho Spice Cake 3

Neo-Feudalism in the Space Age

In the Dune universe, set tens of thousands of years in the future, humanity is organized into feudal fiefdoms and guilds. I wrote about this last year, but I think it’s worth delving into...

Soda Bottle Cap 2

Soda vs Pop (vs. Coke)

American English is remarkably uniform. While there are slight differences in pronunciation, especially in the older parts of the country, most Americans can understand each other with ease. But there are differences in dialect....

49-Star American Flag 4

The Little-Known 49-Star Flag

Back in the 1800s, the American Flag changed every couple of years. Every time they added a new state, they added a new star. By the twentieth century however, Manifest Destiny had run its...

Tom's Diner MP3 File 5

Tom’s Diner: An Influential Song

It’s such a simple little song, a two-minute ditty about a woman sitting in a diner. Eight simple notes played in several variations, with a catchy a capella “doo doo doo doo doo doo...

Heartfire 4

5 Best New Arrested Development Characters

I’ve loved “Arrested Development” ever since the first episode. I remember watching it on Fox, hoping the TV network would keep the show going. I was disappointed, but unsurprised, when they canceled and doubled...

Real Life Rosie the Riveter 1

Birth Control and Equality

There are many technological advances that have made our society was it is today. Steel and concrete make our cities grow taller while cars and trains make them wider and better connected. The internet...

Keep Calm and Exit Right sign 2

Exit Signs in America

Here in the US, we do things differently than most countries. While just about every other nation on Earth uses the metric system, we stick to our pounds and inches. And while other countries...

Roentgenium Medal 10

Intelligent Videos on YouTube

I grew up watching PBS. I loved Sesame Street and Mister Rogers. When I got older, we got cable TV, and I started watching documentaries on the History Channel, A&E, the Discovery Channel and...

Comedy Logo 3

Anatomy of a Bad Joke

How does one acquire a sense of humor? A good sense of humor? I’d really like to know. Despite having worked as a stand-up comedian, I seem to tell some pretty bad jokes. Awful...