Benjamin

11 Flips | 2 Magazines | 21 Likes | @BennePenne | Keep up with Benjamin on Flipboard, a place to see the stories, photos, and updates that matter to you. Flipboard creates a personalized magazine full of everything, from world news to life’s great moments. Download Flipboard for free and search for “Benjamin”

John Updike on the Universe and Why There is Something Rather Than Nothing

<i>“What is it that breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to describe?,”</i> wondered Stephen Hawking in <i>A Brief History of Time</i>. <i>“Why does the universe go through all the bother of existing?”</i><p>This inquiry has long occupied scientists, philosophers, and deep thinkers alike, …

Where the Heart Beats: John Cage, Zen Buddhism, and the Inner Life of Artists

<i>“Good music can act as a guide to good living,”</i> <b>John Cage</b> (September 5, 1912–August 12, 1992) once remarked. But what, exactly, is good music, or good living, or, for that matter, goodness itself?<p><b>Where the Heart Beats: John Cage, Zen Buddhism, and the Inner Life of Artists</b> (<i>public library</i>) is a …

Anaïs Nin on Love, Hand-Lettered by Debbie Millman

Revered as one of the most dedicated diarists in literary history, Anaïs Nin has given us a wealth of poetic and poignant meditations on life and the human condition. This first installment in an ongoing collaboration with creative polymath Debbie Millman — whose own poetic and poignant meditations …

The Mortality Paradox

<i>“It is quite impossible for a thinking being to imagine nonbeing, a cessation of thought and life,”</i> Goethe, who ceased to be 181 years ago this week, proclaimed as he concluded that <i>“in this sense, everyone carries the proof of his own immortality within himself.”</i> Since the dawn of time, it has been …

The Science of How Your Mind-Wandering Is Robbing You of Happiness

<i>“The main thing is to get what little happiness there is out of life in this wartorn world,”</i> Clare Boothe Luce advised her young daughter, <i>“because ‘these are the good old days’ now.”</i> And yet most of us are conditioned to escape into the past, into the future, into our to-do lists — to wander off …

Rabid: A Cultural History of the World’s Most Diabolical Virus

Our understanding of what it means to be human hinges on an understanding of consciousness and, perhaps more than anything, a sense of control over or, at the very least, access to it. But what happens when a microscopic particle enters the body, takes hold of the mind, and gnaws away that access …

Richard Feynman Explains Where Trees Actually Come From and How Fire Works

We’ve already seen that trees can be powerful purveyors of philosophy, keepers of deep time, and visual metaphors for evolution — but where do they actually come from?<p>There’s a reason Richard Feynman — champion of scientific culture, graphic novel hero, crusader for integrity, holder of the key to …

IF If you can keep your head when all about you... • literary jukebox

<b>IF</b>If you can keep your head when all about you<br>Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;<br>If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,<br>But make allowance for their doubting too:<br>If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,<br>Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,<br>Or being hated don’t give way to …

Literature

Cartographies of Time: A Visual History of the Timeline

I was recently asked to select my all-time favorite books for the lovely Ideal Bookshelf project by <i>The Paris Review’</i>s Thessaly la Force and artist Jane Mount. Despite the near-impossible task of shrinking my boundless bibliophilia to a modest list of dozen or so titles, I was eventually able to do …

Maira Kalman on Walking as a Creative Device and the Difference Between Thinking and Feeling

Last week, Maira Kalman — artist extraordinaire, prolific author, unequaled visual storyteller — shared some poignant, beautifully human thoughts on existence and happiness. From the same interview series comes Kalman’s equally wonderful meditation on the difference between thinking and feeling, …