T A Malcolm

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Neurocomic: A Graphic Novel About How the Brain Works

Scientists are only just beginning to understand how the brain works — from what transpires in it while we sleep to how to optimize its memory to what love does to it to how music affects it — and the rest of us fall somewhere on the spectrum between fascinated and confused when it comes to the …

Tom Gauld’s Brilliant Literary Cartoons Blur the Artificial Line Between “High” and “Pop” Culture

With his singular style of irreverent erudition, cartoonist Tom Gauld has emerged as an unparalleled visual satirist of the literary world. <b>You’re All Just Jealous of My Jetpack: Cartoons</b> (<i>public library</i>) collects eight years’ worth of Gauld’s wryly wonderful and wonderfully wry comics created for …

The Blood Harvest

Each year, half a million horseshoe crabs are captured and bled alive to create an unparalleled biomedical technology.<p>The thing about the blood that everyone notices first: It's blue, baby blue.<p>The marvelous thing about horseshoe crab blood, though, isn't the color. It's a chemical found only in …

Why Writers Are the Worst Procrastinators

The psychological origins of waiting (... and waiting, and waiting) to work<p>Like most writers, I am an inveterate procrastinator. In the course of writing this one article, I have checked my e-mail approximately 3,000 times, made and discarded multiple grocery lists, conducted a lengthy Twitter …

“The Punk Singer”: Kathleen Hanna’s riotous life

“The Punk Singer” is a clear-eyed look at Kathleen Hanna’s emergence — and endurance — as a riot-grrrl icon<p>At the dawn of the 1990s, two streams of cultural revolution appeared to have burned themselves out. Time magazine ran a cover story asking whether feminism was dead, using the neurotic, …

7 Things I Learned in 7 Years of Reading, Writing, and Living

<b>Allow yourself the uncomfortable luxury of changing your mind.</b> Cultivate that capacity for “negative capability.” We live in a culture where one of the greatest social disgraces is not having an opinion, so we often form our “opinions” based on superficial impressions or the borrowed ideas of …

Survival of the Prettiest: Harvard Cognitive Scientist Nancy Etcoff on the Science of Beauty

<i>“That is the best part of beauty, which a picture cannot express,”</i> Francis Bacon observed in his essay on the subject. And yet for as far back as humanity can peer into the past, we’ve attempted again and again to capture and define beauty. For Indian philosopher Tagore, beauty was the Truth of …