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Aldous Huxley on the Transcendent Power of Music and Why It Sings to Our Souls

“There is, at least there sometimes seems to be, a certain blessedness lying at the heart of things, a mysterious blessedness.”<p><i>“Without music life would be a mistake,”</i> Nietzsche proclaimed in 1889. But although a great many beloved writers have extolled the power of music with varying degrees of …

How to Break Up with Your Therapist

Sigmund Freud famously observed that the patient-therapist interaction can take on aspects of a romantic relationship—that, through the process of transference and countertransference, the two parties can become enmeshed in an emotional web of attraction, need, and dependence. But what happens when …

Sigmund Freud

Dead media soundboard: the Museum of Endangered Sounds

Brendan Chilcutt's Museum of Endangered Sounds preserves the sounds made by "old technologies and electronics equipment."<p>From the obvious (Win95 and …

Cory Doctorow

Psychological resiliency, defined

Before resiliency was a buzzword, it was an area of serious psychological study.<p>The history of resiliency as a concept is fascinating, and well-told …

The Origami bookmark you can make for free

I can’t tell you how many times over the past five decades I needed a bookmark when none were around. Bookmarks are designed to reside most …

Sewing

The most satisfying video in the world

Have you ever seen something that makes your skin tingle and for some unknown reason provides you with a sense of unbridled peace and happiness? …

Lifestyle

The Launderettes cover the Boxtops

<i>Listen mister, can't you see? I got to get back to my baby once more...</i>

Gripping article about Tumblr, teens and the rise and fall of bloggers

Read Elspeth Reeve's fabulous article about Pizza, one of the most popular Tumblogs, the "secret lives" of Tumblr Teens, and mistakes made.<p>It has …

Tumblr

Iris Murdoch on the Fluidity of Gender and Sexuality: Her Intensely Beautiful Love Letters to Brigid Brophy

“It’s snowing (big flakes) and I love you.”<p><i>“A self that goes on changing goes on living,”</i> Virginia Woolf wrote in her defense of letter writing as the humanest art. Hardly any writer has filled this ideal with more ever-changing aliveness than the great Irish novelist and philosopher <b>Iris Murdoch</b> …

Freud on Why We Dream, the Paradoxical Interplay of Memory and Forgetting, and the Vital Vestiges Our Childhood Experiences Leave in Our Unconscious

“Every dream will reveal itself as a psychological structure, full of significance, and one which may be assigned to a specific place in the psychic activities of the waking state.”<p><i>“Something nameless hums us into sleep,”</i> the poet Mark Strand wrote in his sublime ode to dreams. <i>“We feel dreamed by</i> …

What Depression Is Really Like

“The gray drizzle of horror induced by depression takes on the quality of physical pain.”<p>In a piercing letter to his brother, Vincent van Gogh captured the mental anguish of depression in a devastatingly perfect visceral metaphor: <i>“One feels as if one were lying bound hand and foot at the bottom of</i> …

Seneca on How to Fortify Yourself Against Fear and Misfortune

“If you would not have a man flinch when the crisis comes, train him before it comes.”<p><i>“Anyone with any degree of mental toughness,”</i> artist Georgia O’Keeffe wrote in contemplating life and the art of setting priorities, <i>“ought to be able to exist without the things they like most for a few months at</i> …

What Makes the Octopus and Its Consciousness So Extraordinary

A humbling inquiry into a tentacled intelligence so wonderfully different from our own.<p><i>“While stroking an octopus, it is easy to fall into reverie,”</i> Sy Montgomery wrote in her breathtaking inquiry into how Earth’s most alien creature illuminates the wonders of consciousness. <i>“To share such a moment</i> …

Nature

James Baldwin’s Advice on Writing

“Talent is insignificant. I know a lot of talented ruins. Beyond talent lie all the usual words: discipline, love, luck, but most of all, endurance.”<p>In 1989, <i>Paris Review</i> founding editor and trailblazing interviewer George Plimpton edited a wonderful collection titled <b>The Writer’s Chapbook: A</b> …

James Baldwin on the Revelation That Taught Him How to Truly See

“He taught me how to see, and how to trust what I saw.”<p><i>“The art of seeing has to be learned,”</i> Marguerite Duras wrote in 1984. Many legendary artists can trace their creative path to a single moment of revelation in which they were suddenly able to see the invisible dimensions of the world — for …

Literature

Tangerine Sorbet

There are a lot of desserts in my repertoire, but the one that I always have room for – and crave – is <b>Tangerine Sorbet</b>. Come winter, when the markets …

One Man’s Impossible Quest to Read—and Review—the World

The Complete Review, “a selectively comprehensive, objectively opinionated survey of books old and new,” sits on the margins of the literary world, where it has flourished for sixteen years. As of last Friday, according to an analog counter on the site’s decidedly unglamorous homepage, it had …

Books

Being Bilingual Changes the Architecture of Your Brain

I’d been back from studying abroad in Mexico City for a couple of days when I asked my dad, “Can I use the <i>lavadora</i>?”<p>“The what?” He didn’t speak …

Batman/Bauhaus t-shirt

Our friends at Meltdown Comics in Los Angeles are now selling this excellent Batman/Bauhaus women's t-shirt by Junk Food Clothing. Meltdown tells me …

Ocean scientists say 19-year-old's "realistic" plan to clean up the ocean isn't actually realistic

Earlier this week, Jason told you about a TEDx talk in which 19-year-old Boyan Slat presents a plan to remove plastic from the world's oceans. Lots …