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Postcards from Kefalonia.

I'm in Greece for the next two months, but I'll be back at my blog in July. Να στε καλα!

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Charge the Hill.

Many runners write, and many writers run. Enough, so that it’s got me thinking about the convergence—if there is any—between lacing up to hit the trails and buckling down to hit the keyboard. On the surface, running and writing could not be more antithetical. Running, they say, is physical. The impact of each step radiating... Continue Reading →

A Checkered Past

Think you’ve got game?   What do you do when the living incarnation of sovereignty tries to stiff you for a well-earned paycheque? Obviously, you invent a mathematical model for reimbursement so confoundingly simple it will baffle the emperor, and so lucrative it will empty the emperor’s coffers. In short, you invent chess. The story... Continue Reading →

Ode to a Downward Dog

How did a poem by William Wordsworth help turn a pillar of Hindu spiritualism into a fitness craze? I love yoga. Admittedly, I was a bit skeptical of it all at first. There was something about the smug serenity of it that I found rather self-congratulatory. But I started anyway—begrudgingly—motivated by the vague notion that... Continue Reading →

Dating Problems?

What’s the difference between the Julian and Gregorian calendars? The short answer: 10 minutes and 48 seconds. The long answer involves algorithms, equinoxes and a particularly punctual Catholic pope who was really keen on Easter. The story starts early on. Calendars go back as far as the Sumerian Renaissance in Ur, in the late Bronze... Continue Reading →

A is for Australopithecus.

Australopithecus is an awesome word. For one thing, it positively rolls off the tongue in a way that, say, Sahelanthropus tchadensis does not. But Australopithecus is also awesome—particularly when paired with afarensis­—because it makes such a mess of binomial nomenclature. Binomial nomenclature is a two-word Latin term for, well, two-word Latin terms. It is a... Continue Reading →

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