• Ten Films from Faёrie for Young and Old Alike

    The definition of a fairy-story—what it is, or what it should be—does not, then, depend on any definition or historical account of elf or fairy, but upon the nature of Faërie: the Perilous Realm itself, and the air that blows in that country. I will not attempt to define that, nor to describe it directly. It cannot be done. Faërie cannot be caught in a net of words; for it is one of its qualities to be indescribable, though not imperceptible.

  • Happy Public Domain Day, 2024

    In 1998, Congress passed the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act (derisively known as the "Mickey Mouse Protection Act"). In a nutshell, the legislation extended the copyright on most published works from 75 years to 95 years. Immediately after it was passed, copyrights that had been set to expire in 1999 were extended for an additional twenty years. So followed two decades of public domain silence. This is the year that in many people’s minds, Disney gets its due.

  • Of Clementines and Christmas

    Did you wake up Christmas morning to an orange in your stocking (be it chocolate or the original fruit)? Publishing Luke Sawczak’s wonderful little poem “Citrus” so near the holy day got us thinking … Why oranges at Christmas?

  • Who Are the Rus?

    Editorial Quick Take Three days before he launched the Russian invasion on Ukraine on February 24, Vladimir Putin delivered a speech that might have sounded to some like a bit of a rambling history lesson, reaching before the Bolsheviks all the way to the present time, with the aim of justifying the war waged on Ukraine here and now in 2022. In it he said, among other things: “​​Since time immemorial, the people living in the southwest of what has historically been Russian land have called themselves Russians and Orthodox Christians. This was the case before the 17th century, when a portion of this territory rejoined the Russian state, and after.” …

  • Walking Towards Munich, Sailing Past Manhattan

    Imagine two geological maps of your zip code, one made a thousand years ago and one made today. Chances are they would be nearly identical. Now imagine two road maps of the same area, one from 1965 and one from today. Could you find your way around? Probably. Finally, imagine two maps of your zip code, charting house color, one from 1987 and one from today. Would you recognize your own street?

  • Of Mappaemundi, Myth and the Material World

    When it comes to maps and reality, there is simply too much to get in. But maps can perhaps succeed in suggesting what is important. What is important about a place — its topography, history, global position or even mythical value?

  • Zombies on Your Mind?

    Just what is consciousness and how does it work? What does it mean that I am aware? That I am aware of myself? Does it arise entirely from the brain? Is it a function of a soul? Are other animals conscious? How would we know? Does individual consciousness survive beyond death? And what about ... zombies?

  • Hammurabi the Humane

    While the ancient world was a world that may very well have been more violent than ours, the law codes of even the most ancient peoples (flawed though those laws were and as ours are) echo through the ages with a basic, humane instinct for justice, mercy and peace.