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Pick of the Week: The Long Game

March of this year featured an extraordinary coincidence in the video game industry. Almost simultaneously, two games came out that seemed tailor-made for our suddenly isolated lives. One, the latest Nintendo blockbuster in the “Animal Crossing” series, invites the player to retreat to a tropical island and build their personal paradise. It’s a world full […]

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Pick of the Week: More is Less

Hope Jahren’s latest book begins at the beginning: her beginning, that is. Born in 1969, her parents picked her first name with typical Midwestern directness, expressing their own hope that their daughter would live a life of plenty, a life better than theirs. Like most parents in our culture, they wanted their child to have […]

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Pick of the Week: Dinner with Atmosphere

In our household, I’m responsible for the food. Breakfasts and lunches are easy, as none of us mind eating the same simple things for those meals day after day (oatmeal in the morning, granola bars at noon for me), but dinner is a perpetual challenge. That’s our family meal together. It needs to vary from […]

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Pick of the Week: Cartoon Colonialism

No matter what your relationship is to video games, from seasoned e-sports professional to baffled grandparent, you’ve heard of Nintendo, and probably have at least a general idea of the types of games they produce. You likely even know at least some of their characters. So immense is their fame that the Prime Minister of […]

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Pick of the Week: Trees a Charm

Everyone knows how to determine the age of a tree that’s just been cut down: count the rings. But did you know that the same general strategy can be used to track ancient weather patterns, explain the rise and fall of great empires, and construct detailed histories of long-vanished societies that left no written records? […]

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Pick of the Week: Radio Activity

In March, as the coronavirus pandemic prompted the cancellation of nearly every activity besides sitting at home, one local hobby group I belong to was undeterred. Having prided ourselves for years on the reliability of our regular meetings, we continued to get together weekly, and even enjoyed a major increase in attendance. No, we’re not […]

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Double Pick of the Week: Hyrule to High Intensity

As I explained in a post several years ago, I missed a long chunk of video gaming history, and never even owned a dedicated game console until 2013. Since then, though, ours has been a Nintendo household. The Wii U that served as our gateway to console gaming was never a great platform, but a […]

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Pick of the Week: Turtle All the Way Down

For the past several years, I’ve been working my way through one of the longest, best selling, best written, and certainly funniest series of novels in the English language: Terry Pratchett’s Discworld. To provide an idea of the scope of this project, I started at the beginning and just finished book 26, which means I […]

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Pick of the Week: Dark Times at Winden High

A couple of years ago, Netflix’s algorithm, no doubt inspired by our apparent enjoyment of “Stranger Things,” recommended a German drama series called “Dark.” It turned out to be a brilliant, compelling, tightly-written work of art that used the medium of a television series to its full potential. The third and final season, or “cycle” […]

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Hobbies

An Epistolary History of Wesorts

It’s time once again to round up some Wesort news. For those just tuning in, this is a long-running arc on the blog, based on some of my earliest childhood experiences in boats. The first real post in the series is here, where my dad lays out the history of a small sailboat design called […]