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Why Cybernetic Prosthetics Have a Great Future

At present, the technological wonders people have read about in science-fiction literature are coming to life. Touchscreen cellphones, 3D-holograms, artificial intelligence, robots, and other novelties…

The Mystery of Lewis Carrol

When Charles L. Dodgson was born in January 1832, his paternal aunt wrote a letter to his parents, welcoming the “dear little stranger” and begging…

On Laziness

Original by Christopher Morley, with edits. Today, I intended to write an essay on laziness, but I was too indolent to do so. The sort…

The Birth of the Illuminati Conspiracy

At the beginning of 1797, John Robison was a man with a solid and long-established reputation in the British scientific establishment. He had been Professor…

Picturing Don Quixote

Four hundred years ago, on April 23, 1616, Miguel de Cervantes died. In the prologue to his posthumously-published The Trials of Persiles and Sigismunda, he…

Sherlock Holmes, For King and Country

Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes saga has enjoyed—or in some cases, suffered—countless reinventions since its original publication from 1887 to 1927. The BBC’s current television version…

Robert Greene, the First Bohemian

The only known image of the dramatist, poet, pamphleteer, and initially unrepentant libertine Robert Greene is a woodcut from John Dickenson’s Greene in Conceipt, printed…

The Exposed Nest by Robert Frost

You were forever finding some new play. So when I saw you down on hands and knees In the meadow, busy with the new-cut hay,…

An Essay on Essays

Some of the rhetoric books my generation used in college went back to Aristotle for many of their definitions. “Rhetoric,” he says, “may be defined…

Was Charles Darwin an Atheist?

The religious views of Charles Darwin, the venerable Victorian naturalist and author of the Origin of Species (1859) never cease to interest modern readers. Bookshops…

Loss of Speech Through Isolation

One summer during the World War at War Camp Community Service, I was in charge of a playground in West Virginia. Standing out conspicuously in…

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