Matilda’s Twenty-fifth

Twenty-five years ago this month, Matilda, by Roald Dahl, was first published. I don’t recall the first time I first picked it up, but I have this memory of reading (or rereading) the book when I could have been no more than six or seven as our car rolled down a hill in Galway in the […]

A Symphony of Ship Horns

I was being strange and went down to the water’s edge for New Years and watched the fog roll in and swallow the ski-slope constellations and then the stars as the world frosted over. When the hour struck, and the old year died, all the ships in the inlet sounded their horns like some great […]

On Space Travel and Neil Armstrong

On Saturday, the first person to set foot on another world died. In some ways, it is fantastic how rapidly we progressed from the first powered flight to stepping onto a celestial body. It was a mere sixty six years from the Wright Brothers’ flight to Apollo 11, but since the end of Apollo, we’ve […]

The Cusp

After a certain point, everything become obvious. That, in essence, is the Cusp. Good ideas, once possible, occur to multiple people at the same time in almost every field of human endeavor. Once the ground is ripe for an idea, it will happen over and over again until eventually it will seem obvious to school […]


Cryptoamnesia is a phenomenon that I find fascinating. Crypto comes from the Greek for hidden or secret and amnesia from…well forgetting. It’s a secretly forgotten memory, or rather a thought you think is your own but that you’ve really received from elsewhere. The phenomenon reveals that much of our creative process is subconscious, and that […]