‘Special! Web Only Content!’ Category

Den Philosophy

Some time ago, I had occasion to Chat with a Young Person seeking admission to college. In the course of our conversation, the young man (learning that I was a philosopher) reported that he had recently written an essay on “Plato’s ‘Allegory of the Den.’” Even while nodding encouragement for him to tell me more […]

“Most disappointing”: a new way to rate a restaurant

Some months back, a restaurant meal to which I had been particularly looking forward sent me on an in-depth, ten minute study of the nature of disappointment. My extensive, multi-screen scan of google, using several forms of the word “disappoint”  quickly led me to the concept of quality. According to the quality management professionals, quality […]

The epistemology of a chanterelle

Nothing reconfirms one’s sense that knowledge really is justified true belief[1] like a wild mushroom. And nothing illustrates its absence like a wild mushroom either. A pile of chanterelles has reduced me to a Cartesian, convinced that certain knowledge of the (fixed, mind independent) mushroom world is possible. And utterly convinced that I do not […]

In honor of the August full moon

You’ve seen him. He’s that guy you overheard at the lunch table the other day, going on and on about the Bay of Fundy (“Did you know that the difference between high and low there is 48 feet? That’s a four storey building!”). The one you overheard at that dinner party, bragging about his clock, […]

Poems in honor of Tilde’s Bear

Last night Tilde sat, erect, in front of the screen door, staring intently out at the meadow behind our house. I opened the door, she scampered out and stood, growling and barking…at a bear!  In honor of her bear sighting–the second one since she’s lived with us–we’ve composed some haiku. (Say…do you suppose haiku composition […]

Gleaning: A Dog’s Guide

Guest Column by Tilde Heldke-O’Connor Most of you reading this know me as the pretty face whose picture appears with some regularity in this blog. What you may not know about me is that I also have a passionate interest in food. Because of my passion, I asked Lisa if I might have a few […]

Multiple Guess

Friends of mine, as well as readers of the former print edition of this zine (now excitingly being archived right here!) are exceedingly familiar with my (only partly morbid) fascination with the loss of memory I’ve experienced as I enter my ever-later-forties. (49 in a few weeks….) Lately, I’ve been observing to my father (who, […]

The Hazards of Aging, or: Dog is My Copilot

I recently drove halfway across the country in the company of Tilde the Wonder Dog. Equipping ourselves with a book on CD and a lot of food podcasts, the two of us had a splendid time enjoying the visual and olfactory splendors of the countryside between Minnesota and Maine. A dog like Tilde is a […]

Facilitating Bear-Related Benefits

I get it. I really do. I even think it’s a good-no, a noble-idea. But I have to say that, when I heard on the radio that the Michigan Department of Natural Resources had developed a new Bear Management Plan that has as one of its goals, to “Facilitate bear-related benefits,” I did snort in […]

This is almost about Benedict Arnold

Tilde the dog and I recently trekked cross country to join my co-editor at our summer digs in Maine. We took a detour to visit Barb the Brief and the Web Guy, in Red Hook, New York. While trekking down Route 9, I was disappointed to find the Benedict Arnold House[1] closed for the day. […]