Author Archives: David Gorsline


Pulling on our bootstraps, we discover that someone else made the boots and the straps, and fed and nurtured us until we were ready to pull. —Jeff Wilson, “The Path of Gratitude”

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Some links: 78

A short roundup of theater links, as I clean out my Instapaper queue: Rebekah Dare Guin has stirred up the standing ovation pot again (I’m with her on this one, specifically when it occurs in a theater rather than a … Continue reading

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Not so fast

Mark Seidenberg takes apart a recent paper’s claims for a biological (specifically, retinal) explanation for the complex spectrum of behaviors that we call dyslexia.

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I don’t consciously avoid metaphors, or similes for that matter. If they don’t happen in my writing, it may be because I find the thing I am writing about compelling enough without comparing it to something else. Maybe I don’t … Continue reading

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The answer is “shoe”

Paula Poundstone nails it.

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Footnote of the month: La tête d’un homme [by Georges Simenon] was adapted again in 1949, to lesser effect, as The Man on the Eiffel Tower. A clunky color spectacular starring Charles Laughton as Maigret, it is mostly notable for … Continue reading

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A mystery: 8: solved

Alonso Abugattas identifies the mystery spiders that I met two autumns ago: Neoscona sp., probably N. crucifera. He explains why they “seem to appear” in fall: During the earlier part of the year you likely never noticed them. Not only … Continue reading

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Silver Line progress report: 42

Lori Aratani has an update on Phase 2: design and construction 67% complete, and the project is two years from “substantial completion.” Come Phase 2 in 2020, I will miss boarding at the terminus in the morning, but presumably I … Continue reading

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Love and Information

enigmatic 70 possible short scenes, merely text, no characters, no given situations love memory palace missing information the impossibility of describing the sensation of fear, of plain, of longing shotgun DNA sequencing love and remembrance cocktails and [illegible] interrogation and … Continue reading

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In the Heights

In the Heights is a richly-textured soundscape and dancescape of immigrant life in New York’s Washington Heights in the early years of this century. From the broad strokes of redevelopment pressures to the fine details of transit (“There’s no 9 … Continue reading

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This is what we so often find when searching for history—emptiness, quiet, acres of mowed grass. Battlefields where hundreds of men died on a single day become vast, pristine lawns, as lovely as a landscape by Constable or van Gogh, … Continue reading

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VNPS 2017: Ferns with Carl and Jerry Taylor

Carl and Jerry Taylor did a fern-intensive walk, bushwhacking up ravines from the C&O Canal towpath near Snyder’s Landing. We sorted out our Dryopteris species, among them Intermediate Woodfern (D. intermedia) (left, and with sori, right) and Marginal Woodfern (D. … Continue reading

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VNPS 2017: Ice Mountain Preserve

Kevin Dodge, Shirley Gay, and Steve Kite led a walk though Ice Mountain Preserve. The northwest face of the ridge is an immense talus slope, as the North River gradually eats away at the base of the mountain. The pores … Continue reading

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The Arsonists

Woolly Mammoth takes a bold step… into the past, with its mounting of a play from the mid-20th century. The Swiss playwright Max Frisch’s fable, first presented in 1958 (as Biedermann und die Brandstifter) and in a new translation by … Continue reading

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Smart animals

Netting bats on the ashes of a Staten Island landfill, from Laura Bliss. A lot of New Yorkers still think of Freshkills as a dump, [Danielle Fibikar] says, even though it’s coming back to life. The place is misunderstood, sort … Continue reading

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