Queen of Narnia.

Chronicles of Narnia is a pretty good movie, with some truly beautiful visual effects (especially those to do with snow, fur, and talking animals). But Tilda Swinton as the White Witch is an awesome villain, maybe one of the greats — right up there with Darth Vader and Khan. I was cheering for her to […]

Queen of Narnia.

iPod/iTunes tip.

When you install iTunes for Windows, it defaults to the setting that automatically keeps your iPod in sync with your iTunes library. That means if your computer doesn’t have much music on it, and you plug in an iPod that you’d topped off with music from another computer, all the music on your iPod will […]

iPod/iTunes tip.

True music.

I’ve been listening to Ry Cooder’s album Chavez Ravine for about half a year now. It’s an amazing album — an impressionistic, lively, even danceable historical tour through the Chavez Ravine neighborhood of Los Angeles — a predominantly Mexican neighborhood that was bulldozed in the 1950s to make room for Dodger Stadium. If you only […]

True music.

Loving, by Henry Green.

Set among the servants and masters in a huge, old Irish castle during World War II, this is a masterfully-written, very modern, short novel (published 1945) with beautiful, restrained description and pitch-perfect dialogue. There’s very little interiority–you almost never learn what the characters actually think, and some of the descriptions are even hedged, as if […]

Loving, by Henry Green.

Always make new mistakes.

Seven years ago, I started a company called Utipia with two other people: a fellow journalist, and a talented developer who happened to be my brother. We wrote a business plan, raised some money from friends and family, incorporated, and built a working demo to show how our clever content could be cleverly delivered to […]

Always make new mistakes.

Bound to Please, by Michael Dirda.

Bound to Please, by Michael Dirda What can I say? I haven’t felt this transformed by a collection of essays since I read Jeffrey Steingarten’s first book, The Man Who Ate Everything. Like Steingarten, Dirda has an infectious enthusiasm for his topic (for Dirda it’s literature, instead of food); an impressive, seemingly encyclopedic knowledge of […]

Bound to Please, by Michael Dirda.