Beauty and wonder

Purple iris in front of a sunflower umbrella

This type of iris, named for my grandmother, blooms in both the spring and the fall. When they do, I greet them by name and think about her indomitable spirit.

A little boy grinning and grasping Mr. Rogers's face

Photo by Jim Judkis

From nearly the beginning of writing this blog I’ve had a category tagged beauty and wonder. I was re-reading a few of those posts this morning, since we are all, once again, being urged to look for the helpers, as Mister Rogers said. If you haven’t yet read it, Maura Judkis, the daughter of the photographer who captured the now-famous image, wrote a lovely essay about the boy in the picture.

Here’s what else I’ve been reading, listening to, and admiring…

Just Mercy, by Bryan Stevenson

The Lucky Red Tie – Micah Truran on The Moth

The Boys in the Boat, by Daniel James Brown

The Can-Do Playground in Wilmington, DE

How virtual reality can create the ultimate empathy machine, by Chris Milk

And I’m re-reading:

The 95 Theses of the Cluetrain Manifesto (because they are as fresh and relevant today as they were in 1999)¬†a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun (because it’s also good to remember how far we’ve come)

5 thoughts on “Beauty and wonder

  1. I knew you’d be posting something reflective and soulful. If you haven’t seen Gary Reloj’s hugely-shared post from 3 a.m. in NYC Friday night, see it. (Contains vulgarity but worth it.) Its 22,000 shares in 36 hours gives me hope.

    The link redirects to, which seems to be nothing but a MailChimp mailing list promising “The same Suck, twenty years too late.
    A newsletter reissue of that no one asked for.” Do you have a direct link to something?

    Wikipedia says “The site remained online until March 2015 despite having no new content published since 2001.”

    • Wow, what a roller coaster that FB post is — every emotion from disgust to anger to fear to amusement to thankfulness. Thank you!

  2. I found a sort-of archive of, which supports your “how far we’ve come” note. The top of the site has this extraordinary origin story – it was a covert mutant living in the very early HotWired space, where anyone was allowed to hook up their own server. The segment on the origin of the name includes this, which I’ll force myself to bleep:

    “S**t makes great fertilizer, but it takes a farmer to turn it into a meal.”

    Man. 1995. That was halfway between today and the Wavy Gravy post-Woodstock Seventies (when Tom Ferguson came out of Yale Medical School).

    • Yup. 1995. Just a couple years earlier we were making zines and selling them in coffee shops (writers and provocateurs of my vintage, that is, Riot Grrrls and all that). was a way to look at what was happening online from our angle — a little know it all, a little snarky, a lot concerned about how it could all go off the rails if the wrong decisions were made that early on.

      The Wayback Machine has a few posts, like this one from 1997: Dwelling Machine, Sweet Dwelling Machine

      • What a time trip that Suck post is!

        Aside from the content (which reeks of early raucous no-editors internet-pirate BBS style), oh the visual … centered lines of boldface text! I was almost sad not to see a Marching Ants border too.

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