"Turns out, although sports people throw around the phrase "go down in history" a lot, in real life, history doesn't amount to much. Jim Robinson's name appears maybe a dozen times in print. In the exhaustively well-chronicled life of Muhammad Ali, Singer has stumbled into the one hole, a man who'd shared a moment in time and space with one of the most famous humans ever, only to vanish. An old Associated Press story said Robinson was from Kansas City, which is why Singer is on the phone with the local paper's feature writer, who happens to be me. He tells me there isn't much more information to build on; nobody has ever really thought to search for the fighter before.
"In a way, Jim Robinson didn't begin to exist until someone realized he was missing."
-- Wright Thompson, Searching for Sweet Jimmy
"A hundred billion years from now, any galaxy that’s not resident in our neighborhood will have been swept away by swelling space for so long that it will be racing from us at faster than the speed of light. (Although nothing can move through space faster than the speed of light, there’s no limit on how fast space itself can expand.)
"Light emitted by such galaxies will therefore fight a losing battle to traverse the rapidly widening gulf that separates us. The light will never reach Earth and so the galaxies will slip permanently beyond our capacity to see, regardless of how powerful our telescopes may become.
"Because of this, when future astronomers look to the sky, they will no longer witness the past. The past will have drifted beyond the cliffs of space. Observations will reveal nothing but an endless stretch of inky black stillness. "
-- Brian Greene, The darkness on the edge of the universe.
How Hawthorne saved Moby-Dick
Studying American evangelicalism
Darkness on the edge of the universe
'Clarity'to ground the School of Quietude?
George Lois and the art of the magazine cover
This is what a feminist (man) poet looks like
Jan-Luc Marion: Is there a Christian philosophy
Journalists struggle with Polamalus' Christianity
Rudolf Bultman and the assumption of the secularization thesis
Can the rhetoric of the "God hates fags" church be turned into poetry?
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A grammar peeve for the ages & a verb tense you've never heard of
The evangelical-influence on first-person story telling
Wherein Robert Duncan's book saves American art
Rock was safe for rebels. Then it found Jesus.
A brief history of the 'tradition' of marriage
Michael Chabon's new novel: Telegraph Avenue
Chabon: Every novel is a license to obsess
Baracka Flacka Flame and hip hop minstrelsy
Why do people love Stieg Larsson's novels?
Roger Ebert's best documentaries of 2010
The declining art of the research paper
The cloudy logic of political killings
A Herman Melville summer vacation
The punctuation mark of pop music
An afternoon with Ray Steadman
Photographs of empty New York
Hefner is repulsive, not cute
The last speaker's dilemma
History of the US passport
Lomax recorded the world
When Galileo read Dante
Wikipedia comes of age
Teaching with Derrida
Ginsberg reading Howl
A decade of fear
The KJV at 400
The C.S. Lewis bible
Franzen the eco giant
A map of 15 years of UFO sightings
Zippy the Pinhead’s speech balloons
Reading Huck Finn for the first time
Google computers try to translate poetry
America thinks it’s more religious than it is
Should Christian gays argue scripture?
Notes on Moby-Dick, read all at once
Jared Loughner and grammar control
The most literate city in America
Melville, the biography novel
Vonnegut art at Indy museum
The recession in graphs
The other American right
Can books save your life?
Zizek must burn