Remnant of Eden
The Last Word On Nothing
by Craig Childs
4d ago
This post comes from 2015, which seems like lifetimes ago, and I don’t know what happened to the woman I interviewed or this small patch of earth in Iowa she was defending. I’ve often turned to this memory as a sign of hope in a decaying natural world, one person focusing her life on one small tangle of green in an empire of monoculture. A summer not long ago I went for a grueling 3-day backpack through GMO cornfields in Iowa, camping among walls of waxy green leaves that sawed against each other in the breeze. I wanted to see what besides corn and soybeans lived out here. Not much, I found ..read more
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Well THAT Smells Warm
The Last Word On Nothing
by Jennifer S. Holland
5d ago
God damn it, advertising can be powerful. I mean, not that I would ever buy some stupid crap because I saw it advertised on TikTok, of all platforms…that place is rife with over-hyped junk and over-painted hawkers (the term “influencer” makes my toes curl, no joke) and I’m not pathetic enough to fall for their BS. Until I was. What got me: It was the yummy sounding scents that mean spring and sunshine and a breeze up your skirt. It was the arty images of grasses waving and glitter on the water and dandelion seeds in her hair. Damn it if a company that makes earthy perfumes didn’t grab me and ..read more
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Kate Versus the Meteorite
The Last Word On Nothing
by Kate Horowitz
1w ago
It came as a surprise, a gift from no one in particular: a blush-pink postcard tucked beneath the bottle of sunscreen in my Sephora order, emblazoned with an utterly mystifying collection of words. HANGOVERx PILLOW BALM (What?) We LOVE your lips even when you don’t (What?) Infused with mineral-rich stardust (WHAT?) The shiny pink button affixed to the card was, I realized, a sample of the product. I turned the card over and was rewarded with a wall of cramped text and new levels of confusion. This luxuriously rich and creamy balm is infused with an ultra-charged blend of minerals sourced from ..read more
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Redux: I Saw Them Standing There
The Last Word On Nothing
by Richard Panek
1w ago
It was 60 years ago today that the Beatles first appeared on “The Ed Sullivan Show.” This post originally ran in 2012. I was watching the Beatles on “Ed Sullivan” the other night when I got to thinking about Galileo. “Ladies and gentlemen, here are The Beatles!” cried Ed, in his imitable style, and the camera cut to curtains flying apart with an abandon that matched the song’s first notes, already slamming away. Then Paul stepped to the microphone and opened his mouth. “[    ], she was [    ] seventeen, you know what I mean.” But Paul recovered quickly. He bent closer ..read more
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N is for Norman, eaten by a lionness
The Last Word On Nothing
by Jessa Gamble
1w ago
This post originally appeared in March 2012. “It is with the deepest sorrow that I have to inform you of the death of your son Norman. He died after an encounter with a lion near the Keito River in Portuguese West Africa 10/5/15. He made a very gallant fight and killed the lion with his knife after a severe struggle. He was serving as scout in the N. Rhodesian forces to which I also belong.” So begins a letter from the closest friend (and executor, of which more later) of my great-great uncle Norman Sinclair. Having fought through the Boer War and stayed on in Africa as a hunter, the Scotsman ..read more
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Getting Gravid
The Last Word On Nothing
by Emily Underwood
2w ago
Thomas Snow Beck, ‘On the Nerves of the Uterus’, in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, 1846: Gravid uterus at the ninth month of pregnancy. This week we had our 22-week ultrasound, the detailed scan for all the things no one wants to think about: cysts in the brain, malformed heart chambers, exposed vertebrae. Will (we’ve started calling him Will) is moving a lot now, rotating and arching his back, kicking his legs and arms. In my mind he’s like a boulder in one of the flash floods carving up California’s hillsides right now: gaining mass as he plummets downhill, t ..read more
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Stuck In the Middle With Oystercatchers and You
The Last Word On Nothing
by Cameron Walker
2w ago
We often celebrate the beginnings of things, and the ends of things, but what about the middles? The middle can be a gray place, either boring or too eventful in all the wrong ways. That’s what this part of the year feels like to me– I’m missing the cozy days of early winter, where candles are a welcome novelty, when the early dark gives you reason to curl up with a book for an evening. Now, the days are a little longer, but not long enough for me to really enjoy the extra hours of daylight, only enough so that I feel like I’m struggling to keep up. There’s a little bit of what could be hope ..read more
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A Sevenmile Stream Story
The Last Word On Nothing
by Ben Goldfarb
2w ago
Years ago, Carol Evans, then a Bureau of Land Management biologist in northeastern Nevada, told me she wanted to write a book called Stream Stories — a series of vignettes about the many creeks that webbed her region and defined her career. I have no idea if she’s working on this today (Carol, if you’re reading this, I hope you are!), but it always struck me as a brilliant premise. Streams and narratives have much in common: they flow between points yet never truly end, they are subject to the forces of history yet shape it themselves. And they both have protagonists — in the streams’ case, t ..read more
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The moon in my skin
The Last Word On Nothing
by Sarah Gilman
3w ago
Life has fallen so quiet lately that light takes on the quality of sound when there is none. I sleep with my palm up toward the ceiling, toward the sky and summon the moon into my hand. I know when I am holding it by its lightness by its light. I can feel it only when I open my eyes In the dark. I skied the other day, early along the river and across the fields. The snow was new and silent and three coyotes paced me on the trail. The last stopped then peed and we stared at each other a long moment before she limped on letting me know: she would never run on anyone’s behalf but her own ..read more
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Free the Tree
The Last Word On Nothing
by Helen Fields
3w ago
One Sunday in November, my boyfriend and I were arriving back at his house at noon or so, after a visit to the market for a baguette and bacon. As I waited for him to unlock his door, I looked at the pretty maple tree next to me. It had Christmas lights wrapped around its trunks and limbs. “Do those lights work?” I asked. It was getting dark early – daylight savings had ended two weeks before – and I thought it might be nice to have some lights outside. They did not, he said. I looked closer and realized the tree was starting to grow around the wires. In time, that can kill a tree. I suggeste ..read more
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