“Whatever you do, don’t be bored. This is absolutely the most exciting time we could have possibly hoped to be alive. And things are just starting.”
  • Reading is Fundamental ‘12

    I decided to be more conservative this year considering my anticipated closeness with planes, trains, and automobiles, and my other mind expanding activities. Do join in on the fun.

    *This is a slow read, likely to last the length of the summer.

    Also, I reserve the right to engage in Game of Thrones for a light park/beach read.

    Happy Summer.

  • Jonah Lehrer - Imagine

    Oh my dear Jonah… swoon.

    I just got “Proust was a Scientist” in the mail yesterday. I plan to read “Imagine” right after.

  • wwnorton:

    “Most rappers don’t know diamonds are minerals, that they’re crystalline, and that’s what gives a diamond its shine. They talk about gold and they don’t even know it’s an element.’’ —GZA (aka The Genius)

    Wu-Tang Clan’s GZA was in Boston last week to give a lecture at the Harvard Black Men’s Forum. While there he added a three-day tour of MIT to his trip to meet with scientists, professors, and students seeking inspiration for his next album. He spent an hour talking with Norton author David Kaiser (pictured right), author of How the Hippies Saved Physics: Science, Counterculture, and the Quantum Revival. Here’s a few things they discussed: 

    • Quantum Theory (especially Bell’s Theorem)
    • The Nature of Time (in the context of Einstein’s relativity)
    • Black Holes, Wormholes, and Possibilities for Time Travel
    • Cosmology

    Guys, I think the next album could be…out of this world.

    (Photo by Sophia Chang)

  • "Date a girl who doesn’t read because the girl who reads knows the importance of plot. She can trace out the demarcations of a prologue and the sharp ridges of a climax. She feels them in her skin. The girl who reads will be patient with an intermission and expedite a denouement."
  • 2011 Summer Reading List!!!!

  • I’m all over this. I’m so excited.


    Want to spend all night at the Library’s landmark Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, exploring everything from the Rose Main Reading Room to The Stacks (yes, The Stacks, which are rarely open to the public)? Well, on May 20, you have your chance. Renowned game designer and best-selling author Jane McGonigal has created “Find The Future: The Game” in honor of the 42nd Street building’s 100th birthday. Five hundred lucky people will be the first to play it on the evening of May 20, collectively completing 100 “quests” in teams of eight overnight (the first time NYPL has ever had an overnight event). Players - using smart phones - will receive missions to find objects from our collection, which will be strategically placed around the building. Once an item is found, players look at it, study it, feel its power and then complete a writing “quest.” For example, players might be asked to look at an old menu from our menu collection. After studying it and getting inspired, they use a laptop (either their own or one we provide) to answer the quest, “Design your ideal menu.” Each team will complete three or four of the quests. At the end, the most innovative answers will be made into a book that will wind up in our collections forever. I know, this sounds cool, right? So how do you participate in opening night? Complete a quest online - the most creative responders (18 and older only) will get a coveted slot. You can apply starting today. Registration ends at the end of April. If you don’t get a slot, don’t fret - anyone can play the game either online or at the Library’s 42nd Street building (with a smart phone) starting May 21. No Stacks, though - that’s only for opening night. So go!!! Register!!! And in the meantime, watch the amazing trailer McGonigal’s team put together above.

  • Hans Rosling - A History of the World in Less Than Five Minutes

    I don’t know how this slipped under my radar two months ago. Rosling is always incredibly entertaining.

  • A Random Mofo Every…

    In the recent years I’ve noticed that I run into people that I know (or people who think they know me) in the weirdest, most off the wall places, with seemingly no connection. For example, while backpacking in the summer of 2007, I stay at the Lisbon Lounge Hostel for a week during my time in Portugal. While at LLH, I met this guy with blue teeth from N. Cali…. In Jan. ‘08, I ran into him while waiting in line for the restroom at a Starbucks on 47th & Lex. And once more in Apr. ‘09, while standing on a street corner in Soho. I’m not even going to go into the random saga that is the story of "I Think We Made Out Once", though chances are, you’ve already heard it.

    Long story short…

    On 01.01.10 I embarked on a mission. The mission was to log the date, time, place and circumstances of all of my random run ins around the small town called New York City.

    Two Rules:

    • The run in could not occur in a place that I would obviously run into someone, such as a mutual friend’s party.
    • There had to be some type of interaction, meaning it doesn’t count to just pass someone on the street with no acknowledgment.

    Three 2010 Run In Highlights:

    •  01/01/10 -  “Do I Iook familiar to you?!” being yelled at me across the tracks from the other side of the turnstile. (12:04pm G train Myrtle-Willoughby) *Way to start the year with a bang. Also, this person ended up being my most frequent run in with tally of 5, though, honestly, I stopped logging him after July.
    • 01/22/10 - "I Think We Made Out Once" despite the fact that she moved to Jamaica, it just wouldn’t be right if the inspiration for my mission didn’t randomly show up.
    • 12/30/10 - Captain Rob… someone I didn’t want to see who is good friends with someone I really didn’t want to see…. If anyone asks, I live in Maine.

    Click HERE to see all the numbers and my awesome charts… Mayhaps you will see your name.

  • If you love me, you’ll take me here.




    A sectional view of the New York Public Library. (1911) (via NYPL Digital Gallery | Detail ID 805999)

    We love this image, showing how the three public floors of the library are supported by the seven stories of stacks within.

    Well… originally.

    What most people don’t know is that our stacks now extend all the way underneath Bryant Park.

    We don’t give tours of the stacks that often, but if you want to see more, you can check out this fantastic online tour (by way of blog post) by Kathie Coblentz, Rare Materials Cataloger for the library showing the inside look and the history of the stacks that make up the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building.