How to write for an Encyclopedia or other reference work

From time to time, many of us will have the opportunity to write for a reference work like an encyclopedia or a handbook. The word encyclopedia has been around for a couple of thousand years and
From time to time, many of us will have the opportunity to write for a reference work like an encyclopedia or a handbook. The word encyclopedia has been around for a couple of thousand years and [More]

The plot thins

In The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark, the heroine teaches in Edinburgh in the 1930s. She has a special set of favourites amongst her pupils, loves one-armed Roman Catholic art teacher
In The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark, the heroine teaches in Edinburgh in the 1930s. She has a special set of favourites amongst her pupils, loves one-armed Roman Catholic art teacher [More]

Shakespeare, Sinatra, and the Philosophy of Aging [excerpt]

Aging in the world of entertainment is portrayed in a variety of ways. In some cases it’s graceful and elegant; in others it’s manic and doddering. Shakespeare has dealt with this subject numerous
Aging in the world of entertainment is portrayed in a variety of ways. In some cases it’s graceful and elegant; in others it’s manic and doddering. Shakespeare has dealt with this subject numerous [More]

Doing the right thing: ethics in the Zombie Apocalypse [video]

From popular television shows like The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones to countless films, video games, and comics, stories of the Zombie Apocalypse have captivated modern audiences. With horror
From popular television shows like The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones to countless films, video games, and comics, stories of the Zombie Apocalypse have captivated modern audiences. With horror [More]

Would you survive the zombie apocalypse? [quiz]

The zombie apocalypse presents many challenges – for both the prepared and unprepared. As if dodging an aggressive and cannibalistic undead horde constantly in pursuit of brains isn’t enough, you
The zombie apocalypse presents many challenges – for both the prepared and unprepared. As if dodging an aggressive and cannibalistic undead horde constantly in pursuit of brains isn’t enough, you [More]

On the value of intellectuals

In times of populism, soundbites, and policy-by-twitter such as we live in today, the first victims to suffer the slings and arrows of the demagogues are intellectuals. These people have been
In times of populism, soundbites, and policy-by-twitter such as we live in today, the first victims to suffer the slings and arrows of the demagogues are intellectuals. These people have been [More]

Rousseau, self-love, and an increasingly connected world

Jean-Jacques Rousseau was one of the most influential thinkers of the eighteenth century French enlightenment period. Born in Geneva in 1712, Rousseau made important contributions to philosophy,
Jean-Jacques Rousseau was one of the most influential thinkers of the eighteenth century French enlightenment period. Born in Geneva in 1712, Rousseau made important contributions to philosophy, [More]

Voltaire and the one-liner

As we mark Voltaire’s 323rd birthday – though the date of 20 February is problematic, the subject of another blog – what significance does the great Enlightenment writer have for us now? If I had
As we mark Voltaire’s 323rd birthday – though the date of 20 February is problematic, the subject of another blog – what significance does the great Enlightenment writer have for us now? If I had [More]

The eternal Cheshire cat

Unlike Alice, who was advised to begin at the beginning and stop only when she came to an end, I’d rather begin at the end. The English-speaking world is interested in the Cheshire cat only because
Unlike Alice, who was advised to begin at the beginning and stop only when she came to an end, I’d rather begin at the end. The English-speaking world is interested in the Cheshire cat only because [More]

The logic of unreliable narrators

In fiction, an unreliable narrator is a narrator whose credibility is in doubt – in other words, a proper reading of a narrative with an unreliable narrator requires that the audience question the
In fiction, an unreliable narrator is a narrator whose credibility is in doubt – in other words, a proper reading of a narrative with an unreliable narrator requires that the audience question the [More]