Maria Horvei

  • Marjolijn Dijkman and Toril Johannessen

    One of the first “fun facts” I can still remember hearing as a child is that every drop of water holds as much life as the number of human beings on the planet. Whether or not this is exactly true I don’t know, nor do I have any idea what was meant by “life” in this context. Is its metric the single microorganism? And are there really several billion micro-organisms contained in every water drop? Surely there must be a difference between water from the kitchen tap and water from a muddy pool.

    However lacking in accuracy, the factoid floated to mind when I visited Marjolijn Dijkman and Toril

  • Kim Hiorthøy

    Vladimir Nabokov once wrote of the allure of the blank page, seeing in it “a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible.” But to other writers, the blank page is an intimidating figure, the supreme symbol of writer’s block and the self-inflicted pressure of a creative process. The fact that the untouched canvas has never grown to reach quite the symbolic heights of its paper cousin is perhaps linked with the story of modern painting. The weight of history and convention inherent in the medium can also be intimidating, but how threatening

  • Benjamin Crotty

    On Wednesday, November 16, 1949, President Harry S. Truman had the shah of Iran to tea. The shopping list for the meal included one chicken, two packages of cream cheese, bourbon, scotch, and juice oranges. By contrast, on October 15, 1947, the same president lunched alone, feasting on a fruit cup, cottage-cheese salad, and, for dessert, a floating island. For dinner, he had a club sandwich.

    The menus of nearly every day of Truman’s presidency, which started in 1945, have been preserved in the National Archives in Washington, DC, ever since his second term ended, in 1953. Some of them were recently