Image: Hans Eiskonen

After half a dozen podcasts, part of an audiobook, and countless articles from experts and bloggers: I finally bought $2 of Bitcoin. Not two Bitcoin, mind you. Two dollars worth of the stuff. At the time of initial investment, two whole Bitcoin would have set me back about $40,000, or about one maxed-out Kia Telluride. I had neither. My investment worked out to roughly 0.00008 BTC. Not an earth-shattering number, but a definitive moment of personal decentering in terms of economic mindset.

Why did I do it? What compelled me to take two hard-earned dollars and put them into a…

Empty congressional chairs. Photo by Joakim Honkasalo.
Empty congressional chairs. Photo by Joakim Honkasalo.
Photo by Joakim Honkasalo

Even as a sitting President continues to lob disparaging remarks on social media about the integrity of the election, we have yet another (related) issue with which to contend. Marjorie Taylor Greene, an adherent of theories espoused by QAnon — the pro-Trump conspiracy group that the FBI has labeled anti-government and a possible domestic terrorism threat — has gained a House seat in the state of Georgia. As most other QAnon members lost their political races, it might be easy to dismiss the conspiracists as an insignificant “fringe” minority and press on despite their gain. …

Compound interest is money magic. (Illustration by vectorpouch.)

According to legend, Albert Einstein said there was an eighth wonder of the world. This particular bit of nature has the ability, like nothing else in the universe, to combat entropy, that secret magic of the Angel of Death, sprinkled out amidst our atoms like salt in a wound. Matter tends to decay over time, as energy, nature’s Robin Hood, moves from a place of more to a place of less. Flowers wither. People tend to grow older with each passing day. Hot tea and bath water alike eventually become cold. Oreos turn stale and mushy.

In keeping with this…

Mastering the stock market doesn’t have to be hard. (Illustration by pikisuperstar.)

It’s January of 2018. Frost hangs in the 50º Los Angeles air. It might be even colder, but no one is brave enough to find out. We’re all bundled up in our apartments by the fake fire streaming on YouTube, trying to occupy ourselves without acquiring Cabin Fever in the process.

I was taking the opportunity to read up on how to make more money without quitting my day job at the time. My pay was fine, but I knew it wouldn’t take me where I wanted to go: buy a house, invest for my future kids’ college tuition, travel…

Photo: Paulo Nicolello

Writing can be a lonely profession. When your job is to sit by yourself and hammer out page after page, there will likely be days that you lack motivation. It happens to the best of us. Sometimes, inspiration simply runs dry. As in any profession, looking to those at the top of the game can often yield both encouragement and a model of creativity.

The literary arts are no different in this regard: you can find the most nourishing stimulation from the most celebrated writers. From the simple and mundane to the quirky and weird, together we will discover some…

Discovering history in unlikely storehouses of the past

I saw her hands first. Spindly, splayed in front of her golf shirt, a penitent gesture. She apologized, “We’re closing early today. In thirty minutes. I have a doctor’s appointment. I just wanted to let you all know.” She bounced her head a little as she said it, each sentence like asking for forgiveness. The steel wool of her hair barely moved. She explained all this to us, her audience of two, the only customers in her store. She smiled, and it, too, seemed an apology.

“Thank you,” I said, clutching an old, oversized glass cup with raised Coca-Cola script…

Treading a trail through the dark matter of communication and understanding.

Daan Mooij

In his landmark text Of Grammatology, French philosopher Jacques Derrida (1930–2004) wrote, “There are things like reflecting pools, and images, an infinite reference from one to the other, but no longer a source, a spring. There is no longer any simple origin….The reflection, the image, the double, splits what it doubles….One plus one makes at least three.”

Like a cryptic envelope whose contents arrive disheveled or missing, what we receive nearly always contrasts from what is offered, in part because our minds bear their own fingerprint, the sending and receiving both muddied and muddled in the process. Yet Derrida, accused…

How I went from faith to skepticism and learned to love the journey.

Photo: Taneli Lahtinen.

In Yann Martel’s Life of Pi (a personal favorite), he writes, “To choose doubt as a philosophy of life is akin to choosing immobility as a means of transportation.” It is a statement about finding your belief system and sticking to it despite naysayers. In this writer’s opinion, it is also a misguided approach to faith, philosophy, and thinking.

Having grown up in a Christian family in a deeply religious state in an increasingly theocratic country, I can understand the conviction to seek the truth of one’s faith, to place its beliefs in a wellgrounded position. …

Marveling at one of the greatest children’s books of all time.

Recently (today) I re-read Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time, the first in her Time Quintet. A girl named Meg searches for her lost father, along with the help of her savant brother (Charles Wallace) and an attractive older boy from school (Calvin), and together they learn and apply universal secrets, discover and investigate unimaginable worlds. Meg’s journey to find her father is in truth a search within herself, which is to say maturation. For anyone, this would involve a deeper understanding of the world around them, and Meg…

Neal Tucker

Writer, actor, person who uses his outside voice all the time. Founder and Editor of The Festival Review. Content Creator at Story Bored.

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