When was the last time you got something in the mail other than the water bill or a pizza menu? Why does mail always have to be bad news? Groups online are reviving the dying tradition of penpals
and sending the most wonderful, creative letters and notes across the globe, making the moment the mail drops onto the doormat exciting instead of dread-inducing again. Bonus link - the League of Extraordinary Penpals
, who "think that writing a letter snuggled under a blanket with a cup of tea and a cat by your side is a better way to spend your Friday night than hanging out at the bar."
posted by winterhill
on Mar 17, 2014 -
"I had a rare Twitter username, @N. Yep, just one letter. I’ve been offered as much as $50,000 for it. People have tried to steal it. Password reset instructions are a regular sight in my email inbox. As of today, I no longer control @N. I was extorted into giving it up."
—Naoki Heroshima explains how his accounts were hacked in order to force him to give up his single-letter Twitter handle
. [more inside]
posted by me3dia
on Jan 30, 2014 -
Why did Samuel Beckett write to Ernie Bushmiller? Did he feel a sense of kinship with the cartoonist whose strip he read every day? Did he see in Bushmiller a man who quietly pursued his repetitive vocation day after day, no matter what? Did the Bushmiller characters strike a chord in the creator of Vladimir and Estragon? Did Beckett first formulate some of the innovations of his later plays while pondering situations for Nancy and Sluggo? We can never know if the inadvertent surrealistic antics of Bushmiller’s tykes influenced the translator of Eluard and Breton, or what first prompted the author of The Unnamable and Krapp’s Last Tape to begin sending strip ideas to a cartoonist in Connecticut. Was it Beckett’s frustration with his literary career, or the seemingly endless difficulties in mounting Godot that led him to seek another outlet, in yet another literary form, for his ideas and emotions? Whatever the reasons, we are lucky that much of the Beckett-Bushmiller correspondence has been preserved. [more inside]
posted by chavenet
on Jun 30, 2013 -
Going through my parents' stuff didn't make me suddenly miss them, but I became more intrigued by them every day. I wanted to know more and more about them, to solve their mysteries. At the same time, I felt a corresponding, if conflicting, urge to speak, or write, about what many people seemed to think was unspeakable: my ever-present lack of grief. So I decided to combine these seemingly divergent impulses into an Tumblr blog called My Dead Parents, which I kept anonymous both out of respect for my family and because, after years of writing fiction, I wasn't sure if I could handle revealing so much about myself in writing.
Anya Yurchyshyn writes about rediscovering
her parents through their letters, after their deaths.
posted by the man of twists and turns
on Apr 20, 2013 -
The Cambridge University Library houses the world's largest collection of Charles Darwin's letters: more than 9,000 of the 15,000 letters he is known to have written and received in his lifetime. They've been posting them online since 2007 (previously on MeFi)
, in the Darwin Correspondence Project
, where we can now read and search the full texts of more than 7,500 letters, and ﬁnd information on 7,500 more -- all for free. This weekend, they added nearly all of the Darwin-Hooker letters
: Over 1400 pieces of correspondence between Darwin and his closest friend, botanist Joseph Hooker. [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Mar 31, 2013 -
Letters From A Private
: "...[19 year-old Pvt. D. Bruce Hirshorn] was in the Army in 1944 and 1945. He wrote home almost every single day.... Today, Uncle Bruce is the same upbeat, funny guy. He’s 87 and he loves syrup and ships!" [more inside]
posted by knile
on Mar 18, 2013 -
My Dearest Barack
: A collection of letters that student Dylan Hansen-Fliedner wrote back to the Obama campaign, in response to donation requests.
posted by growabrain
on Dec 1, 2012 -
My father-in-law Jerry is great at word puzzles. Over the holidays, I showed him SpellTower on my iPad. By the time I took my iPad back at the end of the trip, he had already broken the SpellTower “Puzzle Mode” record on the Game Center leader board by almost 100,000 points. So I asked Jerry if he would share his strategy
posted by growabrain
on Jun 10, 2012 -
A Month of Letters
is a challenge with two parts: mail something (anything!) every day the post runs in February and respond to every letter you get.
posted by naturalog
on Feb 1, 2012 -
From lettersofnote.com :
In July of 1931, author and philosopher Will Durant
wrote to a number of notable figures and asked, essentially, "What is the meaning of life?" His letter concluded:
Spare me a moment to tell me what meaning life has for you, what keeps you going, what help—if any—religion gives you, what are the sources of your inspiration and your energy, what is the goal or motive-force of your toil, where you find your consolations and your happiness, where, in the last resort, your treasure lies. Write briefly if you must; write at length and at leisure if you possibly can; for every word from you will be precious to me.
Durant received many replies, a selection of which were compiled in the book, "On the Meaning of Life
." By far the greatest response, in my opinion, came from the great H. L. Mencken
. It can, and should, be read below.
(Description above taken straight from the linked post, as it summed it up pretty well)
posted by datter
on Feb 1, 2012 -
is a patchwork of photos and illustrations having a relationship with typography. AisleOne
is focused on graphic design, typography, grid systems, minimalism and modernism. iABC
is a collection of beautiful letters. Inspiration Bit
has a nice archive of articles about web typography. Nicetype
is about fonts, logos, posters and software. Twenty-Six Types
celebrates the beautiful letters. Typenuts
is type-themed iPhone and desktop wallpapers. Typoretum
is about typography, letterpress and printing history. Enjoy.
posted by netbros
on Nov 6, 2011 -
"... if children could go to the polls then perhaps Fred Nile, the leader of the Christian Democratic Party in NSW [New South Wales, Australia
], wouldn't have the power that he has today." An 11-year old Charlie Fine writes about an issue
that affects children across the Australian state of New South Wales. [more inside]
posted by vidur
on Aug 1, 2011 -
In 1971 a children's librarian in Troy, Michigan wrote dozens of letters to various celebrities and political leaders and asked them to send back inspirational messages to the children. Ninety-seven of them wrote back
posted by gman
on Jun 7, 2011 -
I have, by now, got rather fond of Mr. James Bond. I like most of the things about him, with the exception of his rather deplorable taste in firearms. In particular, I dislike a man who comes into contact with all sorts of formidable people using a .25 Beretta. This sort of gun is really a lady's gun, and not a really nice lady at that. If Mr. Bond has to use a light gun he would be better off with a .22 rim fire; the lead bullet would cause more shocking effect than the jacketed type of the .25.
- The letter that changed James Bond's gun, and gave his armourer a name.
posted by Artw
on Jun 2, 2011 -
For 140 years rare manuscripts
that record the private thoughts and opinions of David Livingstone, the Victorian explorer and missionary, were hidden from the public eye due to their fragile condition and frequently indecipherable text. Today a trans-Atlantic academic and scientific team, launches a major project with the publication of Livingstone's Letter from Bambarre – a spectrally-imaged 'lost' letter from Livingstone's final African expedition, written to his friend and future biographer Horace Waller.
posted by notsnot
on Feb 4, 2011 -
Johnny Depp reads
letters he received from Hunter S. Thompson while filming "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas."
posted by WhoseVoice
on Apr 13, 2010 -
from E.B. White, Mark Twain, Katharine Hepburn, E. E. Cummings, Alexander Hamilton, and Zero Mostel. From libraries and archives around NYC, via the NYT (more info here
posted by Miko
on Feb 14, 2010 -
Ursula Nordstrom—the "Maxwell Perkins
of the Tot Department"—was, from 1940 to 1973, head of the Department of Books for Boys and Girls at the New York publisher Harper & Row, and until 1979 had her own imprint there, Ursula Nordstrom Books. A legendary editor
known to her authors as UN, she published the books of Laura Ingalls Wilder, Margaret Wise Brown, Shel Silverstein, Maurice Sendak (whom she is credited with discovering) and, to not a little controversy, E. B. White
). One of "the last generation of devoted letter writers," she wrote nearly 100,000
during her five decade career at Harper, of which 300 of the most amusing, acerbic, and illuminating are collected in Dear Genius
by Leonard S. Marcus, the first hundred pages of which can be read at the Harper website
. [more inside]
posted by ocherdraco
on Jan 6, 2010 -
The Daily Drop Cap is an ongoing project by typographer and illustrator Jessica Hische. Each day (or at least each WORK day), a new hand-crafted decorative initial cap will be posted for your enjoyment and for the beautification of blog posts everywhere.
posted by HumanComplex
on Oct 30, 2009 -