52 things I learned in 2023

[Poor Tom Whitwell only learns one new thing per week. He must be a little slow (just kidding). We had some positive comments on last year's list, so here's this year's version. SB SM] Tom Whitwell Consultant at Magnetic (formerly Fluxx), reformed journalist, hardware designer. Published in Magnetic Note This year I worked on fascinating... Continue Reading →

Forever Beer

[The 4131 breweries that operated in the United States in 1873 had dwindled to 42 in 1978 when I set off to discover "the secrets of the suds." The question foremost in my brain was "How did American beer get to such a sorry state and what does the future hold." The story of this... Continue Reading →

What does it mean to be Jewish?

[Paul is a Facebook friend. I've never met the man, although I have heard him play the guitar more than once. He's as good as it gets at least on this instrument, in this state. He posts excellent stories about music and musicians. This one, however, has nothing to do with music. Rather it concerns... Continue Reading →

My Kinda Guy

[Richard Heinberg is my kinda guy, because he obsesses about things like gas-powered leaf blowers, but also because he is not afraid to dig deep into full lifecycle analysis. Everyone wants the quick fix, the easy solution, the immediate gratification. Air is polluted? Easy-squeezy. Put solar panels on the roof and buy an electric car... Continue Reading →

Music to Go To The Dump By

[This tribute to Silverback Ken comes via the pen of Silverback Bill (Hinesburg SBs). Although the Silverback community is geographically disperse, as opposed to Vermont-specific, it is still highly highly-specialized, self-selected, and endangered. There is a wealth of wisdom to be gleaned by examining the legacy of SB Ken. SB SM] Photo Image courtesy Stowe... Continue Reading →

Authentically Kardashian

[Remember when things were "amazing" and "awesome." Or when we were all things "locavore?" Favored words come and go just like the "It" label that periodically attaches itself to young females of the species. Luckily, here in The Jungle, the word of the year is, was, and will forever be Oo-oo. SB SM] NEW YORK... Continue Reading →

Remembering Netflix

[It's pathetic when something this recent is falling into the nostalgia category. Lest we forget ... when I moved to Vermont in 1979 there was but a single channel of broadcast television. Approximately 6 years later I bought the first VCR in our village of West Brookfield for $1500. And it was used. The person... Continue Reading →

Pal O’Mine

[We lost SB Ed earlier this year. He was one of the original members of what was then the Silverback Film Society, but Ed was "one of the originals" in many other ways. At his celebration of life event in September, more than 600 folks packed Chandler Music Hall to remember him. For me, the... Continue Reading →

The Low Down on the Greatest Dictionary Collection in the World

https://www.atlasobscura.com/ From “unabridged” to “slanguage,” Madeline Kripke’s library is a logophile’s heaven (or hell). BY APRIL WHITE NOVEMBER 14, 2023 These boxes represent just a portion of Madeline Kripke's dictionary collection—around 10,000 volumes and counting. COURTESY LILLY LIBRARY MADELINE KRIPKE’S FIRST DICTIONARY WAS a copy of Webster’s Collegiate that her parents gave her when she was a fifth grader in Omaha in... Continue Reading →

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