The Now Chili

January 13, 2024 A cylindrical jar of Penzey’s Chili 3000, cool glass in the palm of my hand: “The Now Chili,” it reads the numbers of 3000 spaced more than need be, with a 3 and three bowed zeroes a different typeface than the tighter-fisted Chili above it. The black ridged, cool matte plastic of… Continue reading The Now Chili

Welcome to Madison!

I’ve done it! I just moved back to Madison, Wisconsin, almost exactly 18 years after I left. I have joined the School of Journalism & Mass Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison as an assistant professor, where my focus is digital media studies. I’m surrounded by an outstanding group of colleagues and students and can’t… Continue reading Welcome to Madison!

Categorized as academia

99% Invisible!

So exciting: 99% Invisible interviewed me about pneumatic tubes for the first episode of their new season! [soundcloud][/soundcloud] If you’re not familiar with it, it’s a wonderful podcast by Roman Mars, with help from Sam Greenspan on architecture and design. It became the most funded journalism Kickstarter project ever a few months ago (2nd in publishing).… Continue reading 99% Invisible!

Big news and updates

As of January 2013, I will be joining the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Journalism & Mass Communication faculty as an assistant professor, where my focus will be on digital media. I could not be more delighted. In 1994, 18 years ago this month, I did my first web project in that program; now I… Continue reading Big news and updates

Categorized as personal

40 things

A list I started before I turned 40 on November 26: 40 things that have made me who I am that I did before turning 40 1. Becoming fluent in German 2. Becoming fluent in other languages (French, Dutch, Italian), though I don’t maintain them 3. Living many places that weren’t home, not at first,… Continue reading 40 things

Report from Umeå

Above: a beautiful and violent sunrise at 8:15 am (the picture was taken from my bed!). No snow yet, which is rare, but the light is really something—that is, until the sun sets at 2:30 in the afternoon. For the last three weeks, I’ve been a visiting researcher at the HUMLab digital humanities lab at… Continue reading Report from Umeå


Hello again, Girlwonder! This missive reaches you from Sweden, where I’m on my way to Umeå. I’ll be spending a month here doing a fellowship with the HUMLab at the University of Umeå. Tomorrow, I’ll be speaking at the Umeå Institute of Design fall conference organized by Matt Cottam, along with Russell Davies, Dave Vondle… Continue reading Sweden!