Nell Boeschenstein

Friendly advice

Self-help is no new idea. God knows, the self-help section at Barnes & Noble is bigger than the poetry section and, about 30 percent of both mine and half my friends’ conversations begin with the phrase (go ahead, roll your eyes), “So, I was talking to my therapist about this the other day and she […]

Naughty naughty!

It should come as no news to anyone that people are crazy about their pets, and that such craziness often manifests itself in hilarious and adorable ways on the Internet. Keep in mind that in this context I intend the word “crazy” to be a good thing—an endearing quality all humans should exhibit when it […]

Shoe flies

Maybe I’ve been watching too much TV lately, but all those JC Penney commercials have me itching for some back-to-school basics. (Please keep in mind that I have not fallen into the JC Penney back-to-school marketing demographic for over 10 years.) Plus, a little fall shopping is good for the soul; it keeps you young […]

Pretty ugly

I’ve written here in the past about the ever-popular website Cute Overload that posts photographs of ridiculously cute animals—usually baby ones—that people sit in their cubicles and coo over. But where one trail is blazed, others are soon to follow, and riding on the coattails of Cute Overload comes the semi-spoof website, Ugly Overload. I […]

Raising the roof

The first time I became aware that pre-fab housing could be something other than disgusting was a number of years back when the magazine Dwell sponsored a pre-fab home design competition, then sold—through the magazine—the winning blueprints. Since then, the idea of mass-producing good design (think Apple tech design applied to architecture) has fascinated me. […]

Big screen, small screen

YouTube proper may primarily be the domain of lowbrow workplace procrastination outlets along the lines of “Obama Girl” or “My Son Is Gay,” but a little bird just alerted me to the VIP section of YouTube and, as in the real world, a little selectivity goes a long way. The YouTube Screening Room may not […]

Bye bye, bib

This column is susceptible to nothing if not to accusations of extreme nerdiness, and the site I want to point you in the direction of today is no different. Fortunately for you, there’s a significant population of Charlottesville who will actually find this site quite useful. There’s a fair number of professors, researchers, students and […]

Laughing alone

When I think about the three things I would want if left alone on a desert island, my first thought is: “A sense of humor.” I would also need my one true love, and either an endless supply of alcohol or water (it’s a tough decision between the two when faced with spending the rest […]

Type casting

There are two kinds of people in the world: those who care about fonts and those who have never heard of such a ridiculous thing as caring about fonts. Those who care about fonts care passionately. For example, my father’s font is Helvetica; my friend Abbye’s font is Garamond; my friend Bridget’s font is Book […]

Huffing and puffing

Every week, I consider writing up something about the Huffington Post for this column, and every week I postpone it because, I tell myself, “It can wait. The HuffPo is a perennial.” And it’s true: “HuffPo” (as those in the know refer to it) is a good read for Internet newsies, 24/7/365. Its readability does […]

Headline ruse

It’s probably common knowledge that the two best places to catch up on your light reading are the bathroom and the office. Any bathroom worth its salt has somewhere among its various reading materials a copy of Our Dumb World: The Onion’s Atlas of Planet Earth, which patient bathroom-goers can flip through as they wait […]

Going postal

The other day the old “Have you read…?” “You should read…” “Let me loan you…” conversation started up at a friend’s barbeque, when our gracious host announced that she never loans books, she simply gives them away. Another friend then piped up that there was a website in existence that fostered exactly that road to […]

Ladies, please

The Gawker Media empire gets a lot of attention from the media. Why, just the other week, former Gawker editor Emily Gould was sprawled out in a “Come hither” pose on the cover of The New York Times Magazine. And yet, I think it’s time the youngest member of Gawker Media (the Condé Nast of […]

Go west

There’s a type of dream that certain city folk have. For some, it’s a Canadian backwoods scenario. For others, it’s an Appalachia vibe they’re looking for. For a lot of people, it’s a California escape (Route 1, anyone?) But that quintessential American dream of riding off into the sunset involves a notion of the Wild […]

Tick talks

I remember the first time I ever heard about the TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) Conference, the annual four-day gathering in Long Beach, California, of the world’s foremost thinkers in the aforementioned areas. It was two years ago, and a friend told me not only that she had gone, but that it was the most amazing […]

Photo finishes

National Geographic made headlines recently for winning a National Magazine Award in reporting. The win was considered something of a coup, given that National Geographic is famous for its photography, but not necessarily for its prose, yet it beat out heavyweights including The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, and Vanity Fair. (Another shout-out […]

Yo momma’s day

Moms are sometimes an underappreciated species. We live in their stomachs for nine months, get born, suck on their breasts for a few months, grow up, move out, and then never call to thank them. Mother’s Day is as good an opportunity as any to remember these facts, feel guilty about them and maybe do […]

Science projects

Science writing tends to fall into three categories: incomprehensible (a la textbooks and academic journals), middle-aged (Bill Bryson, Mary Oliver), and alpha-manly (Sebastian Junger, Jon Krakauer). And yet, what of all the other writers out there with a flair for the written word and a weakness for the scientific method? They tend to get the […]

Domestic bloggess

First Oprah’s Sophie, now Martha’s Paw Paw—what’s a rich and powerful woman to do? Blog, apparently. At least that’s what Martha Stewart has done a lot of since Paw Paw, her “beloved dog Kublai Khan Paw Paw Chow Chow Chow” (Damn, that’s a mouthful. Does it even make sense?) died on Saturday, April 12. Martha […]

Think about it

Sometimes it’s fun to just peek into the minds of cool people and see what the hell is going on in there. If there were a King of Cool election, I might just cast my vote for former Talking Heads frontman, musician, artist, designer, filmmaker, writer, general creative-type and genius, David Byrne. And if that […]

Animal planet

I love YouTube as much as the next person, but when I really think about what I use it for when I’m left to my own devices (meaning if I’m just browsing and haven’t gone there to look at something specific someone recommended to me), I would be lying if I didn’t just say, “Well, […]

Hey, ladies…

Truth be told, Women on Web is not a beautiful site. And by “beautiful” I’m talking well-designed, easy to read or easy to use. It is none of these things. And yet it is to-the-point, it does a job that needs doing, and having it out there in cyberspace is a beautiful thing, indeed. Using […]

Smarten up

Just like The Economist is kind of one-stop shopping for the thinking person who doesn’t have time to read The Wall Street Journal every day, More Intelligent Life is one-stop shopping for those poor, busy souls who don’t have time to religiously read The Economist, Salon, ArtForum, The New York Times’ Style Section, etc. The […]

Keeping up with the Joneses

Before I begin, let me make the disclaimer that this is not a plug. I am not playing favorites here; I am simply giving props where props are deserved. With that out of the way, it seems that Migration: A Gallery has a fun little blog out there in the big Internet. The online journal, […]

Mirror, mirror

There are some things that I am just really bad at. These things include applying blush, keeping an eye pencil steady, keeping my shirt reasonably unwrinkled and blow-drying my hair. I believe that some people are genetically programmed to look put-together and some people are destined to look as if they are perpetually falling apart, […]

Laugh line

First thing’s first: Did everyone see Tina Fey’s endorsement of Hillary Clinton on “Saturday Night Live”? Booya! I’m having t-shirts made that say “Bitch is the new black” on the front, and “Bitches get things done” on the back. But if you missed Fey’s endorsement-as-comedy-routine, it’s not too late to catch it on the Internet […]


Any course in “Websites 101” includes a certain education in the basics, the foundations—Google, Craigslist, Slate, that kind of thing. And if this space is my introductory course, then I sometimes think that I must be a real a failure of a teacher, because it’s these basics that I often forget to praise sufficiently. Case […]