Jesse Ellison

reCAPTCHA (a.k.a. Those Infernal Squiggly Words) Almost Done Digitizing the New York Times Archive

You've done it so many times, at so many sites across the Internet, that chances are you don't even think about it anymore: deciphering and typing in a "CAPTCHA," those squiggly, mucked-up words presented each time you buy tickets online, write a blog comment, or join a social network.

Big Thinkers Unite on a New Web Site

In short video clips, the new web site Sputnik Observatory seamlessly links disparate ideas into cohesive, connected trains of thought. One thread—the site prefers the term "pathway"—begins with an elderly physicist speculating about whether humans might have dormant capabilities, like being able to fly, and ends with a neurologist explaining why some brains turn sounds into mental paintings.

Page-Turner: "Bodies" by Susie Orbach

There was a time, believe it or not, when our bodies worked for us, instead of the other way around. In her new book, "Bodies," British author and psychologist Susie Orbach examines how science, culture and globalization have upended our relationships to our corporeal selves, turning us from master into slave.

"Our Daily Bread" Is A Quiet Look At Farm To Fork

The idea of little piglets living out their days in a darkened factory until they're fat enough to be sliced, diced and smoked is, well, uncomfortable. How surprising, then, that discomfort plays only a minor role in the experience of watching "Our Daily Bread." This 2006 German documentary about industrial food production, recently released on DVD, is astonishingly pretty for a film about the journey from farm to fork.

Oscars: Benjamin Button vs. Max Tivoli

Say you wrote a book. You agonized for years over every word, each character. Say your book did quite well, received glowing reviews from big-shot critics, became a bestseller—and then, four years later, say you start getting phone calls from friends complaining about a film in the works starring two of Hollywood's biggest stars that has a story just like your book—a film that goes on to be nominated for 13 Oscars.

Smith Magazine's Six-Word Memoirs

Love and heartbreak are typically the stuff of lengthy conversations, hours of analysis and reams of paper. But hot on the heels of their first bestselling compilation, "Not Quite What I Was Expecting: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure,"the editors of Smith Magazine have turned their attenuated attention to matters of love, asking contributors to distill their love lives into six precious words.

Closure: Steve Fossett's Final Flight

In the mass-media age, news stories captivate us, then vanish. We revisit those stories to bring you the next chapter. STARTING POINTON Sept. 3, 2007, record-setting adventurer Steve Fossett, 63, takes off from a Nevada ranch for a short pleasure trip in a single-engine plane and never returns.