The future is always closer than you think.


Happy birthday to Eric Blair — better known as George Orwell — born on this date in 1903, seventy years and one day before yours truly.

Capitalist PigMy dad told me to read Animal Farm when I was seven years old. I thought it was really wild, but that there had to be something that I just didn’t understand. (Why would grown ups think a story about a bunch of talking pigs and cows was so good?!) I only halfheartedly read 1984 in high school because I thought Orwell was a flake children’s book author.

It wasn’t until I got to college that I read 1984 again (on my own) and enjoyed it. Then I read Animal Farm again and was stunned for days afterward.

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What Is This? is the personal weblog of me, David Vincent Gagne. I've been publishing here since 1999, which makes this one of the oldest continuously-updated websites on the Internet.

A few years ago I was trying to determine what cocktails I could make with the alcohol I had at home. I searched the App Store but couldn't find an app that would let me do that, so I built one.


You can read dozens of essays and articles and find hundreds of links to other sites with stories and information about Ernest Hemingway in The Hemingway Collection.