Welcome to the Eighth Square

You have reached EighthSquare.com, a place on the vast chessboard of the Internet where writers, poets, artists, photographers, travelers and such can share their words, images and thoughts with others.


The Legacy of the Mansarts
by Richard Brafford
Everything you always wanted to know and more about Mansart, his descendants and the Mansard roof.

Travelogue, Part 4, India
by Andrew Nickson
In which the author makes his way through India.

Of Snowflakes, Ice, Figure Skating anda Very Brief Bit About Hexaflexagons
by Ela Schwartz
Inspired by Kenneth Libbrecht's snowflake books, the author goes snowflake-gazing and off on a few tangents.

Bodies: The Exhibition
by Lin Black
One living body's impressions of this controversial exhibit.

The Life and Work of Elizabeth Siddal
by Ela Schwartz
She was best known as the face that peered from numerous paintings by the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, particularly those by her husband Dante Gabriel Rossetti. But Siddal was more than just a mindless muse; she was an artist and poet in her own right. A look at her life, and death, and a selection of her artwork and poetry.

An Evening with Neil Gaiman, A Night in Chelsea
By Anonymous
Pawn goes to hear Neil Gaiman read from his new book, gets an autograph or two and spends the night in a small room amidst some Manhattan greenery.

Battle of the Planets
This August, the International Astronomical Union will determine what constitutes a planet and what to name our latest solar system discoveries. So where does this leave Pluto, Xena and Sedna?

Fireworks in Manhattan
by Norman Borden
Photos of the display over the East River on July Fourth.

The Tetra-Octa-Flexagon
Straight from the pages of Build Your Own Polyhedra, here comes this little-known square flexagon composed of eight isosceles triangles per face. Viva la 8-gon!

New Discoveries of the Hexa-Dodeca-Flexagon
by Ann Schwartz and Jeff Rutzky
The 12-gon is back: this time with more secrets to unveil, such as wormhole mode and a new array of hybrid faces

Flexagon Discovery: The Shape Shifting 12-Gon
by Ann Schwartz
As if ordinary flexagons weren't fascinating enough, here comes a hexadodecaflexagon (12-gon for short) with propellers and rogue triangles. Flexagons aren't created; supposedly there are an infinite number just waiting for someone to discover them. A copywriter does just that and gives us the details

Flexagon Fever
by Ela Schwartz
Who would have thought a writer who didn't get past high school trig and can't draw a straight line would become obsessed with a "mathematical oddity," discovering its properties, and coming up with intriguing designs?

Who Let the Cats Out
Our take on a pressing issue

Poetry and Stories

Not completely forsaken by the Fair Nine

by Barry Keane
With strong narrative and an emphasis on mythical and naturalistic motifs, this cyclical poem explores the spiritual and imaginative dimensions of man's journey through life.

The Threnodies of Jan Kochanowski (Treny)
by Barry Keane
Selected translations of this Polish Renaissance masterpiece, wherein the poet, in a cycle of nineteen poems, confronts the death of Orszula, his beloved three-year-old daughter. The poems are accompanied by commentaries which place the work within the traditions of consolation literature found in antiquity.

Footsteps From Another World
by Dáithí Ó hÓgáin
Ireland's mystical past intrudes on its present in these poems by this distinguished professor of Irish folklore.

by Barry Keane
An imagined night in the Picador Cafe, where in Warsaw, November 1918, five burgeoning Polish poets celebrated the rebirth of the Polish nation with a poetry recital.

Julian Tuwim
by Ela Schwartz
An ode to the Polish poet and one of his greatest works, "The Common Man"

The Ceiling Is...
by Ian Hnizdo, age 8

Saintly Behavior
by Patrick O'Connor

Two Poems
by James Campbell

by Lin Black

Two Nonsense Poems
by Hilda Quinn

Yellow Flowers
by Phil Mitchell
American GIs in World War II experience a rare, and brief, moment of peace.

When Human Voices Wake Us
by Jay Malkin
A seemingly normal day at the beach turns into something else.


The World of Ryszard Kryska
A showcase of the work of this Polish surrealist.

The Nude Reclining
by Richard Brafford
How artists have interpreted this theme from the Renaissance to today.


Travelogue, Part 3, Myanmar
by Andrew Nickson
A continuation of Mr. Nickson's travels through Mandalay and on into Bagan.

Travelogue, Part 2
by Andrew Nickson
The peripatetic Nickson gives us a glimpse of Burma, aka Myanmar.

Travelogue Part 1
I tinerant traveler and opera fanatic Andrew Nickson takes us from Italy to Morocco and back.

Fireflies in Malaysia
by Michele C. Hollow
Thousands of these fairylike creatures light up the night in the small village of Kampung Kuantan.

Darjeeling to Jaisalmer
by Richard Brafford
In which this temperamental artistic genius gives his neighbors and fellow New Yorkers a break by leaving the country and returns much changed, at least for the moment.

Bikes in China
by Dick Brafford
Why would the Chinese want to be more like us? Read Dick Brafford's take.

Scenes from a Postcard Collection
If you can't join them, at least you can read their postcards.


A chess term that describes a sneaky move that can often win you the game.

The Cat Reclining
How artists have interpreted this theme, sort of.

Computer Hell
by Dick Brafford
Something we can all relate to.

Fake Words
Our candidates for the next edition of Webster's.

Who Let the Carts Out?
Forget the cats, here's the real issue at stake.

Where the Sun Doesn't Shine
by Ela Schwartz
A name change for Uranus.


The Fine Art of Living Small
by Ela Schwartz
Style and sanity in a 7-by-15-foot room?

The House of Dessicant
by M.J.

Mac vs. Windows:The Battle of the Operating Systems
by Larisa C. Hnizdo
A middle-school student looks into the pros and cons of each OS.

The Wind
by Ian Hnizdo, age 7

The Second Sister
by Lin Black

Ellen Levitt's photography
A site-within-a-site showcasing Ellen's work.

Married to the Queen
by Phil Mitchell

Technical Documentation: Working a Coffee Machine
by R. Lee Sullivan
Operating a coffee machine is a complex task. Here's the technical documentation to help you get through it.

Battle of the Chias
by Ela Schwartz
In which we ponder Chia Pets, Neopets, and cybersquatting.

Swimming in the Incompetent Sea
While keeping your sanity

An anonymous pawn slams her little round head against the wall after being manipulated and betrayed by some Baby Bells.

Jean-Marc Bustamente at the Matthew Marks Gallery
by Gus Flaubert
"Negative landscapes of destruction"

John J. O'Connor at Pierogi Gallery
by Gregory Montreuil
"Mixes the scientific with the absurd"

The best toys are the ones that are both educational and multi-purposeful. Great Toys For Tots

Amazon Chess Set

Chess Armory 15" Wooden Chess Set Felted Game Board Interior Storage

RoboForm: Learn more...

Sites To Check

Snowcrystals.com offers an informative guide to everything you've ever wondered about snowflakes along with amazing photographs using snow crystal photo-microscopy.

The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. May he and his Noodly Appendage bestow blessings upon this site.

Chess Graphics for chess photographs and illustrations.

Visit the nine planets and listen to Holst's music at The Nine Planets: A Multimedia Tour of the Solar System. It even includes Sedna (no musical accompaniment).

The Laboratory for Automation Psychology and Decision Processes studies the cognitive aspects of human/computer interaction (and frustration). Take their survey on your level of computer rage.

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