“Have you noticed how so often when we try to reconstruct the causes which lead up to the actions of men and women, how with a sort of astonishment we find ourselves now and then reduced to the belief, the only possible belief, that they stemmed from some of the old virtues? the thief who steals not for greed but for love, the murderer who kills not out of lust but pity?”—William Faulkner (Absalom, Absalom!)
“You live like this, sheltered, in a delicate world, and you believe you are living. Then you read a book… or you take a trip… and you discover that you are not living, that you are hibernating. The symptoms of hibernating are easily detectable: first, restlessness. The second symptom (when hibernating becomes dangerous and might degenerate into death): absence of pleasure. That is all. It appears like an innocuous illness. Monotony, boredom, death. Millions live like this (or die like this) without knowing it. They work in offices. They drive a car. They picnic with their families. They raise children. And then some shock treatment takes place, a person, a book, a song, and it awakens them and saves them from death.”—Anais Nin
"By now, we’ve no doubt told you all about NPR Music’s Tiny Desk Concerts, in which we bring our favorite musicians to perform short sets at Bob Boilen’s desk. In the two and a half years we’ve been at it, we’re recorded more than a hundred of them, and they’ve become a trademark of what NPR Music is all about: a chance to discover (or rediscover) artists we love in a way that’s approachable, digestible and even downloadable.”
"It’s a closed circuit system, sweet pea. You are not one iota more worthy of love or inclusion than that boy. No matter what happens, no matter how old you are, I know for certain that so long as you believe yourself to be superior to him you will never feel okay with yourself. Until you are incapable of writing the sentence “while I’m stuck with an anti-social kid who picks his nose,” you will never truly believe yourself to be welcome among others. You must love in order to be loved. You must be inclusive in order to feel yourself among the included. You must give in order to receive.
It’s the simplest equation in the world and yet so complex. A lot of people live their whole lives and never work it out. Don’t let yourself be one of them.”
Don’t know why this struck me as strongly as it just did. Eighth graders and adults need the same advice sometimes, yes?
"Hear a non-stop mix of every song ever played during the 10 years of All Songs Considered. Enjoy old favorites, brand-new tracks and exclusive live concert recordings from the archive. Tune in any time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”
"Most students study some literature in college, and most of those are aware that they are being taught a lot of theory along with the literature. They understand that the latest theory is a broad social-science-like approach called “cultural studies,” or a particular version is called “post-colonialism” or “new historicism.” And there are still plenty of gender-theoretical approaches that are prominent. But what often goes unremarked upon in the continuing (though less public) debate about such approaches is that, taking in the longue durée, this instability is in itself completely unremarkable.”
"In 'Disconnect,' Devra Davis, a scientist and National Book Award finalist for “When Smoke Ran Like Water,” looks at the connection between cellphones and health problems, with some disturbing results. Recent studies have tied cellphone use to rises in brain damage, cheek cancer and malfunctioning sperm. She reveals the unsettling fact that many new cellphones now come with the small-print warning that they are to be kept at least one-inch from the ear (presumably for safety reasons) and many insurance companies refuse to insure cellphone companies against health-related claims. Most troubling of all, science has shown that children and teenagers are particularly susceptible to cellphone radiation, raising questions about its effects on coming generations.”
“‘What is happiness?’ is one of those strange questions philosophers ask, and it’s hard to answer. Philosophy, as a discipline, doesn’t agree about it. Philosophers are a contentious, disagreeable, lot by nature and training. But the question’s hard because of a problematic prejudice about what kind of thing happiness might be. I’d like to diagnose the mistake and prescribe a corrective.”
"Books aren’t going to go away any time soon. But, like magazines have started to, they’re going to evolve. And if that evolution looks anything like these concepts, we’re in for a pleasant literary future.
These three explorations, from design firm IDEO, each represents a different direction book technology could go. But what they have in common—connectivity, social savvy, interactive features—weave in the tech trends of our times in a way that enhances the read experience without distracting from it.”
“Imagine that human existence is defined by an Ache: the Ache of our not being, each of us, the center of the universe; of our desires forever outnumbering our means of satisfying them.”—Jonathan Franzen (How To Be Alone: Essays) (via fuckyeahliteraryquotes)
"As it’s stated in the book of Jobs: Thou shalt not worship false iPhones.
Or so goes the thinking in a new study from Duke University, which concludes: “The brand name logo on a laptop or a shirt pocket may do the same thing for some people that a pendant of a crucifix or Star of David does for others.” In fact, the more religious a person is, the less brand expression appears to matter.”
"If you try to tell teenagers that they should eat carrots because they are full of vitamins and good for their eyes, you’re probably not telling them anything they don’t already know. And, in fact, your message may be really annoying, says Ellen Thieken, a student at Mason High School near Cincinnati.
"When people hear ‘healthy,’ it scares them a little bit," says Thieken. "A lot of people are like, ‘I hate healthy food. I don’t want to eat vegetables and stuff.’ "
So what are a bunch of carrot farmers who are trying to boost sales supposed to do? Well, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. A group of farmers have gotten together to launch a $25 million ad campaign aimed at making packaged baby carrots cool. The idea is that kids may eat more of them if they can think of carrots as a kind of junk food.”
This is my high school! Featured in a news story about carrots.
“When we did come home Sylvie would certainly be home, too, enjoying the evening, for so she described her habit of sitting in the dark… . She seemed to dislike the disequilibrium of counterpoising a roomful of light against a worldful of darkness. Sylvie in a house was more or less like a mermaid in a ship’s cabin. She preferred it sunk in the very element it was meant to exclude.”—Marilynne Robinson (Housekeeping)
"As the author of “Las Horas,” “Die Stunden” and “De Uren” — ostensibly the Spanish, German and Dutch translations of my book “The Hours," but actually unique works in their own right — I’ve come to understand that all literature is a product of translation. That is, translation is not merely a job assigned to a translator expert in a foreign language, but a long, complex and even profound series of transformations that involve the writer and reader as well. “Translation” as a human act is, like so many human acts, a far more complicated proposition than it may initially seem to be."
"And while muffins may be excellent," Nadie went on, "especially the pineapple-orange ones, they’re no doughnuts."
“So doughnuts are good,” Davy said, trying to keep up his end of the conversation.
“Well, yeah, for one night,” Nadie said as her toast popped… . “But then the next morning, they’re not crisp anymore, and the icing is all stuck to the bag, and they have watery stuff all over them, and they’re icky and awful. You can’t keep a doughnut overnight.
“Ah,” Davy said. “But a muffin —”
“Is actually better the next day,” Nadine finished. “Muffins are for the long haul and they always taste good. They don’t have that oh-my-God-I-have-to-have-that thing that doughnuts have going for them, but you still want them the next morning.”
"Making a tape is like writing a letter," muses Rob, the narrator of Nick Hornby’s 1995 novel High Fidelity. “You’ve got to kick off with a corker, to hold the attention. … And then you’ve got to up it a notch, or cool it a notch. … There are loads of rules.”
This week, Hornby comes out with an album of his own, a collaboration with singer-songwriter Ben Folds called Lonely Avenue. Musically speaking, the album follows Rob’s rules. Its opening number, “Working Day,” is an attention-grabbing flurry of synthesizer notes and cheerful vocals. The energy cools and rises with each new track, shifting from ballad to blues to borderline punk.