Mid Year Quotes

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Prolific irony - For 8 years, the finger on the button that could end the world belonged to a president who couldn't pronounce the word "nuclear.
T. Rafael Cimino (Mid Ocean)
A number of years ago, when I was a freshly-appointed instructor, I met, for the first time, a certain eminent historian of science. At the time I could only regard him with tolerant condescension. I was sorry of the man who, it seemed to me, was forced to hover about the edges of science. He was compelled to shiver endlessly in the outskirts, getting only feeble warmth from the distant sun of science- in-progress; while I, just beginning my research, was bathed in the heady liquid heat up at the very center of the glow. In a lifetime of being wrong at many a point, I was never more wrong. It was I, not he, who was wandering in the periphery. It was he, not I, who lived in the blaze. I had fallen victim to the fallacy of the 'growing edge;' the belief that only the very frontier of scientific advance counted; that everything that had been left behind by that advance was faded and dead. But is that true? Because a tree in spring buds and comes greenly into leaf, are those leaves therefore the tree? If the newborn twigs and their leaves were all that existed, they would form a vague halo of green suspended in mid-air, but surely that is not the tree. The leaves, by themselves, are no more than trivial fluttering decoration. It is the trunk and limbs that give the tree its grandeur and the leaves themselves their meaning. There is not a discovery in science, however revolutionary, however sparkling with insight, that does not arise out of what went before. 'If I have seen further than other men,' said Isaac Newton, 'it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants.
Isaac Asimov (Adding a Dimension: Seventeen Essays on the History of Science)
From my earliest years I had always wanted to be a writer. It was not that I had any particular message for humanity. I am still plugging away and not the ghost of one so far, so it begins to look as though, unless I suddenly hit mid-season form in my eighties, humanity will remain a message short.
P.G. Wodehouse (Wodehouse On Wodehouse)
I then asked his assistant for a pen, opened up the hardbound edition, and wrote, Zwischen Immer und Nie, for you in silence, somewhere in Italy in the mid-eighties. In years to come, if the book was still in his possession, I wanted him to ache.
André Aciman (Call Me By Your Name (Call Me By Your Name, #1))
By the age of twenty, you know you're not going to be a rock star. By twenty-five, you know you're not going to be a dentist or any kind of professional. And by thirty, darkness starts moving in- you wonder if you're ever going to be fulfilled, let alone wealthy and successful. By thirty-five, you know, basically, what you're going to be doing for the rest of your life, and you become resigned to your fate... ...I mean, why do people live so long? What could be the difference between death at fifty-five and death at sixty-five or seventy-five or eighty-five? Those extra years... what benefit could they possibly have? Why do we go on living even though nothing new happens, nothing new is learned, and nothing new is transmitted? At fifty-five, your story's pretty much over.
Douglas Coupland (Player One: What Is to Become of Us (CBC Massey Lectures))
The great miraculous bell of translucent ice is suspended in mid-air. It rings to announce endings and beginnings. And it rings because there is fresh promise and wonder in the skies. Its clear tones resound in the placid silence of the winter day, and echo long into the silver-blue serenity of night. The bell can only be seen at the turning of the year, when the days wind down into nothing, and get ready to march out again. When you hear the bell, you feel a tug at your heart. It is your immortal inspiration.
Vera Nazarian (The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration)
We know quite a bit about Alfred Russel Wallace, one of the great figures of modern science. But we know relatively little about Ali, Wallace’s faithful companion who supported him during much of his eight-year sojourn in the Malay Archipelago in the mid-19th century.
Paul Spencer Sochaczewski ("Look Here, Sir, What a Curious Bird": Searching for Ali, Alfred Russel Wallace's Faithful Companion)
You come to this place, mid-life. You don’t know how you got here, but suddenly you’re staring fifty in the face. When you turn and look back down the years, you glimpse the ghosts of other lives you might have led; all houses are haunted. The wraiths and phantoms creep under your carpets and between the warp and weft of fabric, they lurk in wardrobes and lie flat under drawer-liners. You think of the children you might have had but didn’t. When the midwife says, ‘It’s a boy,’ where does the girl go? When you think you’re pregnant, and you’re not, what happens to the child that has already formed in your mind? You keep it filed in a drawer of your consciousness, like a short story that never worked after the opening lines.
Hilary Mantel (Giving Up the Ghost)
Some build their castles 'mid thunderbolts and fireworks. My worlds take shape in silence.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Smile Anyway: Quotes, Verse, and Grumblings for Every Day of the Year)
I want to talk about creating your life. There’s a quote I love, from the poet Mary Oliver, that goes: Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? I so clearly remember what it was like, being young and always in the grip of some big fat daydream. I wanted to be a writer always, but more than that, I wanted to have an extraordinary life. I’m sure I dreamed it a million different ways, and that plenty of them were ridiculous, but I think the daydreams were training for writing, and I also think they spurred me to pursue my dreams for real. Daydreaming, however awesome it is, is passive. It happens in your head. Learning to make dreams real is another matter, and I think it should be the work of your life. Everyone’s life, whatever their dream (unless their dream is to be an axe murderer or something.) It took me a while to finish a book. Too long. And you know, it doesn’t matter how good a writer you are unless you finish what you start! I think this is the hardest part for most people who want to write. I was in my mid-30s before I figured it out. The brain plays tricks. You can be convinced you’re following your dream, or that you’re going to start tomorrow, and years can pass like that. Years. The thing is, there will be pressure to adjust your expectations, always shrinking them, shrinking, shrinking, until they fit in your pocket like a folded slip of paper, and you know what happens to folded slips of paper in your pocket. They go through the wash and get ruined. Don’t ever put your dream in your pocket. If you have to put it somewhere, get one of those holsters for your belt, like my dad has for his phone, so you can whip it out at any moment. Hello there, dream. Also, don’t be realistic. The word “realistic” is poison. Who decides? And “backup plan” is code for, “Give up on your dreams,” and everyone I know who put any energy into a backup plan is now living that backup plan instead of their dream. Put all your energy into your dream. That’s the only way it will ever become real. The world at large has this attitude, “What makes you so special that you think you deserve an extraordinary life?” Personally, I think the passion for an extraordinary life, and the courage to pursue it, is what makes us special. And I don’t even think of it as an “extraordinary life” anymore so much as simple happiness. It’s rarer than it should be, and I believe it comes from creating a life that fits you perfectly, not taking what’s already there, but making your own from scratch. You can let life happen to you, or you can happen to life. It’s harder, but so much better.
Laini Taylor
October O love, turn from the changing sea and gaze, Down these grey slopes, upon the year grown old, A-dying 'mid the autumn-scented haze That hangeth o'er the hollow in the wold, Where the wind-bitten ancient elms infold Grey church, long barn, orchard, and red-roofed stead, Wrought in dead days for men a long while dead. Come down, O love; may not our hands still meet, Since still we live today, forgetting June, Forgetting May, deeming October sweet? - - Oh, hearken! hearken! through the afternoon The grey tower sings a strange old tinkling tune! Sweet, sweet, and sad, the toiling year's last breath, To satiate of life, to strive with death. And we too -will it not be soft and kind, That rest from life, from patience, and from pain, That rest from bliss we know not when we find, That rest from love which ne'er the end can gain? - Hark! how the tune swells, that erewhile did wane! Look up, love! -Ah! cling close, and never move! How can I have enough of life and love?
William Morris
When I was in eighth grade, I used a self-timing camera to take nude pictures of myself in various stages of erection. I then exchanged my biology teacher’s slides with the images. The teacher, in a state of panic, kept rapidly pressing the ‘next’ button. It was like a pornographic flip-book. That was the last straw in a very heavy pile of straws. I was expelled, and I ended up transferring mid-year from boarding school to a public school near home.
Dani Alexander (Shattered Glass (Shattered Glass, #1))
The rhetoric of ‘law and order’ was first mobilized in the late 1950s as Southern governors and law enforcement officials attempted to generate and mobilize white opposition to the Civil Rights Movement. In the years following Brown v. Board of Education, civil rights activists used direct-action tactics in an effort to force reluctant Southern States to desegregate public facilities. Southern governors and law enforcement officials often characterized these tactics as criminal and argued that the rise of the Civil Rights Movement was indicative of a breakdown of law and order. Support of civil rights legislation was derided by Southern conservatives as merely ‘rewarding lawbreakers.’ For more than a decade – from the mid 1950s until the late 1960s – conservatives systematically and strategically linked opposition to civil rights legislation to calls for law and order, arguing that Martin Luther King Jr.’s philosophy of civil disobedience was a leading cause of crime.
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness)
Everyone I meet now is at least ten years younger than me. I feel like Rip van Winkle with a bald spot.
Jaffe Cohen (The King of Kings and I: The Greatest Story Ever Kvetched!)
Every day, people engaged in the clever defiance of their own intuition become, in mid-thought, victims of violence and accidents. So when we wonder why we are victims so often, the answer is clear: It is because we are so good at it. A woman could offer no greater cooperation to her soon-to-be attacker than to spend her time telling herself, “But he seems like such a nice man.” Yet this is exactly what many people do. A woman is waiting for an elevator, and when the doors open she sees a man inside who causes her apprehension. Since she is not usually afraid, it may be the late hour, his size, the way he looks at her, the rate of attacks in the neighborhood, an article she read a year ago—it doesn’t matter why. The point is, she gets a feeling of fear. How does she respond to nature’s strongest survival signal? She suppresses it, telling herself: “I’m not going to live like that, I’m not going to insult this guy by letting the door close in his face.” When the fear doesn’t go away, she tells herself not to be so silly, and she gets into the elevator. Now, which is sillier: waiting a moment for the next elevator, or getting into a soundproofed steel chamber with a stranger she is afraid of? The inner voice is wise, and part of my purpose in writing this book is to give people permission to listen to it.
Gavin de Becker (The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence)
And kid, you’ve got to love yourself. You’ve got wake up at four in the morning, brew black coffee, and stare at the birds drowning in the darkness of the dawn. You’ve got to sit next to the man at the train station who’s reading your favorite book and start a conversation. You’ve got to come home after a bad day and burn your skin from a shower. Then you’ve got to wash all your sheets until they smell of lemon detergent you bought for four dollars at the local grocery store. You’ve got to stop taking everything so goddam personally. You are not the moon kissing the black sky. You’ve got to compliment someones crooked brows at an art fair and tell them that their eyes remind you of green swimming pools in mid July. You’ve got to stop letting yourself get upset about things that won’t matter in two years. Sleep in on Saturday mornings and wake yourself up early on Sunday. You’ve got to stop worrying about what you’re going to tell her when she finds out. You’ve got to stop over thinking why he stopped caring about you over six months ago. You’ve got to stop asking everyone for their opinions. Fuck it. Love yourself, kiddo. You’ve got to love yourself.
You'll get over it...' It's the cliches that cause the trouble. To lose someone you love is to alter your life for ever. You don't get over it because 'it' is the person you loved. The pain stops, there are new people, but the gap never closes. How could it? The particularness of someone who mattered enough to greive over is not made anodyne by death. This hole in my heart is in the shape of you and no-one else can fit it. Why would I want them to? I've thought a lot about death recently, the finality of it, the argument ending in mid-air. One of us hadn't finished, why did the other one go? And why without warning? Even death after long illness is without warning. The moment you had prepared for so carefully took you by storm. The troops broke through the window and snatched the body and the body is gone. The day before the Wednesday last, this time a year ago, you were here and now you're not. Why not? Death reduces us to the baffled logic of a small child. If yesterday why not today? And where are you? Fragile creatures of a small blue planet, surrounded by light years of silent space. Do the dead find peace beyond the rattle of the world? What peace is there for us whose best love cannot return them even for a day? I raise my head to the door and think I will see you in the frame. I know it is your voice in the corridor but when I run outside the corridor is empty. There is nothing I can do that will make any difference. The last word was yours. The fluttering in the stomach goes away and the dull waking pain. Sometimes I think of you and I feel giddy. Memory makes me lightheaded, drunk on champagne. All the things we did. And if anyone had said this was the price I would have agreed to pay it. That surprises me; that with the hurt and the mess comes a shaft of recognition. It was worth it. Love is worth it.
Jeanette Winterson (Written on the Body)
Most twenty-four-year-old women I know sleep in something more revealing. Something more adult." I raised my eyebrows. "There is nothing wrong with my Hello Kitty T-shirt." It was thin and comfortable, and it reached to my mid-thigh, which meant that if I had to get up in the middle of the night to dispatch any intruders, I'd do it with my butt covered and modesty intact. Sean frowned. "Sure, if you're five. Got a touch of arrested development happening there?" Argh.
Ilona Andrews (Clean Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles, #1))
The woman who looks back at me from my bathroom mirror is sliding toward her mid-fifties. She'd better be careful- she's getting old. I myself am about thirty. I've been thirty for about twenty-three years now.
Cheryl Peck (Fat Girls and Lawn Chairs)
She rarely admitted the truth that she had passed the mid-century milestone. She’d been forty-eight for two years and forty-nine for three.
Amanda Radley (Detour to Love)
MOTHER – By Ted Kooser Mid April already, and the wild plums bloom at the roadside, a lacy white against the exuberant, jubilant green of new grass and the dusty, fading black of burned-out ditches. No leaves, not yet, only the delicate, star-petaled blossoms, sweet with their timeless perfume. You have been gone a month today and have missed three rains and one nightlong watch for tornadoes. I sat in the cellar from six to eight while fat spring clouds went somersaulting, rumbling east. Then it poured, a storm that walked on legs of lightning, dragging its shaggy belly over the fields. The meadowlarks are back, and the finches are turning from green to gold. Those same two geese have come to the pond again this year, honking in over the trees and splashing down. They never nest, but stay a week or two then leave. The peonies are up, the red sprouts, burning in circles like birthday candles, for this is the month of my birth, as you know, the best month to be born in, thanks to you, everything ready to burst with living. There will be no more new flannel nightshirts sewn on your old black Singer, no birthday card addressed in a shaky but businesslike hand. You asked me if I would be sad when it happened and I am sad. But the iris I moved from your house now hold in the dusty dry fists of their roots green knives and forks as if waiting for dinner, as if spring were a feast. I thank you for that. Were it not for the way you taught me to look at the world, to see the life at play in everything, I would have to be lonely forever.
Ted Kooser (Delights and Shadows)
She said to me, over the phone She wanted to see other people I thought, Well then, look around. They're everywhere Said that she was confused... I thought, Darling, join the club 24 years old, Mid-life crisis Nowadays hits you when you're young I hung up, She called back, I hung up again The process had already started At least it happened quick I swear, I died inside that night My friend, he called I didn't mention a thing The last thing he said was, Be sound Sound... I contemplated an awful thing, I hate to admit I just thought those would be such appropriate last words But I'm still here And small So small.. How could this struggle seem so big? So big... While the palms in the breeze still blow green And the waves in the sea still absolute blue But the horror Every single thing I see is a reminder of her Never thought I'd curse the day I met her And since she's gone and wouldn't hear Who would care? What good would that do? But I'm still here So I imagine in a month...or 12 I'll be somewhere having a drink Laughing at a stupid joke Or just another stupid thing And I can see myself stopping short Drifting out of the present Sucked by the undertow and pulled out deep And there I am, standing Wet grass and white headstones all in rows And in the distance there's one, off on its own So I stop, kneel My new home... And I picture a sober awakening, a re-entry into this little bar scene Sip my drink til the ice hits my lip Order another round And that's it for now Sorry Never been too good at happy endings...
Eddie Vedder
There is no more important homework than reading. Research shows that the highest achieving students are those who devote leisure time to reading, even when the school day and year are only mid-length and homework isn’t excessive. Recently, the largest-ever international study of reading found that the single most important predictor of academic success is the amount of time children spend reading books, more important even than economic or social status. And one of the few predictors of high achievement in math and science is the amount of time children devote to pleasure reading.
Nancie Atwell (The Reading Zone: How to Help Kids Become Skilled, Passionate, Habitual, Critical Readers)
When it is mid week, pause and ponder! The very single days we disregard are what become the very years we wished to have used effectively and efficiently. If we disregard today, we shall remember our had I know tomorrow. Time changes therefore think of the changing times.
Ernest Agyemang Yeboah
Happy birthday to me. Twenty-four. Mid-twenties. Yay. I guess I have one year of youth left. At least I can round out twenty-four to twenty. Not so lucky with twenty-five, I’ll essentially be pushing thirty.
Caspar Vega (The Sexorcism of Amber Holloway (The Young Men in Pain Quartet, #2))
Friendship true is a vow of care. A warm embrace when in despair. A loving presence waiting there to lift a heart, its burdens bear. Friendship true is an earnest prayer. A tongue of praise for one’s welfare. A smile ’mid laughs as light as air, and thoughtfulness most kind and rare.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Slaying Dragons: Quotes, Poetry, & a Few Short Stories for Every Day of the Year)
In years to come, if the book was still in his possession, I wanted him to ache. Better yet, I wanted someone to look through his books one day, open up this tiny volume of Armance, and ask, Tell me who was in silence, somewhere in Italy in the mid-eighties? And then I'd want him to feel something as darting as sorrow and fiercer than regret, maybe even pity for me, because in the bookstore that morning I'd have taken pity too, if pity was all he had to give, if pity could have made him put an arm around me, and underneath his surge of pity and regret, hovering like a vague, erotic undercurrent that was years in the making, I wanted him to remember the morning on Monet's berm when I'd kissed him not the first but the second time and given him my spit in his mouth because I so desperately wanted his in mine.
André Aciman (Call Me by Your Name)
Antiblack violencein Chicago was common since at least the 189-s, when blacks were brought in as strikebreakers. The violence grew with the black population. In the two years leading up to mid-July 1919, whhites bombed more than twenty-five homes and properties owned by blacks in white areas...One bombing killed a little girl...The police never arrested anyone, infuriating blacks.
Cameron McWhirter
The drive back to the Mid-fucking-west was always brutal, his parents barely speaking to each other, as if suddenly recalling last year's infidelities, or maybe contemplating whom they'd settle for this year. Sex, if you went by Griffin's parents, definitely took a backseat to real estate on the passion gauge.
Richard Russo (That Old Cape Magic)
Ten years after the Boston Tea Party, tea was still far more popular than coffee, which only became the more popular drink in the mid-nineteenth century. Coffee's popularity grew after the duty on imports was abolished in 1832, making it more affordable. The duty was briefly reintroduced during the Civil War but was abolished again in 1872.
Tom Standage
Everything that was not so must go. All the beautiful literary lies and flights of fancy must be shot in mid-air! So they lined them up against a library wall one Sunday morning thirty years ago, in 2006; they lined them up, St. Nicholas and the Headless Horseman and Snow White and Rumpelstiltskin and Mother Goose--oh, what a wailing!--and shot them down, and burned the paper castles and the fairy frogs and old kings and the people who lived happily ever after (for of course it was a fact that nobody lived happily ever after!), and Once Upon A Time became No More! And they spread the ashes of the Phantom Rickshaw with the rubble of the Land of Oz; they filleted the bones of Glinda the Good and Ozma and the shattered Polychrome in a spectroscope and served Jack Pumpkinhead with meringue at the Biologists' Ball! The Beanstalk died in a bramble of red tape! Sleeping Beauty awoke at the kiss of a scientist and expired at a fatal puncture of his syringe. And they made Alice drink something from a bottle which reduced her to a size where she could no longer cry 'Curiouser and curioser,' and they gave the Looking Glass one hammer blow to smash it and every Red King and Oyster away!
Ray Bradbury (The Martian Chronicles)
and Grenouille’s mother, who was still a young woman, barely in her mid-twenties, and who still was quite pretty and had almost all her teeth in her mouth and some hair on her head and – except for gout and syphilis and a touch of consumption – suffered from no serious disease, who still hoped to live a while yet, perhaps a good five or ten years, and perhaps even to marry one day and as the honorable wife of a widower with a trade or some such to bear real children... Grenouille’s mother wished that it were already over.
Patrick Süskind (Perfume: The Story of a Murderer)
If I were to sit on the ocean floor and look toward the sky, I might see a whale or electric eel or octopus pass by. And if I decided to jump straight up and reach with open arms, I might feel the pleasure of ocean flight propel me ’mid their swarms. But if I were seated upon the shore and looking toward the stars, I might see a comet or falling star near Mercury or Mars. Then if I decided to jump straight up and reach with open hands, I might feel despair when my feet refused to leave the shoreline sand. And so I return to the ocean depths where swimming creatures fly, For there I can soar with the whales and fish that daily touch the sky.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Slaying Dragons: Quotes, Poetry, & a Few Short Stories for Every Day of the Year)
It was mid-May time, bringing with it weather not, perhaps, quite so blooming as that assumed to be natural to the month by the joyous poets of three hundred years ago; but a very tolerable, well-wearing May, that the average rustic would willingly have compounded for in lieu of Mays occasionally fairer, but usually more foul.
Thomas Hardy (Two On A Tower)
No country was ever easier to spy on, Tom, no nation so open-hearted with its secrets, so quick to air them, confide them, or consign them too early to the junk heap of planned American obsolescence. I am too young to know whether there was a time when Americans were able to restrain their admirable passion to communicate, but I doubt it. Certainly the path has been downhill since 1945, for it was quickly apparent that information which ten years ago would have cost Axl's service thousands of dollars in precious hard currency could by the mid-70s be had for a few coppers from the Washington Post. We could have resented this sometimes, if we had smaller natures, for there are few things more vexing in the spy world than landing a scoop for Prague and London one week, only to read the same material in Aviation Weekly the next. But we did not complain. In the great fruit garden of American technology, there were pickings enough for everyone and none of us need ever want for anything again.
John le Carré
Hey, I got an idea, let’s go to the movies. I wanna go to the movies, I want to take you all to the movies. Let’s go and experience the art of the cinema. Let’s begin with the Scream Of Fear, and we are going to haunt us for the rest of our lives. And then let’s go see The Great Escape, and spend our summer jumping our bikes, just like Steve McQueen over barb wire. And then let’s catch The Seven Samurai for some reason on PBS, and we’ll feel like we speak Japanese because we can read the subtitles and hear the language at the same time. And then let’s lose sleep the night before we see 2001: A Space Odyssey because we have this idea that it’s going to change forever the way we look at films. And then let’s go see it four times in one year. And let’s see Woodstock three times in one year and let’s see Taxi Driver twice in one week. And let’s see Close Encounters of the Third Kind just so we can freeze there in mid-popcorn. And when the kids are old enough, let’s sit them together on the sofa and screen City Lights and Stage Coach and The Best Years of Our Lives and On The Waterfront and Midnight Cowboy and Five Easy Pieces and The Last Picture Show and Raging Bull and Schindler’s List… so that they can understand how the human condition can be captured by this amalgam of light and sound and literature we call the cinema.
Tom Hanks
Few institutions are considered so universally to have failed as our schools, yet in spite of this dreary record a prescription of increased dosage is making its way to the national agenda. The specifics of this proposal: a) Schools should be open year-round, avoiding long summer holidays for children. b) Schools should extend from 9 to 5, not dismissing students in mid-afternoon as is currently the case. c) Schools should provide recreation, evening meals, and a variety of family services so that working-class parents will be free of the "burden" of their own children. The bottom line of these proposals is reduction of the damaging effects of "freedom" and "family" on a subject population.
John Taylor Gatto (The Exhausted School: Bending the Bars of Traditional Education)
Robin Hood. To a Friend. No! those days are gone away, And their hours are old and gray, And their minutes buried all Under the down-trodden pall Ofthe leaves of many years: Many times have winter's shears, Frozen North, and chilling East, Sounded tempests to the feast Of the forest's whispering fleeces, Since men knew nor rent nor leases. No, the bugle sounds no more, And the twanging bow no more; Silent is the ivory shrill Past the heath and up the hill; There is no mid-forest laugh, Where lone Echo gives the half To some wight, amaz'd to hear Jesting, deep in forest drear. On the fairest time of June You may go, with sun or moon, Or the seven stars to light you, Or the polar ray to right you; But you never may behold Little John, or Robin bold; Never one, of all the clan, Thrumming on an empty can Some old hunting ditty, while He doth his green way beguile To fair hostess Merriment, Down beside the pasture Trent; For he left the merry tale, Messenger for spicy ale. Gone, the merry morris din; Gone, the song of Gamelyn; Gone, the tough-belted outlaw Idling in the "grene shawe"; All are gone away and past! And if Robin should be cast Sudden from his turfed grave, And if Marian should have Once again her forest days, She would weep, and he would craze: He would swear, for all his oaks, Fall'n beneath the dockyard strokes, Have rotted on the briny seas; She would weep that her wild bees Sang not to her---strange! that honey Can't be got without hard money! So it is; yet let us sing Honour to the old bow-string! Honour to the bugle-horn! Honour to the woods unshorn! Honour to the Lincoln green! Honour to the archer keen! Honour to tight little John, And the horse he rode upon! Honour to bold Robin Hood, Sleeping in the underwood! Honour to maid Marian, And to all the Sherwood clan! Though their days have hurried by Let us two a burden try.
John Keats
More than 2,000 books are dedicated to how Warren Buffett built his fortune. Many of them are wonderful. But few pay enough attention to the simplest fact: Buffett’s fortune isn’t due to just being a good investor, but being a good investor since he was literally a child. As I write this Warren Buffett’s net worth is $84.5 billion. Of that, $84.2 billion was accumulated after his 50th birthday. $81.5 billion came after he qualified for Social Security, in his mid-60s. Warren Buffett is a phenomenal investor. But you miss a key point if you attach all of his success to investing acumen. The real key to his success is that he’s been a phenomenal investor for three quarters of a century. Had he started investing in his 30s and retired in his 60s, few people would have ever heard of him. Consider a little thought experiment. Buffett began serious investing when he was 10 years old. By the time he was 30 he had a net worth of $1 million, or $9.3 million adjusted for inflation.16 What if he was a more normal person, spending his teens and 20s exploring the world and finding his passion, and by age 30 his net worth was, say, $25,000? And let’s say he still went on to earn the extraordinary annual investment returns he’s been able to generate (22% annually), but quit investing and retired at age 60 to play golf and spend time with his grandkids. What would a rough estimate of his net worth be today? Not $84.5 billion. $11.9 million. 99.9% less than his actual net worth. Effectively all of Warren Buffett’s financial success can be tied to the financial base he built in his pubescent years and the longevity he maintained in his geriatric years. His skill is investing, but his secret is time. That’s how compounding works. Think of this another way. Buffett is the richest investor of all time. But he’s not actually the greatest—at least not when measured by average annual returns.
Morgan Housel (The Psychology of Money: Timeless lessons on wealth, greed, and happiness)
I had a bizarre rapport with this mirror and spent a lot of time gazing into the glass to see who was there. Sometimes it looked like me. At other times, I could see someone similar but different in the reflection. A few times, I caught the switch in mid-stare, my expression re-forming like melting rubber, the creases and features of my face softening or hardening until the mutation was complete. Jekyll to Hyde, or Hyde to Jekyll. I felt my inner core change at the same time. I would feel more confident or less confident; mature or childlike; freezing cold or sticky hot, a state that would drive Mum mad as I escaped to the bathroom where I would remain for two hours scrubbing my skin until it was raw. The change was triggered by different emotions: on hearing a particular piece of music; the sight of my father, the smell of his brand of aftershave. I would pick up a book with the certainty that I had not read it before and hear the words as I read them like an echo inside my head. Like Alice in the Lewis Carroll story, I slipped into the depths of the looking glass and couldn’t be sure if it was me standing there or an impostor, a lookalike. I felt fully awake most of the time, but sometimes while I was awake it felt as if I were dreaming. In this dream state I didn’t feel like me, the real me. I felt numb. My fingers prickled. My eyes in the mirror’s reflection were glazed like the eyes of a mannequin in a shop window, my colour, my shape, but without light or focus. These changes were described by Dr Purvis as mood swings and by Mother as floods, but I knew better. All teenagers are moody when it suits them. My Switches could take place when I was alone, transforming me from a bright sixteen-year-old doing her homework into a sobbing child curled on the bed staring at the wall. The weeping fit would pass and I would drag myself back to the mirror expecting to see a child version of myself. ‘Who are you?’ I’d ask. I could hear the words; it sounded like me but it wasn’t me. I’d watch my lips moving and say it again, ‘Who are you?
Alice Jamieson (Today I'm Alice: Nine Personalities, One Tortured Mind)
But not of late years are we about to speak; we are going back to the beginning of this century; late years—present years are dusty, sun-burnt, hot, arid; we will evade the noon, forget it in siesta, pass the mid-day in slumber, and dream of dawn.
Charlotte Brontë (Shirley)
Ohhhhh." A lush-bodied girl in the prime of her physical beauty. In an ivory georgette-crepe sundress with a halter top that gathers her breasts up in soft undulating folds of the fabric. She's standing with bare legs apart on a New York subway grating. Her blond head is thrown rapturously back as an updraft lifts her full, flaring skirt, exposing white cotton panties. White cotton! The ivory-crepe sundress is floating and filmy as magic. The dress is magic. Without the dress the girl would be female meat, raw and exposed. She's not thinking such a thought! Not her. She's an American girl healthy and clean as a Band-Aid. She's never had a soiled or a sulky thought. She's never had a melancholy thought. She's never had a savage thought. She's never had a desperate thought. She's never had an un-American thought. In the papery-thin sundress she's a nurse with tender hands. A nurse with luscious mouth. Sturdy thighs, bountiful breasts, tiny folds of baby fat at her armpits. She's laughing and squealing like a four year-old as another updraft lifts her skirt. Dimpled knees, a dancer's strong legs. This husky healthy girl. The shoulders, arms, breasts belong to a fully mature woman but the face is a girl's face. Shivering in New York City mid-summer as subway steam lifts her skirt like a lover's quickened breath. "Oh! Ohhhhh." It's nighttime in Manhattan, Lexington Avenue at 51st Street. Yet the white-white lights exude the heat of midday. The goddess of love has been standing like this, legs apart, in spike-heeled white sandals so steep and so tight they've permanently disfigured her smallest toes, for hours. She's been squealing and laughing, her mouth aches. There's a gathering pool of darkness at the back of her head like tarry water. Her scalp and her pubis burn from the morning's peroxide applications. The Girl with No Name. The glaring-white lights focus upon her, upon her alone, blond squealing, blond laughter, blond Venus, blond insomnia, blond smooth-shaven legs apart and blond hands fluttering in a futile effort to keep her skirt from lifting to reveal white cotton American-girl panties and the shadow, just the shadow, of the bleached crotch. "Ohhhhhh." Now she's hugging herself beneath her big bountiful breasts. Her eyelids fluttering. Between the legs, you can trust she's clean. She's not a dirty girl, nothing foreign or exotic. She's an American slash in the flesh. That emptiness. Guaranteed. She's been scooped out, drained clean, no scar tissue to interfere with your pleasure, and no odor. Especially no odor. The Girl with No Name, the girl with no memory. She has not lived long and she will not live long.
Joyce Carol Oates (Blonde)
I'd been lonely before, but never like this. Loneliness had waxed in childhood, and waned in the more social years that followed. I'd lived by myself since my mid-twenties, often in relationships but sometimes not. Mostly I liked the solitude, or, when I didn't, felt fairly certain I'd sooner or later drift into another liaison, another love. The revelation of loneliness, the omnipresent, unanswerable feeling that I was in a state of lack, that I didn't have what people were supposed to, and that this was down to some grave and no doubt externally unmistakable failing in my person: all this had quickened lately, the unwelcome consequence of being so summarily dismissed.
Olivia Laing (The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone)
...Americans didn’t stick to cities, which makes us different from the people in other industrialized countries. We no sooner arrived in town, turning those towns into great mid-century metropolises, than we decided to take off for the green world beyond, so that by the 1970 Census, we had become the first suburban nation in the history of the world. And Detroit led the way, with a population curve up and down just like everywhere else, but with its urban decline a lot steeper over the past sixty years—so typical a place that it only looks like an exception.
Jerry Herron
Liberals today mostly view racism not as an active, distinct evil but as a relative of white poverty and inequality. They ignore the long tradition of this country actively punishing black success—and the elevation of that punishment, in the mid-twentieth century, to federal policy.
Ta-Nehisi Coates (We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy)
She's fifteen years younger, in her mid-thirties, and at six feet, four inches, the tallest woman he knows personally. With short blonde hair and Scandinavian features, she's not beautiful exactly, but regal. Often severe without trying. He once told her she has resting monarch face.
Blake Crouch (Recursion)
Things that remind me of Mother are these: the truth ‘mid deception, a warm summer breeze, the calm within chaos, a stitch in a rip, a comforting blanket, the smile on her lip, an ocean of love in a heart big as whales, the morals in everyday stories she tells, a wink amid laughter, the wisdom in books, the peace in humility, beauty in looks, the light and the life in a ray of the sun, the hard work accomplished disguised as pure fun, concern in a handclasp, encouragement too, the hope in a clear morning sky azure blue, the power in prayers uttered soft and sincere, the faith in a promise, and joy in a tear. These things all attest to the wonder and grace of my precious mother, none else could replace.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Slaying Dragons: Quotes, Poetry, & a Few Short Stories for Every Day of the Year)
I had a chat with May and I had a sweet talk with April but the lovely conversation that left me to ponder was the long talk I had with June. Mathematics came to tell me that May is 3, June is 4 and April is 5. ‘ This should have been the counting order’ Mathematics said to me, and added, if you add 3 and 5 you shall surely get 8 and if you find the mid of 8 you will get 4 which is June. Ask June why the disorder! So I quickly called June and asked, why have you change the order? June said, ‘my brother, in this era, you should least give men things which are in order. Let them ponder and put things in order and they will learn something better’. I had to ponder and wonder. Then June added, those who will ponder to know why I have change the order to be at the mid of the other shall get to the mid of the other and wonder why they are at the mid of the other and end the other in wonder but, those who would never see why they must ponder when they get to the mid of the other to know why I am there shall end the other in disorder. They shall end the other and wander in the end! I was quick to ask June, which other? June calmly said, the twelve disciples of the year. Disciples’? I asked. June quickly said, I mean months! In your journey of life, take a break as you journey and ponder over the journey; June concluded!
Ernest Agyemang Yeboah
MOMA's values were blown through the American education system, from high school upwards-and downwards, too, greatly raising the status of "creativity" and "self-expression" in kindergarten. By the 1970s, the historical study of modern art had expanded to the point where students were scratching for unexploited thesis subjects. By the mid-eighties, twenty-one-year-old art-history majors would be writing papers on the twenty-six-year-old graffitists.
Robert Hughes (The Shock of the New)
We treat each other with exceeding courtesy; we says, it’s great to see you after all these years. Our tigers drink milk. Our hawks tread the ground. Our sharks have all drowned. Our wolves yawn beyond the open cage. Our snakes have shed their lightning, our apes their flights of fancy, our peacocks have renounced their plumes. The bats flew out of our hair long ago. We fall silent in mid-sentence, all smiles, past help. Our humans don’t know how to talk to one another.
Wisława Szymborska (View with a Grain of Sand: Selected Poems)
The Fathers of the American Constitution, well-versed in the classical heritage, consciously constructed an awkward governmental system like republican Rome's: much better at blocking change than facilitating it. By the early twenty-first century, the ambiance of American urban life resembled that of the Roman Empire's cities, with lavish displays of wealth standing alongside cruel poverty, although average life expectancy in the Roman Empire never rose above forty years, while in 2003 United States it's in the mid-seventies.
Norman F. Cantor (Antiquity: The Civilization of the Ancient World)
Common sense, convention, tradition, and modern social science research converge in support of the Aristotelian tradition of directive character education.45 Children need clear standards, firm expectations, and adults in their lives who are loving and understanding but who insist on responsible behavior. But all of this was out of fashion in education circles for more than thirty years. By the mid-1970s, we were on our way to becoming the first society in history to use high principle to weaken the moral authority of teachers.
Christina Hoff Sommers (The War Against Boys: How Misguided Policies are Harming Our Young Men)
said. “Life gets hard when a woman hits her mid to late 30s. I told you it’s the Uglying Up years. The wrinkles come and the arm fat. The hangy-down thing on most necks.
Susan Reinhardt (Chimes from a Cracked Southern Belle)
When I was a boy in the Barony of Gilead, there were seven Fair-Days each year—Winter, Wide Earth, Sowing, Mid-Summer, Full Earth, Reaping, and Year’s End.
Stephen King (The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower, #3))
After so many years of fighting to pour herself into skintight, low-rise jeans and binding pencil skirts and slacks that always felt like a vise around her waist, she found leggings were God’s apology to women everywhere. For the first time, something that was in style actually flattered her figure perfectly by hiding her less-than-stellar mid- and rear section while accentuating her reasonably shapely legs. Every day she pulled a pair on she offered a silent thank-you to their inventor and a quiet prayer that they’d remain in fashion just a little bit longer.
Lauren Weisberger (Last Night at Chateau Marmont)
See, boys?” Moundshroud’s face flickered with the fire. “The days of the Long Cold are done. Because of this one brave, new-thinking man, summer lives in the winter cave.” “But?” said Tom. “What’s that got to do with Halloween?” “Do? Why, blast my bones, everything. When you and your friends die every day, there’s no time to think of Death, is there? Only time to run. But when you stop running at long last—” He touched the walls. The apemen froze in mid-flight. “—now you have time to think of where you came from, where you’re going. And fire lights the way, boys. Fire and lightning. Morning stars to gaze at. Fire in your own cave to protect you. Only by night fires was the caveman, beastman, able at last to turn his thoughts on a spit and baste them with wonder. The sun died in the sky. Winter came on like a great white beast shaking its fur, burying him. Would spring ever come back to the world? Would the sun be reborn next year or stay murdered? Egyptians asked it. Cavemen asked it a million years before. Will the sun rise tomorrow morning?” “And that’s how Halloween began?” “With such long thoughts at night, boys. And always at the center of it, fire. The sun. The sun dying down the cold sky forever. How that must have scared early man, eh? That was the Big Death. If the sun went away forever, then what?
Ray Bradbury (The Halloween Tree)
Rumor had it that Professor Jerkwad had a history of holding classes in bars and using the school's senior class as harvesting grounds for a long string of wives who never seemed to stay married to him past age twenty-eight. Rumor also had it that a few years later he was canned from his job mid some rather unpleasant allegations, but we journalists can't succumb to rumor and conjecture when nonspecific innuendo is so much more titillating.
June Casagrande (Grammar Snobs Are Great Big Meanies: A Guide to Language for Fun and Spite)
started writing Stardust in 1994, but mentally timeslipped about seventy years to do it. The mid-1920s seemed like a time when people enjoyed writing those sorts of things, before there were fantasy shelves in the bookshops, before trilogies and books ‘in the great tradition of The Lord of the Rings’. This, on the other hand, would be in the tradition of Lud-in-the-Mist and The King of Elfland’s Daughter. All I was certain of was that nobody had written books on computers back in the 1920s, so I bought a large book of unlined pages, and the first fountain pen I had owned since my schooldays and a copy of Katharine Briggs’s Dictionary of Fairies. I filled the pen and began.
Neil Gaiman (The View from the Cheap Seats: Selected Non-Fiction)
Looking back on his adolescence from the vantage point of his mid-eighties, George H.W. Bush candidly admitted, "I might have been obsessed with bodies – boobs they are now called. But what seventeen-year-old kid was not? Guilty am I.
H.W. Brands
Peasant families ate pork, beef, or game only a few times a year; fowls and eggs were eaten far more often. Milk, butter, and hard cheeses were too expensive for the average peasant. As for vegetables, the most common were cabbage and watercress. Wild carrots were also popular in some places. Parsnips became widespread by the sixteenth century, and German writings from the mid-1500s indicate that beet roots were a preferred food there. Rutabagas were developed during the Middle Ages by crossing turnips with cabbage, and monastic gardens were known for their asparagus and artichokes. However, as a New World vegetable, the potato was not introduced into Europe until the late 1500s or early 1600s, and for a long time it was thought to be merely a decorative plant. "Most people ate only two meals a day. In most places, water was not the normal beverage. In Italy and France people drank wine, in Germany and England ale or beer.
Patricia D. Netzley (Haunted Houses (The Mystery Library))
Junior, stop being orner.” It’s what Mama used to say to us when we were little, and I say it to Junior out of habit. Daddy used to say it sometimes, too, until he said it to Randall one day and Randall started giggling, and then Daddy figured out Randall was laughing because it sounded like ‘horny’. About a year ago I figured out what it was supposed to be after coming across its parent on the vocabulary list for my English class with Miss Dedeaux: ‘ornery’. It made me wonder if there were other words Mama mashed like that. They used to pop up in my head sometime when I was doing the stupidest things: ‘tetrified’ when I was sweeping the kitchen and Daddy came in dripping beer and kicking chairs. ‘Belove’ when Manny was curling pleasure from me with his fingers in mid-swim in the pit. ‘Freegid’ when I was laying in bed in November, curled to the wall like I was going to burrow into another cover or I was making room for a body to lay behind me to make me warm.
Jesmyn Ward (Salvage the Bones)
Talk about corporate greed and everything is really crucially beside the point, in my view, and really should be recognized as a very big regression from what working people, and a lot of others, understood very well a century ago. Talk about corporate greed is nonsense. Corporations are greedy by their nature. They’re nothing else – they are instruments for interfering with markets to maximize profit, and wealth and market control. You can’t make them more or less greedy; I mean maybe you can sort of force them, but it’s like taking a totalitarian state and saying “Be less brutal!” Well yeah, maybe you can get a totalitarian state to be less brutal, but that’s not the point – the point is not to get a tyranny to be less brutal, but to get rid of it. Now 150 years ago, that was understood. If you read the labour press – there was a very lively labour press, right around here [Massachusetts] ; Lowell and Lawrence and places like that, around the mid nineteenth century, run by artisans and what they called factory girls; young women from the farms who were working there – they weren’t asking the autocracy to be less brutal, they were saying get rid of it. And in fact that makes perfect sense; these are human institutions, there’s nothing graven in stone about them. They [corporations] were created early in this century with their present powers, they come from the same intellectual roots as the other modern forms of totalitarianism – namely Stalinism and Fascism – and they have no more legitimacy than they do. I mean yeah, let’s try and make the autocracy less brutal if that’s the short term possibility – but we should have the sophistication of, say, factory girls in Lowell 150 years ago and recognize that this is just degrading and intolerable and that, as they put it “those who work in the mills should own them ” And on to everything else, and that’s democracy – if you don’t have that, you don’t have democracy.
Noam Chomsky (Free Market Fantasies: Capitalism in the Real World)
Because the pop culture produced in the years between Gulf War I and the mid-1990s is so markedly different from that of any other era in American history, the period is often misunderstood and treated like an ugly stepchild of cultural history.
Kevin Craft (Grunge, Nerds, and Gastropubs: A Mass Culture Odyssey (Kindle Single))
Most incarcerated women—nearly two-thirds—are in prison for nonviolent, low-level drug crimes or property crimes. Drug laws in particular have had a huge impact on the number of women sent to prison. “Three strikes” laws have also played a considerable role. I started challenging conditions of confinement at Tutwiler in the mid-1980s as a young attorney with the Southern Prisoners Defense Committee. At the time, I was shocked to find women in prison for such minor offenses. One of the first incarcerated women I ever met was a young mother who was serving a long prison sentence for writing checks to buy her three young children Christmas gifts without sufficient funds in her account. Like a character in a Victor Hugo novel, she tearfully explained her heartbreaking tale to me. I couldn’t accept the truth of what she was saying until I checked her file and discovered that she had, in fact, been convicted and sentenced to over ten years in prison for writing five checks, including three to Toys “R” Us. None of the checks was for more than $150. She was not unique. Thousands of women have been sentenced to lengthy terms in prison for writing bad checks or for minor property crimes that trigger mandatory minimum sentences. The collateral consequences of incarcerating women are significant. Approximately 75 to 80 percent of incarcerated women are mothers with minor children. Nearly 65 percent had minor children living with them at the time of their arrest—children who have become more vulnerable and at-risk as a result of their mother’s incarceration and will remain so for the rest of their lives, even after their mothers come home. In 1996, Congress passed welfare reform legislation that gratuitously included a provision that authorized states to ban people with drug convictions from public benefits and welfare. The population most affected by this misguided law is formerly incarcerated women with children, most of whom were imprisoned for drug crimes. These women and their children can no longer live in public housing, receive food stamps, or access basic services. In the last twenty years, we’ve created a new class of “untouchables” in American society, made up of our most vulnerable mothers and their children.
Bryan Stevenson (Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption)
agenda. These themes frame the formal plan of this book. The argument covers the three years since Trump announced his presidential bid in July 2015 to mid-2018, as he neared the end of the second year of his presidency. Part 1, the first three chapters
Victor Davis Hanson (The Case for Trump)
He was in his mid-thirties and thin without looking fit, and he hadn’t shaved for a few days. “Yes?” he said, in a querulous tone of voice that would have been just right for an eighty-year-old scholar. He cleared his throat and tried again. “What is it?
Jeff Lindsay (Dexter in the Dark (Dexter, #3))
Emma's mid-twenties had brought a second adolescence even more self-absorbed and doom-laden than the first one. 'Why don't you just come home, sweetheart?' her mum had said on the phone last night, using her quavering, concerned voice, as if her daughter had been abducted. 'Your room's still here. There's jobs at Debenhams' - and for the first time she had been tempted. Once, she thought she could conquer London. She had imagined a whirl of literary salons, political engagement, larky parties, bittersweet romances conducted on Thames embankments. She had intended to form a band, make short films, write novels, but two years on slim volume of verse was no fatter, and nothing really good had happened to her since she'd been baton-charged at Poll Tax Riots.
David Nicholls (One Day)
In years to come, if the book was still in his possession, I wanted him to ache. Better, yet, I wanted someone to look through his books one day, open up this tiny volume of Armance, and ask, Tell me who was in silence, somewhere in Italy in the mid-eighties?
André Aciman (Call Me By Your Name (Call Me By Your Name, #1))
The subprime mortgage machine was up and running again, as if it had never broken down in the first place. If the first act of subprime lending had been freaky, this second act was terrifying. Thirty billion dollars was a big year for subprime lending in the mid-1990s. In 2000 there had been $130 billion in subprime mortgage lending, and 55 billion dollars’ worth of those loans had been repackaged as mortgage bonds. In 2005 there would be $625 billion in subprime mortgage loans, $507 billion of which found its way into mortgage bonds.
Michael Lewis (The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine)
This is the way it goes. In your mid-forties you have your first crisis of mortality (death will not ignore me); and ten years later you have your first crisis of age (my body whispers that death is already intrigued by me). But something very interesting happens to you in between. As the fiftieth birthday approaches, you get the sense that your life is thinning out, and will continue to thin out, until it thins out into nothing. And you sometimes say to yourself: That went a bit quick. That went a bit quick. In certain moods, you may want to put it rather more forcefully. As in: OY!! THAT went a BIT FUCKING QUICK!!! ... Then fifty comes and goes, and fifty-one, and fifty-two. And life thickens out again. Because there is now an enormous and unsuspected presence within your being, like an undiscovered continent. This is the past.
Martin Amis (The Pregnant Widow)
This is the way that it goes. In your mid forties you have your first crisis of mortality (death will not ignore me); and ten years later you have your first crisis of age (my body whispers that death is already intrigued by me). But something very interesting happens to you in between. As the fiftieth birthday approaches, you get that sense that your life is thinning out, and will continue to thin out, until it thins out into nothing. And you sometimes say to yourself; That went a bit quick. That went a bit quick. In certain moods you may want to put it a bit more forcefully. As in: OY!! That went a BIT FUCKING QUICK!!!.... Then fifty comes and goes, and fifty-one, and fifty-two. And life thickens out again. Because there is now an enormous and unsuspected presence within your being, like an undiscovered continent. This is the past.
Martin Amis
hot and dry early that year, and by the Fourth of July the grass was parched and brown and stubby. The young Teddy Roosevelt, traveling through the north part of Dakota Territory on the way to his ranches near Medora, told a newspaper reporter in mid-July that “Between the drouth, the
David Laskin (The Children's Blizzard)
When on that shivering winter’s night, the Pequod thrust her vindictive bows into the cold malicious waves, who should I see standing at her helm but Bulkington! I looked with sympathetic awe and fearfulness upon the man, who in mid-winter just landed from a four years’ dangerous voyage, could so unrestingly push off again for still another tempestuous term. The land seemed scorching to his feet. Wonderfullest things are ever the unmentionable; deep memories yield no epitaphs; this six-inch chapter is the stoneless grave of Bulkington. Let me only say that it fared with him as with the storm-tossed ship, that miserably drives along the leeward land. The port would fain give succor; the port is pitiful; in the port is safety, comfort, hearthstone, supper, warm blankets, friends, all that’s kind to our mortalities. But in that gale, the port, the land, is that ship’s direst jeopardy; she must fly all hospitality; one touch of land, though it but graze the keel, would make her shudder through and through. With all her might she crowds all sail off shore; in so doing, fights ’gainst the very winds that fain would blow her homeward; seeks all the lashed sea’s landlessness again; for refuge’s sake forlornly rushing into peril; her only friend her bitterest foe! Know ye now, Bulkington? Glimpses do ye seem to see of that mortally intolerable truth; that all deep, earnest thinking is but the intrepid effort of the soul to keep the open independence of her sea; while the wildest winds of heaven and earth conspire to cast her on the treacherous, slavish shore? But as in landlessness alone resides highest truth, shoreless, indefinite as God—so, better is it to perish in that howling infinite, than be ingloriously dashed upon the lee, even if that were safety! For worm-like, then, oh! who would craven crawl to land! Terrors of the terrible! is all this agony so vain? Take heart, take heart, O Bulkington! Bear thee grimly, demigod! Up from the spray of thy ocean-perishing—straight up, leaps thy apotheosis!
Herman Melville (Moby-Dick or, The Whale)
As a species we’ve only just emerged. Imagine that the whole history of life on earth spans just one calendar year, instead of four billion. Up until about mid-October, bacteria had the place to themselves. Not until November did life as we know it appear, with buds and branches, bones and brains.
Rutger Bregman (Humankind: A Hopeful History)
Nowadays, the work of Alfred Hitchcock is admired all over the world. Young people who are just discovering his art through the current rerelease of Rear Window and Vertigo, or through North by Northwest, may assume his prestige has always been recognized, but this is far from being the case. In the fifties and sixties, Hitchcock was at the height of his creativity and popularity. He was, of course, famous due to the publicity masterminded by producer David O. Selznick during the six or seven years of their collaboration on such films as Rebecca, Notorious, Spellbound, and The Paradine Case. His fame had spread further throughout the world via the television series Alfred Hitchcock Presents in the mid-fifties. But American and European critics made him pay for his commercial success by reviewing his work with condescension, and by belittling each new film. (...) In examining his films, it was obvious that he had given more thought to the potential of his art than any of his colleagues. It occurred to me that if he would, for the first time, agree to respond seriously to a systematic questionnaire, the resulting document might modify the American critics’ approach to Hitchcock. That is what this book is all about.
François Truffaut (Hitchcock/Truffaut)
It was solstice night, the longest night of the year. For weeks the days had been shrinking, first gradually, then precipitously, so that it was now dark by mid-afternoon. As is well-known, when the moon hours lengthen, human beings come adrift from the regularity of their mechanical clocks. They nod at noon, dream in waking hours, open their eyes wide to the pitch-black night. It is a time of magic. And as the borders between night and day stretch to their thinnest, so too do the borders between worlds. Dreams and stories merge with lived experience, the dead and the living brush against each other in their comings
Diane Setterfield (Once Upon a River)
What Gaal was waiting for after the disappointment of the Jump was that first sight of Trantor. He haunted the View-room. The steel shutter-lids were rolled back at announced times and he was always there, watching the hard brilliance of the stars, enjoying the incredible hazy swarm of a star cluster, like a giant conglomeration of fireflies caught in mid-motion and stilled forever. At one time there was the cold, blue-white smoke of a gaseous nebula within five light years of the ship, spreading over the window like distant milk, filling the room with an icy tinge, and disappearing out of sight two hours later, after another Jump.
Isaac Asimov (Foundation (Foundation, #1))
But when fall comes, kicking summer out on its treacherous ass as it always does one day sometime after the midpoint of September, it stays awhile like an old friend that you have missed. It settles in the way an old friend will settle into your favorite chair and take out his pipe and light it and then fill the afternoon with stories of places he has been and things he has done since last he saw you. It stays on through October and, in rare years, on into November. Day after day the skies are a clear, hard blue, and the clouds that float across them, always west to east, are calm white ships with gray keels. The wind begins to blow by the day, and it is never still. It hurries you along as you walk the roads, crunching the leaves that have fallen in mad and variegated drifts. The wind makes you ache in some place that is deeper than your bones. It may be that it touches something old in the human soul, a chord of race memory that says Migrate or die – migrate or die. Even in your house, behind square walls, the wind beats against the wood and the glass and sends its fleshless pucker against the eaves and sooner or later you have to put down what you were doing and go out and see. And you can stand on your stoop or in your dooryard at mid-afternoon and watch the cloud shadows rush across Griffen’s pasture and up Schoolyard Hill, light and dark, light and dark, like the shutters of the gods being opened and closed. You can see the goldenrod, that most tenacious and pernicious and beauteous of all New England flora, bowing away from the wind like a great and silent congregation. And if there are no cars or planes, and if no one’s Uncle John is out in the wood lot west of town banging away at a quail or pheasant; if the only sound is the slow beat of your own heart, you can hear another sound, and that is the sound of life winding down to its cyclic close, waiting for the first winter snow to perform last rites.
Stephen King ('Salem's Lot)
Mid-Term Break I sat all morning in the college sick bay Counting bells knelling classes to a close. At two o'clock our neighbours drove me home. In the porch I met my father crying— He had always taken funerals in his stride— And Big Jim Evans saying it was a hard blow. The baby cooed and laughed and rocked the pram When I came in, and I was embarrassed By old men standing up to shake my hand And tell me they were 'sorry for my trouble'. Whispers informed strangers I was the eldest, Away at school, as my mother held my hand In hers and coughed out angry tearless sighs. At ten o'clock the ambulance arrived With the corpse, stanched and bandaged by the nurses. Next morning I went up into the room. Snowdrops And candles soothed the bedside; I saw him For the first time in six weeks. Paler now, Wearing a poppy bruise on his left temple, He lay in the four-foot box as in his cot. No gaudy scars, the bumper knocked him clear. A four-foot box, a foot for every year.
Seamus Heaney
I’m sure the topography of our lawn dictated how I batted in the years to come. There was a greenhouse at mid-wicket and a privet hedge, about two or three feet high, beyond a path on the offside. So it was dangerous to hit anything to mid-wicket or there would be the grim tinkle of broken glass; but there were no such hazards on the offside.
Vic Marks (Original Spin: Misadventures in Cricket)
An industrial map in the mid-twentieth century colored New York’s Hudson River black. The mapmakers considered a black river a good thing—full of industry! The more factory outputs, the more progress. When that map was made, “nature” was widely seen as a resource to be exploited. Few people considered the consequences of careless disposal of industrial waste. The culture has shifted dramatically over the last fifty years. When I share this story today, most people shudder and ask how anyone could think of a polluted river as good.   But today we are doing the same thing with the river of culture. Think of the arts and other cultural enterprises as rivers that water the soil of culture. We are painting this cultural river black—full of industry, dominated by commercial interests, careless of toxic byproducts—and there are still cultural mapmakers who claim that this is a good thing. The pollution makes it difficult to for us to breathe, difficult for artists to create, difficult for any of us to see beauty through the murk.
Makoto Fujimura (Culture Care: Reconnecting with Beauty for our Common Life)
For it is here, in the sleepy Out-World Barony of Mejis, that Mid-World’s last great conflict will shortly begin; it is from here that the blood will begin to flow. In two years, no more, the world as it has been will be swept away. It starts here. From its field of roses, the Dark Tower cries out in its beast’s voice. Time is a face on the water.
Stephen King (Wizard and Glass (The Dark Tower, #4))
That first year in L.A., Richard became addicted to cocaine. It was 1978, and coke was the “in” drug, selling for $100 per gram. This was prior to the Colombian cartels applying modern corporate techniques to the importation and distribution of cocaine in the States, which brought the price of a gram down to thirty-five dollars by the mid-eighties.
Philip Carlo (The Night Stalker: The Disturbing Life and Chilling Crimes of Richard Ramirez)
Hollywood High School was flipping from the storied institute of legend to the high school of the barrio. Or, as CNN put it in a series of rave reviews for the “predominantly Latino” school: “Hollywood High Now a Diverse High School.” Hollywood High alumni include Cher, Carol Burnett, Lon Chaney, James Garner, Linda Evans, John Huston, Judy Garland, Ricky Nelson, Sarah Jessica Parker, John Ritter, Mickey Rooney, Lana Turner, and Fay Wray, among many others. By the mid-2000s, Hollywood High was more than 70 percent Hispanic,5 and students were less likely to be getting publicity shots than mug shots. Today the school is mostly famous for its stabbings, shootings, child molestations, thefts, and graffiti.6 Around 1990, a California TV producer trying to enroll a German exchange student in a Los Angeles high school asked the principal at Fairfax High if a foreign exchange student would be better served by Fairfax or Hollywood High. Without looking up, the principal replied, “Well, 90% of my students can speak English, and we haven’t had a shooting here in 5 years.
Ann Coulter (¡Adios, America!: The Left's Plan to Turn Our Country into a Third World Hellhole)
I grew up in the South Bronx in the ’80s, and in the mid-’90s was plucked from there and escorted to boarding school in pastoral Connecticut (Choate Rosemary Hall, Pomfret). In my years at school, and subsequently at college (Trinity, in Hartford), I never once heard the term “hipster.” Looking back, I think hipsters, yuppies, and preppies were the same thing
n+1 (What Was the Hipster? A Sociological Investigation)
It is better to lose health like a spendthrift than to waste it like a miser. It is better to live and be done with it, than to die daily in the sick-room. By all means begin your folio; even if the doctor does not give you a year, even if he hesitates about a month, make one brave push and see what can be accomplished in a week. It is not only in finished undertakings that we ought to honour useful labour. A spirit goes out of the man who means execution, which outlives the most untimely ending. All who have meant good work with their whole hearts, have done good work, although they may die before they have the time to sign it. Every heart that has beat strong and cheerfully has left a hopeful impulse behind it in the world, and bettered the tradition of mankind. And even if death catch people, like an open pitfall, and in mid-career, laying out vast projects, and planning monstrous foundations, flushed with hope, and their mouths full of boastful language, they should be at once tripped up and silenced: is there not something brave and spirited in such a termination? and does not life go down with a better grace, foaming in full body over a precipice, than miserably straggling to an end in sandy deltas? When the Greeks made their fine saying that those whom the gods love die young, I cannot help believing they had this sort of death also in their eye. For surely, at whatever age it overtake the man, this is to die young. Death has not been suffered to take so much as an illusion from his heart. In the hot-fit of life, a-tiptoe on the highest point of being, he passes at a bound on to the other side. The noise of the mallet and chisel is scarcely quenched, the trumpets are hardly done blowing, when, trailing with him clouds of glory, this happy-starred, full-blooded spirit shoots into the spiritual land.
Robert Louis Stevenson (Æs Triplex and Other Essays)
Not a panic attack exactly, more like a spin, a particular condition that surfaced some fourteen years ago, where I suddenly feel as though I'm on a whirring merry-go-round that has just been unplugged mid-ride. It's like I'm gradually slowing to a stop, the silence between my heart's weakening beats stretching longer and longer, as I skate the last loops of my life.
Jessica Knoll (Luckiest Girl Alive)
Along the western coast of the Sahara desert, about half way between the Canary Islands and the Cape Verde Islands, lays a sand spit called Cape Barba’s. In 1441, ships attached to Estêvão da Gama’s fleet were sent by Prince Henry to explore the coastline south of Cape Barba’s, which, five years earlier, was the farthest point reached by any of Prince Henry’s captains. Although there are some conflicting stories regarding the discoveries of the mid-Atlantic islands, it is safe to assume that in 1501 João da Nova discovered Ascension Island. The desolate island remained deserted until it was rediscovered two years later on Ascension Day by Alfonso de Albuquerque. He was also the first European to discover the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf.
Hank Bracker
On October 16, 1929, Fisher proudly proclaimed in the New York Times that stocks had reached a “permanently high plateau.”18 The stock market was to crash starting October 24, 1929, and as the Depression deepened, it would not be until the mid-1950s, years after Fisher died, that the stock market would get back to the “permanently high plateau” Fisher had proclaimed in 1929.
Saifedean Ammous (The Bitcoin Standard: The Decentralized Alternative to Central Banking)
For years after the American Revolution, the public opposed to the creation of police departments, fearing that they would become forces of repression... Only in the mid 19th century, after the growth of industrial cities and a rash of urban riots - after the dread of the so-called dangerous classes surpassed the dread of the state - did police departments emerge in the United States.
David Grann (Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI)
I consider myself a “social ecologist,” concerned with man’s man-made environment the way the natural ecologist studies the biological environment.....the discipline itself boasts an old and distinguished lineage. Its greatest document is Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America. But no one is as close to me in temperament, concepts, and approach as the mid-Victorian Englishman Walter Bagehot. Living (as I have) in an age of great social change, Bagehot first saw the emergence of new institutions: civil service and cabinet government, as cores of a functioning democracy, and banking as the center of a functioning economy. A hundred years after Bagehot, I was first to identify management as the new social institution of the emerging society of organizations and, a little later, to spot the emergence of knowledge as the new central resource, and knowledge workers as the new ruling class of a society that is not only “postindustrial” but postsocialist and, increasingly, post-capitalist. As it had been for Bagehot, for me too the tension between the need for continuity and the need for innovation and change was central to society and civilization.
Peter F. Drucker (The Daily Drucker: 366 Days of Insight and Motivation for Getting the Right Things Done)
at 378 parts per million, current CO2 levels are unprecedented in recent geological history. (The previous high, of 299 parts per million, was reached around 325,000 years ago). It is believed that the last time carbon dioxide levels were comparable to today’s was three and a half million years ago, during what is known as the mid-Pliocene warm period, and it is likely that they have not been much higher since the Eocene, some fifty million years ago. In the Eocene, crocodiles roamed Colorado and sea levels were nearly three hundred feet higher than they are today. A scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) put it to me—only half-jokingly—this way: “It’s true that we’ve had higher CO2 levels before. But, then, of course, we also had dinosaurs.
Elizabeth Kolbert (Field Notes from a Catastrophe)
Who’s your friend?”—the most intense three words I’d ever heard. Brenda directed her answer to Jerry. “She’s eighteen years old; her name is Mariah. You gotta listen to this!” Just as she went to hand Jerry my demo tape, Tommy’s hand swiftly cut her off mid-extension. He snatched the tape, got up, left the table, and left the party. It was bizarre and bewildering. I was like, What kinda shit is that?
Mariah Carey (The Meaning of Mariah Carey)
After Pope John Paul II permitted limited use of the Latin-only Tridentine Mass, which was banned by the Second Vatican Council, the elder Bannons became Tridentine Catholics. “When [the Roman Catholic Church] first started allowing it in the mid-eighties,” Steve Bannon recalled, “we left our parish that we’d been in for years and went and joined St. Joseph’s in Richmond, which offers a Tridentine Mass.
Joshua Green (Devil's Bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, and the Nationalist Uprising)
Giving up animal fats has also meant shifting over to vegetable oils, and over the past century the share of these oils has grown from zero to almost 8 percent of all calories consumed by Americans, by far the biggest change in our eating patterns during that time. In this period, the health of America has become strikingly worse. When the low-fat, low-cholesterol diet was first officially recommended to the public by the American Heart Association (AHA) in 1961, roughly one in seven adult Americans was obese. Forty years later, that number was one in three. (It’s heartbreaking to realize that the federal government’s “Healthy People” goal for 2010, a project begun in the mid-1990s, for instance, was simply to return the public back to levels of obesity seen in 1960, and even that goal was unreachable.)
Nina Teicholz (The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet)
I had started “hibernating” as best I could in mid-June of 2000. I was twenty-six years old. I watched summer die and autumn turn cold and gray through a broken slat in the blinds. My muscles withered. The sheets on my bed yellowed, although I usually fell asleep in front of the television on the sofa, which was from Pottery Barn and striped blue and white and sagging and covered in coffee and sweat stains.
Ottessa Moshfegh (My Year of Rest and Relaxation)
The seeds of the Little War were planted in a restless summer during the mid-1960s, with sit-ins and student demonstrations as youth tested its strength. By the early 1970s over 75 percent of the people living on Earth were under 21 years of age. The population continued to climb—and with it the youth percentage. In the 1980s the figure was 79.7 percent. In the 1990s, 82.4 percent. In the year 2000—critical mass.
William F. Nolan (Logan's Run)
How you handle being alone and what you do with the opportunities that freedom allows is the real measure of a man. If you’re single and 50 you STILL have options if you’re only brave enough to explore them. I know divorced men in their 50s who’re dating mid 30s women right now and I know men in their 60s who’ve been trapped and emotionally blackmailed by their wives for 30 years. Marriage is no insulation from the sexual marketplace.
Rollo Tomassi (The Rational Male)
I was now so exhausted and sleepy that I could scarcely keep awake, although it was mid-day. So I told the Indians I was tired and would lie down and go to sleep, and if they were determined to kill me to wait till I was asleep, then put their guns close to my head, so I would not suffer much, telling them I as their friend. I spread my blankets on the ground, laid down and I am sure it was no more than two minutes till I was sound asleep.
Daniel W. Jones (Forty years among the Indians. A true yet thrilling narrative of the author's experiences among the natives)
millionaire has told me that true diversity has much to do with controlling one’s investments; no one can control the stock market. But you can, for example, control your own business, private investments, and money you lend to private parties. Not at any time during the past thirty years have I found that the typical millionaire had more than 30 percent of his wealth invested in publicly traded stocks. More often it is in the low-to-mid-20-p
Thomas J. Stanley (The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America's Wealthy)
Feinberg’s study reminds me of a billboard advertisement I once saw from a large insurance firm, which read: “Why do most 16-year-olds drive like they’re missing part of their brain? Because they are.” It takes deep sleep, and developmental time, to accomplish the neural maturation that plugs this brain “gap” within the frontal lobe. When your children finally reach their mid-twenties and your car insurance premium drops, you can thank sleep for the savings.
Matthew Walker (Why We Sleep: The New Science of Sleep and Dreams)
Earlier, I mentioned a related technology called direct air capture. It involves exactly what the name implies: capturing carbon directly from the air. DAC is more flexible than point capture, because you can do it anywhere. And in all likelihood, it’ll be a crucial part of getting to zero; one study by the National Academy of Sciences found that we’ll need to be removing about 10 billion tons of carbon dioxide a year by mid-century and about 20 billion by the end of the century.
Bill Gates (How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need)
Roman Centurion's Song" LEGATE, I had the news last night - my cohort ordered home By ships to Portus Itius and thence by road to Rome. I've marched the companies aboard, the arms are stowed below: Now let another take my sword. Command me not to go! I've served in Britain forty years, from Vectis to the Wall, I have none other home than this, nor any life at all. Last night I did not understand, but, now the hour draws near That calls me to my native land, I feel that land is here. Here where men say my name was made, here where my work was done; Here where my dearest dead are laid - my wife - my wife and son; Here where time, custom, grief and toil, age, memory, service, love, Have rooted me in British soil. Ah, how can I remove? For me this land, that sea, these airs, those folk and fields suffice. What purple Southern pomp can match our changeful Northern skies, Black with December snows unshed or pearled with August haze - The clanging arch of steel-grey March, or June's long-lighted days? You'll follow widening Rhodanus till vine and olive lean Aslant before the sunny breeze that sweeps Nemausus clean To Arelate's triple gate; but let me linger on, Here where our stiff-necked British oaks confront Euroclydon! You'll take the old Aurelian Road through shore-descending pines Where, blue as any peacock's neck, the Tyrrhene Ocean shines. You'll go where laurel crowns are won, but -will you e'er forget The scent of hawthorn in the sun, or bracken in the wet? Let me work here for Britain's sake - at any task you will - A marsh to drain, a road to make or native troops to drill. Some Western camp (I know the Pict) or granite Border keep, Mid seas of heather derelict, where our old messmates sleep. Legate, I come to you in tears - My cohort ordered home! I've served in Britain forty years. What should I do in Rome? Here is my heart, my soul, my mind - the only life I know. I cannot leave it all behind. Command me not to go!
Rudyard Kipling
I walked out this evening to the bottom of the garden and smoked a cigarette. Last week I planted an acer in the furthest bed from the house, in honour of our new baby. The sapling is as tall as me and, by all accounts, it can grow forty feet tall. So, in thirty year's time, if we're still here I can come back and see this tree in its maturity. But the thought depresses me: in thirty years' time I'll be in my mid-sixties and I realize that these forward projections that you make, so unreflectingly, in your life are beginning to run out. Suppose I'd said in forty years' time? That would be pushing it, Fifty? I'll probably be gone by then. Sixty? Dead and buried, for sure. Thank Christ I didn't plant an oak. Is that a good definition of of marking the ageing watershed? That moment when you realize-quite rationally, quite unemotionally-that the world in the not-so-distant future will not contain you: that the trees you planted will continue growing but you will not be there to see them.
William Boyd (Any Human Heart)
Itches and Burs There once was a mother-and-daughterly pair Who both had an itch just beneath their long hair. Each had a bur with the prickles attached Under a belt at the mid of her back. “Oh, daughter, please scratch at my itch, will you not? And pluck out the bur—I would thank you a lot!” “I can’t,” said the daughter, “My own bur does sting. And try as I may I can’t reach the darn thing!” “Oh pain!” groaned the daughter. The mom cried, “Oh drat!” As each strained to reach her own bur at her back. “It prickles like needles! It tickles like feathers!” But easing the scratch was a fruitless endeavor. The daughter about gave a sigh of despair When all of a sudden her prick was not there. The itch too was gone with some scritches and scrapes Applied by old fingers in arthritic shape. The daughter, so grateful to feel such relief, Turned ’round to her mother and plucked out her grief. She scratched her mom’s itch just as she had done hers. Now neither has itches and neither has burs.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Making Wishes: Quotes, Thoughts, & a Little Poetry for Every Day of the Year)
They didn’t speak. Words were powerless now. Like a pair of dancers who had stopped mid-step, they simply held each other quietly, giving themselves up to the flow of time. Time that encompassed both past and present, and even a portion of the future. Nothing came between their two bodies, as her warm breath brushed his neck. Tsukuru shut his eyes, letting the music wash over him as he listened to Eri’s heartbeat. The beating of her heart kept time with the slap of the little boat against the pier.
Haruki Murakami (Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage)
Parallel to the idea of the US Constitution as covenant, politicians, journalists, teachers, and even professional historians chant like a mantra that the United States is a “nation of immigrants.” From its beginning, the United States has welcomed—indeed, often solicited, even bribed—immigrants to repopulate conquered territories “cleansed” of their Indigenous inhabitants. From the mid-nineteenth century, immigrants were recruited to work mines, raze forests, construct canals and railroads, and labor in sweatshops, factories, and commercial farm fields. In the late twentieth century, technical and medical workers were recruited. The requirements for their formal citizenship were simple: adhere to the sacred covenant through taking the Citizenship Oath, pledging loyalty to the flag, and regarding those outside the covenant as enemies or potential enemies of the exceptional country that has adopted them, often after they escaped hunger, war, or repression, which in turn were often caused by US militarism or economic sanctions. Yet no matter how much immigrants might strive to prove themselves to be as hardworking and patriotic as descendants of the original settlers, and despite the rhetoric of E pluribus unum, they are suspect. The old stock against which they are judged inferior includes not only those who fought in the fifteen-year war for independence from Britain but also, and perhaps more important, those who fought and shed (Indian) blood, before and after independence, in order to acquire the land. These are the descendants of English Pilgrims, Scots, Scots-Irish, and Huguenot French—Calvinists all—who took the land bequeathed to them in the sacred covenant that predated the creation of the independent United States. These were the settlers who fought their way over the Appalachians into the fertile Ohio Valley region, and it is they who claimed blood sacrifice for their country. Immigrants, to be accepted, must prove their fidelity to the covenant and what it stands for.
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz (An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States (ReVisioning American History, #3))
New Rule: Conservatives have to stop rolling their eyes every time they hear the word "France." Like just calling something French is the ultimate argument winner. As if to say, "What can you say about a country that was too stupid to get on board with our wonderfully conceived and brilliantly executed war in Iraq?" And yet an American politician could not survive if he uttered the simple, true statement: "France has a better health-care system than we do, and we should steal it." Because here, simply dismissing an idea as French passes for an argument. John Kerry? Couldn't vote for him--he looked French. Yeah, as a opposed to the other guy, who just looked stupid. Last week, France had an election, and people over there approach an election differently. They vote. Eighty-five percent turned out. You couldn't get eighty-five percent of Americans to get off the couch if there was an election between tits and bigger tits and they were giving out free samples. Maybe the high turnout has something to do with the fact that the French candidates are never asked where they stand on evolution, prayer in school, abortion, stem cell research, or gay marriage. And if the candidate knows about a character in a book other than Jesus, it's not a drawback. The electorate doesn't vote for the guy they want to have a croissant with. Nor do they care about private lives. In the current race, Madame Royal has four kids, but she never got married. And she's a socialist. In America, if a Democrat even thinks you're calling him "liberal," he grabs an orange vest and a rifle and heads into the woods to kill something. Royal's opponent is married, but they live apart and lead separate lives. And the people are okay with that, for the same reason they're okay with nude beaches: because they're not a nation of six-year-olds who scream and giggle if they see pee-pee parts. They have weird ideas about privacy. They think it should be private. In France, even mistresses have mistresses. To not have a lady on the side says to the voters, "I'm no good at multitasking." Like any country, France has its faults, like all that ridiculous accordion music--but their health care is the best in the industrialized world, as is their poverty rate. And they're completely independent of Mid-East oil. And they're the greenest country. And they're not fat. They have public intellectuals in France. We have Dr. Phil. They invented sex during the day, lingerie, and the tongue. Can't we admit we could learn something from them?
Bill Maher (The New New Rules: A Funny Look At How Everybody But Me Has Their Head Up Their Ass)
right.” Inspired by mid-century architectural lettering of New York City, Gotham celebrates the alphabet’s most basic form. These qualities made Gotham the most popular release of recent years. It’s used everywhere, in logos, in magazines, in the very things that inspired it: signs. Gotham’s simplicity is not merely geometric — like Avenir, it feels more natural than mechanical. In fact, its lowercase shares a lot with Avenir’s, despite being much larger. But Gotham’s essence is in the caps: broad, sturdy “block” letters of very consistent
Stephen Coles (The Anatomy of Type: A Graphic Guide to 100 Typefaces)
I must have roamed dementedly about for a time in the streets. When I at last got back to my own place, Faustine was again there ahead of me, coiled torpid in the bed like a loathsome boa-constrictor. She was already in the never-never land where ghouls like her belonged. I covered her face with one of the pillows, pressed down upon it with the weight of my whole body, held it there until she should have been dead ten times over. Yet when I removed the pillow to look, the black of strangulation was missing from her face. She was still in that state of suspended animation that defied me, a taunting smile visible about her lips. I had a gun in my valise, from years before when I'd been on an engineering job in the jungles of Ecuador. I got it out, looked it over. It was still in good working order, although it only had one bullet left in it. That one would be enough. She wasn't going to escape me! I pressed the muzzle to her smooth white forehead, mid-center. "Die, damn you!" I growled, and pulled the trigger back. It exploded with a crash. A film of smoke hid her face from me for a minute. When it had cleared again, I looked. There was no bullet-hole in her skull! A black powder-smudge marked the point of contact. The gun dropped to the floor with a thud. That ineradicable smile still glimmered up at me, as if to say: "You see? You can't." I rubbed my finger over the black; the skin was unbroken underneath. A blank cartridge, that must have been it. I raised her head; there was a rent in the sheet under it. I probed through it with two fingers. I could feel the bullet lying imbedded down in the stuffing of the mattress. ("Vampire's Honeymoon)
Cornell Woolrich (Vampire's Honeymoon)
One day in September 2015, FBI agent Adrian Hawkins placed a call to the Democratic National Committee headquarters in Washington, D.C., and asked to speak to the person in charge of technology. He was routed to the DNC help desk, which transferred the call to Yared Tamene, a young IT specialist with The MIS Department, a consulting firm hired by the DNC. After identifying himself, Hawkins told Tamene that he had reason to believe that at least one computer on the DNC’s network was compromised. He asked if the DNC was aware of this and what it was doing. Tamene had nothing to do with cybersecurity and knew little about the subject. He was a mid-level network administrator; his basic IT duties for the DNC were to set up computer accounts for employees and be on call to deal with any problems. When he got the call, Tamene was wary. Was this a joke or, worse, a dirty trick? He asked Hawkins if he could prove he was an FBI agent, and, as Tamene later wrote in a memo, “he did not provide me with an adequate response.… At this point, I had no way of differentiating the call I received from a prank call.” Hawkins, though, was real. He was a well-regarded agent in the FBI’s cyber squad. And he was following a legitimate lead in a case that would come to affect a presidential election. Earlier in the year, U.S. cyber warriors intercepted a target list of about thirty U.S. government agencies, think tanks, and several political organizations designated for cyberattacks by a group of hackers known as APT 29. APT stood for Advanced Persistent Threat—technojargon for a sophisticated set of actors who penetrate networks, insert viruses, and extract data over prolonged periods of time.
Michael Isikoff (Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin's War on America and the Election of Donald Trump)
In the mid-1980s, Congress authorized the creation of the US Sentencing Commission to examine prison terms and codify norms to correct the arbitrary punishments meted out by unaccountable judges. First, in 1989 the commission’s guidelines for individuals went into effect, establishing a point system for how many years of prison a convicted criminal might get, based on the seriousness of the misconduct and a person’s criminal history. In 1991, amid public and congressional outrage that sentences for white-collar criminals were too light and fines and sanctions for corporations too lenient, the Sentencing Commission expanded the concept to cover organizations. It formalized the Sporkin-era regime of offering leniency in exchange for cooperation and reform. The new rules delineated factors that could earn a culprit mercy. In levying a fine, the court should consider, the sentencing guidelines said, “any collateral consequences of conviction.” 1 “Collateral consequences” was, and remains, an ill-defined concept. How worried should the government be if a punishment causes a company to go out of business? Should regulators worry about the cashiering of innocent employees? What about customers, suppliers, or competitors? Should they fret about financial crises? From this rather innocuous mention, the little notion of collateral consequences would blossom into the great strangling vine that came to be known after the financial crisis of 2008 by its shorthand: “too big to jail.” Prosecutors and regulators were crippled by the idea that the government could not criminally sanction some companies—particularly giant banks—for fear that they would collapse, causing serious problems for financial markets or the economy.
Jesse Eisinger (The Chickenshit Club: Why the Justice Department Fails to Prosecute Executives)
For years after the American Revolution, the public opposed the creation of Police departments, fearing that they would become forces of oppression...Only in the mid -nineteenth century, after the growth of industrial cities and a rash of urban riots- after dread of the so-called dangerous classes surpassed the dread of the state- did police departments emerge in the United States.... By the time of Anna's death, the informal system of policing had been displaced,,but vestiges of it remained, especially in places that seemed to exist on the periphery of geography and history.
David Grann (Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI)
The Immigration Reform Act wiped out that option. Used to be, if undocumented parents could prove their deportation would put a U.S. citizen—in this case, you, AJ—at risk, the judge could let them stay. But the act made deportation automatic.” She showed them a document she’d printed out. “In the mid-’90s, there were around forty thousand deportations a year. Nowadays, there are around three hundred thousand a year. The INS and ICE will tell you they’re getting rid of a criminal element, but that’s not always the case. Plenty of working people—even war veterans—get swept up in raids.
Susan Wiggs (Fireside: Lakeshore Chronicles Book 5 (The Lakeshore Chronicles))
But, by the mid-1870s, when the North withdrew its oversight in the face of southern hostility, whites in the South began to resurrect the caste system founded under slavery. Nursing the wounds of defeat and seeking a scapegoat, much like Germany in the years leading up to Nazism, they began to undo the opportunities accorded freed slaves during Reconstruction and to refine the language of white supremacy. They would create a caste system based not on pedigree and title, as in Europe, but solely on race, and which, by law, disallowed any movement of the lowest caste into the mainstream.
Isabel Wilkerson (The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration)
Even simply having goals can make us happier and more confident—both now and later. In one study that followed nearly five hundred young adults from college to the mid-thirties, increased goal-setting in the twenties led to greater purpose, mastery, agency, and well-being in the thirties. Goals are how we declare who we are and who we want to be. They are how we structure our years and our lives. Goals have been called the building blocks of adult personality, and it is worth considering that who you will be in your thirties and beyond is being built out of the goals you are setting for yourself today.
Meg Jay (The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter--And How to Make the Most of Them Now)
I used to think,” Miss Jurgens said, “that when the ships first left our system for another star—remember that?—we’d hear that—” She hesitated. “It’s so silly, but I was only a kid then, when Arnoldson made his first trip to Prox and back; I was a kid when he got back, I mean. I actually thought maybe by going that far he’d—” She ducked her head, not meeting Leo Bulero’s gaze. “He’d find God.” Leo thought, I thought so, too. And I was an adult, then. In my mid-thirties. As I’ve mentioned to Barney on numerous occasions. And, he thought, I still believe that, even now. About the ten-year flight of Palmer Eldritch.
Philip K. Dick (The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch)
Even though Pope Urban VIII reversed the pronouncements of his predecessors by declaring slavery unacceptable in the mid-seventeenth century, the vast majority of Protestant Christians in America considered slavery and white supremacy to be absolutely consistent with “biblical” Christianity. It would take American Protestants over a hundred years to make slavery history. Even then, they would find ways to cleverly camouflage the old Doctrine of Discovery and its white supremacist scaffolding under distinctly American terms like Manifest Destiny and American exceptionalism, terms still celebrated in many sectors of US society today. Professor
Brian D. McLaren (The Great Spiritual Migration: How the World's Largest Religion Is Seeking a Better Way to Be Christian)
In the long evenings in west Beirut, there was time enough to consider where the core of the tragedy lay. In the age of Assyrians, the Empire of Rome, in the 1860s perhaps? In the french mandate? In Auschwitz? In Palestine? In the rusting front-door keys now buried deep in the rubble of Chatila? In the 1978 Israeli invasion? In the 1982 invasion? Was there a point where one could have said: Stop, beyond this point there is no future? Did I witness the point of no return in 1976? That 12 year-old on the broken office chair in the ruins of the Beirut front line. Now he was in his mid-twenties - if he was still alive - a gunboy, no more. A gunman, no doubt...
Robert Fisk
After 5 years of college, I got a degree. Right out of the gate, I was at the top of my field, earning a solid mid 5-figure salary. There was no upward mobility. I started at the top, at age 23. I did that for 3 years. With free info from the Internet and one $299 course, I learned everything I needed to know to make 3x that salary in a year and a half. In another 5 years, that meager college-degree salary will be so far in the rear view mirror that I won't even remember what life was like to make so little. The Internet has largely rendered college, and education in general, irrelevant. For those that want to learn anything, open your browser and get to it.41a
M.J. DeMarco (UNSCRIPTED: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Entrepreneurship)
Entering the office, Evie found Sebastian and Cam on opposite sides of the desk. They both mulled over account ledgers, scratching out some entries with freshly inked pens, and making notations beside the long columns. Both men looked up as she crossed the threshold. Evie met Sebastian’s gaze only briefly; she found it hard to maintain her composure around him after the intimacy of the previous night. He paused in mid-sentence as he stared at her, seeming to forget what he had been saying to Cam. It seemed that neither of them was yet comfortable with feelings that were still too new and powerful. Murmuring good morning to them both, she bid them to remain seated, and she went to stand beside Sebastian’s chair. “Have you breakfasted yet, my lord?” she asked. Sebastian shook his head, a smile glinting in his eyes. “Not yet.” “I’ll go to the kitchen and see what is to be had.” “Stay a moment,” he urged. “We’re almost finished.” As the two men discussed a few last points of business, which pertained to a potential investment in a proposed shopping bazaar to be constructed on St. James Street, Sebastian picked up Evie’s hand, which was resting on the desk. Absently he drew the backs of her fingers against the edge of his jaw and his ear while contemplating the written proposal on the desk before him. Although Sebastian was not aware of what the casual familiarity of the gesture revealed, Evie felt her color rise as she met Cam’s gaze over her husband’s downbent head. The boy sent her a glance of mock reproof, like that of a nursemaid who had caught two children playing a kissing game, and he grinned as her blush heightened further. Oblivious to the byplay, Sebastian handed the proposal to Cam, who sobered instantly. “I don’t like the looks of this,” Sebastian commented. “It’s doubtful there will be enough business in the area to sustain an entire bazaar, especially at those rents. I suspect within a year it will turn into a white elephant.” “White elephant?” Evie asked. A new voice came from the doorway, belonging to Lord Westcliff. “A white elephant is a rare animal,” the earl replied, smiling, “that is not only expensive but difficult to maintain. Historically, when an ancient king wished to ruin someone he would gift him with a white elephant.” Stepping into the office, Westcliff bowed over Evie’s hand and spoke to Sebastian. “Your assessment of the proposed bazaar is correct, in my opinion. I was approached with the same investment opportunity not long ago, and I rejected it on the same grounds.” “No doubt we’ll both be proven wrong,” Sebastian said wryly. “One should never try to predict anything regarding women and their shopping.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil in Winter (Wallflowers, #3))
In all likelihood, we will not have oil one hundred years from now. Realistically, the world’s easily obtainable petroleum will be gone much sooner than that—by mid-century at the latest. There will be nothing of comparable versatility to replace it. As hard as that will be, good riddance. Fueling the light-driven engine of corporate capitalism, petroleum has swollen the human population and destroyed our communities, our atmosphere, and our world. Good riddance, I say, even if I die. I will die anyway. Everything does. The petroleum bubble briefly allowed us to live in denial of that most fundamental of all fundamental facts: that all things return to their Mother.
Clark Strand (Waking Up to the Dark: Ancient Wisdom for a Sleepless Age)
For years after the American Revolution, the public opposed the creation of police departments, fearing that they would become forces of repression. Instead, citizens responded to a hue and cry by chasing after suspects. Benjamin N. Cardozo, the future Supreme Court justice, once noted that these pursuits were made “not faintly and with lagging steps, but honestly and bravely and with whatever implements and facilities are convenient and at hand.” Only in the mid-nineteenth century, after the growth of industrial cities and a rash of urban riots—after dread of the so-called dangerous classes surpassed dread of the state—did police departments emerge in the United States.
David Grann (Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI)
It’s finger time!” Steve simply grunted. Li responded like she always had to the request over the past years, by walking over to the tall oak cabinet in his office and pulling out a pack of Vienna Fingers. She then closed the door and walked around the desk and dropped to her knees, crawling the few extra feet under his desk. Li handed the red and white plastic package of cookies to Steve, who slid the tray open while his virtual slave unzipped the trousers of his blue Armani pinstripe suit and then dug deep to find his pleasure source. Twenty seconds later, when both of them had consumed their mid-afternoon snacks, Steve transitioned back into his unrelenting work persona.
Phil Wohl (Law Street)
I had seen the soldiers' god, the Word, the Light, the Good Shepherd, the mediator between the one God and man. I had seen Mithras, who had come out of Asia a thousand years ago. He had been born in a cave at mid-winter, while shepherds watched and a star shone; he was born of earth and light, and sprang from the rock with a torch in his left hand and a knife in his right. He killed the bull to bring life and fertility to the earth with its shed blood, and then, after his last meal of bread and wine, he was called up to heaven. He was the god of strength and gentleness, of courage and self-restraint. The soldiers' god. [fifth-century Brittany] The Crystal Cave, p. 131 of 384
Mary Stewart (Merlin Trilogy Collection Vol (1-5) 5 Books Bundle By Mary Stewart (The Crystal Cave,The Wicked Day) Gift Wrapped Slipcase Specially For You)
The obvious question is, what are the “conditions to which presumably we are genetically adapted”? As it turns out, what Donaldson assumed in 1919 is still the conventional wisdom today: our genes were effectively shaped by the two and a half million years during which our ancestors lived as hunters and gatherers prior to the introduction of agriculture twelve thousand years ago. This is a period of time known as the Paleolithic era or, less technically, as the Stone Age, because it begins with the development of the first stone tools. It constitutes more than 99.5 percent of human history—more than a hundred thousand generations of humanity living as hunter-gatherers, compared with the six hundred succeeding generations of farmers or the ten generations that have lived in the industrial age. It’s not controversial to say that the agricultural period—the last .5 percent of the history of our species—has had little significant effect on our genetic makeup. What is significant is what we ate during the two and a half million years that preceded agriculture—the Paleolithic era. The question can never be answered definitively, because this era, after all, preceded human record-keeping. The best we can do is what nutritional anthropologists began doing in the mid-1980s—use modern-day hunter-gatherer societies as surrogates for our Stone Age ancestors.
Gary Taubes (Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It)
All is not lost, of course. There is still time if we judge teachers, students, and parents, hold them accountable on the same scale, if we truly test teachers, students, and parents, if we make everyone responsible for quality, if we insure that by the end of its sixth year every child in every country can live in libraries to learn almost by osmosis, then our drug, street-gang, rape, and murder scores will suffer themselves near zero. But the Fire Chief, in mid-novel, says it all, predicting the one-minute TV commercial with three images per second and no respite from the bombardment. Listen to him, know what he says, then go sit with your child, open a book, and turn the page.
Ray Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451)
Marie-Louis von Franz, a Swiss psychologist, noticed a disturbing trend in the mid-20th century – many men and women who were well into their adult years remained psychologically stunted in their maturation. They occupied the bodies of adults, but their mental development failed to keep pace. on Franz saw this as such a pressing issue that in 1959 she gave a series of lectures on the psychology of the Puer Aeternus, which is Latin for “eternal child”. While originally this term was used in mythology to refer to a child god who remains forever young, her teacher Carl Jung had adopted the term for psychological purposes to describe the individual who, like Peter Pan, fails to grow up.
Academy of Ideas
Here’s a Reader’s Digest version of my approach. I select mutual funds that have had a good track record of winning for more than five years, preferably for more than ten years. I don’t look at their one-year or three-year track records because I think long term. I spread my retirement, investing evenly across four types of funds. Growth and Income funds get 25 percent of my investment. (They are sometimes called Large Cap or Blue Chip funds.) Growth funds get 25 percent of my investment. (They are sometimes called Mid Cap or Equity funds; an S&P Index fund would also qualify.) International funds get 25 percent of my investment. (They are sometimes called Foreign or Overseas funds.) Aggressive Growth funds get the last 25 percent of my investment. (They are sometimes called Small Cap or Emerging Market funds.) For a full discussion of what mutual funds are and why I use this mix, go to daveramsey.com and visit MyTotalMoneyMakeover.com. The invested 15 percent of your income should take advantage of all the matching and tax advantages available to you. Again, our purpose here is not to teach the detailed differences in every retirement plan out there (see my other materials for that), but let me give you some guidelines on where to invest first. Always start where you have a match. When your company will give you free money, take it. If your 401(k) matches the first 3 percent, the 3 percent you put in will be the first 3 percent of your 15 percent invested. If you don’t have a match, or after you have invested through the match, you should next fund Roth IRAs. The Roth IRA will allow you to invest up to $5,000 per year, per person. There are some limitations as to income and situation, but most people can invest in a Roth IRA. The Roth grows tax-FREE. If you invest $3,000 per year from age thirty-five to age sixty-five, and your mutual funds average 12 percent, you will have $873,000 tax-FREE at age sixty-five. You have invested only $90,000 (30 years x 3,000); the rest is growth, and you pay no taxes. The Roth IRA is a very important tool in virtually anyone’s Total Money Makeover. Start with any match you can get, and then fully fund Roth IRAs. Be sure the total you are putting in is 15 percent of your total household gross income. If not, go back to 401(k)s, 403(b)s, 457s, or SEPPs (for the self-employed), and invest enough so that the total invested is 15 percent of your gross annual pay. Example: Household Income $81,000 Husband $45,000 Wife $36,000 Husband’s 401(k) matches first 3%. 3% of 45,000 ($1,350) goes into the 401(k). Two Roth IRAs are next, totaling $10,000. The goal is 15% of 81,000, which is $12,150. You have $11,350 going in. So you bump the husband’s 401(k) to 5%, making the total invested $12,250.
Dave Ramsey (The Total Money Makeover: Classic Edition: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness)
It was suggested that all the sick summer people be put out, then. The summer people, a large contingent of them, pointed out grimly that they had supported the town’s schools, roads, indigent, and public beaches for years with the taxes they paid on their cottages. Businesses that couldn’t break even from mid-September to mid-June stayed afloat because of their summer dollars. If they were to be treated in such a cavalier fashion, the people of Ogunquit could be sure that they would never come back. They could go back to lobstering and clamming and grubbing quahogs out of the dirt for a living. The motion to escort sick summer people out of town was defeated by a comfortable margin.
Stephen King (The Stand)
Noisy shuddering little commuter trains, debatable links: Shaw spent half a day joining one cross-country service to another; hard enough work just to arrive mid-afternoon on the brown edge of Wales. The town, with its undecodable medieval topography and commanding position above the River Severn, had done well out of sheep; then out of brewing; and finally out of coal. Now, like most of those old places, post-colonial, post-industrial and – in the sense that its past had now become its present – fully post-historical, it was curating a collection of original burgage plots, timber-framed heritage structures and quaintly squalid street names. It had been pleased with itself for 700 years.
M. John Harrison (The Sunken Land Begins to Rise Again)
I never understood those commercials with the parents celebrating the end of summer. Now I understand that around mid-August, all the summer camps are over and you’ve run out of constructive things to do with your kid and you are desperate to get them out of the house. You’ve grown tired of your four-year-old pointing to words and asking, “What does this say?” Apparently it’s not okay to respond to them with, “It says, ‘Learn how to read.’ ” You don’t want to get rid of your children, but you do want to get rid of them for a couple of hours a day. School seems like a perfect solution. Your precious child will learn something, and most important, you will be able to use the bathroom in peace.
Jim Gaffigan (Dad Is Fat)
In one county in Mississippi, 350 black children had only three teachers among them. The low priority the government placed on schools for African American children was reflected not only in the paucity of resources but in the truncated school year as well. The academic term for black children in Dawson County, Georgia, was six weeks. In Mississippi, because children were essential for picking cotton and would not be released until the last harvest was in, African Americans’ schools routinely opened as late as mid-November.26 Beyond sick and tired of the anemic and inadequate public education designed for blacks, African Americans were willing to go north to find good schools for their children.27
Carol Anderson (White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide)
It was solstice night, the longest night of the year. For weeks the days had been shrinking, first gradually, then precipitously, so that it was now dark by mid-afternoon. As is well known, when the moon hours lengthen, human beings come adrift from the regularity of their mechanical clocks. They nod at noon, Dream in the waking hours, open their eyes wide to the pitch-black night. It is a time of magic. And as the borders between night and day stretch to their thinnest, so too do the borders between worlds. Dreams and stories merge with lived experience, the dead and the living brush against each other in their comings and goings, the past and the present touch and overlap. Unexpected things can happen.
Diane Setterfield (Once Upon a River)
Her bed faced three large uncurtained windows that looked due eat, and she loved the endless variety of sunrises that greeted her from day to day. Growing up in Florida and in the suburbs, she had never realized how the sun paced back and forth through the year, like a restless dog on a tether. During the winter it rose far to the southeast and skulked along the ridgeline, disappearing in mid-afternoon. But now it rising a little past due east, on its way to the northeast where it would achieve the summer solstice, then begin the slow day-by-day journey back to the winter solstice. Watching the sunrise, with its reminder of the endless and inevitable cycles of life, was, she thought, her version of religion.
Vicki Lane (Signs in the Blood (Elizabeth Goodweather Appalachian Mystery, #1))
How much more would I have longed for and needed to see myself in my books if I’d been disabled, gay, black, non-Christian or something else outside the mainstream message? By this time – the mid-1980s – writers’ and publishers’ consciousnesses of matters of sex, race and representation had started to be raised. The first wave of concern had come in the 1960s and 70s, mainly – or perhaps just most successfully – over the matter of heroines. There were some. But not many. And certainly not enough of the right – feisty, non-domestic, un-Meg Marchish – sort. Efforts needed to be made to overcome the teeny imbalance caused by 300 years of unreflecting patriarchal history. It’s this memory that convinces me of the importance of role models and the rightness of including (or as critics of the practice call it, ‘crowbarring in’) a wide variety of characters with different backgrounds, orientations and everything else into children’s books. If it seems – hell, even if it IS – slightly effortful at times, I suspect that the benefits (even though by their very nature as explosions of inward delight, wordless recognition, relief, succour, sustenance, those benefits are largely hidden) vastly outweigh the alleged cons. And I’m never quite sure what the cons are supposed to be anyway. Criticisms usually boil down to some variant of ‘I am used to A! B makes me uncomfortable! O, take the nasty B away!’ Which really isn’t good enough.
Lucy Mangan (Bookworm: A Memoir of Childhood Reading)
The first thing to understand about the human race is that, in evolutionary terms, we’re babies. As a species we’ve only just emerged. Imagine that the whole history of life on earth spans just one calendar year, instead of four billion. Up until about mid-October, bacteria had the place to themselves. Not until November did life as we know it appear, with buds and branches, bones and brains. And we humans? We made our entrance on 31 December, at approximately 11 p.m. Then we spent about an hour roaming around as hunter-gatherers, only getting around to inventing farming at 11:58 p.m. Everything else we call ‘history’ happened in the final sixty seconds to midnight: all the pyramids and castles, the knights and ladies, the steam engines and rocket ships.
Rutger Bregman (Humankind: A Hopeful History)
During the onset of the Industrial Revolution in Eastern Massachusetts, mid-nineteenth century, there happened to be a very lively press run by working people, young women in the factories, artisans in the mills, and so on. They had their own press that was very interesting, very widely read and had a lot of support. And they bitterly condemned the way the industrial system was taking away their freedom and liberty and imposing on them rigid hierarchical structures that they didn’t want. One of their main complaints was what they called “the new spirit of the age: gain wealth forgetting all but self.” For 150 years there have been massive efforts to try to impose “the new spirit of the age” on people. But it’s so inhuman that there’s a lot of resistance, and it continues.
Noam Chomsky (Occupy (Occupied Media Pamphlet Series))
Patriotism comes from the same Latin word as father. Blind patriotism is collective transference. In it the state becomes a parent and we citizens submit our loyalty to ensure its protection. We may have been encouraged to make that bargain from our public school education, our family home, religion, or culture in general. We associate safety with obedience to authority, for example, going along with government policies. We then make duty, as it is defined by the nation, our unquestioned course. Our motivation is usually not love of country but fear of being without a country that will defend us and our property. Connection is all-important to us; excommunication is the equivalent of death, the finality we can’t dispute. Healthy adult loyalty is a virtue that does not become blind obedience for fear of losing connection, nor total devotion so that we lose our boundaries. Our civil obedience can be so firm that it may take precedence over our concern for those we love, even our children. Here is an example: A young mother is told by the doctor that her toddler is allergic to peanuts and peanut oil. She lets the school know of her son’s allergy when he goes to kindergarten. Throughout his childhood, she is vigilant and makes sure he is safe from peanuts in any form. Eighteen years later, there is a war and he is drafted. The same mother, who was so scrupulously careful about her child’s safety, now waves goodbye to him with a tear but without protest. Mother’s own training in public school and throughout her life has made her believe that her son’s life is expendable whether or not the war in question is just. “Patriotism” is so deeply ingrained in her that she does not even imagine an alternative, even when her son’s life is at stake. It is of course also true that, biologically, parents are ready to let children go just as the state is ready to draft them. What a cunning synchronic-ity. In addition, old men who decide on war take advantage of the timing too. The warrior archetype is lively in eighteen-year-olds, who are willing to fight. Those in their mid-thirties, whose archetype is being a householder and making a mark in their chosen field, will not show an interest in battlefields of blood. The chiefs count on the fact that young braves will take the warrior myth literally rather than as a metaphor for interior battles. They will be willing to put their lives on the line to live out the collective myth of societies that have not found the path of nonviolence. Our collective nature thus seems geared to making war a workable enterprise. In some people, peacemaking is the archetype most in evidence. Nature seems to have made that population smaller, unfortunately. Our culture has trained us to endure and tolerate, not to protest and rebel. Every cell of our bodies learned that lesson. It may not be virtue; it may be fear. We may believe that showing anger is dangerous, because it opposes the authority we are obliged to appease and placate if we are to survive. This explains why we so admire someone who dares to say no and to stand up or even to die for what he believes. That person did not fall prey to the collective seduction. Watching Jeopardy on television, I notice that the audience applauds with special force when a contestant risks everything on a double-jeopardy question. The healthy part of us ardently admires daring. In our positive shadow, our admiration reflects our own disavowed or hidden potential. We, too, have it in us to dare. We can stand up for our truth, putting every comfort on the line, if only we can calm our long-scared ego and open to the part of us that wants to live free. Joseph Campbell says encouragingly, “The part of us that wants to become is fearless.” Religion and Transference Transference is not simply horizontal, from person to person, but vertical from person to a higher power, usually personified as God. When
David Richo (When the Past Is Present: Healing the Emotional Wounds that Sabotage our Relationships)
Ode to the West Wind I O wild West Wind, thou breath of Autumn’s being, Thou, from whose unseen presence the leaves dead Are driven, like ghosts from an enchanter fleeing, Yellow, and black, and pale, and hectic red, Pestilence-stricken multitudes: O thou, Who chariotest to their dark wintry bed The winged seeds, where they lie cold and low, Each like a corpse within its grave, until Thine azure sister of the Spring shall blow Her clarion o’er the dreaming earth, and fill (Driving sweet buds like flocks to feed in air) With living hues and odours plain and hill: Wild Spirit, which art moving everywhere; Destroyer and preserver; hear, oh hear! II Thou on whose stream, mid the steep sky’s commotion, Loose clouds like earth’s decaying leaves are shed, Shook from the tangled boughs of Heaven and Ocean, Angels of rain and lightning: there are spread On the blue surface of thine aëry surge, Like the bright hair uplifted from the head Of some fierce Maenad, even from the dim verge Of the horizon to the zenith’s height, The locks of the approaching storm. Thou dirge Of the dying year, to which this closing night Will be the dome of a vast sepulchre, Vaulted with all thy congregated might Of vapours, from whose solid atmosphere Black rain, and fire, and hail will burst: oh hear! III Thou who didst waken from his summer dreams The blue Mediterranean, where he lay, Lull’d by the coil of his crystàlline streams, Beside a pumice isle in Baiae’s bay, And saw in sleep old palaces and towers Quivering within the wave’s intenser day, All overgrown with azure moss and flowers So sweet, the sense faints picturing them! Thou For whose path the Atlantic’s level powers Cleave themselves into chasms, while far below The sea-blooms and the oozy woods which wear The sapless foliage of the ocean, know Thy voice, and suddenly grow gray with fear, And tremble and despoil themselves: oh hear! IV If I were a dead leaf thou mightest bear; If I were a swift cloud to fly with thee; A wave to pant beneath thy power, and share The impulse of thy strength, only less free Than thou, O uncontrollable! If even I were as in my boyhood, and could be The comrade of thy wanderings over Heaven, As then, when to outstrip thy skiey speed Scarce seem’d a vision; I would ne’er have striven As thus with thee in prayer in my sore need. Oh, lift me as a wave, a leaf, a cloud! I fall upon the thorns of life! I bleed! A heavy weight of hours has chain’d and bow’d One too like thee: tameless, and swift, and proud. V Make me thy lyre, even as the forest is: What if my leaves are falling like its own! The tumult of thy mighty harmonies Will take from both a deep, autumnal tone, Sweet though in sadness. Be thou, Spirit fierce, My spirit! Be thou me, impetuous one! Drive my dead thoughts over the universe Like wither’d leaves to quicken a new birth! And, by the incantation of this verse, Scatter, as from an unextinguish’d hearth Ashes and sparks, my words among mankind! Be through my lips to unawaken’d earth The trumpet of a prophecy! O Wind, If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?
Percy Bysshe Shelley (Ode to the West Wind and Other Poems)
Sifting through thousands of petitions a year in order to select the dozens that will be granted is a daunting task for a nine-member court. In the mid-1970s, with the number of petitions growing rapidly, the justices found a way to lighten the load by organizing their energetic young law clerks into a “cert pool.” Under this arrangement, each petition is reviewed by a single law clerk on behalf all the justices who subscribe to the pool. This clerk writes a memo that summarizes the lower court decision and the arguments for and against review, concluding with a recommendation. The recommendation is only that. Most justices in the pool (all but one or two in recent years) assign one of their own four law clerks to review the pool recommendations from the individual justice’s own perspective.
Linda Greenhouse (The U.S. Supreme Court: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions))
Some researchers, such as psychologist Jean Twenge, say this new world where compliments are better than sex and pizza, in which the self-enhancing bias has been unchained and allowed to gorge unfettered, has led to a new normal in which the positive illusions of several generations have now mutated into full-blown narcissism. In her book The Narcissism Epidemic, Twenge says her research shows that since the mid-1980s, clinically defined narcissism rates in the United States have increased in the population at the same rate as obesity. She used the same test used by psychiatrists to test for narcissism in patients and found that, in 2006, one in four U.S. college students tested positive. That’s real narcissism, the kind that leads to diagnoses of personality disorders. In her estimation, this is a dangerous trend, and it shows signs of acceleration. Narcissistic overconfidence crosses a line, says Twenge, and taints those things improved by a skosh of confidence. Over that line, you become less concerned with the well-being of others, more materialistic, and obsessed with status in addition to losing all the restraint normally preventing you from tragically overestimating your ability to manage or even survive risky situations. In her book, Twenge connects this trend to the housing market crash of the mid-2000s and the stark increase in reality programming during that same decade. According to Twenge, the drive to be famous for nothing went from being strange to predictable thanks to a generation or two of people raised by parents who artificially boosted self-esteem to ’roidtastic levels and then released them into a culture filled with new technologies that emerged right when those people needed them most to prop up their self-enhancement biases. By the time Twenge’s research was published, reality programming had spent twenty years perfecting itself, and the modern stars of those shows represent a tiny portion of the population who not only want to be on those shows, but who also know what they are getting into and still want to participate. Producers with the experience to know who will provide the best television entertainment to millions then cull that small group. The result is a new generation of celebrities with positive illusions so robust and potent that the narcissistic overconfidence of the modern American teenager by comparison is now much easier to see as normal.
David McRaney (You Are Now Less Dumb: How to Conquer Mob Mentality, How to Buy Happiness, and All the Other Ways to Outsmart Yourself)
Earlier that morning, Escoffier ad brought up a large bucket of white rose petals, white violets and vanilla orchids that he'd been thinking of creating a dish with. The pâtissier had crystalized some of the flowers, and left him a plate of meringue shells, a handful of vanilla beans and fresh cream. He wanted to create a new dish for Sarah, a sweet, something surprising, something to engage her. She'd been playing Joan of Arc, the virgin saint, a seventeen-year-old girl. It was a role she made famous, difficult at any age, but for a woman in her mid-forties, it was nearly impossible. Escoffier tossed a handful of white rose petals into Rosa's bathwater. The white skin. The white roses. 'The essence of Saint Joan is in shades of white, like shades of innocence.' 'Spun sugar,' he thought. 'Vanilla cream, of course.
N.M. Kelby (White Truffles in Winter)
Over a span of twenty years, Shakespeare churned out an impressively whopping thirty-eight plays, 154 love sonnets, and two epic narrative poems. While most people associate him with his plays, it was his sonnets that likely earned him admiration among his contemporaries. Yes, that’s right: In his lifetime, Shakespeare garnered more acclaim for his sonnets than he did for his plays. In England during the 1590s, writing plays was considered a bit hackish—a way to pay the bills—and not an intellectual pursuit. Writing sonnets was all the rage— and a way to gain literary prestige. These poems weren’t published for the plebeian public, but were written down and shared among the literati—and aristocrats looking for some intellectual cachet by becoming patrons to brilliant but perhaps financially strapped writers. So, while Shakespeare likely wrote nearly all of his love sonnets in the early to mid 1590s, they weren’t officially collected and published until 1609, well after the fad had passed. W. H. Auden said of Shakespeare’s sonnets: “They are the work of someone whose ear is unerring.” In today’s less poetry-friendly world, appreciation of these sonnets tends, sadly, to be relegated to classrooms, Valentine’s Day, and anniversaries. Which is too bad, because—though they do indeed rhyme—they are far superior to the ditties found in ninety-nine-cent greeting cards. In fact, they cover the whole gamut of love—the good, the bad, the erotic, and the ugly, including love triangles, being dumped, and jealousy. There is also speculation as to how autobiographical the sonnets are. The truth is that we know so little about Shakespeare’s private life.
William Shakespeare (Love Sonnets of Shakespeare (RP Minis))
She throws away the inedible toast and looks at me, her blue eyes sad. “I'm a bad cook.” My first inclination is to say, “You're just realizing this now?”, but I don't. Instead I shrug. “You're good at a lot of other things.” “I can't crochet either.” I purse my lips to keep from agreeing. “Well...you—” “And I can't sing. I don't even remember the shade of my natural hair color and I've had this outfit since the eighties.” I glance at her red top and tan pants. Yeah. Those should really go—along with a lot of other things in the house. “You're sort of making it hard for me to make you feel better when you keep tossing all the things you aren't good at, at me.” I brighten. “You can dance! You're a great dancer.” “I'm having a mid-life crisis.” “You're forty-six,” I scoff. “You're too young for that. I mean, maybe in four years...
Lindy Zart (Roomies)
For thousands of years, scarcely anyone left. Korea was the hermit kingdom, with its spiritual basis in Confucianism, Buddhism, and Shamanism, until 1910, when it was annexed by Japan and colonized for thirty-five years thereafter, followed by the Korean War in 1950. Having been born and raised under these brutal colonizers, my paternal grandfather spoke fluent Japanese. Shortly before his death, in the mid-1980s, he came to stay with my family in Queens, where he befriended a young Japanese woman, a missionary from the Unification Church. When my father confronted him about his sudden interest in the cult, my grandfather answered that he didn’t care about the Moonies, he only enjoyed the chance to speak Japanese with his new friend. Like others from his generation, he suffered from a sort of Stockholm syndrome and missed the language of his oppressors.
Suki Kim (Without You, There Is No Us: My Time with the Sons of North Korea's Elite)
He had pursued his strikingly beautiful, spirited, fashionable wife for years and years before marrying her in mid-Channel aboard a man-of-war: for so many years indeed that he had become a confirmed bachelor at last, too old a dog to give up his tricks of smoking tobacco in bed, playing his 'cello at odd untimely moments, dissecting anything that interested him, even in the drawing-room; too old to be taught to shave regularly, to change his linen, or to wash when he did not feel the need - an impossible husband. He was not house-trained; and although he made earnest attempts at the beginning of their marriage he soon perceived that in time the strain must damage their relationship, all the more so since Diana was as intransigent as himself and far more apt to fly into a passion about such things as a pancreas in the drawer of the bedside table or orange marmalade ground into the Aubusson.
Patrick O'Brian (The Ionian Mission (Aubrey & Maturin, #8))
At the time when the lines begin, in the mid-18th century, life expectancy in Europe and the Americas was around 35, where it had been parked for the 225 previous years for which we have data.3 Life expectancy for the world as a whole was 29. These numbers are in the range of expected life spans for most of human history. The life expectancy of hunter-gatherers is around 32.5, and it probably decreased among the peoples who first took up farming because of their starchy diet and the diseases they caught from their livestock and each other. It returned to the low 30s by the Bronze Age, where it stayed put for thousands of years, with small fluctuations across centuries and regions.4 This period in human history may be called the Malthusian Era, when any advance in agriculture or health was quickly canceled by the resulting bulge in population, though “era” is an odd term for 99.9 percent of our species’ existence.
Steven Pinker (Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress)
As noted in About ESC Electrol Specialties Company began fabricating CIP System components as a vendor to one of the nations largest suppliers of cleaning chemicals to the Dairy industry more than 50 years ago. This vendor was a major provider of the engineering services, components and skilled personnel required to design and install CIPable automaed processes, for dairies initialy, and later food and beverage processors. This vendor was actively involved with new facility construction, but more importantly, also developed and applied the methodos of applying such new technology equally well to "recycle old dairies" via rennovation projects planned to provide the exisitng facility increased capacity, efficiency and quality capabilities, and keep it running during the rennovation process. This vendor worked on a design and install" basis and used its own wsanitary welding crews, even Internationally, through the mid 70s.
John Franks
In Cootamundra the station was quiet. Tina looked around but before she could see anyone she saw the poster on the wall. Lockie saw it too. It stopped him mid-stride. It was surrounded by For Sale notices and babysitting flyers.Over the months it could have become covered over as hope was lost but it hadn’t been. Right in the middle, with some clear space around it, was the colour poster of a blue-eyed boy. His head was covered in golden curls and he had a deep dimple on his right cheek. His face had been enlarged so that every freckle could be counted. He was Lachlan Williams and in this town they were still looking for him. He looked nothing like the pale, skinny boy Tina was with. Underneath the picture were the words - Missing:Lachlan Williams Aged 8 Disappeared from the Easter Show April 2010. If you have any information please contact...There were a whole lot of numbers and a website address. Lockie stared at the poster for a minute. He pushed his hood back down and ran his hand over his brush-cut blond hair. ‘What—’ Tina began. ‘He shaved it,’ said Lockie before she could complete the question. ‘Every few weeks, when it got longer, he would shave it again.’ His voice was two hundred years old.Tina saw her hand on the poker and felt a surge of triumph at what she had done. Some people just deserved to die. It wasn’t a nice thought but it was true. You couldn’t change someone who was fundamentally evil. Of everything Lockie must have suffered, and Tina could not even wrap her mind around what he must have gone through, the shaving of his head seemed somehow the worst. The uniform had changed who Lockie was. He was a golden boy with golden curls and the uniform had taken the gold from him. Lockie looked nothing like the poster. His face was all angles and his smile was lost. He hadn’t needed to conceal himself beneath a hood. No one would have recognised him anyway.
Nicole Trope (The Boy Under the Table)
I begin this chapter with President Ronald Reagan’s Farewell Speech on January 11, 1989. President Reagan encouraged the rising generation to “let ’em know and nail ’em on it”—that is, to push back against teachers, professors, journalists, politicians, and others in the governing generation who manipulate and deceive them: An informed patriotism is what we want. And are we doing a good enough job teaching our children what America is and what she represents in the long history of the world? Those of us who are over 35 or so years of age grew up in a different America. We were taught, very directly, what it means to be an American. And we absorbed, almost in the air, a love of country and an appreciation of its institutions. If you didn’t get these things from your family, you got them from the neighborhood, from the father down the street who fought in Korea or the family who lost someone at Anzio. Or you could get a sense of patriotism from school. And if all else failed, you could get a sense of patriotism from the popular culture. The movies celebrated democratic values and implicitly reinforced the idea that America was special. TV was like that, too, through the mid-sixties. But now, we’re about to enter the nineties, and some things have changed. Younger parents aren’t sure that an unambivalent appreciation of America is the right thing to teach modern children. And as for those who create the popular culture, well-grounded patriotism is no longer the style. Our spirit is back, but we haven’t reinstitutionalized it. We’ve got to do a better job of getting across that America is freedom—freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of enterprise. And freedom is special and rare. It’s fragile; it needs [protection]. So, we’ve got to teach history based not on what’s in fashion but what’s important—why the Pilgrims came here, who Jimmy Doolittle was, and what those 30 seconds over Tokyo meant. You know, 4 years ago on the 40th anniversary of D-Day, I read a letter from a young woman writing to her late father, who’d fought on Omaha Beach. Her name was Lisa Zanatta Henn, and she said, “We will always remember, we will never forget what the boys of Normandy did.” Well, let’s help her keep her word. If we forget what we did, we won’t know who we are. I’m warning of an eradication of the American memory that could result, ultimately, in an erosion of the American spirit. Let’s start with some basics: more attention to American history and a greater emphasis on civic ritual. And let me offer lesson number one about America: All great change in America begins at the dinner table. So, tomorrow night in the kitchen, I hope the talking begins. And children, if your parents haven’t been teaching you what it means to be an American, let ’em know and nail ’em on it. That would be a very American thing to do.1
Mark R. Levin (Plunder and Deceit: Big Government's Exploitation of Young People and the Future)
When I got back to Queensland, I discovered that I was, in fact, expecting. Steve and I were over the moon. I couldn’t believe how thrilled he was. Then, mid-celebration, he suddenly pulled up short. He eyed me sideways. “Wait a minute,” he said. “You were just in Fiji for two weeks.” “Remember the CableACE Awards? Where you got bored in that room full of tuxedos?” He gave me a sly grin. “Ah, yes,” he said, satisfied with his paternity (as if there was ever any doubt!). We had ourselves an L.A. baby. I visited the doctor. “This is a first for me,” I said. “What do I do?” “Just keep doing what you would normally do,” the doctor said. “It’s probably not a good time to take up skydiving, but it would be fine to carry on with your usual activities.” I was thrilled to get Dr. Michael’s advice. He had been the Irwin family doctor for years, and he definitely understood what our lifestyle entailed. I embarked on an ambitious schedule of filmmaking.
Terri Irwin (Steve & Me)
In mid-January, we were surprised and touched when we received a letter on blue airmail paper from Diana at her flat at 60 Coleherne Court. She wrote, “I can never thank you enough, Mrs. Robertson, for being so kind and understanding with the whole of Fleet Street following me!!...Never have I adored looking after a child (more) than Patrick and thank you for providing such happiness over the year for me!” We couldn’t believe she was thinking of us at such a stressful time in her life. We knew from the press that the royal courtship was still on, but there was no word of an engagement yet. Diana must have been feeling such pressure not only from the uncertainty of the courtship but also from the continuing media speculation about her chances of succeeding where so many had failed. We were touched that she missed us as much as we missed her. We kept our fingers crossed and eagerly scanned the newspapers and magazines for news of an engagement between Diana and Charles.
Mary Robertson (The Diana I Knew: Loving Memories of the Friendship Between an American Mother and Her Son's Nanny Who Became the Princess of Wales)
Harry had never even imagined such a strange and splendid place. It was lit by thousands and thousands of candles which were floating in mid-air over four long tables, where the rest of the students were sitting. These tables were laid with glittering golden plates and goblets. At the top of the Hall was another long table where the teachers were sitting. Professor McGonagall led the first-years up here, so that they came to a halt in a line facing the other students, with the teachers behind them. The hundreds of faces staring at them looked like pale lanterns in the flickering candlelight. Dotted here and there among the students, the ghosts shone misty silver. Mainly to avoid all the staring eyes, Harry looked upwards and saw a velvety black ceiling dotted with stars. He heard Hermione whisper, ‘It’s bewitched to look like the sky outside, I read about it in Hogwarts: A History.’ It was hard to believe there was a ceiling there at all, and that the Great Hall didn’t simply open on to the heavens.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Harry Potter, #1))
By the same token, the failure to control Hitler after he was released from prison looks unreasonable only with the certainty of hindsight. Through the mid-1920s, he was banned from speaking in most German states, but as time passed and memories of the putsch receded, the bans began to be lifted. After all, Hitler was now pledging to abide by the rules of legality, and how, in a democracy, could a politician be denied the right to be heard, no matter how insidious his message, if he stayed within the bounds of the law? Who—and by what authority—had the right to silence him? Saxony, at the start of 1927, was the first large state to lift the speaking prohibition and was followed by Bavaria and others. The last to do so was the all-important state of Prussia, by far the largest in the federation (“whoever possesses Prussia possesses the Reich,” Goebbels said). It held out until after the September 1928 elections, when the Nazis won a paltry 2.6 percent of the vote, but after that dismal showing its prohibition looked untenable, a restriction based on bad faith and sheer partisan politics. Such a feeble electoral result brought the question of free speech in a democratic system into clear focus. In 1928, the Nazis seemed less a threat to democracy than a spent force, while the Weimar Republic seemed to have put down genuine roots. Real wages were rising. Unemployment had dropped dramatically. Industrial production had climbed 25 percent since 1925. “For the first time since the war, the German people were happy,” one journalist wrote. The astute political economist Joseph Schumpeter said in early 1929 that Weimar had achieved an “impressive stability” and that “in no sense, in no area, in no direction, are eruptions, upheavals or disasters probable.” The real threat to democracy during these good times appeared to be not Hitler or his party but any bans on the leaders of political organizations. Of course, two years later, after the Nazis had grown to become the second largest party in the Reichstag, it was too late to outlaw them.
Barry Gewen (The Inevitability of Tragedy: Henry Kissinger and His World)
If disease could have done the job, it is not clear why the European colonizers in America found it necessary to carry out unrelenting wars against Indigenous communities in order to gain every inch of land they took from them—nearly three hundred years of colonial warfare, followed by continued wars waged by the independent republics of the hemisphere. Whatever disagreement may exist about the size of precolonial Indigenous populations, no one doubts that a rapid demographic decline occurred in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, its timing from region to region depending on when conquest and colonization began. Nearly all the population areas of the Americas were reduced by 90 percent following the onset of colonizing projects, decreasing the targeted Indigenous populations of the Americas from one hundred million to ten million. Commonly referred to as the most extreme demographic disaster—framed as natural—in human history, it was rarely called genocide until the rise of Indigenous movements in the mid-twentieth century forged questions.
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz (An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States (ReVisioning American History, #3))
In many cases, the destruction of one empire hardly meant independence for subject peoples. Instead, a new empire stepped into the vacuum created when the old one collapsed or retreated. Nowhere has this been more obvious than in the Middle East. The current political constellation in that region – a balance of power between many independent political entities with more or less stable borders – is almost without parallel any time in the last several millennia. The last time the Middle East experienced such a situation was in the eighth century BC – almost 3,000 years ago! From the rise of the Neo-Assyrian Empire in the eighth century BC until the collapse of the British and French empires in the mid-twentieth century AD, the Middle East passed from the hands of one empire into the hands of another, like a baton in a relay race. And by the time the British and French finally dropped the baton, the Aramaeans, the Ammonites, the Phoenicians, the Philistines, the Moabites, the Edomites and the other peoples conquered by the Assyrians had long disappeared.
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
DuPont, for 130 years, had confined itself to making munitions and explosives. In the mid-1920s it then organized its first research efforts in other areas, one of them the brand-new field of polymer chemistry, which the Germans had pioneered during World War I. For several years there were no results at all. Then, in 1928, an assistant left a burner on over the weekend. On Monday morning, Wallace H. Carothers, the chemist in charge, found that the stuff in the kettle had congealed into fibers. It took another ten years before DuPont found out how to make Nylon intentionally. The point of the story is, however, that the same accident had occurred several times in the laboratories of the big German chemical companies with the same results, and much earlier. The Germans were, of course, looking for a polymerized fiber—and they could have had it, along with world leadership in the chemical industry, ten years before DuPont had Nylon. But because they had not planned the experiment, they dismissed its results, poured out the accidentally produced fibers, and started all over again.
Peter F. Drucker (Innovation and Entrepreneurship)
But Project 56 revealed that a nuclear detonation wasn’t the only danger that a weapon accident might pose. The core of the Genie contained plutonium—and when it blew apart, plutonium dust spread through the air. The risks of plutonium exposure were becoming more apparent in the mid-1950s. Although the alpha particles emitted by plutonium are too weak to penetrate human skin, they can destroy lung tissue when plutonium dust is inhaled. Anyone within a few hundred feet of a weapon accident spreading plutonium can inhale a swiftly lethal dose. Cancers of the lung, liver, lymph nodes, and bone can be caused by the inhalation of minute amounts. And the fallout from such an accident may contaminate a large area for a long time. Plutonium has a half-life of about twenty-four thousand years. It remains hazardous throughout that period, and plutonium dust is hard to clean up. “The problem of decontaminating the site of [an] accident may be insurmountable,” a classified Los Alamos report noted a month after the Genie’s one-point safety test, “and it may have to be ‘written off’ permanently.
Eric Schlosser (Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety)
The Beatles were particularly prominent examples, and Dylan’s central position in rock history is rooted in that brief period when he and the Beatles were running neck and neck. He released Bringing It All Back Home in the spring of 1965, Highway 61 Revisited that summer, and Blonde on Blonde a year later. Rubber Soul, the first Beatles album conceived as a cohesive artistic statement, was released in December 1965, followed by Revolver seven months later. In commercial terms the Beatles were in a different league: on the American market, they released four LPs of new material in 1965 and two in 1966, and each spent more than five weeks at number one on Billboard’s album chart, while Dylan would not have a number one album until the mid-1970s. But they were evolving from teen-pop hit-makers into mature, thoughtful artists, with Dylan as their acknowledged model. McCartney recalled playing him a tape of their new songs when he came through London in the spring of 1966: “He said, ‘O I get it, you don’t want to be cute anymore!’ That summed it up. . . . The cute period had ended. It started to be art.
Elijah Wald (Dylan Goes Electric!: Newport, Seeger, Dylan, and the Night that Split the Sixties)
For many years, a family of ospreys lived in a large nest near my summer home in Maine. Each season, I carefully observed their rituals and habits. In mid-April, the parents would arrive, having spent the winter in South America, and lay eggs. In early June, the eggs hatched. The babies slowly grew, as the father brought fish back to the nest, and in early to mid August were large enough to make their first flight. My wife and I recorded all of these comings and goings with cameras and in a notebook. We wrote down the number of chicks each year, usually one or two but sometimes three. We noted when the chicks first began flapping their wings, usually a couple of weeks before flying from the nest. We memorized the different chirps the parents made for danger, for hunger, for the arrival of food. After several years of cataloguing such data, we felt that we knew these ospreys. We could predict the sounds the birds would make in different situations, their flight patterns, their behavior when a storm was brewing. Reading our “osprey journals” on a winter’s night, we felt a sense of pride and satisfaction. We had carefully studied and documented a small part of the universe. Then, one August afternoon, the two baby ospreys of that season took flight for the first time as I stood on the circular deck of my house watching the nest. All summer long, they had watched me on that deck as I watched them. To them, it must have looked like I was in my nest just as they were in theirs. On this particular afternoon, their maiden flight, they did a loop of my house and then headed straight at me with tremendous speed. My immediate impulse was to run for cover, since they could have ripped me apart with their powerful talons. But something held me to my ground. When they were within twenty feet of me, they suddenly veered upward and away. But before that dazzling and frightening vertical climb, for about half a second we made eye contact. Words cannot convey what was exchanged between us in that instant. It was a look of connectedness, of mutual respect, of recognition that we shared the same land. After they were gone, I found that I was shaking, and in tears. To this day, I do not understand what happened in that half second. But it was one of the most profound moments of my life.
Alan Lightman (The Accidental Universe: The World You Thought You Knew)
I was nervous, though. I wasn't sure about it for several reasons. One question was the kids' privacy: Would people-the enemy Chris fought abroad-be out to take revenge against Chris by harming his children? Chris assured me that wouldn't happen. My other objections were more personal. Frankly, I didn't think people would care about me. In fact, I was still undecided in mid-December 2010, when I drove out to the ranch where Jim and Chris were working. “We think it’s a good idea,” Chris told me over the phone when I called on the way to say I was having second-or by that time, third or fourth-thoughts. “It will give people a better idea of what families go through.” Still unsure, I went in and met the writer. Before I knew it, we were sitting in front of a fireplace and talking. It seemed incredibly natural, even when the topics became heavy. We were all in. Before I knew it, Chris was needing a drink, and Jim was taking a lot of notes. The book took the better part of a year to write, even though they were working every day for stretches. Or at least they claimed to be working-I have a rather incriminating photo showing them playing Xbox. Maybe it was for research.
Taya Kyle (American Wife: Love, War, Faith, and Renewal)
Take Canada again: why does Canada have the health-care program it does? Up until the mid-1960s, Canada and the United States had the same capitalist health service: extremely inefficient, tons of bureaucracy, huge administrative costs, millions of people with no insurance coverage―exactly what would be amplified in the United States by Clinton's proposals for "managed competition" [put forward in 1993].21 But in 1962 in Saskatchewan, where the N.D.P. is pretty strong and the unions are pretty strong, they managed to put through a kind of rational health-care program of the sort that every industrialized country in the world has by now, except the United States and South Africa. Well, when Saskatchewan first put through that program, the doctors and the insurance companies and the business community were all screaming―but it worked so well that pretty soon all the other Provinces wanted the same thing too, and within a couple years guaranteed health care had spread over the entire country. And that happened largely because of the New Democratic Party in Canada, which does provide a kind of cover and a framework within which popular organizations like unions, and then later things like the feminist movement, have been able to get together and do things.
Noam Chomsky (Understanding Power: The Indispensable Chomsky)
We are not talking just about dollars and cents. We are talking about lives. Consider one chilling example: drug-resistant infections. As America’s breakthroughs in antibiotics recede into the past, bacteria are evolving to defeat current antibiotics. For more and more infections, we are plunging back into the pre-antibiotic era. In the United States alone, two million people are sickened and tens of thousands die each year from drug-resistant infections—mostly because private companies see little incentive to invest in the necessary research, and the federal government has failed to step in.87 Though federal funding for the National Institutes of Health ramped up in the mid-1990s, it has fallen precipitously since, cutting the share of young scientists with NIH grants in half in roughly six years.88 As one medical professor lamented recently: “In my daily work in both a university medical school and a public hospital, it’s a rare month that some bright young person doesn’t tell me they are quitting science because it’s too hard to get funded. . . . A decade or two from now, when an antibiotic-resistant bacteria or new strain of bird flu is ravaging humanity, that generation will no longer be around to lead the scientific charge on humanity’s behalf.”89
Jacob S. Hacker (American Amnesia: How the War on Government Led Us to Forget What Made America Prosper)
One had heard and read a great deal about death, and even seen a little of it, and knew by heart the thousand commonplaces of religion and poetry which seemed to deaden one's senses and veil the horror. Society being immortal, could put on immortality at will. Adams being mortal, felt only the mortality. Death took features altogether new to him, in these rich and sensuous surroundings. Nature enjoyed it, played with it, the horror added to her charm, she liked the torture, and smothered her victim with caresses. Never had one seen her so winning. The hot Italian summer brooded outside, over the market-place and the picturesque peasants, and, in the singular color of the Tuscan atmosphere, the hills and vineyards of the Apennines seemed bursting with mid-summer blood. The sick-room itself glowed with the Italian joy of life; friends filled it; no harsh northern lights pierced the soft shadows; even the dying women shared the sense of the Italian summer, the soft, velvet air, the humor, the courage, the sensual fulness of Nature and man. She faced death, as women mostly do, bravely and even gaily, racked slowly to unconsciousness, but yielding only to violence, as a soldier sabred in battle. For many thousands of years, on these hills and plains, Nature had gone on sabring men and women with the same air of sensual pleasure.
Henry Adams (The Education of Henry Adams)
Hey, I got an idea, let’s go to the movies. I wanna go to the movies, I want to take you all to the movies. Let’s go and experience the art of the cinema. Let’s begin with the Scream Of Fear, and we're gonna have it haunt us for the rest of our lives. And then let’s go see The Great Escape, and spend our summer jumping our bikes, just like Steve McQueen over barb wire. And then let’s catch The Seven Samurai for some reason on PBS, and we’ll feel like we speak Japanese because we can read the subtitles and hear the language at the same time. And then let’s lose sleep the night before we see 2001: A Space Odyssey because we have this idea that it’s going to change forever the way we look at films. And then let’s go see it four times in one year. And let’s see Woodstock three times in one year and let’s see Taxi Driver twice in one week. And let’s see Close Encounters of the Third Kind just so we can freeze there in mid-popcorn. And when the kids are old enough, let’s sit them together on the sofa and screen City Lights and Stage Coach and The Best Years of Our Lives and On The Waterfront and Midnight Cowboy and Five Easy Pieces and The Last Picture Show and Raging Bull and Schindler’s List… so that they can understand how the human condition can be captured by this amalgam of light and sound and literature we call the cinema.
Tom Hanks
There is a scene I love where a brother and sister meet after many years and little communication. They meet in an arranged café in mid-afternoon. The light is dying and the city outside rumbles softly in the complacent time before rush hour. The café is unexceptional and quiet. She comes first, sits at the far end, a table facing the door, nervous in her buttoned raincoat. The waiter is an older man. He leaves her be. The brother enters late with the look but not the words of apology. He kisses her cheek. They sit and the old man brings them teas they do not want, two pots, strong for him weak for her. It is long ago since they said each other’s names aloud, and saying them now has the extraordinary shyness of encounter I imagine on the Last Day. At first there is the full array of human awkwardness. But here is the thing: almost in an instant their old selves are immediately present. The years and the changes are nothing. They need few words. They recognise each other in each other, and even in silence the familiarity is powerfully consoling, because despite time and difference there remains that deep-river current, that kind of maybe communion that only exists within people joined in the word family. So now what washes up between them, foam-white and fortifying and quite unexpectedly, is love. I cannot remember what book it is in. But it’s in this one now.
To understand Bashō’s place in Japanese poetry, it’s useful to have some sense of the literary culture he entered. The practice of the fine arts had been central to Japanese life from at least the seventh century, and virtually all educated people painted, played musical instruments, and wrote poems. In 17th century Japan, linked-verse writing was as widespread and popular as card games or Scrabble in mid-20th-century America. A certain amount of rice wine was often involved, and so another useful comparison might be made to playing pool or darts at a local bar. The closest analogy, though, can be found in certain areas of online life today. As with Dungeons and Dragons a few years ago, or Worlds of War and Second Life today, linked verse brought its practitioners into an interactive community that was continually and rapidly evolving. Hovering somewhere between art-form and competition, renga writing provided both a party and a playing field in which intelligence, knowledge, and ingenuity might be put to the test. Add to this mix some of street rap’s boundary-pushing language, and, finally, the video images of You-Tube. Now imagine the possibility that a “high art” form of very brief films might emerge from You-Tube, primarily out of one extraordinarily talented young film-maker’s creations and influence. In the realm of 17th-century Japanese haiku, that person was Basho.
Jane Hirshfield (The Heart of Haiku)
The sight of the canyon down there as we renegotiated the mountain road made me bite my lip with marvel and sadness. It's as familiar as an old face in an old photograph as tho I'm gone a million years from all that sun shaded brush on rocks and that heartless blue of the sea washing white on yellow sand, those rills of yellow arroyo running down mighty cliff shoulders, those distant blue meadows, that whole ponderous groaning upheaval so strange to see after the last several days of just looking at little faces and mouths of people -- As tho nature had a Gargantuan leprous face of its own with broad nostrils and huge bags under its eyes and a mouth big enough to swallow five thousand jeepster stationwagons and ten thousand Dave Wains and Cody Pomerays without a sigh of reminiscence or regret -- There it is, every sad contour of my valley, the gaps, the Mien Mo captop mountain again, the dreaming woods below our high shelved road, suddenly indeed the sight of poor Alf again far way grazing in the mid afternoon by the corral fence -- And there's the creek bouncing along as tho nothing had ever happened elsewhere and even in the daytime somehow dark and hungry looking in its deeper tangled grass. Cody's never seen this country before altho he's an old Californian by now, I can see he's very impressed and even glad he's come out on a little jaunt with the boys and with me and is seeing a grand sight.
Jack Kerouac (Big Sur)
Buffett declared the best inflation hedge is a company with a wonderful product that requires little capital to grow. As a test, he invited each of us to look at our own earning ability. In inflation, your compensation can go up without any additional investment. As a business example, Buffett noted that when See’s Candy was purchased in 1971, it had the revenues of $25 million and sold 16 million pounds of candy annually with $9 million in tangible assets. Today, See’s sells $300 million of candy with $40 million of tangible assets. Berkshire needed to invest only $31 million to generate a more than 10-fold increase in revenues. In aggregate, Buffett noted that Berkshire has earned $1.5 billion in profits at See’s over the years. See’s inventory turns fast, has no receivables and has little fixed investment – a perfect inflation hedge. Buffett allowed that if you have tons of receivables and inventory, that’s a lousy business in inflation. The railroad and MidAmerican Energy both have these undesirable characteristics, but that is offset by their utility to the economy and subsequent allowable returns. Buffett rued that there simply aren’t enough “See’s Candys” to buy. Buffett added that being an investor has made him a better businessman and that being a businessman has made him a better investor.(125) Munger noted that they didn’t always know this inflation-business element, which shows how continuous learning is so important.
Daniel Pecaut (University of Berkshire Hathaway: 30 Years of Lessons Learned from Warren Buffett & Charlie Munger at the Annual Shareholders Meeting)
But the crown jewel was the columned Greek Revival mansion, which dated from the mid-1800s, along with the manicured boxwood gardens that would serve as the backdrop for the couple's ceremony. Of course, everything was not only very traditional but also a standard to what one might imagine an over-the-top Southern wedding to be. As I said, "Steel Magnolias on steroids." The ceremony would take place outdoors in the garden, but large custom peach-and-white scalloped umbrellas were placed throughout the rows of bamboo folding chairs to shade the guests. Magnolia blossoms and vintage lace adorned the ends of the aisles. White, trellis-covered bars flanked the entrance to the gardens where guests could select from a cucumber cooler or spiked sweet tea to keep cool during the thirty-minute nuptials. It was still considered spring, but like Dallas, Nashville could heat up early in the year, and we were glad to be prepared. By the time we arrived the tent was well on its way to completion, and rental deliveries were rolling in. The reception structure was located past the gardens near the enormous whitewashed former stable, and inside the ceiling was draped in countless yards of peach fabric with crystal chandeliers hanging above every dining table. Custom napkins with embroidered magnolias on them complemented the centerpieces' peach garden roses, lush greenery, and dried cotton stems. Cedric's carpentry department created floor-to-ceiling lattice walls covered in faux greenery and white wisteria blooms, a dreamy backdrop for the band.
Mary Hollis Huddleston (Without a Hitch)
Early in a career that began in 1912 when he was 19 years old, Romain de Tirtoff, the Russian-born artists who called himself Erté after the french pronunciation of his initials, was regarded as a 'miraculous magician,' whose spectacular fashions transformed the ordinary into the outstanding, whose period costumes made the present vanish mystically into the past, and whose décors converted bare stages into sparkling wonderlands of fun and fancy. When his career ended with his death in 1990, Erté was considered as 'one of the twentieth-century's single most important influences on fashion,' 'a mirror of fashion for 75 years,' and the unchallenged 'prince of the music hall,' who had been accorded the most significant international honors in the field of design and whose work was represented in major museums and private collections throughout the world. It is not surprising that Erté's imaginative designs for fashion, theater, opera, ballet, music hall, film and commerce achieved such renown, for they are as crisp and innovative in their color and design as they are elegant and extravagant in character, and redolent of the romance of the pre- and post-Great War era, the period when Erté's hand became mature, fully developed and representative of its time. Art historians and scholars define Ertés unique style as transitional Art Deco, because it bridges the visual gab between fin-de-siècle schools of Symbolism, with its ethereal quality, Art Nouveau, with its high ornament, and the mid-1920s movement of Art Deco, with its inspirational sources and concise execution.
Jean Tibbetts (Erte)
Postscript, 2005 From the Publisher ON APRIL 7, 2004, the Mid-Hudson Highland Post carried an article about an appearance that John Gatto made at Highland High School. Headlined “Rendered Speechless,” the report was subtitled “Advocate for education reform brings controversy to Highland.” The article relates the events of March 25 evening of that year when the second half of John Gatto’s presentation was canceled by the School Superintendent, “following complaints from the Highland Teachers Association that the presentation was too controversial.” On the surface, the cancellation was in response to a video presentation that showed some violence. But retired student counselor Paul Jankiewicz begged to differ, pointing out that none of the dozens of students he talked to afterwards were inspired to violence. In his opinion, few people opposing Gatto had seen the video presentation. Rather, “They were taking the lead from the teacher’s union who were upset at the whole tone of the presentation.” He continued, “Mr. Gatto basically told them that they were not serving kids well and that students needed to be told the truth, be given real-life learning experiences, and be responsible for their own education. [Gatto] questioned the validity and relevance of standardized tests, the prison atmosphere of school, and the lack of relevant experience given students.” He added that Gatto also had an important message for parents: “That you have to take control of your children’s education.” Highland High School senior Chris Hart commended the school board for bringing Gatto to speak, and wished that more students had heard his message. Senior Katie Hanley liked the lecture for its “new perspective,” adding that ”it was important because it started a new exchange and got students to think for themselves.” High School junior Qing Guo found Gatto “inspiring.” Highland teacher Aliza Driller-Colangelo was also inspired by Gatto, and commended the “risk-takers,” saying that, following the talk, her class had an exciting exchange about ideas. Concluded Jankiewicz, the students “were eager to discuss the issues raised. Unfortunately, our school did not allow that dialogue to happen, except for a few teachers who had the courage to engage the students.” What was not reported in the newspaper is the fact that the school authorities called the police to intervene and ‘restore the peace’ which, ironically enough, was never in the slightest jeopardy as the student audience was well-behaved and attentive throughout. A scheduled evening meeting at the school between Gatto and the Parents Association was peremptorily forbidden by school district authorities in a final assault on the principles of free speech and free assembly… There could be no better way of demonstrating the lasting importance of John Taylor Gatto’s work, and of this small book, than this sorry tale. It is a measure of the power of Gatto’s ideas, their urgency, and their continuing relevance that school authorities are still trying to shut them out 12 years after their initial publication, afraid even to debate them. — May the crusade continue! Chris Plant Gabriola Island, B.C. February, 2005
John Taylor Gatto (Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling)
Why, thou monkey,’ said a harpooneer to one of these lads, ‘we ’ve been cruising now hard upon three years, and thou hast not raised a whale yet. Whales are scarce as hen’s teeth whenever thou art up here.’ Perhaps they were; or perhaps there might have been shoals of them in the far horizon; but lulled into such an opium-like listlessness of vacant, unconscious revery is this absent-minded youth by the blending cadence of waves with thoughts, that at last he loses his identity; takes the mystic ocean at his feet for the visible image of that deep, blue, bottomless soul, pervading mankind and nature; and every strange, half-seen, gliding, beautiful thing that eludes him; every dimly-discovered, uprising fin of some undiscernible form, seems to him the embodiment of those elusive thoughts that only people the soul by continually flitting through it. In this enchanted mood, thy spirit ebbs away to whence it came; becomes diffused through time and space; like Cranmer’s sprinkled Pantheistic ashes, forming at last a part of every shore the round globe over. 10 There is no life in thee, now, except that rocking life imparted by a gently rolling ship; by her, borrowed from the sea; by the sea, from the inscrutable tides of God. But while this sleep, this dream is on ye, move your foot or hand an inch; slip your hold at all; and your identity comes back in horror. Over Descartian vortices you hover. And perhaps, at mid-day, in the fairest weather, with one half-throttled shriek you drop through that transparent air into the summer sea, no more to rise forever. Heed it well, ye Pantheists!
Herman Melville
The plot of Love on a Mortal Lease is not unlike those Shakespear would use later, nor unlike those of commonplace Victorian works. The heroine, Rachel Gwynne, has dead parents, as is the case from Oliver Twist (1837) through hundreds of other ensuing tripledeckers. Rachel is a novelist – most of Shakespear’s heroines would be writers – in love with a military man many years her senior. After he refuses to marry her because he fears his mother will dislike Rachel and therefore disinherit him, Rachel becomes his mistress. Once the snobby old mother meets Rachel by happenstance in London, however, they immediately adore each other, and the Colonel may now safely marry Rachel – though she doesn’t love him anymore, and he seems none too fond of her, either. They muddle along in unhappy matrimony until Rachel conveniently discovers (as we’ve known for a while) that the Colonel has had another longtime mistress, a stupid society girl, throughout the course of their marriage, and even during their preceding affair. When the Colonel even more conveniently falls on his head and dies, Rachel is made a wealthy widow in her mid-twenties, free to marry a nice young writer who knows about, but forgives her, her former relationship. A happily wish-fulfilling story, perhaps, for a young woman writer in a bad marriage, and Rachel has some interesting ideas about her profession: speaking of clever girls who scribble, she hopes for the day that “the cleverness and the scribbling . . . fall from her, like a disguise, and she stands revealed in her true form – then she may never write another word, or she may write something immortal.”8
Olivia Shakespear (Beauty's Hour: A Phantasy)
A story best told at speed. After finals, more exams, then the call to the bar, pupillage, a lucky invitation to prestigious chambers, some early success defending hopeless cases—how sensible it had seemed, to delay a child until her early thirties. And when those years came, they brought complex worthwhile cases, more success. Jack was also hesitant, arguing for holding back another year or two. Mid-thirties then, when he was teaching in Pittsburgh and she worked a fourteen-hour day, drifting deeper into family law as the idea of her own family receded, despite the visits of nephews and nieces. In the following years, the first rumors that she might be elected precociously to the bench and required to be on circuit. But the call didn’t come, not yet. And in her forties, there sprang up anxieties about elderly gravids and autism. Soon after, more young visitors to Gray’s Inn Square, noisy demanding great-nephews, great-nieces, reminded her how hard it would be to squeeze an infant into her kind of life. Then rueful thoughts of adoption, some tentative inquiries—and throughout the accelerating years that followed, occasional agonies of doubt, firm late-night decisions concerning surrogate mothers undone in the early-morning rush to work. And when at last, at nine thirty one morning at the Royal Courts of Justice, she was sworn in by the Lord Chief Justice and took her oath of allegiance and her Judicial Oath before two hundred of her bewigged colleagues, and she stood proudly before them in her robes, the subject of a witty speech, she knew the game was up; she belonged to the law as some women had once been brides of Christ.
Ian McEwan (The Children Act)
In the mid-twentieth century, the subfield of cosmology—not to be confused with cosmetology—didn’t have much data. And where data are sparse, competing ideas abound that are clever and wishful. The existence of the CMB was predicted by the Russian-born American physicist George Gamow and colleagues during the 1940s. The foundation of these ideas came from the 1927 work of the Belgian physicist and priest Georges Lemaître, who is generally recognized as the “father” of big bang cosmology. But it was American physicists Ralph Alpher and Robert Herman who, in 1948, first estimated what the temperature of the cosmic background ought to be. They based their calculations on three pillars: 1) Einstein’s 1916 general theory of relativity; 2) Edwin Hubble’s 1929 discovery that the universe is expanding; and 3) atomic physics developed in laboratories before and during the Manhattan Project that built the atomic bombs of World War II. Herman and Alpher calculated and proposed a temperature of 5 degrees Kelvin for the universe. Well, that’s just plain wrong. The precisely measured temperature of these microwaves is 2.725 degrees, sometimes written as simply 2.7 degrees, and if you’re numerically lazy, nobody will fault you for rounding the temperature of the universe to 3 degrees. Let’s pause for a moment. Herman and Alpher used atomic physics freshly gleaned in a lab, and applied it to hypothesized conditions in the early universe. From this, they extrapolated billions of years forward, calculating what temperature the universe should be today. That their prediction even remotely approximated the right answer is a stunning triumph of human insight.
Neil deGrasse Tyson (Astrophysics for People in a Hurry (Astrophysics for People in a Hurry Series))
to keep hold of. I hold onto it, ignoring the sting of the sharp edges cutting into my hand. Raise it between Viper and I. Dig it into the top of his chest and shoulder and cut. Viper pulls away from me, a line of bloody spit trailing between our lips and then breaking and falling between us. Then he looks to see what I’ve done. The cut isn’t deep. It’s actually rather shallow. Not going to even leave a mark once it’s said and done. But you wouldn’t know it based on the way blood gushes forth from it. I stick out my tongue. Seeming to know what I’m getting at, Viper removes his arm from where it’s holding me down and allows me to lean up and forward to clean the wound I inflicted. By now, the blood has begun to make a trail down his chest. So I catch it mid-chest on my tongue. Then lick my way back up to the still bleeding wound. I smear my lips against it, making a mess of blood in the area where the cut is. Pull away. Plant kisses on the wound while it continues to bleed. His entire body shudders, and he hits the wall next to my head, and I can’t help but preen at how much that tells me he likes it. Can’t help but moan as my pussy aches in painful wanting of his cock. Finally, I begin to clean the wound with my tongue. Licking the blood away until the bleeding has stopped, and there’s nothing there but a thin line of cut skin. At some point without my notice, Viper managed to take the sharp piece of glass out my bloody hand. I incorrectly assume he’s going to give me a cut of his own. Instead, he points the glass to his own chest. Hovers it above a scar. The remnant from where I shot him all those years ago. Then, without hesitation, he makes a slash
Michaela Jackson (Vice (The Vengeance #3))
One particularly distressing example of the high cost to feminist progress exacted by the war is what happened in Pakistan after the capture of Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan, in 2011. In the run-up to his capture, the CIA and the U.S. military allegedly worked with the charity Save the Children in hiring Dr. Shakil Afridi, a Pakistani physician, to run a fake Hepatitis B vaccination program as a front for their surveillance operations.15 Per CIA instructions, Dr. Afridi and a female healthcare worker visited the bin Laden compound under the guise of administering vaccinations and managed to gain access, although they did not see bin Laden. In 2012, all foreign Save the Children staff were expelled from Pakistan, and in 2015, the entire organization there was required to shut its doors, despite having denied (and continuing to deny) that it was involved in this effort. The CIA managed to get their guy, but when the Pakistanis, irate at not having been told about the raid, expelled U.S. military trainers from Islamabad, they were immediately threatened with a cut of the $800 million aid package that the U.S. had promised, thus exposing yet again the coercive power that aid wields. The loss of aid money was not, however, the worst impact of the tragedy. As the British medical journal The Lancet reported, the unintended victims of the tragedy were the millions of Pakistani children whose parents now refused to have them vaccinated amidst rising rates of polio, a disease that vaccination had essentially extinguished in Western countries by the mid-twentieth century.16 In their view, if the CIA could hire a doctor to run a fake vaccine program, then the whole premise of vaccinations became untrustworthy. Within a few years of the raid, Pakistan had 60 percent of all the world’s confirmed polio cases.17
Rafia Zakaria (Against White Feminism: Notes on Disruption)
As the scandal spread and gained momentum, Cardinal Law found himself on the cover of Newsweek, and the Church in crisis became grist for the echo chamber of talk radio and all-news cable stations. The image of TV reporters doing live shots from outside klieg-lit churches and rectories became a staple of the eleven o’clock news. Confidentiality deals, designed to contain the Church’s scandal and maintain privacy for embarrassed victims, began to evaporate as those who had been attacked learned that the priests who had assaulted them had been put in positions where they could attack others too. There were stories about clergy sex abuse in virtually every state in the Union. The scandal reached Ireland, Mexico, Austria, France, Chile, Australia, and Poland, the homeland of the Pope. A poll done for the Washington Post, ABC News, and Beliefnet.com showed that a growing majority of Catholics were critical of the way their Church was handling the crisis. Seven in ten called it a major problem that demanded immediate attention. Hidden for so long, the financial price of the Church’s negligence was astonishing. At least two dioceses said they had been pushed to the brink of bankruptcy after being abandoned by their insurance companies. In the past twenty years, according to some estimates, the cost to pay legal settlements to those victimized by the clergy was as much as $1.3 billion. Now the meter was running faster. Hundreds of people with fresh charges of abuse began to contact lawyers. By April 2002, Cardinal Law was under siege and in seclusion in his mansion in Boston, where he was heckled by protesters, satirized by cartoonists, lampooned by late-night comics, and marginalized by a wide majority of his congregation that simply wanted him out. In mid-April, Law secretly flew to Rome, where he discussed resigning with the Pope.
The Investigative Globe (Betrayal: The Crisis In the Catholic Church: The Findings of the Investigation That Inspired the Major Motion Picture Spotlight)
the absence of an ‘international standard burglar’, the nearest I know to a working classification is one developed by a U.S. Army expert [118]. Derek is a 19-year old addict. He's looking for a low-risk opportunity to steal something he can sell for his next fix. Charlie is a 40-year old inadequate with seven convictions for burglary. He's spent seventeen of the last twenty-five years in prison. Although not very intelligent he is cunning and experienced; he has picked up a lot of ‘lore’ during his spells inside. He steals from small shops and suburban houses, taking whatever he thinks he can sell to local fences. Bruno is a ‘gentleman criminal’. His business is mostly stealing art. As a cover, he runs a small art gallery. He has a (forged) university degree in art history on the wall, and one conviction for robbery eighteen years ago. After two years in jail, he changed his name and moved to a different part of the country. He has done occasional ‘black bag’ jobs for intelligence agencies who know his past. He'd like to get into computer crime, but the most he's done so far is stripping $100,000 worth of memory chips from a university's PCs back in the mid-1990s when there was a memory famine. Abdurrahman heads a cell of a dozen militants, most with military training. They have infantry weapons and explosives, with PhD-grade technical support provided by a disreputable country. Abdurrahman himself came third out of a class of 280 at the military academy of that country but was not promoted because he's from the wrong ethnic group. He thinks of himself as a good man rather than a bad man. His mission is to steal plutonium. So Derek is unskilled, Charlie is skilled, Bruno is highly skilled and may have the help of an unskilled insider such as a cleaner, while Abdurrahman is not only highly skilled but has substantial resources.
Ross J. Anderson (Security Engineering: A Guide to Building Dependable Distributed Systems)
As we’ll explain in the coming chapters, these everyday parenting challenges result from a lack of integration within your child’s brain. The reason her brain isn’t always capable of integration is simple: it hasn’t had time to develop. In fact, it’s got a long way to go, since a person’s brain isn’t considered fully developed until she reaches her mid-twenties. So that’s the bad news: you have to wait for your child’s brain to develop. That’s right. No matter how brilliant you think your preschooler is, she does not have the brain of a ten-year-old, and won’t for several years. The rate of brain maturation is largely influenced by the genes we inherit. But the degree of integration may be exactly what we can influence in our day-to-day parenting. The good news is that by using everyday moments, you can influence how well your child’s brain grows toward integration. First, you can develop the diverse elements of your child’s brain by offering opportunities to exercise them. Second, you can facilitate integration so that the separate parts become better connected and work together in powerful ways. This isn’t making your children grow up more quickly—it’s simply helping them develop the many parts of themselves and integrate them. We’re also not talking about wearing yourself (and your kids) out by frantically trying to fill every experience with significance and meaning. We’re talking about simply being present with your children so you can help them become better integrated. As a result, they will thrive emotionally, intellectually, and socially. An integrated brain results in improved decision making, better control of body and emotions, fuller self-understanding, stronger relationships, and success in school. And it all begins with the experiences parents and other caregivers provide, which lay the groundwork for integration and mental health.
Daniel J. Siegel (The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind)
The climate for relationships within an innovation group is shaped by the climate outside it. Having a negative instead of a positive culture can cost a company real money. During Seagate Technology’s troubled period in the mid-to-late 1990s, the company, a large manufacturer of disk drives for personal computers, had seven different design centers working on innovation, yet it had the lowest R&D productivity in the industry because the centers competed rather than cooperated. Attempts to bring them together merely led people to advocate for their own groups rather than find common ground. Not only did Seagate’s engineers and managers lack positive norms for group interaction, but they had the opposite in place: People who yelled in executive meetings received “Dog’s Head” awards for the worst conduct. Lack of product and process innovation was reflected in loss of market share, disgruntled customers, and declining sales. Seagate, with its dwindling PC sales and fading customer base, was threatening to become a commodity producer in a changing technology environment. Under a new CEO and COO, Steve Luczo and Bill Watkins, who operated as partners, Seagate developed new norms for how people should treat one another, starting with the executive group. Their raised consciousness led to a systemic process for forming and running “core teams” (cross-functional innovation groups), and Seagate employees were trained in common methodologies for team building, both in conventional training programs and through participation in difficult outdoor activities in New Zealand and other remote locations. To lead core teams, Seagate promoted people who were known for strong relationship skills above others with greater technical skills. Unlike the antagonistic committees convened during the years of decline, the core teams created dramatic process and product innovations that brought the company back to market leadership. The new Seagate was able to create innovations embedded in a wide range of new electronic devices, such as iPods and cell phones.
Harvard Business School Press (HBR's 10 Must Reads on Innovation (with featured article "The Discipline of Innovation," by Peter F. Drucker))
Complex systems are more spontaneous, more disorderly, more alive than that. At the same time, however, their peculiar dynamism is also a far cry from the weirdly unpredictable gyrations known as chaos. In the past two decades, chaos theory has shaken science to its foundations with the realization that very simple dynamical rules can give rise to extraordinarily intricate behavior; witness the endlessly detailed beauty of fractals, or the foaming turbulence of a river. And yet chaos by itself doesn't explain the structure, the coherence, the self-organizing cohesiveness of complex systems. Instead, all these complex systems have somehow acquired the ability to bring order and chaos into a special kind of balance. This balance point—often called the edge of chaos—is were the components of a system never quite lock into place, and yet never quite dissolve into turbulence, either. The edge of chaos is where life has enough stability to sustain itself and enough creativity to deserve the name of life. The edge of chaos is where new ideas and innovative genotypes are forever nibbling away at the edges of the status quo, and where even the most entrenched old guard will eventually be overthrown. The edge of chaos is where centuries of slavery and segregation suddenly give way to the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s; where seventy years of Soviet communism suddenly give way to political turmoil and ferment; where eons of evolutionary stability suddenly give way to wholesale species transformation. The edge of chaos is the constantly shifting battle zone between stagnation and anarchy, the one place where a complex system can be spontaneous, adaptive, and alive. Complexity, adaptation, upheavals at the edge of chaos—these common themes are so striking that a growing number of scientists are convinced that there is more here than just a series of nice analogies. The movement's nerve center is a think tank known as the Santa Fe Institute, which was founded in the mid-1980s and which was originally housed in a rented convent in the midst of
M. Mitchell Waldrop (Complexity: The Emerging Science at the Edge of Order and Chaos)
Some chapters back, one Bulkington was spoken of, a tall, newlanded mariner, encountered in New Bedford at the inn. When on that shivering winter’s night, the Pequod thrust her vindictive bows into the cold malicious waves, who should I see standing at her helm but Bulkington! I looked with sympathetic awe and fearfulness upon the man, who in mid-winter just landed from a four years’ dangerous voyage, could so unrestingly push off again for still another tempestuous term. The land seemed scorching to his feet. Wonderfullest things are ever the unmentionable; deep memories yield no epitaphs; this six-inch chapter is the stoneless grave of Bulkington. Let me only say that it fared with him as with the storm-tossed ship, that miserably drives along the leeward land. The port would fain give succor; the port is pitiful; in the port is safety, comfort, hearthstone, supper, warm blankets, friends, all that’s kind to our mortalities. But in that gale, the port, the land, is that ship’s direst jeopardy; she must fly all hospitality; one touch of land, though it but graze the keel, would make her shudder through and through. With all her might she crowds all sail off shore; in so doing, fights ‘gainst the very winds that fain would blow her homeward; seeks all the lashed sea’s landlessness again; for refuge’s sake forlornly rushing into peril; her only friend her bitterest foe! Know ye now, Bulkington? Glimpses do ye seem to see of that mortally intolerable truth; that all deep, earnest thinking is but the intrepid effort of the soul to keep the open independence of her sea; while the wildest winds of heaven and earth conspire to cast her on the treacherous, slavish shore? But as in landlessness alone resides highest truth, shoreless, indefinite as God- so better is it to perish in that howling infinite, than be ingloriously dashed upon the lee, even if that were safety! For worm-like, then, oh! who would craven crawl to land! Terrors of the terrible! is all this agony so vain? Take heart, take heart, O Bulkington! Bear thee grimly, demigod! Up from the spray of thy ocean-perishing- straight up, leaps thy apotheosis!
Herman Melville (Moby-Dick or, The Whale)
The modern educational system provides numerous other examples of reality bowing down to written records. When measuring the width of my desk, the yardstick I am using matters little. My desk remains the same width regardless of whether I say it is 200 centimetres or 78.74 inches. However, when bureaucracies measure people, the yardsticks they choose make all the difference. When schools began assessing people according to precise marks, the lives of millions of students and teachers changed dramatically. Marks are a relatively new invention. Hunter-gatherers were never marked for their achievements, and even thousands of years after the Agricultural Revolution, few educational establishments used precise marks. A medieval apprentice cobbler did not receive at the end of the year a piece of paper saying he has got an A on shoelaces but a C minus on buckles. An undergraduate in Shakespeare’s day left Oxford with one of only two possible results – with a degree, or without one. Nobody thought of giving one student a final mark of 74 and another student 88.6 Credit 1.24 24. A European map of Africa from the mid-nineteenth century. The Europeans knew very little about the African interior, which did not prevent them from dividing the continent and drawing its borders. Only the mass educational systems of the industrial age began using precise marks on a regular basis. Since both factories and government ministries became accustomed to thinking in the language of numbers, schools followed suit. They started to gauge the worth of each student according to his or her average mark, whereas the worth of each teacher and principal was judged according to the school’s overall average. Once bureaucrats adopted this yardstick, reality was transformed. Originally, schools were supposed to focus on enlightening and educating students, and marks were merely a means of measuring success. But naturally enough, schools soon began focusing on getting high marks. As every child, teacher and inspector knows, the skills required to get high marks in an exam are not the same as a true understanding of literature, biology or mathematics. Every child, teacher and inspector also knows that when forced to choose between the two, most schools will go for the marks.
Yuval Noah Harari (Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow)
Maybe nostalgia is itself the problem. A Democrat I met in Macon during a conversation we had about the local enthusiasm for Trump told me that “people want to go back to Mayberry”, the setting of the beloved old Andy Griffith Show. (As it happens, the actual model for Mayberry, Mount Airy, a bedraggled town in North Carolina, has gone all in on the Trump revolution, as the Washington Post recently reported.) Maybe it’s also true, as my liberal friends believe, that what people in this part of the country secretly long to go back to are the days when the Klan was riding high or when Quantrill was terrorizing the people of neighboring Kansas, or when Dred Scott was losing his famous court case. For sure, there is a streak of that ugly sentiment in the Trump phenomenon. But I want to suggest something different: that the nostalgic urge does not necessarily have to be a reactionary one. There is nothing un-progressive about wanting your town to thrive, about recognizing that it isn’t thriving today, about figuring out that the mid-century, liberal way worked better. For me, at least, that is how nostalgia unfolds. When I drive around this part of the country, I always do so with a WPA guidebook in hand, the better to help me locate the architectural achievements of the Roosevelt years. I used to patronize a list of restaurants supposedly favored by Harry Truman (they are slowly disappearing). And these days, as I pass Trump sign after Trump sign, I wonder what has made so many of Truman’s people cast their lot with this blustering would-be caudillo. Maybe what I’m pining for is a liberal Magic Kingdom, a non-racist midwest where things function again. For a countryside dotted with small towns where the business district has reasonable job-creating businesses in it, taverns too. For a state where the giant chain stores haven’t succeeded in putting everyone out of business. For an economy where workers can form unions and buy new cars every couple of years, where farmers enjoy the protection of the laws, and where corporate management has not been permitted to use every trick available to them to drive down wages and play desperate cities off one against the other. Maybe it’s just an impossible utopia, a shimmering Mayberry dream. But somehow I don’t think so.
Thomas Frank (Rendezvous with Oblivion: Reports from a Sinking Society)
The lack of attention to Moses’s sons here and elsewhere in the Torah—essentially nothing is said about them—needs to be explained. And the explanation is probably this: They did not amount to much. This raises the interesting issue of the difficulty many children of great people face in leading successful and satisfying lives. In a book about Moses, ‘Overcoming Life’s Disappointments’, Rabbi Harold Kushner writes about this: Sometimes the father casts so large a shadow that he makes it hard for his children to find the sunshine they need to grow and flourish. Sometimes, the father’s achievements are so intimidating that the child just gives up any hope of equaling him. But mostly, I suspect, it takes so much of a man’s [the father’s] time and energy to be a great man—great in some ways but not in all—that he has too little time left to be a father. As the South African leader Nelson Mandela’s daughter was quoted as saying to him, ‘You are the father of all our people but you never had time to be a father to me.’ Kushner relates a remarkable story he read in a magazine geared toward clergy, a fictional account of a pastor in a mid-sized church who had a dream one night in which a voice said to him, ‘There are fifty teenagers in your church, and you have the ability to lead forty-nine of them to God and lose out on only one.’ Energized by the dream, the minister throws all his energy into youth work, organizing special classes and trips for the church’s teens. He eventually develops a national reputation in his denomination for his work with young people. ‘And then one night he discovers his sixteen-year-old son has been arrested for dealing drugs. The boy turned bitterly against the church and its teachings, resenting his father for having had time for every sixteen-year-old in town except him, and the father never noticed. His son was the fiftieth teenager, the one who got away.’ Of course, this was not necessarily true of Moses’s children, but the silence of the Torah concerning his children (which is not the case with the children of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Aaron) serves as an important reminder to parents who have achieved success to be sure to make time for their children. They need to try to ensure their children feel they occupy a special place in their parents’ hearts and no matter how pressing the parent’s responsibilities he or she will always find time for them.
Dennis Prager (The Rational Bible: Exodus)
The culture generated by peer-orientation is sterile in the strict sense of that word: it is unable to reproduce itself or to transmit values that can serve future generations. There are very few third generation hippies. Whatever its nostalgic appeal, that culture did not have much staying power. Peer culture is momentary, transient, and created daily, a “culture du jour,” as it were. The content of peer culture resonates with the psychology of our peer-oriented children and adults who are arrested in their own development. In one sense it is fortunate that peer culture cannot be passed on to future generations, since its only redeeming aspect is that it is fresh every decade. It does not edify or nurture or even remotely evoke the best in us or in our children. The peer culture, concerned only with what is fashionable at the moment, lacks any sense of tradition or history. As peer orientation rises, young people's appreciation of history wanes, even of recent history. For them, present and future exist in a vacuum with no connection to the past. The implications are alarming for the prospects of any informed political and social decision-making flowing from such ignorance. A current example is South Africa today, where the end of apartheid has brought not only political freedom but, on the negative side, rapid and rampant Westernization and the advent of globalized peer culture. The tension between the generations is already intensifying. “Our parents are trying to educate us about the past,” one South African teenager told a Canadian newspaper reporter. “We're forced to hear about racists and politics…” For his part, Steve Mokwena, a thirty-six year-old historian and a veteran of the anti-apartheid struggle, is described by the journalist as being “from a different world than the young people he now works with.” “They're being force-fed on a diet of American pop trash. It's very worrying,” said Mokwena—in his mid-thirties hardly a hoary patriarch.on a diet of American pop trash. It's very worrying,” said Mokwena—in his mid-thirties hardly a hoary patriarch. You might argue that peer orientation, perhaps, can bring us to the genuine globalization of culture, of a universal civilization that no longer divides the world into “us and them.” Didn't the MTV broadcaster brag that children all over television's world resembled one another more than their parents and grandparents? Could this not be the way to the future, a way to transcend the cultures that divide us and to establish a worldwide culture of connection and peace? We think not.
Gabor Maté (Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers)
Weston, having been born in Chicago, was raised with typical, well-grounded, mid-western values. On his 16th birthday, his father gave him a Kodak camera with which he started what would become his lifetime vocation. During the summer of 1908, Weston met Flora May Chandler, a schoolteacher who was seven years older than he was. The following year the couple married and in time they had four sons. Weston and his family moved to Southern California and opened a portrait studio on Brand Boulevard, in the artsy section of Glendale, California, called Tropico. His artistic skills soon became apparent and he became well known for his portraits of famous people, such as Carl Sandburg and Max Eastman. In the autumn of 1913, hearing of his work, Margrethe Mather, a photographer from Los Angeles, came to his studio, where Weston asked her to be his studio assistant. It didn’t take long before the two developed a passionate, intimate relationship. Both Weston and Mather became active in the growing bohemian cultural scene in Los Angeles. She was extremely outgoing and artistic in a most flamboyant way. Her bohemian sexual values were new to Weston’s conventional thinking, but Mather excited him and presented him with a new outlook that he found enticing. Mather was beautiful, and being bisexual and having been a high-class prostitute, was delightfully worldly. Mather's uninhibited lifestyle became irresistible to Weston and her photography took him into a new and exciting art form. As Mather worked and overtly played with him, she presented a lifestyle that was in stark contrast to Weston’s conventional home life, and he soon came to see his wife Flora as a person with whom he had little in common. Weston expanded his horizons but tried to keep his affairs with other women a secret. As he immersed himself further into nude photography, it became more difficult to hide his new lifestyle from his wife. Flora became suspicious about this secret life, but apparently suffered in silence. One of the first of many women who agreed to model nude for Weston was Tina Modotti. Although Mather remained with Weston, Tina soon became his primary model and remained so for the next several years. There was an instant attraction between Tina Modotti, Mather and Edward Weston, and although he remained married, Tina became his student, model and lover. Richey soon became aware of the affair, but it didn’t seem to bother him, as they all continued to remain good friends. The relationship Tina had with Weston could definitely be considered “cheating,” since knowledge of the affair was withheld as much as possible from his wife Flora May. Perhaps his wife knew and condoned this new promiscuous relationship, since she had also endured the intense liaison with Margrethe Mather. Tina, Mather and Weston continued working together until Tina and Weston suddenly left for Mexico in 1923. As a group, they were all a part of the cozy, artsy, bohemian society of Los Angeles, which was where they were introduced to the then-fashionable, communistic philosophy.
Hank Bracker
These beauteous forms, Through a long absence, have not been to me As is a landscape to a blind man's eye: But oft, in lonely rooms, and 'mid the din Of towns and cities, I have owed to them, In hours of weariness, sensations sweet, Felt in the blood, and felt along the heart; And passing even into my purer mind With tranquil restoration:—feelings too Of unremembered pleasure: such, perhaps, As have no slight or trivial influence On that best portion of a good man's life, His little, nameless, unremembered, acts Of kindness and of love. Nor less, I trust, To them I may have owed another gift, Of aspect more sublime; that blessed mood, In which the burthen of the mystery, In which the heavy and the weary weight Of all this unintelligible world, Is lightened:—that serene and blessed mood, In which the affections gently lead us on,— Until, the breath of this corporeal frame And even the motion of our human blood Almost suspended, we are laid asleep In body, and become a living soul: While with an eye made quiet by the power Of harmony, and the deep power of joy, We see into the life of things. If this Be but a vain belief, yet, oh! how oft— In darkness and amid the many shapes Of joyless daylight; when the fretful stir Unprofitable, and the fever of the world, Have hung upon the beatings of my heart— How oft, in spirit, have I turned to thee, O sylvan Wye! thou wanderer thro' the woods, How often has my spirit turned to thee! And now, with gleams of half-extinguished thought, With many recognitions dim and faint, And somewhat of a sad perplexity, The picture of the mind revives again: While here I stand, not only with the sense Of present pleasure, but with pleasing thoughts That in this moment there is life and food For future years. And so I dare to hope, Though changed, no doubt, from what I was when first I came among these hills; when like a roe I bounded o'er the mountains, by the sides Of the deep rivers, and the lonely streams, Wherever nature led: more like a man Flying from something that he dreads, than one Who sought the thing he loved. For nature then (The coarser pleasures of my boyish days And their glad animal movements all gone by) To me was all in all.—I cannot paint What then I was. The sounding cataract Haunted me like a passion: the tall rock, The mountain, and the deep and gloomy wood, Their colours and their forms, were then to me An appetite; a feeling and a love, That had no need of a remoter charm, By thought supplied, not any interest Unborrowed from the eye.—That time is past, And all its aching joys are now no more, And all its dizzy raptures. Not for this Faint I, nor mourn nor murmur; other gifts Have followed; for such loss, I would believe, Abundant recompense. For I have learned To look on nature, not as in the hour Of thoughtless youth; but hearing oftentimes The still sad music of humanity, Nor harsh nor grating, though of ample power To chasten and subdue. And I have felt A presence that disturbs me with the joy Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime Of something far more deeply interfused, Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns, And the round ocean and the living air, And the blue sky, and in the mind of man: A motion and a spirit, that impels All thinking things, all objects of all thought, And rolls through all things. Therefore am I still A lover of the meadows and the woods And mountains; and of all that we behold From this green earth; of all the mighty world Of eye, and ear,—both what they half create, And what perceive; well pleased to recognise In nature and the language of the sense The anchor of my purest thoughts, the nurse, The guide, the guardian of my heart, and soul Of all my moral being.
William Wordsworth (Tintern Abbey: Ode to Duty; Ode On Intimations of Immortality; the Happy Warrior; Resolution and Independence; and On the Power of Sound)
What I have been doing lately from my WIP "In Hiding" is available on my website. *Strong language warning* Wayne sat in the hygienic emergency room trying to ignore the bitch of a headache that began radiating at the back of his skull. His worn jeans, a blood-stained t-shirt, and his makeshift bandage sat on a nearby chair. The hysteria created by his appearance in the small hospital ward had died down. A local cop greeted him as soon as he was escorted to the examination room. The conversation was brief, once he revealed he was a bail enforcer the topic changed from investigation to shooting the bull. The experienced officer shook his hand before leaving then joked he hoped this would be their only encounter. The ER doc was a woman about his age. Already the years of long hours, rotating shifts and the rarity of a personal life showed on her face. Her eyelids were pink-rimmed, her complexion sallow; all were earmarks of the effect of long-term exhaustion. Wayne knew it all too well as he rubbed his knuckle against his own grainy eyes. Despite this, she attended to him with an upbeat demeanor and even slid in some ribbing at his expense. He was defenseless, once the adrenaline dropped off Wayne felt drained. He accepted her volleys without a response. All he mustered was a smile and occasional nod as she stitched him up. Across the room, his cell toned, after the brief display of the number a woman’s image filled the screen. Under his breath, he mumbled, “Shit.” He intends for his exclamation to remain ignored, having caught it the doctor glanced his direction with a smile. Without invitation, she retrieved his phone handing it to him without comment. Wayne noted the raised eyebrow she failed to hide. The phone toned again as he glanced at the flat image on the device. The woman’s likeness was smiling brightly, her blue eyes dancing. Just looking at her eased the pain in his head. He swiped the screen and connected the call as the doctor finished taping his injury. Using his free uninjured arm, he held the phone away from him slightly, utilizing the speaker option. “Hey Baby.” “What the hell, Wayne!” Her voice filled the small area, in his peripheral vision he saw the doc smirk. Turning his head, he addressed the caller. “Babe, I was getting ready to call.” The excuse sounded lame, even to him. “Why the hell do I have to hear about this secondhand?” Wayne placed the phone to his chest, loudly he exclaimed; “F***!” The ER doc touched his arm, “I will give you privacy.” Wayne gave her a grateful nod. With a snatch, she grabbed the corner of the thin curtain suspended from the ceiling and pulled it close. Alone again, he refocused on the call. The woman on the other end had continued in her tirade without him. When he rejoined the call mid-rant, she was issuing him a heartfelt ass-chewing. “...bullshit Wayne that I have to hear about this from my cousin. We’ve talked about this!” “Honey...” She interrupts him before he can explain himself. “So what the hell happened?” Wisely he waited for silence to indicate it was his turn to speak. “Lou, Honey first I am sorry. You know I never meant to upset you. I am alright; it is just a flesh wound.” As he speaks, a sharp pain radiates across his side. Gritting his teeth, Wayne vows to continue without having the radiating pain affect his voice. “I didn’t want you to worry Honey; you know calling Cooper first is just business.” Silence. The woman miles away grits her teeth as she angrily brushes away her tears. Seated at the simple dining table, she takes a napkin from the center and dabs at her eyes. Mentally she reminds herself of her promise that she was done crying over this man. She takes an unsteady breath as she returns her attention to the call. “Lou, you still there?” There is something in his voice, the tender desperation he allows only her to see. Furrowing her brow she closes her eyes, an errant tear coursed down her cheek.
Caroline Walken
Similarly, the word ‘autumn’ – another borrowing from French, though like ver ultimately deriving from Latin – only appeared in English at the end of the fourteenth century. Before that, the season was hærfest, the origin of Modern English ‘harvest’. With this season, too, there was variety in naming right through the later Middle Ages and the early modern period: ‘harvest’ persisted alongside ‘autumn’ and another term, ‘fall’, first recorded in the mid-sixteenth century.
Eleanor Parker (Winters in the World: A Journey through the Anglo-Saxon Year)
A few years from now, far away from here, a young woman will be sitting on a sofa at a party. Everyone around will be dancing and drinking but his eyes will be glued to the television. It's just a short clip from concert by one of the country's most female performers right now. Her name is Maya Andersson, and the young man has always loved that name. How ordinary it sounds. He's never thought about her accent, has never reflected upon why it sound so familiar to hin, But now he sees her on television and she's singing a song about someone she loved,because it's hit birthday, and on the huge screen behind ger a photograph of him flashes up for moment. She knows no one will really see it, a thousand more images flash past right after it, she just inclided that particular photograph for her own sake. But he man on sofa recognizes it. Because he remembers fingertips and glances. Beer bottles on a worn bar counter and smoke in a silent forest. The way snow feels as it falls on your skin while a boy with sad eyes and a wild heart teaches you to skate. The man on the sofa pack almost nothing. He takes just a light bag and the case containing his bass guitar and travels to the next town on Maya's tour. He elbows past her security guard and almost gets knocked to the floor and he he calls out: "I knew him! I knew Benji! I loved him too!" Maya stops mid-stride. They look each other in the eye and see only him, the boy in the forest, sad and wild. "Do you play?" May asks. "I'm a bass player," he says. From then on he is her bass player. No one plays her songs like he does. No one else cries as much each night.
Fredrick Backman, The Winners
One of the most basic principles in neuroscience states, “Nerve cells that fire together wire together.” 3 As your brain fires repeatedly in the same manner, you’re reproducing the same level of mind. According to neuroscience, mind is the brain in action or at work. Thus, we can say that if you’re reminding yourself of who you think you are on a daily basis by reproducing the same mind, you’re making your brain fire in the same ways and you’ll activate the same neural networks for years on end. By the time you reach your mid-30s, your brain has organized itself into a very finite signature of automatic programs—and that fixed pattern is called your identity.
Joe Dispenza (You Are the Placebo: Making Your Mind Matter)
I've stayed here in Oxford as the seasons have changed, watching summer turn to autumn turn to winter turn to spring. And in the coming cycle, I will be here once more. Season after season, year after year, as crocuses make way for summer honeysuckle, as sun-loving lantana ease out for the quieter mums, as pansies blanket the wintry town and as spring beauties burst forth again behind the snow. I'll still be here with Fisher by my side. Because this spring the stars aligned, as Marian promised they would. I picked a mid-March spray of spirea, made myself a bridal bouquet, and gave my whole heart to the man whose heart was given whole to me.
Julie Cantrell (Perennials)
But, by the mid-1870s, when the North withdrew its oversight in the face of southern hostility, whites in the South began to resurrect the caste system founded under slavery. Nursing the wounds of defeat and seeking a scapegoat, much like Germany in the years leading up to Nazism, they began to undo the opportunities accorded freed slaves during Reconstruction and to refine the language of white supremacy.
Isabel Wilkerson (The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration)
Within a year of retirement, Dad showed the early signs of dementia. By 2017, his symptoms were declared mid-stage by his family physician. It's a sad truth, but ultimately, we don't choose the course of our lives.
J.R. Whitsell (That Moment In Time: Two: What If We Helped?)
One of the senior females is usually the alpha despite the presence of females in their prime, who would have no trouble winning a physical fight. We know about female physical strength from handgrip tests that we conducted with our chimpanzees. In contrast to women, whose handgrip strength begins to weaken only in their sixties, in female chimpanzees it drops off already after their mid-thirties.11 At that age, females become increasingly frail, yet they have no trouble holding on to their place on the social ladder. On the contrary, they often gain in status. Mama, for example, remained alpha until the day she died, at fifty-nine. She was nearly blind and walked unsteadily, yet she still enjoyed plenty of respect. Had Mama been a male, she’d have lost her position years before. In the wild, too, female chimpanzees achieve high status with age. They wait their turn for this moment in the sun, a process that has been described as “queuing.
Frans de Waal (Different: Gender Through the Eyes of a Primatologist)
Wikipedia: Party System There have been at least six different party systems throughout the history of the United States: First Party System: This system can be considered to have developed as a result of the factions in the George Washington administration. The two factions were Alexander Hamilton and the Federalists and Thomas Jefferson and the Democratic-Republican Party. The Federalists argued for a strong national government with a national bank and a strong economic and industry system. The Democratic-Republicans argued for a limited government, with a greater emphasis on farmers and states' rights. After the 1800 presidential election, the Democratic-Republicans gained major dominance for the next twenty years, and the Federalists slowly died off. Second Party System: This system developed as a result of the one party rule of the Democratic-Republicans not being able to contain some of the most pressing issues of the time, namely slavery. Out of this system came the Whig Party and Henry Clay's American System. Wealthier people tended to support the Whigs, and the poorer tended to support the Democrats. During the Jacksonian era, his Democratic Party evolved from Democratic-Republicans. The Whig party began to break apart into factions, mainly over the issue of slavery. This period lasted until 1860. Third Party System: Beginning around the time of the start of the Civil War, this system was defined by bitter conflict and striking party differences and coalitions. These coalitions were most evidently defined by geography. The South was dominated by the Democrats who opposed the ending of slavery, and the North, with the exception of some major political machines, was dominated by the Republicans, who supported ending slavery. This era was a time of extreme industrial and economic expansion. The Third Party System lasted until 1896. Fourth Party System: This era was defined by Progressivism and immigration, as well as the political aftermath of the American Civil War. Northeastern business supported the Republicans while the South and West supported the Democrats. Immigrant groups were courted by both parties. The Fourth Party System came to an end around 1932. Fifth Party System: This system was defined by the creation of the New Deal Coalition by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in response to the Great Depression. This coalition supporting new social welfare programs brought together many under-privileged, working class, and minority groups including unions, Catholics, and Jews. It also attracted African-Americans, who had previously largely supported the Republican Party due to Lincoln's freeing of the slaves. This era lasted approximately until early-mid 1970s. Sixth Party System: The transition to this system appears to have begun with the Civil Rights Act of 1964 with the Democrats subsequently losing their long dominance of the South in the late 1960s, with the GOP adopting the southern strategy leading to Republican dominance as evidenced by election results.
Wikipedia Contributors