Recent Quotes

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You remember too much, my mother said to me recently. Why hold onto all that? And I said, Where can I put it down?
Anne Carson (Glass, Irony and God)
There was a clatter as the basilisk fangs cascaded out of Hermione's arms. Running at Ron, she flung them around his neck and kissed him full on the mouth. Ron threw away the fangs and broomstick he was holding and responded with such enthusiasm that he lifted Hermione off her feet. "Is this the moment?" Harry asked weakly, and when nothing happened except that Ron and Hermione gripped each other still more firmly and swayed on the spot, he raised his voice. "OI! There's a war going on here!" Ron and Hermione broke apart, their arms still around each other. "I know, mate," said Ron, who looked as though he had recently been hit on the back of the head with a Bludger, "so it's now or never, isn't it?" "Never mind that, what about the Horcrux?" Harry shouted. "D'you think you could just --- just hold it in, until we've got the diadem?" "Yeah --- right --- sorry ---" said Ron, and he and Hermione set about gathering up fangs, both pink in the face.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
Most people don't realize how important librarians are. I ran across a book recently which suggested that the peace and prosperity of a culture was solely related to how many librarians it contained. Possibly a slight overstatement. But a culture that doesn't value its librarians doesn't value ideas and without ideas, well, where are we?
Neil Gaiman
Ever wonder about those people who spend $2 apiece on those little bottles of Evian water? Try spelling Evian backward.
George Carlin (George Carlin Reads to You: An Audio Collection Including Recent Grammy Winners Braindroppings and Napalm & Silly Putty)
Now we're in that sweet period where everyone agrees that our recent horrors should never be repeated. But collective thinking is usually short-lived. We're fickle, stupid beings with poor memories and a great gift for self-destruction.
Suzanne Collins (Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3))
Isabelle snorted. 'All the boys are gay. In this truck, anyway. Well, not you, Simon.' 'You noticed' said Simon. 'I think of myself as a freewheeling bisexual,' added Magnus. 'Please never say those words in front of my parents,' said Alec. 'Especially my father.' 'I thought your parents were okay with you, you know, coming out,' Simon said, leaning around Isabelle to look at Alec, who was — as he often was — scowling, and pushing his floppy dark hair out of his eyes. Aside from the occasional exchange, Simon had never talked to Alec much. He wasn’t an easy person to get to know. But, Simon admitted to himself, his own recent estrangement from his mother made him more curious about Alec’s answer than he would have been otherwise. 'My mother seems to have accepted it,' Alec said. 'But my father — no, not really. Once he asked me what I thought had turned me gay.' Simon felt Isabelle tense next to him. 'Turned you gay?' She sounded incredulous. 'Alec, you didn’t tell me that.' 'I hope you told him you were bitten by a gay spider,' said Simon. Magnus snorted; Isabelle looked confused. 'I’ve read Magnus’s stash of comics,' said Alec, 'so I actually know what you’re talking about' A small smile played around his mouth. 'So would that give me the proportional gayness of a spider?' 'Only if it was a really gay spider,' said Magnus, and he yelled as Alec punched him in the arm. 'Ow, okay, never mind.
Cassandra Clare (City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5))
You think these recent events are everything. You think Aaron fell in love with your friend of several months, a rebel girl named Juliette. You don't know. You don't know. You don't know that Aaron has been in love with Ella for the better part of his entire life. They've known each other since childhood...…..The reason he had to keep wiping their memories was because it didn't matter how many times he reset the story or remade the introductions - Aaron always fell in love with her. Every time. - Delalieu
Tahereh Mafi (Defy Me (Shatter Me, #5))
She is in all of his spaces and all of his thoughts. He contemplates formulas and degrees of rationality and they all turn into her. He thinks about time, which has only recently begun, or at least now feels different. He thinks: the Babylonians were wrong; time is made of her.
Olivie Blake (Alone With You in the Ether)
Intelligence is one of the greatest human gifts. But all too often a search for knowledge drives out the search for love. This is something else I've discovered for myself very recently. I present it to you as a hypothesis: Intelligence without the ability to give and receive affection leads to mental and moral breakdown, to neurosis, and possibly even psychosis. And I say that the mind absorbed in and involved in itself as a self-centered end, to the exclusion of human relationships, can only lead to violence and pain.
Daniel Keyes (Flowers for Algernon)
Every day I think, ‘Gosh, you look a bit tired today,’ and it’s just recently occurred to me that it’s not that I’m tired, it’s that this is the way I look now.
Liane Moriarty (Big Little Lies)
Until recently, I didn’t think that humans could choose loneliness. That there were sometimes forces more powerful than the wish to avoid loneliness.
Kazuo Ishiguro (Klara and the Sun)
Not nearly enough. Not recently, anyway.” And she was sad about that. “I know,” he said, and kissed the back of her hand. “We’ll fix it. Get some sleep.” “Night,” she said, and watched him walk toward the door. “Hey. How’d you get in?” He wiggled his fingers at her in a spooky oogie-boogie pantomime. “I’m a vampire. I have secret powers ,” he said with a full-on fake Transylvanian accent, which he dropped to say, “Actually, your mom let me in.” “Seriously? My mom? Let you in my room? In the middle of the night?” He shrugged. “Moms like me.” He gave her a full-on Hollywood grin, and slipped out the door.
Rachel Caine (Carpe Corpus (The Morganville Vampires, #6))
I've apparently been the victim of growing up, which apparently happens to all of us at one point or another. It's been going on for quite some time now, without me knowing it. I've found that growing up can mean a lot of things. For me, it doesn't mean I should become somebody completely new and stop loving the things I used to love. It means I've just added more things to my list. Like for example, I'm still beyond obsessed with the winter season and I still start putting up strings of lights in September. I still love sparkles and grocery shopping and really old cats that are only nice to you half the time. I still love writing in my journal and wearing dresses all the time and staring at chandeliers. But some new things I've fallen in love with -- mismatched everything. Mismatched chairs, mismatched colors, mismatched personalities. I love spraying perfumes I used to wear when I was in high school. It brings me back to the days of trying to get a close parking spot at school, trying to get noticed by soccer players, and trying to figure out how to avoid doing or saying anything uncool, and wishing every minute of every day that one day maybe I'd get a chance to win a Grammy. Or something crazy and out of reach like that. ;) I love old buildings with the paint chipping off the walls and my dad's stories about college. I love the freedom of living alone, but I also love things that make me feel seven again. Back then naivety was the norm and skepticism was a foreign language, and I just think every once in a while you need fries and a chocolate milkshake and your mom. I love picking up a cookbook and closing my eyes and opening it to a random page, then attempting to make that recipe. I've loved my fans from the very first day, but they've said things and done things recently that make me feel like they're my friends -- more now than ever before. I'll never go a day without thinking about our memories together.
Taylor Swift (Taylor Swift (Guitar Recorded Versions))
The story of my recent life.' I like that phrase. It makes more sense than 'the story of my life', because we get so many lives between birth and death. A life to be a child. A life to come of age. A life to wander, to settle, to fall in love, to parent, to test our promise, to realize our mortality- and in some lucky cases, to do something after that realization.
Mitch Albom (Have a Little Faith: a True Story)
I knew the legends of the birds. Seagulls were the souls of dead soldiers. Owls were the souls of women. Doves were the recently departed souls of unmarried girls. Was there a bird for the souls of people like me?
Ruta Sepetys (Salt to the Sea)
So tonight I reach for my journal again. This is the first time I’ve done this since I came to Italy. What I write in my journal is that I am weak and full of fear. I explain that Depression and Loneliness have shown up, and I’m scared they will never leave. I say that I don’t want to take the drugs anymore, but I’m frightened I will have to. I am terrified that I will never really pull my life together. In response, somewhere from within me, rises a now-familiar presence, offering me all the certainties I have always wished another person would say to me when I was troubled. This is what I find myself writing on the page: I’m here. I love you. I don’t care if you need to stay up crying all night long. I will stay with you. If you need the medication again, go ahead and take it—I will love you through that, as well. If you don’t need the medication, I will love you, too. There’s nothing you can ever do to lose my love. I will protect you until you die, and after your death I will still protect you. I am stronger than Depression and Braver than Loneliness and nothing will ever exhaust me. Tonight, this strange interior gesture of friendship—the lending of a hand from me to myself when nobody else is around to offer solace—reminds me of something that happened to me once in New York City. I walked into an office building one afternoon in a hurry, dashed into the waiting elevator. As I rushed in, I caught an unexpected glance of myself in a security mirror’s reflection. In that moment, my brain did an odd thing—it fired off this split-second message: “Hey! You know her! That’s a friend of yours!” And I actually ran forward toward my own reflection with a smile, ready to welcome that girl whose name I had lost but whose face was so familiar. In a flash instant of course, I realized my mistake and laughed in embarrassment at my almost doglike confusion over how a mirror works. But for some reason that incident comes to mind again tonight during my sadness in Rome, and I find myself writing this comforting reminder at the bottom of the page. Never forget that once upon a time, in an unguarded moment, you recognized yourself as a FRIEND… I fell asleep holding my notebook pressed against my chest, open to this most recent assurance. In the morning when I wake up, I can still smell a faint trace of depression’s lingering smoke, but he himself is nowhere to be seen. Somewhere during the night, he got up and left. And his buddy loneliness beat it, too.
Elizabeth Gilbert
Sig Sauer. Nine millimetres. Thirteen in the magazine. Big bullets. One of these hits you and it could blow your head off; something even the magic can't fix. Other than that you should be all right, presuming you remembered to wear the regulation above-ground micro-fibre jumpsuit recently patented by me. Then again, being a Recon jock, you probably didn't.
Eoin Colfer (The Arctic Incident (Artemis Fowl, #2))
Do you realize we could’ve been doing this for years if you weren’t such a pain in the ass?” “Nah—I didn’t like you until recently.” “Enemies-to-lovers—it’s our trope, Buxbaum.” “You poor, confused little love lover.” A giggle shimmied through me before I set my hands on his face and said as I pulled him back to me, “Just shut up and kiss me.
Lynn Painter (Better than the Movies (Better than the Movies, #1))
You remember too much, my mother said to me recently. Why hold onto all that? And I said, Where do I put it down?
Anne Carson (Glass and God)
God is not needed to create guilt or to punish. Our fellow men suffice, aided by ourselves. You were speaking of the Last Judgement. Allow me to laugh respectfully. I shall wait for it resolutely, for I have known what is worse, the judgement of men. For them, no extenuating circumstances; even the good intention is ascribed to crime. Have you at least heard of the spitting cell, which a nation recently thought up to prove itself the greatest on earth? A walled-up box in which the prisoner can stand without moving. The solid door that locks him in the cement shell stops at chin level. Hence only his face is visible, and every passing jailer spits copiously on it. The prisoner, wedged into his cell, cannot wipe his face, though he is allowed, it is true. to close his eyes. Well, that, mon cher, is a human invention. They didn't need God for that little masterpiece.
Albert Camus (The Fall)
A three-day-old human embryo is a collection of 150 cells called a blastocyst. There are, for the sake of comparison, more than 100,000 cells in the brain of a fly. The human embryos that are destroyed in stem-cell research do not have brains, or even neurons. Consequently, there is no reason to believe they can suffer their destruction in any way at all. It is worth remembered, in this context, that when a person's brain has died, we currently deem it acceptable to harvest his organs (provided he has donated them for this purpose) and bury him in the ground. If it is acceptable to treat a person whose brain has died as something less than a human being, it should be acceptable to treat a blastocyst as such. If you are concerned about suffering in this universe, killing a fly should present you with greater moral difficulties than killing a human blastocyst. Perhaps you think that the crucial difference between a fly and a human blastocyst is to be found in the latter's potential to become a fully developed human being. But almost every cell in your body is a potential human being, given our recent advances in genetic engineering. Every time you scratch your nose, you have committed a Holocaust of potential human beings.
Sam Harris (Letter to a Christian Nation)
Recently, someone asked me if I believed in astrology. He seemed somewhat puzzled when I explained that the reason I don't is because I'm a Gemini.
Raymond M. Smullyan (5000 B.C. and Other Philosophical Fantasies)
Recently , crowds of thousands gathered throughout the Muslim world - burning European embassies, issuing threats, taking hostages, even killing people - in protest over twelve cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad that were first published in a Danish newspaper. When was the last atheist riot?
Sam Harris (Letter to a Christian Nation)
A depressing musty scent pervaded the place, as if a cheese had recently died there in painful circumstances.
P.G. Wodehouse (Leave It to Psmith (Psmith, #4 ; Blandings Castle, #2))
The April forced ‘Resettlement’ of the villages of Long Phuoc, and Long Tan inflamed the already seething hatred of foreigners by the local Vietnamese people. They had only recently removed the French yoke after almost a century of cruel and repressive French rule. Now here were the Americans and their allies who in the Vietnamese eyes were continuing to do as the French had done before them. Into this sort of environment of hate, the Australian soldiers were sent to complete what the Americans had started.
Michael G. Kramer (A Gracious Enemy)
People who have recently lost someone have a certain look, recognizable maybe only to those who have seen that look on their own faces. I have noticed it on my face and I notice it now on others. The look is one of extreme vulnerability, nakedness, openness. It is the look of someone who walks from the ophthalmologist's office into the bright daylight with dilated eyes, or of someone who wears glasses and is suddenly made to take them off. These people who have lost someone look naked because they think themselves invisible. I myself felt invisible for a period of time, incorporeal. I seemed to have crossed one of those legendary rivers that divide the living from the dead, entered a place in which I could be seen only by those who were themselves recently bereaved. I understood for the first time the power in the image of the rivers, the Styx, the Lethe, the cloaked ferryman with his pole. I understood for the first time the meaning in the practice of suttee. Widows did not throw themselves on the burning raft out of grief. The burning raft was instead an accurate representation of the place to which their grief (not their families, not the community, not custom, their grief) had taken them.
Joan Didion (The Year of Magical Thinking)
One of the nastier trends in library management in recent years is the notion that libraries should be 'responsive to their patrons'.
Connie Willis
Mother, recently I have discovered the one way in which human beings differ completely from other animals. Man has, I know, language, knowledge, principles, and social order, but don't all the other animals have them too, granted the difference of degree? Perhaps the animals even have religions. Man boasts of being the lord of all creation, but it would seem as if essentially he does not differ in the least from other animals. But, Mother, there was one way I thought of. Perhaps you won't understand. It's a faculty absolutely unique to man - having secrets. Can you see what I mean?
Osamu Dazai (The Setting Sun (New Directions Book))
Sometimes we need to do things we'd rather not do, in order to get the peace that we need; to look after our own well-being and to return to a healthy state. Decisions we may make may hurt others at times. Sometimes it hurts us too. I have found myself in situations like this recently. It a hard choice. But truly, there are times that we have to take care of ourselves. Sometimes there are no good choices, just painful ones... Sometimes that's just how real life is.
José N. Harris (MI VIDA: A Story of Faith, Hope and Love)
How many mental health problems, from drug addiction to self-injurious behavior, start as attempts to cope with the unbearable physical pain of our emotions? If Darwin was right, the solution requires finding ways to help people alter the inner sensory landscape of their bodies. Until recently, this bidirectional communication between body and mind was largely ignored by Western science, even as it had long been central to traditional healing practices in many other parts of the world, notably in India and China. Today it is transforming our understanding of trauma and recovery.
Bessel van der Kolk (The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma)
But recently I have learned from discussions with a variety of scientists and other non-philosophers (e.g., the scientists participating with me in the Sean Carroll workshop on the future of naturalism) that they lean the other way: free will, in their view, is obviously incompatible with naturalism, with determinism, and very likely incoherent against any background, so they cheerfully insist that of course they don't have free will, couldn’t have free will, but so what? It has nothing to do with morality or the meaning of life. Their advice to me at the symposium was simple: recast my pressing question as whether naturalism (materialism, determinism, science...) has any implications for what we may call moral competence. For instance, does neuroscience show that we cannot be responsible for our choices, cannot justifiably be praised or blamed, rewarded or punished? Abandon the term 'free will' to the libertarians and other incompatibilists, who can pursue their fantasies untroubled. Note that this is not a dismissal of the important issues; it’s a proposal about which camp gets to use, and define, the term. I am beginning to appreciate the benefits of discarding the term 'free will' altogether, but that course too involves a lot of heavy lifting, if one is to avoid being misunderstood.
Daniel C. Dennett (Consciousness Explained)
The wish of death had been palpably hanging over this otherwise idyllic paradise for a good many years. All business and politics is personal in the Philippines. If it wasn't for the cheap beer and lovely girls one of us would spend an hour in this dump. They [Jehovah's Witnesses] get some kind of frequent flyer points for each person who signs on. I'm not lazy. I'm just motivationally challenged. I'm not fat. I just have lots of stored energy. You don't get it do you? What people think of you matters more than the reality. Marilyn. Despite standing firm at the final hurdle Marilyn was always ready to run the race. After answering the question the woman bent down behind the stand out of sight of all, and crossed herself. It is amazing what you can learn in prison. Merely through casual conversation Rick had acquired the fundamentals of embezzlement, fraud and armed hold up. He wondered at the price of honesty in a grey world whose half tones changed faster than the weather. The banality of truth somehow always surprises the news media before they tart it up. You've ridden jeepneys in peak hour. Where else can you feel up a fourteen-year-old schoolgirl without even trying? [Ralph Winton on the Philippines finer points] Life has no bottom. No matter how bad things are or how far one has sunk things can always get worse. You could call the Oval Office an information rain shadow. In the Philippines, a whole layer of criminals exists who consider that it is their right to rob you unhindered. If you thwart their wicked desires, to their way of thinking you have stolen from them and are evil. There's honest and dishonest corruption in this country. Don't enjoy it too much for it's what we love that usually kills us. The good guys don't always win wars but the winners always make sure that they go down in history as the good guys. The Philippines is like a woman. You love her and hate her at the same time. I never believed in all my born days that ideas of truth and justice were only pretty words to brighten a much darker and more ubiquitous reality. The girl was experiencing the first flushes of love while Rick was at least feeling the methadone equivalent. Although selfishness and greed are more ephemeral than the real values of life their effects on the world often outlive their origins. Miriam's a meteor job. Somewhere out there in space there must be a meteor with her name on it. Tsismis or rumours grow in this land like tropical weeds. Surprises are so common here that nothing is surprising. A crooked leader who can lead is better than a crooked one who can't. Although I always followed the politics of Hitler I emulate the drinking habits of Churchill. It [Australia] is the country that does the least with the most. Rereading the brief lines that told the story in the manner of Fox News reporting the death of a leftist Rick's dark imagination took hold. Didn't your mother ever tell you never to trust a man who doesn't drink? She must have been around twenty years old, was tall for a Filipina and possessed long black hair framing her smooth olive face. This specter of loveliness walked with the assurance of the knowingly beautiful. Her crisp and starched white uniform dazzled in the late-afternoon light and highlighted the natural tan of her skin. Everything about her was in perfect order. In short, she was dressed up like a pox doctor’s clerk. Suddenly, she stopped, turned her head to one side and spat comprehensively into the street. The tiny putrescent puddle contrasted strongly with the studied aplomb of its all-too-recent owner, suggesting all manner of disease and decay.
John Richard Spencer
But then, as I read somewhere recently, narcissists always hurt the one they love the most.
Eve Babitz (Black Swans: Stories)
The only way death is not meaningless is to see yourself as part of something greater: a family, a community, a society. If you don’t, mortality is only a horror. But if you do, it is not. Loyalty, said Royce, “solves the paradox of our ordinary existence by showing us outside of ourselves the cause which is to be served, and inside of ourselves the will which delights to do this service, and which is not thwarted but enriched and expressed in such service.” In more recent times, psychologists have used the term “transcendence” for a version of this idea. Above the level of self-actualization in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, they suggest the existence in people of a transcendent desire to see and help other beings achieve their potential.
Atul Gawande (Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End)
Austrian public-opinion pollsters recently reported that those held in highest esteem by most of the people interviewed are neither the great artists nor the great scientists, neither the great statesmen nor the great sport figures, but those who master a hard lot with their heads held high.
Viktor E. Frankl (Man’s Search for Meaning)
Were the stars out when I left the house last evening? All I could remember was the couple in the Skyline listening to Duran Duran. Stars? Who remembers stars? Come to think of it, had I even looked up at the sky recently? Had the stars been wiped out of the sky three months ago, I wouldn’t have known.
Haruki Murakami (Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World)
That thing the nature of which is totally unknown to you is usually what you need to find, and finding it is a matter of getting lost. The word ‘lost’ comes from the old Norse ‘los’ meaning the disbanding of an army…I worry now that people never disband their armies, never go beyond what they know. Advertising, alarmist news, technology, incessant busyness, and the design of public and private life conspire to make it so. A recent article about the return of wildlife to suburbia described snow-covered yards in which the footprints of animals are abundant and those of children are entirely absent. Children seldom roam, even in the safest places… I wonder what will come of placing this generation under house arrest.
Rebecca Solnit (A Field Guide to Getting Lost)
I read a lot. I listen a lot. I think a lot. But so little remains. The books I read, their plots, their protagonists fade. The university lectures that I had found pretty impressive on first hearing, have faded away. Now I am listening to one on Pirandello. Names of people, books, cities. They are already fading away. Even the titles of films I’ve seen recently — they have already faded. Authors of thousands of books I’ve read... All that remains are the colours of their bindings, their covers. I don’t remember much about Beauty and the Beast, but I remember clearly, vividly the hear of the day as we were crossing the Rhine bridge, to see the film. Everything that I see, or red, or listen to, connects, translates into moods, bits of surroundings, colors. No, I am not a novelist. No precision of observation, detail. With me, everything is mood, mood, or else —simply nothingness.
Jonas Mekas (I Had Nowhere to Go)
Yes. Until recently, I didn’t think that humans could choose loneliness. That there were sometimes forces more powerful than the wish to avoid loneliness.
Kazuo Ishiguro (Klara and the Sun)
Every so often in life, you randomly cross paths with someone that touches you in a way that you really can't explain, but somehow you know that you will never be the same again. A person that is unknowingly, so incredibly beautiful, both inside and out, that they take your breath away. Recently, I met someone exactly like that. As a matter of fact, I'm still not convinced that she isn't an angel here to protect me from myself and the rest of you crazies... these next few songs are for my angel. I hope the rest of you find your angel someday. Just remember, don't let go when you do, even if they try to fly away.
Erin Noelle (Metamorphosis (Book Boyfriend, #1))
Share and Enjoy' is the company motto of the hugely successful Sirius Cybernetics Corporation Complaints Division, which now covers the major land masses of three medium-sized planets and is the only part of the Corporation to have shown a consistent profit in recent years. The motto stands-- or rather stood-- in three mile high illuminated letters near the Complaints Department spaceport on Eadrax. Unfortunately its weight was such that shortly after it was erected, the ground beneath the letters caved in and they dropped for nearly half their length through the offices of many talented young Complaints executives-- now deceased. The protruding upper halves of the letters now appear, in the local language, to read "Go stick your head in a pig," and are no longer illuminated, except at times of special celebration.
Douglas Adams (The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide: Five Complete Novels and One Story (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1-5))
Something is very wrong with Bunce. She's collapsed in the back seat like a dead rabbit. But I can't really focus on it because of the sun and also the wind and because I'm very busy making a list. Things I hate, a list: 1. The sun. 2. The wind. 3. Penelope Bunce, when she hasn't got a plan. 4. American sandwiches. 5. America. 6. The band, America. Which I didn't know about an hour ago. 7. Kansas, also a band I've recently become acquainted with. 8. Kansas, the state. Which isn't that far from Illinois, so it must be wretched. 9. The State of Illinois, for fucking certain. 10. The sun. In my eyes. 11. The wind in my hair. 12. Convertible automobiles. 13. Myself, most of all. 14. My soft heart. 15. My foolish optimism. 16. The words "road" and "trip" when said together with any enthusiasm. 17. Being a vampire, if we're being honest. 18. Being a vampire in a fucking convertible. 19. A deliriously thirsty vampire in a convertible at midday. In Illinois, which is apparently the brightest place on the planet. 20. The sun. Which hangs miles closer to Minooka, Illinois, than it does over London blessed England. 21. Minooka, Illinois. Which seems dreadful. 22. These sunglasses. Rubbish. 23. The fucking sun! We get it - you're very fucking bright! 24. Penelope Bunce, who came up with this idea. An idea not accompanied by a plan. Because all she cared about was seeing her rubbish boyfriend, who clearly cocked it all up. Which we all should have expected from someone from Illinois, land of the damned - a place that manages to be both hot and humid at the same time. You might well expect hell to be hot, but you don't expect it to also be humid. That's what makes it hell, the surprise twist! The devil is clever!
Rainbow Rowell (Wayward Son (Simon Snow, #2))
There is a common misunderstanding that emotions cause us to think illogically But recent scientific thinking, reviewed by psychologist Roy Baumeister and his colleagues, has placed emotion at the center of wisdom. One reason is that most emotion is felt after an event, which apparently serves to help us remember what happened and learn from it. The more upset we are by a mistake, the more we think about it and will be able to avoid it the next time. The more delighted we are by a success, the more we think and talk about it and how we did it, causing us to be more likely to be able to repeat it.
Elaine N. Aron (The Highly Sensitive Person)
The glass ceiling of happiness is held in place by two stout pillars, one psychological, the other biological. On the psychological level, happiness depends on expectations rather than objective conditions. We don’t become satisfied by leading a peaceful and prosperous existence. Rather, we become satisfied when reality matches our expectations. The bad news is that as conditions improve, expectations balloon. Dramatic improvements in conditions, as humankind has experienced in recent decades, translate into greater expectations rather than greater contentment. If we don’t do something about this, our future achievements too might leave us as dissatisfied as ever. On
Yuval Noah Harari (Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow)
Oh, no," said the Lecturer in Recent Runes, pushing his chair back. "Not that. That's meddling with things you don't understand." "Well, we are wizards," said Ridcully. "We're supposed to meddle in things we don't understand. If we hung around waitin' till we understood things we'd never get anything done.
Terry Pratchett (Interesting Times (Discworld, #17; Rincewind, #5))
Nothing but the natural ignorance of the public, countenanced by the inoculated erroneousness of the ordinary general medical practitioners, makes such a barbarism as vaccination possible.......Recent developments have shown that an inoculation made in the usual general practitioner's light-hearted way, without previous highly skilled examination of the state of the patient's blood, is just as likely to be a simple manslaughter as a cure or preventive. But vaccination is nothing short of attempted murder. A skilled bacteriologist would just as soon think of cutting his child's arm and rubbing the contents of the dustpan into the wound, as vaccinating it in the same.
George Bernard Shaw
Narrative history fell out of fashion for many years in the 1970s and 1980s, as historians everywhere focused on analytical approaches derived mainly from the social sciences. But a variety of recent, large-scale narrative histories have shown that it can be done without sacrificing analytical rigour or explanatory power.
Richard J. Evans (The Coming of the Third Reich (The History of the Third Reich, #1))
Alec was used to feeling a combination of affection and annoyance toward the people he loved. Typically, he’d start the relationship with a feeling of total annoyance and minimal affection, and then as time passed, the annoyance diminished and the affection grew. This described the arc of his relationship with Jace, his parabatai and closest friend, and more recently described how he’d felt about Clary Fairchild when she’d come into their lives.
Cassandra Clare (The Red Scrolls of Magic (The Eldest Curses, #1))
Now We Think Now we think as we fuck this nut might kill us. There might be a pin-sized hole in the condom. A lethal leak. We stop kissing tall dark strangers, sucking mustaches, putting lips tongues everywhere. We return to pictures. Telephones. Toys. Recent lovers. Private lives. Now we think as we fuck this nut might kill. this kiss could turn to stone.
Essex Hemphill
but I was still cursed with my duality of purpose; and as the first edge of my penitence wore off, the lower side of me, so long indulged, so recently chained down, began to growl for licence.
Robert Louis Stevenson (The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde)
There have been times when I felt that I might die of loneliness. People sometimes say they might die of boredom, that they're dying for a cup of tea, but for me, dying of loneliness is not a hyperbole. When I feel like that, my head drops and my shoulders slump and I ache, I physically ache, for human contact - I truly feel that I might tumble to the ground and pass away if someone doesn't hold me, touch me. I don't mean a lover - this recent madness aside, I had long since given up on any notion that another person might love me that way - but simply a human being. The scalp massage at the hairdresser, the flu jab I had last winter - the only time I experience touch is from people whom I am paying, and they are almost wearing disposable gloves at the time. I'm merely stating the facts.
Gail Honeyman (Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine)
There was a time—until very recently in the scheme of things—when there were no wild animals, because every animal was wild; and humans were few. Animals, and animal presence over us and around us. Over every horizon, animals. Their skins clothing our skins, their fats in our lamps, their bladders to carry water, meat when we could get it.
Kathleen Jamie (Sightlines)
Incompatible religious doctrines have balkanized our world into separate moral communities, and these divisions have become a continuous source of bloodshed. Indeed, religion is as much a living spring of violence today as it has been at any time in the past. The recent conflicts in Palestine (Jews vs. Muslims), the Balkans (Orthodox Serbians vs. Catholic Croatians; Orthodox Serbians vs. Bosnian and Albanian Muslims), Northern Ireland (Protestants vs. Catholics), Kashmir (Muslims vs. Hindus), Sudan (Muslims vs. Christians and animists), Nigeria (Muslims vs. Christians), Ethiopia and Eritrea (Muslims vs. Christians), Sri Lanka (Sinhalese Buddhists vs. Tamil Hindus), Indonesia (Muslims vs. Timorese Christians), Iran and Iraq (Shiite vs. Sunni Muslims), and the Caucasus (Orthodox Russians vs. Chechen Muslims; Muslim Azerbaijanis vs. Catholic and Orthodox Armenians) are merely a few cases in point. These are places where religion has been the explicit cause of literally millions of deaths in recent decades. Why is religion such a potent source of violence? There is no other sphere of discourse in which human beings so fully articulate their differences from one another, or cast these differences in terms of everlasting rewards and punishments. Religion is the one endeavor in which us–them thinking achieves a transcendent significance. If you really believe that calling God by the right name can spell the difference between eternal happiness and eternal suffering, then it becomes quite reasonable to treat heretics and unbelievers rather badly. The stakes of our religious differences are immeasurably higher than those born of mere tribalism, racism, or politics.
Sam Harris
I'm twenty-six," she said, as if it were bad news she had received only recently. "It isn't the age I feel like." "What age do you feel like?" "Nineteen -- like you." But, to me, nineteen still felt old and somehow alien to who I was. It occurred to me that it might take more than a year -- maybe as many as seven years -- to learn to feel nineteen.
Elif Batuman (The Idiot)
Until recently, I lived in a world where lost things could always be replaced. But it has been made overwhelmingly clear to me now that anything you think is yours by right can vanish, and what you can do about that is nothing at all.
Ariel Levy (The Rules Do Not Apply)
Recent brain scans have shed light on how the brain simulates the future. These simulation are done mainly in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, the CEO of the brain, using memories of the past. On one hand, simulations of the future may produce outcomes that are desirable and pleasurable, in which case the pleasure centers of the brain light up (in the nucleus accumbens and the hypothalamus). On the other hand, these outcomes may also have a downside to them, so the orbitofrontal cortex kicks in to warn us of possible dancers. There is a struggle, then, between different parts of the brain concerning the future, which may have desirable and undesirable outcomes. Ultimately it is the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex that mediates between these and makes the final decisions. (Some neurologists have pointed out that this struggle resembles, in a crude way, the dynamics between Freud's ego, id, and superego.)
Michio Kaku (The Future of the Mind: The Scientific Quest to Understand, Enhance, and Empower the Mind)
I was reading a book about the cosmos recently,” he says, and then he looks around and goes, “Hold on, trust me, this relates.” The crowd laughs again. “And I was reading about different theories about the universe. I was really taken with this one theory that states that everything that is possible happens. That means that when you flip a quarter, it doesn’t come down heads or tails. It comes up heads and tails. Every time you flip a coin and it comes up heads, you are merely in the universe where the coin came up heads. There is another version of you out there, created the second the quarter flipped, who saw it come up tails. This is happening every second of every day. The world is splitting further and further into an infinite number of parallel universes where everything that could happen is happening. This is completely plausible, by the way. It’s a legitimate interpretation of quantum mechanics. It’s entirely possible that every time we make a decision, there is a version of us out there somewhere who made a different choice. An infinite number of versions of ourselves are living out the consequences of every single possibility in our lives. What I’m getting at here is that I know there may be universes out there where I made different choices that led me somewhere else, led me to someone else.” He looks at Gabby. “And my heart breaks for every single version of me that didn’t end up with you.
Taylor Jenkins Reid (Maybe in Another Life)
There is no doubt that the United States has much to atone for, both domestically and abroad...To produce this horrible confection at home, start with our genocidal treatment of the Native Americans, add a couple hundred years of slavery, along with our denial of entry to Jewish refugees fleeing the death camps of the Third Reich, stir in our collusion with a long list of modern despots and our subsequent disregard for their appalling human rights records, add our bombing of Cambodia and the Pentagon Papers to taste, and then top with our recent refusals to sign the Kyoto protocol for greenhouse emissions, to support any ban on land mines, and to submit ourselves to the rulings of the International Criminal Court. The result should smell of death, hypocrisy, and fresh brimstone.
Sam Harris (The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason)
Foster?” he asked, jolting upright—which only drew more attention to the fact that he was currently shirtless. He crossed his arms, his cheeks flushing with a hint of pink when his ice blue eyes focused on her. “I… um… what are you doing here?” Ro snickered from the corner, where she lounged on a cushioned chaise, painting her claws the same purple she must have recently dyed the ends of her choppy pink pigtails. “Smooth, Lord Hunkyhair. Smooooooooooooooooooth
Shannon Messenger (Legacy (Keeper of the Lost Cities, #8))
None of this is real, my dear. Not this house, not this conversation, not those shoes you're wearing--which are several years out of style if you're trying to reacclimatize yourself to the ways of your peers, and are not proper mourning shoes if you're trying to hold fast to your recent past--and not either one of us. 'Real' is a four-letter-word, and I'll thank you to use it as little as possible while you live under my roof.
Seanan McGuire (Every Heart a Doorway (Wayward Children, #1))
Every advance in civilization has been denounced as unnatural while it was recent.
Bertrand Russell (Unpopular Essays)
I’M LOSING FAITH IN MY FAVORITE COUNTRY Throughout my life, the United States has been my favorite country, save and except for Canada, where I was born, raised, educated, and still live for six months each year. As a child growing up in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, I aggressively bought and saved baseball cards of American and National League players, spent hours watching snowy images of American baseball and football games on black and white television and longed for the day when I could travel to that great country. Every Saturday afternoon, me and the boys would pay twelve cents to go the show and watch U.S. made movies, and particularly, the Superman serial. Then I got my chance. My father, who worked for B.F. Goodrich, took my brother and me to watch the Cleveland Indians play baseball in the Mistake on the Lake in Cleveland. At last I had made it to the big time. I thought it was an amazing stadium and it was certainly not a mistake. Amazingly, the Americans thought we were Americans. I loved the United States, and everything about the country: its people, its movies, its comic books, its sports, and a great deal more. The country was alive and growing. No, exploding. It was the golden age of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The American dream was alive and well, but demanded hard work, honesty, and frugality. Everyone understood that. Even the politicians. Then everything changed. Partly because of its proximity to the United States and a shared heritage, Canadians also aspired to what was commonly referred to as the American dream. I fall neatly into that category. For as long as I can remember I wanted a better life, but because I was born with a cardboard spoon in my mouth, and wasn’t a member of the golden gene club, I knew I would have to make it the old fashioned way: work hard and save. After university graduation I spent the first half of my career working for the two largest oil companies in the world: Exxon and Royal Dutch Shell. The second half was spent with one of the smallest oil companies in the world: my own. Then I sold my company and retired into obscurity. In my case obscurity was spending summers in our cottage on Lake Rosseau in Muskoka, Ontario, and winters in our home in Port St. Lucie, Florida. My wife, Ann, and I, (and our three sons when they can find the time), have been enjoying that “obscurity” for a long time. During that long time we have been fortunate to meet and befriend a large number of Americans, many from Tom Brokaw’s “Greatest Generation.” One was a military policeman in Tokyo in 1945. After a very successful business carer in the U.S. he’s retired and living the dream. Another American friend, also a member of the “Greatest Generation”, survived The Battle of the Bulge and lived to drink Hitler’s booze at Berchtesgaden in 1945. He too is happily retired and living the dream. Both of these individuals got to where they are by working hard, saving, and living within their means. Both also remember when their Federal Government did the same thing. One of my younger American friends recently sent me a You Tube video, featuring an impassioned speech by Marco Rubio, Republican senator from Florida. In the speech, Rubio blasts the spending habits of his Federal Government and deeply laments his country’s future. He is outraged that the U.S. Government spends three hundred billion dollars, each and every month. He is even more outraged that one hundred and twenty billion of that three hundred billion dollars is borrowed. In other words, Rubio states that for every dollar the U.S. Government spends, forty cents is borrowed. I don’t blame him for being upset. If I had run my business using that arithmetic, I would be in the soup kitchens. If individual American families had applied that arithmetic to their finances, none of them would be in a position to pay a thin dime of taxes.
Stephen Douglass
Attention, rehearsal, elaboration, or emotional significance was needed if perceived information was to be pushed beyond the recent memory space into longer-term storage, else it would be quickly and naturally discarded with the passage of time.
Lisa Genova (Still Alice)
The idea that girls are somehow responsible for 'provoking' harassment from boys is shamefully exacerbated by an epidemic of increasingly sexist school dress codes. Across the United States, stories have recently emerged about girls being hauled out of class, publicly humiliated, sent home, and even threatened with expulsion for such transgressions as wearing tops with 'spaghetti straps,' wearing leggings or (brace yourself) revealing their shoulders. The reasoning behind such dress codes, which almost always focus on the girls' clothing to a far greater extent than the boys', is often euphemistically described as the preservation of an effective 'learning environment.' Often schools go all out and explain that girls wearing certain clothing might 'distract' their male peers, or even their male teachers....in reality these messages privilege boys' apparent 'needs' over those of the girls, sending the insidious message that girls' bodies are dangerous and provoke harassment, and boys can't be expected to control their behavior, so girls are responsible for covering up....his education is being prioritized over hers.
Laura Bates (Everyday Sexism)
Americans are notoriously ill-informed about evolution. A recent Gallup poll (June 1993) discovered that 47 percent of adult Americans believe that Homo sapiens is a species created by God less than ten thousand years ago.
Daniel C. Dennett (Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meaning of Life)
I believe in movement. I believe in that lighthearted balloon, the world. I believe in midnight and the hour of noon. But what else do I believe in? Sometimes everything. Sometimes nothing. It fluctuates like light flitting over a pond. I believe in life, which one day each of us shall lose. When we are young we think we won't, that we are different. As a child I thought that I would never grow up, that I could will it so. And then I realized, quite recently, that I had crossed some line, unconsciously cloaked in the truth of my chronology. How did we get so damn old?
Patti Smith (M Train)
As a kid he wished for money or fame or toys or friends. More recent wishes were for so many other things, all of them synonymous with love or escape.
David Levithan (Two Boys Kissing)
He saw what that man has become in their recent meeting.
Misba (The Oldest Dance (Wisdom Revolution, #2))
It’s not that I’m unaware of the suffering and the soon-to-be-more suffering in the world, it’s that I know the suffering exists beside wet grass and a bright blue sky recently scrubbed by rain. The beauty and the suffering are equally true.
Ann Patchett (Tom Lake)
We thus think about imprisonment as a fate reserved for others, a fate reserved for the "evildoers," to use a term recently popularized by George W. Bush. Because of the persistent power of racism, "criminals" and "evildoers" are, in the collective imagination, fantasized as people of color. The prison therefore functions ideologically as an abstract site into which undesirables are deposited, relieving us of the responsibility of thinking about the real issues afflicting those communities from which prisoners are drawn in such disproportionate numbers.
Angela Y. Davis (Are Prisons Obsolete?)
I read a book one day and my whole life was changed” starts Orhan Pamuk to his famous and brilliantly written book: The New Life. Some books just strike you with the very first sentence, and generally those are the ones that leave a mark in your memory and soul, the ones that make you read, come back many years later and read again, and have the same pleasure each time. I was lucky enough to have a father who was passionate about literature, so passionate that he would teach me how to read at the age of five. The very first book he bought for me was “The Little Black Fish” by Samad Behrangi. After that I started reading his other books, and at that age I had already owned a small Behrangi collection. Recently I was talking with a Persian friend about how Behrangi and his books changed my life. A girl, from another country, from kilometeters away, around the same time was also reading Behrangi’s books, and creating her own imaginary worlds with his rich and deep characters, and intense stories.
Samad Behrangi (The Little Black Fish)
You’re just…” He buried his face in my neck, pressing his lips there. “Thank you. I’m sorry I was such an asshole at the beginning.” I chuckled and threaded my fingers through his hair, damp from a recent shower. “Sorry I was so annoying.” “You weren’t.” His voice was muffled against my neck. “I just hate everyone.” He was silent for a moment, before he croaked, “I don’t hate you.
Lily Mayne (Moth (Monstrous, #5))
Black holes are the seductive dragons of the universe, outwardly quiescent yet violent at the heart, uncanny, hostile, primeval, emitting a negative radiance that draws all toward them, gobbling up all who come too close. Once having entered the tumultuous orbit of a black hole, nothing can break away from its passionate but fatal embrace. Though cons of teasing play may be granted the doomed, ultimately play turns to prey and all are sucked haplessly―brilliantly aglow, true, but oh so briefly so―into the fire-breathing maw of oblivion. Black holes, which have no memory, are said to contain the earliest memories of the universe, and the most recent, too, while at the same time obliterating all memory by obliterating all its embodiments. Such paradoxes characterize these strange galactic monsters, for whom creation is destruction, death life, chaos order. And darkness illumination: for, as dragons are also called worms, so black hole are known as wormholes, offering a mystical and intimate pathway to the farthest reaches of the cosmos, thus bring light as they consume it.
Robert Coover (A Child Again)
I am sitting down to write in a state of some confusion; I have been reading a lot of different things that are merging into one another, and if one hopes to find a solution for oneself by this kind of reading, one is mistaken; one comes up against a wall, and cannot proceed. Your life is so very different, dearest. Except in relation to your fellow men, have you ever known uncertainty? Have you ever observed how, within yourself and independent of other people, diverse possibilities open up in several directions, thereby actually creating a ban on your every movement? Have you ever, without giving the slightest thought to anyone else, been in despair simply about yourself? Desperate enough to throw yourself on the ground and remain there beyond the Day of Judgment? How devout are you? You go to the synagogue; but I dare say you have not been recently. And what is it that sustains you, the idea of Judaism or of God? Are you aware, and this is the most important thing, of a continuous relationship between yourself and a reassuringly distant, if possibly infinite height or depth? He who feels this continuously has no need to roam about like a lost dog, mutely gazing around with imploring eyes; he never need yearn to slip into a grave as if it were a warm sleeping bag and life a cold winter night; and when climbing the stairs to his office he never need imagine that he is careering down the well of the staircase, flickering in the uncertain light, twisting from the speed of his fall, shaking his head with impatience. There are times, dearest, when I am convinced I am unfit for any human relationship.
Franz Kafka (Letters to Felice)
So I close this long reflection on what I hope is a not-too-quaveringly semi-Semitic note. When I am at home, I will only enter a synagogue for the bar or bat mitzvah of a friend's child, or in order to have a debate with the faithful. (When I was to be wed, I chose a rabbi named Robert Goldburg, an Einsteinian and a Shakespearean and a Spinozist, who had married Arthur Miller to Marilyn Monroe and had a copy of Marilyn’s conversion certificate. He conducted the ceremony in Victor and Annie Navasky's front room, with David Rieff and Steve Wasserman as my best of men.) I wanted to do something to acknowledge, and to knit up, the broken continuity between me and my German-Polish forebears. When I am traveling, I will stop at the shul if it is in a country where Jews are under threat, or dying out, or were once persecuted. This has taken me down queer and sad little side streets in Morocco and Tunisia and Eritrea and India, and in Damascus and Budapest and Prague and Istanbul, more than once to temples that have recently been desecrated by the new breed of racist Islamic gangster. (I have also had quite serious discussions, with Iraqi Kurdish friends, about the possibility of Jews genuinely returning in friendship to the places in northern Iraq from which they were once expelled.) I hate the idea that the dispossession of one people should be held hostage to the victimhood of another, as it is in the Middle East and as it was in Eastern Europe. But I find myself somehow assuming that Jewishness and 'normality' are in some profound way noncompatible. The most gracious thing said to me when I discovered my family secret was by Martin, who after a long evening of ironic reflection said quite simply: 'Hitch, I find that I am a little envious of you.' I choose to think that this proved, once again, his appreciation for the nuances of risk, uncertainty, ambivalence, and ambiguity. These happen to be the very things that 'security' and 'normality,' rather like the fantasy of salvation, cannot purchase.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
My Aunt Dahlia, who runs a woman's paper called Milady's Boudoir, had recently backed me into a corner and made me promise to write her a few words for her "Husbands and Brothers" page on "What the Well-Dressed Man is Wearing". I believe in encouraging aunts, when deserving; and, as there are many worse eggs than her knocking about the metrop, I had consented blithely. But I give you my honest word that if I had had the foggiest notion of what I was letting myself in for, not even a nephew's devotion would have kept me from giving her the raspberry. A deuce of a job it had been, taxing the physique to the utmost. I don't wonder now that all these author blokes have bald heads and faces like birds who have suffered.
P.G. Wodehouse
Recently, I’ve discovered something troubling about myself, that it’s the wanting that I actually yearn for. The only exciting part of life is the part where the Thing hasn’t happened yet, where I’m still chasing it. When we want something, we’re living in a fantasy of having that thing—whether that’s a person, success, a new job, whatever—
Jill Gutowitz (Girls Can Kiss Now: Essays)
I have just come from the East End,” he said. “Something about the stories disturbed me, for more than the obvious reasons. I went there to have a look about for myself. And what happened last night proves my theory. There have been many murders recently—all of women, women who . . .” “Prostitutes,” Tessa said. “Quite,” Gabriel said. “Tessa has such an extensive vocabulary,” Will said. “It is one of the most attractive things about her. Shame about yours, Gabriel.” “Will, listen to me.” Gabriel allowed himself a long sigh. “Spoon!” James said, running at his uncle Gabriel and jabbing him in the thigh. Gabriel mussed the boy’s hair affectionately. “You’re such a good boy,” he said. “I often wonder how you could possibly be Will’s.” “Spoon,” James said, leaning against his uncle’s leg lovingly. “No, Jamie,” Will urged. “Your honorable father has been impugned. Attack, attack!
Cassandra Clare (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy)
I was thinking about how free of mobs recent centuries had been: to create a mob there must be public meetings, and public meetings in our time consisted of individuals communing via the All Thing or other datasphere channels; it is hard to create mob passion when people are separated by kilometers and light-years, connected only by comm lines and fatline threads.
Dan Simmons (The Fall of Hyperion (Hyperion Cantos, #2))
The decay of the family in quite recent times is undoubtedly to be attributed in the main to the industrial revolution, but it had already begun before that event, and its beginnings were inspired by individualistic theory. Young
Bertrand Russell (Marriage and Morals (Routledge Classics))
Have you seen a leaf, a leaf from a tree?" "I have. " "I saw one recently, a yellow one, with some green,decayed on the edges. Blown about by the wind. When I was 10 years old, I'd close my eyes on purpose, in winter, and imagine a leaf – green, bright, with veins, and the sun shining. I'd open my eyes and not believe it, because it was so good, then I'd close them again. " "What's that, an allegory?" "N-no... Why? Not an allegory, simply a leaf, one leaf. A leaf is good. Everything is good." "Everything? " "Everything. Man is unhappy because he doesn't know he's happy; only because of that. It's everything, everything! Whoever learns will at once immediately become happy, that same moment. This mother-in-law will die and the girl won't remain – everything is good. I discovered suddenly. " "And if someone dies of hunger, or someone offends and dishonors the girl – is that good? " "Good. And if someone's head get smashed in for the child's sake, that's good, too; and if it doesn't get smashed in, that's good, too. Everything is good, everything. For all those who know that everything is good. If they knew it was good with them, it would be good with them, but as long as they don't know it's good with them, it will not be good with them. That's the whole thought, the whole, there isn't any more! " "And when did you find out that you were so happy? " "Last week, on Tuesday, no, Wednesday, because it was Wednesday by then, in the night.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (Demons)
Recently, she’d noticed something strange happening when she talked to people in groups. She couldn’t quite remember how to be. She’d find herself thinking: Did I just laugh too loudly? Did I forget to laugh? Did I just repeat myself?
Liane Moriarty (Big Little Lies)
Only the Christian Church can offer any rational objection to a complete confidence in the rich. For she has maintained from the beginning that the danger was not in man's environment, but in man. Further, she has maintained that if we come to talk of a dangerous environment, the most dangerous environment of all is the commodious environment. I know that the most modern manufacture has been really occupied in trying to produce an abnormally large needle. I know that the most recent biologists have been chiefly anxious to discover a very small camel. But if we diminish the camel to his smallest, or open the eye of the needle to its largest — if, in short, we assume the words of Christ to have meant the very least that they could mean, His words must at the very least mean this — that rich men are not very likely to be morally trustworthy. Christianity even when watered down is hot enough to boil all modern society to rags. The mere minimum of the Church would be a deadly ultimatum to the world. For the whole modern world is absolutely based on the assumption, not that the rich are necessary (which is tenable), but that the rich are trustworthy, which (for a Christian) is not tenable. You will hear everlastingly, in all discussions about newspapers, companies, aristocracies, or party politics, this argument that the rich man cannot be bribed. The fact is, of course, that the rich man is bribed; he has been bribed already. That is why he is a rich man. The whole case for Christianity is that a man who is dependent upon the luxuries of this life is a corrupt man, spiritually corrupt, politically corrupt, financially corrupt. There is one thing that Christ and all the Christian saints have said with a sort of savage monotony. They have said simply that to be rich is to be in peculiar danger of moral wreck. It is not demonstrably un-Christian to kill the rich as violators of definable justice. It is not demonstrably un-Christian to crown the rich as convenient rulers of society. It is not certainly un-Christian to rebel against the rich or to submit to the rich. But it is quite certainly un-Christian to trust the rich, to regard the rich as more morally safe than the poor.
G.K. Chesterton
Indeed, religion is as much a living spring of violence today as it was at any time in the past. The recent conflicts in Palestine (Jews v Muslims), the Balkans (Orthodox Serbians v Catholic Croatians; Orthodox Serbians v Bosnian and Albanian Muslims), Northern Ireland (Protestants v Catholics), Kashmir (Muslims v Hindus), Sudan (Muslims v Christians and animists), Nigeria (Muslims v Christians) and Iran and Iraq (Shia v Sunni) are merely a few cases in point. These are places where religion has been the explicit cause of millions of deaths in the past decade.
Sam Harris (The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason)
The shepherds were invited to come and see. They saw. They trembled. They testified. They rejoiced. They saw Him wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger, the Prince of Peace.... "At this Christmas season I extend to you the gift of determination to come and see... "A young man in deep trouble and despair said to me recently, 'It's all right for others to have a merry Christmas, but not me. It's no use. It's too late.' "...We can stay away and complain. We can stay away and nurse our sorrows. We can stay away and pity ourselves. We can stay away and find fault. We can stay away and become bitter. "Or we can come and see! We can come and see and know!
Marvin J. Ashton
Recently a young woman was gang-raped in a university in Nigeria, and the response of many young Nigerians, both male and female, was something like this: 'Yes, rape is wrong, but what is a girl doing in a room with four boys?' Let us, if we can, forget the horrible inhumanity of that response. These Nigerians have been raised to think of woman as inherently guilty. And they have been raised to expect so little of men that the idea of men as savage beings with no self-control is somehow acceptable.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (We Should All Be Feminists)
You can tell that the capitalist system is in trouble when people start talking about capitalism. It indicates that the system has ceased to be as natural as the air we breathe, and can be seen instead as the historically rather recent phenomenon that it is.
Terry Eagleton (Why Marx Was Right)
...you would not believe what that man is packing in those tiny shorts. Seriously, it must be like the Tardis in there.
Vawn Cassidy (Dead Serious Case #1: Miz Dusty Le Frey (Crawshanks Guide to the Recently Departed, #1))
As recently as the twentieth century, some cultures retained religious prohibitions asserting the “uncleanliness” of believers eating at the same table as musicians.
Ted Gioia (The History of Jazz)
Especially in recent history, more often than not, one form of oppression has been replaced with another, different form that is similar or even more unjust than the one that preceded it. But maybe we want more than to play Whack-A-Mole with injustice. If we want to do more than alter the color of our children's chains, we will have to successfully oppose more than isolated instances of oppression.
Olúfẹ́mi O. Táíwò (Elite Capture: How the Powerful Took Over Identity Politics (And Everything Else))
Recent research showed—in marked contrast to previous assumptions—that “talking things through” directly after a traumatic experience didn’t reduce the probability of developing PTSD, but the opposite.
Jo Nesbø (Knife (Harry Hole, #12))
Nature programmed the neurobiological processes of early love to appear as something beyond the primitive sexual cravings of the genitals. So, from an evolutionary standpoint, it all leads to copulation and reproduction, but from the perspective of the individual who has recently fallen head over heels in love with someone, it is mostly about a sensation of warmth and delight, and rarely of sexual nature.
Abhijit Naskar (Love, God & Neurons: Memoir of a scientist who found himself by getting lost)
After three of four years of schooling, the nucleus basalis, which forms sharp memories in the brain, falls into disuse and decays. This is the part of the brain that makes learning so effortless for small children, and it is always activated in undomesticated humans. But neuroplasticity research has shown that damage to the nucleus basalis can be reversed by reintroducing activities involving highly focused attention, which results in massive increases in production of acetylcholine and dopamine. Using new skills under conditions of intense focus rewires billions of neural connections and reactivates the nucleus basalis. Loss of function in this part of the brain is not a natural stage of development--we are supposed to retain and even increase it throughout our lives. Until very recently in human history, we did.
Tyson Yunkaporta (Sand Talk: How Indigenous Thinking Can Save the World)
Whitney eyed him, wary of a wolfdog sneak attack. Please. Recently, I’d been working on Coop’s begging. Kit had put his foot down—no four-leggers tableside during meals. No exceptions. Coop obeyed me most of the time. When it suited him. I didn’t mind if Coop ruffled Whitney’s feathers—she was a self-important, dog-hating whiner. But it put Kit in a tight spot. Best not to make waves. Another accommodation for the bimbo.
Kathy Reichs (Code (Virals, #3))
In 2015, Cuba became the first country in the world to eliminate the mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis. More recently, even Richard Branson felt compelled to pen an article about Cuba’s extraordinary medical achievements and how the idiotic embargo prevents ordinary Americans from benefiting from Cuba’s medical innovations.
Akala (Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire)
The thing about being barren is that you’re not allowed to get away from it. Not when you’re in your thirties. My friends were having children, friends of friends were having children, pregnancy and birth and first birthday parties were everywhere. I was asked about it all the time. My mother, our friends, colleagues at work. When was it going to be my turn? At some point our childlessness became an acceptable topic of Sunday-lunch conversation, not just between Tom and me, but more generally. What we were trying, what we should be doing, do you really think you should be having a second glass of wine? I was still young, there was still plenty of time, but failure cloaked me like a mantle, it overwhelmed me, dragged me under, and I gave up hope. At the time, I resented the fact that it was always seen as my fault, that I was the one letting the side down. But as the speed with which he managed to impregnate Anna demonstrates, there was never any problem with Tom’s virility. I was wrong to suggest that we should share the blame; it was all down to me. Lara, my best friend since university, had two children in two years: a boy first and then a girl. I didn’t like them. I didn’t want to hear anything about them. I didn’t want to be near them. Lara stopped speaking to me after a while. There was a girl at work who told me—casually, as though she were talking about an appendectomy or a wisdom-tooth extraction—that she’d recently had an abortion, a medical one, and it was so much less traumatic than the surgical one she’d had when she was at university. I couldn’t speak to her after that, I could barely look at her. Things became awkward in the office; people noticed. Tom didn’t feel the way I did. It wasn’t his failure, for starters, and in any case, he didn’t need a child like I did. He wanted to be a dad, he really did—I’m sure he daydreamed about kicking a football around in the garden with his son, or carrying his daughter on his shoulders in the park. But he thought our lives could be great without children, too. “We’re happy,” he used to say to me. “Why can’t we just go on being happy?” He became frustrated with me. He never understood that it’s possible to miss what you’ve never had, to mourn for it.
Paula Hawkins (The Girl on the Train)
Each circle spins off a circle of its own. Each one seems a new thing but in truth it is not. It is just our most recent attempt to correct old errors, to undo old wrongs done to us, and to make up for things we have neglected. In each cycle, we may correct old errors, but I think we make as many new ones. Yet what is our alternative? To commit the same old errors again? Perhaps having the courage to find a better path is having the courage to risk making new mistakes.
Robin Hobb (Golden Fool (Tawny Man, #2))
Well, sir, I think it's just as well that they are being phased out of the war effort, and that we are now going to detonate the supernova bomb. In the very short time since we were released from the time envelope-' 'Get to the point' 'The robots aren't enjoying it, sir.' 'what' 'The war sir, it seems to be getting them down there's a certain world-weariness.' 'Well, that's all right, they're meant to be helping to destroy it.' 'yes, well they're finding it difficult, sir. They are afflicted with a certain lassitude. They're just finding it hard to get behind the job. They lack oomph.' 'What are you trying to say?' 'Well, I think they're very depressed about something, sir.' 'What on Krikkit are you talking about?' 'Well, in a few skirmishes they've recently, it seems that they go into battle, raise their weapons to fire and suddenly think, why bother? What, cosmically speaking, is it all about? And they just seem to get a little tired and a little grim.' 'And then what do they do?' 'Er, quadratic equations mostly, sir. Fiendishly difficult ones by all accounts. And then they sulk.' 'Sulk?' 'Yes, sir.' 'Whoever heard of a robot sulking?' 'I don't know, sir.
Douglas Adams (Life, the Universe and Everything (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #3))
The year was 1987, but it might as well have been the Summer of Love: I was twenty, had hair down to my shoulders, and was dressed like an Indian rickshaw driver. For those charged with enforcing our nation’s drug laws, it would have been only prudent to subject my luggage to special scrutiny. Happily, I had nothing to hide. “Where are you coming from?” the officer asked, glancing skeptically at my backpack. “India, Nepal, Thailand…” I said. “Did you take any drugs while you were over there?” As it happens, I had. The temptation to lie was obvious—why speak to a customs officer about my recent drug use? But there was no real reason not to tell the truth, apart from the risk that it would lead to an even more thorough search of my luggage (and perhaps of my person) than had already commenced. “Yes,” I said. The officer stopped searching my bag and looked up. “Which drugs did you take? “I smoked pot a few times… And I tried opium in India.” “Opium?” “Yes.” “Opium or heroin? “It was opium.” “You don’t hear much about opium these days.” “I know. It was the first time I’d ever tried it.” “Are you carrying any drugs with you now?” “No.” The officer eyed me warily for a moment and then returned to searching my bag. Given the nature of our conversation, I reconciled myself to being there for a very long time. I was, therefore, as patient as a tree. Which was a good thing, because the officer was now examining my belongings as though any one item—a toothbrush, a book, a flashlight, a bit of nylon cord—might reveal the deepest secrets of the universe. “What is opium like?” he asked after a time. And I told him. In fact, over the next ten minutes, I told this lawman almost everything I knew about the use of mind-altering substances. Eventually he completed his search and closed my luggage. One thing was perfectly obvious at the end of our encounter: We both felt very good about it.
Sam Harris (Lying)
it’s the mind analogy that bothers Crozier the most. Haunted and plagued by melancholia much of his life, knowing it as a secret weakness made worse by his twelve winters frozen in arctic darkness as an adult, feeling it recently triggered into active agony by Sophia Cracroft’s rejection
Dan Simmons (The Terror)
Lipton, a professor of history at SUNY Stony Brook, concluded, “In the face of recent revelations about the reckless and self-indulgent sexual conduct of so many of our elected officials, it may be worth recalling that sexual restraint rather than sexual prowess was once the measure of a man.
Timothy J. Keller (The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God)
I believe in movement. I believe in that lighthearted balloon, the world. I believe in midnight and the hour of noon. But what else do I believe in? Sometimes everything. Sometimes nothing. It fluctuates like light flitting over a pond. I believe in life, which one day each of us shall lose. When we are young we think we won’t, that we are different. As a child I thought I would never grow up, that I could will it so. And then I realized, quite recently, that I had crossed some line, unconsciously cloaked in the truth of my chronology. How did we get so damn old? I say to my joints, my iron-colored hair. Now I am older than my love, my departed friends. Perhaps I will live so long that the New York Public Library will be obliged to hand over the walking stick of Virginia Woolf. I would cherish it for her, and the stones in her pocket. But I would also keep on living, refusing to surrender my pen.
Patti Smith
Recently a promising chemical called resveratrol has been isolated. Resveratrol, found in red wine, helps to activate the sirtuin molecule, which has been shown to slow down the oxidation process, a principle component in aging, and therefore it may help protect the body from age-related molecular damage.
Michio Kaku (The Future of Humanity: Terraforming Mars, Interstellar Travel, Immortality and Our Destiny Beyond Earth)
Just so hollow and ineffectual, for the most part, is our ordinary conversation. Surface meets surface. When our life ceases to be inward and private, conversation degenerates into mere gossip. We rarely meet a man who can tell us any news which he has not read in a newspaper, or been told by his neighbor; and, for the most part, the only difference between us and our fellow is, that he has seen the newspaper, or been out to tea, and we have not. In proportion as our inward life fails, we go more constantly and desperately to the post-office. You may depend on it, that the poor fellow who walks away with the greatest number of letters, proud of his extensive correspondence, has not heard from himself this long while. I do not know but it is too much to read one newspaper a week. I have tried it recently, and for so long it seems to me that I have not dwelt in my native region. The sun, the clouds, the snow, the trees say not so much to me. You cannot serve two masters. It requires more than a day's devotion to know and to possess the wealth of a day. We may well be ashamed to tell what things we have read or heard in our day. I do not know why my news should be so trivial,--considering what one's dreams and expectations are, why the developments should be so paltry. The news we hear, for the most part, is not news to our genius. It is the stalest repetition.
Henry David Thoreau (Life Without Principle)
Were the stars out when I left the house last evening? All I could remember was the couple in the Skyline listening to Duran Duran. Stars? Who remembers stars? Come to think of it, had I even looked up at the sky recently? Had the stars been wiped out of the sky three months ago, I wouldn't have known. The only things I noticed were silver bracelets on women's wrists and popsicle sticks in potted rubber plants. There had to be something wrong with my life. I should have been born a Yugoslavian shepherd who looked up at the Big Dipper every night. No car, no car stereo, no silver bracelets, no shuffling, no dark blue tweed suits. My world foreshortened, flattening into a credit card. Seen head on, things seemed merely skewed, but from the side the view was virtually meaningless—a one-dimensional wafer. Everything about me may have been crammed in there, but it was only plastic. Indecipherable except to some machine. My first circuit must have been wearing thin. My real memories were receding into planar projection, the screen of consciousness losing all identity.
Haruki Murakami (Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World)
My grandfather always said a sudden shiver meant someone had just stepped on the spot where your grave would be.
Richard Bowes (Weird Detectives: Recent Investigations)
Even the deepest point in the ocean is littered with trash: a grocery bag was recently seen drifting along the bottom of the Mariana Trench.
Michio Kaku (The Best American Science And Nature Writing 2020)
The bruises I have on the inside are less recent, but just as easy to see if you know how to look.
Alice Feeney (Sometimes I Lie)
night’s sleep!’ she said. ‘Every day I think, gosh you look a bit tired today, and it’s just recently occurred to me that it’s not that I’m tired,
Liane Moriarty (Big Little Lies)
By 1914, approximately 85,000 Jews resided in Palestine, of whom about 35,000 had arrived in recent decades.
Martin Bunton (The Palestinian-Israeli Conflict: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions))
President Bush recently decided to cut off funding to any overseas family-planning group that provides information on abortion.
Sam Harris (The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason)
researchers have recently discovered that new genes in the central nervous system turn themselves on when an organism is placed (or places itself) in a new situation. These genes code for new proteins. These proteins are the building blocks for new structures in the brain. This means that a lot of you is still nascent, in the most physical of senses, and will not be called forth by stasis. You have to say something, go somewhere and do things to get turned on. And, if not…you remain incomplete, and life is too hard for anyone incomplete.
Jordan B. Peterson (12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos)
Magnus, his silver mask pushed back into his hair, intercepted the New York vampires before they could fully depart. Alec heard Magnus pitch his voice low. Alec felt guilty for listening in, but he couldn’t just turn off his Shadowhunter instincts. “How are you, Raphael?” asked Magnus. “Annoyed,” said Raphael. “As usual.” “I’m familiar with the emotion,” said Magnus. “I experience it whenever we speak. What I meant was, I know that you and Ragnor were often in contact.” There was a beat, in which Magnus studied Raphael with an expression of concern, and Raphael regarded Magnus with obvious scorn. “Oh, you’re asking if I am prostrate with grief over the warlock that the Shadowhunters killed?” Alec opened his mouth to point out the evil Shadowhunter Sebastian Morgenstern had killed the warlock Ragnor Fell in the recent war, as he had killed Alec’s own brother. Then he remembered Raphael sitting alone and texting a number saved as RF, and never getting any texts back. Ragnor Fell. Alec felt a sudden and unexpected pang of sympathy for Raphael, recognizing his loneliness. He was at a party surrounded by hundreds of people, and there he sat texting a dead man over and over, knowing he’d never get a message back. There must have been very few people in Raphael’s life he’d ever counted as friends. “I do not like it,” said Raphael, “when Shadowhunters murder my colleagues, but it’s not as if that hasn’t happened before. It happens all the time. It’s their hobby. Thank you for asking. Of course one wishes to break down on a heart-shaped sofa and weep into one’s lace handkerchief, but I am somehow managing to hold it together. After all, I still have a warlock contact.” Magnus inclined his head with a slight smile. “Tessa Gray,” said Raphael. “Very dignified lady. Very well-read. I think you know her?” Magnus made a face at him. “It’s not being a sass-monkey that I object to. That I like. It’s the joyless attitude. One of the chief pleasures of life is mocking others, so occasionally show some glee about doing it. Have some joie de vivre.” “I’m undead,” said Raphael. “What about joie de unvivre?” Raphael eyed him coldly. Magnus gestured his own question aside, his rings and trails of leftover magic leaving a sweep of sparks in the night air, and sighed. “Tessa,” Magnus said with a long exhale. “She is a harbinger of ill news and I will be annoyed with her for dumping this problem in my lap for weeks. At least.” “What problem? Are you in trouble?” asked Raphael. “Nothing I can’t handle,” said Magnus. “Pity,” said Raphael. “I was planning to point and laugh. Well, time to go. I’d say good luck with your dead-body bad-news thing, but . . . I don’t care.” “Take care of yourself, Raphael,” said Magnus. Raphael waved a dismissive hand over his shoulder. “I always do.
Cassandra Clare (The Red Scrolls of Magic (The Eldest Curses, #1))
For most of Western history, the primary and most valued characteristic of manhood was self-mastery. . . . A man who indulged in excessive eating, drinking, sleeping or sex—who failed to ‘rule himself’—was considered unfit to rule his household, much less a polity. . . .” Lipton, a professor of history at SUNY Stony Brook, concluded, “In the face of recent revelations about the reckless and self-indulgent sexual conduct of so many of our elected officials, it may be worth recalling that sexual restraint rather than sexual prowess was once the measure of a man.”33
Timothy J. Keller (The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God)
I recently watched a talent show featuring a mime who taped his mouth shut and did something ridiculous with oven mitts. That was unexpected. That was original. It seemed to be working for him.
Jordan B. Peterson (12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos)
All ancient empires suffered from revolts, often led by provincial governors; and even when no overt revolt occurred, local autonomy was almost unavoidable except when conquest was recent, and was apt, in the course of time, to develop into independence. No large State of antiquity was governed from the centre to nearly the same extent as is now customary; and the chief reason for this was lack of rapid mobility.
Bertrand Russell (Power: A New Social Analysis (Routledge Classics))
When the pancreas fails to produce insulin, there is no shame in taking synthetic insulin to compensate for its lost function. Many people do not feel the same way about regulating mood with antidepressants (for reasons that appear quite distinct from any concern about potential side effects). If this bias has diminished in recent years, it has been because of an increased appreciation of the brain as a physical organ.
Sam Harris (The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values)
Major: you have the honor to report that the numbers of men now under your command qualifies you for promotion to colonel. But you ask me to believe that your regiments assaulted Rebel forces in a pitched battle of over two hours duration, all the while steadily employing the heavy field pieces recently shipped to you, without one single battle death on either side. Sir, that is not warfare. That is fraternization with the enemy!
Donald Harington (The Architecture of the Arkansas Ozarks (Stay More))
...Although the term Existentialism was invented in the 20th century by the French philosopher Gabriel Marcel, the roots of this thought go back much further in time, so much so, that this subject was mentioned even in the Old Testament. If we take, for example, the Book of Ecclesiastes, especially chapter 5, verses 15-16, we will find a strong existential sentiment there which declares, 'This too is a grievous evil: As everyone comes, so they depart, and what do they gain, since they toil for the wind?' The aforementioned book was so controversial that in the distant past there were whole disputes over whether it should be included in the Bible. But if nothing else, this book proves that Existential Thought has always had its place in the centre of human life. However, if we consider recent Existentialism, we can see it was the French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre who launched this movement, particularly with his book Being and Nothingness, in 1943. Nevertheless, Sartre's thought was not a new one in philosophy. In fact, it goes back three hundred years and was first uttered by the French philosopher René Descartes in his 1637 Discours de la Méthode, where he asserts, 'I think, therefore I am' . It was on this Cartesian model of the isolated ego-self that Sartre built his existential consciousness, because for him, Man was brought into this world for no apparent reason and so it cannot be expected that he understand such a piece of absurdity rationally.'' '' Sir, what can you tell us about what Sartre thought regarding the unconscious mind in this respect, please?'' a charming female student sitting in the front row asked, listening keenly to every word he had to say. ''Yes, good question. Going back to Sartre's Being and Nothingness it can be seen that this philosopher shares many ideological concepts with the Neo-Freudian psychoanalysts but at the same time, Sartre was diametrically opposed to one of the fundamental foundations of psychology, which is the human unconscious. This is precisely because if Sartre were to accept the unconscious, the same subject would end up dissolving his entire thesis which revolved around what he understood as being the liberty of Man. This stems from the fact that according to Sartre, if a person accepts the unconscious mind he is also admitting that he can never be free in his choices since these choices are already pre-established inside of him. Therefore, what can clearly be seen in this argument is the fact that apparently, Sartre had no idea about how physics, especially Quantum Mechanics works, even though it was widely known in his time as seen in such works as Heisenberg's The Uncertainty Principle, where science confirmed that first of all, everything is interconnected - the direct opposite of Sartrean existential isolation - and second, that at the subatomic level, everything is undetermined and so there is nothing that is pre-established; all scientific facts that in themselves disprove the Existential Ontology of Sartre and Existentialism itself...
Anton Sammut (Paceville and Metanoia)
Many people see the current group of college students, sometimes called “Generation Me”,’16 Konrath continues, ‘as one of the most self-centred, narcissistic, competitive, confident and individualistic in recent history.
Kevin Dutton (The Wisdom of Psychopaths)
The two armies which but recently attacked you with audacity are fleeing before you in terror; the wicked men who laughed at your misery and rejoiced at the thought of the triumphs of your enemies are confounded and trembling.
Napoléon Bonaparte
Charles had climbed on a bench and was calling out that he had something to say, creating a racket that quickly got the attention of the room. Everyone looked immensely surprised, including Tessa and Will. Sona frowned, clearly thinking Charles was very rude. She didn’t know the half of it, Cordelia thought darkly. “Let me be the first to raise a glass to the happy couple!” said Charles, doing just that. “To James Herondale and Cordelia Carstairs. I wish to add personally that James, my brother’s parabatai, has always been like a younger brother to me.” “A younger brother he accused of vandalizing greenhouses across our fair nation,” muttered Will. “As for Cordelia Carstairs—how to describe her?” Charles went on. “Especially when one has not bothered to get to know her at all,” murmured James. “She is both beautiful and fair,” said Charles, leaving Cordelia to wonder what the difference was, “as well as being brave. I am sure she will make James as happy as my lovely Grace makes me.” He smiled at Grace, who stood quietly near him, her face a mask. “That’s right. I am formally announcing my intention to wed Grace Blackthorn. You will all be invited, of course.” Cordelia glanced over at Alastair; he was expressionless, but his hands, jammed into his pockets, were fists. James had narrowed his eyes. Charles went on merrily. “And lastly, my thanks go out to the folk of the Enclave, who supported my actions as acting Consul through our recent troubles. I am young to have borne so much responsibility, but what could I say when duty called? Only this. I am honored by the trust of my mother, the love of my bride-to-be, and the belief of my people—” “Thank you, Charles!” James had appeared at Charles’s side and done something rather ingenious with his feet that caused the bench Charles had been standing on to tip over. He caught Charles around the shoulder as he slid to the floor, clapping him on the back. Cordelia doubted most people in the room had noticed anything amiss. “What an excellent speech!” Magnus Bane, looking fiendishly amused, snapped his fingers. The loops of golden ribbons dangling from the chandeliers formed the shapes of soaring herons while “For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow” began to play in ghostly fashion on the unmanned piano. James hustled Charles away from the bench he had clambered onto and into a crowd of well-wishers. The room, as a whole, seemed relieved. “We have raised a fine son, my darling,” Will said, kissing Tessa on the cheek.
Cassandra Clare (Chain of Gold (The Last Hours, #1))
But the Orange County Crime Lab had recently integrated a new technique, PCR-STR (polymerase chain reaction with short tandem repeat analysis), which was much faster than RFLP and is the backbone of forensic testing today. The difference between RFLP and PCR-STR is like copying down numbers in longhand versus using a high-speed Xerox machine. PCR-STR worked particularly well for cold cases, in which DNA samples might be minuscule or degraded by time.
Michelle McNamara (I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer)
Incompatible religious doctrines have Balkanised our world and these divisions have become a continuous source of bloodshed. Indeed, religion is as much a living spring of violence today as it was at any time in the past. The recent conflicts in Palestine (Jews v Muslims), the Balkans (Orthodox Serbians v Catholic Croatians; Orthodox Serbians v Bosnian and Albanian Muslims), Northern Ireland (Protestants v Catholics), Kashmir (Muslims v Hindus), Sudan (Muslims v Christians and animists), Nigeria (Muslims v Christians) and Iran and Iraq (Shia v Sunni) are merely a few cases in point. These are places where religion has been the explicit cause of millions of deaths in the past decade.
Sam Harris
According to a recent poll, 36 percent of British Muslims (ages sixteen to twenty-four) think apostates should be put to death for their unbelief.60 Are these people “morally motivated,” in Haidt’s sense, or just morally confused? And
Sam Harris (The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values)
Gene patents are the point of greatest concern in the debate over ownership of human biological materials, and how that ownership might interfere with science. As of 2005—the most recent year figures were available—the U.S. government had issued patents relating to the use of about 20 percent of known human genes, including genes for Alzheimer’s, asthma, colon cancer, and, most famously, breast cancer. This means pharmaceutical companies, scientists, and universities control what research can be done on those genes, and how much resulting therapies and diagnostic tests will cost. And some enforce their patents aggressively: Myriad Genetics, which holds the patents on the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes responsible for most cases of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer, charges $3,000 to test for the genes. Myriad has been accused of creating a monopoly, since no one else can offer the test, and researchers can’t develop cheaper tests or new therapies without getting permission from Myriad and paying steep licensing fees. Scientists who’ve gone ahead with research involving the breast-cancer genes without Myriad’s permission have found themselves on the receiving end of cease-and-desist letters and threats of litigation.
Rebecca Skloot
I myself recently dreamed that a UFO came speeding towards me which turned out to be the lens of a magic lantern whose projected image was myself; this suggested to me that I was the figure, himself deep in meditation, who is produced by a meditating yogi.
C.G. Jung
This American Government,-what is it but a tradition, though a recent one, endeavoring to transmit itself unimpaired to posterity, but each instant losing some of its integrity? It has not the vitality and force of a single living man; for a single man can bend it to his will.
Henry David Thoreau (Civil Disobedience)
This American government,- what is it but a tradition, though a recent one, endeavoring to transmit itself unimpaired to posterity, but each instant losing some of its integrity? It has not the vitality and force of a single living man; for a single man can bend it to his will.
Henry David Thoreau
As recently as the fifties, respectable women were given the sexual choice of marriage or celibacy. Anything else meant ostracism. Women who demanded pleasure in sex were condemned as "nymphomaniacs," much as they are pitied today as "victims of male culture" by anti-porn feminists.
Wendy McElroy (XXX: A Woman's Right to Pornography)
It would be interesting to keep a running log of predictions and see if we can spot the absolute corkers when they are still just pert little buds. One such that I spotted recently was a statement made in February by a Mr. Wayne Leuck, vice-president of engineering at USWest, the American phone company. Arguing against the deployment of high-speed wireless data connections, he said, “Granted, you could use it in your car going sixty miles an hour, but I don’t think too many people are going to be doing that.” Just watch. That’s a statement that will come back to haunt him.
Douglas Adams (The Salmon of Doubt: Hitchhiking the Galaxy One Last Time)
Of all the transitions, perhaps the most difficult is the transition from Type 0 to Type I, which we are undergoing at present. This is because a Type 0 civilization is the most uncivilized, both technologically and socially. It has risen only recently from the swamp of sectarianism, dictatorship, and religious strife, et cetera. It still has all the scars from its brutal past, which was full of inquisitions, persecutions, pogroms, and wars. Our own history books are full of horrid tales of massacres and genocide, much of it driven by superstition, ignorance, hysteria, and hatred.
Michio Kaku (The Future of Humanity: Terraforming Mars, Interstellar Travel, Immortality, and Our Destiny BeyondEarth)
Slavery's fundamental offense against human rights was not that it took liberty away (which can happen in many other situations), but that it excluded a certain category of people even from the possibility of fighting for freedom—a fight possible under tyranny, and even under the desperate conditions of modern terror (but not under any conditions of concentration-camp life). Slavery's crime against humanity did not begin when one people defeated and enslaved its enemies (though of course this was bad enough), but when slavery became an institution in which some men were "born" free and others slave, when it was forgotten that it was man who had deprived his fellow-men of freedom, and when the sanction for the crime was attributed to nature. Yet in the light of recent events it is possible to say that even slaves still belonged to some sort of human community; their labor was needed, used, and exploited, and this kept them within the pale of humanity. To be a slave was after all to have a distinctive character, a place in society—more than the abstract nakedness of beig human and nothing but human. Not the loss of specific rights, then, but the loss of a community willing and able to guarantee any rights whatsoever, has been the calamity which has befallen ever-increasing numbers of people. Man, it turns out, can lose all so-called Rights of Man without losing his essential quality as man, his human dignity. Only the loss of a polity itself expels him from humanity.
Hannah Arendt (The Origins of Totalitarianism)
Medicine has until recently gone on the supposition that illness should be treated and cured by itself; yet voices are now heard which declare this view to be wrong, and demand the treatment of the sick person and not of the sickness. The same demand is forced upon us in the treatment of psychic suffering.
C.G. Jung
Recent research has shown that the smell of humus exerts a physiological effect on humans. Breathing in the scent of Mother Earth stimulates the release of the hormone oxytocin, the same chemical that promotes bonding between mother and child, between lovers. Held in loving arms, no wonder we sing in response.
Robin Wall Kimmerer (Braiding Sweetgrass)
Throughout the Americas, from Canada down to Argentina, European colonization killed between fifty million and seventy million indigenous people, around 90 percent of the native American population. Scientists recently concluded that the annihilation of these peoples was so large that it changed the temperature of the planet.
Vincent Bevins (The Jakarta Method: Washington's Anticommunist Crusade and the Mass Murder Program that Shaped Our World)
I recently learned that what happens in a cocoon is not that a caterpillar grows wings and turns into a butterfly. Rather, the caterpillar turns to mush. It disintegrates, and out of this mush, a new creature grows. Why does no one talk about the mush? Or about how, for any change at all to happen, we must, for some time, be nothing -- be mush. That is where you are right now -- in a state of mush. Right now your entire life is mush. But only if you don't try and escape it might you emerge one day as a butterfly. On the other hand, maybe you will not be a butterfly at all. Maybe you will become a caterpillar again. Or maybe you will always be mush.
Sheila Heti (Motherhood)
In a now famous thought experiment, the philosopher Derek Parfit asks us to imagine a teleportation device that can beam a person from Earth to Mars. Rather than travel for many months on a spaceship, you need only enter a small chamber close to home and push a green button, and all the information in your brain and body will be sent to a similar station on Mars, where you will be reassembled down to the last atom. Imagine that several of your friends have already traveled to Mars this way and seem none the worse for it. They describe the experience as being one of instantaneous relocation: You push the green button and find yourself standing on Mars—where your most recent memory is of pushing the green button on Earth and wondering if anything would happen. So you decide to travel to Mars yourself. However, in the process of arranging your trip, you learn a troubling fact about the mechanics of teleportation: It turns out that the technicians wait for a person’s replica to be built on Mars before obliterating his original body on Earth. This has the benefit of leaving nothing to chance; if something goes wrong in the replication process, no harm has been done. However, it raises the following concern: While your double is beginning his day on Mars with all your memories, goals, and prejudices intact, you will be standing in the teleportation chamber on Earth, just staring at the green button. Imagine a voice coming over the intercom to congratulate you for arriving safely at your destination; in a few moments, you are told, your Earth body will be smashed to atoms. How would this be any different from simply being killed? To
Sam Harris (Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion)
It’s the burglars!” quavered Mrs. Hignett. In the stress of recent events she had completely forgotten the existence of those enemies of society. “They were dancing in the hall when I arrived, and now they’re playing the orchestrion!” “Light-hearted chaps!” said Eustace, admiring the sang-froid of the criminal world. “Full of spirits!
P.G. Wodehouse
Our society is not as monogamous as it appears, and never has been. A Swedish study showed recently that between fifteen and twenty percent of all children born have a different father from the one they --- and for that matter the postulated fathers --- think. Twenty percent! That's every fifth child! Living a lie. And ensuring biological diversity.
Jo Nesbø (The Snowman (Harry Hole, #7))
It often happens that two schoolboys can solve difficulties in their work for one another better than the master can. When you took the problem to a master, as we all remember, he was very likely to explain what you understood already, to add a great deal of information which you didn’t want, and say nothing at all about the thing that was puzzling you. I have watched this from both sides of the net; for when, as a teacher myself, I have tried to answer questions brought me by pupils, I have sometimes, after a minute, seen that expression settle down on their faces that assured me that they were suffering exactly the same frustration which I had suffered from my teachers. The fellow-pupil can help more than the master because he knows less. The difficulty we want him to explain is one he has recently met. The expert met it so long ago he has forgotten. He sees the whole subject, by now, in a different light that he cannot conceive what is really troubling the pupil; he sees a dozen other difficulties which ought to be troubling him but aren’t.
C.S. Lewis (Reflections on the Psalms)
Political calculation and local suffering do not entirely explain the participation in these pogroms. Violence against Jews served to bring the Germans and elements of the local non-Jewish populations closer together. Anger was directed, as the Germans wished, toward the Jews, rather than against collaborators with the Soviet regime as such. People who reacted to the Germans' urging knew that they were pleasing their new masters, whether or not they believed that the Jews were responsible for their own woes. By their actions they were confirming the Nazi worldview. The act of killing Jews as revenge for NKVD executions confirmed the Nazi understanding of the Soviet Union as a Jewish state. Violence against Jews also allowed local Estonians, Latvian, Lithuanians, Ukrainians, Belarusians, and Poles who had themselves cooperated with the Soviet regime to escape any such taint. The idea that only Jews served communists was convenient not just for the occupiers but for some of the occupied as well. Yet this psychic nazification would have been much more difficult without the palpable evidence of Soviet atrocities. The pogroms took place where the Soviets had recently arrived and where Soviet power was recently installed, where for the previous months Soviet organs of coercion had organized arrests, executions, and deportations. They were a joint production, a Nazi edition of a Soviet text. P. 196
Timothy Snyder (Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin)
When you explore boldly, when you voluntarily confront the unknown, you gather information and build your renewed self out of that information. That is the conceptual element. However, researchers have recently discovered that new genes in the central nervous system turn themselves on when an organism is placed (or places itself) in a new situation. These genes code for new proteins. These proteins are the building blocks for new structures in the brain. This means that a lot of you is still nascent, in the most physical of senses, and will not be called forth by stasis. You have to say something, go somewhere and do things to get turned on. And, if not…you remain incomplete, and life is too hard for anyone incomplete.
Jordan B. Peterson (12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos)
[T]he idea of treating Mind as an effect rather than as a First Cause is too revolutionary for some–an "awful stretcher" that their own minds cannot acommodate comfortably. This is as true today as it was in 1860, and it has always been as true of some of evolution's best friends as of its foes. For instance, the physicist Paul Davies, in his recent book The Mind of God, proclaims that the reflective power of human minds can be "no trivial detail, no minor by-product of mindless purposeless forces" (Davies 1992, p. 232). This is a most revealing way of expressing a familiar denial, for it betrays an ill-examined prejudice. Why, we might ask Davies, would its being a by-product of mindless, purposeless forces make it trivial? Why couldn't the most important thing of all be something that arose from unimportant things? Why should the importance or excellence of anything have to rain down on it from on high, from something more important, a gift from God? Darwin's inversion suggests that we abandon that presumption and look for sorts of excellence, of worth and purpose, that can emerge, bubbling up out of "mindless, purposeless forces.
Daniel C. Dennett (Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life)
This American government—what is it but a tradition, though a recent one, endeavoring to transmit itself unimpaired to posterity, but each instant losing some of its integrity? It has not the vitality and force of a single living man; for a single man can bend it to his will. It is a sort of wooden gun to the people themselves. But it is not the less necessary for this; for the people must have some complicated machinery or other, and hear its din, to satisfy that idea of government which they have. Governments show thus how successfully men can be imposed upon, even impose on themselves, for their own advantage. It is excellent, we must all allow. Yet this government never of itself furthered any enterprise, but by the alacrity with which it got out of its way.
Henry David Thoreau (Civil Disobedience)
In fact, one of the main lessons to be learned from the collapses of the Maya, Anasazi, Easter Islanders, and those other past societies (as well as from the recent collapse of the Soviet Union) is that a society's steep decline may begin only a decade or two after the society reaches its peak numbers, wealth, and power. In that respect, the trajectories of the societies that we have discussed are unlike the usual courses of individual human lives, which decline in a prolonged senescence. The reason is simple: maximum population, wealth, resource consumption, and waste production mean maximum environmental impact, approaching the limit where impact outstrips resources. On reflection, it's no surprise that declines of societies tend to follow swiftly on their peaks.
Jared Diamond (Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed)
One of the enduring pathologies of human culture is the tendency to raise children to fear and demonize other human beings on the basis of religious faith. Consequently, faith inspires violence in at least two ways. First, people often kill other human beings because they believe that the creator of the universe wants them to do it. Islamist terrorism is a recent example of this sort of behavior. Second, far greater numbers of people fall into conflict with one another because they define their moral community on the basis of the religious affiliation: Muslims side with other Muslims, Protestants with Protestants, Catholics with Catholics. These conflicts are not always explicitly religious. But the bigotry and hatred that divide one community from another are often the products of their religious identities.
Sam Harris (Letter to a Christian Nation)
[Asked by an audience member at a public Q&A session] Considering that atheism cannot possibly have any sense of 'absolute morality', would it not then be an irrational leap of faith – which atheists themselves so harshly condemn – for an atheist to decide between right and wrong? [Dawkins] Absolute morality...the absolute morality that a religious person might profess would include, what, stoning people for adultery? Death for apostasy? [...] These are all things which are religiously-based absolute moralities. I don't think I want an absolute morality; I think I want a morality that is thought out, reasoned, argued, discussed, and based on – you could almost say intelligent design. [...] If you actually look at the moralities that are accepted among modern people – among 21st century people – we don't believe in slavery anymore; we believe in equality of women; we believe in being gentle; we believe in being kind to animals...these are all things which are entirely recent. They have very little basis in Biblical or Koranic scripture. They are things that have developed over historical time; through a consensus of reasoning, sober discussion, argument, legal theory, political and moral philosophy. These do not come from religion. To the extent that you can find the 'good bits' in religious scriptures, you have to cherry-pick. You search your way through the Bible or the Koran, and you find the occasional verse that is an acceptable profession of morality – and you say, look at that! That's religion!...and you leave out all the horrible bits. And you say, 'Oh, we don't believe that anymore, we've grown out of that.' Well, of course we've grown out of it. We've grown out of it because of secular moral philosophy and rational discussion.
Richard Dawkins
The bell of Limehouse Church rang as each of them, in this house, drifted into sleep - suddenly once more like children who, exhausted by the day's adventures, fall asleep quickly and carelessly. A solitary visitor, watching them as they slept, might wonder how it was that they had arrived at such a state and might speculate about each stage of their journey towards it: when did he first start muttering to himself, and not realise that he was doing so? When did she first begin to shy away from others and seek the shadows? When did all of them come to understand that whatever hopes they might have had were foolish, and that life was something only to be endured? Those who wander are always objects of suspicion and sometimes even of fear: the four people gathered in this house by the church had passed into a place, one might almost say a time, from which there was no return. The young man who had been bent over the fire had spent his life in a number of institutions - an orphanage, a juvenile home and most recently a prison; the old woman still clutching the brown bottle was an alcoholic who had abandoned her husband and two children many years before; the old man had taken to wandering after the death of his wife in a fire which he believed, at the time, he might have prevented. And what of Ned, who was now muttering in his sleep?
Peter Ackroyd (Hawksmoor)
Well, I can’t really talk about it, but we’ve recently acquired a very promising new author who specialises in high-concept science fiction. And it got a starred review in Publishers Weekly and everything, and there were some wonderful pull quotes and the one we decided to run with especially recommended it to fans of another, more famous author of high-concept science fiction. So we put it on all the posters and there’s big campaign all over the Underground and it’s on the front of the book and it’s too late to change any of it.” Oliver was looking perplexed in a way that made me want to hug him. “That seems unalloyedly positive, Bridget.” “It would be.” She threw herself into the nearest free chair. “Except the more famous author in question was Philip K. Dick. And the pull quote was, ‘If you like Dick, you’ll love this.’ And no one spotted it until we started getting extremely disappointed reviews on Amazon.
Alexis Hall (Boyfriend Material (London Calling, #1))
Tengo thought about his brain. Lots of things made him do this. The size of the human brain had increased four times over the past two and a half million years. In terms of weight, the brain occupied only two percent of the human body, but it consumed some forty percent of the body’s total energy (according to a book he had recently read). Owing to the dramatic expansion of the brain, human beings had been able to acquire the concepts of time, space, and possibility.
Haruki Murakami (1Q84 (Vintage International))
Until recently it has been assumed that in similar cases in the Scandinavian homelands, exotic and imported artefacts buried with women were gifts from men. This is especially so in western Norway, where artefacts looted from Britain and Ireland have mostly been found in women’s graves. But the new isotopic and genetic evidence on migration has forced us to rethink the interpretation of these burials. The recurring problem is trying to work out whether it was the object or its owner who travelled. When it comes to women in the Viking Age, the conclusion has almost always been the former, which has had an enormous impact on how we have viewed women’s agency – their involvement and individual participation – in the entire period. Partly the issue is that the interpretation of the objects has been based on a number of assumptions that lead to circular arguments, a serpent biting its own tail, going right the way back to the start of the Viking Age.
Cat Jarman (River Kings: A New History of the Vikings from Scandinavia to the Silk Road)
Recently, scientists have been experimenting with telomerase, the enzyme discovered by Blackburn and her colleagues that prevents the telomeres from shortening. It can, in some sense, “stop the clock.” When bathed in telomerase, skin cells can divide indefinitely, far beyond the Hayflick limit. I once interviewed Dr. Michael D. West, then of the Geron Corporation, who experiments with telomerase and claims that he can “immortalize” a skin cell in the lab so that it lives indefinitely.
Michio Kaku (The Future of Humanity: Terraforming Mars, Interstellar Travel, Immortality, and Our Destiny BeyondEarth)
If you will not reveal yourself to others, you cannot reveal yourself to yourself. That does not only mean that you suppress who you are, although it also means that. It means that so much of what you could be will never be forced by necessity to come forward. This is a biological truth, as well as a conceptual truth. When you explore boldly, when you voluntarily confront the unknown, you gather information and build your renewed self out of that information. That is the conceptual element. However, researchers have recently discovered that new genes in the central nervous system turn themselves on when an organism is placed (or places itself) in a new situation. These genes code for new proteins. These proteins are the building blocks for new structures in the brain. This means that a lot of you is still nascent, in the most physical of senses, and will not be called forth by stasis. You have to say something, go somewhere and do things to get turned on. And, if not…you remain incomplete, and life is too hard for anyone incomplete.
Jordan B. Peterson (12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos)
There are historical reasons for this resistance to the idea of an unknown part of the human psyche. Consciousness is a very recent acquisition of nature, and it is still in an “experimental” state. It is frail, menaced by specific dangers, and easily injured. As anthropologists have noted, one of the most common mental derangements that occur among primitive people is what they call “the loss of a soul”—which means, as the name indicates, a noticeable disruption (or, more technically, a dissociation) of consciousness.
C.G. Jung (Man and His Symbols)
It was the usual noontime university scene, but as I sat watching it with renewed attention, I became aware of a certain fact. In his or her own way, each person I saw before me looked happy. Whether they were really happy or just looked it, I couldn’t tell. But they did look happy on this pleasant early afternoon at the end of September, and because of that I felt a kind of loneliness that was new to me, as if I were the only one here who was not truly part of the scene. Come to think of it, what scene had I been part of in recent years?
Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood (Vintage International))
The big cat’s flame-green eyes were on the plump child not ten feet away from where it lay, lashing its tail. Here was a chance for revenge. One raking blow of unsheathed claws would make up for those tortured months of captivity. Closing his jaws in the man-child’s throat would repay him for the wounds that still smarted where the bullets had grazed his flesh. The puny dog, who was crouching close by, was not even to be considered. ‘The dogs, who had been guarding the sheep and the bull the puma had recently slaughtered, had fled when he spat at them.
George Watson Little (True Stories of Heroic Dogs)
As a child I thought that I would never grow up, that I could will it so. And then I realized, quite recently, that I had crossed some line, unconsciously cloaked in the truth of my chronology. How did we get so damn old? I say to my joints, my iron-colored hair. Now I am older than my love, my departed friends. Perhaps I will live so long that the New York Public Library will be obliged to hand over the walking stick of Virginia Woolf. I would cherish it for her, and the stones in her pocket. But I would also keep on living, refusing to surrender my pen.
Patti Smith
Maslow used an apt term for this evasion of growth, this fear of realizing one's own fullest powers. He called it the "Jonah Syndrome." He understood the syndrome as the evasion of the full intensity of life: We are just not strong enough to endure more! It is just too shaking and wearing. So often people in...ecstatic moments say, "It's too much," or "I can't stand it," or "I could die"....Delirious happiness cannot be borne for long. Our organisms are just too weak for any large doses of greatness.... The Jonah Syndrome, then, seen from this basic point of view, is "partly a justified fear of being torn apart, of losing control, of being shattered and disintegrated, eve of being killed by the experience." And the result of this syndrome is what we would expect a weak organism to do: to cut back the full intensity of life: For some people this evasion of one's own growth, setting low levels of aspiration, the fear of doing what one is capable of doing, voluntary self-crippling, pseudo-stupidity, mock-humility are in fact defenses against grandiosity... It all boils down to a simple lack of strength to bear the superlative, to open oneself to the totality of experience-an idea that was well appreciated by William James and more recently was developed in phenomenological terms in the classic work of Rudolf Otto. Otto talked about the terror of the world, the feeling of overwhelming awe, wonder, and fear in the face of creation-the miracle of it, the mysterium tremendum et fascinosum of each single thing, of the fact that there are things at all. What Otto did was to get descriptively at man's natural feeling of inferiority in the face of the massive transcendence of creation; his real creature feeling before the crushing negating miracle of Being.
Ernest Becker (The Denial of Death)
Well over 200 biblical manuscripts (90 of which are New Testament) were discovered in the Sinai in 1975 when a hidden compartment of St. George’s Tower was uncovered. Some of these manuscripts are quite ancient. They [the recent manuscript discoveries] all confirm that the transmission of the New Testament has been accomplished in relative purity and that God knows how to preserve the text from destruction. In addition to the manuscripts, there are 50,000 fragments sealed in boxes. About 30 separate New Testament manuscripts have been identified in the fragments, and scholars believe there may be many more.
Daniel Wallace
Naomi Klein said recently we are going to have to choose between capitalism and climate change. Well, climate change is Mother Nature, or Goddess. The Great She is challenging us to do what's right for the most of us, for the sake of humanity and the planet. Climate change could be the deciding factor that uplifts humanity, creates more stable economies and more jobs and makes us live Her ideals of sharing, caring, peace, justice and equality. We have an incredible opportunity here to use climate change to take power away from the 1 percent and really take care of the needs of the 99 percent. It's really do or die.
Karen Tate
The idea that Autism is a “boy’s” disorder goes all the way back to when the condition was first described at the turn of the twentieth century. Hans Asperger and other early Autism researchers did study girls on the spectrum, but generally left them out of their published research reports.[55] Asperger in particular avoided writing about Autistic girls because he wanted to present certain intelligent, “high-functioning” Autistic people as “valuable” to the Nazis who had taken over Austria and were beginning to exterminate disabled people en masse. As Steve Silberman describes in his excellent book NeuroTribes, Hans Asperger wanted to spare the “high functioning” Autistic boys he’d encountered from being sent to Nazi death camps. Silberman described this fact somewhat sympathetically; Asperger was a scientist who had no choice but to collude with the fascist regime and save what few children he could. However, more recently unearthed documents make it clear that Asperger was far more complicit in Nazi exterminations of disabled children than had been previously believed.[56] Though Asperger held intelligent, “little professor” type Autistics close to his heart, he knowingly sent more visibly debilitated Autistics to extermination centers.
Devon Price (Unmasking Autism: Discovering the New Faces of Neurodiversity)
Recent advances in experimental psychology and neuroimaging have allowed us to study the boundary between conscious and unconscious mental processes with increasing precision. We now know that at least two systems in the brain—often referred to as “dual processes”—govern human cognition, emotion, and behavior. One is evolutionarily older, unconscious, and automatic; the other evolved more recently and is both conscious and deliberative. When you find another person annoying, sexually attractive, or inadvertently funny, you are experiencing the percolations of System 1. The heroic efforts you make to conceal these feelings out of politeness are the work of System 2.
Sam Harris (Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion)
The case for the greatest possible freedom in education is a very strong one. To begin with, absence of freedom involves conflicts with adults, which frequently have a much more profound psychological effect than was realised until very recently. The child who is in any way coerced tends to respond with hatred, and if, as is usual, he is not able to give free vent to his hatred, it festers inwardly, and may sink into the unconscious with all kinds of strange consequences throughout the rest of life. The father as the object of hatred may come to be replaced by the State, the Church, or a foreign nation, thus leading a man to become an anarchist, an atheist, or a militarist
Bertrand Russell (Education and the Social Order)
Thus I felt reluctant to come out with my own thoughts, since through recent experience I was deeply impressed by the almost unbridgeable gap between Freud's mental Outlook and background and my own. I was afraid of losing his friendship if I should open up to him about my own inner world, which, I surmised, would look very queer to him... My intuition consisted of the sudden and most unexpected insight into the fact that my dream meant myself, my life and my world, my whole reality against a theoretical structure erected by another, strange mind for reasons and purposes of its own. It was not Freud's dream, it was mine; and I understood suddenly in a flash what my dream meant.
C.G. Jung (Man and His Symbols)
I believe in movement. I believed in that lighthearted balloon, the world. I believed in midnight and the hour of noon. But what else do I believe in? Sometimes everything. Sometimes nothing. It fluctuates like light flitting over a pond. I believed in life, which one day each of us shall lose. (...) I realized, quite recently, that I had crossed some line, unconsciously cloaked in the truth of my chronology. How did we get so damn old? I say to my joints, my iron-colored hair. Now I am older than my love, my departed friends. Perhaps I will live so long that the New York Public Library will be obliged to hand over the walking stick of Virginia Woolf. I would cherish it for her, and the stones in her pocket. But I would also keep on living, refusing to surrender my pen.
Patti Smith (M Train)
These new discoveries of depth psychology are bound to make some change in our collective ethical views, for they will compel us to judge all human actions in a much more individual and subtle way. The discovery of the unconscious is one of the most far-reaching discoveries of recent times. But the fact that recognition of its unconscious reality involves honest self-examination and reorganization of one’s life causes many people to continue to behave as if nothing at all has happened. It takes a lot of courage to take the unconscious seriously and to tackle the problems it raises. Most people are too indolent to think deeply about even those moral aspects of their behavior of which they are conscious; they are certainly too lazy to consider how the unconscious affects them.
C.G. Jung (Man and His Symbols)
Furthermore, the serpent represents the primary function of life, mainly eating. Life consists in eating other creatures. You don’t think about that very much when you make a nice-looking meal. But what you’re doing is eating something that was recently alive. And when you look at the beauty of nature, and you see the birds picking around—they’re eating things. You see the cows grazing, they’re eating things. The serpent is a traveling alimentary canal, that’s about all it is. And it gives you that primary sense of shock, of life in its most primal quality. There is no arguing with that animal at all. Life lives by killing and eating itself, casting off death and being reborn, like the moon. This is one of the mysteries that these symbolic, paradoxical forms try to represent.
Joseph Campbell (The Power of Myth)
Recently, I fell victim to a scam in which I was convinced to invest a substantial amount of money in cryptocurrency. The promises of immense profit tempted me, and I foolishly invested a total sum of 300,000 USD. It was a devastating blow to my finances and my trust in others. However, amidst the despair, a glimmer of hope appeared. I stumbled upon a blog post about Wizard Web Recovery, a company that helps victims of cryptocurrency scams recover their stolen funds. At first, I was skeptical, thinking it was impossible to retrieve crypto sent to a wallet address. But Wizard Web Recovery proved me wrong. Within a remarkably short period of 8 hours, they were able to recover all of my stolen cryptocurrency. I cannot express my gratitude enough for their efficient and professional assistance. They truly saved me from those heartless scammers, and I owe them my deepest appreciation. Find their contact information below: Telegram handle; wizardwebrecoveryteam
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if you're reading this, I'm probably gone by now. I used to reside in your heart, but I had to move out recently. between you and me, it became a little too expensive to live there. it cost me too much happiness, and it cost me so much peace, and these are things I never budgeted for when you asked me to move in. the warmth I felt in the air when I first move in slowly turned cold, and even though I attempted several times to repair the broken windows and fix the energy between us, sometimes situations should be left alone before common ground is found. we've waited and waited, staring at clocks and hoping time can replace everything we've lost, but the only thing I've found is that it's best for me to pack my belongings and go. sleeping in a cold heart every day and hoping that it will warm up is like playing a game of russian roulette with my happiness, and I'm not trying to take any chances. so I moved out and came back to myself, and I can safely say there's no place like home.
Billy Chapata (Flowers on the Moon)
The physicist Wolfgang Pauli has pointed out that, due to new discoveries, our idea of the evolution of life requires a revision that might take into account an area of interrelation between the unconscious psycho and biological processes. Until recently it was assumed that the mutation of species happened at random and that a selection took place by means of which the "meaningful," well-adapted varieties survived, and the other disappeared. But modern evolutionists have pointed out that the selections of such mutations by pure chance would have taken much longer than the known age of our planet allows... Jung's concept of synchronicity may be helpful here, for it could throw light upon the occurrence of certain rare "border-phenomena," or exceptional events; thus it might explain how "meaningful" adaptations and mutations could happen in less time than that required by entirely random mutations. Today we know of many instances in which meaningful "chance" events have occurred when an archetype is activated. For example, the history of science contains many cases of simultaneous invention or discovery.
Jolande Jacobi (Man and His Symbols)
Not all talking is thinking. Nor does all listening foster transformation. There are other motives for both, some of which produce much less valuable, counterproductive and even dangerous outcomes. There is the conversation, for example, where one participant is speaking merely to establish or confirm his place in the dominance hierarchy. One person begins by telling a story about some interesting occurrence, recent or past, that involved something good, bad or surprising enough to make the listening worthwhile. The other person, now concerned with his or her potentially substandard status as less-interesting individual, immediately thinks of something better, worse, or more surprising to relate. This isn’t one of those situations where two conversational participants are genuinely playing off each other, riffing on the same themes, for the mutual enjoyment of both (and everyone else). This is jockeying for position, pure and simple. You can tell when one of those conversations is occurring. They are accompanied by a feeling of embarrassment among speakers and listeners alike, all of whom know that something false and exaggerated has just been said.
Jordan B. Peterson (12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos)
However, when I look for the psychological cause of my behavior, I find it utterly mysterious. Why did I stop training 20 years ago? Well, certain things just became more important to me. But why did they become more important to me—and why precisely then and to that degree? And why did my interest in martial arts suddenly reemerge after decades of hibernation? I can consciously weigh the effects of certain influences—for instance, I recently read Rory Miller’s excellent book Meditations on Violence. But why did I read this book? I have no idea. And why did I find it compelling? And why was it sufficient to provoke action on my part (if, indeed, it was the proximate cause of my behavior)? And why so much action? I’m now practicing two martial arts and also training with Miller and other self-defense experts. What in hell is going on here? Of course, I could tell a story about why I’m doing what I’m doing—which would amount to my telling you why I think such training is a good idea, why I enjoy it, etc.—but the actual explanation for my behavior is hidden from me. And it is perfectly obvious that I, as the conscious witness of my experience, am not the deep cause of it.
Sam Harris (Free Will)
Scrolling through the rest of the 3,500 documents in Michelle’s hard drive, one comes upon a file titled “RecentDNAresults,” which features the EAR’s Y-STR markers (short tandem repeats on the Y chromosome that establish male-line ancestry), including the elusive rare PGM marker. Having the Golden State Killer’s DNA was always the one ace up this investigation’s sleeve. But a killer’s DNA is only as good as the databases we can compare it to. There was no match in CODIS. And there was no match in the California penal system’s Y-STR database. If the killer’s father, brothers, or uncles had been convicted of a felony in the past sixteen years, an alert would have gone to Paul Holes or Erika Hutchcraft (the current lead investigator in Orange County). They would have looked into the man’s family, zeroed in on a member who was in the area of the crimes, and launched an investigation. But they had nothing. There are public databases that the DNA profile could be used to match, filled not with convicted criminals but with genealogical buffs. You can enter the STR markers on the Y chromosome of the killer into these public databases and try to find a match, or at least a surname that could help you with the search.
Michelle McNamara (I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer)
This small lake was of most value as a neighbor in the intervals of a gentle rain-storm in August, when, both air and water being perfectly still, but the sky overcast, mid-afternoon had all the serenity of evening, and the wood thrush sang around, and was heard from shore to shore. A lake like this is never smoother than at such a time; and the clear portion of the air above it being, shallow and darkened by clouds, the water, full of light and reflections, becomes a lower heaven itself so much the more important. From a hilltop near by, where the wood had been recently cut off, there was a pleasing vista southward across the pond, through a wide indentation in the hills which form the shore there, where their opposite sides sloping toward each other suggested a stream flowing out in that direction through a wooded valley, but stream there was none. That way I looked between and over the near green hills to some distant and higher ones in the horizon, tinged with blue. Indeed, by standing on tiptoe I could catch a glimpse of some of the peaks of the still bluer and more distant mountain ranges in the northwest, those true-blue coins from heaven’s own mint, and also of some portion of the village. But in other directions, even from this point, I could not see over or beyond the woods which surrounded me.
Henry David Thoreau (Walden)
I think Shakespeare would have been amazed if people had to limit him to English themes, and if they had told him as an Englishman, he had no right to compose Hamlet, whose theme is Scandinavian, or Macbeth, whose theme is Scottish. The Argentine cult of local colour is a recent European cult which the nationalists ought to reject as foreign. Some days past I have found a curious confirmation of the fact that what is truly native can and often does dispense with local colour; I found this confirmation in Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Gibbon observes that in the Arabian book par excellence, in the Koran, there are no camels; I believe if there were any doubt as to the authenticity of the Koran, this absence of camels would be sufficient to prove it is an Arabian work. It was written by Mohammed, and Mohammed, as an Arab, had no reason to know that camels were especially Arabian; for him they were a part of reality, he had no reason to emphasize them; on the other hand, the first thing a falsifier, a tourist, an Arab nationalist would do is have a surfeit of camels, caravans of camels, on every page; but Mohammed, as an Arab, was unconcerned: he knew he could be an Arab without camels. I think we Argentines can emulate Mohammed, can believe in the possibility of being Argentine without abounding in local colour.
Jorge Luis Borges (Labyrinths: Selected Stories & Other Writings)
The further we go back into history, the more we see personality disappearing beneath the wrappings of collectivity. And if we go right back to primitive psychology, we find absolutely no trace of the concept of an individual. Instead of individuality we find only collective relationship or what Lévy-Bruhl calls participation mystique. The collective attitude hinders the recognition and evaluation of a psychology different from the subject’s, because the mind that is collectively oriented is quite incapable of thinking and feeling in any other way than by projection. What we understand by the concept “individual” is a relatively recent acquisition in the history of the human mind and human culture. It is no wonder, therefore, that the earlier all-powerful collective attitude prevented almost completely an objective psychological evaluation of individual differences, or any scientific objectification of individual psychological processes. It was owing to this very lack of psychological thinking that knowledge became “psychologized,” i.e., filled with projected psychology. We find striking examples of this in man’s first attempts at a philosophical explanation of the cosmos. The development of individuality, with the consequent psychological differentiation of man, goes hand in hand with the de-psychologizing work of objective science.
C.G. Jung (Collected Works of C. G. Jung, Volume 6: Psychological Types (The Collected Works of C. G. Jung Book 16))
People who worked and proselytized on behalf of homeless people formed a loose confederation, with one shared interest and many differing opinions. In recent years Jim had heard that some in the alliance claimed that the Program belonged to "the homelessness industry," which misspent resources that should be used for creating permanent supportive housing. Also that the Program was an insidious part of that status quo: It propped up an unjust system by successfully treating homeless people with diseases like AIDS, weakening one of the housing movement's chief arguments— "housing is health." Almost always the criticism came indirectly, from friends of friends. This was convenient for a person who hated confrontations. Jim could reply forcefully but indirectly, to a friend of the critic, or sometimes to me in the privacy of his office or car. Often he'd start by invoking Barbara, "The older I get, the more I realize how wise she was. I remember somebody coming into the clinic, and saying to Barbara, who was working like hell, 'What are we going to do to fix this problem of homelessness?' And she looked up and said, 'Are you kidding me? I'm too busy. Don't ask me a question like that.' That was her way of saying, 'Stop torturing me with what society isn't about to do. Let's just do the best we can right now and take care of these folks.
Tracy Kidder (Rough Sleepers)
We are conscious of only a tiny fraction of the information that our brains process in each moment.1 Although we continually notice changes in our experience—in thought, mood, perception, behavior, etc.—we are utterly unaware of the neurophysiological events that produce them. In fact, we can be very poor witnesses to experience itself. By merely glancing at your face or listening to your tone of voice, others are often more aware of your state of mind and motivations than you are. I generally start each day with a cup of coffee or tea—sometimes two. This morning, it was coffee (two). Why not tea? I am in no position to know. I wanted coffee more than I wanted tea today, and I was free to have what I wanted. Did I consciously choose coffee over tea? No. The choice was made for me by events in my brain that I, as the conscious witness of my thoughts and actions, could not inspect or influence. Could I have “changed my mind” and switched to tea before the coffee drinker in me could get his bearings? Yes, but this impulse would also have been the product of unconscious causes. Why didn’t it arise this morning? Why might it arise in the future? I cannot know. The intention to do one thing and not another does not originate in consciousness—rather, it appears in consciousness, as does any thought or impulse that might oppose it. The physiologist Benjamin Libet famously used EEG to show that activity in the brain’s motor cortex can be detected some 300 milliseconds before a person feels that he has decided to move.2 Another lab extended this work using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI): Subjects were asked to press one of two buttons while watching a “clock” composed of a random sequence of letters appearing on a screen. They reported which letter was visible at the moment they decided to press one button or the other. The experimenters found two brain regions that contained information about which button subjects would press a full 7 to 10 seconds before the decision was consciously made.3 More recently, direct recordings from the cortex showed that the activity of merely 256 neurons was sufficient to predict with 80 percent accuracy a person’s decision to move 700 milliseconds before he became aware of it.4 These findings are difficult to reconcile with the sense that we are the conscious authors of our actions. One fact now seems indisputable: Some moments before you are aware of what you will do next—a time in which you subjectively appear to have complete freedom to behave however you please—your brain has already determined what you will do. You then become conscious of this “decision” and believe that you are in the process of making it. The distinction between “higher” and “lower” systems in the brain offers no relief: I, as the conscious witness of my experience, no more initiate events in my prefrontal cortex than I cause my heart to beat. There will always be some delay between the first neurophysiological events that kindle my next conscious thought and the thought itself. And even if there weren’t—even if all mental states were truly coincident with their underlying brain states—I cannot decide what I will next think or intend until a thought or intention arises. What will my next mental state be? I do not know—it just happens. Where is the freedom in that?
Sam Harris (Free Will)
I have started to look up the meaning of place names recently. It is perhaps an interest that awakens in you ass you age, this enthusiasm for peering back through time to find lost meaning.
Katherine May (Enchantment: Awakening Wonder in an Anxious Age)
But thirty million dollars of subsidy money from Washington had been plowed into Project Soybean—an enormous acreage in Louisiana, where a harvest of soybeans was ripening, as advocated and organized by Emma Chalmers, for the purpose of reconditioning the dietary habits of the nation. Emma Chalmers, better known as Kip’s Ma, was an old sociologist who had hung about Washington for years, as other women of her age and type hang about barrooms. For some reason which nobody could define, the death of her son in the tunnel catastrophe had given her in Washington an aura of martyrdom, heightened by her recent conversion to Buddhism. “The soybean is a much more sturdy, nutritious and economical plant than all the extravagant foods which our wasteful, self-indulgent diet has conditioned us to expect,” Kip’s Ma had said over the radio; her voice always sounded as if it were falling in drops, not of water, but of mayonnaise. “Soybeans make an excellent substitute for bread, meat, cereals and coffee—and if all of us were compelled to adopt soybeans as our staple diet, it would solve the national food crisis and make it possible to feed more people. The greatest food for the greatest number—that’s my slogan. At a time of desperate public need, it’s our duty to sacrifice our luxurious tastes and eat our way back to prosperity by adapting ourselves to the simple, wholesome foodstuff on which the peoples of the Orient have so nobly subsisted for centuries. There’s a great deal that we could learn from the peoples of the Orient.
Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)
Political Islam has served as a vehicle for resistance as well as collaboration in different eras of Palestinian history, notably in the form of the grassroots combination of Islamic revival and nationalism espoused by the charismatic Shaykh ‘Iz al-Din al-Qassam, whose “martyrdom” in 1935 can be said to have inspired the revolt of 1936–39. The same can be said of the more recent Islamic Jihad movement, an offshoot of the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. Its founders were disgusted with the Brotherhood’s quietism and passivity toward—and, some even alleged, collaboration with—the Israeli occupation. Their attacks on Israeli military personnel in 1986 and 1987 helped spark the first Palestinian popular uprising, or intifada, which broke out in December 1987 and helped provoke the transformation of the major part of the Muslim Brotherhood organization into Hamas. Hamas itself has played a major part in the resistance to Israel, although some of the tactics that both Hamas and Islamic Jihad have pioneered in the Palestinian arena, particularly suicide attacks on civilians inside Israel, have been both morally indefensible and disastrously counterproductive strategically.
Rashid Khalidi (The Iron Cage: The Story of the Palestinian Struggle for Statehood)
The history revealed by even a cursory examination of the press, memoirs, and similar sources generated by Palestinians flies in the face of the popular mythology of the conflict, which is premised on their nonexistence or lack of a collective consciousness. In fact, Palestinian identity and nationalism are all too often seen to be no more than recent expressions of an unreasoning (if not fanatical) opposition to Jewish national self-determination. But Palestinian identity, much like Zionism, emerged in response to many stimuli, and at almost exactly the same time as did modern political Zionism. The threat of Zionism was only one of these stimuli, just as anti-Semitism was only one of the factors fueling Zionism. As newspapers like Filastin and al-Karmil reveal, this identity included love of country, a desire to improve society, religious attachment to Palestine, and opposition to European control. After the war, the focus on Palestine as a central locus of identity drew strength from widespread frustration at the blocking of Arab aspirations in Syria and elsewhere as the Middle East became suffocatingly dominated by the European colonial powers. This identity is thus comparable to the other Arab nation-state identities that emerged around the same time in Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq.
Rashid Khalidi (The Hundred Years' War on Palestine: A History of Settler Colonialism and Resistance, 1917–2017)
While those eating plant-based diets appear to enjoy lower risk of cardiovascular disease and longer lives,3719 those eating low-carb diets suffer significantly higher rates of cardiovascular disease and shorter lives—a 22 percent increase in overall mortality risk.3720 So, the side effects of low-carb ketogenic diets may not only include, as a recent review recited, “chronic fatigue, nausea, headaches, hair loss, reduced tolerance to alcohol, reduced physical performance, heart palpitations, leg cramps, dry mouth, bad taste, bad breath, gout, or constipation,”3721 but premature death as well.3722
Michael Greger (How Not to Age: The Scientific Approach to Getting Healthier as You Get Older)
However, governments and businesses may also hire consultancies not to reduce their climate footprint, but to convince others of their commitment to mitigating the climate crisis, even if this is not matched with action. A number of recent cases and developments lend weight to this hypothesis.
Mariana Mazzucato (The Big Con: How the Consulting Industry Weakens Our Businesses, Infantilizes Our Governments, and Warps Our Economies)
I started with the ships and then moved on to planes and cars. More recently, I’ve found myself getting lost in miniature houses and buildings. Putting all the pieces together and getting everything just so helps me relax and clear my mind after a long day.
A.J. Sherwood (Embers (Scales 'N' Spells, #4))
The position I am defending (in this course) and which you can qualify as intuitionist, does not belong to any of these fields [Platonist and formalist]. It postulates that the cognitive foundations of mathematics must be sought in a series of fundamental intuitions of space, time, and number shared by many species of animals and which originate in a distant past where these intuitions played an essential role to survive. Mathematics is built on the formalisation and creation of a conscious relationship among these different intuitions. This position is close, but not identical, to the mathematical intuitionism of Brouwer and Poincaré. The difficulty lies in precisely defining what is meant by intuition. It is not certain, in fact, that the variety of properties that are attributed to it arise from a single cognitive process. Nevertheless, in the domain of elementary numerical cognition, recent research have defined very precisely a body of knowledge that can be qualified as ‘numerical intuition’ or ‘number sense’.
Stanislas Dehaene
Jacques’s recent behavior, however, was threatening to increase the wrinkle count on her part.
Aurélie Valognes (Will You Ever Change?)
Tell me, Miss Anderson, when was your last sexual encounter?” “Wh-what?” His finger taps impatiently on my stomach, then swirls around on the skin like a promise, and I almost sob. “Yesterday. It was yesterday.” Heat glints in his eyes. “Interesting. I wouldn’t expect a patient who was so recently active to be such a desperate, squirming, needy little slut.
Rebecca Quinn (Entangled (Brutes of Bristlebrook, #2))
At the onset, critics pointed out that Boracay beach closure seemed to be a drastic move, an isolated strategy. But the statement was nothing but a myth. When I visited Florida as part of the US Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), I learned that beach closures were part of a standard operating procedure relevant to Algal Bloom Monitoring. Recently, it closed Jupiter Beaches on Palm Beach County, Hobe Sound Beach, and Bathtub Beach in Martin County. In Rhode Island, the moment the concentration of Enterocci bacteria in beach water exceeds 60 colony-forming units per 100 mililiters, they issue a temporary closure. In 2018 alone, there were at least 40 beach closures in Rhode Island.” - Anna Mae Yu Lamentillo , Night Owl: A Nationbuilder’s Manual 2nd Edition (p. 212 Boracay: A case of political will)
Anna Mae Yu Lamentillo
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Many parts of the natural world we take for granted today are relatively recent arrivals. Grasses, the main component of the largest ecosystems of the planet today, only arose at the very end of the Cretaceous, less than 70 million years ago, as rare parts of the forests of India and South America. Grass-dominated ecosystems did not emerge until about 40 million years before the present. There were never dinosaur grasslands, and, in the northern hemisphere, grass simply did not exist.
Thomas Halliday (Otherlands: Journeys in Earth's Extinct Ecosystems)
I have seen in the windows the pale blue glow of at least one television in every home. And I am told that many family meals are eaten in front of that screen as well. And perhaps this explains the face of Americans, the eyes that never appear satisfied, at peace with their work, or the day God has given them; these people have the eyes of very small children who are forever looking for their next source of distraction, entertainment, or a sweet taste in the mouth. And it is no longer to me a surprise that it is the recent immigrants who excel in this land, the Orientals, the Greeks, and yes, the Persians. We know rich opportunity when we see it.
Andre Dubus III (House of Sand and Fog)
But that’s the thing I’ve only recently come to understand about birthdays. They’re not about presents or streamers. They’re not about parties or pictures or petite pastel candles on your cake. They’re about having a brief sense of hope. For that one day, we’re able to close the door on our mistakes and cling to the false idea that we’ll approach the next year wiser. We make wishes. We blow out candles. We tell ourselves this will be our year.
Angela Brown (Olivia Strauss Is Running Out of Time)
As we’ve said before, they’re attempting to develop a repertoire that matches the aesthetics and ideology of National Socialism. They want ‘pure’ German content, drawn from national fairy tales, and legends—anything that deals with the glorification of the fatherland, or the politics of race. They’ve targeted the new jazz out of America because it’s linked with Africans, but the music is so popular, Goebbels can’t keep the people away from the swing bands, so they pretend it’s German. They recently broadcast Duke Ellington’s ‘Caravan,’ repressing its origin. They rewrote Handel’s Judas Maccabaeus with Judas rebirthed as a powerful military dictator.” “They’re trying to erase reality,” Ida said, incredulously.
Marianne Monson (The Opera Sisters)
4.5 billion years ago, an object the size of Mars crashed into Earth, blowing out enough material to form a companion sphere, the Moon. Within weeks, it is thought, the flung material had reassembled itself into a single clump, and within a year it had formed into the spherical rock that companions us yet. Most of the lunar material, it is thought, came from the Earth’s crust, not its core, which is why the Moon has so little iron while we have a lot. The theory, incidentally, is almost always presented as a recent one, but in fact it was first proposed in the 1940s by Reginald Daly of Harvard. The only recent thing about it is people paying any attention to
Bill Bryson (A Short History of Nearly Everything)
this name for a new Eden, whose recently glimpsed existence had now been fully confirmed.
Thomas Mallon (Fellow Travelers)
The right to have an abortion has been popularly justified as a woman's right to control her own body. Such a right seems to be implied by a number of other rights, but only recently has it been stated in this way. So stated, it is somewhat confusing, for many of our laws, legal and moral, require one to control one's body—to restrain it, for instance, from killing the body of another person, except of course when ordered to do so by the government.
Wendell Berry
For some, the question of evangelical support for Trump had a simpler explanation: rank hypocrisy. Indeed, in the weeks between the release of the Access Hollywood tape and the election, PRRI (Public Religion Research Institute) social scientists identified a curious “Trump effect.” Five years earlier, only 30 percent of white evangelicals believed that “a person who commits an ‘immoral’ act could behave ethically in a public role.” The month before the election, 72 percent believed this was possible. According to the PRRI’s Robert P. Jones, “This dramatic abandonment of the whole idea of ‘value voters’ is one of the most stunning reversals in recent American political history.
Kristin Kobes Du Mez (Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation)
It is only within comparatively recent years that the homely stories in the mouths of the country-people have been constituted a branch of learning, and have had applied to them, as such, the methods and the terminology of science. No doubt a very noteworthy gain to knowledge has resulted from this treatment, — a curious department of research has been opened up, and light has been cast upon various outside things of greater importance than the subject of study itself. But, side by side with this gain to knowledge, is there not, involved in the method of treatment indicated, a loss to the stories themselves ? Classified, tabulated, scientifically named, they are no longer the wild free product of Nature that we knew and loved: — they are become, so to speak, a collection of butterflies in a case, an album of pressed wild flowers. No doubt they are still very interesting, and highly instructive ; but their poetry, their brightness, the fragrance which clung about them in their native air, their native soil, is in large measure gone!
Sir George Douglas (Scottish Fairy and Folk Tales)