“Most writers think of grammar as uninteresting, the machine code of literature, but Wallace loved it for many reasons—because his mother did; because it was full of rules, and limits gave him pleasure; and because his mastery of the subject reminded everyone how smart he was.”—D. T. Max writes about “Quack This Way,” the recent publication of a 2006 interview David Foster Wallace gave on grammar and usage: http://nyr.kr/1e6yvPc (via newyorker)
Instapaper is feeling a surge of holiday spirit this year. From December 12th through the 19th, Instapaper for iOS will be free to download as part of Apple’s App of The Week program. We’re really excited to work with Apple to make Instapaper free for a limited time, making the app available to…
get Instapaper. It’s the best $5 app I’ve bought and something I use everyday.
If you’re a book lover, you probably have shelves upon shelves of literary treasures. We want to know for an upcoming story: How do you organize all these? Do you keep fiction and literature separate? Do you go alphabetical? Or do you sort by size and appearance? What has to be in hard copy and what only lives on your Kindle? Where do you hide those guilty pleasure reads? Email your name and your story to: email@example.com
Good craft beer is hard to find. You might not know it, but most of the “craft” and “micro” breweries you see at your local store are actually made by the same assembly line multinational macrobreweries you see advertised nationwide.
“There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”—a quote without a source from a comment on A VC: The Limits of Capitalism (via fred-wilson)
Scientists have long known that happiness and stress are two sides of the same coin: the less stressed you are, the happier you’ll be. They’ve also known that exercise lifts mood by releasing feel-good chemicals like endorphins and dopamine into the brain. But last spring, researchers at Princeton University made a startling discovery—the mood-enhancing benefits of exercise aren’t temporary. Exercise, they found, actually rewires your mind.
The finding came out of the researchers’ bid to reconcile a perplexing paradox. Exercise triggers the creation of highly excitable neurons in the hippocampus, the region of the brain associated with memory, learning, and emotional responses. This speeds up overall brain function, but because of the new neurons’ excitability, it should also make the brain more susceptible to anxiety. Yet it doesn’t.
It’s no secret why big publishing hates Amazon. They are taking money out of their pockets. But beware of boycott Amazon campaigns. Who is paying for them?
Pause. There’s more going on here than that big publishing thinks self publishing on Amazon is going to take over the world. There is so much to be said for curated content. Self publishing is cool, but it’s not going to break big publishing. It might reshape it at some point, but not break it. Fair, publishing is the type of industry that is generally afraid of change, but it’s tenacious and it survives.
What Amazon is right now is the only commercial behemoth that gets to keep making NO PROFIT as they undercut everyone else’s prices and drive them out of business. What happens when everyone else is out of business? Well, gee, when there’s no competition….prices go up for consumers, and profit margins go down for publishers selling through Amazon, and Amazon takes a wider and wider chunk out of the filling in the middle, finally making all their years of lulling us into gentle complacency pay back big time. The real question is: why do we see Amazon as the gentle giant? Why does Amazon get to get away with no profits, and Wall Street doesn’t care? Any other company would have stock prices in the gutter by now and some SCREAMING shareholders. And the really big elephant in the room: What happens when there is no more competition?
This is how you build a monopoly and then stifle free trade. Bad for the consumer, bad for the publishers, bad for everyone…..except Amazon. So yeah, I’m not a big Amazon shopper. This issue is not limited to the book industry. Just pointing out some other pertinent details the original article doesn’t seem to be taking into account.
“Gladwell may seem to have devised a new variety of inspirational nonfiction, but it is one that has some clear precedents. He is finally in the self-help racket, and his books belong in the genre of which Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends & Influence People, from 1936, is the best-known example. There is a never-ending flow of manuals of optimism, offering untold wealth, sexual success, and enduring fame to those who read them and imbibe the lessons they contain. If Gladwell’s writings seem more serious-minded than most of those manuals, it is because his comforting tales of self-improvement and overcoming evil are given a thin gloss of scientific authority. It is this combination, together with the conceit of presenting counterintuitive truths, that makes his work so popular.”—Malcolm Gladwells David and Goliath Fairy Tales | New Republic
“Do you want to know how ridiculous and unprecedented those final few minutes were in Baltimore? The Ravens and Vikings traded five touchdowns in a matter of 2:01. The Elias Sports Bureau suggests that the previous record for fastest five touchdowns in one game over the past 50 years was more than 5:30. Go look at the win probability chart for this game. It roughly resembles the heartbeats of Ravens and Vikings fans.”—Bill Barnwell on Week 14 in the NFL - Grantland
Additional evidence that suggests that many gay men in intolerant states are deeply in the closet comes from a surprising source: the Google searches of married women. It turns out that wives suspect their husbands of being gay rather frequently. In the United States, of all Google searches that begin “Is my husband…,” the most common word to follow is “gay.” “Gay” is 10 percent more common in such searches than the second-place word, “cheating.” It is 8 times more common than “an alcoholic” and 10 times more common than “depressed.”
Searches questioning a husband’s sexuality are far more common in the least tolerant states. The states with the highest percentage of women asking this question are South Carolina and Louisiana. In fact, in 21 of the 25 states where this question is most frequently asked, support for gay marriage is lower than the national average.
Further evidence, as if we needed it, of the poison of ignorance and intolerance and of how both sides in this relationship equation become victims to it: the gay man married to a woman he doesn’t really love, and the woman married to a man who doesn’t love her.
The article doesn’t address it, but I would be interested to see similar statistics on the levels of “out-ness” among lesbian women.