…in my sidebar (and elsewhere). One hitch with the sidebar list is that we don’t often discuss them, and usually when I’m sharing something it’s a post or article I’m keen to talk about. I share a goodly number of these same links to Facebook (but by no means all), and often lively conversations ensue.
So—anything in the most recent batch grab your attention? Anything you want to gab about? You know me, I’m always up for a discussion.
(This one’s not in the Caught My Eye list; I flagged it for my TBR pile.)
“But, peering intently through his windscreen in search of a landing place, the pilot saw something that should not have been there. It was a clearing, 6,000 feet up a mountainside, wedged between the pine and larch and scored with what looked like long, dark furrows. The baffled helicopter crew made several passes before reluctantly concluding that this was evidence of human habitation—a garden that, from the size and shape of the clearing, must have been there for a long time.
“It was an astounding discovery. The mountain was more than 150 miles from the nearest settlement, in a spot that had never been explored. “
A recipe for lemon filling for layer cake. If you insist.
“10. Most Uncomfortable Moment #2: Five minutes in the Harper Collins Kids booth waiting to be noticed. Taking notes, tweeting, the only person in the booth with four reps who talked to each other and never spoke to me. After I walked out I received a tweet from a blogger friend who sent me to the HC Adult booth with the name of a rep to ask for. She was very nice, walked me to the kid side and introduced me to a rep (who had been standing there all along). I asked about Bennett Madison’s upcoming September Girls and was quickly given an ARC. That’s when I mentioned I had reviewed some of his other books, was a fan of his work, and….. she said nothing. “Have a nice day,” she chirped, and walked away.”
“And it’s not just Japanese. There are plenty of other languages that blur the lines between what we call blue and green. Many languages don’t distinguish between the two colors at all. In Vietnamese the Thai language, khiaw means green except if it refers to the sky or the sea, in which case it’s blue. The Korean word purueda could refer to either blue or green, and the same goes for the Chinese word qīng. It’s not just East Asian languages either, this is something you see across language families. In fact, Radiolab had a fascinating recent episode on color where they talked about how there was no blue in the original Hebrew Bible, nor in all of Homer’s Illiad or Odyssey!”
“These projects afford me the opportunity to read as much impressive nonfiction journalism as any single person possibly can. The result is my annual Best of Journalism List, now in its fifth year. “
“But more and more Arab novelists have been infusing larger stretches of their books with colloquial Arabics: first the dialogue and then beyond. Indeed, a number of adult books are written entirely in colloquial, although children’s books still seem to hold the line.”
“So increasingly, this is how I judge a book: does it leave me with at least one truly durable image? Is there one moment I can see again in sharp detail two months or two years later? If so, I call that success. As Zachary Mason says: in the long run, as stories get told and re-told in different languages and different formats, it’s probably the images that keep a story alive. It’s probably the images that last.”
Via Sarah @ Knitting the Wind
“Look for natural splits between work and leisure activities, or between creating and consuming things. If you already keep these activities separate, then you might only need to make a few adjustments. If you’ve been trying to do everything from one place and one device, then you may need to make a conscious decision to divide different modes of behavior.”
“I don’t want him to ever stop asking me about it, because every time he asks, it’s a reminder. To make next week longer and more memorable than this one. To make each subsequent year slower than the one before, by going off the rails, opening myself to richer memories. Every time Dad tells me his idea, it’s a reminder to step away from the machine and pay attention to the world.”
“But when it comes to novels, what gets you is the gap between describing the idea and a bunch of people reading that description. Once a book is sold in to a traditional publisher, it can take 18 months (sometimes even longer!) before the book is released. That’s after it’s been written. How long does it take to launch a startup these days? According to incubators like Y Combinator, three months. And it’ll likely be quicker going forward.”
“What I want you to know is that my work is better for your love of it. My process has had to become one of abandoning each novel in some way once it’s done, and you hold on to them. And I’m thankful that you do what I don’t have the heart to or the stomach to… “
“I am a fan of the show, transfixed by the class differences represented in the series which tries very hard—from the dialogue, the sumptuous costumes, and the setting—to be about another time and place. But is it? Let’s look at a few of the myths that swirl around Downton Abbey and consider what we can learn about the real history behind the show— and about ourselves.”
“Sit to do computer work. Sit using a height-adjustable, downward titling keyboard tray for the best work posture, then every 20 minutes stand for 2 minutes AND MOVE. The absolute time isn’t critical but about every 20-30 minutes take a posture break and move for a couple of minutes. Simply standing is insufficient. Movement is important to get blood circulation through the muscles. Research shows that you don’t need to do vigorous exercise (e.g. jumping jacks) to get the benefits, just walking around is sufficient. So build in a pattern of creating greater movement variety in the workplace (e.g. walk to a printer, water fountain, stand for a meeting, take the stairs, walk around the floor, park a bit further away from the building each day).”
“I think that’s why merely reading a lot won’t make you a great writer, just like listening to a lot of music won’t suddenly make you a piano virtuoso, because reading emphasizes the drawbridge words. On the flip side, writing a lot without reading much leaves you all backwind and no drawbridge, trying to get from point A to point B without stopping to admire the view. It’s only by doing both reading and writing that you start to understand how to string the different words together.”
“A great example of a Slow Web product is Instapaper. Instapaper takes the process of discovering a long article and reading it on the spot (real-time) and breaks it apart, deferring the act of reading until later, when we have an extended moment to read (timely). “
(I know; a lot of Jack Cheng in this batch. He’s a new discovery for me, via Kyrie Mead, and I’m enjoying his thoughtful articles.)
“Wisconsin officials tout the UW Flexible Option as the first to offer multiple, competency-based bachelor’s degrees from a public university system. Officials encourage students to complete their education independently through online courses, which have grown in popularity through efforts by companies such as Coursera, edX and Udacity.
“No classroom time is required under the Wisconsin program except for clinical or practicum work for certain degrees.”
Links for May 13, 2008
News that Made My Day