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Saturday Poem

Lost Things, Found Hopes . For Nietzsche, hope was the beginning of loss. But we can be even more radical: the beginning of anything is the beginning of loss.

Art doesn’t just capture the thrill of life ... sometimes it is that thrill


Julian Barnes in The Guardian: Some years ago, a journalist friend, posted to Paris by his magazine, became in quick succession the father of two children.

An interview with Miriam Markowitz


Matt Jakubowski in Truce: Before we discuss your work at Harper’s and The Nation, I’d like to ask about the early years of your career.

The Not-So-Feminist History of Wonder Woman


Emily Greenhouse in The Nation: When Stephen Gaskin passed away last July, his local paper eulogized him as a “tie-dye-clad hippie philosopher, a proud ‘freethinker’” with “crystalline blue eyes.” Those of my generation who are familiar with Gaskin know him as the founder of the Farm, the 44-year-old intentional community in Summertown, Tennessee, where Gaskin’s wife, Ina May, started a movement of authentic midwifery and female body-empowerment.

Scientists Map 5,000 New Ocean Viruses


Carl Zimmer in Quanta: In March 2011, the Tara, a 36-meter schooner, sailed from Chile to Easter Island — a three-week leg of a five-year global scientific expedition.

Horse Reunion

Yoko Ono and the Myth That Deserves to Die


Lindsay Soladz at New York Magazine: In Tokyo, in 1964, the 31-year-old conceptual artist Yoko Ono organized a happening in which she screened a Hollywood film and gave the audience a simple instruction: Do not look at Rock Hudson, look only at Doris Day.

A selection from David Pryce-Jones's memoir


David Pryce-Jones at The New Criterion: My book, Unity Mitford: An Enquiry into Her Life and the Frivolity of Evil, became a nine-day-wonder, I can only suppose, because it brought out into the open collaboration with Hitler and the outlines of a British Vichy regime in the event of a successful Nazi invasion.

frida kahlo, the gardener


Peter Schjeldahl at The New Yorker: Kahlo’s gardening was of a piece with her art, in asserting a nationalist mythos that extended even to her menagerie of pets: monkeys, parrots, turkeys, an eagle, and a pack of dogs that included Mexican hairless Xoloitzcuintles.

Friday Poem

Six Francs Seventy-Five Each night we bought red wine from a small supermarket Not too far from the Seine, where an overweight deaf teller Smiled whenever we walked in.

One of the Most Beautiful Film Trilogies of All Time Just Got Even More Beautiful


Dana Stevens in Slate: To live without seeing the films of the Indian director Satyajit Ray, said Akira Kurosawa in 1975, “means existing in the world without seeing the sun or the moon.” Though Ray was 11 years his junior, Kurosawa spoke of him that day in Moscow as a master.

Why Your Immune System Doesn't Eat You Alive


Esther Landhuis in Scientific American: For a long time researchers figured the body had a tidy way of dealing with immune cells that might trigger diabetes, lupus or other autoimmune diseases—it must kill off these rogue cells early in life, before the immune system matures.

The surprising links between faith and evolution and climate denial — charted


Chris Mooney in the Washington Post: For a long time, we’ve been having a pretty confused discussion about the relationship between religious beliefs and the rejection of science — and especially its two most prominent U.S.

the british and their weather


Richard Hamblyn at The Times Literary Supplement: “When two Englishmen meet”, wrote Samuel Johnson in 1758, “their first talk is of the weather; they are in haste to tell each other, what each must already know, that it is hot or cold, bright or cloudy, windy or calm.” It remains an insightful observation, not for what it says about the British obsession with weather – that was a truism even then – but for what it says about the value of natural knowledge.

walter russell and The Secret of Light


Dan Piepenbring at The Paris Review: Walter Russell (May 19, 1871–May 19, 1963) was the progenitor of a “new world-thought” centered on light; in books such as The Electrifying Power of Man-Woman Balance, The Book of Early Whisperings, and The Dawn of a New Day in Human Relations, he foresaw “a marriage between religion and science” in which the laws of physics would be rewritten.

On James Wood’s ‘The Nearest Thing to Life’


Jonathan Russell Clark at The Millions: This book, which manages to be even slimmer than How Fiction Works, also manages to be even better. The Nearest Thing to Life is as close as we’ll ever get to a manifesto from the British-born New Yorker critic.

Meet the Manhattan mothers who think they deserve a 'wife bonus'


Celia Walden in The Telegraph: Women are notoriously bad at asking for bonuses. Which is why I did my homework and created – as BusinessInsider.com suggested – “a master plan”.

Reproducibility crisis: Blame it on the antibodies


Monya Baker in Nature: In 2006, things were looking pretty good for David Rimm, a pathologist at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.

Thursday Poem

Captain of the Lighthouse The late hour trickles into morning. The cattle low profusely by the anthill where brother and I climb and call Land’s End.


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