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“The team demonstrated that stopping daily caffeine consumption produces changes in cerebral blood flow velocity and quantitative EEG that are likely related to the classic caffeine withdrawal symptoms of headache, drowsiness and decreased alertness. More specifically, acute caffeine abstinence increased brain blood flow, an effect that may account for commonly reported withdrawal headaches. Acute caffeine abstinence also produced changes in EEG (increased theta rhythm) that has previously been linked to the common withdrawal symptom of fatigue. Consistent with this, volunteers reported increases in measures of ‘tired,’ ‘fatigue,’ ‘sluggish’ and ‘weary.’ Overall, these findings provide the most rigorous demonstration to date of physiological effects of caffeine withdrawal.”
“Google Earth’s maps pinpointed several such areas. One village in Tokyo was clearly labeled ‘eta,’ a now strongly derogatory word for burakumin that literally means ‘filthy mass.’ A single click showed the streets and buildings that are currently in the same area.”
“‘True solitude is the feeling of being absolutely isolated between the earth and the sky… [A] fearfully lucid intuition will reveal the entire drama of man’s finite nature facing the infinite nothingness of the world.’To call [EM Cioran] a nihilist is something of an understatement. He outdoes even Herodotus– who instructs us in the Histories to call no man happy until he is dead– in his proclamations of the punitive (or criminal) nature of our existences. Later in his career, he would identify birth itself as the primary human tragedy: ‘We have lost, being born, as much as we shall lose, dying. Everything.’”
I recently spent a semester teaching writing at an elite liberal-arts college. At strategic points around the campus, in shades of yellow and green, banners displayed the following pair of texts. The first was attributed to the college’s founder, which dates it to the 1920s. The second was extracted from the latest version of the institution’s mission statement:
The paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.
Let us take a moment to compare these texts. The first thing to observe about the older one is that it is a sentence. It expresses an idea by placing concepts in relation to one another within the kind of structure that we call a syntax. It is, moreover, highly wrought: a parallel structure underscored by repetition, five adverbs balanced two against three.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A naked man believed to be under the influence of LSD rammed his pickup truck into two police cars.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”