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“Maybe this is too personal,” says Charlotte, “but I wasn’t as careful with my virginity, with my heart and my body, when I was a teenager, and maybe that’s where I’m escaping to. I’m rescuing the shy virgin in me that didn’t get to be a shy virgin as long. I want Bella to be protected. And Edward does that. Albeit in a scary, dangerous way.” She’s careful to say, however, that her regression is pretty benign. It’s not like she actually wants to be 15 again…. Actually, what “Twilight” has brought flooding back for many fans is not just the high drama of first love and betrayal but warm memories of a different relationship altogether. “For so many of these women, this is the first book they’ve read cover to cover in 10 years,” says Kirsten Starkweather. “Now they’re grabbing the new book, whatever it is.” Charlotte agrees. “Reading is an act of defiance in the world today. I owe Stephenie Meyer a thank you note for reminding me of that.” –“‘Twilight’ of Our Youth: It isn’t just a tween phenomenon. Women in their 30s and beyond are addicted to Stephenie Meyer’s vampire saga, too,” Sarah Hepola, Salon
White geek Nick Douglas had a theory about Black People Twitter a while ago. His friend suggested “These people don’t have real Twitter friends. So they all respond to trending topics.” This is so obviously wrong. (“No, they have their own communities and their own friends that you are not paying attention to,” wrote Maria Diaz.) And then Douglas himself posted a great response to his poor dumb friend: “It’s the nature of how we craft these environments to suit our core comforts and fine tune our twitter experiences. Twitter’s addition of the trending topics bar has simply shattered our insulated perception of how everyone uses this thing.” –“What Were Black People Talking About on Twitter Last Night?” by Choire Sicha, The Awl
90 percent of the world doesn’t care about Microsoft Bing;
scientists, entangled, create programmable quantum processor;
IBM finally simulates cat brain (it spends most of its time in sleep mode)
In the experiment, preliminary results of which were presented last month at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in Chicago, scientists allowed one group of rats to run. Another set of rodents was not allowed to exercise. Then all of the rats swam in cold water, which they don’t like to do. Afterward, the scientists examined the animals’ brains. They found that the stress of the swimming activated neurons in all of the brains. (The researchers could tell which neurons were activated because the cells expressed specific genes in response to the stress.) But the youngest brain cells in the running rats, the cells that the scientists assumed were created by running, were less likely to express the genes. They generally remained quiet. The “cells born from running,” the researchers concluded, appeared to have been “specifically buffered from exposure to a stressful experience.” The rats had created, through running, a brain that seemed biochemically, molecularly, calm. –“Phys Ed: Why Exercise Makes You Less Anxious,” Gretchen Reynolds, The New York Times
Liberals and conservatives can’t agree on anything, including Girl Scout cookies (add “arugula” to “politics” and “religion” as a topic to avoid);
man raised child to speak only Klingon;
10-year-old self-described nerd (note shirt) loves, supports gays, induces cringing, anchor asks for definition of “gaywad”;
see also: how to find a masculine halloween costume for your effeminate son
Fleming awoke in the dark and his room felt loose, sloshing so badly he gripped the bed. From his window there was nothing but a hallway, and if he craned his neck, a blown lightbulb swung into view. The room pitched up and down and for a moment he thought he might be sick. The word “hallway” must have a nautical name. Why didn’t they supply a glossary for this cruise? Probably they had, in the welcome packet he’d failed to read. A glossary. A history of the boat, which would be referred to as a ship. Sunny biographies of the captain and crew, who had always dreamed of this life. Lobotomized histories of the islands they’d visit. Who else had sailed this way. Famous suckwads from the past, slicing through this very water on wooden longships.
A welcome packet, the literary genre most likely to succeed in the new millennium. Why not read about a community you don’t belong to, that doesn’t actually exist, a captain and crew who are, in reality, if that isn’t too much of a downer on your vacation, as indifferent to one another as any set of co-employees at an office or bank? Read doctored personal statements from underpaid crew members — because ocean life pays better than money! — who hate their lives but have been forced to buy into the mythology of working on a boat, separated now from loved ones and friends, growing lonelier by the second, even while they wait on you and follow your every order.
Rank of Detroit among major U.S. cities whose residents give the largest portion of their income to charity:
A South Dakota researcher concluded that only scant blood spatter results when chain saws are used to dismember pigs.
Four people were arrested for using a remote-controlled hexacopter to fly two pounds of tobacco to prisoners inside the yard at Calhoun State Prison in Georgia.
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Our congratulations to Alice Munro, winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize for Literature