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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
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.”