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For a year in the early 80s, [Mavis Gallant] was writer in residence at Toronto University, “a completely useless job. You are with people who have no talent whatever, and if they had they wouldn’t come to me.” The only good thing was that she had 20 percent off at the campus book store. To those students who showed any promise she would give copies of Nabokov, or EM Forster, “always good for the soul.” Otherwise, she would give them Raymond Carver. –“A life in books: Mavis Gallant: ‘I felt that the only thing I was on earth to do was to write’” by Lisa Allardice, the Guardian
“Live-reading” Sarah Palin;
meet Emma Sky,
adviser to General Ray Odierno;
more food stamp dollars now spent at local greenmarkets;
During the divorce proceedings, Maryann’s lawyer said— this both haunts me and to some degree taints my enjoyment of Carver’s stories— that without a decent court settlement, Maryann Burk Carver’s post-divorce life would be “like a bag of doorknobs that wouldn’t open any doors.” Maryann’s response was, “Ray says he’ll send money every month, and I believe him.” Carver carried through on that promise, although not without a good deal of grousing. But when he died in 1988, the woman who had provided his financial foundation discovered that she had been cut out of sharing the continuing financial rewards of Carver’s popular short-story collections. Carver’s savings alone totaled almost $215,000 at the time of his death; Maryann got about $10,000. Carver’s mother got even less: at age 78, she was living in public housing in Sacramento and eking out a living as a “grandmother aide” in an elementary school. Sklenicka doesn’t call this shabby treatment, but I am happy to do it for her. –“Raymond Carver’s Life and Stories,” Stephen King, the New York Times
Unsurprisingly, a forced kiss from an immoral man was the worst-case scenario, leaving the women with strong feelings of psychological and bodily contamination; afterwards 4 out of 35 of them literally either washed out their mouths or washed their hands. By contrast, none of the women who imagined a consensual kiss with a moral man washed afterwards and they also reported the lowest levels of psychological contamination. More interesting are the findings for the women who imagined a forced kiss from an otherwise moral man. It turns out they felt just as sullied as women who imagined a forced kiss from an immoral man, and four of them also washed afterwards. –“An Unwanted Kiss from a Moral Man. Still feeling dirty?” in The British Psychological Society Research Digest Blog
Chances that a deep breath inhaled today will contain a molecule from Julius Caesar’s dying breath:
Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences, by John Allen Paulos, Hill and Wang (N.Y.C.)
The earth once had three moons; the two lost moons may have crashed into the surviving moon, or been sucked into the sun, or flung out of the solar system to drift through deep space.
In Florida, an 87-year-old World War II veteran flying touch-and-go drills in a Cessna collided with an airborne skydiver. “There was a ‘woof’ sound,” said a witness, “like falling on your face into your pillow.”
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“American politics has often been an arena for angry minds.”