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You have said that you don’t believe in going to college to learn to write. Why is that?
It’s a very bad place for writers because the teachers always think they know more than you do—and they don’t. They have prejudices….They may like John Irving, for instance, who’s the bore of all time. A lot of the people whose work they’ve taught in the schools for the last thirty years, I can’t understand why people read them and why they are taught. The library, on the other hand, has no biases.
But your books are taught widely in schools.
Do you know why teachers use me? Because I speak in tongues. I write metaphors. Every one of my stories is a metaphor you can remember. The great religions are all metaphor. We appreciate things like Daniel and the lion’s den, and the Tower of Babel. People remember these metaphors because they are so vivid you can’t get free of them and that’s what kids like in school. They read about rocket ships and encounters in space, tales of dinosaurs. All my life I’ve been running through the fields and picking up bright objects. I turn one over and say, Yeah, there’s a story. –“The Art of Fiction: Interview with Ray Bradbury,” Sam Fuller, Paris Review
In 1929, a group of teachers in Dallas — spurred on by their increased need for hospital services — came together and signed an agreement with Baylor University Hospital under which the teachers would pay $6 a year in exchange for 21 days of hospitalization. The plan grew to cover additional employee groups in Dallas; eventually the American Hospital Association encouraged other hospitals to adopt similar plans. Hospitals liked the idea because it gave them more predictable income streams and ensured that their bills were paid; beneficiaries, meanwhile, enjoyed the advantages of insurance. Thus the Blue Cross system was born. –“Health Care and the Profit Motive,” Avik Roy, National Affairs
Great leaders and their irrational fears;
spy planes powering through the clouds above New York City–a beautiful dream of Republican despair;
what is the blast radius of a fertility time bomb?
These valves and shears were the last line of defense, a supposedly impenetrable Maginot Line that made other fail-safes unnecessary. The federal Minerals Management Service, which regulates offshore oil and gas production and collects reports on spills as small as a single barrel, was so confident of the system that it exempted BP from filing an environmental impact statement for the Macondo operation. MMS commissioned studies on creative ways to cope with massive well blowouts and never implemented them. It promulgated rules and allowed the oil industry to obey them on a voluntary basis. “It turns out, by the way, that oil rigs today generally don’t cause spills,” Obama said on Apr. 2. “They are technologically very advanced.” –“Lessons of the Spill,” Peter Coy and Stanley Reed, Businessweek
More from TedRoss:
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.
Average portion of its yearly household expenditures that a South African family will spend on a funeral:
Neuroscientists were hoping to use rat brain waves to find people buried by earthquakes.
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