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Like all Eternals, he can never go back to his own century, not only because the rules forbid it, but because if he went back he would, like Jimmy Stewart in It’s a Wonderful Life, find everything horribly changed; he would learn that he had never had a home or a mother or an existence of any kind, because the ongoing series of Reality Changes (some, perhaps, implemented by himself) would have wiped him off the record. So instead he travels light, moving from one century to another, putting in the fix as needed, obeying his superiors, and only occasionally wondering why life is structured the way it is and whether Eternity really lasts forever. (Apparently it doesn’t: even the Eternals cannot get into the “hidden” centuries between the 70,000th and the 150,000th, and when they enter the system after that, all they find is a dead, uninhabited, featureless world.) –“The End of Eternity,” Wendy Lesser, Threepenny Review
O. J. Simpson is a cold-blooded, vicious killer. My daughter was his babysitter. And we lived across the street from him. I know about all the spousal abuse. I’ve had fights with him about it. In jail, I screamed at him and said, “Look at the good Rock Hudson did before he died, by acknowledging his sexuality and his illness!” I said, “If you get out of this fucking mess”—I didn’t say “fucking mess,” but—“If you get out of this, if you’re judged to be innocent, you should go out and talk about spousal abuse. Do you realize how many women and men you could help?” “I never did anyth—” I said, “Fuck you, O. J.” Of course, he continued to deal with me… but he’s a cold-blooded killer. –“Interview with Lawrence Shiller,” Suzanne Snider, The Believer
To get a longer attention span — even a span long enough to read this article — don’t worry about managing the information. Worry about managing your attention. Paying attention, for long periods of time, is a form of endurance athleticism. Like running a marathon, it requires practice and training to get the most out of it. It is as much Twitter’s fault that you have a short attention span as it is your closet’s fault it doesn’t have any running shoes in it. If you want the ability to focus on things for a long period of time, you need attention fitness. –“How to Rebuild Your Attention Span and Focus,” Clay Johnson, Lifehacker
More from TedRoss:
On a Friday evening in January, a thousand people at the annual California Native Plant Society conference in San Jose settled down to a banquet and a keynote speech delivered by an environmental historian named Jared Farmer. His chosen topic was the eucalyptus tree and its role in California’s ecology and history. The address did not go well. Eucalyptus is not a native plant but a Victorian import from Australia. In the eyes of those gathered at the San Jose DoubleTree, it qualified as “invasive,” “exotic,” “alien” — all dirty words to this crowd, who were therefore convinced that the tree was dangerously combustible, unfriendly to birds, and excessively greedy in competing for water with honest native species.
In his speech, Farmer dutifully highlighted these ugly attributes, but also quoted a few more positive remarks made by others over the years. This was a reckless move. A reference to the tree as “indigenously Californian” elicited an abusive roar, as did an observation that without the aromatic import, the state would be like a “home without its mother.” Thereafter, the mild-mannered speaker was continually interrupted by boos, groans, and exasperated gasps. Only when he mentioned the longhorn beetle, a species imported (illegally) from Australia during the 1990s with the specific aim of killing the eucalyptus, did he earn a resounding cheer.
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 tourism company in Australia announced a service that will allow users to take the “world’s biggest selfies,” and a Texas man accidentally killed himself while trying to pose for a selfie with a handgun.
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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.”