Time has stopped around him. As usual. Ordinary dimensions have been altered. The weekend joggers on the running track above the court have quit their workouts to stand and stare. The muscle builders have left their machines. Neighborhood kids have appeared. They carry pens and pencils and cheap cameras. The rest of the Philadelphia 76ers are practicing at other baskets in the double gym, shooting free throws, playing their own one-on-one battles in this light, game-day workout. They are by themselves. Nobody watches. Manute is the only show. How tall is this guy? Really. How tall? Eyes cannot leave him. Goodness. How tall? It is as if an English teacher had handed out a composition subject asking for 1,000 words on what it would be like to be 7’7″ tall, to weigh no more than 225 pounds, to be ink-black, to be half a world away from home, to be able to touch the rim without leaving your feet, to be forced to scrunch into cars and under doorways and to overlap the most kingly of hotel king-sized beds. All heads consider the same subject. How tall? —“A Tall Story,” Leigh Montville, Sports Illustrated
People who claim that there are readers slavering to get their hands on previously rejected books always seem to have a previously rejected book to peddle; maybe they’re correct in their assessment, but they’re far from impartial. Readers themselves rarely complain that there isn’t enough of a selection on Amazon or in their local superstore; they’re more likely to ask for help in narrowing down their choices. So for anyone who has, however briefly, played that reviled gatekeeper role, a darker question arises: What happens once the self-publishing revolution really gets going, when all of those previously rejected manuscripts hit the marketplace, en masse, in print and e-book form, swelling the ranks of 99-cent Kindle and iBook offerings by the millions? Is the public prepared to meet the slush pile? —“When anyone can be a published author,” Laura Miller, Salon
Slate: How do you know a hoodoo when you see one?
Victor Niederhoffer: First of all, a lot of them frequent areas that are rather ephemeral. Many waterfront communities are peopled with hoodoos. And they generally have a string of failures behind them, they generally are in need of capital, they generally talk a much better game than they play. And they often flatter you and pretend to be your very amiable friend before they really know you. Hoodoos are very good at what they do. A lot of times they command the center of attention and they try to dazzle you with the trappings of success—which when you look into it you find is a will o’ the wisp. —“Hoodoos, Hedge Funds and Alibis: Victor Niederhoffer on Being Wrong,” Kathryn Schulz, Slate