“The [Writers’] Grotto dangers on being a self-created utopia, a huge loophole in the work/play continuum, and sometimes I wonder if I’m allowing myself to live in a fantasy. But the structure and routine it provides keeps me sane. I’m absent-minded, forget to pay my bills, can’t return phone calls, forget birthdays – I used to embrace these traits because they were evidence of having a “writer’s” personality. But now I think there is no excuse for not taking care of myself or treating others with decency.”—Do Writers Need Community? (Po Bronson)
“WE LIKE TO say how things are, perhaps because we hope that’s how they might actually be. We attempt to name, identify, and define the most mysterious of matters: sex, love, marriage, monogamy, infidelity, death, loss, grief. We want these things to have an order, an internal logic, and we also want them to be connected to one another. We want it to be true that if we cheat on our spouse, it means we no longer want to be married to him or her. We want it to be true that if someone we love dies, we simply have to pass through a series of phases, like an emotional obstacle course from which we will emerge happy and content, unharmed and unchanged.”—The Love of My Life
“The collapse of daily print journalism will mean many things. For those of us old enough to still care about going out on a Sunday morning for our doorstop edition of The Times, it will mean the end of a certain kind of civilized ritual that has defined most of our adult lives. It will also mean the end of a certain kind of quasi-bohemian urban existence for the thousands of smart middle-class writers, journalists, and public intellectuals who have, until now, lived semi-charmed kinds of lives of the mind. And it will seriously damage the press’s ability to serve as a bulwark of democracy. Internet purists may maintain that the Web will throw up a new pro-am class of citizen journalists to fill the void, but for now, at least, there’s no online substitute for institutions that can marshal years of well-developed sourcing and reporting experience—not to mention the resources to, say, send journalists leapfrogging between Mumbai and Islamabad to decode the complexities of the India-Pakistan conflict.”—Can America’s paper of record survive the death of newsprint? Can journalism?
“[Shane] Battier’s game is a weird combination of obvious weaknesses and nearly invisible strengths. When he is on the court, his teammates get better, often a lot better, and his opponents get worse — often a lot worse. He may not grab huge numbers of rebounds, but he has an uncanny ability to improve his teammates’ rebounding. He doesn’t shoot much, but when he does, he takes only the most efficient shots. He also has a knack for getting the ball to teammates who are in a position to do the same, and he commits few turnovers. On defense, although he routinely guards the N.B.A.’s most prolific scorers, he significantly reduces their shooting percentages. At the same time he somehow improves the defensive efficiency of his teammates — probably, Morey surmises, by helping them out in all sorts of subtle ways.”—The No Stats All Star
“I’ll admit I almost leapt from my seat and boasted, “I’ve saved a life too! My shot gardener!” but thankfully I had some tact; Dad and I held in contempt people forever interrupting fascinating conversations with their own rinky-dink story. (Dad called them What-About-Mes, accompanying said phrase with a slow blink, his gesture of Marked Aversion.)”—Special Topics in Calamity Physics
I wish there was some kind of scientific formula to measure the amount of work we put into this and the number of hours we put into all this line editing. What does it translate into in terms of reader satisfaction? And there’s definitely a huge population that doesn’t care. They’re just like, “Hey, we got the information. We like looking at the screen shots. We’ve got enough.” We were anal retentive to the point where we said, “Lets watch how you lead into a story.” Avoiding passive voice, for example. I tried to really get our writers not to ever use “there is, there are, there was, there were” in sentences because they’re kind of weak and I thought they could be written better.
Thing is, the average reader wouldn’t care about that stuff. But maybe it’s a subconscious thing. They’re like, “Wow, I just enjoyed reading that.” Maybe as a reader they can’t pinpoint why. But, yeah, “I enjoyed the story and I got something out of it.” They may not know why and they can’t articulate why, but it’s there. And that’s what you’re hoping for. A lot of it, too, was pride. Maybe it’s not the most efficient use of our time, but we were all like-minded in that way. We wanted to see great, great copy, great content, really well-polished, no clichés – something that we’re all personally proud of. If the readers like it, great. But we know that we were producing work that we were happy with.
Between faith and culture, we tend to receive a lethal dose of disapproval regarding our dating lives: dating for the sake of dating isn’t good enough. For many religious people, dating is viewed only as a path to marriage. We too often view each person we go out with as a potential marriage partner, and quickly pass off potential dates because we don’t think they’re “marriage material.” Sometimes, painful breakups are even viewed as a sign of God’s condemnation of dating and punishment for sinful behavior. As we grow older, this view of dating becomes more pronounced, and dating for the sake of marriage takes on greater urgency.
Our culture’s obsession with marriage only furthers this idea that dating should be for the sake of marriage. Even the television series “Sex and the City,” which usually seemed like a weekly paean to dating for the sake of dating, ended with all four of its characters finding a man to marry, or at least finding “the one”.
This view of dating can easily make us forget that dating has spiritual value in and of itself. We need to stop focusing on its potential for marriage and accept its temporary nature. Dating can help us to grow spiritually—if we allow it to.
“Biologists have long struggled to understand why we mammals and our feathery cousins are warm-blooded. The standard explanation is that it evolved in small carnivores to enable an active, predatory lifestyle. Last year, however, a radical new idea was put forward: warm blood evolved not in carnivores but in herbivores, as a way of balancing their nutrient requirements. Though it is early days, this idea could explain not only why we have such an apparently wasteful lifestyle, but also a long-standing question about the dinosaurs.”—