Tag Archives: contemporary

“There’s no win and no fail, there’s only make.”

10 timeless rules for students and teachers from Sister Corita Kent


December 4, 2012 · 3:01 pm

Truly inspiring…

She’s Got Some Big Ideas


Published: November 30, 2012

“SHE is the mastermind of the one of the faster growing literary empires on the Internet, yet she is virtually unknown. She is the champion of old-fashioned ideas, yet she is only 28 years old. She is a fierce defender of books, yet she insists she will never write one herself.

Her exhaustively assembled grab bag of scientific curiosities, forgotten photographs, snippets of old love letters and mash notes to creativity — imagine the high-mindedness of a TED talk mixed with the pop sensibility of P. T. Barnum — spans a blog (500,000 visitors a month), anewsletter (150,000 subscribers) and a Twitter feed(263,000 followers). Her output, which she calls a “human-powered discovery engine for interestingness,” has attracted an eclectic group of devotees including the novelist William Gibson, the singer Josh Groban, the comedian Drew Carey, the neuroscientist David Eagleman, the actress Mia Farrow and the Twitter founders Biz Stone and Evan Williams.

“She’s a celebrator,” said Anne-Marie Slaughter, a Princeton professor and former State Department official. “You feel the tremendous amount of pleasure she takes in finding these things and sharing them. It’s like walking into the Museum of Modern Art and having somebody give you a customized, guided tour.”

So what exactly is it that she does? Ms. Popova says she views her job as “helping people become interested in things they didn’t know they were interested in, until they are.” One entry might discuss how to find your true passion, with links to a talk by Alain de Botton, a book by the cartoonist Hugh MacLeod and a commencement address by Steve Jobs; another, how she asked an artist friend to illustrate thoughts on love from Susan Sontag’s diaries. Recently she recounted an aging Helen Keller’s visit to Martha Graham’s studio.

She has faced criticism, of course. She has been dismissed as elitist and condescending. An initiative she helped start last spring, the Curator’s Code, which called for more respect and attribution in the Twittersphere, was harshly criticized. Ms. Popova responded in a blog post that began, “In times of turmoil, I often turn to one of my existential pillars of comfort: Albert Einstein’s ‘Ideas and Opinion.’ ” She ended with this thought: “There is a way to critique intelligently and respectfully, without eroding the validity of your disagreement. It boils down to manners.”

As for her future, Ms. Popova said she had little interest in expanding her brand. “I get asked all the time, ‘How’s it going to scale?’ ‘What’s next?’ ” she said. “What I do is what I do, and I don’t think I’m ever going to change that.” The woman who rails against her contemporaries for turning their backs on old books said she had no interest in writing one. “That’s such an antiquated model of thinking,” she said. “Why would I want to write something that’s going to have the shelf life of a banana?””


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December 3, 2012 · 7:31 pm

Embracing Children for Who They Are

NOVEMBER 5, 2012, 12:01 AM


While I agree with the overarching moral behind this article (that parents should accept children for who they are and encourage them to be the best they can be), I am very disturbed by:

(a) the fact that we are still talking about this whole acceptance-of-the-“not-normal” as if it were a novel idea (I thought we had covered that in the Postmodern era),

(b) the fact that, apparently, parents who try to force “children to follow a prescribed formula ” still exist (everyone who has every worked with or raised children know that if you try to force them to do anything, it will most likely backfire), and

(c) the fact that these authors are grouping together homosexuals, the “deaf, dwarfs, autistic, schizophrenic, transgender, … prodigies or have Down syndrome, as well as those who were conceived in rape or became criminals” into one category as if all the above people have congenital diseases that prevent them from being viewed as “normal.”

Really guys? Really??

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December 3, 2012 · 2:42 pm

How to Live Without Irony

THE STONE November 17, 2012, 3:24 pm


“If irony is the ethos of our age — and it is — then the hipster is our archetype of ironic living.

The hipster haunts every city street and university town. Manifesting a nostalgia for times he never lived himself, this contemporary urban harlequin appropriates outmoded fashions (the mustache, the tiny shorts), mechanisms (fixed-gear bicycles, portable record players) and hobbies (home brewing, playing trombone). He harvests awkwardness and self-consciousness. Before he makes any choice, he has proceeded through several stages of self-scrutiny. The hipster is a scholar of social forms, a student of cool. He studies relentlessly, foraging for what has yet to be found by the mainstream. He is a walking citation; his clothes refer to much more than themselves. He tries to negotiate the age-old problem of individuality, not with concepts, but with material things.

Throughout history, irony has served useful purposes, like providing a rhetorical outlet for unspoken societal tensions. But our contemporary ironic mode is somehow deeper; it has leaked from the realm of rhetoric into life itself. This ironic ethos can lead to a vacuity and vapidity of the individual and collective psyche. Historically, vacuums eventually have been filled by something — more often than not, a hazardous something. Fundamentalists are never ironists; dictators are never ironists; people who move things in the political landscape, regardless of the sides they choose, are never ironists.

Observe a 4-year-old child going through her daily life. You will not find the slightest bit of irony in her behavior. She has not, so to speak, taken on the veil of irony. She likes what she likes and declares it without dissimulation. She is not particularly conscious of the scrutiny of others. She does not hide behind indirect language. The most pure nonironic models in life, however, are to be found in nature: animals and plants are exempt from irony, which exists only where the human dwells…”

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November 26, 2012 · 6:11 pm

‘Voices Inside’ Play Series Turns Prisoners into Playwrights

‘Voices Inside’ Play Series Turns Prisoners into Playwrights

One of the plays in Actors Theatre Apprentice Company’s current reading series centers on the victim of a crime, recounting the experience from her point of view. The remarkable thing is, it was written by the crime’s perpetrator. “Voices Inside: A Prison Play Series” — the apprentice company’s current creation, is a series of 10-minute plays written by inmates at Northpoint Training Center, a medium-security prison in Burgin, Ky.

This week on Byline, WFPL’s Erin Keane spoke with Amy Attaway and Noelia Antweiler from Actors Theatre about the series, and the stories it brings to light.

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Filed under Spotlights

It’s Just Profit v. Humanity

It's Just Profit v. Humanity

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The soft wind

The soft wind
whispers promises
into my ear so eager,
Memories of running barefoot
through dark nights so clear
with the sultry air caressing my limbs
I run to a lover waiting.
Memories of days at the park
walking hand in hand
and lips a breaths-length apart
Revive my senses.
The spring air gives hope
a fresh outlook
to the monotonal winter months
vibrantly renewing each day.
Clean and pure
I am cleansed
by the flowers sighing out puffs
of pollen.

I knew it
when I saw the moon so full
in the crisp sky,
I knew.

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Filed under Scribbles