“Gravity is why there are suns and planets in the first place. It is practically God. In the beginning, the cosmos was nothing but empty space and vast clouds of gases. Eventually the gases cooled to the point where tiny grains coalesced. These grains would have spent eternity moving through space, ignoring each other, had gravitational attraction not brought them together. Gravitation is the lust of the cosmos.”—Mary Roach in Packing for Mars
I thought I’d take a minute to let you know why I think the cover design for John’s new book The Fault in our Stars is brilliant. I am almost as dismayed by the negative responses to the cover as I was impressed by the amazingly wonderful designs submitted by many of you earlier…
“Let her be bored. Let her have long afternoons with absolutely nothing to do. Limit her TV-watching time and her internet-playing time and take away her cell phone. Give her a whole summer of lazy mornings and dreamy afternoons. Make sure she has a library card and a comfy corner where she can curl up with a book.
Give her a notebook and five bucks so she can pick out a great pen. Insist she spend time with the family. It’s even better if this time is spent in another state, a cabin in the woods, a cottage on the lake, far from her friends and people her own age. Give her some tedious chores to do. Make her mow the lawn, do the dishes by hand, paint the garage. Make her go on long walks with you and tell her you just want to listen to the sounds of the neighborhood.
Let her be lonely. Let her believe that no one in the world truly understands her. Give her the freedom to fall in love with the wrong person, to lose her heart, to have it smashed and abused and broken. Occasionally be too busy to listen, be distracted by other things, have your nose in a great book, be gone with your own friends. Let her have secrets.”—Make Your Kid A Writer (via Ta-Nehisi Coates)
“I had an obese acquaintance once who overate compulsively as a neurotic reaction to fear of male attention; she had been molested as a young girl, and this was her involuntary way of protecting herself by making herself unattractive. Hers is an extreme example, obviously, but the point is you really never know what’s really going on with people that keep them from living up to an ideal. You never really know what invisible burdens they carry that they did not choose for themselves. This is why it’s so hard to know where the line is between laziness and self-indulgent excuse making, and a sense of mercy and realism on the other.
The ideology of meritocracy, though, depends on the fiction that there are no meaningful differences, in terms of nature or nurture, among us, and that we’re all starting from the same place, and have the capacities to excel equally, no matter what. It’s this ideology that can lead people to think that if you’ve failed, it must be your own fault. Sometimes it really is your own fault. It’s the must be that’s problematic.”—
Important. I included the second graf (his conclusion) because I think that’s a meaningful part of the full context.
“The three-pound organ in your skull — with its pink consistency of Jell-o — is an alien kind of computational material. It is composed of miniaturized, self-configuring parts, and it vastly outstrips anything we’ve dreamt of building. So if you ever feel lazy or dull, take heart: you’re the busiest, brightest thing on the planet.”—David Eagleman unravels the secret lives of the brain (via curiositycounts)
“This notion that intellectual rigor and kindness do not make good bedfellows is really misguided. It seems predicated on that old unexamined (and heavily gendered) bias between emotion and reason. But it’s a false distinction abrogated by both modern neuroscience and some very old texts.”—On the philosophy and neuropsychology of kindness, which is often falsely framed as a binary opposite to intellect (via curiositycounts)
Speaking to a group of Penn State students, including members of the College Republicans, on Wednesday, the night before his interview with CNN’s Piers Morgan aired, Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum boiled with outrage over Morgan’s assertion that his attitude on homosexuality was “bordering on bigotry.”
“So now I’m a bigot because I believe what the Bible teaches,” Santorum said. “And of course we don’t elect bigots to office.”
When a woman interjected, saying “It is extremely unfair for you to say there are no social science reports that suggest that children are OK in a same sex relationships,” Santorum became agitated, even snapping back at one point, “That’s not the point, lawyer.”
He also dismissed the American Psychological Association’s research on homosexuality. “All these associations prove is that they have a point of view and the people who join them, they agree with that point of view,” he said. “The American Psychological Association is not proof of anything.”
In response to Santorum, APA spokeswoman Kim Mills told TIME, “The American Psychological Association’s position in support of same-sex marriage is based on a body of empirical research concerning sexual orientation and marriage. APA believes that it is unfair and discriminatory to deny same-sex couples legal access to civil marriage and all its attendant benefits, rights and privileges.” The APA’s amicus brief for California’s Proposition 8 suit cited nearly 90 medical, pediatric, and psychological studies supporting this position and argued that children of same-sex couples will benefit if their parents are allowed to marry.
I so wish I could have been there to point out the irony in his stance. Here’s what I would say.
“Mr. Santorum, you claim it’s unfair for people call you a bigot when you’re simply representing the views of the Catholic church. Did you realize your inability to consider that the American Psychological Association could have scientifically sound studies demonstrating something contrary to your beliefs is just as short-sighted? In other words, do you realize your argument makes you a hypocrite?”
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”—- Steve Jobs (via vainbuthonest)
“That is part of the beauty of all literature. You discover that your longings are universal longings, that you’re not lonely and isolated from anyone. You belong.”—F. Scott Fitzgerald (via saddest-summer)
“When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people.”— Steve Jobs (via stewartmccoy)