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the addict's life


Eric J. Ianelli at the TLS: Years ago, in what now seems like another life, a friend said to me, “Your entire existence can be reduced to a three-part cycle.

rejecting Modernity


Mark Boyle at The Guardian: Big picture aside, most of what afflicts us today – cancer, obesity, mental illness, diabetes, stress, auto-immune disorders, heart disease, along with those slow killers: meaninglessness, clock-watching and loneliness – are industrial ailments.

on writing and gender


Anne Enright at the London Review of Books: In 2015, the novelist Catherine Nichols sent the opening pages of the book she was working on to fifty literary agents.

A Novelist’s Powerful Response to the Refugee Crisis


James Wood in The New Yorker: Earlier this summer, my family spent a week in an Italian village near Menton, just over the border that Italy shares with southern France.

Alternative splicing, an important mechanism for cancer


From Phys.Org: Cancer, which is one of the leading causes of death worldwide, arises from the disruption of essential mechanisms of the normal cell life cycle, such as replication control, DNA repair and cell death.

Friday Poem

What Makes a Poem The barley     and the manner of its malting     its standing up to the wind     its sprouting and drying     its gradual ripening The water     and the manner of its flowing     traces of peat and mineral     its floral and honey notes The mash tun     and the manner of the yeasti

Yuval Noah Harari, visionary historian, author of two dazzling bestsellers on the state of mankind, takes questions from Lucy Prebble, Arianna Huffington, Esther Rantzen and a selection of Guardian readers


Andrew Anthony in The Guardian: Last week, on his Radio 2 breakfast show, Chris Evans read out the first page of Sapiens, the book by the Israeli historian Yuval Noah Harari.

How Communists and Catholics Built a Commonwealth


Nathan Schneider in America: Boulder, Colo., is a town full of characters, and Richard Warner was one of them.

Back in 1982 I was dealing acid at Jim Morrison’s grave and that’s when I first met Vladimir Putin


From Daily Kos: And yeah, he always had “that look…” That way of staring straight through you into some faraway, unknowable beyond.

Steven Pinker Lecture on Free Speech

The Meaning of Work in a Sustainable Society


John Bellamy Foster in Monthly Review: The narrative found today in every neoclassical economics textbook portrays work in purely negative terms, as a disutility or sacrifice.

Footnote Number 6: Art and Objectness


Joseph Marioni at nonsite: In 1951, Wallace Stevens gave a talk at the Museum of Modern Art titled “The Relations Between Poetry and Painting.” In it, he did not offer a universal Pythagorean theorem of the transcendent divinity in a numerical correspondence between poetry and painting, nor did he give an abstract analysis of the structural identity of the two art forms.

The Surprising History (and Future) of Paperweights


Chantel Tattoli at the Paris Review: In the late forties, Jean Cocteau arranged for a young Truman Capote to have tea with Colette at her apartment in Paris.

Thursday Poem

  The Song of the Wandering Aengus I went out to the hazel wood, Because a fire was in my head, And cut and peeled a hazel wand, And hooked a berry to a thread; And when white moths were on the wing, And moth-like stars were flickering out, I dropped the berry in a stream And caught a little silver trout.

Austenistan: Jane Austen’s books are remarkably relevant to women in Pakistan today


Moni Mohsin in More Intelligent Life: Dressed in muslin gowns, they sip Assam tea and nibble on cucumber sandwiches.

CRISPR used to peer into human embryos' first days


Heidi Ledford in Nature: Gene-edited human embryos have offered a glimpse into the earliest stages of development, while hinting at the role of a pivotal protein that guides embryo growth. The first-of-its-kind study stands in contrast to previous research that attempted to fix disease-causing mutations in human embryos, in the hope of eventually preventing genetic disorders.

Daniel Dennett: Philosophy as the Las Vegas of Rational Inquiry


Daniel Dennett in Free Inquiry: Philosophy is always going to be the default home of non-naturalists and anti-naturalists.

Whitesplaining Ta-Nehisi Coates


Ralph Michaels in the Huffington Post: Ta-Nehisi Coates calls Donald Trump "the first white President" and suggests that his election must be attributed to white supremacy.

Researchers Unite in Quest for “Standard Model” of the Brain


Alison Abbott in Scientific American: Leading neuroscientists are joining forces to study the brain—in much the same way that physicists team up in mega-projects to hunt for new particles.  The International Brain Lab (IBL), launched on September 19, combines 21 of the foremost neuroscience laboratories in the United States and Europe into a giant collaboration that will develop theories of how the brain works by focusing on a single behaviour shared by all animals: foraging.


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