A brief, blazing burst of radio waves detected by the Arecibo Observatory could herald a turning of the tide for a peculiar class of cosmic signals. Until recently, the signals had only ever been detected by a telescope in Australia, a pattern that fueled doubts about their origin.
Fewer than a dozen of these bursts, lasting for only a few thousandths of a second, have ever been reported. Called “fast radio bursts,” the signals are cosmic enigmas that appear to come from the very, very distant universe. But since the first burst discovery in 2007, scientists have not only wondered what kind of cosmic object could produce such a tremendously bright, short-lived radio pulse – but have disagreed about whether the bursts are even celestial…
“The truth is, everyone likes to look down on someone. If your favorites are all avant-garde writers who throw in Sanskrit and German, you can look down on everyone. If your favorites are all Oprah Book Club books, you can at least look down on mystery readers. Mystery readers have sci-fi readers. Sci-fi can look down on fantasy. And yes, fantasy readers have their own snobbishness. I’ll bet this, though: in a hundred years, people will be writing a lot more dissertations on Harry Potter than on John Updike. Look, Charles Dickens wrote popular fiction. Shakespeare wrote popular fiction - until he wrote his sonnets, desperate to show the literati of his day that he was real artist. Edgar Allan Poe tied himself in knots because no one realized he was a genius. The core of the problem is how we want to define “literature”. The Latin root simply means “letters”. Those letters are either delivered - they connect with an audience - or they don’t. For some, that audience is a few thousand college professors and some critics. For others, its twenty million women desperate for romance in their lives. Those connections happen because the books successfully communicate something real about the human experience. Sure, there are trashy books that do really well, but that’s because there are trashy facets of humanity. What people value in their books - and thus what they count as literature - really tells you more about them than it does about the book.”—Brent Weeks (via victoriousvocabulary)
when women devour
it is for survival
when women take more than they give
it is self-preservation
where did we start looking
what day was it?
how many times have we
borrowed from our own bones
just to keep moving?
how many of us are empty
when we take, it is already
when we give, it is expected
and I am so proud of the monster
in my blood
she fought so hard to be this
they showed me the world
told me I could have it
if I just gave a little something
crack my chest open
and I will spill pomegranate seeds
into your hands
what they don’t tell you about Eve
the forbidden fruit
was her own heart
“She woke up like she did every day: slowly pulling her motorcycle helmet off, then shaking her head slowly back and forth to reveal a long, blonde ponytail. Everyone gasped. “That’s right,” she said, kicking the winning football goal before sliding into a sheer, sexy camisole under a blazer and playing as hard as she worked, “I’ve been a girl this whole time.” One of the guys, the real sexy one, shook his head in slow motion, as if to say “wh-wh-wh-whaaat?” You know the kind. His mouth was kind of open while he did it. He was totally blown away.
She walked off the field, and she knew everyone was looking at her butt, and she totally loved it. “Sorry, boys,” she called out over her super-sexy shoulder. She always called men boys, because she knew what gender was. Now she was carrying a briefcase and wearing a pencil skirt and sex glasses. She was at law.
“Your Honor,” she said, and the Honor paid attention, “I’d like to win this case,” and she totally did, she totally beat that busted-looking male lawyer who had the mushy face and wore suits that didn’t fit. She gave a little fist-pump, because even though she’s tough, she’s still relatable. “Girl power,” she said, high-fiving her curly-haired friend, who had just appeared behind her.
“Girl, you need a drink,” her curly-haired friend said, “and I need a man.” She laughed because her curly-haired friend didn’t really get it yet, but she was getting there…”—
“I can sympathize with Ken Kesey who once said that he stopped writing because he was tired of being a seismograph—an instrument that measures rumblings from a great distance. He said he wanted to be a lightning rod.”—Tom Wolfe (via theparisreview)
“Too many young women I think are harder on themselves than circumstances warrant. They are too often selling themselves short. They too often take criticism personally instead of seriously. You should take criticism seriously because you might learn something, but you can’t let it crush you. You have to be resilient enough to keep moving forward, whatever the personal setbacks and even insults that come your way might be. That takes a sense of humor about yourself and others. Believe me, this is hard-won advice I’m putting forth. It’s not like you wake up and understand this. It’s a process.”—Hillary Clinton on how to handle criticism & other advice for young women, The Cut (via thatkindofwoman)
“If someone wants you in their life, they’ll make room for you. You shouldn’t have to fight for a spot. Never, ever insist yourself to someone who continuously overlooks your worth.”—(via theportablefaulkner)
“Telling a young girl she can’t wear what she wants because it’s not appropriate encourages the idea that men’s reactions should dictate society’s norms, and that all women are meta-Eves, tempting and ensnaring men with our sultry-eyed gaze. My parents’ culture is steeped in patriarchy, in the philosophy of the one-step machismo machine, where there is just one kind of man, and two kinds of women: the angel and the whore. These limited ideas of masculinity breed men who want ownership of women.”—Fariha Roison (via girl-violence)
“The daily routine of most adults is so heavy and artificial that we are closed off to much of the world. We have to do this in order to get our work done. I think one purpose of art is to get us out of those routines. When we hear music or poetry or stories, the world opens up again.”—Ursula LeGuin (via nathanielstuart)
Just how accurate are the memories that we know are true, that we believe in?
The brain abhors a vacuum. Under the best of observation conditions, the absolute best, we only detect, encode and store in our brains bits and pieces of the entire experience in front of us. When it’s important for us to recall what it was that we experienced, we have an incomplete [memory] store, and what happens?
Below awareness, without any kind of motivated processing, the brain fills in information that was not there, not originally stored, from inference, from speculation, from sources of information that came to you, as the observer, after the observation. But it happens without awareness such that you aren’t even cognizant of it occurring. It’s called ‘reconstructed memory.’
All our memories are reconstructed memories. They are the product of what we originally experienced and everything that’s happened afterwards. They’re dynamic. They’re malleable. They’re volatile. And as a result, we all need to remember that the accuracy of our memories is not measured in how vivid they are nor how certain you are that they’re correct.
”—Are your memories real .. or fake? Neurophysiologist Scott Fraser says you shouldn’t be so sure that what you remember is always what actually happened. Fraser researches how humans remember crimes, and in a powerful talk at TEDxUSC, he suggests that even close-up eyewitnesses to a crime can create “memories” they couldn’t have seen.
“Much like the human version… depression in animals spans the full spectrum of severity, from brief and shallow periods of low mood to long and intense stretches of depression. Animals also experience the same hormonal changes that depressed humans do, including higher secretion of steroid hormones and dampened immune system function. Perhaps most interestingly and indicatively, the body clocks of depressed animals — their circadian rhythms, which we already know are of tremendous importance to human well-being — are so disrupted that they produce the same irregularities in body temperature and sleep-wake cycle seen in depressed humans.”—Can pets be depressed? The science behind what every pet-owner intuits. (via explore-blog)
“No one wants to be the person who is made fun of for caring too much about something, who treats in earnest a situation that everyone else considers absurd. Even in personal relationships, feeling too heavily invested while simultaneously understanding that the other person couldn’t be more detached is one of the most profound feelings of embarrassment we can experience. Because it isn’t simply the embarrassment of making a mistake or a poor choice, it’s a shame over the kind of human being you are and how you see the world around you. To be shamed for your sincerity is to be reminded that you are dependent on something which is not dependent on you — that you are, once again, vulnerable.”—(via peauparisienne)