Fantastic Beasts and How to Rank Them. Taken together, Disney’s foundation of fact and Coleridge’s semblance of truth suggest a good starting place for any Unified Theory of the Plausibility of Supernatural Beings: the more closely such creatures hew to the real world, the more likely we are to deem them believable.
Let’s Reason About Unreasonable Things: Are Vampires More Likely Than Fairies? In “Fantastic Beasts and How to Rank Them,” from this week’s issue, Kathryn Schulz writes, “One of the strangest things about the human mind is that it can reason about unreasonable things.”
It is possible, for example, “to decide that a yeti is more likely to exist than a leprechaun, even if you think that the likelihood of either of them existing is precisely zero.” Never mind, for now, whether you actually believe in any of these fantastical creatures or supernatural powers. Select the one that seems more plausible to you below, and see how many readers agree. This poll is now closed. The results are below. Angels or Unicorns Fifty-eight per cent of readers selected unicorns: Call this the biological theory of plausibility: the more a creature conforms to real-life zoological constraints, the more likely we are to believe in it.
Apparating or Time Travel Sixty-two per cent of readers selected time travel: Congratulations on a strange choice. Mermaids or the Loch Ness Monster. Father and Daughter Bond by Years of Reading. WHEN Jim Brozina’s older daughter, Kathy, was in fourth grade, he was reading Beverly Cleary’s “Dear Mr.
Henshaw” to her at bedtime, when she announced she’d had enough. “She said, ‘Dad, that’s it, I’ll take over from here,’ ” Mr. Brozina recalled. Joan Didion – Why I Write. Why I WriteBy Joan DidionOf course I stole the title for this talk from George Orwell.
One reason I stole it was that I like the sound of the words: Why I Write. There you have three short unambiguous words that share a sound, and the sound they share is this:IIIIn many ways writing is the act of saying I, of imposing oneself upon other people, of saying listen to me, see it my way, change your mind. It’s an aggressive, even a hostile act. You can disguise its qualifiers and tentative subjunctives, with ellipses and evasions—with the whole manner of intimating rather than claiming, of alluding rather than stating—but there’s no getting around the fact that setting words on paper is the tactic of a secret bully, an invasion, an imposition of the writer’s sensibility on the reader’s most private space.I stole the title not only because the words sounded right but because they seemed to sum up, in a no-nonsense way, all I have to tell you.
Recipe For Strawberry Bliss. Be born, grow up, go to college, get a job.
Take your dull-but-comfortable middle-class life for granted. Spend entirely too much time at work, chowing down on fast food without tasting it while staring at a computer screen and wondering occasionally if there’s more to life than this. Learn the word ennui. Resolve to do something meaningful with your life. Do something selfish and stupid instead.
Go to prison. Lie awake in your bunk at night dwelling on the choices that you’ve made. Repeat for 7 ½ years. Get out of prison. Go to a supermarket, a big one — the cheaper, the better. Gritty All Day Long. Most of the other baseball players at the Pacific Coast League tryouts were half my age.
Nobody said the league was for guys in their twenties, but that was the deal. Some goofuses showed up in shorts and tennis shoes. Not me, though. I own four different pairs of baseball pants. I didn’t have on cleats, however. I thought it was a sure thing I would be drafted, probably drafted high. The trick, which I learned after going back to playing tennis in early August, was to keep the ball in front of you. My brain damage was not from a stroke, by the way. Serious double and also a little wobbly, what with that numbness in my left leg. Great 'Read-Alouds' From The New York Times. Update: March 1, 2012: This post is so popular and so large that we have permanently moved what’s here to our new page, Great Read-Alouds From The New York Times.
Please bookmark that as we’ll continue to update it with more ideas and resources. In May 1997, a small reading task force at NEA came up with a big idea. “Let’s create a day to celebrate reading,” the group decided. “We hold pep rallies to get kids excited about football. 150 Great Articles & Essays to Read Online.
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