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Against Joie de Vivre

A warning: since I myself have a large store of nervous discontent (some would say hostility) I am apt to be harsh in my secret judgments of others, seeing them as defective because they are not enough like me. From moment to moment, the person I am with often seems too shrill, too bland, too something-or-other to allow my own expansiveness to swing into stage center. “Feeling no need to drink, you will promptly despise a drunkard” (Kenneth Burke). So it goes with me—which is why I am not a literary critic. I have no faith that my discriminations in taste are anything but the picky awareness of what will keep me stimulated, based on the peculiar family and class circumstances which formed me. But the knowledge that my discriminations are skewed and not always universally desirable doesn’t stop me in the least from making them, just as one never gives up a negative first impression, no matter how many times it is contradicted. A believer in astrology (to cite another false system), having guessed that someone is a Saggitarius, and then told he is a Scorpio, says “Scorpio—yes, of course!” without missing a beat, or relinquishing confidence in his ability to tell people’s signs, or in his idea that the person is somehow secretly Saggitarian.

by Phillip Lopate

nypl:


sesamestreet:
Disco Snuffy has entered the building.

 Make sure to come visit all your favorite Sesame Street characters at our new exhibition Somebody Come and Play!

GPoY

nypl:

sesamestreet:

Disco Snuffy has entered the building.

 Make sure to come visit all your favorite Sesame Street characters at our new exhibition Somebody Come and Play!

GPoY

Wee Gillis, our man in Scotland, still undecided on Scottish independence referendum

nyrbclassics:

We thought we’d check in with our old friend Wee Gillis to see where he stood on the vote. It seems that, as usual, he’s stuck between the viewpoints of his Highland Uncle and his Lowland Uncle:

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Either way the vote comes down, you can be sure Wee Gillis (as written by Munro Leaf and drawn by Robert Lawson) will content himself by playing his bagpipes as contentedly as ever.

Wee Gillis! A staple of my childhood!

Since her death in 1979, the woman who discovered what the universe is made of has not so much as received a memorial plaque. Her newspaper obituaries do not mention her greatest discovery. […] Every high school student knows that Isaac Newton discovered gravity, that Charles Darwin discovered evolution, and that Albert Einstein discovered the relativity of time. But when it comes to the composition of our universe, the textbooks simply say that the most abundant atom in the universe is hydrogen. And no one ever wonders how we know.

Jeremy Knowles, discussing the complete lack of recognition Cecilia Payne gets, even today, for her revolutionary discovery. (via alliterate)

OH WAIT LEMME TELL YOU ABOUT CECILIA PAYNE.

Cecilia Payne’s mother refused to spend money on her college education, so she won a scholarship to Cambridge.

Cecilia Payne completed her studies, but Cambridge wouldn’t give her a degree because she was a woman, so she said fuck that and moved to the United States to work at Harvard.

Cecilia Payne was the first person ever to earn a Ph.D. in astronomy from Radcliffe College, with what Otto Strauve called “the most brilliant Ph.D. thesis ever written in astronomy.”

Not only did Cecilia Payne discover what the universe is made of, she also discovered what the sun is made of (Henry Norris Russell, a fellow astronomer, is usually given credit for discovering that the sun’s composition is different from the Earth’s, but he came to his conclusions four years later than Payne—after telling her not to publish).

Cecilia Payne is the reason we know basically anything about variable stars (stars whose brightness as seen from earth fluctuates). Literally every other study on variable stars is based on her work.

Cecilia Payne was the first woman to be promoted to full professor from within Harvard, and is often credited with breaking the glass ceiling for women in the Harvard science department and in astronomy, as well as inspiring entire generations of women to take up science.

Cecilia Payne is awesome and everyone should know her.

(via bansheewhale)

mightyflynn:

Hulk Hogan mitt, 1991

via QuaintEstate

Oh man yes.

millionsmillions:

"Any account of endurance sports must capture the descent into a personal, highly motivated, and masochistic madness" - On The Rider and the literature of cycling. 

Honestly the best sports book ever written.

millionsmillions:

"Any account of endurance sports must capture the descent into a personal, highly motivated, and masochistic madness" - On The Rider and the literature of cycling.

Honestly the best sports book ever written.

The problem is that white people see racism as conscious hate, when racism is bigger than that. Racism is a complex system of social and political levers and pulleys set up generations ago to continue working on the behalf of whites at other people’s expense, whether whites know/like it or not. Racism is an insidious cultural disease. It is so insidious that it doesn’t care if you are a white person who likes black people; it’s still going to find a way to infect how you deal with people who don’t look like you. Yes, racism looks like hate, but hate is just one manifestation. Privilege is another. Access is another. Ignorance is another. Apathy is another. And so on. So while I agree with people who say no one is born racist, it remains a powerful system that we’re immediately born into. It’s like being born into air: you take it in as soon as you breathe. It’s not a cold that you can get over. There is no anti-racist certification class. It’s a set of socioeconomic traps and cultural values that are fired up every time we interact with the world. It is a thing you have to keep scooping out of the boat of your life to keep from drowning in it. I know it’s hard work, but it’s the price you pay for owning everything.

Scott Woods (X)

he motherfucking dropped the truth.

(via mesmerisme)

historicaltimes:

Moving a 7600 ton apartment building to create a boulevard in Alba Iulia, Romania, 1987
Read More

More of this, world!

historicaltimes:

Moving a 7600 ton apartment building to create a boulevard in Alba Iulia, Romania, 1987

Read More

More of this, world!