Posts by: Sam Riley

Salman’s Story

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Certified E.M.T. and former NYPD cadet, Salman went missing after helping save lives on September 11th, ten years ago. Instead of spurring “Missing” fliers, his face was brandished across “Wanted” fliers, urging people to contact the terrorist task force. His mother, Talat Hamdani tells the story here for the NY Times, part of the “Portraits […]

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An Awesome Resource for Kids and Everybody

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The International Children’s Digital Library is providing free access to books, hoping to collect books from all cultures and languages in order to preserve a sense of family heritage and promote free access to information that extends beyond language barriers. It’s an awesome resource. Here is more explanation from their mission statement: “A fundamental principle […]

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Young Journalists in a Cut-Throat World

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There’s yet another example of underpaid and undervalued journalists, this time from the campaign bus. Budget cutbacks have filled these buses with fledging reporters, in contrast to the seasoned political journalists that once occupied those very seats. Mid twenty years old are jumping from their student newspapers to National Journals, hearing the cautionary tales of […]

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Who and What is Happy?

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Science and philosophy are the academic parents of the social sciences, which is interesting considering the current obsession with happiness. There’s always an updated study on what (or what doesn’t) make human beings happy, from the psychological/sociological perspective, always backed up with empirical evidence. Often this mass of data is broken down for mass consumption […]

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The Beatles as a Pronoun Treasure Trove

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Pronouns are really in right now—probably the most popular figure of speech at the moment. And they deserve all the attention because of their linguistic functionality, their significance in unveiling our true social psyche, and their ubiquity in Beatles lyrics. What with lyrics like, “I am he as you are he as you are me […]

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Print Dictionaries or Bust

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Dictionaries, and reference books in general, are in trouble. These days there’s more googling than reference book-perusing. John Walsh reflects on the dictionaries that once acted as writers’ essential companions, the inherent treasures of print dictionaries and the perils of online dictionaries. “It’s easy to feel a nostalgic throb for the old reference library on […]

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A New Shirt to Not Wear

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This one’s been getting the social media special today, but is always worthy of a re-mentioning. The latest in sartorial controversy is one very offensive JCPenney shirt that actually delivered this message to the 7-16 year old girls for whom it was intended: “I’m too pretty to do my homework, so my brother has to […]

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A Didion Present For You

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Today the internet’s got some literary gold to offer you! Joan Didion’s essay, “Some Dreamers of the Golden Dream,” one of the essays from Slouching Towards Bethlehem, is online! (via @bookslut)

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“O Cinema Falado”

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Brazilian songwriter/musician Caetano Veloso had a quick foray into the world of filmmaking from which O Cinema Falado (or in English, “Talking Cinema”) was born. UbuWeb’s got the experimental film in its entirety. The film’s got a ton of dialogue and undertones of “Cinema Novo,” the Brazilian cinematic movement of the 50’s and 60’s and […]

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Kashmir Festival Over Before it Starts

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Kashmir was supposed to hold its very first literary festival at the end of September, but preempting violence from organizers and growing fears have unfortunately postponed the event. Salman Rushdie occupies contentious author-space overseas. His novel, The Satanic Verses was banned over in India. The rumors suggesting he was going to speak at the Kashmir […]

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Drug Violence and the Lacking American Media Response

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The recent massacre at a casino in Monterrey, Mexico marks the pinnacle of drug war-related violence. The response to this tragic episode by the American media reveal the frailties of our news coverage—this story was seriously lacking the attention it deserved across many of our media outlets, a silence that unfortunately dictates a scarcity of […]

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Run Yvonne, Run

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Yvonne is the craftiest farm animal to evade slaughter since Wilbur. After this six-year old German cow ran away en route to the slaughterhouse back in May, she’s been on the loose, making headlines, garnering sympathy from the public and once running into a police car before making yet another seamless getaway. She is so […]

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Happy Words Win

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Headed by the University of Vermont’s Isabel Klouman, a team of researchers did a massive language study that revealed an optimistic tendency of the English language—there are more positive words than negative. Compiling words from years of the New York Times, tweets, popular song lyrics and Google Books, they then analyzed the most common from […]

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Last Call! A Sweet Proposal For Sugar Followers

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So some of you have been sending in awesome visual representations of your Dear Sugar loyalty. For those of you who haven’t heard yet, we were inspired by the loyal band of Dear Sugar advocates out there and thought of a crafty way to reciprocate Thursday’s sugar fix. Many of you out there have mentioned […]

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The Cartoon Grind

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New Yorker cartoon space is highly coveted. Those illustrated laughs that punctuate essays are the ones that made it through the slough of rejection. It’s tough times for the gag cartoonist. Graphic novelist, James Sturn, walks us through the low expectations, rejection, illustration-block and extracting cartoons from the daily grind. Also islands and gorillas. When […]

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Economics for Kids

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Children’s books are teaching all kinds of lessons and not just the morals-heavy, value-driven ones that are meant to stave off latent delinquency. Read between the lines of children’s lit and you can brush up on some conceptual economics. One can begin to understand  economic efficiency by reading Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type, or […]

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Jobs and Education

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Technology and higher education have been enjoying a symbiotic relationship in recent years. Apple’s creative visions have been coming to life and flourishing on academic platforms, but now that Steve Jobs is stepping down, should we be worried about how it’s going to affect higher education? Jobs has been personally responsible for a lot of […]

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Fictionalizing Gadhafi

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After decades of unlimited wealth and power, Gadhafi’s on the run. Such a steep decline from rich to running can only incite the imagination. Salon.com got a slew of authors to imagine the intricacies of Gadhafi’s current reality. Steve Almond imagined the unrequited love story of Gadhafi and Condoleeza Rice. Here’s one particularly enticing passage: […]

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Murakami Comin Your Way

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Haruki Murakami discusses “Town of Cats,” an excerpt of his impending publication, 1Q84 (to be released in October) with the New Yorker’s fiction editor. More reason to get excited for fall’s literary bounty! “Whenever I write a novel, I have a strong sense that I am doing something I was unable to do before. With […]

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Listen to Faulkner Read

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William Faulkner secured the first Writers-in-Residence position at UVA and held the position for two terms. This site has sonically preserved Faulkner’s residency in the form of these recordings. He held readings, gave a couple addresses and answered questions from UVA audiences, of which this site preserved 1690 minutes. This site also has links to […]

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Anarchy and Amazon Have Something in Common

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The 17th century Guy Fawkes-inspired mask has become the symbol of anarchist protesting, made widely recognizable in the states from the movie V for Vendetta. More recently it became the face of infamous hacker group, Anonymous. Unfortunately, sporting this mask isn’t just fruitful in its ubiquitous representation of anti-establishment solidarity, but it is actually a […]

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Questioning Truth in Photos

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Errol Morris, the truth-seeker/director of the documentary The Thin Blue Line and The Fog of War is once again having us question the facts. His collection of essays, Believing is Seeing (Observations on the Mysteries of Photography) considers our undiscerning trust in photos, though their reliability is as questionable as any story-telling medium. In his […]

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Inauspicious News For Our Economy

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The whole system of American outsourcing has rendered our industry incapable of producing the next technological innovation, which unfortunately is the key to reconstructing our economy. One example of this is the Kindle. Amazon doesn’t have the means for the next generation of their techy product to be produced on domestic soil. This article sources […]

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