In 1919, the young E.B. White, future New Yorker writer and author of Charlotte’s Web, took a class at Cornell University with a drill sergeant of an English professor named William Strunk Jr. Strunk assigned his self-published manual on composition titled “The Elements of Style,” a 43-page list of rules of usage, principles of style, and commonly misused words. It was a brief for brevity. “Vigorous writing is concise,” Strunk wrote. “When a sentence is made stronger, it usually becomes shorter.” Half a century later, when preparing his old professor’s manuscript for publication, White added an essay of his own underlining the argument for concision in moral terms. “Do not overwrite,” he instructed. “Rich, ornate prose is hard to digest, generally unwholesome, and sometimes nauseating.” Strunk & White, as the combined work came to be known, was issued in 1959 and went on to become a defining American statement of what constituted good writing, with 10 million copies sold, and counting. Its final rule summoned the whole: “Prefer the standard to the offbeat.”
After a high-profile search that began over six months ago, New York City has hired new media entrepreneur Rachel Sterne as its first “chief digital officer.”
It’s the latest major move made by the administration of Mayor Michael Bloomberg, himself a billionaire entrepreneur, to shove the establishment-heavy Gotham into the 21st century.
Sterne’s job won’t involve wrangling the scores of small tech start-ups that have popped up like mushrooms in the city over the past few years. Rather, her focus will be to help the city government use digital technology to better communicate with residents, work to bring social media and other new tools into municipal agencies, negotiate partnerships, and serve as a representative of the technology community to the government. One early task will be making the city’s official Web site, NYC.gov, more user-friendly
If $5 million worth of moon rocks happen to be junking up your home, could you give New Jersey State Police a call? Detectives will arrive at, well, warp speed to reclaim state property — and solve a 35-year-old mystery…
"Many poets are not poets for the same reason that many religious men are not saints: they never succeed in being themselves. They never get around to being the particular poet or the particular monk they are intended to be by God. They never become the man or the artist who is called for by all the circumstances of their individual lives. They waste their years in vain efforts to be some other poet, some other saint…They wear out their minds and bodies in a hopeless endeavor to have somebody else’s experiences or write somebody else’s poems." — Thomas Merton
“Well, I’m lying in bed just like Brian Wilson did.” So, I posted online as my “status” this weekend that I had a Brian Wilson kind of day. Never got out of my robe. Ate junk food. Sang harmony with myself in my room…
After being a subject of Generation X desire for the better part of two decades, actress Winona Ryder announced Tuesday that she had finally conceded to having intercourse with every interested member within that age group.
Ryder, 39, believes members of Gen-X are now finally mature enough to “handle her.” “Fine,” Ryder said in a statement addressed to the 71 million American men and women born between the years 1962 and 1981.
"For more than 20 years, I’ve had to endure the yearnings of an entire generation of people, so I suppose I owe it to them to finally offer some relief. After all, they’ve avidly followed my career all this time. I figure it’s the least I can do to repay them."
"Soup’s on, boys," she added. "Get it while it’s hot."
“"I am circling around God, around the ancient tower, and I have been circling for a thousand years, and I still don’t know if I am a falcon, or a storm, or a great song."
— Rainer Maria Rilke”—via TIFERET Journal
I don’t know what to think about “the fifth taste.” It’s called umami - taken from the Japanese word for “good flavor.”
“Umami is actually a scientifically verified fifth taste, just like sweet, sour, salty and bitter,” says cookbook author David Joachim. While hard to describe, some have said it’s the taste that gives certain foods their depth of flavor. “It is essentially the savory taste in foods,” says Joachim.
It’s not unique to any one genre, but foods rich in umami include soy sauce, shellfish, tuna, seaweed, and mushrooms - which are all common ingredients in Asian cooking. This may be one reason that Asian-influenced dishes continue to be a popular (and still growing) part of the American diet, even decades after they first became a mainstay.
second wave of Next Generation Learning Challenges grants
Today marks the official launch of the second wave of Next Generation Learning Challenges grants. Wave 2 will provide up to $10 million in investment capital in an effort to develop tools and applications to help students master seventh- through ninth-grade math and literacy competencies. Subject mastery in these areas is critical to college and career readiness, and this round of funding will support proposals that are aligned with the Common Core State Standards.