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On Binge Reading, Dinosaurs, Chromebooks, and Other Matters

Why You Should Start Binge-Reading Right Now, by Ben Dolnick in The New York Times (limited free articles)

Gabriel Alcala

John Gardner, the literary critic, wrote that the job of the novelist is to create a “vivid and continuous dream” for the reader, but I’d somehow developed a case of readerly sleep apnea. I’d gotten into the habit of consuming novels so fitfully that I was all but sealed off from their pleasures. It was as if I’d been watching movies in a special buffering-only mode, or listening to music through the world’s balkiest Bluetooth headphones.

The World Is Your Classroom: A Letter to My Granddaughter, by Fida Meier in The Plough Quarterly

There is a surfeit of propaganda, slogans, and information that assault our senses continuously today. But real reading, because it takes time, affects you quite differently. It penetrates your inner being.

The Day the Dinosaur Died, by Douglas Preston in The New Yorker

Richard Barnes

[I]t was not a star but an asteroid, and it was headed directly for Earth at about forty-five thousand miles an hour. Sixty hours later, the asteroid hit. The air in front was compressed and violently heated, and it blasted a hole through the atmosphere, generating a supersonic shock wave. The asteroid struck a shallow sea where the Yucatán peninsula is today. In that moment, the Cretaceous period ended and the Paleogene period began.

NOTE: The New Yorker and the paleontologist involved have received some negative pushback following the article’s release. For a deeper read, also consider the National Geographic’s analysis here.

Silicon Valley Came to Kansas Schools. That Started a Rebellion, by Nellie Bowles in the New York Times (limited free articles)

Anna Petrow

Then, students started coming home with headaches and hand cramps. Some said they felt more anxious. One child asked to bring her dad’s hunting earmuffs to class to block out classmates because work was now done largely alone.

Can a Greek Tragedy Help Heal a Scarred City? by
Alissa Rubin in the New York Times (limited free articles)

Sergey Ponomarev

“We do not need to act a tragedy,” said Mustafa Dargham, 19, gesturing at the blasted shell of the former Fine Arts Institute as he took a break from rehearsals of “The Oresteia,” the ancient Greek trilogy by Aeschylus.

“This play is just talking about the reality of Mosul,” he added.

If anything has awakened your wonder in the past few weeks, share it in the comments below!

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