David Foster Wallace on writing, self-improvement, and how we become who we area – remarkably wide-ranging interview from 2006

This pairs pretty nicely with something I posted a couple of years ago from Neil deGrasse Tyson.



Ezra Pound at St. Elizabeths, March 1955. At the time, the poet was in the tenth year of his twelve-year confinement at the hospital for the insane in Washington, where he had been committed in lieu of standing trial for treason for his wartime support of Mussolini.



Zadie Smith is the author of 5 books, including White Teeth, On Beauty, Changing My Mind, & NW.



How Mysterious Natural Arches Form

Arches of stone seem to defy explanation, but a new study may have solved the mystery of how these and other strange natural stone wonders form.

The bewildering shapes apparently owe their origin in large part to how rock can strengthen when squashed from above, scientists explained.

Mysterious rock formations such as arches, bridges, pillars and mushroom-shaped pedestal rocks occur all over the world. Geologists mostly think these form due to erosion from wind and water, as well as from the weathering effects of salt and frost.

However, lead author of the new study Jiří Bruthans, a geologist at Charles University in Prague, and his colleagues did not think erosion and weathering alone could explain how many of these natural sculptures arose. They also noted that prior research did not explain how the upper parts of arches remain stable.

Now, the researchers said they can help explain how these rock formations develop by accounting for the way rock can strengthen when compacted by weight from above.

"The results were shocking for me when I started to realize how simply nature carves all these shapes," Bruthans said.

Arches National Park is at once one of the most beautiful and rugged places I’ve ever been.



T. S. Eliot’s illustrated letters. (via)



Simply sublime: In this teaser for the American Museum of Natural History’s Dark Universe show, Neil deGrasse Tyson recites Walt Whitman’s "When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer." Pair with Tyson on the most astounding fact about the universethe art of the soundbite, the secret of genius, and Carl Sagan’s legacy



I reach what I might call a philosophy; at any rate it is a constant idea of mine; that behind the cotton wool is hidden a pattern; that we — I mean all human beings — are connected with this; that the whole world is a work of art; that we are parts of the work of art… Certainly and emphatically there is no God; we are the words; we are the music; we are the thing itself. And I see this when I have a shock… There is a pattern hid behind the cotton wool.

Virginia Woolf in Moments of Being

Song: “This World” by Zero 7



Alexander Pushkin´s autograph on Eugene Onegin (2nd canto) 1820.



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