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3quarksdaily - 10 new articles

library death

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I don’t know of anything more disheartening than the sight of a shut down library. No matter how modest its building or its holdings, in many parts of this country a municipal library is often the only place where books in large number on every imaginable subject can be found, where both...





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The Achilles' Heel of Biological Complexity

News294-i1.0 Philip Ball in Nature News:





Why are we so complicated? You might imagine that we've evolved that way because it conveys adaptive benefits. But a study published by Nature today suggests that the complexity in the molecular 'wiring' of our genome — the way our proteins talk to each other —...

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mona's story

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It was the 26th of January in Delhi, a crisp, clear, spicy-radish-and-tomatoes-in-the-sun winter morning that makes you glad to be alive. On this date, some fifty years ago, India had become a republic. Mona had chosen the anniversary to celebrate the birthday of her adopted daughter...





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Kleist: Eine Biographie

Schulz-kleist Alexander Kosenina reviews Gerhard Schulz's Kleist: Eine Biographie and Jens Bisky's Kleist: Eine Biographie in The Modern Language Review:

Heinrich von Kleist, the most modern of all classic authors, has had hardly any attention from biographers in recent decades. The opposite might have...

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American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us

Croft-1 James Croft reviews Robert D. Putnam and David E. Campbell's new book, in The Humanist:

American religion is a conundrum. Americans manage to combine deep religious devotion with wide religious diversity, all the while remaining remarkably tolerant of each other. What factors have shaped the...

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Joseph Brodsky and the Fortunes of Misfortune

110523_r20902_p465 Keith Gessen in The New Yorker:

In the fall of 1963, in Leningrad, in what was then the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the young poet Dmitry Bobyshev stole the young poet Joseph Brodsky’s girlfriend. This was not cool. Bobyshev and Brodsky were close friends. They often appeared, in...

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Egypt: Why Are the Churches Burning?

GettyImages_109868491_jpg_470x396_q85 Yasmine El Rashidi in the NYRB blog:

On a recent afternoon this month, in a busy downtown Cairo street, armed men exchanged gunfire, threw rocks and Molotov cocktails, and freely wielded knives in broad daylight. The two-hour fight, which began as an attempt by some shop-owners to extort the...

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Wednesday Poem

Angels of Choice

We lie trapped beneath
The Masonic geometry of Washington,
our bodies racked by long vistas,
our hearts bearing the tall spike’s pain.
Black-windowed limos rake my chest
                     with the loose gravel of power.

One of my...

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Excavation

From Guernica:

Amitav Lila Azam Zanganeh interviews Amitav Ghosh:

Many novelists start out dreaming in their bed at night. As Sartre describes in The Words, they dream of how they’ll write these wild romantic novels. But Amitav Ghosh seems to come from quite a different place. As a young man...

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Stress can shorten telomeres in childhood

From Nature:

Orph A long-term study of children from Romanian orphanages suggests that the effects of childhood stress could be visible in their DNA as they grow up. Children who spent their early years in state-run Romanian orphanages have shorter telomeres than children who grew up in foster...

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