The reading list
“I learned to type when I was nine. I've been writing on a computer for more than 30 years. But I can tell you I would feel something vital had been lost if I could not express my thoughts longhand. Often when I am stuck at the keyboard, unable to find my way out of whatever mental cul-de-sac I have put myself in, I will pick up a pen and start writing — and the words start to come again.
“This is not by accident. You're using different parts of the brain. Typing is file retrieval, remembering where a letter is. With handwriting, you create the letters anew each time, using much more complex motor skills. Whether it's the flowing motion of the arm, or the feel of the page under your hand, or the aesthetic satisfaction of a well-turned “f”, it seems to engage the more intuitive, right-brain aspects of cognition.
“Tapping into your intuition is a critical part of writing, or indeed of thinking. Finding just the right word for a given thought is rarely a matter of rational choice: rather it seems almost to suggest itself, its own peculiar welter of connotations and associations emerging as a match to those surrounding the thought to be expressed. Often you cannot ... say why it is the right word. It just is.”
– From “Losing longhand breaks link to the past” at nationalpost.com
Why is the surface of Mars bathed in a lethal dose of radiation every time the sun rises?
Wisdom of the ages
“Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility.” – James Thurber
“Do we not deserve democracy, aren't we worth anything? It's the first time I've seen that the army shoots at us with weapons they bought with the taxes I paid.” – Alaa el-Saim, a retired army engineer in Egypt, on the shooting by troops at pro-Morsi protesters.
Because the planet lacks an ozone layer.
accrete (uh-KREET), v. – to grow together; adhere (usually followed by to); to add, as by growth, as in: “It is not possible to sit through a council meeting without accreting bad feelings.” A back formation of the noun accretion, from the Latin accrescere, “to grow.”
Today in history
On this date in 1568, the dean of St. Paul's Cathedral perfected a way to bottle beer; good man! In 1898, Guglielmo Marconi patented the radio; say thank you, Mr. Limbaugh. In 1969, Russia launched an unmanned rocket to the moon; ha, ha, ha, beat you there!
I stayed up all night to see where the sun went. Then it dawned on me.
Now you know
Dogs have three eyelids. The third lid, called a nictitating membrane or “haw,” keeps the eye lubricated and protected.