The Fantastic Ursula K. Le Guin - "Ursula Kroeber was born in Berkeley, in 1929, into a family busy with the reading, recording, telling, and inventing of stories. She grew up listening to her aunt Betsy’s memories of a pioneer childhood and to California Indian legends retold by her father. One legend of the Yurok people says that, far out in the Pacific Ocean but not farther than a canoe can paddle, the rim of the sky makes waves by beating on the surface of the water. On every twelfth upswing, the sky moves a little more slowly, so that a skilled navigator has enough time to slip beneath its rim, reach the outer ocean, and dance all night on the shore of another world."
Alan Moore's Jerusalem - "The frequently confusing cross-currents of Moore's late work make much more sense, in fact, when one sees them not just as entertainment products but as attempts at building a better reality."
Real-Estate Tycoon Deconstructs 'Twilight' "Barrack describes a lonely evening on a yacht in Turkey after a cancelled business meeting. In the yacht, Mr. Barrack writes, he came upon a book on which 'were written the words that strike terror in the hearts of every macho, red-blooded male... TWILIGHT'. He goes on..."
What Girls Want - A series of vampire novels illuminates the complexities of female adolescent desire. (via) [more inside]
Speaking of speeches, David Eggers delivers one at TED on grassroots community tutoring for kids who need help with their English homework: "There's something about the kids finishing their homework in a given day, working one on one, getting all this attention. They finish their homework, they go home -- they're finished. They don't stall. They don't do their homework in front of the TV. They're allowed to go home 5:30, enjoy their family, enjoy other hobbies, get outside, play and that makes a happy family. A bunch of happy families in a neighborhood is a happy community. A bunch of happy communities tied together is a happy city and a happy world, right? So, the key to it all is homework." Love him or hate him (mefi consensus) it's a great example of
nervous energy microphilanthropy, social entrepreneurship and, if I may make the connection, machines of loving grace. [previously]
A NYTimes book review of Richard Davenport-Hines' 'The Pursuit of Oblivion' by Christine Kenneally talks about trying to help erase the stigma of drug use by placing it in a historical context that 'sees it as part of the repertoire of normal human activities'. Looks like one to put on the shelf next to 'Writing on Drugs' and 'Food of the Gods' :D but I was also thinking it might help raise popular awareness that might support research efforts like HRI's and MAPS!