‘I know how you’re feeling…

…I read Chekhov.’

Reading Chekhov for a few minutes makes you better at decoding what other people are feeling. But scientists say that spending the same amount of time with a potboiler by Danielle Steel does not have the same effect, Pam Belluck reported in the New York Times.  

Literary fiction often leaves more to the imagination, the authors of the study say, encouraging readers to make inferences about characters and be sensitive to emotional nuance and complexity.

Reading classics

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From a review of my Midnight at Spanish Gardens at Meeka’s Mind

How do I describe that? Contemporary metaphysical fantasy literature?

Yet even that convoluted category doesn’t accurately describe Midnight at Spanish Gardens, because how the main characters come to relive their lives is less important than what they do with those second chances.

I am of course delighted by that, and especially this!

If (it) contained even a smidgeon of science fiction I’d give it 11/10. As it is I can only give it a 10.

Spanish Gardens review

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A New Theory on Mark Twain

IN THE 150 YEARS Samuel Clemens has been better known as Mark Twain, journalists, scholars, and even bartenders have offered competing theories as to where America’s first signature wit acquired his nom de plume, Daniel Hernandez writes.

According to Twain, his pen name once belonged to a Mississippi riverboat captain, and he merely ‘laid violent hands upon it.’ Newspapers at the time however claimed he earned his alias drinking at a one-bit saloon in Virginia City, Nevada.

A rare book dealer suggests that Clemens found his pseudonym in a popular humor journal, then invented the riverboat story to promote his Missouri roots.  That offers some insight into Twain’s personal character: his proven cunning in respect to his brand.

The Mark Twain brand

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British words that mean something quite different in the USA

Americans speak the same language as our ye old predecessors in Great Britain, but we don’t always speak it the same way, Bigstock Blog says.

So, we asked our oh-so British receptionist, Ryan Lovett, to give us a crash course in some of the more notable discrepancies.
A bisquit by any other nameBritish vs American English

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A Cave With Clouds

These remarkable pictures are the first-ever images taken of Er Wang Dong, one of the world’s most recently discovered natural wonders — a cave so large it has its own weather system.

Er Wang Dong cave

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What Tesla said:

My method is different. I do not rush into actual work. When I get a new idea, I start at once building it up in my imagination, and make improvements and operate the device in my mind. When I have gone so far as to embody everything in my invention, every possible improvement I can think of, and when I see no fault anywhere, I put into concrete form the final product of my brain.

I don’t invent things, but that’s pretty much how I invent worlds, Mr. Tesla.

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Alma Alexander

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