Is reading fiction dangerous?

“These days we’re desperately trying to get more people to read (‘Please, read anything, here’s a YA novel by the Kardashians’) but in the 1800s, it was a different story,” according to Beth Bartlett in the HuffPost.

Books were supposed to teach people about science, philosophy and religion, not lead someone down an exciting path filled with action, drama and heartbreak. The thought that reading could be a joy instead of a chore and accessible to anyone with a dime scared many in positions of authority.
Winslow Homer The New NovelWinslow Homer “The New Novel” 1877

Stories can leave you dissatisfied with reality

The real threat was readers would keep these fanciful ideas in their heads and quit being grateful just because they were alive. Soon they would want better lives with more adventure and romance and less back-breaking work and death

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The 10 most incredible scientific hoaxes of all time

The World Science Festival Staff looks at Mer-monkeys, The Petrified Giant and The Robot that Checkmated Ben Franklin.
Checkmate(Wikimedia Commons)

One of the first popular robots was the Mechanical Turk, a chess-playing machine built by 18th-century inventor Wolfgang von Kempelen. A mannequin attired in Turkish robes and turban sat behind a large cabinet, which had a chessboard atop it. The machine debuted in 1770 at the court of Empress Maria Theresa of Austria, and the Turk defeated courtier after courtier with its swift, aggressive style of play, even besting Benjamin Franklin and Napoleon Bonaparte.

However, the Turk wasn’t actually an automaton. The cabinet was actually cleverly constructed to allow a man to fit inside, and to use magnets and strings to control the Turk’s moves.

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The Greatest Book Dedications You Will Ever Read

Collected by Jo Barrow at Buzzfeed and dedicated “To you. For reading this post.”
The Little PrinceThe Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Anansi BoysAnansi Boys by Neil Gaiman

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London streets filled with ‘BookBenches’

Children’s enjoyment of reading has grown over the past eight years, at the same time as literary “BookBenches” appear all over London, Joshua Farrington writes at The Bookseller.
BookbenchThe 50 book-shaped benches celebrate a range of books from classics to modern favourites.

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28 Pieces Of Street Art That Cleverly Interact With Their Surroundings
street-art-Image credits: WD.street.art

Street art is usually meant to disrupt its environment and to capture our attention, the folks at The Mind Unleashed tell us, but the artists on this list practice a special technique that makes their artist even more eye-catching and playful – they tailor their art to its surroundings so that their (usually) 2D paintings seem to interact with their 3D surroundings.
Timming the bush Trimming the bush – Image credits: banksy

Where we see a vine and a brick wall or a railing, these artists see the opportunity to create something that will make us think or make us smile.

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Quote of the Day

A writer is like a tuning fork: We respond when we’re struck by something. The thing is to pay attention, to be ready for radical empathy. If we empty ourselves of ourselves we’ll be able to vibrate in synchrony with something deep and powerful. If we’re lucky we’ll transmit a strong pure note, one that isn’t ours, but which passes through us. If we’re lucky, it will be a note that reverberates and expands, one that other people will hear and understand. ~ Roxana Robinson

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Alma Alexander
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