Want to live longer?

Book Club in session

Then join a book club.

Taking part in social activities such as book clubs or church groups makes people live longer and appears to be as important to health as exercise, Chris Green says in The Independent.

A retired person’s risk of death is dramatically lowered if they take part in such groups in the first few years after stopping working, a study found.

Read more HERE

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Ethical robots?

In my light-hearted romp, AbductiCon, time-traveling androids take over a SF/fantasy convention to try to learn about their origins, while the kidnapped fans worry about their ethics.

You’ll have to read the book to see how that all works out, but in our own world the idea of intelligent robots is beginning to raise some concerns. Stephen Hawking has warned that “the development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race”.

So how can we prevent that? How can we teach them ethics before they take over?

Well, Alison Flood writes in The Guardian, a couple of academics suggest that we tell them stories.

Now that is an idea every author can relate to, I can just see a robot sitting on a woman’s lap as she begins “Once upon a time…”RobotKindness calculus … the ROBOY humanoid robot  Photograph: Erik Tham/Corbis

Read the whole Guardian story HERE

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From girlhood to womanhood

The female Bildungsroman, novel of development, is, in some ways, a contradiction in terms, Anne Boyd Rioux tells us in The Toast.

Novels about the transition from girlhood to womanhood have historically been more about “growing down” than growing up. They show their heroines learning to conform to gender norms rather than discovering themselves as individuals and generally end rather depressingly with marriage and subservience.

But there have always been exceptions, many of which should be rediscovered. For example:

An Indian Childhood cover“Impressions of an Indian Childhood” (1900) by Zitkala-Ša –

This collection of vignettes from Zitkala- Ša’s childhood follows her from her Sioux family to the white boarding school where she found enforced assimilation painful but also discovered her joy in reading and writing.

She tells the stories from the point of view of her older, wiser self, who regrets her rejection of her Native heritage and criticizes the hypocrisy of her white teachers and the prejudice of her fellow students.

 

See more HERE

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29 Amazing Literary Magazines

And you thought your reading list was long already…

BuzzFeed asked readers to tell them about their favorite literary magazines and Arianna Rebolini selected the “collections of fiction, essays, and poetry you need in your life.”

For example:
Room Magazine covernigitstil / instagram.com

Room Magazine

What it features: Fiction, poetry, reviews, profiles, and art, by and about women.

Why it’s great: Since launching in 1975, Room has been a place for writers and readers to explore all of the many and diverse experiences of women.

“It’s Canadian, feminist, and one of my favorite things ever.” —bucketofrhymes

See all the magazines HERE

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This Tree Beautifully Reveals The Relationships Between Languages

For reasons both poetic and pragmatic, Mike Nudelman writes at The Business Insider, the tree has historically been the designer’s go-to inspiration for mapping relationships. In the graphic below, Finish-Swedish illustrator Minna Sundberg artfully uses this format to trace the world’s largest language families.

All of the languages illustrated here stem from subcategories of either Indo-European or Uralic origin, and upon closer inspection many fascinating links are revealed.Language Family Tree illustration

Read more HERE

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Quote of the Day

“We think that an intelligent entity can learn what it means to be human by immersing itself in the stories it produces” ~ Mark Riedl

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