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Posts from the ‘News and Notes’ Category

The Pale Blue Dot

This is possibly my favorite quote from any book–fiction or otherwise.

Let me give a little context if you’re not familiar with it, though. On February 4, 1990, when Voyager 1 was exiting the Solar System and entering interstellar space, NASA commanded Voyager to turn its camera around and take one last photo of Earth. The photo was taken from 3. 7 billion miles away. Earth, about the size of a pixel, appears as a “pale blue dot.”

Four years later, Carl Sagan wrote about that pale blue dot in his book Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space. In light of everything going on in the world today, I believe this quote is as relevant as ever. So I’ll stop writing now and let Carl Sagan take it from here. Read more

The Presidential Grammar Rankings

Well, I don’t know about you, but I relish every opportunity to make fun of a politician.

And this recent infographic from Grammarly gives me a good bit of ammunition to do just that.

Which presidential candidate’s followers have the best grammar? Well, Democratic candidate Lincoln Chafee, of course!

Who? Yeah, I don’t know him either. But his followers made only 3 grammar mistakes per 100 words, according to Grammarly. To conduct the test, they visited the official Facebook pages of all 19 presidential candidates (I believe one or two might have dropped out since the study) and pulled comments from those pages.

So whose followers hadded the worst of the grammars?

No surprise here: Donald Trump.

Trumpites made nearly 13 grammar mistakes per 100 words. Funny, with Trump bloviating so much about the immigration laws and how he’s going to make America more American, or something like that, it seems his followers have a hard time speaking English.

Overall, Democrats are much more well spoken (or well written) than Republicans–for what that’s worth. I blame the liberal media.

Anyway, here’s the full infographic. I’m sure, no matter who you support in the 2016 election, you’ll represent said candidate with exceptionally exceptional grammar.  Read more

Salman Rushdie “Raps” To Drake’s Lyrics

Let me be honest: I think Drake’s music sucks.

He raps like he just woke up from a four-hour nap.

But when I saw that 68-year-old author Salman Rushdie recited some of Drake’s lyrics, well, I had to click and watch.

What is so funny about old white dudes quoting rap lyrics?  Read more

McDonald’s Is Doing Something Right

I haven’t eaten at McDonald’s in 10 years–ever since I watched the Super Size Me documentary.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of those pretentious anti-fast food people who look down their nose at you for ordering some french fries. I’m still fond of Chick Fil-A and, occasionally, Wendy’s and Sonic. But McDonald’s just ain’t my thing.

That said, I’m excited to see what U.K.-based McDonald’s are doing. They’re giving away a Roald Dahl book with each Happy Meal. Eight of Dahl’s stories will be featured, with extracts from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Magical Mischief, George’s Marvelous Medicine, and Matilda.  Read more

This Harry Potter Fact Will Make You Feel Old

<——– J.K. Rowling tweeted that little bit of news yesterday.

I know, like, Harry Potter doesn’t actually exist and all, but chew on that little bit of news.

His oldest son, James Potter, would be starting at Hogwarts yesterday.

I’m at the point in my life where I deal with these revelations of time everyday. A few months ago, I realized that this year’s high school graduation class wasn’t even alive when I graduated high school. That’s old.

And, now, Harry Potter’s son is off to Hogwarts?

What’s next–Han Solo as an old man? Don’t answer that.


That Time Kramer Met Salman Rushdie

Seinfeld was a fabulous show.

One of the many reasons to love the show is its inclusion of relatively obscure literary references. You might remember I did a post awhile back about the episode in which George discover’s that his fiance, Susan, is the recipient of John Cheever’s famous love letters. Who saw that coming? Read more

Here’s What Dyslexia Feels Like

Daniel Britton is a graphic designer who has battled dyslexia all of his life.

To raise awareness for others who suffer with the learning disability (one in five people), Britton created a font that emulates what it’s like to be dyslexic.

“What this typeface does is break down the reading time of a non-dyslexic down to the speed of a dyslexic. I wanted to make non-dyslexic people understand what it is like to read with the condition and to recreate the frustration and embarrassment of reading everyday text.”

Here’s another example: Read more


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