This is a special edition of Lunch Break Reads for all those west coasters out there! (And by "special edition," I mean I didn't post this in time to coincide with lunch time here on the east coast!)
If you're anything like me, you've spent countless hours reading about black holes on Wikipedia, because, yeah, why wouldn't you? So I know you'll all be curious to know that apparently black holes don't die. Well, I mean, they kind of do, sort of. Anyways, just read the piece over at io9. It's good stuff.
If black holes weren't enough of a cosmic nightmare, now we have to worry about the Higgs Boson Doomsday! And it's not some crank saying this terrible thing could happen, but Stephen Hawkings. So, yeah, the smartest man alive thinks the Higgs boson could murder us all... and we'd never see it coming.
Full story at Mother Nature Network.
The Guardian is all over yesterday's mysteries. Recently, they published a story which may reveal the true identity of Jack the Ripper, and now they're reporting on the discovery of a ship that was lost on a fabled voyage to the Northwest Passage back in the 1840s.
I mean, I really can't blame the Guardian for their focus on the past. Have you been reading the news recently? It ain't pretty.
Speaking of today's news, unless you've been living under a rock, the Ray Rice/domestic violence/total fuck up by the NFL/Baltimore Ravens headlines have found their way to you.
Typically, I shy away from ugly shit like this here on Lunch Break Reads—I expect that readers are already very well aware of these stories and don't need to be bummed out anymore, and I try to keep it light, maybe even a little hopeful with this segment—but I have a soft spot for ESPN's Mark Schlereth, and this video really hammered home a point about this terrible story that hasn't been covered a lot by other media outlets: For many people, the video of Ray Rice knocking his soon-to-be wife unconscious in an elevator was their first real exposure to true, ugly face of domestic violence (as opposed to only being expose to cinematic/television depictions).
And with so many talking heads sounding off on this story, it's nice to hear from a former NFL player with a good head on his shoulders who has the experience and knowledge to talk about this story from a unique perspective (not only as a former NFL player, as someone who understands and was a part of that brotherhood, but as a father of two daughters).
More at Uproxx.
For Time magazine, the iWatch means we are now literally handcuffed to our computers. Guess someone had to rain on that parade, right?
One of my all time favorite books is Stephen King's On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft. Hands down, it is the one book I recommend to people who not only want to get better as writers, but also want to find the energy and inspiration to do so (the latter being something you don't always get from other books on writing).
So, obviously, I was pretty excited to read The Atlantic's interview with Stephen King on him actually teaching writing to high schoolers.
Some choice quotes:
Always ask the student writer, “What do you want to say?” Every sentence that answers that question is part of the essay or story. Every sentence that does not needs to go. I don’t think it’s the words per se, it’s the sentences.
I can remember teaching Dracula to sophomores and practically screaming, “Look at all the different voices in this book! Stoker’s a ventriloquist! I love that!” I don’t have much use for teachers who “perform,” like they’re onstage, but kids respond to enthusiasm. You can’t command a kid to have fun, but you can make the classroom a place that feels safe, where interesting things happen. I wanted every 50-minute class to feel like half an hour.
You don’t want to leave them in despair, which is why it’s such a horrible idea to try teaching Moby-Dick or Dubliners to high school juniors. Even the bright ones lose heart. But it’s good to make them reach a little. They’ve got to see there are brighter literary worlds than Twilight. Reading good fiction is like making the jump from masturbation to sex.