Society of autodidacts

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Required reading for white America from a group of black writers and academics

This nation has always been riven when it comes to race. Recall that disagreements over slavery and inequality ran so deep that the Founding Fathers …

Books

'I really want to find it before I die': why are we so fascinated by lost books?

From the Book of Kells to Walter Benjamin, literary history is marked with tantalising absences – which two bibliophiles have made it their business to go after<p>In June 1940, with Nazi troops on the verge of invading Paris, German-Jewish exile Walter Benjamin was preparing to leave the city. One of …

Literature

Only 2% of people can solve this Einstein riddle — see if you can figure it out

There's nothing like a good riddle to stimulate your mind and give you an excuse to channel your inner Sherlock Holmes. Sure, the thrill of solving puzzles may not give you the adrenaline rush of a skydive, but regularly doing logic and crossword puzzles can keep your brain young as you age. And …

Mathematics

The Biggest Wastes Of Time We Regret When We Get Older

We spend a lot of energy looking for shortcuts to save time, and sure, those shortcuts add up. But when I look back, my biggest time regrets aren't …

Self-help

T.S. Eliot on Writing: His Warm and Wry Letter of Advice to a Sixteen-Year-Old Girl Aspiring to Become a Writer

“Don’t write at first for anyone but yourself.”<p><i>“If you write what you yourself sincerely think and feel and are interested in,”</i> the great marine biologist and author Rachel Carson advised a blind girl aspiring to be a writer, <i>“you will interest other people.”</i> Six years earlier, around Valentine’s …

Literature

How to fix all of your sleep problems with science

Strategically placing pillows is a good way to relieve all sorts of pain. If you wake up with a sore shoulder, try hugging your pillow when you're …

Owls: The secret life of a most mysterious bird

‘It is the breath of the churchyard… soft feathers camouflaging a machine,’ says the poet R S Thomas of the barn owl. In his fantasy novel Titus Groan, Mervyn Peake talks of a ‘Tower of Flints, patched unevenly with black ivy [that] arose like a mutilated finger and pointed blasphemously at heaven. …

The 100 best nonfiction books of all time: the full list

After two years of careful reading, moving backwards through time, Robert McCrum has concluded his selection of the 100 greatest nonfiction books. Take a quick look at five centuries of great writing<p>Robert McCrum reflects on his 100 greatest nonfiction books list The 100 best novels written in …

Underground Cartoonist Robert Crumb Creates an Illustrated Introduction to Franz Kafka’s Life and Work

The use of an author’s name as an adjective to describe some kind of general style can seem, well, lazy, in a wink-wink, “you know what I mean,” kind …

My Husband Died at Age 34. Here are 40 Life Lessons I’ve Learn’t.

<b>Plus 40 Ways to Live A Full Life By Age 40.</b><p>A sudden, unanticipated death has a way of jolting us to our senses. When you’re told that your husband is …

10 Schools of Philosophy and Why You Should Know Them

For your reading pleasure, here are ten schools of philosophy you should know about. Some of them are commonly misunderstood, and we correct that …

Ludwig Wittgenstein

17 Amazing Documentaries You Can Watch On Netflix Right Now

Let's end 2017 with real facts, not fake news.

10 Black Authors Everyone Should Read

They are poets, playwrights, novelists and scholars, and together they helped capture the voice of a nation. They have fearlessly explored racism, …

4,000 years of the rise and fall of world empires in one chart

Imagine creating a timeline of your country's whole history stretching back to its inception.<p>It would be no small task, and simply weighing the relative importance of so many great people, technological achievements, and pivotal events would be a tiny miracle in itself.<p>While that seems like a …

Data Visualization

Ursula K. Le Guin's 6 favorite timeless novels

<b>Mansfield Park by Jane Austen</b> (Signet, $6).<p>I chose six novels, all more than a century old (and one over two centuries), but their authors' love of …

Did Dickens invent Christmas? No, but he did reinvent the novel

Anew film,The Man Who Invented Christmas, shows that how Charles Dickens wrote was just as important as the great works he penned<p>It is unusual to imagine Charles Dickens as a young man. A new film does just this. In <i>The Man Who Invented Christmas</i>, Dickens is not the bearded patriarch and …

17 Perfect Responses To "Do You Have Any Questions For Me?" During A Job Interview

"What do you like about working here?"<p>—Dylinquency<p>"Ask them their favorite aspects, challenges, overall experience of working there. You'll be surprised how well received it is. It shows that you are interested, but also that you still have a decision to make. Plus, people like talking about …

6 Embarrassing Grammatical Mistakes Smart People Are Making Publicly

These blunders are so common, and easy to make.<p>I receive a daily digest in my email which calls out some of the most shared stories on the internet. Number seven on the list the other day--with hundreds of comments and thousands of shares and likes--was a story posted at <i>The Atlantic</i>, a reputable …

8 types of friends you need in your life to be happy

Do your friends sometimes disappoint you? Ever feel like there is something missing in your relationships? You're not alone.<p>Tom Rath and the Gallup organization discovered something interesting: The vast majority of the time, no one pal offers you everything you need from your relationships.<p>Some of …

Happiness

Banned by the police: the true stories behind Modigliani's languorous nudes

He was the ‘ravishing villain’ who drank, took drugs and bed-hopped his way around Paris. But Modigliani’s nudes – warm portraits of confident women – caused a revolution in painting<p>“We fight against the nude in painting, as nauseous and as tedious as adultery in literature,” proclaimed the Italian …

Everything You Need to Know About the Massive Paradise Papers Leak

13.4 million documents were leaked that expose offshore banking activities of more than 120 politicians worldwide.<p>A vast new trove of 13.4 million leaked documents dubbed the Paradise Papers have been published by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) exposing the …

Corruption

Pictures of the Week 10.26.17

World Records

I’m a relationship virgin: I’m 54 and have never had a boyfriend

I’ve had sex but have never been out with anyone. After all these years, I’ve still no idea what the reason is for my long-term singledom<p>There is a name for people like me – “relationship virgin”. It is apt and accurate because I have managed to get to 54 without ever having had a boyfriend.<p>It is …

Relationships

12 everyday stretches that will help you stay flexible and fit at any age

When it comes to stretching, there are a lot of options to choose from.<p>But what are the best everyday stretches for anyone looking to avoid sore muscles, get more flexible, and protect his or her muscles from injuries?<p>We turned to Marilyn Moffat, a professor of physical therapy at New York …

Yoga

The war against Pope Francis

His modesty and humility have made him a popular figure around the world. But inside the church, his reforms have infuriated conservatives and sparked a revolt. By Andrew Brown<p>Pope Francis is one of the most hated men in the world today. Those who hate him most are not atheists, or protestants, or …

This Is How to Be the Most Interesting Person in Any Conversation, According to Science

Caroline Webb, author of How to Have a Good Day, uncovers the science behind owning the room in a social situation.<p>Caroline Webb, the renowned economist, leadership coach, and author of <i>How to Have a Good Day,</i> has helped hundreds of organizations be more effective through behavioral economics, …

Self-improvement

This One Exercise Has Helped Me Build 2 Multimillion-Dollar Companies in Less Than 24 months

What got you to where you are today will not get you where you want to be.<p>A few years ago, I found myself nearly $1 million in debt. Today, I have two multimillion-dollar companies to my name. I've come a long way, but as I look back I realize I didn't do anything special.<p>What I did, you can …

18 of the greatest photographs from 125 years of National Geographic

Travel Photography

Hemingway's Writing Tip That Will Save You Time and Energy

You don't need to move to Paris, but you should reread your work as you go.<p>When it comes to writing a book, there are many reasons to emulate the masters. Proust famously wrote in bed, while Joan Didion took an hour before dinner to read that day's writing with a drink in hand. Most authors have a …

Writing

Winston Churchill's 12-Word Definition of Success May Just Change Your Life

It'll make you laugh; it'll make you cry; it'll make you think.<p>We tend to think about success as the pinnacle of achievement. It's what we supposedly experience once we get everything we think we want. We get into Harvard Business School. Our startup goes through an IPO. We marry the person of our …

Motivation