Jordan Stella

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Saving Timbuktu's ancient manuscripts

<b>Timbuktu in northern Mali is renowned for its thousands of ancient manuscripts, some of which are 600 years old.</b><p>United Nations cultural body Unesco will be hosting a conference in December on how to preserve the manuscripts, which address topics such as history, science, Islamic law, conflict …

United Nations

6 Reasons Why You Need A Strong Mentor In Your 20s

By Heidi Priebe,<p>Comment<br>• FlagFlagged<br>• http://tcat.tc/1toE9OS<p>Some of the most meaningful relationships we develop in our 20s are with those who push us to …

Why the Brain Can’t Make Sense of Virtual Reality

VR disrupts the neurological patterns of memory-making and spatial awareness.<p>It seems like a reasonable question: Does the brain, physiologically speaking, experience virtual worlds differently? After all, we're attuned to sensory inputs not as discrete packages, but as entire suites involving …

20 predictions for the future of storytelling

It's not easy to predict what the future of anything may be — including the storytelling industry, which has undergone myriad changes over the last …

The Birth of the Novel

Michael Schmidt’s new book sets out to write a brief history of that sprawling monstrosity, the English-language novel.<p>On the second of the 1,106 …

What Happens to Your Body When You're Dreaming

As you physically power down at night, your brain—and imagination—run wild<p>• It all starts with the brain stem, which flips you into sleep mode and—once you hit the rapid eye movement (REM) stage—shuts off muscle movement. Everything but your eyes is temporarily paralyzed. (Good thing, or you'd …

Sleep

The strange world of computer-generated novels

Welcome to National Novel Generation Month, where the algorithm is the author<p>It’s November and aspiring writers are plugging away at their novels for National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, an annual event that encourages people to churn out a 50,000-word book on deadline. But a hundred or so …

Literary Remains of Gabriel García Márquez Will Rest in Texas

<i>Gabriel García Márquez's notes for The General in His Labyrinth (1989) via The Ransom Center & The New York Times</i><p>Quick note: The Harry Ransom Center, …

Kerouac letter discovery shows poet didn't toss it

LOS ANGELES (AP) — When a letter credited with inspiring Jack Kerouac to create a new literary genre suddenly surfaced, no one was happier than an …

Scientists Think Synaesthesia Is Something You Can Learn

A recent experiment by conducted by the University of Sussex suggests it may be possible to learn to experience synesthesia, a rare condition that mixes up brain signals and leads people to hear colors or taste words. Researcher David Bor had volunteers read ebooks with 13 letters consistently …

An artist totally reimagined what U.S. dollar bills should look like

Sorry, George. Sorry, Abe. U.S. currency was long overdue for a face lift.<p>As part of his Master's thesis at the Basel School of Design in …

How a Novel Ends

Roderick Thorp was part of a small group of novelists who came together on a monthly basis in the late eighties in Los Angeles to chew the fat. Rod had made a breakthrough success at the age of twenty-seven with the novel <i>The Detective</i>, which became a very successful movie that starred Frank …

Prescribing a story? Medicine meets literature in "narrative medicine" - Scope

In the November issue of <i>The Lancet</i>, Chris Adrian, MD, postulates about what might be called "narrative medicine." How do stories and poems alter our …

Postmodernism is the genesis of Contemporary Conspiracy Theory

Postmodernism as a broad intellectual, social and literary movement is hard to capture and define, not more so due to the deliberate wishes of the …

New York's 10 Coolest Hidden Museums - PAPER

<i>While exhibits at the Met, MoMA or the Whitney might get most of the media attention -- and tourists' admission fees -- there's a slew of under-the-radar (and underrated) institutions scattered throughout New York City worth a visit. From a *very* impressive collection of trolls to a museum</i> …

The Role of the Supernatural in the Discovery of EEGs

After Hans Berger received an uncanny telegram, he spent years trying to measure psychic energy.<p>When Hans Berger was serving a year in the German military, in 1892, he was thrown from a horse. This in itself wasn't strange. But later that day, as the neurologist David Millett recounts in</i> …

Dismembering History: The Shady Online Trade in Ancient Texts

Both priceless papyri that could shed light on early Christianity and forgeries are openly trafficked online. Determining authenticity is …

Benjamin Franklin Quotes | The Art of Manliness

<i>Editor’s Note: Benjamin Franklin was one of the most quotable men in history. Everyone knows his famous sayings like “God helps them who help</i> …

Letter that inspired Kerouac found

LOS ANGELES (AP) — It's been called the letter that launched a literary genre — 16,000 amphetamine-fueled, stream-of-consciousness words written by …

Can India's Ancient Stepwells Help Solve the Country's Water Crisis?

Now largely obsolete, these Escher-like cisterns were once monuments of public life. And in the midst of water shortage, stepwells may refill their civic role.<p>Little-known giants of civic architecture puncture the landscape of west India: Stepwells. There are hundreds of these carved-stone trenches …

Babies Remember Language From Birth, Study Finds

Just because your child doesn't speak a word of Chinese doesn't mean he doesn't know it.<p>The team of researchers at McGill University’s Department of …

What Happens to English When You Subtract the Letter 'E'

One 1939 book written entirely without the language's most common character uses more "G" words and fewer prepositions.<p>Some novels are known for their creative plots and compelling characters. And then there is <i>Gadsby</i>, a 50,000-word novel written in 1939 by American author Ernest Vincent Wright. …

Interview: Street Artist Maya Hayuk Brings Trippy Paintings to Cinders Gallery

<b>Maya Hayuk’s</b> artwork is instantly recognizable. The Brooklyn-based artist’s methodical (and massive) mash-ups of crisscross patterns in lush and neon …

Terry Gilliam Explains The Difference Between Kubrick (Great Filmmaker) and Spielberg (Less So)

Terry Gilliam has never tried to hide his feelings about Hollywood. "It's an abominable place," he told <i>The New York Times</i> in 2005. "If there was an …

Unrelenting Gore

I'm jumping in to share my thoughts on the issue of whether it's right for people to spread horrific images on Facebook. There's no question that we suffer for seeing high definition photos of bloody bodies and beheadings.<p>We are indelibly altered when we see what we are not emotionally equipped to …

The Difference Between the Beautiful and the Sublime, Animated

Britain’s Open University has previously given us some illuminating animated explainers of the history of the English language, the world’s major religions, philosophy’s greatest thought experiments, and the major creative movements in design. They have now partnered with BBC broadcaster and <i>In Our</i> …

CERN's Higgs Discovery As Portal To New 'Technicolor' Physics

CERN’s historic discovery of the elusive Higgs boson — the subatomic particle thought to be at the root of what gives normal matter its mass — may actually represent only a portion of a more complicated and heretofore unexplored particle physics paradigm, say researchers.<p>After new analysis of the …

Musical Expertise Linked to Robust Long-Term Memory

A study of professional musicians suggests musical expertise improves long-term memory and cognitive performance.<p>In the research, scientists from the …

Naropa Archive Presents 5,000 Hours of Audio Recordings of William Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg & Other Beat Writers

<i>Image via Christiaan Tonnis</i><p>Schools like Harvard, Oxford, and the Sorbonne surely have qualities to recommend them, but to my mind, nothing would feel …