Melody Branson

37 Flips | 11 Magazines | 12 Likes | 10 Following | 49 Followers | @melodybranson3 | Keep up with Melody Branson on Flipboard, a place to see the stories, photos, and updates that matter to you. Flipboard creates a personalized magazine full of everything, from world news to life’s great moments. Download Flipboard for free and search for “Melody Branson”

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The universe is a complicated place. Why not utilize every kind of horoscope possible to help untangle the web of mystery that surrounds us?<p>Whether …

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Annie Dillard on the Art of the Essay and the Different Responsibilities of Narrative Nonfiction, Poetry, and Short Stories

<i>“Only a person who is congenitally self-centered has the effrontery and the stamina to write essays,”</i> E.B. White remarked in his reflection on the art of the essay. And yet there must be a reason why the essay is what we turn to when we set out to assess human potential, as in college applications, …

Viktor Frankl on the Art of Presence, the Soul-Stretching Capacity of Suffering, and How to Persevere in Troubled Times

The life-story of Austrian psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor <b>Viktor Frankl</b>, born on March 26, 1905, is one of history’s greatest testaments to the tenacity of the human spirit. In his remarkable 1946 psychological memoir <b>Man’s Search for Meaning</b> (<i>public library</i>), previously discussed at length …

Isaac Asimov on the Thrill of Lifelong Learning, Science vs. Religion, and the Role of Science Fiction in Advancing Society

Isaac Asimov was an extraordinary mind and spirit — the author of more than 400 science and science fiction books and a tireless advocate of space exploration, he also took great joy in the humanities (and once annotated Lord Byron’s epic poem “Don Juan”), championed humanism over religion, and …

The Science of How Memory Works

<i>“Whatever becomes of [old memories], in the long intervals of consciousness?”</i> Henry James wistfully pondered upon turning fifty. <i>“They are like the lines of a letter written in sympathetic ink; hold the letter to the fire for a while and the grateful warmth brings out the invisible words.”</i> James was …

The Science of Smell: How the Most Direct of Our Senses Works

<i>“Get a life in which you notice the smell of salt water pushing itself on a breeze over the dunes,”</i> Anna Quindlen advised in her indispensable <i>Short Guide to a Happy Life</i>. Susan Sontag listed “linen” and “the smell of newly mown grass” among her favorite things. <i>“A man may have lived all of his life</i> …

Mary Oliver on the Mystery of the Human Psyche, the Secret of Great Poetry, and How Rhythm Makes Us Come Alive

<i>“Poetry makes possible the deepest kind of personal possession of the world,”</i> James Dickey wrote. <i>“The way to develop good taste in literature,”</i> Joseph Brodsky advised, <i>“is to read poetry.”</i> Wordsworth believed the poetic form to be <i>“the breath and finer spirit of all knowledge.”</i> For Edward Hirsch, it …

The Art of Practical Wisdom

<i>“It’s insulting to imply that only a system of rewards and punishments can keep you a decent human being,”</i> Isaac Asimov told Bill Moyers in their magnificent 1988 conversation on science and religion. And yet ours is a culture that frequently turns to rigid external rules — be they of religion or …

Why There Was No First Human

We live in a culture where 40% of people don’t believe the world is more than 6,000 years old. And yet how can an intelligent being hold such beliefs when faced with a 13,000-year-old eucalyptus tree or an 80,000-year-old aspen? But even when we embrace science completely, one of the most baffling …

I Can Fly: A Heartening Vintage Gem by Ruth Krauss, with Illustrations by Celebrated Disney Artist Mary Blair

<b>Ruth Krauss</b> (July 25, 1901–July 10, 1993) is one of the most inspired and imaginative children’s storytellers of the twentieth century. Under the great Ursula Nordstrom‘s wing — who had a special gift for nurturing young talent — Krauss went on to write nearly fifty books, including two tender …

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry on How a Simple Human Smile Saved His Life

Though researchers since Darwin may have spent considerable effort on the science of smiles, at the heart of that simple human expression remains a metaphysical art — one captured nowhere more beautifully and grippingly than in a short account by <b>Antoine de Saint-Exupéry</b> (June 29, 1900–July 31, …

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