Recommended Reading: Maria Konnikova on “flow” and first-person shooters.
Middlesex author and Pulitzer Prize winner (and Year in Reading alum) Jeffrey Eugenides has a new story out in this week’s issue of The New Yorker. Titled “Find the Bad Guy,” it may well be the first New Yorker story to show a character playing Words with Friends. Sample quote: “She had her arms around me, and we were rocking, real soft-like, the way Meg did after we gave her that kitten, before it died, I mean, when it was just a warm and cuddly thing instead of like it had hoof and mouth, and went south on us.”
Perhaps inspired by the news, first reported a few years ago, that mad scientists in the Indian army plan to weaponize superhot chilis, Lauren Collins ventures bravely into the world of extreme heat. As a warning to readers who fancy themselves tough, she quotes a doctor who makes clear that these peppers aren’t just hot — they’re lethal.
At Page-Turner, Willing Davidson interviews Karen Russell, the newly minted MacArthur Genius, Swamplandia! author and 20 Under 40 alum. The conclusion this writer came to after reading their back-and-forth? The phrases “luck lightning” and “King Doomsday” need to be used more often. (FYI, we publishedour own interview with Russell back in February.)
Watching the apron circulate through the room as an object of both affection and ridicule, the Colonel realizes that, once things begin, his daughter will become a target. Perhaps she is already a target.
The threat of betrayal is widely felt in the room—there is, for example, a sinister-looking man with bulging eyes behind thick bottle-glass spectacles, sitting silently apart, whom no one seems to know—but no one wishes to reveal his anxieties for fear of revealing his temptations as well, so instead of watching one another the conspirators concentrate on the Colonel’s daughter as she passes among them with the coffee and the biscuits.
One recent study indicates that left-handedness may lead to ‘a boost in a specific kind of creativity—namely, divergent thinking, or the ability to generate new ideas from a single principle quickly and effectively.’
Left-handedness … may contribute to form one of the worst characters among the human species.
John was always impatient on the weekends; he missed the formal structure of the business week. When he was younger he used to stay late after school on Fridays and come in early on Mondays, a pattern his mother referred to with equal parts admiration and disdain as “studying overtime.”
Jesus, I’ve written another loser.