The invention of the wheel was so challenging that it probably happened only once, in one place. However, from that place, it seems to have spread so rapidly across Eurasia and the Middle East that experts cannot say for sure where it originated. The earliest images of wheeled carts have been excavated in Poland and elsewhere in the Eurasian steppes, and this region is overtaking Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq) as the wheel’s most likely birthplace. According to Asko Parpola, an Indologist at the University of Helsinki in Finland, there are linguistic reasons to believe the wheel originated with the Tripolye people of modern-day Ukraine. That is, the words associated with wheels and wagons derive from the language of that culture.
“Look, I don’t think Google’s making us stupid. I don’t think Twitter’s the apocalypse. I don’t think Facebook’s ruining human friendship. That said, in my own life I try to make time away from my phone. When I go for a hike, I don’t want to be checking the screen every five minutes. I think especially the literature on day-dreaming and creativity is very persuasive to me. People who day-dream more score much higher on tests of creativity. We know day-dreaming is a very, very valuable mental state. So if you’re always interrupting your day-dreaming, because as soon as you get bored you check your email again, that’s probably not useful. That’s probably not a good thing.”—Jonah Lehrer, author of Imagine: How Creativity Works (via poptech)
“I’ll bet this, though: in a hundred years, people will be writing a lot more dissertations on Harry Potter than on John Updike. Look, Charles Dickens wrote popular fiction. Shakespeare wrote popular fiction—until he wrote his sonnets, desperate to show the literati of his day that he was real artist. Edgar Allan Poe tied himself in knots because no one realized he was a genius. The core of the problem is how we want to define “literature”. The Latin root simply means “letters”. Those letters are either delivered—they connect with an audience—or they don’t. For some, that audience is a few thousand college professors and some critics. For others, its twenty million women desperate for romance in their lives. Those connections happen because the books successfully communicate something real about the human experience. Sure, there are trashy books that do really well, but that’s because there are trashy facets of humanity. What people value in their books—and thus what they count as literature—really tells you more about them than it does about the book.”—Brent Weeks (via martinaboone)
I have collected so many articles on the Hunger Games about race, disability, and female portrayal. I am going to compile them all here. I know there are some missing, because unlike good librarians, I didn’t make a book mark folder (good going cait!).