100 Of The Greatest Opening Sentences In The History Of Literature →
#i like words
#10 We started dying before the snow, and like the snow, we continued to fall.
#16 I had the story, bit by bit, from various people, and, as generally happens in such cases, each time it was a different story.
The full list is well worth a read, with such extra gems as:
#78 The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.
#92 He was born with a gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad.
"It is, after all, the dab of grit that seeps into an oyster’s shell that makes the pearl, not pearl-making seminars with other oysters."
#Because Mr King Said So
King S (2001), On Writing, Hodder, p. 278.
Stephen King’s advice to writers may also make sense to those in other industries who just want to get on with the job.
Where does the water go?
In survival situations, you need to find enough water to keep you hydrated, and you may need to use multiple techniques to get to that water. I think most people agree on that tip. But here’s one that I’m not sure about, most recently read in this Australian Geographic article:
With all water consumption the advice is never sip. ”Drink a cupful at a time,” says Bob. “If you sip water, the first mouthful goes to your digestion, the second to your liver and kidneys and none gets to your brain.”
I’ve read similar advice before, but I believe it was another outdoor magazine article quoting the same survival expert. I really don’t know anything about the science behind this, so I’m seeking your input—does anyone know if this is fact or mere speculation?
Crows are clever →
I went to the University of Queensland. Like most students at some point during their ‘studies’, I used to hang out in the Great Court and frequent the cafés. It was during one visit to the Cloisters Café with a fellow physicist that I felt a need to defend the beauty and intelligence of crows. I said they were misunderstood. Ben argued that crows were stupid and kaka.
Suddenly, a ball of paper dropped from the sky and landed on the table. I looked up. Ben leaned forward to look at the paper. And just as his head was over the paper, a big dollop of crow-kaka fell from the sky and slapped the back of his head.
As it turned out, this crow was smarter than the both of us. And now, science is showing us that it wasn’t a special case!
Audience checklist →
I first subscribed to Richard Nordquist’s About.com Grammar and Composition newsletter because it was relevant to my studies; I stay for his sound advice and quirky anecdotes. Here’s the most detailed audience checklist I’ve ever read, applicable to speeches and reports alike.
I always find it funny…
… when I post a positive critique or a compliment on someone’s creative writing blog post, and they thank me.
They’re just being polite, of course, in accepting my compliment or appreciating my critique.
But, really, I should be thanking them, for sharing their efforts with the world… for free.
"Science-fiction films suggest that man’s advance towards the future is at the expense of language, that language is part of the baggage that we, in part reluctantly, relinquish. The genre’s characters are not so much human as “humanoid.” Future man, in contrast to present man, seems to be approaching a different identity, or is merely drifting, as in a pattern of evolution, towards a gradual atrophying of emotion, social behavior, psychology, speech. Humans are reconstituted, perhaps, as duplicable beings who, in the course of a film, struggle backwards towards passion, sentiment, felt speech."
Shadoian, J 1981, ‘Writing for the Screen: Some thoughts on dialogue’, Literature Film Quarterly, vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 85–91, Literary Reference Centre, EBSCOhost, viewed 4 May 2012.
#how did he know?
#back to the future
Fuel wars… again
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is investigating whether major fuel retailers are colluding to drive out competition. You can read all about it here.
Apparently, this investigation is great, as it may lead to opening up the information to the public. That means consumers will be able to see where the cheap fuel is without touring the suburbs to figure it out. What a great way to save a dollar!
How’s this for an alternative way to save a dollar? Drive less.
As an added bonus, the opportunity to do more physical activity may help people lose weight, which will mean they burn less fuel when they do drive.
Think I’m joking? Reuters reported on Monday that in the US
Cars are burning nearly a billion gallons of gasoline more a year than if passengers weighed what they did in 1960.
The article goes on to explain that
Some costs of obesity reflect basic physics. It requires twice as much energy to move 250 pounds than 125 pounds. As a result, a vehicle burns more gasoline carrying heavier passengers than lighter ones.
"Growing obesity rates increase fuel consumption," said engineer Sheldon Jacobson of the University of Illinois. How much? An additional 938 million gallons of gasoline each year due to overweight and obesity in the United States, or 0.8 percent, he calculated. That’s $4 billion extra.
Of course, these statistics don’t necessarily translate readily to Australia. But I’m left with the impression that driving less might be the best way to save money at the bowser.
In case you’re wondering, I own a 50cc scooter, and it costs me about $1 to travel 100 km on it. The ‘family car’ only comes out when it’s got two or more people in it.