PLAYBOY: In some of your books - especially The Sirens of Titan and Slaughterhouse-Five - there's a serious notion that all moments in time exist simultaneously, which implies that the future can't be changed by an act of will in the present. How does a desire to improve things fit with that?
VONNEGUT: You understand, of course, that everything I say is horseshit.
PLAYBOY: Of course.
--Jackie Calmes, Obama Takes on Critics of Education Plan“It’s an economic issue when the unemployment rate for folks who’ve never gone to college is almost double what it is for those who have,” Mr. Obama said, according to prepared remarks. “It’s an economic issue when eight in 10 new jobs will require workforce training or a higher education by the end of this decade. It’s an economic issue when we know countries that outeducate us today will outcompete us tomorrow.”
Check it out: 3,400 students dropped out of high school last year in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school district, and the graduation rate at West Charlotte High School is 51%.
--Bill Murray is Ready to See You NowDan Fierman: Last question. I have to know, because I love this story and want it to be true. There have been stories about you sneaking up behind people in New York City, covering their eyes with your hands, and saying: Guess who. And when they turn around, they see Bill Murray and hear the words "No one will ever believe you."
Bill Murray: [long pause] I know. I know, I know, I know. I've heard about that from a lot of people. A lot of people. I don't know what to say. There's probably a really appropriate thing to say. Something exactly and just perfectly right. [long beat, and then he breaks into a huge grin] But by God, it sounds crazy, doesn't it? Just so crazy and unlikely and unusual?
On a related note.
--Jonah Lehrer, Stress...Mothers caring for chronically ill report much higher levels of stress. That's not surprising. What is surprising is that these women also have dramatically shortened telomeres, those caps on the end of chromosomes that keep our DNA from disintegrating. (Women with the highest levels of stress had telomere shortening equal "to at least one decade of additional aging.") When our telomeres run out, our cells stop dividing; we've run out of life. Stress makes us run out of life faster.
--Justin Erik Halldor Smith, Progress ReportHow many more summers will there be like this one? --Twenty? Thirty?-- Summers of cranking shit out and taking shit in, always feeling like I'm not really doing that thing that, were I to do it, I could stop and say: There. I've done it.
I feel like Brian at the end of Hatchet, when, after spending days and days in the Canadian wilderness, he ends up in a grocery store, marveling at the variety of food available to him. Coffee shops! Sushi! 3G! I can be outdoors after dark and not worry about being eaten alive by skeeters. I can eat food that hasn't been fried to oblivion. I can get my phone fixed without driving two hours to the nearest city.
Yes I miss some people but right now I'm reveling in Martin's quiet company.