Paul Simon, Love, Time, Motherhood, Spectacles

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Paul Simon Versus The World

Steven Hyden | Ringer | 10th May 2018

A worthy appreciation of Paul Simon’s genius. “If an algorithm were tasked with writing the greatest song of all time, it would probably produce something along the lines of Bridge Over Troubled Water”. Simon’s career spans 60 years from the dawn of rock and roll to the triumph of Spotify; he has been a major figure in popular music throughout. He appropriated other traditions, as with Graceland, but he always gave back, he never just took, reasoning that his art would outlast the arguments. (6,400 words)

Loving Flawed Family Members

Richard Russo | Literary Hub | 10th May 2018

If a parent or grandparent is racist, should you love them any the less? The argument made here, powerfully if not quite persuasively, is that you should forgive the fault; you cannot expect perfection in those that you love. “It’s okay to love flawed people with your whole heart and soul, because if you don’t, you’ll end up with a low opinion of yourself. Inherent in being an American is cherishing ideals that are impossible to live up to, that invite failure and self-loathing when we don’t” (1,930 words)

Carlo Rovelli On Time

Caspar Henderson | Five Books | 11th May 2018

Physicist discusses theories of time. “Entropy indicates an amount of disorder. Things naturally tend to get out of order for the simple reason that there are many ways of being in disorder and only few of being in order. If you shake a box full of numbered balls you do not expect then to find them in the right order given by their numbers. The big surprise of the physics of time direction is that this disordering appears to be the single and only source of the difference between past and future” (1,800 words)

What To Do With A Screaming Baby

Mary Beard | TLS | 9th May 2018

Overview of books about motherhood since antiquity. “There is something of the cookery book phenomenon. You might have an Ottolenghi on your shelf, but that doesn’t mean that you acquire all those herbs and spices and cut them up in exactly the way he lays down. You find the recipes work just fine without all his intricacies, and that gives you a certain independence. In guides to motherhood too, the more extreme the instructions are, the more likely they are to be ignored” (1,200 words)

Big Lens

Sam Knight | Guardian | 10th May 2018

All about eyeglasses. Two European companies dominate the industry worldwide: Essilor for lenses, Luxottica for frames. Now they are merging. Around 1.4 billion people rely on their products, a market that likely to boom as changing lifestyles make myopia almost universal. “In Seoul, 95% of 19-year-old men are myopic, many severely, and at risk of blindness later in life”. Around 2.5 billion people need glasses but cannot afford them. The trade calls them “The Uncorrected” (8,600 words)

Video of the day Destino

What to expect:

When Salvador Dali worked with Walt Disney. A brief collaboration in 1945, revived and restored here (6’31”)

Thought for the day

I hate writing, I love having written
Dorothy Parker

Podcast How To Be A Hero | Radiolab

Robert Krulwich and guests discuss why ordinary people take extraordinary risks to save others
(30m 24s)

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