Salinger: An Introduction

What we have of Jerome Salinger’s writings can at best be a mere introduction to his deeply felt literary world. It’s practically criminal that all the quiet readers out there, the monks and brothers and sisters, in a phrase, the holy children of make-believe, were so quickly uninvited to attend any more Glass family functions.

Dear old Tyger that Sleeps:

One typically musical morning, I caught an interview with Philip Roth on NPR.  The old goat was efficient as ever with his words, saying he didn’t believe in God because he didn’t like being lied to. Now I’m not sure who was lying to him about God but I’ve come to agree with what my cousin told me that day who had also listened to the interview “by chance”. She said that Mr. Roth should try keeping better company—fewer liars, I think she meant—and that this dose of wholesome truth could only stand to improve his writing. Now I don’t take that for a cutting remark about Roth’s skill, or better put, taste, for writing, or better put still, his taste for reading, but that’s because I had the great luck of being born my cousin’s cousin. Who wants to read a novel about illness? she said. It would be impossible for me to agree with her spirit any more than I already do. She’d think it pretty laughable of me sitting here trying to say something the way a dead man used to say it, which is besides the fact that he’s already said it. Still, beautifully meditative up there in New Hampshire you can’t help but wish he’d have said something, but then again, he did. It’s all there, from Esmé to Boo Boo. But he didn’t say it loudly and, loudness being all the rage, America turned its watery eyes toward another great literary hope who turns out to be rather hopeless and even proud of it.

Seymour once said that all we do our whole lives is go from one little piece of Holy Ground to the next. Is he never wrong?

             --Jerome Salinger (is probably laughing while he turns with the stars)

China’s artificial sun reaches fusion temperature: 100 million degrees

In a breakthrough for nuclear fusion research, scientists at China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor have produced temperatures necessary for nuclear fusion on Earth.

Credit: EAST Team
Surprising Science
  • The EAST reactor was able to heat hydrogen to temperatures exceeding 100 million degrees Celsius.
  • Nuclear fusion could someday provide the planet with a virtually limitless supply of clean energy.
  • Still, scientists have many other obstacles to pass before fusion technology becomes a viable energy source.
Keep reading Show less

Project 100,000: The Vietnam War's cruel and deadly experiment

Military recruits are supposed to be assessed to see whether they're fit for service. What happens when they're not?

Flickr user Tommy Truong79
Politics & Current Affairs
  • During the Vietnam War, Robert McNamara began a program called Project 100,000.
  • The program brought over 300,000 men to Vietnam who failed to meet minimum criteria for military service, both physically and mentally.
  • Project 100,000 recruits were killed in disproportionate numbers and fared worse after their military service than their civilian peers, making the program one of the biggest—and possibly cruelest—mistakes of the Vietnam War.
Keep reading Show less

Here's how diverse the 116th Congress is set to become

The 116th Congress is set to break records in term of diversity among its lawmakers, though those changes are coming almost entirely from Democrats.

(Photo: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Women and nonwhite candidates made record gains in the 2018 midterms.
  • In total, almost half of the newly elected Congressional representatives are not white men.
  • Those changes come almost entirely from Democrats; Republican members-elect are all white men except for one woman.
Keep reading Show less