Reinventing the Short Story

Can an iTunes-style makeover bring the short story to new audiences? Ian Burrell of The Independent meets the authors and innovators who are selling small tales.

The short story, the vehicle that revolutionised magazines at the start of the 20th century, could emerge as the format that radicalises the way that the written word is consumed in the increasingly digital environment we live in 100 years later. In doing so, it could help to save publishing. A series of new British online initiatives is hoping to do for authors what Steve Jobs and iTunes did for the music industry and establish a culture of making micro-payments for small pieces of content: the short story becomes the single-track download, with prices starting at 99p ($1.50).

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Politics & Current Affairs
  • The tongue-in-cheek petition, whose stated aim is to reduce the national debt, has been signed more than 8,600 times as of Tuesday.
  • Selling Montana, the fourth largest state in the country, would constitute the largest land deal since the Louisiana Purchase.
  • The national debt is often a source of concern for individuals, but the chances of the U.S. defaulting on its debts are relatively low — in part because the bulk of the national debt is owned by the American public.
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Study: Memories of music cannot be lost to Alzheimer's and dementia

The part of your brain responsible for ASMR catalogs music, and appears to be a stronghold against Alzheimer's and dementia.

The parts of the brain highlighted in red and yellow are thought to control your sense of attention and memory. (image c/o Brain Network Lab)
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Some music inspires you to move your feet, some inspires you to get out there and change the world. In any case, and to move hurriedly on to the point of this article, it's fair to say that music moves people in special ways. 

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What makes someone gay? Science is trying to get it straight.

Evolutionarily speaking, being gay is still something of an enigma

Videos
  • Heterosexual people have been less interesting to scientists than gay people, in terms of where they come from, because, evolutionarily speaking, being gay doesn't lead to a higher "higher reproductive fitness" — meaning, it doesn't lead to more babies.
  • Across cultures, gay boys tend to be more interested in spending time with their mothers.
  • We still don't really know why gay people are attracted to each other.