from the world's big
Forbes and The Big Issue
Rodes Fishburne is an American writer with experience as a journalist, playwright, and novelist. His 2008 novel Going to See the Elephant explores the creative and financial difficulties of writing and employs a euphemism for “going out west,” replete with all the exoticism that comes with it. His 2004 one-act play Waiting for Henry to Snow revolved around the theme of honor, while 2002’s Note to Self dealt with theft and plagiarism. He has written for The New Yorker and The New York Times. Born in Virginia, Fishburne graduated from Emory and Henry College and attended St. Peter’s College, Oxford.
Rodes Fishburne: I was lucky to be hired as an editor at a magazine called Forbes ASAP, which is a technology magazine at Forbes, and I got a front row seat of the internet bubble because I was there in the late 1990s, early 2000s, one of the things The Big Issue did was once a year they put together a special issued called The Big Issue, very modest, and we would ask the finest writers and thinkers in the world to write an essay for us about a single theme.
Sometimes the theme was time and how time is changing; sometimes the theme was convergence and how these different worlds, science and religion, business and art, night and day, are all converging in this modern world we live in. One year the theme was the pursuit of happiness, and The Big Issue was my project, and I was the editor of that, and so I had the good opportunity to work with some wonderful writers, people like Gore Vidal and Kurt Vonnegut, the Dahli Lama, John Updike, add Bill Gates, and it was an extraordinary experience and I felt like this Big Issue was a way of giving people something more substantive to think about because it took us a long time to put it together, it took about six to eight months.
And what we ended up with was a 250-page magazine that was full of really substantial interesting essays by a range of people that you would have never expected to see together, and the response was overwhelming. We were one of the most read magazines playing in that space and I was just so delighted and honored to be part of it.
Question: What was your editing process?
Rodes Fishburne: Well, there would be a fair amount of talking and vetting when you were talking to them about this, so if I was talking to somebody and I said, I remember going to Kurt Vonnegut and saying we are doing this special issue on convergence and we would love for you to do a piece on the convergence of East and West Germany, which was a nice sweet spot for him and he instantly got it and had a sense of what he wanted to do with it, and so you had sort of these preliminary discussions, but sometimes you would take it to a very well known writer and they would not deliver, it wasn’t quite what you were hoping for, and the funny thing was when you went back to them and said, I’m sorry, Mr. Big Shot, but this is not quite what we were looking for, they always knew that, they always knew it did not quite work.
And I remember a couple of times doing that and them then getting very competitive with themselves and sitting down and doing something, again, that was much stronger than their first thing. So it was about drawing a line and getting these people to sort of come to the table.
But in our culture of side bars and sound bites and very short little pieces, almost to a man and woman, everybody who worked and wrote for The Big Issue was so excited to even be involved because there really is not anything, or has not been anything like it, a place where you can do a sustained piece of writing on a single topic, and it was not like they were fielding ten offers to do things like this, so there was a natural enthusiasm to participate that really went a long way to getting the best work out of them.
Recorded on: June 3, 2008.
Rodes Fishburne describes the conception and process of compiling essays from the world's greatest minds.
Sallie Krawcheck and Bob Kulhan will be talking money, jobs, and how the pandemic will disproportionally affect women's finances.
Health officials in China reported that a man was infected with bubonic plague, the infectious disease that caused the Black Death.
- The case was reported in the city of Bayannur, which has issued a level-three plague prevention warning.
- Modern antibiotics can effectively treat bubonic plague, which spreads mainly by fleas.
- Chinese health officials are also monitoring a newly discovered type of swine flu that has the potential to develop into a pandemic virus.
Bacteria under microscope
needpix.com<p>Today, bubonic plague can be treated effectively with antibiotics.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Unlike in the 14th century, we now have an understanding of how this disease is transmitted," Dr. Shanthi Kappagoda, an infectious disease physician at Stanford Health Care, told <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health-news/seriously-dont-worry-about-the-plague#Heres-how-the-plague-spreads" target="_blank">Healthline</a>. "We know how to prevent it — avoid handling sick or dead animals in areas where there is transmission. We are also able to treat patients who are infected with effective antibiotics, and can give antibiotics to people who may have been exposed to the bacteria [and] prevent them [from] getting sick."</p>
This plague patient is displaying a swollen, ruptured inguinal lymph node, or buboe.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention<p>Still, hundreds of people develop bubonic plague every year. In the U.S., a handful of cases occur annually, particularly in New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado, <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/plague/faq/index.html" target="_blank">where habitats allow the bacteria to spread more easily among wild rodent populations</a>. But these cases are very rare, mainly because you need to be in close contact with rodents in order to get infected. And though plague can spread from human to human, this <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health-news/seriously-dont-worry-about-the-plague#Heres-how-the-plague-spreads" target="_blank">only occurs with pneumonic plague</a>, and transmission is also rare.</p>
A new swine flu in China<p>Last week, researchers in China also reported another public health concern: a new virus that has "all the essential hallmarks" of a pandemic virus.<br></p><p>In a paper published in the <a href="https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2020/06/23/1921186117" target="_blank">Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences</a>, researchers say the virus was discovered in pigs in China, and it descended from the H1N1 virus, commonly called "swine flu." That virus was able to transmit from human to human, and it killed an estimated 151,700 to 575,400 people worldwide from 2009 to 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.</p>There's no evidence showing that the new virus can spread from person to person. But the researchers did find that 10 percent of swine workers had been infected by the virus, called G4 reassortant EA H1N1. This level of infectivity raises concerns, because it "greatly enhances the opportunity for virus adaptation in humans and raises concerns for the possible generation of pandemic viruses," the researchers wrote.
The word "learning" opens up space for more people, places, and ideas.
- The terms 'education' and 'learning' are often used interchangeably, but there is a cultural connotation to the former that can be limiting. Education naturally links to schooling, which is only one form of learning.
- Gregg Behr, founder and co-chair of Remake Learning, believes that this small word shift opens up the possibilities in terms of how and where learning can happen. It also becomes a more inclusive practice, welcoming in a larger, more diverse group of thinkers.
- Post-COVID, the way we think about what learning looks like will inevitably change, so it's crucial to adjust and begin building the necessary support systems today.
Scientists uncovered the secrets of what drove some of the world's last remaining woolly mammoths to extinction.
Every summer, children on the Alaskan island of St Paul cool down in Lake Hill, a crater lake in an extinct volcano – unaware of the mysteries that lie beneath.
The coronavirus pandemic has brought out the perception of selfishness among many.
- Selfish behavior has been analyzed by philosophers and psychologists for centuries.
- New research shows people may be wired for altruistic behavior and get more benefits from it.
- Times of crisis tend to increase self-centered acts.