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Rebecca Miller on Identity
Rebecca Miller is an American author, film director, screenwriter and actress, most known for her films Personal Velocity: Three Portraits (winner of the Independent Spirit John Cassavetes Award), The Ballad of Jack and Rose and Angela, all of which she wrote and directed. She is the daughter of playwright Arthur Miller and Austrian photographer Inge Morath. She studied art at Yale University and initially pursued an acting career, landing parts in the TV-movie The Murder of Mary Phagan (starring Jack Lemmon, Kevin Spacey, and William H. Macy; 1988) and the feature films Regarding Henry (starring Harrison Ford and Annette Bening; 1991), and Consenting Adults (opposite Kevin Kline and Kevin Spacey; 1992). Miller is married to actor Daniel Day-Lewis and and has two sons, Ronan and Cashel.
Question: How do you identify yourself?
Rebecca Miller: Well, you know, I think it’s a very interesting question. I don’t really know the answer to how you construct yourself. I think… I remember when I was a little girl, I was about 7 or 8 and I had realized that I had not been myself in my own head for so long that I didn’t remember what my own voice sounded like in my head ‘cause I was always playing in my head. So then I thought, “Where’s my voice?” And I had to actually invent my own voice. I had to make it up because I didn’t have a thinking voice. You realized that you just take for granted that you have a thinking voice, you think I’m going to, you know, I’m going to go get a cup of coffee, I’d really love to do this. And, like, what happens if that’s for some reason missing. And that, with my case, was true. I didn’t have a voice for a while there. And I had to, I remember for quite a long time, I remember a kind of panic coming over me and then saying, okay, I have to make this person up and maybe that’s who I… maybe that’s me, I don’t know, I don’t know.
Question: Has it shifted from when you were a child?
Rebecca Miller: Of course. Yes, I’m sure it has. I’m sure it has shifted, with experience, absolutely. And, you know, there’s no, I don’t know if there’s any way of cataloging or kind of recording your inner voice, you know, so that you can think how did I think when I was 21. But partly with the book is about is how, in a way, the book is kind of constructed on an architecture of twin betrayals, that’s the architecture of the book. And in a way, a woman of 50 is looking back at her young 20 self and seeing a woman who betrayed somebody and actually caused them something terrible to happen through a betrayal, a betrayal of love. And then that same, you know, that same woman is then the same thing happens to her. She is betrayed. So it’s like looking... But she’s looking like across the void at her younger self who has a completely different way of thinking morally, certainly, but also just her attitude toward the world. And yet, there’s an essence, a sort of essence of Pippa that I think is consistent and I do think that we have some essence. I do think there’s an essence, whatever that is, whether that’s a fundamental character trait, I don’t know, you know, if you could say that, you know, if you want to call it a soul or a, you know, some sort of essential self that remains, you know, static or not static but remains, I think, in a person.
Question: Can anyone get an objective view of their own memory?
Rebecca Miller: No. I don’t think so. I absolutely don’t think you can be objective with memory. I think memory is a creative act in a way and very unreliable and… I mean, I think that, you know, memory is very influenced by our unconscious as is, you know, daily waking life, you know. I think that we are dreaming in, you know, part of our mind is kind of playing another movie behind, you know, our eyes as we’re watching. So that’s what makes it so complicated just to walk around because, you know, you have all these different realities shifting through yourself all the time. And you’re trying to believe that you’re just walking down the hall, you know, and get [to town]. [Laughs] Maybe that’s just me.
Question: How do you define what an artist is?
Rebecca Miller: It’s an interesting question. ‘Cause last night I went to see “The Seagull” which is play that’s all about, I think, art as a disease. I mean, being an artist is being, having a disease. And that’s why there’s a doctor on set ‘cause they really need one. And, you know, and it’s about how it’s infectious and it ruins people. And it’s really interesting ‘cause I felt this for a long time that it’s like a virus that people get and then they never recover.
Question: Do you consider yourself an artist?
Rebecca Miller: Sadly, I really do. I mean, that was all I was ever good for was making things that apart for myself and, you know, again, it’s one of the reasons I, you know, love Pippa so much is that she doesn’t have that compulsion. She is… She doesn’t have the compulsion to make something outside of herself. She is what she… She is completely… She is her own art in a sense but she doesn’t need to make art and that I envy her that, and in a way, and I think that’s one of the most interesting things about her to me.
Recorded on: 10/16/2008
Rebecca Miller talks about how we define ourselves, how she came to be an artist and how her own identity has shifted over time.
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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.
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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.