What is your creative process?
Karen Abbott: A lot of procrastinating. No. But no, when I was writing this book I listened to Ragtime every morning. I can’t listen to music when I write. I need silence, but I liked to use it as a primer and get myself back in the time period. Particularly with Ragtime, it’s such a distinctive time that immediately it transports you back into, you know, a century earlier. So that was really helpful to me. And I try to . . . I have to unplug the Internet a lot, or else I start surfing like the superficial at Gawker and all these gossip web sites. So I’ll unplug that. And I need to, you know, set daily goals pretty much because the writing group is . . . We check in with each other at night. And if we don’t reach a certain word goal we’re not allowed to sort of . . . At night we have like a wine toast. And if we don’t reach our word goal, we’re excluded from that wine toast and you get ignored for that night. So it’s sort of an incentive. You get to hang out at night only if you get . . . you achieve your word count for the day, so . . .
Recorded On: 1/22/08
Abbott listens to music to get on the right frequency.
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Air pollution up to five times over the EU limit in Central London hotspots
- Dirty air is an invisible killer, but an effective one.
- This map visualises the worst places to breathe in Central London.
The Great Smog of 1952
Invisible, but still deadly
Image: MONEY SHARMA/AFP/Getty Images
London Mayor Sadiq Khan
Image: Transport for London
ULEZ phases 1 and 2, and LEZ
- Mr Khan has pledged to spend £800 million on air quality over a five-year period.
- Uber fares will rise by 15p (20¢) to help drivers buy electric cars.
- By October 2021, the ULEZ will expand to cover a greater part of Central London.
Central London's worst places for breathing
Heathrow (bottom left on the overview map) is another pollution hotspot
Image: Mike Malone, CC BY SA 4.0
Traffic congestion on London's Great Portland Street
As bad as Delhi, worse than New York
Image: Sanchit Khanna/Hindustan Times via Getty Images
By some measures, London's air quality is almost as bad as New Delhi's.
Google joins fight against air pollution
Image: laszlo-photo, CC BY SA 2.0
Elephant & Castle, London.
Meanwhile, Spaniards are the least likely to say their culture is superior to others.
- Survey by Pew Research Center shows great variation in chauvinism across Europe.
- Eight most chauvinist countries are in the east, and include Russia.
It works better than other memorization techniques.
- Drawing something that you want to remember is more effective than using other memory techniques
- For older people with dementia or Alzheimer's, drawing stores memories in still-intact regions of the brain
- Even if you're terrible at drawing, it's the neurological underpinnings that make it worth a try
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