[…] Cuarón signifies totality as the unrestrained human experience, as an individual, as a companion to others, as a being existing in the beautiful, terrifying, infinite universe.
The epiphany keeps Stone hanging on. There’s no need to pray or wait for the deus ex machina. It won’t come. God won’t provide, “Gravity” tells us, but a human can act as their own maker. Faith can be fuel. So can a fire extinguisher. Stone knows how the extinguisher works, how the pressure could get her to the Chinese space station, but only now with raw, human instincts — spiritually “reborn” — can she cross the way. 2001: A Space Odysseycomparisons become apt; Stone isn’t “Star Child,” but she’s the perfected form of humanity after years of degredation. Fresh faced and ready to live.
When Stone crashes on Earth and emerges from the water, Cuarón earns his right to hit us over the head with iconography. This is a snapshot of evolution, humanity in its purest form. It’s where pantheism leaves the door open to ideas of intelligent design and scientific fact living as one intertwined entity. No matter where the origins of life began, humanity arose from the Earth and their will is entirely in their own hands. Human potential has nothing to do with religious theory, and that’s “Gravity’s” proclamation. Attempting to trounce evolution theory with creationism is pointless. What matters is a human standing on two feet ready to connect with the rest of the world and solve “Godly” problems. “Gravity” shows us anything is possible when science and faith meet — a theme as grand as they come.
“You have a great need for other people to like and admire you. You have a tendency to be critical of yourself. You have a great deal of unused capacity which you have not turned to your advantage. While you have some personality weaknesses, you are generally able to compensate for them. Your sexual adjustment has presented problems for you. Disciplined and self-controlled outside, you tend to be worrisome and insecure inside. At times you have serious doubts as to whether you have made the right decision or done the right thing. You prefer a certain amount of change and variety and become dissatisfied when hemmed in by restrictions and limitations. You pride yourself as an independent thinker and do not accept others’ statements without satisfactory proof. You have found it unwise to be too frank in revealing yourself to others. At times you are extroverted, affable, sociable, while at other times you are introverted, wary, reserved. Some of your aspirations tend to be pretty unrealistic. Security is one of your major goals in life.”—
In 1948, psychologistBertram R. Forer gave a personality test to his students. He told his students they were each receiving a unique personality analysis that was based on the test’s results and to rate their analysis on a scale of 0 (very poor) to 5 (excellent) on how well it applied to themselves. In reality, each received the same analysis.
On a cold, rainy December morning, you get your coffee to go from Vivace, Stumptown, or Starbucks, and then watch out the window for your bus. The bus, you know, might be a minute or two late, and youll have to wait a few minutes. You want to keep your coffee as hot as possible during your wait so that its still piping hot when you step out the door. You grab a lid for your cup, pausing at the cream. Should you add the cream to your coffee now, or will that only cool your drink faster? Maybe you should add your cream at the last minute, before you dash out the door.
The basic physics of heat provides the answer: you should go ahead and add the cream to your coffee now. Coffee with cream cools about 20% slower than black coffee, for three reasons:
Richard Linklater has been making Boyhood since 2002. The film isn’t delayed or in trouble or anything like that. Boyhood is designed to chronicle the growth of a boy from age 6 to his last year of high school at 17 or 18. Ellar Salmon plays the boy through the entire film, because Linklater has shot the movie essentially in sequence, creating new scenes each year since ’02 as Salmon grew.
Attitude change is a critical component of health behavior change, but has rarely been studied longitudinally following extensive exposures to persuasive materials such as full-length movies, books, or plays. We examined changes in attitudes related to food production and consumption in college students who had read Michael Pollan’s book The Omnivore’s Dilemma as part of a University-wide reading project. Composite attitudes toward organic foods, local produce, meat, and the quality of the American food supply, as well as opposition to government subsidies, distrust in corporations, and commitment to the environmental movement were significantly and substantially impacted, in comparison to students who had not read the book. Much of the attitude change disappeared after 1 year; however, over the course of 12 months self-reported opposition to government subsidies and belief that the quality of the food supply is declining remained elevated in readers of the book, compared to non-readers. Findings have implications for our understanding of the nature of changes in attitudes to food and eating in response to extensive exposure to coherent and engaging messages targeting health behaviors.
We think we know what will happen; the downtrodden steerage passengers will finally be pushed over the edge and rebel against their oppressors, exactly as we’ve seen in Elysiumand In Timeand countless other sci-fi movies. It’s all a bit predictable.
Except that this time, it’s not. This is Elysium plus Speed plus The Wizard of Oz plusBluebeard’s Castleplus pure Bong. What in most Hollywood films would be the climax of the movie starts playing out at around the half-hour mark; the rest of the film turns into an epic journey to the front of the very, very long train, the larger quest made up of a series of unexpected obstacles, odd encounters and astonishing tableaux. That the allegory is obvious - the train is a microcosm of capitalist society - doesn’t diminish the forward thrust of the story, adapted from the French bande dessinée (graphic novel) Le Transperceneige by Jacques Lob and Jean-Marc Rochette. […]
Desde que me formei, sempre me dediquei a uma área do conhecimento médico que se chama medicina paliativa. Isso quer dizer que dou assistência para as pessoas que não têm possibilidade de cura ou tratamento que prolongue as suas vidas. É câncer, demência, doença cardíaca e pulmonar na fase final. Quando a pessoa chega nesse ponto, olhamos para o seu sofrimento. Eu trato todas as dimensões dele, não só a biológica: o sofrimento físico (dor, falta de ar, fadiga, alterações gastrointestinais) e os sintomas emocionais relacionados ao fim da vida (depressão tristeza, culpa, sensação de abandono, tudo que aparece quando você se despede da vida). Você também tem de cuidar da família da pessoa, porque ninguém fica doente sozinho – mesmo depois que morre, você continua existindo na família. E tem também a dimensão espiritual, que é o grande mistério do ser humano. A gente dá condições para que essa dimensão se manifeste. Nesse momento da vida, ela costuma ser a mais expressiva – e não é necessariamente a religião. É a hora que a pessoa pensa no sentido da vida. Ninguém para para pensar no sentido da vida quando ganha na loteria, ou quando está namorando o cara mais lindo do mundo. Você não diz: “ah, agora que está dando tudo certo, qual é o sentido da vida?” A gente só pensa nisso quando o tapete sai do seu pé. É isso que eu faço.
Me lembro de um paciente, um homem que era ateu. A gente teve essa conversa sobre arrependimentos durante um pôr-do-sol. Eu perguntei a ele: “Você se arrepende de alguma coisa? Você faria alguma coisa diferente?” E ele disse que não. Disse: “Se eu tivesse escolhido outros caminhos, teria encontrado outros abismos, outras curvas. As decisões que eu tomei foram as melhores que podia tomar naquele momento. Eu fiz o melhor que pude. Então eu estou em paz.” E ele nunca fez terapia! Ele já nasceu pronto! Ele era ateu, então sua dimensão espiritual era em relação com a natureza e o universo. A pessoa pode ser relacionar consigo mesmo, com os próximos, com o universo ou com Deus. Cada um trabalha em uma dessas dimensões. Esse paciente se relacionava com o universo. Então ele falava para mim: “Ana Paula, olha o sol. O sol está morrendo. Por que eu tenho que viver para sempre, se tudo no universo nasce, tem seu desenvolvimento e morre?” E esse homem morreu no pôr-do-sol, exatamente.
The NFL’s popularity is all the more remarkable when you inspect the fare it has to offer each week on television. An average professional football game lasts 3 hours and 12 minutes, but if you tally up the time when the ball is actually in play, the action amounts to a mere 11 minutes. […]
An average play in the NFL lasts just four seconds.
Of course, watching football on TV is hardly just about the game; there are plenty of advertisements to show people, too. The average NFL game includes 20 commercial breaks containing more than 100 ads. The Journal’s analysis found that commercials took up about an hour, or one-third, of the game.
There’s a short story by Tom Godwin, famous in science fiction circles, called “The Cold Equations.” It’s about the pilot of a spaceship carrying medicine to a remote planet. The ship has just enough fuel to arrive at that particular destination, where its cargo will save six lives. En route, the pilot discovers a stowaway, an adolescent girl, and knowing that her additional weight will make completing the trip impossible, the agonized man informs her that she will have to go out the airlock. There is no alternative solution.
This story was described to me by a science fiction writer long before I read it, and since it contains lines like “she was of Earth and had not realized that the laws of the space frontier must, of necessity, be as hard and relentless as the environment that gave them birth,” I can’t honestly call it a must. The writer was complaining about some of his colleagues and their notions of their genre’s strengths and weaknesses. “They always point to that story as an example of how science fiction forces people to ask themselves the sort of hard questions that mainstream fiction glosses over,” he said. “That’s what that story is supposed to be about, who would you save, tough moral choices.” He paused, and sighed. “But at a certain point I realized that’s not really what that story is about. It’s really about concocting a scenario where you get a free pass to toss a girl out an airlock.” […]
[…] Before I started working in hospitality, I worked in the tech industry, making fancy software for television set-top boxes. I was part of a skilled team in a challenging field, and we were expected to do our best work. Our compensation system followed two basic patterns. First, we negotiated our pay rarely, typically only at the beginning of a project (for freelancers) or once or twice a year (for salaried workers). We weren’t interrupted every hour or so with a trickle of payment that was supposedly based on how well were perceived to have done a recent task. Second, we were compensated by, and we negotiated with, the organization that employed us, not the consumers who benefited from our work. We didn’t have to call up the end customers of our products and ask them to pay us for our work. (“Hi, Mr. Jones, I hope you’ve enjoyed using the auto-record feature on your cable box. You know, it took me like three weeks to write that code and I was wondering if I could get some payment for that.”)
These two principles probably apply at your work, too, if you work somewhere other than a restaurant and with your clothes on. They’re a well-established way of compensating people, in part because if you don’t have to always think about money, you can focus on doing your job well. Software engineers, marriage counselors, bridge builders, you name the profession—in almost every industry, it’s expected you’ll be able to do your best work if you’re not constantly distracted by compensation issues. Why don’t we want that for restaurant servers?
I can hear your objection now: How could servers be motivated to do a good job without tips?
This is a common question, but it is also a silly question. Servers are motivated to do a good job in the same ways that everyone else is. Servers want to keep their jobs; servers want to get a raise; servers want to be successful and see themselves as professionals and take pride in their work. In any workplace, everyone is required to perform well, and tips have nothing to do with it. The next time you see your doctor, ask her if she wouldn’t do better-quality work if she made minimum wage, with the rest of her income from her patients’ tips. I suspect the answer will be a version of “no.”
Despite—or maybe because of—all the documented damage caused by tip culture, plenty of people are deeply, emotionally invested in keeping tipping propped up. When we abolished tipping at the Linkery, we met a few of these people. We would periodically hear guests express anger about not being able to choose the amount of their tip. Their refrain was, It’s not about money … I always tip more than 20 percent. These people were angry even though they had spent less than they otherwise would have, because they had been robbed of their perceived power over their server.
We also had guests—including, most memorably, a local food writer—who’d ask us, If you have a fixed charge, how are we supposed to punish our server for mistakes? In the case of the food writer, she opted to publish an article dressing down her server, using his real name, in the local alt-weekly. I’d suggest talking to or emailing a manager if you have service problems with any business.
[…] For it must be understood that this is a children’s book only in the sense that the first of many readings can be undertaken in the nursery. Alice is read gravely by children and with laughter by grown ups; The Hobbit, on the other hand, will be funnier to its youngest readers, and only years later, at a tenth or a twentieth reading, will they begin to realise what deft scholarship and profound reflection have gone to make everything in it so ripe, so friendly, and in its own way so true. Prediction is dangerous: but The Hobbit may well prove a classic.
Review published in the Times Literary Supplement (2 October 1937), 714.
It is hard to avoid writers in Reykjavik. There is a phrase in Icelandic, “ad ganga med bok I maganum”, everyone gives birth to a book. Literally, everyone “has a book in their stomach”. One in 10 Icelanders will publish one.
"Does it get rather competitive?" I ask the young novelist, Kristin Eirikskdottir. "Yes. Especially as I live with my mother and partner, who are also full-time writers. But we try to publish in alternate years so we do not compete too much."