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Friday 19 September 2014

How Stephen King teaches writing

There is a wonderful interview in the Atlantic with Stephen King about the art and craft of teaching writing. Given that his memoir/how-to book, On Writing, is one of the most oft-cited writing handbooks that people swear by, it’s not surprising that this interview is so packed full of good advice and insights. (‘They’ve got to see there are brighter literary worlds than Twilight. Reading good fiction is like making the jump from masturbation to sex.’)

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Hollywood’s iconic ‘ Crying Indian’ was actually Italian

You’ve probably seen Iron Eyes Cody before. He starred in that iconic 1971 conservation ad, where the Native American paddles down a rubbish-strewn stream in a canoe, surrounded by smog, and stops to shed a single tear as more rubbish is tossed at his feet. It’s been satirised by The Simpsons, listed as one of the top 50 ads of all time, and ‘helped reduce litter by 88% across 38 states’. Cody appeared in several Westerns as a Native American between the 1930s and 1980s – but in 1996, he was revealed as a second-generation Italian.

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Why tech giants like Steve Jobs are low-tech parents

One seemingly contradictory headline that’s been making the rounds is the news that Steve Jobs was a ‘low-tech’ parent – his kids didn’t have iPads, and he limited their use of technology. Apparently, this is something he had in common with other heads of technology companies. Chris Anderson, former editor of Wired, says his kids complain about the limits he sets, but ‘we have seen the dangers of technology firsthand. I’ve seen it in myself, I don’t want to see that happen to my kids.’

A wedding dress made of divorce papers

Move over, Project Runway! A 15-year-old school student, Demi Barnes, has crafted a wedding dress out of divorce papers. She says she intended it ‘to emphasise how important the sacred institution of marriage is, especially in the face of ever-climbing divorce rates’.

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Professor Dumpster makes a home

Professor Jeff Wilson, dean of Huston-Tillotson University’s campus in Austin, Texas, lives on campus … in a 36-square-foot dumpster he’s turned into a home, sanctioned and supported by the university as part of an ongoing sustainability-focused experiment called The Dumpster Project. ‘We could end up with a house under $10,000 that could be placed anywhere in the world,’ Wilson said at the launch, ‘[fueled by] sunlight and surface water, and people could have a pretty good life.’

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Interior: Professor Jeff Wilson at home in his dumpster.

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19 September 2014

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