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Weekend Reads 9/16/17

Why I’m Still Trying to Get a Book Deal After 10 Years 

As my third child kicked from inside my pregnant belly, I fantasized about what would come next: a request from the agent to see my book proposal, followed by a dream phone call offering me representation. If all went well, I’d be on my way to becoming a published author by the time my oldest child started first grade.

Our Saturn years

For 13 years, [Cassini] has been sending back to Earth images of its extraordinary discoveries at Saturn. It has documented the possible birth of a moon, tasted an extra-terrestrial ocean and watched as a giant storm encircled the entire planet.

The meaning of words

The term "asshole" can thus be grouped with other similar phrases employing various body parts as metonymous representatives of character. We might, for example, refer to someone who is particularly intellectual or cerebral as "a brain." Or we might say that someone who is particularly open emotionally "wears their heart on their sleeve." The use of such terminology is always evaluated on its aptness and accuracy. That accuracy may be contested as fitting or unfitting — we can argue over whether or not the person in question really is "a brain" or really "has a big heart" — but those terms are not disqualified as illegitimate. They are words and thus communicate meaning, and so we receive them and evaluate them in the same way we evaluate all words — by judging whether or not their use is fitting and accurate.

Trump’s Signals to White Supremacists Aren’t Dog Whistles. They’re Flares.

The story of this moment is not just what Trump is saying, or failing to say, about white supremacist violence. It is that his words and actions, from Charlottesville to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), follow a well-established pattern of support for their causes that is neither random nor impulsive. It can, at this point, only be read as deliberate.


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