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January 11, 2013

The Daily Routines of Famous Writers

The Daily Routines of Famous Writers | Brain Pickings Here's EB White. The whole thing is worth checking out.
I never listen to music when I’m working. I haven’t that kind of attentiveness, and I wouldn’t like it at all. On the other hand, I’m able to work fairly well among ordinary distractions. My house has a living room that is at the core of everything that goes on: it is a passageway to the cellar, to the kitchen, to the closet where the phone lives. There’s a lot of traffic. But it’s a bright, cheerful room, and I often use it as a room to write in, despite the carnival that is going on all around me. A girl pushing a carpet sweeper under my typewriter table has never annoyed me particularly, nor has it taken my mind off my work, unless the girl was unusually pretty or unusually clumsy. My wife, thank God, has never been protective of me, as, I am told, the wives of some writers are. In consequence, the members of my household never pay the slightest attention to my being a writing man — they make all the noise and fuss they want to. If I get sick of it, I have places I can go. A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word on paper.
*Thanks, Maureen!*

January 07, 2013

Do you think armed gangs of vigilantes should patrol around elementary schools?

Crazy Joe Arpaio thinks it's a swell idea. One assumes, given his past, that the vigilante gangs will be all white men, and the schools they patrol will be largely latino. America's Craziest Sheriff Sends Vigilantes To Arizona Schools | ThinkProgress
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio will begin sending armed “posses” to patrol around Arizona schools today, in response to the shooting less than a month ago at Sandy Hook elementary school. Arpaio made a name for himself by abusing the civil rights of undocumented immigrants — and for detaining a six year old undocumented child. Now he’s heeding the NRA’s advice that every school needs a “guy with a gun” and is sending out volunteers “with questionable pasts” to guard students: Arizona’s 3TV reports that Arpaio’s volunteer force is comprised of around 3,000 members, some of which have criminal pasts. According to CBS5, Arpaio’s office has provided a list of more than 50 schools in unincorporated Maricopa County that will be patrolled by the posses, which are in charge of providing all of their own weapons and equipment. The volunteers will not actually be posted on school campuses, but will instead monitor the areas around the facilities.[...]

Dave-o Has a Story in the Current Asimov's!

"Table of Contents" - Asimovs What with all the...

January 04, 2013

Indiana considering making school prayer mandatory

Schools 'May Require Recitation Of The Lord’s Prayer' Under Indiana Bill | ThinkProgress
A state senator in Indiana introduced a bill on Thursday that would give public school districts the authority to mandate daily recitations of the Lord’s Prayer in public classrooms. The bill, introduced on the first day of the new legislative session by Republican Senator Dennis Krause, outlines Kruse’s reasoning for requiring school prayer: “In order that each student recognize the importance of spiritual development in establishing character and becoming a good citizen, the governing body of a school corporation or the equivalent authority of a charter school may require the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer at the beginning of each school day. The prayer may be recited by a teacher, a student, or the class of students.” Kruse’s bill would unquestionably run afoul of the Constitution. The Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled that mandating school prayer is a violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. Even fellow Republicans in the Indiana senate don’t think much of Kruse’s bill, with Republican Senate President Pro Tempore assigning it to a committee often considered a graveyard for legislation according to the Indianapolis Star.