The following is from the Washington Post Style Invitational contest that asked readers to submit “instructions” for something (anything), but written in the style of a famous person. The winning entry was The Hokey Pokey (as written by William Shakespeare).
O proud left foot, that ventures quick within
Then soon upon a backward journey lithe.
Anon, once more the gesture, then begin:
Command sinistral pedestal to writhe.
Commence thou then the fervid Hokey-Poke,
A mad gyration, hips in wanton swirl.
To spin! A wilde release from Heavens yoke.
Blessed dervish! Surely canst go, girl.
The Hoke, the poke — banish now thy doubt
Verily, I say, ’tis what it’s all about.
— by “William Shakespeare”
Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.
My mother wanted us to understand that the tragedies of your life one day have the potential to be the comic stories the next.
Summer bachelors, like summer breezes, are never as cool as they pretend to be.
When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.
When your children are teenagers, it’s important to have a dog so that someone in the house is happy to see you.
I try to write parts for women that are as complicated and interesting as women actually are.
The amount of maintenance involving hair is genuinely overwhelming. Sometimes I think that not having to worry about your hair anymore is the secret upside of death.
All from Nora Ephron, 1941 – 2012
She was an amazing woman, putting her finger on the pulse of a generation of people who wanted, above all else, to be deeply in love.
What a cool project! I hope they share!
Assembling, Visualizing and Analyzing a Tree of All Life
National Science Foundation (06/04/12) Cheryl Dybas
The U.S. National Science Foundation’s (NSF’s) Assembling, Visualizing, and Analyzing the Tree of Life (AVAToL) program aims to build a comprehensive tree of life that brings together everything scientists know about how all species are related.
The researchers are creating the infrastructure and computational tools to enable automatic updating of the tree of life, as well as developing the analytical and visualization tools to study it. Assembling the branches for all species of animals, plants, fungi and microbes will require new computational tools for analyzing large data sets, for combining diverse kinds of data, and for connecting vast numbers of published trees into a synthetic whole. AVAToL will enable researchers to go online and compare their trees to others that have already been published.
The goal is to automatically incorporate new trees, so the complete tree can be continuously updated. The three NSF-funded AVAToL projects are Duke University’s Automated and Community-Driven Synthesis of the Tree of Life, the University of Idaho’s Arbor: Comparative Analysis Workflows for the Tree of Life, and SUNY-Stony Brook’s Next Generation Phenomics for the Tree of Life.
From now on I hope always to stay alert, to educate myself the best I can. But lacking this, in the future I will relaxedly turn back to my secret mind and see what it has observed when I thought I was sitting this one out. We never sit anything out. We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.
We are the miracle of force and matter making itself over into imagination and will. Incredible. The Life Force experimenting with forms. You for one. Me for another. The Universe has shouted itself alive. We are one of the shouts.
I don’t describe the future. I try to prevent it.
You must live feverishly in a library. Colleges are not going to do any good unless you are raised and live in a library every day of your life.
Write only what you love, and love what you write. The key word is love. You have to get up in the morning and write something you love, something to live for.
My stories run up and bite me in the leg — I respond by writing down everything that goes on during the bite. When I finish, the idea lets go and runs off.
Why would you clone people when you can go to bed with them and make a baby? C’mon, it’s stupid.
All from Ray Bradbury, 1920 – 2012