Children model the behavior of adults, on whatever scale is available to them. Ours are growing up in a nation whose most important, influential men - from presidents to the coolest film characters - solve problems by killing people. ... We have taught our children in a thousand ways, sometimes with flag-waving and sometimes with a laugh track, that the bad guy deserves to die.
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Respecting the dignity of a spectacular food means enjoying it at its best. Europeans celebrate the short season of abundant asparagus as a form of holiday. In the Netherlands the first cutting coincides with Father's Day, on which restaurants may feature all-asparagus menus and hand out neckties decorated with asparagus spears.
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If every U.S. citizen ate just one meal a week (any meal) composed of locally and organically raised meats and produce, we would reduce our country's oil consumption by over 1.1 million barrels of oil every week. That's not gallons, but barrels. Small changes in buying habits can make big differences. Becoming a less energy-dependent nation may just need to start with a good breakfast.
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Gilbert has established herself as a straight-up storyteller who dares us into adventures of worldly discovery, and this novel stands as a winning next act. THE SIGNATURE OF ALL THINGS is a bracing homage to the many natures of genius and the inevitable progress of ideas, in a world that reveals its best truths to the uncommonly patient minds.
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On the day I swore to uphold the Hippocratic oath, the small hairs on the back of my neck stood up as I waited for lightning to strike. Who was I, vowing calmly among all these necktied young men to steal life out of nature's jaws, every old time we got half a chance and a paycheck?... I could not accept the contract: that every child born human upon this earth comes with a guarantee of perfect health and old age clutched in its small fist.
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the novel is inherently a political instrument, regardless of its subject. It invites you - more than invites you, induces you - to live inside another person's skin. It creates empathy. And that's the antidote to bigotry. The novel doesn't just tell you about another life, which is what a newspaper would do. It makes you live another life, inhabit another perspective. And that's very important.
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But we've all ended up giving body and soul to Africa, one way or another. Even Adah, who's becoming an expert in tropical epidemiology and strange new viruses. Each of us got our heart buried in six feet of African dirt; we are all co-conspirators here. I mean, all of us, not just my family. So what do you do now? You get to find your own way to dig out a heart and shake it off and hold it up to the light again.
For time and eternity there have been fathers like Nathan who simply can see no way to have a daughter but to own her like a plot of land. To work her, plow her under, rain down a dreadful poison upon her. Miraculously, it causes these girls to grow. They elongate on the pale slender stalks of their longing, like sunflowers with heavy heads. You can shield them with your body and soul, trying to absorb that awful rain, but they'll still move toward him. Without cease they'll bend to his light.
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Planning complex, beautiful meals and investing one's heart and time in their preparation is the opposite of self-indulgence. Kitchen-based family gatherings are process-oriented, cooperative, and in the best of worlds, nourishing and soulful. A lot of calories get used up before anyone sits down to consume. But more importantly, a lot of talk happens first, news exchanged, secrets revealed across generations, paths cleared with a touch on the arm. I have given and received some of my life's most important hugs with those big oven-mitt potholders on both hands.
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I could never work out whether we were to view religion as a life-insurance policy or a life sentence. I can understand a wrathful God who'd just as soon dangle us all from a hook. And I can understand a tender, unprejudiced Jesus. But I could never quite feature the two of them living in the same house. You wind up walking on eggshells, never knowing which... is at home at the moment.
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So you make this deal with the gods. You do these dances and they'll send rain and good crops and the whole works? And nothing bad will ever happen. Right.' Prayer had always struck me as more or less a glorified attempt at a business transaction. A rain dance even more so. I thought I might finally have offended Loyd past the point of no return, like stealing the lobster from frozen foods that time, to get myself fired. But Loyd was just thinking. After a minute he said, 'No, it's not like that. It's not making a deal, bad things can still happen, but you want to try not to cause them to happen. It has to do with keeping things in balance.' In balance.' Really, it's like the spirits have made a deal with us.' And what is the deal?' I asked. We're on our own. The spirits have been good enough to let us live here and use the utilities, and we're saying: We know how nice you're being. We appreciate the rain, we appreciate the sun, we appreciate the deer we took. Sorry if we messed up anything. You've gone to a lot of trouble, and we'll try to be good guests.' Like a note you'd send somebody after you stayed in their house?' Exactly like that. 'Thanks for letting me sleep on your couch. I took some beer out of the refrigerator, and I broke a coffee cup. Sorry, I hope it wasn't your favorite one.
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I asked Elsie how much food they needed from outside the community. 'Flour and sugar, ' she said, and then thought a bit. 'Sometimes we'll buy pretzels as a splurge.' It crossed my mind that the world's most efficient psychological evaluation would have just one question: Define splurge.
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He warned Mother not to flout God's Will by expecting too much of us. "Sending a girl to college is like pouring water in your shoes, ' he still loves to say, as often as possible. 'It's hard to say which is worse, seeing it run out and waste the water, or seeing it hold in and wreck the shoes.
A journalist's job is to collect information, " Ovid said to Pete. "Nope, " Pete said. "That's what we do. It's not what they do." Dellarobia was unready to be pushed out of the conversation just like that. "Then what do you think the news people drive their Jeeps all the way out here for?" "To shore up the prevailing view of their audience and sponsors." "Pete takes a dim view of his fellow humans, " Ovid said. "He prefers insects. Dellarobia turned her chair halfway around to face Pete, scraping noisily against the cement floor. "You're saying people only tune in to news they know they're going to agree with?" "Bingo, " said Pete.
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There are always more questions. Science as a process is never complete. It is not a foot race, with a finish line... People will always be waiting at a particular finish line: journalists with their cameras, impatient crowds eager to call the race, astounded to see the scientists approach, pass the mark, and keep running. It's a common misunderstanding, he said. They conclude there was no race. As long as we won't commit to knowing everything, the presumption is we know nothing.
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Our holiday food splurge was a small crate of tangerines, which we found ridiculously thrilling after an eight-month abstinence from citrus... Lily hugged each one to her chest before undressing it as gently as a doll. Watching her do that as she sat cross-legged on the floor one morning in pink pajamas, with bliss lighting her cheeks, I thought: Lucky is the world, to receive this grateful child. Value is not made of money, but a tender balance of expectation and longing.
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The longer I think about a food industry organized around an animal that cannot reproduce itself without technical assistance, the more I mistrust it. Poultry, a significant part of the modern diet, is emblematic of the whole dirty deal. Having no self-sustaining bloodlines to back up the industry is like having no gold standard to underpin paper currency. Maintaining a natural breeding poultry flock is a rebellion, at the most basic level, against the wholly artificial nature of how foods are produced.
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Until that moment I'd thought I could have it both ways; to be one of them, and also my husband's wife. What conceit! I was his instrument, his animal. Nothing more. How we wives and mothers do perish at the hands of our own righteousness. I was just one more of those women who clamp their mouths shut and wave the flag as their nation rolls off to conquer another in war. Guilty or innocent, they have everything to lose. They are what there is to lose. A wife is the earth itself, changing hands, bearing scars.
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If chained is where you have been, your ams will always bear marks of the shackles. What you have to lose is your story, your own slant. You'll look at the scars on your arms and see mere ugliness, or you'll take great care to look away from them and see nothing. Either way, you have no words for the story of where you came from.
I do understand that they fall when I'm least able to pay attention because poems fall not from a tree, really, but from the richly pollinated boughs of an ordinary life, buzzing, as lives do, with clamor and glory. They are easy to miss but everywhere: poetry just is, whether we revere it or try to put it in prison. It is elementary grace, communicated from one soul to another.
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