Five Fascinating Facts about Edgar Allan Poe

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Originally posted on Interesting Literature:

1. He was the first person to use the term ‘short story’. At least, Poe’s use of the term is the earliest that has yet been uncovered, from 1840 – nearly 40 years earlier than the current OED citation from 1877. This is fitting, given that Poe was a pioneer of the short story form. Poe wrote ‘I have written five-and-twenty short stories whose general character may be so briefly defined’ in his preface to Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque. This fact was discovered by Martin Greenup – see his ‘Poe and the First Use of the Term “Short Story”‘, Notes and Queries, 60.2 (2013), 251-254.

Poe12. Poe carried on writing even after he’d died. At least, if you believe the rather outlandish claim of Lizzie Doten, the psychic medium whose 1863 book, Poems from the Inner Life, included poems which Doten claimed to have received from the…

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15 Essential Irish Novels

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Originally posted on Qwiklit:

It is difficult to dispute the place of James Joyce among the Pantheon of all literary greats, but Ireland has much more to offer than his modernist virtuosity. As a country that has suffered through famine, civil strife and poverty for decades, it is quite relieving to see just how rich their literary tradition actually is. Not only is it the ancestral home of Jonathan Swift, Oscar Wilde and George Bernard Shaw, but many of the finest active writers have a firm footing on the contemporary fiction scene. Here are some of the finest works from the post-Joycean era:

1. Edna O’Brien – The Country Girls (1960)

Edna O’Brien is a masterful prose writer who captured an era with a keen eye for the subtle and personal. Written during some of the most repressive years in Ireland after the Second World War, The Country Girls follows two adolescents as they…

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Autism, Denmark and again no link with vaccines.

Originally posted on Left Brain Right Brain:

For a while now, I’ve been hoping that someone would publish data on the current state autism prevalence by birth year in Denmark. Denmark has been used for epidemiological studies for autism since their is a national database for health care. Thus, one can obtain a count of all people in Denmark who have been diagnosed with autism. Which is not the same thing as saying they have a count of all people in the country who are autistic. One can be autistic and not be diagnosed, as we will see.

A recent study using the Danish database is Recurrence of Autism Spectrum Disorders in Full- and Half-Siblings and Trends Over Time: A Population-Based Cohort Study. It’s an interesting study and I feel somewhat guilty for pulling the time-trend data out for my own discussion. In short, the study found that if a family has one child who is…

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Alternatives to Amazon – Environmentally and Socially Responsible Holiday Retailers!

Originally posted on :

The holidays are approaching, and like many Americans, you will probably purchase a gift for a friend or family member online. As a proud Green American, however, you may be wondering how the company synonymous with online shopping, Amazon, ranks in terms of sustainability and social responsibility. We did some research on the issue, and found that by most corporate standards, Amazon does poorly in these fields. amazon-alternatives-ad-only250x

For the past year, Green America and its allies have been pressing Amazon to take action on climate change. In response, Amazon has taken two significant steps: it hired Kara Hurst, the former CEO of the Sustainability Consortium, as its first-ever sustainability director, and it revealed that the company has a goal of 100% renewable energy for its servers. However, unlike competitors that have announced a transition to renewable energy Amazon does not provide a timeline for the transition and has made no…

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Your Life on Earth

Originally posted on an idea a day:

BBC Earth has a new online feature called Your Life on Earth where you can find out all kinds of facts about how the world has change since a certain date. It asks you to input your birthdate, gender and height, but you could input any date from history.

For instance, I plugged in October 10, 1964, when the Tokyo Olympics began. Some facts I learned:

There have been 250 volcanic eruptions since that date.

A 50-year old penguin would have a family of 10 generations.

Although a quick search tells me that the average Emperor penguin only lives about 19.9 years.

The population has increased by 3.9 billion people since October 1964.

And the average life expectancy has increased by 16 years. That’s almost a full life to an Emperor penguin.

An animal called a saiga was saved from extinction 9 years ago.

A quick search tells me that it’s…

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Energy Flow

I have been at the mercy of my energy levels. Normally my energy is bountiful. I can make a to-do list the length of my arm and have it knocked out by the end of a most satisfying day. I run three times a week and lift heavy things the other three days. I sleep well at night. I eat good, home-cooked meals made with that extra bit of love that I can radiate out of my heart an into the frying pan, or cookie sheet or whatever.

For the past 19 weeks this has not been the case. I’m lazy. Afternoon comas the first 12 weeks and up until two days ago, there were moments where I just needed to be horizontal on my comfy bed. Exercise routine? Nope. I can stretch most days. Home-cooked meals are hard to come by, especially those with love. It’s more like a bit of, “meh.”

It’s very obvious that I have a ninja baking in my oven. We are pretty happy. It’s a wonderful reason to take a break from the manic pace I seem to keep in my life. It was hard to accept at first. I just looked bloated and thought there was no reason in the world I shouldn’t be able to carry on with my life as usual. Don’t women do it all the time? There is a lot of things that I was never told I’m discovering. The last two days I have been feeling more like myself. I’m glad to be back, even if it is only for a few more weeks.