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Charles Dickens

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00_NOP writes "Researchers from the New School for Social Research in New York have demonstrated that if you read quality literary fiction you become a better person, in the sense that you are more likely to empathize with others [paper abstract]. Presumably we can all think of books that have changed the way we feel about the world — so this is, in a sense, a scientific confirmation of something fairly intuitive."

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“Have a heart that never hardens, and a temper that never tires, and a touch that never hurts.”

- Charles Dickens

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For well over a hundred years, people have hopped on bicycles for transportation, recreation, competition, and more. In many parts of the world, spinning pedals moves goods and generates electricity. While usually attached to two wheels, pedal power takes many forms, adapting to a wide range of needs. Globally, over 100 million bicycles are produced every year - over 60% of them in China - easily doubling world production of automobiles. Efficient, clean, and cheap, pedal power in all its forms can solve modern problems with basic technology, and offers a health benefit to those cranking away. And it's hard to beat the simple joy of riding a bike. Gathered here are images of people around the world as we pedal for a reason, or just because. -- Lane Turner (49 photos total)
A boy rides his bicycle near rice fields in Bago, Myanmar on February 20, 2012. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

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Stories have been around as long as we have, helping us understand our world and ourselves. We learn and retain information best through stories, because they turn information into more than the sum of its parts. But what makes a story a story, and what does it mean for the digital world we’ve built? Elizabeth McGuane and Randall Snare weave an enchanting tale of attention, comprehension, inference, coherence, and shopping.

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The key to great analysis is often imagination. That’s what sets apart “When It’s Not Your Turn”: The Quintessentially Victorian Vision of Ogden’s “The Wire,” an article which purports to be an examination of the great literary text The Wire, if it had been published as a serialized Victorian novel. The article acts as if The Wire was written by Horatio Bucklesby Ogden, a contemporary of Charles Dickens, and goes on to examine the content in an appropriate manner. There are even reproduced pages of text and era-appropriate illustrations by Joy Delyria.

This isn’t a parody of the show, but a way of looking at it that requires a small leap of imagination. It’s pretty great stuff, and we’ve got a bit more info after the break.

The Wire has been compared to Dickens before — more than a few times, really — and creator David Simon referenced Dickens often. There’s even an episode called ‘The Dickensian Aspect.’ So it’s not like this Victorian approach is totally out of left field.

According to The Hooded Utilitarian (via The High Definite),

The Wire began syndication in 1846, and was published in 60 installments over the course of six years.  Each installment was 30 pages, featuring covers and illustrations by Baxter “Bubz” Black, and selling for one shilling each.  After the final installment, The Wire became available in a five volume set, departing from the traditional three.

From there the article goes on to look at the construction of the show — er, the novel — and has a few good things to say about it. ‘Pages’ of The Wire are reproduced below, but follow the link above to check out the full article.

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