“We now know that 24 hours without sleep, or a week of sleeping four or five hours a night induces an impairment equivalent to a blood alcohol level of .1 percent. We would never say, ‘This person is a great worker! He’s drunk all the time!’ yet we continue to celebrate people who sacrifice sleep for work.”—
“Humans — who enslave, castrate, experiment on, and fillet other animals — have had an understandable penchant for pretending animals do not feel pain. A sharp distinction between humans and ‘animals’ is essential if we are to bend them to our will, make them work for us, wear them, eat them — without any disquieting tinges of guilt or regret. It is unseemly of us, who often behave so unfeelingly toward other animals, to contend that only humans can suffer. The behavior of other animals renders such pretensions specious. They are just too much like us.”—Carl Sagan (via we-are-star-stuff)
I’m trying to do better for the sake of other creatures. Humans included.
“Is it political if I tell you that if we burn coal, you’re going to warm the atmosphere? Or is that a statement of fact that you’ve made political? It’s a scientific statement. The fact that there are elements of society that have made it political, that’s a whole other thing.”—Neil deGrasse Tyson (via we-are-star-stuff)
“Of course, the ultimate moment of being Female in Public comes when a woman, deep in thought, is told by a strange man to SMILE. (And this happens only to women.) Gentlemen, let’s get this straight. There is no part of my body that belongs to you, not even my facial expression.”—From a devastating essay from Laura Lippman, author, about what it’s like to be a woman in public. (via emilyvgordon)
“You meet your hero. You meet your heroes. You do shows with them. You realize they are people, that they haven’t figured it all out, that they are still moving forward. That makes you happy, to know they are real, and that makes you sad, to know that there isn’t an end point.”—
This realization, from Cameron Esposito about comedy, is applicable to everything really. No one’s ever done becoming, and it’s horrifying and relieving.
“[Being] a little off in the fit is not all bad. Each and every one of us has quirks, and is a little ‘funny’ anyway, one way or another. Nobody’s perfect, and those who think they are, or try to look that way, look like mannequins. Stiff. Clothes that look too engineered lack a sense of style, as do people who look too engineered. Look comfortable; be comfortable. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Life’s too important to worry about inconsequential details.”—David Mercer, upon me asking him if he could make me a custom shirt that’s slimmer fitting than what he offers ready-to-wear (via putthison)
“The media invented that rivalry. We really didn’t even know each other. … We both came out at the same time, we both were very into fashion, we were both very opinionated and demanded to be heard, but our music wasn’t and isn’t similar. They don’t compare men who have successful albums in the same year, do they?”—Cyndi Lauper, discussing her and Madonna in the 80s. (via emilyvgordon)
Snap Judgment: The Last Mile "A young storyteller goes through the motions during a family car ride, wondering whether his mothers will stay together. When I saw him perform this live in D.C. a few years ago, I was reminded that the next generation of storytellers are smart, daring, and full of stories the world must hear." —John Asante, Assistant Producer, Ask Me Another
This idea that we somehow have to be “fair” about everything is how we wind up having Bill Nye getting into public discussions about climate change, a spectacle my colleague Daniel D’Addario recently noted mistakenly gives the whole fiasco attention and credibility “as an entertaining, wacky debate between two personalities.” It’s how we wind up continuing on in a nation in which three out of ten people take the Bible literally, and an alarming nearly 40% believe in intelligent design. Roughly 18% of Americans believe the sun revolves around the earth Should we have a debate about it? Should we hear out the “sun revolves around the earth” faction?
In our zeal for balance, we have allowed ignorance to be perpetuated. We send our kids to schools where the “Christian Perspective” is given weight as historical fact. We talk about the “debate” over climate change as if it’s a “debate” and not a scientifically supported serious warning. We let other people’s ignorant arrogance run roughshod over our own misguided attempts at open-mindedness.
“Cosmos” isn’t trying to pick a fight. It’s a love letter to the triumph of investigation over superstition. It’s not perpetuating an agenda, other than maybe Neil deGrasse Tyson’s perfectly sane advice that you “don’t try to use the Bible as a textbook.” Or as Carl Sagan once said, “It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.”
“We hunger for significance. For signs that our personal existence is of special meaning to the universe. To that end, we’re all too eager to deceive ourselves and others, to discern a sacred image in a grilled cheese sandwich or find a divine warning in a comet.”—Neil deGrasse Tyson, Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey (Ep. 3: When Knowledge Conquered Fear)