‘THE ROMANCE OF BELIEVING IN JUSTICE’: ON ARUNDHATI ROY’S NEW BOOK OF ESSAYS


Roy shows that, while resistance is often dangerous and hopeless, it can also be joyful. There’s something gorgeous and seductive about Roy’s depiction of life among the “comrades,” the Maoist guerrillas in the Dandakaranya Forest who resist the Indian government’s violent attempts to convert their land into mines. These “strange, beautiful children with their curious arsenal” walk for days to reach a communal spot to dance together, right under the noses of the police and the murderous Salwa Judum. She doesn’t flinch from describing the diseases and violence she found among the Maoists, and certainly doesn’t advocate that everyone drop their lives to walk in the forest alongside these rebels. “It’s not an alternative yet,” she writes of the guerillas’ approach. “But it certainly has created the possibilities for an alternative.”

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Rebecca Stoner — Pacific Standard

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HOW MUCH CAN DIETARY CHANGES AND FOOD PRODUCTION PRACTICES HELP MITIGATE CLIMATE CHANGE?


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“Balanced diets featuring plant-based foods, such as coarse grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables, and animal-sourced food produced sustainably in low greenhouse gas emission systems, present major opportunities for adaptation to and limiting climate change,” Debra Roberts, co-chair of IPCC Working Group II, said in a press release. (In the summary of the report, the IPCC acknowledges that factors like financial barriers and cultural habits may influence the adoption of such diets.)

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Kelley Czajka — Pacific Standard

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WHAT MAKES A BOOK A BEST SELLER?


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A dream of all writers and wannabe writers.

In any genre, it’s rare for a book to see delayed success. “Almost all books, regardless of category, peak in the first 15 weeks after publication,” the researchers report. In terms of sales, “Most fiction books have their peaks strictly in the first two to six weeks. For nonfiction, even though peaks at weeks two to five are common, the peak can happen any time in the first 15 weeks”—after which sales “drop dramatically.”

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Tom Jacobs — Pacific Standard

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What’s Motivating People to March for Science?


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This is quite strange, but unfortunately true. People are actually marching for Science. “The March for Science is the first step of a global movement to defend the vital role science plays in our health, safety, economies, and governments.”

“Encouraging polices based on science” received the most support, with 97 percent calling it very important. This was followed closely by “Encouraging the public to support science” and “Opposing political attacks on science,” each of which was considered very important by 93 percent of participants.

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Tom Jacobs — Pacific Standard

March for Science

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