I'm curious if there are scientists who, while not evil (so I'm not thinking here about the measure of The Worst Scientist meaning the one with the highest body count as a result of their work or most unethical practices), have achieved some historic notoriety for their general incompetence or stubborn wrongness in the face of all available evidence. [more inside]
I love the fantasy genre, but I am super picky, and lately I can't find anything to read. I'll be very obliged for your help. More info after the jump. [more inside]
My BF and I saw an ad for the upcoming Deep Water Horizon movie, and I commented that there seem to be a lot of these "men trapped in desperate situations" movies. He wanted suggestions for "based on actual events" that aren't exclusively men. Trying to google turned up a lot of unhelpful results. Any ideas?
For example: The Alchemist, Celestine Prophecy, Sophie's World. Any others?
Dear Mefi, another ‘books with a feel like…’ post. This time I’m after novels set by the sea (or by a lake if we must), but with a fabulist, magical or eerie feel. Not looking for out and out horror, just a feeling of strangeness in the air. Ambiguity a plus, and many bonus points if set in a run-down seaside town. Examples below the line... [more inside]
I'm looking for narrative-driven documentaries that give you a sense of life at certain places and times, perhaps centered around a central figure or event but weaving in and out of the societies in which they existed. [more inside]
I'm curious to read up on folks who decided give up one life for another, entirely different life. Could be individuals or entire families. Could be a different career, a different place in the world, a different identity. Extra points for a bunch of profiles of this sort of thing. Also, they don't have to be happy endings, necessarily. Stories of chasing the dream and failing are fine, too. I've taken a look for this sort of thing, and I'm a little surprised I haven't turned anything up.
I need to put the fear of God into some foolish, negligent users. I'm looking for examples of organizations that were hit with some kind of horrible malware (like CryptoLocker) or had sensitive data stolen -- all because of a really stupid action by an employee. [more inside]
I have discovered a specific taste for creepy stories where the creepy-factor comes not from things that are straightforwardly evil or horrible, but from things that are just... incomprehensibly vast or infinite. Help me find more of these! Examples below the cut. [more inside]
When I was young, my grandfather (who was Polish/French) would often tell me a bedtime story about a young man who was incredibly lazy and always making useless inventions. Can you help me find it? [more inside]
Where you come away thinking 'huh, didn't know that things could feel like/could be like that' . [more inside]
My mother is looking for a book of Native American short stories that she thought was titled "Best Indian Stories Ever". (Indian = Native American in this situation). [more inside]
Seeking fiction and non-fiction accounts, as well as real-life anecdotes, of buying a mansion and renting out the rooms to friends and/or strangers (or, otherwise, of living in such an arrangement) [more inside]
He's in his mid-20s. Lives with his parents. Just started his first part-time job. He likes video games, board games, sports, circuses. He's a bit of foodie. He prides himself on being up for any (small) challenge. His favorite things to read are Wikipedia, IMDB, Ripley's Believe It or Not. [more inside]
I heard it a long time ago and believe it may be of Asian origin. It had something to do with a princess who wanted a general to conquer a particularly desirable town and drive out the people living there. He took the town, but didn't drive out the people, choosing instead to rule them justly. When confronted by her, he asked her whether the empty houses were the source of the wealth she craved, or something to that effect. Anyone heard of this or something similar before?! Where might it have come fron?!
This week, I learned about a mathematical inequality called "The Peter-Paul inequality" (so named because you have to "rob Peter to pay Paul") and, from this comment, about the Macbeth principle ("t'were well it were done quickly"). What other principles, formulas, or procedures are named to reference particular stories that illustrate their basic idea? [more inside]
I'm looking for podcasts where longform magazine articles are read aloud. [more inside]
I'm looking for stories of clever academic detection. [more inside]
I'm trying to find some valuable works of advice to improve my craftsmanship on writing poetry and short stories. If you can recommend any advice books, poetry, novels, and short stories that can help contribute to better writing in the genre of: science fiction, southern Gothic literature, classic literature, modernism, and modern ligature works, that would be most appreciated. [more inside]
I've wanted to start a small business (ideally a side business that I can run while keeping my day job) for a long, long time. Both for extra income, and for fun. But I don't know what I should do, and it's scary too! One thing I've found helpful so far is reading the stories of other people who have started businesses. I'd love to find more of these kinds of stories, so please suggest books, blogs, articles, or anything else I should check out! [more inside]
I want to know what the market is for freelance reporters to sell their ability to do stories to radio stations across the country (or maybe in general). I don't know what a reporter might charge for freelancing the reporting, producing, writing and voicing of a story or what would compel a station to hire them And does there exist a collective or consortium of freelancers who have managed to turn that into a business model, like a narrowly focused employment agency or maybe even a talent agency. Does anybody know where I can find data on both?
A friend of ours loves mythology and folk tales. For a birthday present, we're trying to pick a story to illustrate and make a tiny book out of. From any culture, though Asian would be particulary nice. We'd like an interesting but old story with some humour or a twist at the end. Maybe something unusual. I'd love to hear your ideas and suggestions and favourites!
I would like to read helpful, well-written, thoughtful, realistic personal stories about quitting a job, preferably ones about situations where another gig hadn't been lined up yet. Prefer stories about career positions, though I'm more than happy to read about walking out of service jobs. Please point me to web sites and forums, books, podcasts, and other media I am not thinking of at the moment.
What are other platforms/programs that you can use to tell stories? [more inside]
I'm looking for well produced spooky story podcasts. Radio Drama? Spoken word? It's all good, with exceptions... [more inside]
Help me find stories of epiphanies, particularly striking moments of self-awareness. Fictional, non-fictional, any kind of medium (books, articles, video, etc...). [more inside]
There's a particular device or pattern or plot-type that I *think* might be an actual thing, but I'm not sure. It involves a character who *ends up* entangled in Deep Weirdness of some sort, after experiencing a series of seemingly mundane coincidences, but who never really becomes paranoid about the coincidences and only starts to believe Something Is Up when things get *really* weird. I'd love to read more stories about characters like this. [more inside]
There's a story in this week's TAL about a woman who was an alcoholic by the time she was 13, then successfully went sober and centered her life around her identity as an alcoholic, to the point of becoming a kind of AA mini-celebrity, only to realize after twenty years that the real story of her childhood had actually been completely different and she was never an alcoholic at all. I found this fascinating. Please point me to more true stories (podcasts, memoirs...) of people whose most basic beliefs about who they are turn out to be flat-out wrong.
My brother and his wife both have dementia and are currently living in a memory care home and need notes from home. [more inside]
Crusader Kings II is a lot of fun, but I don't care about the statistics or tactics in the game as much as the random events and the way the game handles fallout from them. Is there anything with a similar story-generating vibe where the interaction is simpler? [more inside]
Hey There Everyone, I'm looking for examples in movies, TV, theater, fiction, non-fiction, etc. that show older children being rescued and adopted by people who they are not related to. Thanks so much!
I'm hoping the hive mind can help me identify a sci-fi baseball short-story I read a few decades ago, probably in the 1970's. [more inside]
I'm blanking on the name of this writer. Early 20th century NYC, wrote rags-to-riches stories. IIRC he had some Damon Runyon-esque elements (character names, people not being 100% on the level) and his stories had twists similar to O. Henry. I've heard his name used as a shorthand for these kinds of stories, but I'm having a mental block about his name or anything specifically that he wrote. Help?
I'm looking for great examples of old, pulpy, short stories in the public domain that, as much as possible, match these criteria: Public domain only, Sci-fi, fantasy, or adventure themed, a small cast of characters, and, bonus if they feature child protagonists (though not a necessity). I want to make either some comic books or home movies with my kids in this vein but don't want to fret about copyright. Thank you!
For purposes that I probably don't need to get into, I'd like your saddest and/or most heartwarming links / photos / stories / etc. on the internet about dogs and our relationships with them. [more inside]
I want to hear podcasts that tell and analyze myths. Preferably not constrained to one culture/time period. Suggestions? [more inside]
For my 40th birthday I'd like to have a slumber party with a small group of my friends. I love scary movies (although I prefer supernatural, and am not a fan of slasher films) and would love to incorporate a couple into the fun. One of my close friends can only tolerate not very scary movies (I'm thinking at the level of Rosemary's Baby). A few other important details inside... [more inside]
I decided today that I absolutely love underdog stories. I love rooting for the little guy to come out on top. I love following along with their journey. Think Silicon Valley the TV Show or Halt and Catch Fire or the Bad News Bears, Mighty Ducks etc. What are your favorite underdog stories in books or film? Fiction is preferred for books, but either is fine for visual media.
Ni hao! I will be visiting China for the first time this December. Please share your advice and anecdotes! [more inside]
My honors student is planning out her thesis and is looking for enjoyable short stories (that are in the public domain, preferably) that end in a twist. Details (and a few spoilers!) inside. [more inside]
Hi, My 10 year old girl loves to read. When she gets started, she loves it, but it's the "getting her started" that I have a problem with. [more inside]
Can anyone recommend older short stories, which fall under fair use? The darker or spookier the better. [more inside]
I have a couple of short stories out there on the market right now. They're between 4000-6000 words each. I've really been struggling with how to price these, and I have found no good advice on Google. How should I proceed? Writer flurries inside. [more inside]
RecoFilter: I'm looking for recommendations of books, preferably in the sci-fi/fantasy genres, that have a 'big reveal' somewhere in there that changes the whole perspective of the book or protagonist. Examples would be The Inverted World, The Prestige, or Ender's Game, for example, or the first Star Trek film, or some Lovecraft stories — the whole thing, and all events narrated, appear in a different light after, you know? [more inside]
If you converted from Catholicism to a Protestant denomination (or vice versa), what swayed you? [more inside]
I want to write about obscure and little known gin cocktails, ideally ones with fun stories attached or a vintage pedigree . What are your favorite obscure gin cocktails? The more outlandish and exotic the better.
I remember reading a short story or folk tale about a man who had a ball of string. Whenever something boring was happening, he could just pull out some of the string and fast forward to the more interesting parts of his life. I read it around 1991, and it may have been Isaac Singer. Does anyone have a source for this tale?
Alan Watts, in some of his lectures, tells stories of the experiences of Zen teachers and their students- a sort of mystic, mythic history from ages past. Are there books of these sorts of legends? [more inside]
I'm looking for fairy tales, myths, and similarly imaginative stories where the heroine or hero triumphs because of their perseverance or dedication to developing a skill, not because of an inherent personal characteristic or being "the chosen one." [more inside]
Need help identifying a book from childhood. [more inside]