Friday Stuff: Existential Questions, Plants, Solar Eclipses, Word Origins, and What I’m Reading

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“Ten years from now, what will the older you wish the younger you had done?”

Could This Be the End of Frankincense? – JoAnna Klein

As more uses are found for the aromatic resin, the population of trees that produce it are on the brink of collapse.

During a Solar Eclipse, What Are Plants Doing? – Cara Giaimo

Research conducted during the Great American Eclipse of 2017 suggested the sun’s midday disappearance shocked some plants.

From rabbits to gonorrhea: “clap” and its kin – Anatoly Liberman

Three years ago, I discussed the origin of several kl– formations, all of which were sound-symbolickl- appeared to suggest cleaving, cluttering, and the like. … Why should kl- suggest clinging and clustering, rather than cloying or clobbering? Actually, it does both. In this hunt, one never knows where to stop, and researchers are often carried away by the tempting similarity of numerous words that may or may not have anything in common.

What I’m Reading:

You Can’t Make This Stuff Up: The Complete Guide to Writing Creative Nonfiction—from Memoir to Literary Journalism and Everything in Between by Lee Gutkind

“From rags-to-riches-to-rags tell-alls to personal health sagas to literary journalism everyone seems to want to try their hand at creative nonfiction. Now, Lee Gutkind, the go-to expert for all things creative nonfiction, taps into one of the fastest-growing genres with this new writing guide. Frank and to-the-point, with depth and clarity, Gutkind describes and illustrates each and every aspect of the genre, from defining a concept and establishing a writing process to the final product. Offering new ways of understanding genre and invaluable tools for writers to learn and experiment with, You Can’t Make This Stuff Up allows writers of all skill levels to thoroughly expand and stylize their work.”

By Carin Marais

Bibliophile, writer of speculative fiction, non-fiction, and maybe-fiction, language practitioner, doer of stuff.

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