today. (h/t colleen)
Pity the poor essay collection. Unlike its close, more creative neighbor — the short story collection — or its snooty relation, The Novel, the humble essay collection is the wallflower of the literary world. And, when an essay collection is composed — as Ann Patchett’s new volume partly is — of pieces previously printed in fashion and pet lovers’ magazines, it really might seem like a grab bag of minor material — as, admittedly, a few of the pieces here are.
But if you want to learn something practical about writing, specifically how someone like Ann Patchett became the feet-firmly-planted-on-the-ground wonder of a novelist that she is, many of these essays can tell you — both by their very existence and their varied subject matter.
In the two years before Obama became president and job losses bottomed out, young people born between the 1980s and the end of the century (a.k.a.: Millennials) were fleeing Washington, D.C. But in the next two years, the city and its surrounding suburbs in Maryland and Virginia added more Millennials than any other city in America.
Read more. [Image: Reuters]
Journalist Adam Minter's book “Junkyard Planet" explores the often hidden billion-dollar trash and recycling industry. Today on Fresh Air he explains how automobile scraps get sorted often are sorted overseas:
One of the primary hand-sorting jobs that you’ll find in both China and India is sorting shredded automobile scrap imported from the U.S. and the EU. The way that automobiles are recycled in pretty much every country … is they’re shredded into fist-sized chunks and then some of those chunks — that are various mixed metals — are shipped to developing countries for hand-sorting.
This is not an easy job to do because there’s all kinds of metals in there and most human beings without extensive training and experience can’t, for example, tell the difference between a hunk of zinc and a hunk of aluminum in their hand. And then to be able to do it quickly and precisely is even more difficult.
image via news tribune blog