Who knew that Martians, inside monstrous tripodal machines taller than many buildings, actually ululated, that they made eerily haunting “ulla, ulla, ulla, ulla” sounds? Well, let me tell you that they do — or rather did when they were devastating London.
I know that because I recently reread H.G. Wells’s 1898 novel “War of the Worlds,” while revisiting an early moment in my own life. Admittedly, I wasn’t in London when those Martian machines, hooting away, stalked boldly into that city, hungry in the most literal fashion imaginable for human blood. No surprise there, since that was almost a century and a quarter ago. Still, at 77, thanks to that book, I was at least able to revisit a moment that had been mine long enough ago to seem almost like fiction.
Editor’s Note: This is about authoritarianism, Trump, and attacks on American Democracy.
For most of history, it was by no means obvious what was an irreducible material — what we now call a chemical element. But investigators discovered the building blocks of the universe and, in so doing, built an extraordinary foundational account of chemistry.
This history displays an uneven gradient of progress. Some elements, like gold, copper or iron, had been known for centuries. Early experimenters developed an understanding of elements like carbon and sulfur. From there, though, an infrastructure of techniques and tools, knowledge sharing and accumulation was required for exploration to keep going.
Nonetheless, as the picture began to fill out individuals were still capable of making a huge impact. In the late eighteenth century, the British scientist Sir Humphrey Davy alone predicted the existence of elements like potassium, sodium and calcium, and was then able to isolate them. Around the same time the discovery of fundamentals of chemistry like hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen altered the chemical lexicon forever.
Robert Bly, the Minnesota poet, author and translator who articulated the solitude of landscapes, galvanized protests against the Vietnam War and started a controversial men’s movement with a best seller that called for a restoration of primal male audacity, died on Sunday at his home in Minneapolis.
He was 94. The death was confirmed by his wife, Ruth Bly. From the sheer volume of his output — more than 50 books of poetry, translations of European and Latin American writers, and nonfiction commentaries on literature, gender roles and social ills, as well as poetry magazines he edited for decades — one might imagine a recluse holed up in a North Woods cabin.
And Mr. Bly did live for many years in a small town in Minnesota, immersing himself in the poetry of silent fields and snowy woodlands.
Bobby Flay and Discovery’s Food Network have reached an agreement on a new three-year contract, a deal that comes about six weeks after negotiations stalled because the sides were too far apart on financial terms.
The celebrity chef, restaurateur and author has set an exclusive pact that will keep him in the Discovery family through the middle of the decade and up to his 30th on-air anniversary with the cabler.
The new contract also expands the scope of content opportunities available to Flay’s Rock Shrimp Productions, which produces most of his shows for Food Network. And the wide-ranging deal comes just as Discovery is poised to grow significantly through its pending merger with WarnerMedia.