34 amazing first lines of famous books.

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ever wonder how to get your book reviewed?

Ever wonder “How to get my book reviewed”?

So you’ve published your book. Its been edited and published, and now you’re trying to figure out how to get to your potential readers. While starting your marketing campaign usually happens well More »

‘People are hungry for real bookstores’: Judy Blume on why US indie booksellers are growing

At 78, the multimillion-selling author has begun a new career, opening her own bookshop and joining a business sector thats flourishing again in the US   She might be a beloved and More »

Here’s the technology behind those mesmerizing drone light shows

Alex Jones believes Democrats planned "civil unrest" for the Fourth of July. Maybe he's thinking of fireworks.
Image: Getty Images

Where will you be on the Fourth of July? 

Alex Jones thinks Americans will be fighting in a vicious battle over avocados and soy milk. The often disgraced conspiracy theorist and self-proclaimed “performance artist” claimed that Democrats are planning to launch a civil war on Independence Day in a tweet on Monday. 

In the video Jones posted, he ranted that “establishment publications” that communicate with the government instead of the general public “began to develop a plan” using civil unrest and “racial strife” in order to “force Trump out.” 

OK, Alex. Maybe he misinterpreted the annual fireworks displays as “civil unrest.” 

But his attempt at riling up the public was turned into a patriotic meme as Twitter users imagined where they would be if a second civil war broke out. 

Twitter users responded withthe hashtag  #SecondCivilWarLetters, joking about battling incels and searching for Starbucks safe houses.

Like the correspondence between soldiers and their loved ones during the “first” American Civil War, Twitter users kept their spouses and family members posted with updates from the front lines of battle. 

It seems like everyone’s running away to Canada.

The leftist battalions also made fun of the alt-right’s fondness for tiki torches, which is just about as intimidating as their khakis.

War is rough, everyone. Where are the avocados??

They did it to own the libs, obviously.

It’s all quiet on the far right front. 

In the video he released with his tweet, Jones actually admitted: “I’m not that smart!” 

“How did you know they were planning a civil war,” Jones asked nobody in particular, before claiming that news organizations have been planning this “civil war” all along. “I told you! I’m not that smart!” 

So no worries, you won’t have to fight through Chick-Fil-A on the Fourth of July. Alex Jones himself said he isn’t that smart. 

Read more: https://mashable.com/2018/07/03/second-civil-war-letters-alex-jones-conspiracy/

What Trump supporters think of family separations at the border

Mesa, Arizona (CNN)As the Trump administration has ramped up the practice of separating children from their parents at the border with no clear plan for reuniting them, critics have been unsparing, calling it “government-sanctioned child abuse.”

US law does not mandate separating undocumented families; the uptake in such separations is an effect of a zero-tolerance immigration policy the administration enacted in May to prosecute anyone who crosses the border illegally.
“I blame it on the parents for letting it happen because they bring them up and know they can’t get across there legally,” said Ron Carroll, a 69-year-old resident of Mesa, Arizona.
    Other supporters of US President Donald Trump say their feelings on family separation are not so cut and dry. “I don’t want to see families torn apart, but I also support enforcing the law,” said Jessica Lycos, a political consultant based in Phoenix.
    CNN spoke to eight people who identified as Trump supporters over two days in the border state of Arizona. Here’s what they had to say about the controversial practice:

    Ron Carroll

    Carroll was one of four supporters of who spoke to CNN on Tuesday about family separation over breakfast at Nana Dee’s Diner in Mesa.
    A retiree originally from St. Louis, Missouri, Carroll says President Trump should stand by the practice despite intensifying criticism.
    “He should enforce the laws like he’s doing, and our Congress needs to abide by the laws and follow the laws and enforce the laws. Not go against our President,” he said. He said he blames backlash over the practice on Congress for signing off on a law without knowing what it says, going back to the Obama administration.
    It has long been a misdemeanor federal offense to be caught illegally entering the United States, punishable by up to six months in prison. Previous administrations largely opted not to pursue criminal charges against people who crossed illegally with children, referring them instead mostly to immigration courts.
    Under zero tolerance, apprehended parents are held in federal prisons where their children can’t join them.
    “Like I said earlier, it’s the parents that bring them up, and they already know they’re going to take them away, so to me there’s no issue there, Carroll said.

    Madeline Carroll

    Carroll’s wife agreed with him that parents were to blame for being separated from their children. Family separation should be enforced as long as zero tolerance is an administration priority, she said.
    “To be perfectly honest, I’m angry at the parents,” she said. “I feel very honestly that it’s their fault that the children have been separated, because they’re bringing them in illegally. And the other thing is, the law that has been put on the books was not put on recently. It was put on back many years ago, and I think very seriously that they need very firmly to say enough is enough.”
    She faulted the media for using children to play on people’s emotions.
    “I think people need to stop constantly bringing up the poor children, the poor children. The parents are the problems. They’re the ones coming in illegally,” she said. “Quit trying to make us feel teary-eyed for the children. Yes, I love children a great deal, but to me, it’s up to the parents to do things rightfully and legally.”

    Carl Bier

    The 84-year-old retiree said undocumented immigrants should face consequences for trying to cross the border illegally. He worries about “bad guys” coming into the country, or that people may falsely claim to be parents to gain an advantage by using children that are not their own.
    “Here’s how I feel about it: When I was a kid, 16 years old, I got fined for swimming in a lake ’cause I didn’t follow the rules,” he said. “These people that we have coming across the border illegally are breaking the rules. I have no feelings for them at all.”

    Sonya Coppa

    This mother of two says children affected by family separation are the victims of their parents’ poor choices.
    “Unfortunately, those parents and those children are feeling what their choices are.”
    A resident of Globe, Arizona, she says she worries about families of undocumented immigrants living off the state. Parents should enter the country legally if they want to be here.
    “You can’t just come into this state and reap,” she said. “Do it legally, get your card, become a citizen pay your taxes. That’s what I believe in.”

    Jessica Lycos

    Lycos attends “Politics on the Rocks” meetups, a monthly networking happy hour for people whose politics skew conservative. She and three other members of the group who identified as Trump supporters sat down Monday with CNN in a restaurant in Scottsdale, a Phoenix suburb.
    Lycos said she doesn’t want to see families torn apart.But she said she could imagine scenarios in which separation might be appropriate, including when a family relationship can’t be proven or if the adult is suspected of another crime aside from illegally crossing the border. (Under the zero tolerance policy, neither scenario need apply for family separation to occur.)
    She said she believes that family separation is a symptom of bigger ruptures in the immigration system. “We have people who came here the right way. We need to fix the broken immigration system in general.”

    Brian Shiau

    The vice president of a private equity holding company, Shiau said he doesn’t believe that the administration intended to harm families.
    But it appears that the administration did not fully think through the “human aspect” of how enforcement of a zero tolerance policy would play out, he said.
    “I don’t think the people involved want to do it this way, but that’s the way that the policy has been instructed for them to do,” he said.

    Renee Padilla

    Padilla, who works in human resources said she does not support separating families at the border. But she supports securing the border, she said, and family separation is part of that, for better or worse.
    The practice of family separation started before the Trump administration, she said — it’s just now being implemented at a greater frequency through zero tolerance.
    “It’s not just involving separating the families — we’re trying to secure our borders to stop the drug trafficking, the sex trafficking and I think it goes a little deeper,” she said.
    “At the end of the day, to make America great again I think both sides of the aisle need to come together.

    Pascal Kropf

    Kropf, vice-president of “Politics on the Rocks,” said he doesn’t think children should be taken from their parents. But as long as a law that leads to family separation is “on the books,” it should be enforced.
    “If we don’t like it, let’s get together and change it. Let’s fix it,” he said. But, with the midterm elections coming up, and the tendency of politicians to play to their bases, he said he’s doubtful that bipartisan compromise will come soon.
    “Unfortunately … it’s politics.”

    Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/19/us/trump-voters-family-separation/index.html

    Pippa Middleton Finally Confirms Pregnancy In Candid Essay!

    Congratulations to Pippa Middleton!

    For a couple months, we’ve heard the rumor Kate Middleton‘s charming younger sister and husband James Matthews have an English muffin in the oven.

    Royal Wedding: All The Celebrities Who Attended Meghan Markle & Prince Harry’s Nuptials!

    Well, on Thursday the 34-year-old writer finally confirmed her first pregnancy in a guest article for Britain’s Waitrose magazine, all about how to keep up her fitness regime during the first trimester, writing:

    “I’m fanatical about sport and have looked at loads of books and websites on exercise during pregnancy but have been disappointed by the limited technical information on what you can and can’t do.”

    She says the couple were staying secretive during the “early months” — we didn’t even see a bump in her Royal Wedding outfit (above, gallery) — so she couldn’t consult a trainer either.

    So she went DIY. Get her deets (below):

    “So I decided to use my own initiative and adapted my current exercise routine, adjusting the weight and intensity to what felt right for me.

    I work out for 45 minutes, three to four times a week depending on my energy levels, but ensured that the routines I did were lighter than usual.

    I’ve noticed my body change but through exercise, I feel it’s being strengthened.”

    That is going to be one unstoppable baby!

    [Image via WENN.]

    Read more: http://perezhilton.com/2018-06-07-pippa-middleton-pregnant-husband-james-matthews-confirmed-fitness-essay

    The Way by Kristen Wolf

    Book Summary

    Anna is a striking and spirited young girl living in ancient Palestine where being a daughter is a disappointment. While her father excitedly anticipates the birth of his first son, the invisible Anna endures a life of drudgery. One bright spot in her world is the crippled old woman living by the village well who declares that the headstrong girl possesses a powerful destiny. But before the elder can reveal her prophecy an unexpected tragedy strikes Anna’s family and her father—dressing Anna as a boy—sells his daughter to a band of wandering shepherds.

    Abandoned and armed with only bravery and wits, Anna must learn to survive the harsh desert and unruly men. Yet just when she masters her bold life of disguise, she stumbles upon a den of mysterious caves and is captured by the secret band of women living inside. Unable to escape, Anna soon discovers that the sisterhood’s mystical teachings and miraculous healing abilities have forced her to question everything she’s been told to believe and—to her amazement—unleashed an astonishing power within her.

    But when violent enemies opposed to the women’s ways threaten to destroy them, Anna vows to save her mentors and preserve their powerful wisdom. Forced again to leave home and loved ones behind, a transformed Anna returns to the world of men—as only she can—determined to unfold a daring and dangerous mission: One that will put everything she’s become to the test. Will she succeed…or be condemned?

    Amazon Link – https://amzn.to/2Ng0NuD

    “A young girl in ancient Palestine struggles with her calling as a spiritual leader in Wolf’s audacious, deftly woven debut.” –Publishers Weekly

    “This book took me on a journey… I was surprised in more ways than I ever could have imagined. THE WAY is one of those rare novels that makes you think.” – Javier Sierra, New York Times bestselling author of The Secret Supper

    “Remarkable story, beautifully told.” – Mary Johnson, New York Times bestselling author of An Unquenchable Thirst

    Author Bio:

    KRISTEN WOLF is an award-winning author, creative and wondernaut living in the Rocky Mountains. Her debut novel, THE WAY, was hailed by O, The Oprah Magazine as “A Title to Pick Up Now!” Her second novel, ESCAPEMENT, won a 2018 IndieReader Discovery Award. A graduate of Georgetown University, she was nominated to the Phi Beta Kappa honor society and holds an M.A. in creative writing from Hollins University.

    Mystery Of The Leaning Tower Of Pisa Has Finally Been Solved

    A team of engineers has finally unlocked the puzzle of why the seemingly unstable Leaning Tower of Pisa is still standing despite the central Italian region’s long history of powerful earthquakes and the passage of more than 600 years.

    Led by Roma Tre University, the investigation went beyond previous studies of the tower’s unexpected stability by analyzing the available structural and seismic data records and examining the physical, mechanical, and chemical properties of the construction materials and the rock and soil underneath.

    Their results, slated to be presented at the 16th European Conference in Earthquake Engineering next month, revealed that the Tower’s ability to withstand strong seismic vibration comes from a phenomenon called dynamic soil-structure interaction (DSSI).

    Essentially, due to a remarkably serendipitous interplay between the tower’s height (55 meters or 183 feet), the soft soil it is anchored in, and the rigidity of the marble constituting most of its structure, the tower has vibrational characteristics that prevent it from resonating – aka shaking – when seismic waves pass through the ground.

    “Ironically, the very same soil that caused the leaning instability and brought the Tower to the verge of collapse, can be credited for helping it survive these seismic events,” said Professor George Mylonakis, from Bristol’s Department of Civil Engineering, in a statement.

    Construction of the bell tower, located on the grounds of the Piazza dei Miracoli cathedral, began in 1173. The structure is said to have started leaning by the time workers had crafted the third of the eight planned stories, and the soft soil underneath – composed of sand, mud, and clay – was quickly identified as the cause. At the time, the tower leaned north, so the architect (whose identity remains up for debate) tried to compensate by crafting smaller columns and arches on the north side of the third level. But before the builders could complete the fourth story, construction was halted by the outbreak of a series of religious wars.

    Attempts were made to complete the bell tower when the dust settled in 1272. Then leaning south due to soil movement over the previous century, the tower’s new engineers also tried to compensate for the angle but had to stop building – after completing the seventh story – when political drama erupted once again in 1278. The north-tilting eighth story was finally completed around 1370, giving the south-leaning tower its characteristic curved appearance.

    Following a series of stabilization efforts throughout the 20th century and early 2000s, the tower’s lean has been lessened. As of today, the top of the tower is offset from the center of the base by 3.9 meters (12 feet 10 inches).

    The Leaning Tower, cathedral and baptistery of Piazza dei  Miracoli, Pisa. Vintage engraved illustration. Trousset encyclopedia (1886 – 1891). Morphart Creation/Shutterstock


    Read more: http://www.iflscience.com/physics/mystery-of-the-leaning-tower-of-pisa-has-finally-been-solved/

    movies from books

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    Fox Military Guest: Torture Is Good, It Worked on John McCain

    According to a frequent Fox Business Network military commentator, torture is good because it worked on Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).

    McCain, who was tortured while a prisoner of war in Vietnam, has been outspoken in opposing Gina Haspel, President Trumps pro-torture nominee to lead the Central Intelligence Agency.

    Appearing Thursday morning on the Fox Business Network, retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney took an ugly swipe at McCain for his opposition to torture, telling Varney & Co. host Charles Payne: The fact is, is John McCainit worked on John. Thats why they call him Songbird John.

    The fact is those methods can work, and they are effective, as former Vice President Cheney said, McInerney continued, in a clip first spotted by Media Matters. And if we have to use them to save a million American lives, we will do whatever we have to.

    Contrary to McInerneys claim, however, there is no evidence McCain ever gave up accurate information while being tortured in North Vietnam. In fact, the senator wrote in one of his books, Pressed for more useful information, I gave the names of the Green Bay Packers offensive line, and said they were members of my squadron.

    Experienced interrogators frequently cite that story as a demonstration of how ineffective torture is in producing reliable information.

    Hours after the segment aired, Payne released a statement apologizing to the McCain family. This morning on a show I was hosting, a guest made a very false and derogatory remark about Senator John McCain. At the time, I had the control room in my ear telling me to wrap the segment, and did not hear the comment. I regret I did not catch this remark, as it should have been challenged. As a proud military veteran and son of a Vietnam Vet these words neither reflect my or the networks feelings about Senator McCain, or his remarkable service and sacrifice to this country.

    McInerney, once a top TV pitchman for President George W. Bushs Iraq War, recently served as a paid analyst on Fox News. He is no longer in that position, but continues to make frequent appearances across both Fox News and Fox Business, and has a penchant for outlandish claims related to military and foreign policy.

    The former number-three commander of the Air Force was a frequent source of birther conspiracies about President Obama, often suggesting he was secretly a radical Muslim.

    I feel I have an obligation to the American people to be a part of the discourse and discuss these important national security issues because they are complex, especially on radical Islam, McInerney told The Daily Beast shortly before appearing at a 2016 Trump rally. As a nation we have not had it. We have a president that has suppressed it.

    McInerney also infamously claimed on Fox News that missing passenger jet MH370 was actually hijacked by terrorists and flown to Pakistan to be used for jihadist activities.

    More recently, in late 2017, while appearing on Fox News star Sean Hannitys radio show, McInerney dismissed host concerns about how millions could potentially die in a U.S. war with North Korea: Yeah, but they'll be mostly North Koreans, the retired lieutenant general said.

    Correction: Fox News pointed out that McInerney has not been a paid analyst for nearly a year.

    Read more: https://www.thedailybeast.com/fox-news-military-analyst-torture-is-good-it-worked-on-john-mccain

    20+ Times People Couldnt Believe Their Luck In Thrift Stores, Flea Markets And Garage Sales

    If you think thrift stores, yard sales, and flea markets are filled with nothing but piles of junk, you’re missing out. Some incredibly lucky people discover the best things there, but those who search second-hand shops without finding the things they’re looking for usually stumble upon the next best thing – laughter. Bored Panda has collected some of the funniest thrift store finds ever, and the pictures will definitely make you run to that garage sale you walked by.

    From “unusual” chocolate molds that look like pee pees to stoner books disguised as reads about cats, these gems were probably bought the second they drew the buyers’ attention. Scroll down to check out the hilarious items and upvote your faves!


    Mythbuster Adam Savage Has Made a Bag, and It’s Beautiful

    Adam Savage is clearly overjoyed about his new bag. I met up with the gear-obsessed designer, former Mythbusters host, and Tested.com editor in chief at his workshop in San Francisco to see his latest creation. He's designed his first carryall utility bag, the EDC One, and launched a new brand, Savage Industries, to market it. With the same childlike glee he exudes on camera, Savage flipped the thing around on the workbench, opening and closing it, zipping and unzipping, as he pointed out all the features.

    Yes, the bag is white. It only comes in white, at least for now.

    It's constructed almost entirely out of upcycled cloth from boat sails, so each bag has some unique quirks, and every specimen comes off the production line with a broken-in look. The handles are held together by magnets instead of snaps or velcro, which, if you've fiddled with those types of closures on your own bag, is a welcome innovation. You just bring the handles near one another and they jump together with a satisfying clonk. Also clever: The straps are stiff enough that the clasped handle stays propped upright like a little pup tent frame. Unzip and pry open the bag, and it holds its shape in that configuration too, thanks to a pair of spring steel inserts that run around the lip and keep the mouth agape like the jaw of a whale shark.

    There's a pocket inside to hold your notebooks (Savage adores Tom Sachs Ten Bullets notebooks, though he says his pocket is brand-agnostic) and, via a stack of horizontal loops, your pens and pencils. On the Kevlar-reinforced bottom, there are strips of velcro. This detail hints at accessories to come, like some padded bays for camera equipment or a waterproof bucket-like insert for toting a 12-pack.

    Savage Industries

    Savage designed it so it could carry absolutely everything he needs for a day, from tools to books to lunch. He says he drew inspiration from two places: First is the old tool case he used when employed as a model-builder at Industrial Light & Magic. It too had the clamshell top that flopped open for full access to the goods inside. He's tried to find something like it on the market, but he was disappointed enough in the options to just build his own version. The other inspiration is the purse given to Apollo astronauts on the missions to the moon. Called the Temporary Stowage Bag or, colloquially, the McDivitt Purse, this tote was mostly forgotten until Neil Armstrong's widow discovered it while going through her recently deceased husband's belongings. Savage borrowed a few elements from the NASA design—the simple shape, the steel closure, and the near-total absence of pigment.

    None More White

    Yes, the bag is white. It only comes in white, at least for now. It's striking, but it seems impractical for something that's bound to soak up dirt and grime and oil. Savage sells me on it. It will develop a patina, and patinas are cool. Also, you can't find tools at the bottom of a black bag, he says. He certainly didn't want to make something that fell in line with the current fashion trend of "tactical" and "urban camo" that seems to dominate bags and accessories. A white bag stands out as unique. It isn't hyper-masculine like the ubiquitous Cordura messenger. Rather, it's almost feminine, or at least nonbinary.

    Savage has been sewing since he was in middle school (he regularly makes his own costumes) but for this project the heavy lifting and stitching was done by Mafia, a company also based in San Francisco that makes a whole line of gorgeous bags primarily out of recycled sailcloth. Mafia has produced a few hundred Savage bags for this first run, and each one gets Mafia's standard lifetime warranty.

    The bags are available on Savage's website. Each costs $225. Once the first run sells out, they'll go on backorder until Mafia can catch up. Each one will be hand-numbered for extra collector cred.

    So this is a new brand, this Savage Industries. There's more to come, Adam says: a smaller version of this bag and a larger one too, though the big version will still be sized to meet FAA regulations for carry-ons. What else? He wouldn't say, beyond these bags and the accessories that will Velcro into them. Whatever arrives next, I just hope it comes in white.

    Read more: https://www.wired.com/story/savage-industries-bag/

    ‘Describe yourself like a male author would’ becomes a hilarious Twitter challenge

    Read more: https://www.dailydot.com/unclick/describe-like-male-author-becomes-twitter-thread/