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Camy

Why are so many adults reading YA and teen fiction?

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Hemlock is a extremely poisonous plant (it grows in some parts of the Bay Area, so as kids we were warned about it; there's also an unrelated and non-poisonous tree that also grows in the Bay Area, the hemlock tree [duh!]). The stem of the hemlock plant has distinctive spots. I think it's in the celery family (but I'm not sure about that). Socrates was killed (committed suicide) by drinking a beverage that contained hemlock.

Colin :icon_geek:

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I knew the what and who, or thought I did. I thought the poison was somehow distilled from the tree; didn't know there was an eponymous bush involved. I still don't know how the drinkable poison is made. Boiling the shrub parts?

Another poisonous plant that is very common is oleander. Teach your kids to stay away from it.

C

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Some of the disappointing subjects of the student films at the film school centre I worked at was the preponderance of horror stories (vampires, zombies, etc.)

The demise of the so-called "classical education" has been accompanied by loss of the humanities in present day studies.

A recent situation arose where, I asked a dozen or so medical students if they could tell me what hemlock was.

Not one of them knew what I talking about, nor did their professors know.

So my question for you, should you choose to answer is,

"What is hemlock, and who was the most famous historical figure associated with it?"

No googling the answer, this is a test of previously acquired knowledge.

DesDownunder,

I could not agree with you more.

For me, film was literature brought to life in movies like Fellini's “La Strada”, Truffaut, “400 Blows” and Di Sica's “The Bicycle Thief.” Not to limiting it to European films, there was Rebel Without a Cause, East of Eden and Street Car Named Desire. Movies about real life and struggle that had substance. These movies had the power to help us understand each other. There are movies that rise to that level today, but damn few..

After telling me that she wouldn't watch a black and white film, a young friend said to me, “You got the weirdest taste in movies.”

Vampires and Zombies are fantasies brought to life. They are simple, superficial and do not test the intellect. It is easy to be afraid of something you don't understand but that should be the beginning not the end. It's not your students fault because I believe that it is intentional, systemic deprivation. This is the cost and consequence of the lowest common denominator.

Who knows, perhaps it is time to cut away a lot of the past, but it is not being replaced with anything of value or substance, it is not being replace with anything human.

I knew the answer and I didn't go to Google.

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Right to the poison, but the person was Socrates.

Turning to the original subject, I think the YA market is better served these days. Although you might criticise it, the equivalents of the Harry Potter books do not really exist in bulk forty or more years ago. The Biggles series is meant to cover the YA audience and although I read them, they can't hold a candle to Harry Potters.

The Swallows and Amazon series by Arthur Ransome though is the one that bucks the trend. "We didn't mean to go to sea" is one of those books that in my opinion everyone should have read.

Mind you, by the time I actually was a teenager, I'd read all of that and was reading stuff like Robert Heinlein. I was a very precocious reader.

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I have a confession to make. I have had dyslexia before anyone knew what it was. I had a very hard time learning how to read and I am very fortunate coming through this with a genuine love of books.

Even today I read at vocal speed and I must exercise discipline to stay focused. This explains my preference for the short story and 20th century American literature because much of it is simple and conversational. However I can get terribly bogged down in the complexities of someone like Joseph Conrad's 100 word sentences.

I have just found a brilliant program where I can pick-up the text and paste it into this program and it will read it in an almost natural voice. This allows me to close my eyes and truly imagine the writer's vision without my stumbling and irregular reading style.

.

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I have just found a brilliant program where I can pick-up the text and paste it into this program and it will read it in an almost natural voice. This allows me to close my eyes and truly imagine the writer's vision without my stumbling and irregular reading style.

Larkin, what's the name of the program? I'm always looking for something that's closer to natural voice than the stuff I've been able to gather. I want to use it for editing my stories. I've tried having Doug read them to me, but it doesn't really work because he doesn't trip over the typos and errors, he just fixes them as he reads and never says anything. Foo!

Colin :icon_geek:

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There are several.. The one I got was Natural Reader.

http://www.naturalreaders.com/index.html

It is free if you do not mind robotic voices.

It is a little overpriced at $70. if you want the full version. Paying the extra money means that you can be read to in a very natural voice by a man, a woman, or a boy named Josh.

There is also a function that turns the text into audio Mp3's so that you can take it on the road with a podcast player.

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I knew the what and who, or thought I did. I thought the poison was somehow distilled from the tree; didn't know there was an eponymous bush involved. I still don't know how the drinkable poison is made. Boiling the shrub parts?

Another poisonous plant that is very common is oleander. Teach your kids to stay away from it.

C

Basically you make an infusion of it. Never understood why they used hemlock, aconite is far more effective, though hemlock is probably more humane.

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