Acclaimed science writer and National Geographic contributor David Quammen introduces two theories on Ebola outbreak patterns.
Rock Island LineArtist
“Invisible Monsters" by Chuck Palahniuk (1999).
Are we in a golden age of books about education?
World War I began 100 years ago today when Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia. In an excerpt from The Long Shadow: The Legacies of the Great War in the Twentieth Century, David Reynolds charts Woodrow Wilson’s shift from studied neutrality to isolationist-no-more.
Elizabeth Green’s New York Times Magazine feature on math education in America is getting people talking. It’s currently the most emailed article on nytimes.com.
Read the article to find out why Americans stink at math, then check out Green’s new book Building a Better Teacher.
If Elvis was considered dangerous, then Jerry Lee Lewis was outright terrifying. He wore custard-yellow suits with black piping and had a sneer that spelled out sex and dirt and a regal arrogance. He was a mean, mean man. “We’re going to hell,” he’d cry. “Fire and brimstone. The fire never dies, the burning never dies, the fire never quenches for the weeping, wailing, gnashing of teeth. Yessir, going to hell. The Bible tells us so.” He was nicknamed the Killer, largely for what he did to his poor piano, his golden curls of hair flying as he sweated, battered, and molested the poor thing.
The piano on his first hit, “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” (no. 3, ’57), sounded like it could break through the floorboards; it made a roaring, echoing noise like ominous approaching clouds.
From Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!: The Story of Pop Music from Bill Haley to Beyoncé by Bob Stanley, out now in hardcover and ebook.
All Killer, no filler over on The Story of Pop.
Chapter 2: Elvis Presley
In the early seventies Elvis Presley’s record label, RCA, released an album of unreleased outtakes called A Legendary Performer: when it outsold his new album of maudlin country ballads, the singer must have felt he had begun to lose the battle with his myth. Trapped inside Graceland, the Memphis mansion that was half home, half prison, the humble country boy who had done more than anyone to invent teen culture grew overweight and suffered severe depression; to the outside world, though, he was still the ultimate superstar, the invincible King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. Eighteen months before he died, Elvis told his producer Felton Jarvis, “I’m so tired of being Elvis Presley.”
Listen to the Chapter 2 playlist (with songs by Elvis Presley):
(This playlist features only the specific songs discussed in Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! by Bob Stanley (W. W. Norton, 2014) that are available on Spotify. Additional songs, albums, and bands are referenced beyond what is included here.)
Follow the storyofpop tumblr for a little music history on your dash. Today’s lesson: Elvis Presley. And coming soon: the early days of rockabilly.