Spending too much time at the same place doing the same thing all day is no formula for success, as Charles Darwin and many other great minds of history demonstrate. Nautilus looks at the history of highly productive slacking. Read the rest
A panel of academic booksellers, librarians, and publishers asked the public to vote on which academic book from a list of 20 is "the most influential." Charles Darwin's "On The Origin of Species" (1859) dominated with 26% of the vote, beating out the likes of George Orwell's "Nineteen Eight-Four," Adam Smith’s "The Wealth of Nations," and Mary Wollstonecraft's "A Vindication of the Rights of Woman." The top five also included "The Communist Manifesto," "The Complete Works of Shakespeare," Plato's "The Republic," and Immanuel Kant’s "Critique of Pure Reason."
University of Glasgow humanities and English Language professor Andrew Prescott said that Darwin’s text is “the supreme demonstration of why academic books matter."
“Darwin used meticulous observation of the world around us, combined with protracted and profound reflection, to create a book which has changed the way we think about everything – not only the natural world, but religion, history and society,” Prescott said. “Every researcher, no matter whether they are writing books, creating digital products or producing artworks, aspires to produce something as significant in the history of thought as Origin of Species.”
From Darwin's diary written aboard the HMS Beagle, an accounting of an epic April Fool's prank of 1832. Knowing what I know about 19th-century sailors, this seems like a good way to get beaten up. Read the rest
More than 1000 letters written between Charles Darwin and botanist Joseph Dalton Hooker, including 300 never before published, are now available free online for your reading and research pleasure. Read the rest