Acquired recently in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Backstory is here.
Acquired recently in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Backstory is here.
Pat Conroy, the best-selling novelist and proud adoptive son of the Lowcountry who wrote lyrically about Charleston and unflinchingly about The Citadel, died Friday. He was 70.
The author of “The Great Santini,” “The Lords of Discipline” and “The Prince of Tides” and eight other books passed away shortly after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He died at 7:43 p.m., surrounded by loved ones and family.
I wanted to expand on these Tweets I posted not long after the news broke:
I enjoyed Conroy’s books for their lyricism and their setting: Like Conroy, I moved to South Carolina’s Lowcountry as a teenager, first landing in Hilton Head and then moving up the coast to Beaufort. And I appreciated that he so vividly portrayed what is so compelling about the South — namely, its many warm people and its haunting geography, especially along the coastline, which is dotted with marshes and trees that drip Spanish moss.
At the same time, though, Conroy did not shy away from illuminating the region’s many flaws, such as its horrendous legacy of racism and the fact that bigoted attitudes are still a fact of life for many even today.
In 1995, it must have been, when Beach Music came out, Conroy appeared at a bookstore on the Emory University campus in Atlanta, where I was a junior and studying English.
Like many college students, I was short on cash, and wasn’t able to spring for the hardcover of the new book. But I brought an old, battered mass market paperback copy of The Prince of Tides, his previous novel, that I’d brought to school and had recently read.
He was there with this father — an abusive figure he’d written about; he stood by silently — and when the event ended I approached the younger Conroy. When I told him I was “from” Beaufort, he broke into a big grin, shook my hand, and said he was delighted to meet me.
He asked me a few questions about what I studying, and said I should “give him a holler” if I ever saw him out and about back at home.
I never saw him again, but that brief interaction has remained with me all these years.
I’ll have to search out that copy of The Prince of Tides I gave him to sign — appropriately, it remains at the family home in SC — but if memory serves, the inscription reads, “To Newley, for the love of South Carolina and the Lowcountry.”
Silicon Valley’s 500 Startups is starting a fund to pump money into Vietnam, a sign that some foreign investors believe the communist state’s technology scene is set to blossom.
The Mountain View, Calif.-based seed investor and startup incubator said Tuesday that it aims to invest $10 million in some 100 to 150 startups in the fast-growing country.
“I’ve been watching the tech scene here since 2010, and back then it was way too early” to invest, Eddie Thai, a 500 Startups venture partner, told The Wall Street Journal Tuesday at an event to launch the fund in Ho Chi Minh City.
“Over that period of time, the macros [macroeconomic conditions] improved,” said Mr. Thai. “Internet access improved, smartphones became ubiquitous,” and the teams running startups in Vietnam have gotten “stronger and stronger every year,” he said. “This is our call to everybody to say we’re investing, come to us.”
U.K.-based consultancy We Are Social says smartphone ownership is growing quickly in Vietnam, and that 55% of adults in the country now use the devices. The country is also young: Some 41% of the country’s more than 94 million people are below the age of 24, according to CIA World Factbook data. That means there is a huge potential for companies to tap into a growing base of users.
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Thanks for reading Newley’s Notes, a weekly newsletter where I share my WSJ stories, posts from my blog, and various interesting links
What I wrote in The Wall Street Journal:
+ Uber Rolls Out Motorcycle-Booking Service in Bangkok — The world’s most valuable startup picked Thailand for its first service allowing users to book motorbikes through its app.
(Those who have visited the Kingdom or other parts of Southeast Asia know that motorcycle taxis are popular in the region because they allow a cheap, easy way to cut through traffic-clogged metropolises. I was reminded how strange they might seem to outsiders, however, by someone who left a one-word comment on the story: #deathwish.”)
5 items that are worth your time this week:
1. There exists in America a restaurant that serves 30 different kinds of oatmeal. Amazingly, it is in New York’s Greenwich Village, not Portland, Oregon. (Thanks, Anasuya!)
2. Worth a listen if you’re interested in economics, politics, sports, forecasting, and/or statistics: Nate Silver talks to Tyler Cowen about just about everything you can imagine.
3. Research finding of the week: “Chocolate intake is associated with better cognitive function: The Maine-Syracuse Longitudinal Study.” Yesssssss…
4. Good stuff from The Wirecutter: a detailed guide to improving your smartphone’s battery life
Have a great week!
Embedded above and on YouTube here: footage of New York City from 1896 through 1905.
Embedded above and on YouTube here: “Monkey Sees A Magic Trick.”
I love it.
An email newsletter* I recently discovered and am loving: “The New Yorker Minute.”
It’s a weekly rundown of the gems in each issue — and a guide to what you can skip.
Each Wednesday, subscribers receive a summary of material in the week’s issue, broken down into sections like “read this,” “window-shop these,” and “skip without guilt.”
There are also pointers regarding short stories, poetry and cartoons.
Those are among the links I shared in the 25th edition of my email newsletter, Newley’s Notes, which just went out to subscribers.
Sign up here and never miss another dispatch.
Matt Might, whose account of having a disabled child I mentioned previously, also has an interesting post on productivity tips for academics.
The advice can be applied to people working in many professions, though, not just academia.
I really like this bit:
Iterate toward perfection
Treat perfection like a process, not an achievable state. Perfectionism is crippling to productivity. I’ve known academics that can’t even start projects because of perfectionism. I know some academics that defend their lack of productivity by proudly proclaiming themselves to be perfectionists. I’m not so sure one should be proud of perfectionism. I don’t think it’s bad to want perfection; I just think it’s unrealistic to expect it.
The metric academics need to hit is “good enough,” and after that, “better than good enough,” if time permits. Forget that the word perfect exists. Otherwise, one can sink endless amounts of time into a project long after the scientific mission was accomplished. One good-enough paper that got submitted is worth an infinite number of perfect papers that don’t exist.
I'm Newley Purnell, a Wall Street Journal reporter based in New Delhi, where I cover technology in India. I use this site to highlight my stories and point out interesting links that catch my eye.