In “Children of the State,” Jeff Hobbs writes about the school-to-prison pipeline and life in the juvenile “justice” system.
For many kids, a mistake made at age 13 or 14 — often resulting from external factors coupled with a biologically immature brain — can resonate through the rest of their lives, making high school difficult, college nearly impossible, and a middle-class life a mere fantasy.
Writing with great heart and sensitivity, Hobbs challenges preconceived perceptions about how the juvenile justice system works — and demonstrates in brilliant, piercing prose: No one so young should ever be considered irredeemable.
REVIEW: ‘The Legend of Zelda’ is a sprawling masterpiece
Updated 08 June 2023
LONDON: In 2017, “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” broke records and received glowing critical acclaim. It sold about 30 million copies and set the benchmark for open world exploration games for the Nintendo Switch.
The recent release of “The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom” had big shoes to fill, but it has already surpassed expectations, selling over 10 million copies within three days of its release.
There is a trend in games reviews to estimate how much time a game will take to complete, but with the new “Zelda” game this is almost impossible. Talk on social media is replete with gamers who have already spent 60 hours on it without really proceeding along the main narrative arc of the story.
Indeed, such is the enormity and complexity of the world that you are dropped into that it is almost a daunting game to invest in. But if you have the time — and, of course, the portability of the Switch allows for a supreme flexibility — then a world of wonder awaits.
Within five minutes of taking on the role of Link, the famous elfin like hero, you have lost the Princess Zelda that you have sworn to protect, had your sword reduced to a useless husk, and lost an arm in the process of unleashing an ancient evil lying dormant below Hyrule Castle.
Link awakes in a kingdom in the sky tended to by a benevolent ghost who replaces the missing limb with a powerful version of his own allowing Link a series of game changing powers. These are the essential difference from previous Zelda titles as the new arm allows Link to manipulate his environment, build unique weapons, reverse time, and ascend through solid structures.
The new powers are then unleashed on the vast open world of Hyrule and the floating islands in the sky above. Here more traditional challenges await from solving puzzle shrines, defeating a range of enemies, and completing a seemingly infinite number of quests from the major to the minor.
In addition to Link’s new arm powers, the game introduces “Zonai devices” that allow the hero to build rafts, gliders, sleds and more to navigate the huge gaming arena. However, a quicker alternative is to fast travel between shrines, but far more rewarding is the capture and taming of wild horses who can be named and stabled.
World exploring rewards curiosity and the approach to crafting ranges from making clothes suitable for the variety of environments, putting together all manner of weapons, to cooking meals that can see you through the tougher tests that lie ahead.
The storyline is the classic good versus evil, but the impact of the release of the evil — what the characters call “the gloom” — is skilfully done and makes the landscape feels suitable distinct from the game the preceded it.
This Zelda may not be a pickup and play, but its magnificent depth can easily be lost within.
For centuries, mathematicians the world over have tried, and failed, to solve the zeta-3 problem.
Math genius Leonhard Euler attempted it in the 1700s and came up short.
The straightforward puzzle considers if there exists a simple symbolic formula for the following: 1+(1/2)^3+(1/3)^3+(1/4)^3+… . But why is this issue — the sum of the reciprocals of the positive integers cubed—so important?
With “In Pursuit of Zeta-3,” popular math writer Paul Nahin investigates the history and significance of this mathematical conundrum.
The first section explores the many different forms of love including the romantic, platonic and familial. Gibran writes about the joys and pains of love and the importance of giving and receiving it in our lives
Updated 06 June 2023
“Secrets of the Heart” is a book by author and poet Kahlil Gibran, first published in 1947, after his death.
The collection of his writing on love and friendship is divided into several sections, each focusing on different aspects of the human heart.
The book is written through the eyes of a woman whose father made her marry a wealthy nobleman. The unnamed woman begins to write a letter to her beloved sister, pouring her heart out that while her husband cherishes her, she believes he is not meant for her love.
The first section explores the many different forms of love including the romantic, platonic and familial. Gibran writes about the joys and pains of love and the importance of giving and receiving it in our lives.
The second section delves into the nature of true friendship and the qualities that make a good companion. The author emphasizes the importance of honesty, loyalty and understanding in building strong friendships.
The third section consists of meditations on the human heart and its mysteries. Gibran reflects on what lies within the heart, its connection to the soul, and its role in our emotional and spiritual lives.
Throughout the book, Gibran’s writing is poetic and philosophical.
He uses metaphors to explore the complex and often contradictory nature of the human experience, shedding light on how the woman sees herself as a “martyr in this belittling world.”
“Secrets of the Heart” is one of many essays Gibran wrote using both prose and poetry.
While Gibran did not belong to any literary movement, his works reflect elements of symbolism from the Romantic and New Thought movements. He is revered as the voice of the East, which found its way into the hearts of Western readers.
What We Are Reading Today: What’s the Good of Education?
Updated 06 June 2023
Authors: Stephen Machin & Anna Vignoles
Volumes have been written about the value of more and better education. But is there sufficient evidence to support the commonly held belief that we, as individuals and as a community, should be investing more in education?
This book explores that question in unprecedented detail, drawing on empirical evidence from an impressive array of sources. While much of the focus is on the educational system in the UK, the book offers lessons of international applicability.
What We Are Reading Today: The Army and Politics in Indonesia
Updated 05 June 2023
Author: Harold Crouch
The book offers a comprehensive description of the Indonesian army’s history of political involvement.
Harold Crouch shares his incredible knowledge of so many facets of intrigue and manipulation, of names, dates, enemies and friends, and specific circumstances under which each attempted coup and counter effort was made.
His attention to the supporting literature and his own personal experiences indicate that Crouch is a leading expert in this complex and bewildering subject.