Friday High Five: Shark vs Internet, How to Apply for Grants & Musical Science

Alice Pung goes back to school

In a wonderful essay for Right Now, Alice Pung revisits the scene of her early education, in Braybrook, where a Year 12 study centre provides a haven for students whose home life consists of hard work. She reflects on migration, hardship and the importance of education in moving out of poverty - and the obstacles that mean it’s not as easy as it might seem. ‘Understanding how easy it is to be on the wrong side of luck without warning, I wanted to return to the places where I grew up. I wanted to be reminded again of how stoically kids in the Western suburbs go about their education.’

Science explains why songs from your adolescence are the best

Do you swear that teenagers these days have lost the plot, musically? Would you prefer to watch the Rage top 40 from the year you turned 18 to the one that’ll screen this weekend? There’s a reason for that. ‘Researchers have uncovered evidence that suggests our brains bind us to the music we heard as teenagers more tightly than anything we’ll hear as adults – a connection that doesn’t weaken as we age. Musical nostalgia, in other words, isn’t just a cultural phenomenon: It’s a neuronic command.’

Charlotte Wood’s tips for getting arts grants

Author Charlotte Wood has been involved in assessing grants and mentorships for arts organisations for a long time. Recently, after an assessment round where she noticed applicants making many of the same simple errors, she put together a comprehensive blog post giving advice on how to apply for an arts grant, packed with solid dos and don'ts.

Shark versus internet

We humans have long been terrified of sharks … but now it seems there’s another reason to be afraid. (Or wary - afraid is a bit of an overstatement.) Apparently, sharks are attracted to the undersea fibre-optic cables that connect the worldwide web, and they periodically attack them. Shark bites have been identified as causes of system failure. And there’s video proof.

Why memoir is not a status update

In the New Yorker, Dani Shapiro reflects on the difficulties of writing memoir in the social media age, where ‘sharing’ details of your life is an instinctive and unremarkable action, one that can be confused with the more considered act of writing a memoir.

I worry that we’re confusing the small, sorry details – the ones that we post and read every day –for the work of memoir itself. I can’t tell you how many times people have thanked me for ‘sharing my story,’ as if the books I’ve written are not chiseled and honed out of the hard and unforgiving material of a life but, rather, have been dashed off, as if a status update, a response to the question at the top of every Facebook feed: ‘What’s on your mind?’