In an effort to better acquaint you, the reader, with the VQR staff, members of our team will share excerpts from our personal reading—The Best 200 Words I Read All Week. From fact to fiction, from comedic to tragic, we hope you find as much to admire in these selections as we do.
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One of the spiders had come out of the mist from behind us. It was the size of a big dog. It was black with yellow piping. Racing Stripes, I thought crazily. Its eyes were reddish-purple, like pomegranates. It strutted busily toward us on what might have been as many as twelve or fourteen many-jointed legs– it was no ordinary earthly spider blown up to horror-movie size; it was something totally different, perhaps not really a spider at all. Seeing it, Mike Hatlen would have understood what that bristly black thing he had been prodding at in the pharmacy really was.
It closed in on us, spinning its webbing from an oval-shaped orifice on its upper belly. The strands floated out toward us in what was nearly a fan shape. Looking at this nightmare, so like the death-black spiders brooding over their dead flies and bugs in the shadows of our boathouse, I felt my mind trying to tear completely loose from its moorings. I believe now that it was only the thought of Billy that allowed me to keep any semblance of sanity. I was making some sound. Laughing. Crying. Screaming. I don’t know.
Editorial Intern Zoe Papelis
Excerpt from The Mist by Stephen King
On Friday, representatives of more than 60 nations, gathered in Versailles, France, approved a new definition for the kilogram.
In this era of violence and vitriol, when it seems there’s so little on which people can agree, Pratt said, the redefinition represents something sublime.
It is an acknowledgment of an immutable truth — that nature has laws to which all of us are subject. And it’s one more step toward a lofty dream — that, in understanding nature’s laws, scientists can help build a better world.
The scientist grinned, sheepish. “It’s an emotional moment,” he said. “I’m just really proud of our species.”
Graphic Designer Jenn Boggs
Excerpt from, “A massive change: Nations redefine the kilogram,” Washington Post by Sarah Kaplan