“The Periodic Table of Elements, in Pictures and Words” was created by Boeing software engineer Keith Enevoldsen. He frames the design as a tool for teaching students in elementary through high school, but it can also be used by adults looking to polish their rusty knowledge from chemistry class.
The uses of some elements are widely known: Sodium, for instance, is paired with a picture of a salt shaker, while neon is illustrated with an illuminated advertising sign. Others, though, aren’t so obvious: Did you know that strontium is used in fireworks, or that boron can be found in sports equipment? What about scandium in bicycles, or tantalum in cell phones? There’s a helpful illustration accompanying each element found in nature.
“Why is so much writing so hard to understand? Why must a typical reader struggle to follow an academic article, the fine print on a tax return, or the instructions for setting up a wireless home network?”
These are questions Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker asks in his book, The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century. They’re questions I’ve often encountered –and attempted to tackle– throughout my career as a business writer and editor. Whenever I see writing that is loaded with jargon, clichés, technical terms, and abbreviations, two questions come immediately to mind. First, what is the writer trying to say, exactly? And second, how can the writer convey her ideas more clearly, without having to lean on language that confuses the reader?
Muhsin al-Musawi, Chair of the 2020 Judging Panel, says:
“The novels we have chosen include a superior collection of texts varied in style and subject matter. They have escaped the grip of traditionalism which often accompanies the writing of fiction. Nearly all of them are occupied with the oppressive effect of history, past and present, but they do not merely retell this history or current reality. Rather, they confront it in all its harshness to inspire in the reader questions about the destiny of the Arabic individual.”
The Spartan Court by Abdelouahab Aissaoui, The Russian Quarter by Khalil Alrez, The King of India by Jabbour Douaihy, Firewood of Sarajevo by Said Khatibi, The Tank by Alia Mamdouh and Fardeqan – the Detention of the Great Sheikh by Youssef Ziedan have today been announced as the shortlisted works for the 13th International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF). Each of the six shortlisted authors will receive $10,000, with the winner announced on 14 April receiving an additional $50,000. The books were revealed by the judging panel during a press conference held at the Water Museum in Marrakesh.
The shortlist for IPAF’s 13th edition includes five male and one female authors, ranging in age from 34 to 75 and representing five countries.