Articles from %2 January, 2011

Forgetting Why We Remember

"MOST Americans know that Memorial Day is about honoring the nation’s war dead. It is also a holiday devoted to department store sales, half-marathons, picnics, baseball and auto racing. But where did it begin, who created it, and why?


At the end of the Civil War, Americans faced a formidable challenge: how to memorialize 625,000 dead soldiers, Northern and Southern. As Walt Whitman mused, it was “the dead, the dead, the dead — our dead — or South or North, ours all” that preoccupied the country. After all, if the same number of Americans per capita had died in Vietnam as died in the Civil War, four million names would be on the Vietnam...

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 Journalist, firefighter, and author of HIGH CRIMES, Michael Kodas's MEGAFIRE, an exploration of the new global phenomenon of megafires, forest fires of alarming scale, intensity, and devastation, through the story of one of the worst years for forest fires in the past century, to Susan Canavan at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, by Wendy Strothman at The Strothman Agency (World English).

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The music of physics

May 15, 2011|By Anthony DoerrGlobe Correspondent

"Of all the souls made famous by YouTube — Justin Bieber, those wedding entrance dancers, that guy who loses his mind while videotaping a double-rainbow — none is more deserving than MIT physics professor Walter Lewin. Lewin taught introductory physics at the university for more than three decades, and his lectures were intense, elegant, and perfectly orchestrated tributes to the harmonies of the physical world.


Lewin is 6 feet 2, silver-haired, and...

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 Psychology Today

 Preaching Doomsday: Living in the End Times

In these anxious times, it's not difficult getting a rise out of someone

"Growing up in London, I remember an old man with a sandwich board used to traipse up and down Piccadilly and Oxford Street. His message was simple, consistent, and...

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From stroke survivor to compulsive artist

Amanda Gefter, consultant, New Scientist
"In Shadows Bright as Glass, Amy Ellis Nutt explores creativity and neuroscience through the remarkable story of stroke survivor Jon Sarkin

JON SARKIN was a successful chiropractor and dedicated husband before a tiny blood vessel shifted in his brain. The vessel swelled, pressing on his acoustic nerve, causing extreme tinnitus and an unbearable sensitivity to sound.

The condition was debilitating, so Sarkin elected to undergo risky brain surgery to fix it. The surgery was initially successful, but later complications caused Sarkin to suffer a massive stroke, which wreaked widespread havoc on his brain. When he emerged from a coma...

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Amy Ellis Nutt Reads from Shadows Bright As Glass

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Book explores racial identification

The Post and Courier, Sunday, April 24, 2011
Karen Spain

"THE INVISIBLE LINE: Three American Families and the Secret Journey From Black to White.By Daniel J. Sharfstein. Penguin. 416 pages. $27.95.

Meticulously researched and beautifully written, "The Invisible Line" is a fascinating history of how three mixed-race families migrated across the color line and changed their racial identification from black to white.

The Gibsons, wealthy mulatto landowners in Colonial South Carolina, were white Southern aristocrats by the time of the Civil War.

The Walls, slave children freed by their white father, became respected members of the black middle class before giving...

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Energy Deja Vu: Obama Must Break with Failed U.S. Policies


by Michael Graetz

Despite soaring rhetoric and some promising proposals, President Obama is repeating the same mistakes that have doomed U.S. energy policy to failure for 40 years. Until Obama and Congress finally put a true price on the fossil fuels America consumes, the U.S. will continue its addiction to foreign oil and domestic coal.

 The weekend following President Obama's energy policy speech on March 30 and the White House's simultaneous release of its "Blueprint for a Secure Energy Future," many newspapers ran a cartoon by Jeff Stahler depicting the eight presidents from Richard Nixon to Barack Obama, each supplying one word of the refrain: "We must...

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The Platform: Good Reviews Are No Longer Enough

Apr 20, 2011

Authors: Peter Osnos

Publisher(s): The Century Foundation

"As a longtime publisher of what is known as “serious” nonfiction, I am acutely aware of how sensitive most authors are about book reviews. After extended periods of research and writing, it is unnerving to find your work in the hands of someone else to pass judgment. Authors of established distinction feel the sting of a critical review, or worse, being ignored, especially by the Sunday New York Times Book Review, which remains for many writers the arbiterne plus ultra. It is time—probably past time—to declare that traditional book reviews are no longer the dominant...

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