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Review: “Killer Stuff and Tons of Money”


By Annie Groer, Washington Post June 17th, 2011



"Curt Avery is the fake name of the very real hero of “Killer Stuff and Tons of Money,” which is too bad. Because after whipping through Maureen Stanton’s utterly engaging, heavily researched account of her old college buddy’s life on the yard-sale flea-market antiques-show auction-house circuit, I wanted to invite myself into his multi-state universe and hang out with all those dealers, collectors, sport shoppers, decorators, scholars and especially the pseudonymous Windsor chair restorer whose brilliantly altered and repaired pieces have fooled a number of...

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Animal webcams: Days of their lives

Live webcams of animals show us birth, romance, skullduggery and death — animals behaving like animals 24/7. But don't confuse animal behavior with human behavior.

"Thanks to modern technology, peering into private lives all around the world has never been easier.

When Su Lin, the San Diego-born daughter of Chinese parents Bai Yun and Gao Gao, had her first medical exam, eager viewers proclaimed that she was the cutest baby ever. When a mother of three died in an airplane accident, leaving the father to care for the family alone, thousands of people across the country mourned online. As a youngster at New York University got close to takeoff, his family's Facebookwall was crammed with notes from well-wishers.

Did I mention that all of these are animals? The Chinese American family of pandas has graced the San Diego Zoo for...

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 A Never-Ending Treasure Hunt

In the antiques trade, you can fake a lot of things—but not good taste

"The Stoic philosopher Seneca wrote that "luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity." For the habitually "lucky" antiques dealer at the heart of Maureen Stanton's "Killer Stuff and Tons of Money," preparation means cultivating a deep knowledge of objects—Shaker furniture, heirloom porcelain, 18th-century weathervanes—while opportunity results from meticulously examining tens of thousands of items every year at flea markets, auctions and antiques fairs. His sharp eyes spot unrecognized wonders amid a profusion of second-rate wares—much to the...

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Book Offers Look at Professional Antique Dealer

June 10, 2011 (AP)

".... Any fan of PBS' "Antiques Roadshow" would love to spend time with him. And that's just the opportunity Maureen Stanton gives us in "Killer Stuff and Tons of Money." She takes us along as Avery loads up his pickup truck with maybe $30,000 of antiques and drives off to yet another hall, or open field, to see what he can do.

 It's a fascinating look at the life of professional dealers who check out all the stuff at these shows before the rest of us even show up. In this world, Avery (that's a pseudonym, at his request) can make a $1,300 sale before he even sets up, or lose a chance for $1,000 profit by reaching another dealer's table five seconds too late. The appearance of a rental truck at the setup for a flea market is good news, we learn. It's the mark of an amateur...

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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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