In 2009, we got used to seeing angry mobs descend on public forums with
vengeance in their hearts. So for anyone who'd been to a town-hall forum on
health care, the scene at Boston's Old South Church on January 5 was eerily
familiar -- an older audience, larger than you'd expect (the organizers put it
at 400-plus), venting its collective spleen at hapless bureaucrats.
From the looks of things,
a lot of you folks intend to make 2010 the Year of More Writing. Need a
little inspiration to help you battle the blank page? Well, we can't
help you with that one -- but maybe these local authors can, as they
reveal their thoughts on the writing process, and give us a glimpse of
the forces that shaped their work.
What's the nexus between The Diary of Anne Frank and Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking? Both were scooped out of the literary rejection piles by famed Knopf editor Judith Jones
and made into worldwide classics. Today, the 85-year-old Jones is
working alongside a culinary figure of already-epic proportions --
she's edited and mentored Italian cooking legend Lidia Bastianich throughout the publication of her new cookbook, Lidia Cooks From the Heart of Italy,
a collection of unusual recipes from lesser-known regions of Italy.
This week in the Phoenix, Adam Reilly profiles "atheist superstar" Greg Epstein, Harvard's Humanist chaplain and the author of Good Without God: What A Million Nonreligious People Do Believe. What separates Epstein from the best-selling crop of "new atheists" -- The Atlantic's James Parker profiled the Hitchens/Dawkins/Harris crowd for us in 2007 -- is his insistence on defining atheism as a denominational entity with a spiritual, if not holy, mission: "He dreams not of decisively crushing faith," Reilly writes, "but of a
future in which the godless and godly cozily co-exist, respecting each
other's convictions and even making common cause on issues of mutual
It would be hard to imagine a pair of books about vegetarianism that are quite so different as Jonathan Safran Foer's Eating Animals (which we brought you earlier this month on the podcast) and ALICIA SILVERSTONE's The Kind Diet: A Simple Guide to Feeling Great, Losing Weight, and Saving the Planet
Someday soon, political strategists will look back on the 2008 presidential campaign the way NASA scientists sigh at the Apollo moon landing -- as an example of a way that fighting a big, idealistic fight demanded a period of intense and disruptive innovation. At least, that's the way DAVID PLOUFFE sees it.
Cory Doctorow opens his mouth, and nerdgasms
fall out: at any given moment, he's liable to be spouting off about
feral robot dogs, space domes over Disney World, or building a haunted
hotel modeled after a Quake level ("I'll open-source this idea," says he). And we'd expect nothing less -- after all, he's one of the superclocking brains behind BoingBoing, that exalted bestiary of sweet-ass geekdom.
One night when Jonathan Safran Foer
was 9 years old, his babysitter refused to eat chicken. A confused Foer
asked her why, and she blew his mind by explaining that the meat on his
dinner plate came from a live animal. "I went from thinking it was the
most natural thing to thinking it was the most insane thing," Foer
Al Gore speaks at Harvard Square's First Parish Church
Standing before a sea of green-leaning Cambridge liberals (who would
later scoff heartily at the suggestion that the average person watches roughly 5 hours of TV per day),
Al Gore announced: "My own personal journey on the issue of the climate
crisis began here in Cambridge 42 years ago, when I walked into the
classroom of Roger Revelle
writes overwrought, Dickensian novels, and he’s damned proud of it. The
New England-born author spent much of his reading at the Coolidge
Corner Theatre on Tuesday night defending himself against imaginary
criticisms of his work — criticisms that were remarkably similar to the New York Times’ review of Irving’s new book, Last Night in Twisted River
It's been a year since that night in Chicago, which for photographer SCOUT TUFANKJIAN was the end of a two-year journey that had started with a New Hampshire book tour by the then-junior Senator from Illinois, who had not yet declared his intention to run for the nation's highest office.
A year ago tomorrow we woke up and elected the first-ever black President. A couple of weeks ago at the Boston Book Festival,
a panel of pundits kicked off what is sure to be an avalanche of
first-year retrospectives on the Obama presidency. Surprise: nobody's
happy. And this, folks, is the loyal opposition.
says the first year of Obama has been marked by the "dis-involvement of
all the people who helped make him president in the first place,"
adding that if he sticks to his current course, it will be "very
dificult to accomplish the change he promised and that we need."
Photo via the Harvard Crimson
As the audience was filing into last night's "The Wire at Harvard" panel, Professor Lawrence Bobo leaned over and spoke to Bubbles.
"You saved it for me," Bobo said.
"I saved it for you?"
"In the last show, when poor Duquan went down," said Bobo. "I said, 'At least I got Bubbles.