Quantum Quest

March 14: "The quantum theory of radiation and electrical conduction underlies all of modern information technology."

 

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Defending Darwin

March 13: "The jail and the penitentiary are not the institutions planted by colonists in a new country, or by pioneers in a new state."

 

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One Small Step...

March 12: "Individuals start where they stand and…make the road by walking."

 

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Five-Star Paradox

March 11: "He was a great thundering paradox of a man, noble and ignoble, inspiring and outrageous, arrogant and shy, the best of men and the worst of men..."

 

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March of the Legion

March 10: "The pen trembled in my hand. God alone knew what I was agreeing to and what rights I was signing away."

 

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Soft on Capitalism?

March 8: "The development of this crony capitalism came at the expense of our constitutional principles, that we are a nation governed by laws and not men."

 

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Poetry Needed

March 7: "Corporate America now desperately needs the powers associated with the poetic imagination not only to see its way through the present whirligig of change, but also, because poetry asks for accountability..."

 

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Renaissance Paint-Off

March 6: "It was a spectacle that drew artists from all over Italy and beyond to admire the heights of ingenuity to which Leonardo and Michelangelo were driven by their rivalry."

 

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Broken Eggs

March 5: "How do you privatize hundreds of state companies? How do you re-create religious and social organizations disbanded long ago?"

 

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Family Values

March 4: "Children are no longer economic assets, so the only way to balance the books is to assume they are future assets..."

 

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Starting Time

March 3: "[W]e are proposing to inform people -- to inform many people who would not otherwise be informed..."

 

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Heart & Soul

March 1: "Without black Americans, something irrepressibly hopeful and creative would go out of the American spirit..."

 

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Eternal Passion

February 28: "I seek, in the reading of books, only to please myself by an honest diversion..."

 

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Theft of the Sacred

February 27: "I believe that the greatest threat to the survival of American Indians...is the removal of the spiritual matrix of traditional life..."

 

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When Poets Collide

February 26: "And when he kissed my neck I bit him long and hard on the cheek..."

 

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Visceral Impact

February 25: "Take more than a little salt, or sugar, or fat out of processed food...and there is nothing left."

 

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Aiming Higher

February 24: "Most of the world has heard of the Gaza Strip. But few know what it's like to live here, blockaded and impoverished..."

 

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The Examined Life

February 22: "Most of the glories of the world are mere outward show, like the scenes on a stage: there is nothing real about them."

 

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Capital Rules

February 21: "The bourgeoisie, wherever it has got the upper hand, has put an end to all feudal, patriarchal, idyllic relations."

 

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Postal Blues

February 20: "When will it come, that monumental day, that last proper letter through the door?"

 

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Music, Magic, Memories

February 19: "It's what's in the grooves that counts."

 

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When in Greece...

February 18: "How simple and frugal a thing is happiness: a glass of wine, a roast chestnut, a wretched little brazier, the sound of the sea."

 

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How to Help?

February 17: "Although willing to answer the call, humanitarian organizations have been generally ill-equipped for what they have found..."

 

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Life-Saving Genes?

February 15: "My plan was to carry on until I was exhausted and then sink into dark waters and oblivion. This would not be easy because I was a strong swimmer and in great shape."

 

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Friendly Microbes

February 14: "[A] scientific consensus is growing: that only by understanding the symbiotic aspects of our long-standing relationship with microbes can we find lasting solutions to infectious disease..."

 

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So It Goes

February 13: "He was a sweet man. He was a gun nut, too. He left me his guns. They rust."

 

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"Thurgood's Coming"

February 12: "Southern juries might be stacked against blacks, and the judges might be biased, but Thurgood Marshall was demonstrating in case after case that their word was not the last."

 

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Liberation or Neglect?

February 11: "We should not allow human beings to be treated in this manner if we claim to be truly civilized."

 

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Enter Starman

February 10: "Ziggy would live outside the norms of earthly society: he would be male and female, gay and straight, human and alien, an eternal outsider who could act as a beacon for anyone who felt ostracised from the world around them."

 

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Embracing Melancholy

February 8: "And from these melancholy dispositions, no man living is free, no Stoic, none so wise, none so happy, none so patient, so generous, so godly, so divine, that can vindicate himself..."

 

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Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch is the winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. James Parker calls this Dickensian coming-of-age novel "an enveloping…

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Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
Poems That Make Grown Men Cry

And women too.  Luminaries from Colin Firth to Nick Cave and Jonathan Franzen chose the poems that bring them to tears, and the result is a stunning collection of poignant verse from writers like Auden, Whitman, Bishop, Larkin, Neruda and many others.  Warning: choking-up hazard.

The King of Pain

Trapped beneath his entertainment system, reality TV mastermind Rick Salter reflects on his life and tries to piece together the events of the previous evening. Seth Kaufman’s romp is an outrageous meditation on pain and entertainment in a deranged world in which the two are often interchangeable.

The Good Inn

Frank Black, frontman for the Pixies, has written a transgressive historical fiction with shades of Thomas Pynchon (focused as it is on the history of explosives and cinematic pornography), all set in a hallucinatory Edwardian Europe.