As of early 2010, more than 2 million US troops have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Larry Minear, a researcher on international and internal armed conflicts, has spent a lot of time talking to more than 175 of these veterans, many of whom came from New Hampshire and Vermont. He talked to them about what motivated them to go to war, what they did once they went over, and how they rejoined society upon their return.
Is time real, or is change just a kind of optical illusion resting on a deeper unchanging reality?
As finite creatures, with death hovering just out of our sight, the true nature of time haunts all our endeavors. Tomorrow, physicist Brian Greene tackles time's illusion in his Fabric of Reality PBS series. Science, however, is just one way we ask about the reality of time.
Editor for Scientific American Michael Moyer explains how genetically-modified mosquitoes could stop the spread of Dengue Fever; unless uncomfortable corporate practices don't cause a GMO backlash first.
"Why have fundamentally good people, with good intentions, allowed our democracy to be co-opted by outside interests?", asks Harvard professor, Lawrence Lessig. His new book "Republic, Lost" explores how he says money has corrupted American politics. Lessig blames special interests and campaign finance rules to the fact that U.S citizens trust government less than ever. He also suggests a widespread mobilization and new Constitution Convention to regain control over what he says is a 'corrupted but redeemable representational system.
This month’s installment of our 11 for '11 series of big picture conversations on the issues of our times. Today, we talk with Harvard experimental psychologist Stephen Pinker about his new book, Better Angels of Our Nature, about the history of violence, and why it's declined.
In 2009, we spoke with new York Times reporter Warren St. John about his book Outcasts United– which tells the story of the Fugees soccer team and the growth of community around them. The book is currently being featured in the Concord Reads program at the Concord Public Library. Concord is a city that has experienced its own influx of refugees from war torn countries in recent years. Here is what Warren had to say about the Fugees' inspiring story.
[Spoiler alert: This review gives away some elements of the story.]
When a friend gave me Merce Rodoreda's Death in Spring, he told me it would blow my mind. Ten pages in, I doubted his claim.
The book begins when the narrator, a 14-year-old boy from a small mountain village, slips into a cold, sometimes savage river to escape a bee. His swim is interspersed with descriptions of his isolated community, with its pink painted homes and wisteria vines that "over the years, upwrenched houses."
This month’s installment of our 11 for '11 series of big picture conversations on the issues of our times. Today, we talk with poet and journalist Eliza Griswold, about her book The Tenth Parallel: Dispatches from the Fault Line Between Christianity and Islam. Griswold spend seven years traveling the band of the globe called the 'tenth parallel,' the latitude about ten degrees above the equator where two worlds collide.
Elizabeth Gilbert reads from her new book, Committed: A Skeptic Makes Piece with Marriage, and talks about her relationship, skipping yoga in the mornings, and why Pamela Anderson is a great philosopher.
The controversial author and self-proclaimed inventor of a new genre of literary non-fiction, Ben Mezrich's bestselling books include Bringing Down the House and The Accidental Billionaires. The first was the source for the film, 21 and the second was adapted into the Academy Award-winning movie The Social Network.
This month’s installment of our 11 for '11 series of big picture conversations on the issues of our times. Today, we talk with psychologist, author and blogger Bruce Levine, a radical progressive calling for the resurgence of an active and energized democracy. Polls show that politicians are out of step with the will of the citizens on issues like the wall street bailout, health care reform and the current deadlock over raising the debt ceiling.