Recent Posts

Celebrate National Readathon Day with 8 Books You Can Read in a Day

Happy National Readathon Day! The National Book Foundation has organized the holiday to promote a love of reading and to make sure that the book worm doesn’t become an endangered species. You can find out how to support the foundation’s efforts here, but the most important thing is to set aside

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Winning Playlists from the History of Rock n Roll in Ten Songs Contest

After Greil Marcus shared a collection of songs that for him defined rock n roll in The History of Rock n Roll in Ten Songs, we gave you the chance to make your own lists. Out of all the great entries for our History of Rock n Roll Playlist Contest

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Dawn of a New Golden Age of Antibiotics?

Rob DeSalle and Susan L. Perkins— Alexander Fleming once coyly said about his discovery of penicillin, “When I woke up just after dawn on September 28, 1928, I certainly didn’t plan to revolutionize all medicine by discovering the world’s first antibiotic.” As lore has it, he “accidently” discovered penicillin as

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A Different Look at Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Dream

Michael Wayne— On the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s birthday, media outlets across the country will be running excerpts from his famous “I Have a Dream” speech delivered at the March on Washington. Let’s look at a somewhat different version of his dream, this one presented at the annual convention

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The Beginning of the Roman Empire

Adrian Goldsworthy— Names and dates mattered a lot for the Romans, and so did legal formalities and appearances. On the 16th of January 2,042 years ago Rome’s Senate convened. The leader of the house, the princeps senatus was present, and three days ago he had shocked everyone by announcing that

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Why the Internet Should Be a Public Resource

Philip N. Howard— The excitement of this year’s CES—the enormous technology show and tell event that just ended in Las Vegas—was about the “internet of things.” Stoves and baby bottles will soon be smart, and the devices you already have will be smarter. Behind closed doors and in private chat

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The Real Alan Turing

Sharon Bertsch McGrayne— The Imitation Game is a good yarn about Alan Turing and cracking the German naval Enigma code during World War II. But that’s what it is: a good yarn. It claims to be based on Andrew Hodges’s 1983 classic biography of Turing, but it would be more

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Happy Bird Day!

John Marzluff— That’s right, today is the thirteenth annual National Bird Day, a time to reflect on the riches birds bring into our lives—their beautiful song and color, the marvel of flight, and a connection to our wilder past.  As I turn my attention to the birds outside my window

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“Lily of the Valley” by Fady Joudah

Fady Joudah, Palestinian-American, physician, celebrated poet and translator of poetry, and winner of the 2007 Yale Series of Younger Poets Competition for his collection Earth in the Attic, discusses the inherent linguistic and subjective difficulties that each translator must face when presented with a work to be translated in his

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