Monthly Archives: June 2015

Elizabeth Kolbert, The Sixth Extinction

This book won the Pulitzer Prize for Nonfiction (and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award). I finally got around to it on my plane flight back east a month ago. The title refers to five prominent … Continue reading

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Lewis Thomas, The Lives of a Cell

Lewis Thomas was a pediatrician and doctor, who became president of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, and who wrote a series of short essays which were first published in New England Journal of Medicine in the early … Continue reading

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The Arc of History: The Expansion of Marriage

So much reaction to today’s Supreme Court decision I hardly need to chime in, except perhaps to note how this, of course, supports my Provisional Conclusion #7, Another, social, arc of human history has been a gradual expansion of allegiance … Continue reading

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Revisiting Carl Sagan’s The Cosmic Connection

The Cosmic Connection, published in 1973, was the first popular book by Carl Sagan, after some academic tomes and an anthology of essays about UFOs, who later gained much fame as the author and host of the 1980 book and … Continue reading

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Links and Comments: Lucky Numbers; Paleo diet; Narratives about Charleston; Pinker on violence, and the news media

First, keying off my earlier post today about the Alan Lightman book, here’s an essay by George Johnson in the New York Times about Humankind’s Existentially Lucky Numbers. Four fundamental forces rule reality, but why is the number not three … Continue reading

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James Morrow: We’re not tourists on this planet, we’re citizens

Many thoughts resonate with me in the James Morrow interview in the June issue of Locus, which I excerpted here. E.g., That’s the great gift of the 18th-century Enlightenment, that insistence on a conversation that must never stop, a conversation … Continue reading

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Alan Lightman, The Accidental Universe

Alan Lightman’s THE ACCIDENTAL UNIVERSE (2014) is a short book of seven essays, most previously published, on various ways the universe is not obviously what it appears to be, or is at odds with what humans might prefer. (Lightman is … Continue reading

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The Human Impact on Earth; About Book Culling

A nice Slate photo gallery, a couple days ago, which is not unrelated to the issue of the Sixth Extinction: Gorgeous, Stunning Satellite Images of the Human Impact on Earth. I especially recommend watching the video linked at the end, … Continue reading

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The Sixth Extinction and the Pope’s Encyclical

Weekend Facebook post, amended: The Sixth Extinction: Curious this topic is in the news suddenly, all over the past couple days, since the idea has been recognized for years and the latest Pulitzer Prize winning nonfiction book, by Elizabeth Kolbert, … Continue reading

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Bible System Updates

From The New Yorker, last November: Bible System Updates VERSION 1.0: Original release. Heavens, Earth, formless void. And so on. 1.6 “Sodom and Gomorrah” N.S.F.W. glitch identified and removed. Bible now free of “Homosexuality” virus. And then VERSION 2.0: “New … Continue reading

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