Originally published on Mon June 17, 2013 12:32 pm
Last Friday I found myself in a lovely lecture hall at Brown University with some 50 philosophers and psychologists attending the annual meeting of the Society for Philosophy and Psychology, affectionately known as "SPP." Daniel Dennett was in the seat just ahead of me; additional luminaries were scattered about the room.
Mitch Albom is famous for writing heartwarming best-sellers like <em>Tuesdays With Morrie </em>and <em>The Five People You Meet in Heaven</em>. As a member of The Rock Bottom Remainders, he plays keyboard and shows off his Elvis impression.
Credit Mike Medeiros / Courtesy of Coliloquy
Given the number of books sold by members of The Rock Bottom Remainders, it's not necessarily a slur to say that their writing gifts far outshine their musicality. Here, drummer Josh Kelly and guitarist Roger McGuinn (at center) join authors Amy Tan, Stephen King, Greg Iles and Dave Barry.
Credit Joseph Peduto / Courtesy of Coliloquy
<em>Hard Listening </em>is divided into easily navigable chapter-like sections.
The birthday song — Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, etc. — is still under copyright protection. If you want to sing the song on TV, or in a restaurant, or whatever, you have to pay a licensing fee to Warner/Chappell, the music company that owns the rights. The company makes about $2 million a year off the song, according to one estimate.
A supporter holds a sign with pictures of Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who leaked details about the agency's surveillance programs, and Hong Kong movie star Jackie Chan during a protest outside the Consulate General of the United States in Hong Kong on June 15. Snowden has been holed up in Hong Kong since the leaks.
Count plenty of grown-ups among the millions of fans of Adventure Time, a kids' show on Cartoon Network. Some are surely Emmy voters. (It's won three.) Others are very possibly stoners. Still others are intellectuals. Lev Grossman falls in the last category. He wrote two best-selling novels, The Magicians and The Magician King, and he's Time's senior book critic.
<a href="http://www.judyblume.com/">Judy Blume</a> is the author of many books for kids and teens, including <em>Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing</em> and <em>Blubber</em>. Her fans have riffed on Bloomsday (a celebration of James Joyce's<em> Ulysses</em>) and created Blumesday in her honor.
Today is Blumesday. Not the Bloomsday where readers celebrate James Joyce's novel Ulysses — that was Sunday. Today's Blumesday is also a holiday for literature lovers, but of a different sort.
Blumesday creators Joanna Miller and Heather Larimer are writers, and they're pretty well-read. But they were never huge fans of Ulysses. "We sort of self-deprecatingly said, 'Well, the only way we could participate in Bloomsday was if it were Judy Blumesday.' And then the joke turned into, 'Wait, why aren't we doing this?' " Miller explains.
Originally published on Mon June 17, 2013 10:45 am
Last Thursday, the NFL announced a policy change in which only clear plastic bags would be allowed into stadiums — one per person. Nothing they can't see through. The league says that the change is meant to ensure safety while speeding up security checks and preventing gate backups, which sounds good enough at the outset.
Originally published on Tue June 18, 2013 11:10 am
Speaking to the Faith & Freedom Coalition's "Road to Majority" Conference on Saturday, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin — in a speech broadcast on C-SPAN — let loose a barrage of bons mots aimed at President Obama and political Washington.
Now that Fox News has re-signed Palin as a commentator, we will likely be hearing a lot more one-liners from the Wit of Wasilla.
In this Twitter Age, in which brevity = wit, we are witnessing the expanding power of one-liners. And the drawbacks.
The canal schooner Lois McClure is a replica of the boats that carried cargo along northeast waterways in the 1800s.
Credit Sarah Harris / NPR
The Lois McClure (left) passes a fire boat as it arrives at New York's North Cove Marina in 2005. Canal schooners used wind power on open lakes, and lowered their masts and raised their centerboards to be towed through canals.
The Lois McClure, a replica of an 1862 canal schooner, is also a floating museum. This summer she's sailing historic waterways in Vermont, New York, Ontario and Quebec, docking in towns for a history lesson.
The Lois starts from her berth at Lake Champlain Maritime Museum in Vergennes, Vt. First mate Tom Larsen, a strapping guy with a long ponytail and glasses, pulls hand-over-hand on a thick white rope, getting the Lois into the open water. A tugboat comes up alongside the schooner, ties a line and tows her out onto Lake Champlain.