Why Books are the Best Furniture

My son walked in from school the other day, a new book from the library tucked under one arm. “What’s the book about?” I asked. “A book on the Alamo,” he replied. “The librarian said it was beyond my level.” “What did you say?” I asked. “Ahhhh . . . I just took it out … Continued


How should we remember the Fifth of November?

On November 5, 1605, “one of the last honest men to enter Parliament” went inside to blow it up. But the barrels of gunpowder Guy Fawkes’ conspirators had assigned him to light smoldered, he suffered torture and death at the hands of the state, and the Gunpowder Plot dissipated. England has since celebrated the occasion … Continued


‘Suffragette’: A Lesson in Contemporary Smugness

At this time of year, nearly every week brings to the cinemas an Oscar hopeful that intends to use history to teach us a lesson about ourselves. Unfortunately, most of these movies fall into the same trap: They aren’t very curious about history. They are more like acts of self-congratulation. The new film Suffragette, starring … Continued

Entertainment, Movies

We’ve Finally Made it Back to the Future

The future is now, literally. Today, October 21, 2015, is precisely the date on which Doc Brown and Marty McFly arrived in Hill Valley after travelling 30 years into the future to carry out an ill-fated, time-altering mission in Back to the Future Part II. It’s one of those films that most sentient beings have … Continued

Culture, Entertainment, Movies, Tech

The 4 Reasons Aaron Burr Loses in Broadway’s ‘Hamilton’

The loudest buzz on Broadway this season is for Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical about the Founding Father whose face graces the $10 bill (at least for the time being). The show sold hundreds of thousands of tickets before it opened, bringing in about $30 million in advance sales. The Hamilton cast recording goes on sale … Continued


What Your Kids Can Learn from Nikola Tesla

During a recent book club meeting with a bunch of third through sixth graders, I asked the girls to write down the three most useful traits if you were attempting to cross the Atlantic Ocean in a 45-foot sailboat alone. The girls were immersed in Sharon Creech’s award winning book, The Wanderer, a story about … Continued

Books, Culture

The Show That Doesn’t Quite “Master” Sex

Did you know that, in the 1950s, people were sexually repressed? That many married men were closeted homosexuals? That others frequented prostitutes? That many women did not achieve orgasm during sex? That there were . . . taboos? Making a respectable science out of these ideas was the groundbreaking work, beginning six decades ago, of … Continued

Entertainment, Television