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Tag: powell’s

Chanda Prescod-Weinstein in Conversation With Elissa Washuta

From a star theoretical physicist comes a journey into the world of particle physics and the cosmos — and a call for a more just practice of science. In The Disordered Cosmos (Bold Type Books), Dr. Chanda Prescod-Weinstein shares her love for physics, from the Standard Model of Particle Physics and what lies beyond it, to the physics of melanin in skin, to the latest theories of dark matter — all with a new spin informed by history, politics, and the wisdom of Star Trek. One of the leading physicists of her generation, Prescod-Weinstein is also one of fewer than 100 Black American women to earn a PhD from a department of physics. Her vision of the cosmos is vibrant, buoyantly non-traditional, and grounded in…

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Michelle Nijhuis in Conversation With Elena Passarello

In the late 19th century, as humans came to realize that our rapidly industrializing and globalizing societies were driving other animal species to extinction, a movement to protect and conserve them was born. In Beloved Beasts (W. W. Norton), acclaimed science journalist Michelle Nijhuis traces the movement’s history: from early battles to save charismatic species such as the American bison and bald eagle to today’s global effort to defend life on a larger scale. Nijhuis describes the vital role of scientists and activists such as Aldo Leopold and Rachel Carson, as well as lesser-known figures in conservation history; she reveals the origins of vital organizations like the Audubon Society and the World Wildlife Fund; she explores current efforts to protect species such as the whooping…

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Nicole Perlroth in Conversation With John Markoff

Zero day: a software bug that allows a hacker to break into your devices and move around undetected. One of the most coveted tools in a spy’s arsenal, a zero day has the power to silently spy on your iPhone, dismantle the safety controls at a chemical plant, alter an election, and shut down the electric grid (just ask Ukraine). For decades, under cover of classification levels and non-disclosure agreements, the United States government became the world’s dominant hoarder of zero days. U.S. government agents paid top dollar — first thousands, and later millions of dollars — to hackers willing to sell their lock-picking code and their silence. Then the United States lost control of its hoard and the market. Now those zero days are…

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Rebecca Carroll in Conversation With Desus Nice

Cultural critic Rebecca Carroll grew up the only black person in her rural New Hampshire town. Adopted at birth by artistic parents who believed in peace, love, and zero population growth, her early childhood was loving and idyllic — and yet she couldn’t articulate the deep sense of isolation she increasingly felt as she grew older. Everything changed when she met her birth mother, a young white woman, who consistently undermined Carroll’s sense of her blackness and self-esteem. Carroll’s childhood became harrowing, and her memoir explores the tension between the aching desire for her birth mother’s acceptance, the loyalty she feels toward her adoptive parents, and the search for her racial identity. As an adult, Carroll forged a path from city to city, struggling along…

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Elizabeth Kolbert in Conversation With Bill McKibben

Elizabeth Kolbert, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Sixth Extinction, returns to humanity’s transformative impact on the environment, now asking: After doing so much damage, can we change nature, this time to save it? In Under a White Sky (Crown), Kolbert takes a hard look at the new world we are creating. She meets scientists who are trying to preserve the world’s rarest fish, which lives in a single, tiny pool in the middle of the Mojave. She visits a lava field in Iceland, where engineers are turning carbon emissions to stone; an aquarium in Australia, where researchers are trying to develop “super coral” that can survive on a hotter globe; and a lab at Harvard, where physicists are contemplating shooting tiny diamonds into the…

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Thom Hartmann in Conversation With David Korten

Thom Hartmann, the most popular progressive radio host in America, looks at the history of the battle against oligarchy in America — and how we can win the latest round. The United States was born in a struggle against the oligarchs of the British aristocracy, and ever since then the history of America has been one of dynamic tension between democracy and oligarchy. And much like the shock of the 1929 crash that woke America up to glaring inequality and the ongoing theft of democracy by that generation’s oligarchs, the coronavirus pandemic of 2020 has laid bare how extensively oligarchs have looted our nation’s economic system, gutted governmental institutions, and stolen the wealth of the former middle class. In The Hidden History of American Oligarchy:…

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Gabrielle Glaser in Conversation With Anna Griffin

During the Baby Boom in 1960s America, women were encouraged to stay home and raise large families, but sex and childbirth were taboo subjects. Premarital sex was common, but birth control was hard to get and abortion was illegal. In 1961, 16-year-old Margaret Erle fell in love and became pregnant. Her enraged family sent her to a maternity home, and after she gave birth, she wasn’t even allowed her to hold her own son. Social workers threatened her with jail until she signed away her parental rights. Her son vanished, his whereabouts and new identity known only to an adoption agency that would never share the slightest detail about his fate. Claiming to be acting in the best interests of all, the adoption business was…

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André Aciman in Conversation With Jonathan Burnham

André Aciman, the New York Times-bestselling author of Find Me and Call Me by Your Name, returns to the essay form with a collection of thoughts on time, the creative mind, and great lives and works. In Homo Irrealis (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), Aciman explores what the present tense means to artists who cannot grasp the here and now. Irrealis is not about the present, or the past, or the future, but about what might have been but never was — but could in theory still happen. From meditations on subway poetry and the temporal resonances of an empty Italian street, to considerations of the lives and work of Sigmund Freud, Constantine Cavafy, W. G. Sebald, John Sloan, Éric Rohmer, Marcel Proust, and Fernando Pessoa,…

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Melinda Gates Ticketed Event

For the last 20 years, Melinda Gates has been on a mission. Her goal, as co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, has been to find solutions for people with the most urgent needs, wherever they live. Throughout this journey, one thing has become increasingly clear to her: If you want to lift a society up, invest in women. In her candid and inspiring book, The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World (Flatiron Books), Gates traces her awakening to the link between women’s empowerment and the health of societies. She shows some of the tremendous opportunities that exist right now to “turbo-charge” change. And she provides simple and effective ways each one of us can make a difference. A personal statement…

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Ernest Cline Ticketed Event

Ernest Cline’s Ready Player Two (Ballantine) is the highly anticipated sequel to his beloved worldwide bestseller Ready Player One, the near-future adventure that inspired the blockbuster Steven Spielberg film. Days after winning OASIS founder James Halliday’s contest, Wade Watts makes a discovery that changes everything. Hidden within Halliday’s vaults, waiting for his heir to find, lies a technological advancement that will once again change the world and make the OASIS a thousand times more wondrous — and addictive — than even Wade dreamed possible. With it comes a new riddle, and a new quest — a last Easter egg from Halliday, hinting at a mysterious prize. And an unexpected, impossibly powerful, and dangerous new rival awaits, one who’ll kill millions to get what he wants.…

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