The Strangest Man

9780465018277

Graham Farmelo. The Strangest Man: the Hidden Life of Paul Dirac, Mystic of the Atom. New York: Basic Books, 2009. 539 pp. $29.95.  ISBN 978-465-01827-7.

Quick, who said “If you think you understand quantum theory, you don’t understand quantum theory”? Was it (a) Niels Bohr, (b) John Wheeler, (c) Richard Feynman?

Answer: . . . → Read More: The Strangest Man

Shrimp Zidane

Footballer

How do you pay tribute to an athlete like Zinadine Zidane, who is already an international celebrity? Maybe one way is to name a new dish after him or her. We already have General Tso’s chicken, Beef Stroganoff, Peach Melba, and Bananas Foster. Make way for Shrimp Zidane!

Zidane, one of professional soccer’s all-time . . . → Read More: Shrimp Zidane

Remembering Dillinger

dillingercropped03

The state of Indiana has placed some memorable figures on the national stage – Eugene Debs, Wilbur Wright, Major Taylor, Wendell Willkie, Jessamyn West – but after all these years the native Hoosier with the greatest name recognition is probably John Dillinger.

You can’t grow up in this state without knowing about him. They’ve . . . → Read More: Remembering Dillinger

Divorced, Beheaded, Died

9780312429980

Hillary Mantel. Wolf Hall. New York; Picador/Henry Holt and Company, 2009. 608 pp. $16.00. ISBN 978-0-312-42998–0.

It is safe to say that the reading public in the U.S. and the U.K. virtually lost its head over Wolf Hall, Hillary Mantel’s 2009 Mann Booker Prize winner.

Six pages of reviewers’ encomia from New York to Los Angeles, packed . . . → Read More: Divorced, Beheaded, Died

Christmas Caroling

Children with candles

In a secular age, it is a common complaint that the origins of the holiday season are too often ignored in an orgy of shopping, gormandizing, and partying. 

This can in turn induce dangerous nostalgia. Whatever religious tradition is being observed, it always seems that things were more authentic, if not also more reverent, . . . → Read More: Christmas Caroling

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