Suchitra Sukumar

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Earth & Sky Photo Contest winners capture jaw-dropping auroras and star trails

Auroras, the clouds of the Milky Way and trails of stars shine overhead in the remarkable photos chosen as winners of the 6th International Earth & …

Why America’s obsession with STEM education is dangerous

By Fareed Zakaria<p>, Columnist<p><i>Fareed Zakaria, a columnist for The Washington Post, is the host of “Fareed Zakaria GPS” on CNN and the author of “In Defense of a Liberal Education.”</i><p>If Americans are united in any conviction these days, it is that we urgently need to shift the country’s education toward …

Education

Paris Review - Simone de Beauvoir, The Art of Fiction No. 35

Interviewed by Madeleine Gobeil<p>Issue 34, Spring-Summer 1965<p>Simone de Beauvoir had introduced me to Jean Genet and Jean-Paul Sartre, whom I had interviewed. But she hesitated about being interviewed herself: “Why should we talk about me? Don’t you think I’ve done enough in my three books of …

Paris Review - Stanley Elkin, The Art of Fiction No. 61

Interviewed by Thomas LeClair<p>Issue 66, Summer 1976<p>The following interview was taped in September 1974, in St. Louis, without aid of sherry, or sunlight streaming through high windows. Although we did walk through leaf-piled streets to Elkin’s office on the Washington University campus, I didn’t …

Paris Review - Paula Fox, The Art of Fiction No. 181

Interviewed by Oliver Broudy<p>Issue 170, Summer 2004<p>Paula Fox has led an unusual life. Born in 1923, the unwanted daughter of largely absentee parents, she spent her childhood in the care of a series of guardians, some more reliable than others. As a young adult, she held a variety of jobs with blips …

The Postmodern Autocrat's Handbook

The concept of dictatorship is badly in need of revision. The old model of remote tyrants inflicting arbitrary, often eccentric, edicts on their …

Bürma’s Heavy Mëtal Revölution

Decades of military rule may have been slightly relaxed in Burma, but many hurdles remain in place.<p>YANGON, Burma — This commercial capital might be a …

Why Is Crying a Professional Taboo?

Why must women leave all emotion at the office door to be taken seriously?<p>When Jill Abramson was fired from her role as executive editor of the <i>New York Times</i> in May, publisher Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr. told the newspaper's staff that it was because of "an issue with management in the newsroom." In …

Barbara Walters on the Art of Conversation, How to Talk to Bores, and What Truman Capote Teaches Us About Being Interesting

What <i>The Paris Review</i> has done for the art of the interview in print, <b>Barbara Walters</b> has done for it on television. By the time she was forty, Walters was seen by more people than any other woman on TV and had grown famous for her ability not only to land interviews with seemingly unapproachable …

I'm happy to drift along with Google at the wheel. Ukip's another matter

Last week, Google unveiled its latest invention: a self-driving car. I thought this had happened already. My perception that the pace of change is terrifying must be causing me to over-compensate. Haven't DLR ghost trains been depositing people under Canary Wharf for the best part of 25 years (as …

Letter to Borges: Susan Sontag on Books, Self-Transcendence, and Reading in the Age of Screens

In October of 1982, 83-year-old Jorge Luis Borges, who at that point had been blind for nearly 30 years, gathered sixty of his closest friends and admirers at a special dinner in New York. Susan Sontag was there. Speaking to a reporter covering the event, she captured the enormity of Borges’s …

“An opera of breasts”: But I really did love putting the stories in Playboy!

<b>A photo of the author (Rex Bonomelli)</b><p>I was hired to revive the literary tradition of an adult magazine. By the author of “The Affairs of Others”<p>Amy Grace Loyd<p>August 26, 2013 12:00am (UTC)<p>“It’s all assholes! <i>Naked</i> assholes!” The sixty-something woman, New England born and bred, well assembled with a …

9. The Great Frustration

In the Garden of Eden, a cat steadies itself on a branch while quietly regarding a parrot. The air in the garden is heavy and mixed with the stink of …

Birds

How Cooking Civilized Us: Michael Pollan on Food as Social Glue and Anti-Corporate Activism

In 2006, <b>Michael Pollan</b> penned what became the most important food politics book of the past half-century, which spawned everything from a motion graphics tribute to an exquisite sequel illustrated by Maira Kalman. Now, Pollan returns with <b>Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation</b> (<i>public library</i>) …

Mary Gordon on the Joy of Notebooks and How Writing by Hand Catalyzes Creativity

Every few years, a new anthology of essays on why writers write comes along. While most tend to be invariably excellent, one of the best presents I’ve ever received was a copy of the 2001 collection <b>Writers on Writing: Collected Essays from The New York Times</b> (<i>public library</i>). What made this …

The First Book of Space Travel: How a Woman Writer and Illustrator Enchanted Kids with Science in 1953

Vintage science illustrations hold a special charm, and illustrated children’s science books by women are a (heartening) rarity even today, so a woman who got kids excited about science half a century ago is nothing short of a cultural hero. Such is the case of <b>Jeanne Bendick</b>, who authored and …

The Art of Observation and Why Genius Lies in the Selection of What Is Worth Observing

<i>“In the field of observation,”</i> legendary disease prevention pioneer <b>Louis Pasteur</b> famously proclaimed in 1854, <i>“chance favors only the prepared mind.”</i> <i>“Knowledge comes from noticing resemblances and recurrences in the events that happen around us,”</i> neuroscience godfather <b>Wilfred Trotter</b> asserted. That …

Henry Miller on Writing and Life

Why do writers — great, beloved, timeless writers — write? <b>George Orwell</b> had his four motives. For <b>Joan Didion</b>, it is a matter of ego and self-revelation. <b>David Foster Wallace</b>, perhaps ironically in retrospect, wrote purely for the fun of it. For <b>Charles Bukowski</b>, it was an inextinguishable inner …

The Genius of Dogs and How It Expands Our Understanding of Human Intelligence

For much of modern history, dogs have inspired a wealth of art and literature, profound philosophical meditations, scientific curiosity, deeply personal letters, photographic admiration, and even some cutting-edge data visualization. But what is it that makes dogs so special in and of themselves, …

Timeless wisdom on writing and knowledge from Hemingway: http://j.mp/11jsDZh

The Little Golden Book of Words: A Rare Illustrated Gem from 1948

The other day, I came upon typography czar Jonathan Hoefler’s brilliant remix of a mysterious vintage children’s chart and Milton Glaser’s iconic Bob Dylan poster. Naturally, I set out to find the origins of the vintage gem. Imagine my delight, as a hopeless lover of vintage children’s books, in …

When You’re In An Empty Bed

By Chelsea Fagan,<p>Comment<br>• FlagFlagged<br>• http://tcat.tc/ZqWEGy<p>It’s vast in a way, almost ominous. You’re surrounded by crumpled sheets and comforters …

The Week’s Best Longreads for April 6, 2013

The Daily Beast picks the best journalism from around the web this week. By David Sessions.<p><b>Big VegMark Bittman, The New York Times Magazine</b>Yes, …

Farewell tour | Financial Times

Frank Low told me this one Friday night in Times Square. He said he’d been transfixed by “Lavoisier and His Wife” at the Metropolitan Museum that …

The Art of Living: A 1924 Guide

The art of living has occupied such celebrated minds as Henry Miller, Leo Tolstoy, Ray Bradbury, Anaïs Nin, Viktor Frankl, Montaigne, and Steve Jobs. That’s precisely what <b>Karl De Schweinitz</b> explores in the first chapter of <b>The Art of Helping People Out of Trouble</b> (<i>public library</i>) — an early …

Maya Angelou on Home, Belonging, and (Not) Growing Up

In 2008, <b>Maya Angelou</b> <b>Maya Angelou</b> (April 4, 1928–May 28, 2014) — one of the greatest spirits of the past century — penned <b>Letter to My Daughter</b> (<i>public library</i>), a collection of 28 short meditations on subjects as varied as violence, humility, Morocco, philanthropy, poetry, and older lovers, …