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The Deliberate Message of Toni Morrison

In the foreword to the 2007 reprint of her 1970 debut, “The Bluest Eye,” Toni Morrison provided a useful guide to her motivations as a novelist. When she began the book, she says, she was interested in the “tragic and disabling consequences of accepting rejection as legitimate, as self-evident.” …

Toni Morrison

This Is Your Brain on Money: How Investors Trip Themselves Up

Making off-the-cuff decisions, being prone to bias, and getting swayed by market moves. Is that any way to make money in the stock market?

Researchers have found signs of all three behavioral traits in new studies that offer fresh evidence that investors can be their own worst enemies.

Such foibles …

Investing

How to Play the College Financial-Aid Game

High-school seniors could be forgiven for thinking that comparing college financial-aid offers requires an advanced degree.

The letters have been pouring in over the past few weeks. But along with the excitement comes a challenge: sorting through offers that often differ in ways that can blur the …

Stock Markets Around Globe Lose Their Footing

Stock markets from the U.S. to Europe to China took a beating on Friday on fresh fears about Greece and wobbly corporate earnings, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average giving up all but 3.23 points of its gains for 2015.

Greece’s international creditors signaled they are losing hope that Athens …

Investing

9 surprising things you can find at the library

Libraries aren’t just about books. You can find 3-D printers, recording studios, even a wedding space.

Recording studios, 3-D printers, even wedding spaces

Librarianship

The Rise of the Hackbots

​Stopping malicious hackers and securing software is extremely hard. But what if you could make software that hacks other software, finds bugs, and fixes it quicker than human hackers could?

The challenge boils down to an oft-repeated mantra in the world of information security (or cybersecurity, if …

Security

The New York Times Invents A Conference Table That Takes Notes For You

It's called the Listening Table, and it not only transcribes meetings, but knows when they're important.

Like most offices, The New York Times holds a lot of meetings. Editorial meetings, ad sales meetings, design meetings, you name it; all centered around a table seemingly for no other purpose than …

MIT

Locking Yourself In This Cage Will Lock Out Digital Spies

Your curtains may be closed, but how many devices in your home are still seeing inside?

The home used to be a private escape. With the pull of a curtain, you could seal yourself off from the outside world. But now with the rise of smartphones, Nest thermostats, Kinect cameras, and Amazon Echos, …

Architecture

At Global Economic Gathering, Concerns That U.S. Is Ceding Its Leadership Role

WASHINGTON — As world leaders converge here for their semiannual trek to the capital of what is still the world’s most powerful economy, concern is rising in many quarters that the United States is retreating from global economic leadership just when it is needed most.

The spring meetings of the …

Economics

Anger Management: Why the Genius Founders Turned to Couples Therapy

Over breakfast at Cafe Mogador in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Ilan Zechory couldn’t stop talking about the complicated relationship with his best friend, Tom Lehman.

Mr. Zechory has known Mr. Lehman since 2002, when they were freshmen at Yale. They work together, go to yoga together and even take …

Anger Management

Classic Book Covers of Kurt Vonnegut Novels

We may start doing this everytime we need a new book to read. This post began when one of us went to the office book shelf to find a new title to …

Kurt Vonnegut

Google Embraces ‘Mobile-Friendly’ Sites in Search Shake-Up

Websites must load quickly on mobile devices to appear on top with the revised Google formula for smartphones and tablets

(SAN FRANCISCO) — Google is about to change the way its influential search engine recommends websites on smartphones and tablets in a shift that’s expected to sway where millions …

Google

Why Kids Who Believe in Something Are Happier and Healthier

Spirituality better predictor of happiness than achievement, says author

Despite more than a decade of widespread attention on happiness and the benefits of positive psychology, there is an epidemic of unhappiness in children and teens. Quite severe unhappiness. Health statistics over the past …

Kids

Stromae Delivers a Heart-Wrenching Performance of “Formidable”

Belgian singer Stromae (né Paul Van Haver) belongs to that rare class of European mega pop star (and we mean mega—his music videos on YouTube have been played more than half a billion times) who has yet to reach commensurate heights in America. In part that may be because he sings in French; but his …

YouTube

Everyone Has a Great View in a Spinning Apartment Building

One designer's solution to class conflict caused by blocked views.

The biggest class conflict for coming generations will not be access to good education or medical care. It will be who has the best view. Or that's what industrial designer Shin Kuo is kind of implying, writing:

According to my …

Apartment Building

9 Fried Desserts to Make When Nothing Else Will Do

Spaghetti Squash

From Van Gogh's cloned ear to indoor rain: 13 sculptures made by science

Sculpture

Ryan and Murray’s Next Big Project: Better Use of Big Data

The budget wunderkinds want the federal government to use data to improve its efficiency.

House Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan and Sen. Patty Murray, who forged a major bipartisan budget deal in 2013, are on a new quest: harnessing Big Data to make the federal government run more efficiently.

The …

Paul Ryan

Japan's magnetically levitated vehicle train sets new speed record

Magnetically levitated vehicle surpasses 366mph on test track and sets sights on going even faster

Japan’s magnetically levitated (maglev) train has set a new speed record, hitting 366.61mph on a test track.

Central Japan Railway Co., which is developing a vehicle that it sees as the long-distance, …

Japan

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg hits back in Internet.org India row

Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg has defended the aims of his Internet.org initiative after several Indian firms decided to pull out of the project.

In a blog post, Mr Zuckerberg argued that Internet.org's basic free services were not incompatible with net neutrality - the principle that all web …

India

Microsoft Promises ‘Universal’ Office App For Phones Running Windows 10 This Month

Microsoft promised this morning to release by the end of April a set of Office applications that it calls “Universal” for smartphones running Windows 10.

The company has a two-prong productivity strategy in place for Windows: Office 2016 for desktop use, and, for all other Windows 10 experiences, …

Microsoft Windows

Apple in talks to launch Apple Pay in Canada

(Reuters) - Apple Inc

is planning to launch its electronic payments service in Canada in November, the first international expansion of Apple Pay, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

The iPhone maker is in talks with Canada's six biggest banks, Royal Bank of …

Apple Pay

The Battle for New Orleans

The Big Easy goes hard-core to combat blight. But can that save the Lower Ninth Ward?

Mitch Landrieu looked around New Orleans when he became mayor in 2010, and got angry. The thousands of houses still abandoned and rotting in the city, five years after Hurricane Katrina? The thousands more empty …

New Orleans

Addiction In American History: 14 Vivid Graphs

The language of addiction is always evolving. Maybe we need an addictionary.

For example, when the word "alcohol" was written or spoken in early 19th-century America. it was often used in the chemical and medical sense. This is from an article about drawing out the essence of stramonium, or jimson …

Addiction

Japan’s Creative, Ephemeral Homes

Would you buy a house that you knew would lose its value as years passed? That you would never be able to sell? That you might have to pay to demolish?

In Japan, this is the willing choice of many houseowners. In Western countries, a home is typically an investment that most people expect to one day …

Architecture

Small Hedge Funds Get Bigger Share of Investors’ Money

Hedge-fund upstarts attracted as much money as the titans of the industry last year, a shift for investors who have long favored larger firms.

Managers with assets of less than $5 billion took in roughly half of the $76.4 billion committed to hedge funds after collecting 37% of new capital invested …

Corporate Finance

This mutual fund strategy is keeping your retirement goals on target

“Set-it-and-forget-it” isn’t considered the wisest investing strategy, but investors in target-date mutual funds may beg to differ.

Don’t miss these top money and investing features:

Target-date investors get better returns than active managers

Best target-date funds? Fidelity vs. Vanguard

Is your fund …

Retirement

The trait you need to get a job at Google

A Google leader who handles human resources says the company looks for candidates who have a sense of humility.

Hello, MarketWatchers.

Over a million students attend financially shaky colleges

During the 2012-2013 academic year, 1.6 million students — or about 5% of college students in the country — …

Google

UNDER THE INFLUENCE: WATCH THE TRAILER FOR OUR DOCUMENTARY SERIES EXPLORING MUSIC ACROSS THE GLOBE | UNDER THE INFLUENCE

Features

Under the Influence looks into some of the most important music scenes of our time, exploring the people, bands, and styles that changed the course of music forever. Narrated by modern day punk legend Tim Armstrong (Rancid, Operation Ivy, Transplants), Noisey delves deep into the worlds of …

Tim Armstrong

‘I rule my own ocean micronation’

Many dream of living in an ocean city, but what is it actually like? Rose Eveleth asks the ruler of Sealand, the unusual settlement off the coast of England.

Michael Bates grew up seven nautical miles off the coast of England, on a platform made of concrete and metal. Michael, the son of Roy Bates, …

Oceans