Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 9:42 am
He may be the most controversial atheist on the planet today, but there was once a time when Richard Dawkins was a respectable, churchgoing Christian.
In his new memoir, AnAppetite for Wonder, the Oxford scientist recalls his erstwhile pious life: "I prayed every night ...[and kneeled] at the altar, where, I believed, an angel might appear to me in a vision." When the apparition finally came it was from a man with a long beard who claimed to understand how human beings evolved. Not that guy with the beard. He was an Englishman named Charles Darwin.
We're kicking off a new fall TV season this week. A generation ago, even less, that was cause for major media focus, as new shows from the broadcast networks jockeyed for attention and position while old favorites returned with new episodes. Also back then, the Emmys were a celebration of the best, and clips from the nominated shows reminded you just why they were considered the best of the best.
After winning a National Book Award for her novel Salvage the Bones, Jesmyn Ward has written a memoir that's framed by the deaths of five young men in her life. The cause of each death was different, but she sees them all as connected to being poor and black in the rural South:
Originally published on Tue September 24, 2013 3:48 pm
By Etelka Lehoczky
It's drunk lightning. No, more of an Escherian stair step. Whatever you decide to call it, expect to spend a fair amount of the time you're reading Jeff Smith's RASL obsessing over the antihero's nose. Smith's dark tale of a dimension-jumping scientist, whose name is pronounced "razzle," is relayed in a jaggy style that couldn't be more different from that of the artist's Pogo-esque epic Bone. And smack in the middle of almost every panel, like a squiggle of punctuation for this comic's many idiosyncrasies, is RASL's strange schnoz.
On a gorgeous night, some 4,000 people, dressed all in white, have come to dine in a public, yet secret place in New York's Bryant Park.
They have come for Diner en Blanc, an unusual pop-up event that takes place in 20 countries. The guests eat in splendor at a location they only learn about minutes before they arrive. The thousands wave white napkins to signal the beginning of the event.
Remember the first time you felt really terrified â€” and liked it? "Being scared is like sex," Stephen King says. "There's nothing like your first time."
For a lot of readers, King's 1977 horror novel The Shining may have been their first fictional scare."An awful lot of the people who read The Shining were like 14 years old, they were at summer camp, they read it under the covers with a flashlight on," King tells NPR's David Greene.
Sea urchins are considered a culinary delicacy in many parts of the world, including Japan and the United States. The market for this "foie gras of the sea" is growing rapidly â€” so fast that supply can't keep up with demand.
But a scientist in Birmingham, Ala., says he's found a solution: He's built a sea urchin farm in his lab and has even developed a food for them to make them taste better. Now, he wants to take his tasty urchins out of his farm and into restaurants across the country.
Now we pause to pay tribute to one of the victims of the attack in Nairobi: Kofi Awoonor, who was born in Ghana in 1935. In a distinguished career that spanned politics, diplomacy and teaching, Awoonor is best-known as one of Africa's most accomplished poets.