January 10, 2013 In his new book, Jared Diamond describes how readily people in small-scale societies learn to speak many distinct languages. After reading Diamond's book, commentator Barbara J. King takes time to consider what we in the U.S. may lose in a sea of monolingualism.
January 10, 2013 This year's flu season began early and in strength. Joe Heller wishes he could say, "It's only a movie," while Jimmy Margulies offers divinely inspired advice.
January 9, 2013 Modern cosmology predicts the existence of other universes. But can such idea be tested? And should we worry about universes colliding? Yes! Welcome to the world of cosmic catastrophism.
January 9, 2013 Former VP Al Gore sold his low-rated Current TV to the Qatari government-funded network Al Jazeera for millions of dollars. Signe Wilkinson thinks money trumped Gore's ideology, while Mike Smith thinks ideology trumps reason for some critics.
January 8, 2013 As I venture into new fields (like thinking about physics and cities) I become more astonished at Big Data's capacity for revolutionizing the way human beings organize themselves for better or for worse.
January 8, 2013 The NHL lock-out has ended and professional hockey will begin play "in about ten days." Olle Johansson sees a sport battered, but eager to return, while Aislin suspects that the settlement will stick it to the fans.
January 7, 2013 WNYCMany teenagers are living half their lives on social media sites, and they're writing the rules as they go. One online trend 16-year-old Temitayo Fagbenle finds disturbing is something she calls "slut shaming" — using photos and videos to turn a girl's private life inside out.
January 7, 2013 What can we learn from philosophers about keeping New Year's resolutions and becoming better people? Commentator Tania Lombrozo considers some clever studies on the relationship between words and deeds.
January 7, 2013 According to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) being a little overweight could be good for you. If you're like John Cole, you do believe it's time to work off your winter paunch, but Joe Heller doesn't think you'll have much company.
January 7, 2013 Harold Robbins' 1966 novel The Adventurers featured the lethal and stunning man of mystery, Dax. Author Manil Suri writes that Robbins' novel was his first glimpse into an adult world. What was your first "adult" novel? Tell us in the comments.
January 7, 2013 2012 was the year of the big collected volume when it came to poetry. It was intimidating, even for the most hardened poetry fans. But critic Craig Morgan Teicher says 2013 will be full of slim collections that are still smart, important and powerful.
January 6, 2013 Resurrection, Tolstory's last and perhaps least-read novel, is also his most bleak. Author George Saunders writes that it opened his eyes to the plight of the disenfranchised — in Tolstoy's Russia and the modern world. What book opened your eyes to the suffering of others? Tell us in the comments.
January 6, 2013 By the end of this month, Vice President Biden is expected to deliver "concrete proposals" to prevent gun violence. Mike Lester argues that passing laws in the name of saving lives is a slippery slope, while Signe Wilkinson thinks the NRA's proposal, could be worse.
January 5, 2013 When the fight over the fiscal cliff was all through, who were the political winners and losers? Nick Anderson sees John Boehner's re-election as House speaker as less than a triumph, while Mike Lester wonders how President Obama escaped blame.