What’s wrong with America’s math curriculum? I’ve written endlessly on this subject, but for now I want to focus on the claims of Steven Levitt and others in a new version of an earlier Freakonomics episode. Levitt et al. are… Read More ›
Month: September 2021
She says she’s afraid of not being afraid.
“She” is Laura Lippman, talking about her new novel, Dream Girl. I usually read every book in Lippman’s Baltimore-based crime series; I decided to read this out-of-series (non-genre) one as well, based primarily on Ed Levine’s interview with her on… Read More ›
Oh no! The International Astronomical Union has been lying to us all these years! What is this world coming to?
“These explanations are entirely bogus. They’re made up.” That’s what the Kiwi Hellenist, Peter Gainsford, says about the International Astronomical Union’s incorrect explanations for the names of the planets. But how could the explanations be entirely bogus? Scientists don’t just… Read More ›
Back Bay Blues, by Peter Colt
No, this novel is not really about the Back Bay—not the neighborhood, nor the train station, nor the erstwhile eponymous bay. And it’s not about the blues. But you probably guessed that. Mostly it’s about the aftermath of the War… Read More ›
At first I wasn’t going to blog about last night’s dinner, which was our third-ever visit to Brasserie: writing about two pricey restaurants in one week was just too indulgent. But then, when dessert arrived, I had to change my… Read More ›
The Japanese Agatha Christie?
How to begin? Maybe with an executive summary: The Decagon House Murders, a 1987 novel by Yukito Ayatsuji, is a locked-room mystery explicitly based (in two different ways) on Agatha Christie’s 1939 novel And Then There Were None. I enjoyed… Read More ›
Outdoor dining at 224 Boston Street
Yesterday evening Barbara and I had a delicious dinner at 224 Boston Street. They’ve set up half a dozen very sturdy wooden booths on the sidewalk, all nicely separately and totally different from the flimsy, temporary feel you get at… Read More ›
What is the secret to writing a successful popularization?
What? You think I’m going to reveal the secret? No way! That’s partly because I don’t actually know the secret—but we can explore the question, as sparked by a recent post by Gretchen McCulloch, known for her surprise best-seller Because… Read More ›
After reading The Paradise Affair by Bill Pronzini, I don’t want to visit Hawaii!
You do need a little light reading to start the new year off right, don’t you? Then you need Bill Pronzini’s latest mystery, The Paradise Affair. From the title of the book you might expect it to be about Hawaii…. Read More ›
September flowers on Ashmont Hill
Flowers are still blooming on Ashmont Hill in mid-September! Spotted on yesterday’s walk: