Celebrating One Year of Book Think!
Book Think debuted one year ago this month, and I'm in the mood to commemorate. Since it's too hot for books, thinking, or even turning pages absently while staring slack-jawed into space, let's take a look back instead at the best of the blog so far.
Together we've pondered the future of book design, probed the link between poetry and the Arab Spring, and weighed the necessity of shooting lasers at Shakespeare's corpse to find out whether he smoked weed. We've celebrated the resurgence of a New York City library, proposed a holiday that could save the publishing industry, and agonized endlessly over what Amazon hath wrought.
We've wondered whether great science requires great science fiction, whether neuroscience will kill the novel, and whether time travel will ever be more than a literary fantasy. We've debated whether Richard Dawkins should take up fiction writing or whether James Wood should adopt the scientific method.
We still haven't read Jane Eyre. But we're going to!
We've discovered the true meaning of Christmas.
My sincere thanks to Big Think and its staff for the opportunities and support they've provided over the past year. Many thanks, too, to the various outlets that have featured, linked to, and tweeted Book Think posts, among them The New Yorker (Page-Turner), The Dish (Andrew Sullivan), 3 Quarks Daily, Flavorwire, and The Poetry Foundation.
Finally, thanks to all of you: the Big Think readers who have perused, praised, denounced, shared, and otherwise responded to the articles in this space. You've been the light of my life and the fire of my loins, the madeleine in my tea, the mirabilis in my annus. You've excused my least excusable puns. Onward and forward.
These five main food groups are important for your brain's health and likely to boost the production of feel-good chemicals.
We all know eating “healthy” food is good for our physical health and can decrease our risk of developing diabetes, cancer, obesity and heart disease. What is not as well known is that eating healthy food is also good for our mental health and can decrease our risk of depression and anxiety.
Infographics show the classes and anxieties in the supposedly classless U.S. economy.
For those of us who follow politics, we’re used to commentators referring to the President’s low approval rating as a surprise given the U.S.'s “booming” economy. This seeming disconnect, however, should really prompt us to reconsider the measurements by which we assess the health of an economy. With a robust U.S. stock market and GDP and low unemployment figures, it’s easy to see why some think all is well. But looking at real U.S. wages, which have remained stagnant—and have, thus, in effect gone down given rising costs from inflation—a very different picture emerges. For the 1%, the economy is booming. For the rest of us, it’s hard to even know where we stand. A recent study by Porch (a home-improvement company) of blue-collar vs. white-collar workers shows how traditional categories are becoming less distinct—the study references "new-collar" workers, who require technical certifications but not college degrees. And a set of recent infographics from CreditLoan capturing the thoughts of America’s middle class as defined by the Pew Research Center shows how confused we are.
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