Frank Bruni's Career as a Restaurant Critic

Frank Bruni's name is famous in New York culinary circles. But his face was virtually unknown until he resigned in August as the New York Times restaurant critic. After five years on the eating trail, Bruni is stepping down to become a writer with the Sunday Magazine and to promote his book, Born Round: The History of a Full-Time Eater. Before his unveiling, Bruni caught up with Big Think to talk about life as a reviewer-- technically, a political-journalist-turned-reviewer. Bruni explains the science of evaluating (is there really one?) and the challenge of avoiding cliche (how many ways can you say succulent?). Plus, what makes a four-star restaurant (hint: it's not just the food). Bruni also weighs in on the farm table movement, a trend he believes is here to stay, and how it will be challenging for New York City restaurants to keep up.

Water may be an inevitable result of the process that forms rocky planets

New research identifies an unexpected source for some of earth's water.

Surprising Science
  • A lot of Earth's water is asteroidal in origin, but some of it may come from dissolved solar nebula gas.
  • Our planet hides majority of its water inside: two oceans in the mantle and 4–5 in the core.
  • New reason to suspect that water is abundant throughout the universe.
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How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

Image: Dicken Schrader
Strange Maps
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  • Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
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Elon Musk's SpaceX approved to launch 7,518 Starlink satellites into orbit

SpaceX plans to launch about 12,000 internet-providing satellites into orbit over the next six years.

Technology & Innovation
  • SpaceX plans to launch 1,600 satellites over the next few years, and to complete its full network over the next six.
  • Blanketing the globe with wireless internet-providing satellites could have big implications for financial institutions and people in rural areas.
  • Some are concerned about the proliferation of space debris in Earth's orbit.
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