12 March 2010


"The Most Dangerous Man in America:" I really recommend this documentary about Daniel Ellsberg and the "Pentagon Papers" that my friend Tom and I saw recently; I'm embarrassed to say that I had only a very general understanding and the vaguest childhood recollection about this pivotal episode in American history and the major role it played in the Vietnam War, the downfall of the Nixon administration, and freedom of the press. (Fellow Hunter College High School Alumnae/i: Did we spend time on this in American History??? Or was I just cutting class that day/week/month/year?) I thought it told a great story about one "establishment" man's evolution, choices, and eventual devotion to peace.

"This Emotional Life:" David and I really enjoyed this PBS three-part, six-hour series produced by Nova and created by Harvard social psychologist Dan Gilbert; it goes beyond the recent 'happiness studies' to really examine the scientific basis of how we live in this world, interact with others, and react to and change our circumstances. It explains new scientific discoveries as well as common perceptions and misperceptions; shows real-life, powerful, case studies; and includes short comments from well-known, popular-culture individuals who talk about or use their emotional stories in their writing, acting, or work. Gilbert's personal/professional story's also pretty cool: high-school drop-out to Harvard professor and Guggenheim Fellow.

Dexter Wells: Does anyone else who reads The Sunday New York Times Magazine regularly get weirded out by Pete Wells' regular column about his experiences cooking with and for his son Dexter? Food, and the growing, cooking, and eating of it is a very, very, very big thing in my life; and a kid who enjoys food, eating, and cooking is great; but Wells' obsession with how his life is being shaped by how his child's life is being shaped by food makes the child seem almost ... Damien-esque. Or Wells himself like Shirley Partridge chasing after the schoolbus to keep up with her hipster kids. Anyway, what reminded me about that was that this week's column had a recipe for Cuban Black Beans (and in my earlier black beans post I forgot to link you to my dear friend Dena's great recipe too...).

And, Oops, Actual Affordability: Lastly, I updated yesterday's post, because I neglected to mention the important point that, in addition to not being TOD or green, how 'affordable' is affordable housing that's sited where residents will need to own and run cars to get anyplace?

*quick week's end post

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