SOCIAL SCIENCE / Popular Culture
Jan 17, 2014 — Insect-eating is catching on with some in the United States. But it's everyday behavior in many other cultures. Commentator Barbara J. King wonders how meat eaters and vegetarians in the U.S. react to dishes with grasshoppers and katydids as key ingredients.
Nov 22, 2013 — Dana Goodyear's new Anything That Moves is an eyes-(and-mouth)-wide-open trip through America's foodie subcultures, from raw food enthusiasts to underground supper clubs. Reviewer Jason Sheehan says Goodyear is a "fair guide to the underbelly," but doesn't exercise enough critical judgment when it comes to the crazier dishes.
Nov 17, 2013 — Author Dana Goodyear has spent a lot of time dining with foodies who champion bugs as a meal. And horses. And brains. Whales. Leaves. Weeds. Ash. Hay. Even plain dirt. Her new book documents the adventurous chefs and eaters who are redefining Americans' relationship with food.
Oct 26, 2013 — Author Simon Singh's new book teases out the mathematical references hidden in The Simpsons. Singh tells NPR's Scott Simon that the show's writing team includes several trained mathematicians — and that the logical bends and breaks of writing comedy can be very appealing to the mathematically minded.
Oct 13, 2013 — The Food Network was intended for cooks, but it wasn't run by them. In a new tell-all book, Allen Salkin takes an unsparing look at the channel's progression from struggling cable startup to global powerhouse, and the people who rose and fell along the way.
Sep 19, 2013 — Read an exclusive excerpt of Allen Salkin's new history of the Food Network, From Scratch. It's an affectionate but unsparing look at a scrappy little startup network that became a national broadcasting behemoth — and brought people like Emeril Lagasse and Rachael Ray into millions of homes.
Aug 6, 2013 — This we know: that dinosaurs had babies. This we also know: that to have those babies, dinosaurs had sex. But here's what we don't know: with their size, their spikes, their scales, their genital equipment, how did they manage to do the deed? This doesn't prevent us from wondering.
Jul 1, 2013 — One of the great dinosaur puzzles, the dinosaur mystery, is why did they suddenly die off? Scientists have been debating this question for almost a hundred years and one of the most beautiful notions came from an insect scholar who thought maybe caterpillars did it. I'm not making this up.
Aug 13, 2012 — The Psychopath Test is a fascinating look into the minds of the deranged, but author Carol Rifka Brunt says she read it not to understand the psychology of madness, but to prove she wasn't mad herself. When have you compared yourself to books or characters in them? Tell us in the comments.
Oct 26, 2011 — The essays range in subject from Axl Rose to the Southern Agrarian novelist Andrew Nelson Lytle. What they have in common is John Jeremiah Sullivan's essential curiosity about the world, his eye for the perfect detail, and his great good humor in revealing both his subjects' and his own foibles.