from the archive


Author: Pete


Gearing up for Gatsby


Tonight is opening night for Baz Luhrmann's new film, "The Great Gatsby", based on F. Scott Fitzgerald's 1925 novel of the same name. Gatsby is often spoken of as "the great american novel", and Fitzgerald's "magnum opus."  It has also often been described as "unfilmable", which hasn't stopped four previous filmmakers from trying to bring the book to the cinema (including a lost 1926 silent movie), with generally underwhelming results.


Play ball!


One of my favorite jokes from a David Letterman monologue is: "Yesterday was opening day for Major League Baseball which can only mean one thing: The Cleveland Indians are mathematically eliminated." Any long-suffering sports fan can relate to the pathos and humor in Letterman’s comment. I am a fan of the New York Mets and grew up watching them through the seventies and eighties when they did not enjoy much success.


A library in your pocket: the evolution of the phone


On March 7,  1876 Alexander Graham Bell was granted patent number 174,465 for his "Telegraphy" design.  Three days later he successfully transmitted these famous words: "Mr Watson—Come here—I want to see you" to his assistant, Thomas Watson. The telephone has gone through many changes in the 137 years since the granting of the patent, and today it is a virtual library in your pocket.


Goodbye Ravi


Famed sitar player and music legend Ravi Shankar passed away this week at the grand old age of 92. Dubbed "The Godfather of World Music" by ex-Beatle and longtime friend George Harrison, Shankar was an unlikely international music star whose sitar playing introduced millions to the beautiful ragas (melodies) and talas (rhythms) of Indian music.


You’ve got personality


Human behavior fascinates me. I am endlessly curious about the human condition, and the question of why we behave the way we behave. Why do some people choose to bungee jump off a bridge, while others prefer to curl up at home by the fire? Why are some people energized by the fast-paced conversation of a cocktail party, while others gravitate toward a quiet conversation in the corner?

Subscribe