Tonight Inquiry talks with writer and award-winning author AMY STEWART about the dark and evil side of botany. Stewart’s new book WICKED PLANTS: A BOOK OF BOTANICAL ATROCITIES describes all sorts of plants that are deadly, dangerous, painful, destructive, intoxicating and illegal. Tune in tonight and learn why rhubarb can be harmful; how Stinging Nettles sting and what famous flower smells like rotting meat.
Freshness. We certainly want all our milk, eggs, fruit, meat and fish to be as fresh as possible, but no person or organization has a consistent definition of what “freshness” actually is. It has been described as “not a measurement, but a state of being.” This notion of freshness has changed over the centuries as refrigeration and transportation technologies have evolved. Can a piece of fruit grown in Chile but found now in a grocery store in Worcester still be called fresh? Tonight on Inquiry, we welcome SUSANNE FREIDBERG, Professor of Geography at Dartmouth College. She talks about the history of iceboxes and refrigerators; the strange history of fresh eggs and how freshness has now become an international concern. Her book is titled FRESH: A PERISHABLE HISTORY.
Building on the momentum from last year’s popular Art in the Park exhibition, the Worcester Cultural Commission has invited artists to forward a selection of up to three existing sculptures
or installations for a juried outdoor exhibition from August 6 through September 30 in Elm Park, Artists have been encouraged to enter particularly large-scale work for installation on the
grounds, floating in one of its three shallow ponds, or suspended from trees.
Because Elm Park is a well-loved public space, durability is a major consideration. Twenty selected pieces will be featured in the exhibition.
Artists may offer works for sale.
The project is sponsored by the Worcester Cultural Commission, ArtsWorcester, and the City of Worcester and its Department of Parks and Public Works, with partial funding from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.
Steve D'Agostino, host of The Business Beat, will speak with Helen Beaumont of the Worcester Cultural Commission and Nat Needle of the Highland Street Business Association.
In 1900, deep below the stormy seas off the coast of Greece, sponge divers discovered the wreck of an Ancient Greek ship. Among the bronze and marble statues that were recovered was an oddball collection of encrusted bronze. This small device, made of numerous interlocking finely made clockwork gears, would eventually cause scientists and archeologists to reconsider everything we thought we knew about technology and the Ancient Greeks. Tune in tonight as Inquiry talks with science journalist JO MARCHANT about her new history of the discovery of the “Antikythera mechanism: DECODING THE HEAVENS: A 2,000 YEAR OLD COMPUTER AND THE CENTURY-LONG SEARCH TO DISCOVER ITS SECRETS.
Is there a war on intelligence in this country? Why are people with no background or expertise on a technical idea given a nation-wide media platform to spout their wrong-headed notions on that subject? Are we under the spell of what Paul Ginnetty has called “the potent narcotic of reassuring simplicity”? Tonight on Inquiry, we talk with CHARLES P. PIERCE, staff writer for the Boston Globe and writer for Esquire, American Prospect and Slate, about his latest book IDIOT AMERICA: HOW STUPIDITY BECAME A VIRTUE IN THE LAND OF THE FREE. Tune in as Pierce talks about the Terry Schiavo debacle; how the school board of Dover, Pennsylvania attempted to get creationism taught in school, and what founding father James Madison would have thought of this inanity.
What does a colony of army ants, our brains, the economies of large countries and the World Wide Web all have in common? They are all examples of “complex systems” and the study of complexity may hold the key to understanding how our thoughts occur, how genes work, or how we can teach machines to be more human. Tonight on Inquiry, our guest is MELANIE MITCHELL, Professor of Computer Science at Portland State University and External Professor at the Santa Fe Institute. Professor Mitchell has spent her life studying and modeling complex systems and her new book COMPLEXITY: A GUIDED TOUR, is the first overview of this very new science geared for the general public. Tune in tonight and learn why Stuart Kauffman has said “life exists at the edge of chaos.”
Women of the 1960s counterculture were often portrayed in the mainstream press as drug-addled hapless victims of Manson-type male gurus. Even in the hippie rock posters and comics of the time, women were either sexy Aquarian goddesses or earth mother icons. The truth is that women of the counterculture led complex lives that often challenged cultural stereotypes as to what was proper for women to do or how a woman should dress. Some hippie women were world travelers who thought nothing of grabbing their backpacks and setting off for India, Pakistan or Afghanistan. Their lifestyles in the 1960s paved the way for the New Age and “back to earth” movements of today. Tonight’s guest on Inquiry is GRETCHEN LEMKE-SANTANGELO, Professor of History at St. Mary’s College of California. She has written the first cultural history of these hippie women that describes how they lived, and their importance to modern feminism and environmental movements. Her book is titled: DAUGHTERS OF AQUARIUS: WOMEN OF THE SIXTIES COUNTERCULTURE.
Underwriter of the Week
Worcester Business Journal
Delivering news and opinion for the Central Massachusetts business community. All Business, All the Time…
in print, online and in person.