New Literary Books: “Parisian Lives – Samuel Beckett, Simone de Beauvoir And Me” (Bair)

Deirdre Bair Parisian Lives Samuel Beckett Simone de Beauvoir and Me A Memoir BookDe Beauvoir and Beckett despised each other – and lived essentially on the same street. While quite literally dodging one subject or the other, and sometimes hiding out in the backrooms of the great cafés of Paris, Bair learned that what works in terms of process for one biography rarely applies to the next. Her seven-year relationship with the domineering and difficult de Beauvoir required a radical change in approach, yielding another groundbreaking literary profile.

Drawing on Bair’s extensive notes from the period, including never-before-told anecdotes and details that were considered impossible to publish at the time, Parisian Lives is full of personality and warmth and gives us an entirely new window on the all-too-human side of these legendary thinkers.

In 1971 Deirdre Bair was a journalist and recently minted PhD who managed to secure access to Nobel Prize-winning author Samuel Beckett. He agreed that she could write his biography despite never having written – or even read – a biography herself. The next seven years of intimate conversations, intercontinental research, and peculiar cat-and-mouse games resulted in Samuel Beckett: A Biography, which went on to win the National Book Award and propel Deirdre to her next subject: Simone de Beauvoir. The catch?

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Politics & Foreign Affairs: Joe Biden And Iranian Protests (Podcast)

The race for the Democratic nomination looks much like it did a year ago—but previous contests prove that once voting starts, momentum can reshuffle the pack. 

The Economist Intelligence PodcastIran has been roiling with protests following the accidental downing of an airliner; what should Iranians and the wider world expect now? And we examine how Bogotá’s once-adored public-transport system went so wrong.

Top 2019 Architecture: “Branch House” By Tolo Architecture (Montecito)

branch-house-by-tolo-architecture-1-e1579038253756.jpg

The interior palette is simple, even stark: concrete floors, gypsum board walls and ceilings, and exposed laminated-veneer lumber joists in the corridors and other areas. Colorfully glazed Heath clay tile punctuates specific areas: blue for the kitchen, and blue, pink, and yellow for the bathrooms. The exterior is even simpler, with the roof and siding of the boldly geometric volumes sheathed in copper shingles that act as a rainscreen while protecting the wood-framed structure from fire like a protective armor.

Branch House by Tolo Architecture
http://toloarchitecture.com/

Designed by Los Angeles–based TOLO Architecture, the Branch House brings a village of abstract domestic forms to a typical suburban enclave in Montecito, Calif. The 4,400-square-foot single-family residence sits on a 1-acre site on a cul de sac. A series of eight rectangular volumes, each with a skylight, enclose a living room and dining room, a kitchen, a two-car garage, an office, two bedrooms, a master bath, and a powder room, respectively, and are deployed in a nonorthogonal layout across the site. The positioning of each balances the desire for occupant privacy as well as views of the surrounding landscape. Meandering glass-lined hallways connect the volumes and act as galleries for the client’s art collection.

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Health: Heart Disease, Stroke Deaths Are Rising, Even In Healthy States

From a Wall Street Journal online article (01/14/20):

Americans are dying of heart disease and strokes at a rising rate in middle age, normally considered the prime years of life. An analysis of U.S. mortality statistics by The Wall Street Journal shows the problem is geographically widespread. 

Heart Disease Management by age group WSJ from National Center for Health Statistics CDCDeath rates from cardiovascular disease among people between the ages of 45 and 64 are rising in cities all across the country, including in some of the most unlikely places.

In the Journal’s analysis, three metro areas east of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains—Colorado Springs, Fort Collins and Greeley—recorded some of the biggest increases. Death rates in each rose almost 25%. The three cities boast robust access to exercise and health care. There are bike trails, good heart-disease treatment-and-prevention programs and nearby skiing and hiking.

Wall Street Journal Logo Heart Disease Article January 14 2020

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Health: Characteristics Of Neurodegenerative Diseases (Mayo Clinic)

Dr. Nilüfer Ertekin-Taner, neurogeneticist and behavioral neurologist, discusses characteristics of neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and movement disorders. She also discusses her research on the complex genetics of Alzheimer’s disease, including identifying therapeutic targets and biomarkers. She highlights Mayo Clinic’s unique approach to patient care.

Fine Art: Paris Musées Makes Public Over 100,000 Images Including Monet, Cézanne And Courbet

Paris Musées Releases over 100,000 Images of Artworks for Unrestricted Public Use

Website

Setting Sun on the Seine at Lavacourt” by Claude Monet (1880)
Setting Sun on the Seine at Lavacourt” by Claude Monet (1880)
Portrait of Ambroise Vollard by Paul Cézanne (1899)
Portrait of Ambroise Vollard by Paul Cézanne (1899)
Portrait of Juliette Courbet by Gustave Courbet (1844)
“Portrait of Juliette Courbet” by Gustave Courbet (1844)

 

Weather Science: NASA Launches “IMPACTS” Campaign To Study East Coast Winter Storms

This winter, NASA is sending a team of scientists, a host of ground instruments, and two research aircraft to study the inner workings of snow storms. The Investigation of Microphysics Precipitation for Atlantic Coast-Threatening Snowstorms, or IMPACTS, field campaign will be the first comprehensive study of East Coast snowstorms in 30 years.

Music credit: “Snowfall” by Andy Blythe [PRS], Marten Joustra [PRS], “Snow Blanket” by Benjamin James Parsons [PRS] from Universal Production Music

Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/Scientific Visualization Studio
Katie Jepson (USRA): Lead Producer, Narrator
Ellen T. Gray (ADNET): Lead Writer
Jacquelyn DeMink (USRA): Lead Animator
Kathryn Mersmann (USRA): Project Support
LK Ward (USRA):Project Support
Aaron E. Lepsch (ADNET): Technical Support

This video is public domain and along with other supporting visualizations can be downloaded from NASA Goddard’s Scientific Visualization Studio at: https://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/13519

Profiles: 85-Year Old Primatologist Jane Goodall On A Better Future (Cambridge)

In a new film released as part of Cambridge University’s focus on Sustainable Earth, Dr Jane Goodall DBE talks about the environmental crisis and her reasons for hope. “Every single day that we live, we make some impact on the planet. We have a choice as to what kind of impact that is.”

At the age of 26, Jane Goodall travelled from England to what is now Tanzania, Africa, and ventured into the little-known world of wild chimpanzees. Among her many discoveries, perhaps the greatest was that chimpanzees make and use tools. She completed a PhD at Newnham College in Cambridge in 1966, and subsequently founded the Jane Goodall Institute in 1977 to continue her conservation work and the youth service programme Roots & Shoots in 1991.

She now travels the world as a UN Messenger of Peace. “The human spirit is indomitable. Throughout my life, I’ve met so many incredible people – men and women who tackle what seems impossible and won’t give up until they succeed. With our intellect and our determined spirit, and with the tools that we have now, we can find a way to a better future.”

Cambridge University’s focus on Sustainable Earth looks at how we transition to a carbon zero future, protect the planet’s resources, reduce waste and build resilience.

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