Meet Wolfgang Puck, world-renowned master chef and restaurateur, from his Budapest restaurant outpost Spago. Here he answers our burning questions on all things travel and foodie related – from growing up in Austria and learning to cook in France, to the five-course white truffle meal he cooked recently for Justin Beiber. We hear about what he does when he arrives somewhere new (aperitifs on a sidewalk is top of his list) and why he loves living in California so much – ‘it’s like living a dream for a chef’.
Bill Gates’s investment fund will pledge $1.5 billion for climate projects if Congress enacts an infrastructure bill. The Microsoft co-founder and Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm told the WSJ how public-private partnerships can spur innovation. Photo: Bill Gates via WSJ
ODA introduces its new concept, dubbed ‘beyond the street,’ which seeks to transform new york city‘s streetscape with an extended public realm. the scheme blends existing infrastructure with a proposed new zoning regulation that would take advantage of the porous urban fabric, breaking open existing city blocks to create interior courtyards and pathways that will over time. with adaptive reuse together with new development and landscape design, ODA proposes a city that is even more walkable and blooming with green space accessible to all.
Half a century ago, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young released one of the greatest albums of the rock era, “Déjà vu.” The record would sell eight million copies, but the band, and the friendships, did not endure. “CBS This Morning” co-host Anthony Mason talks with David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash about their shared history and the timeless music they produced, as “Déjà vu” gets a delayed 50th-anniversary expanded release.
Maggie O’Farrell’s “Hamnet,” one of last year’s most widely acclaimed novels, imagines the life of William Shakespeare, his wife, Anne (or Agnes) Hathaway, and the couple’s son Hamnet, who died at 11 years old in 1596.
On this week’s podcast, O’Farrell says she always planned for the novel to have the ensemble cast it does, but that her deepest inspiration was to capture a sense of the young boy at its center.
“The engine behind the book for me was always the fact that I think Hamnet has been overlooked and underwritten by history,” she says. “I think he’s been consigned to a literary footnote. And I believe, quite strongly, that without him — without his tragically short life — we wouldn’t have the play ‘Hamlet.’ We probably wouldn’t have ‘Twelfth Night.’ As an audience, we are enormously in debt to him.”
In 2018, Michael Lewis published “The Fifth Risk,” which argued, in short, that the federal government was underprepared for a variety of disaster scenarios. Guess what his new book is about? Lewis visits the podcast this week to discuss “The Premonition,” which recounts the initial response to the coronavirus pandemic.
“It wasn’t just Trump,” Lewis says. “Trump made everything worse. But there had ben changes in the American government, and changes in particular at the C.D.C., that made them less and less capable of actually controlling disease and more and more like a fine academic institution that came in after the battle and tried to assess what had happened; but not equipped for actual battlefield command. The book doesn’t get to the pandemic until Page 160. The back story tells you how the story is going to play out.”
The historian Annette Gordon-Reed visits the podcast to talk about her new book, “On Juneteenth,” which combines history about slavery in Texas and Juneteenth with more personal, essayistic writing about her own family and childhood.
“This is a departure for me, but it is actually the kind of writing that I always thought that I would be doing when I was growing up, dreaming about being a writer,” Gordon-Reed says. “I’ve always been a great admirer of James Baldwin, and Gore Vidal’s essays I thought were wonderful, better than the novels, and that’s the kind of thing that I wanted to do. So it was sort of a dream come true for me to be able to take this form and talk about some things that were very important to me.”
Also on this week’s episode, Tina Jordan looks back at Book Review history during this year of its 125th anniversary; Alexandra Alter has news from the publishing world; and Parul Sehgal and John Williams talk about the latest in literary criticism. Pamela Paul is the host.
Here are the books discussed by the critics this week:
“The Secret to Superhuman Strength” by Alison Bechdel
“Jackpot” by Michael Mechanic
“Declaring something impossible leads to more things being possible,” writes the physicist Chiara Marletto. “Bizarre as it may seem, it is commonplace in quantum physics.”
Chiara Marletto is trying to build a master theory — a set of ideas so fundamental that all other theories would spring from it. Her first step: Invoke the impossible.
Constructor Theory is a new approach to formulating fundamental laws in physics. Instead of describing the world in terms of trajectories, initial conditions and dynamical laws, in constructor theory laws are about which physical transformations are possible and which are impossible, and why. This powerful switch has the potential to bring all sorts of interesting fields, currently regarded as inherently approximative, into fundamental physics. These include the theories of information, knowledge, thermodynamics, and life.
Read more about Marletto and David Deutsch’s constructor theory at Quanta Magazine: https://www.quantamagazine.org/how-to…
On a special LARB Book Club episode of the Radio Hour, Boris Dralyuk and Medaya Ocher are joined by George Saunders, author of four collections of virtuosic short stories and of the novel Lincoln in the Bardo, which won the 2017 Man Booker Prize.
His latest work is A Swim in a Pond in the Rain: In Which Four Russians Give a Master Class on Writing, Reading, and Life. Examining individual works by Leo Tolstoy, Anton Chekhov, Ivan Turgenev, and Nikolai Gogol from a variety of angles, Saunders teases out lessons for writers and readers alike. During the conversation, he discusses what fiction can teach us about ourselves and each other, shares his experiences teaching these stories over the past two decades, and reflects on the role of humor in his work.