Princeton University Press has four titles in the top ten of Library Journal’s most recent Best Sellers: Mathematics list! Elliptic Tales: Curves, Counting, and Number Theory by Avner Ash & Robert Gross comes in second place, followed closely by Fascinating Mathematical People: Interviews and Memoirs edited by Donald J. Albers & Gerald L. Alexanderson in third, Dana Mackenzie’s The Universe in Zero Words:The Story of Mathematics as Told through Equations in fifth, and Alexander Hahn’s Mathematical Excursions to the World’s Great Buildings in ninth. How’s that for a back to school special?
“Don Sapatkin, Deputy Science & Medicine Editor, 6:44pm, 2009.” Photograph by Will Steacy from his series Deadline, which documents the past four years at the Philadelphia Inquirer.
That’s Nancy Lutkehaus’s Margaret Mead: The Making of an American Icon in the bottom left! The photo ran alongside David Sirota‘s report, “The Only Game in Town,” published in the September issue of Harper’s Magazine.
The Comparative Urban Studies Project at the Woodrow Wilson Center in D.C. recently hosted author Daniel A. Bell for a great discussion around his recent book, The Spirit of Cities: Why the Identity of a City Matters in a Global Age, co-authored with Avner de-Shalit.
Bell was joined by John J. DeGioia, President of Georgetown University. This event was also co-sponsored by the Program on America and the Global Economy and the Kissinger Institute on China and the United States. You can download the full audio podcast and PowerPoint presentation on the event page on the Woodrow Wilson Center site.
Do you have any questions for Daniel A. Bell or Avner de-Shalit about cities? Let us know in the comments section!
With the possibility of record-breaking heat on this first day of summer, I plan to stay out of the sun, but it seems the unseasonably warm weather these past few weeks has meant that thousands of honeybees have ramped up their annual swarming in the Northeast. The bees are taking over!
Emily S. Rueb has been keeping readers like me up to date on the many clumps of homeless bees that have taken to swarming public spaces in New York City. Over at City Room, she’s also been posting bee-related features such as “The Blessing of the Bees,” this adorable “Kids Draw the News” feature, and this neat slideshow of urban beehives. I’m no apiculturist, but her articles have definitely piqued my interest in how honeybees settle on a hive to call home. Have you seen any swarming this season?
I’ve yet to see a honeybee swarm in person, but if you want to learn the science behind the swarms from the safety of your armchair, I highly recommend Thomas Seeley’s Honeybee Democracy. And if you’re the e-reading type, you can also check out Prof. Seeley’s The Five Habits of Highly Effective Honeybees (and What We Can Learn from Them) from Princeton Shorts. Don’t forget the early summer honey in your iced tea!
Today marks the anniversary of the Chinese warlord Koxinga’s victory over the Dutch during the Sino-Dutch War–China’s first war with Europe. Emory University has put together this fun book trailer for Tonio Andrade and his new book Lost Colony: The Untold Story of China’s First Great Victory over the West, which shows how Koxinga outfoxed the Dutch at every turn to capture Taiwan:
Happy Year of the Dragon!
Daniel A. Bell, co-author of The Spirit of Cities: Why the Identity of a City Matters in a Global Age with Avner de-Shalit, visited Hub’s Davos Pavilion and spoke with Hub Culture’s Executive Editor Edie Lush during his recent trip to the World Economic Forum. Professor Bell uses “I Heart NY” as the best known example of “civicism,” the term for urban pride he and de-Shalit coined in their recent PUP book, but from the looks of it, perhaps “I Heart Davos” is next:
Along with “quit smoking” or “lose weight,” “save more” is consistently one of the most popular new year’s resolutions. But that’s easier said than done, especially when millions of Americans still lack access to a basic bank account.
Sheldon Garon, Princeton professor and author of Beyond Our Means: Why America Spends While the World Saves, argues that there are ways to change that. In addition to the new reforms and protections recommended by the Dodd-Frank Act and the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, the U.S. Postal Service could provide services similar to the postal banks still popular in countries with high personal savings rates–such as Belgium, France, and Germany. In the process, the USPS might also “save” itself from its well-publicized financial woes.
Professor Garon recently talked with Kiyoshi Okonogi of the Asahi Shimbun about postal savings and other possible solutions–read the full Q&A here. (See also Reid Cramer’s post at the New America Foundation’s The Ladder blog, Felix Salmon’s article at Reuters, and Tim Fernholtz’s post at GOOD.)
Gregory Mills of the Urban Institute‘s MetroTrends blog wrote up a post earlier this week about the importance of making it easier for would-be small savers to access basic financial services. He goes on to argue that the U.S. could seriously benefit from “modern-day, higher-tech equivalents” of school or postal savings banks.
Want to add your two cents to the discussion? Prof. Garon will be speaking with Marty Moss Coane on WHYY’s “Radio Times” this coming Tuesday, January 3rd–call in with your questions!
Princeton Professor Sheldon Garon has done a few major interviews so far this week to discuss the big ideas in his new book, Beyond Our Means: Why America Spends While the World Saves.
His recent Q&A with NPR’s senior business editor Marilyn Geewax is the most popular post on the NPR site today: http://www.npr.org/2011/12/05/143149947/why-americans-spend-too-much
And Kimberly Blanton of the Squared Away Blog of the Financial Security Project at Boston College recently spoke with Prof. Garon about savings rates, “over-indebtedness,” and America’s “unusual” Christmas shopping season: http://fsp.bc.edu/united-states-of-credit/
You can also check out Prof. Garon’s interview yesterday with Marilyn Geewax and host Michel Martin on “Tell Me More” from NPR News: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=143141870
Daniel A. Bell, co-author with Avner de-Shalit of The Spirit of Cities: Why the Identity of a City Matters in a Global Age, was sent this fantastic iPad drawing of a recent book talk he gave at the Beijing Bookworm store:
Artist Wu Peng was in the audience at the talk–how cool is that!
If that wasn’t enough, Debra Bruno recently wrote a blog article featuring Daniel A. Bell and the book at The Atlantic Cities blog, which Chicago magazine’s staff blog The 312 picked up earlier today, with a Windy City twist.
Norway’s biggest bank DnB NOR is banking on customers, well, banking on their clever new commercial to promote personal savings accounts. In it, a dazed newlywed wakes up in a luxurious white hotel room after a night of partying only to discover that eternal bachelor George Clooney has put a (giant diamond) ring on it:
The tag line reads, “Some people are lucky in life. For the rest of us, saving up can be smart.” DnB NOR’s ad has gone viral this week, with major newspapers such as Britain’s Independent and Australia’s Telegraph and gossip bloggers such as Perez Hilton posting it to the delight of their readers across the globe.
Funny viral video aside, countries in Europe and Asia share a common modern history of promoting small saving, which is the subject of Princeton professor Sheldon Garon‘s forthcoming book, Beyond Our Means: Why America Spends While the World Saves. Garon’s sweeping transnational history shows how nations such as Germany and Japan have encouraged a culture of thrift by supporting government and private institutions that single-mindedly promote popular savings and wage savings campaigns.
Do you think U.S. banks should start personal savings campaigns featuring stars like Clooney? Tell us what you think in the comments section, and become an early fan of Garon’s forthcoming title on Facebook.
Talk of patents (and of patent reform) has been the hot tech topic this summer, with every outlet from “This American Life” from WBEZ (“When Patents Attack!”) to the Economist weighing in on the patent “arms race.”
Just last week, Google announced it is buying Motorola Mobility (and, by extension, Motorola’s library of an estimated 25,000 patents) for a neat $12.5 billion. Intellectual property scholars James Bessen and Michael J. Meurer, co-authors of Patent Failure: How Judges, Bureaucrats, and Lawyers Put Innovators at Risk, have been all over the news arguing that such deals don’t bode well for future innovation.
Bessen, Meurer, and their path-breaking 2008 title have been mentioned in Corporate Consul magazine, Techdirt, and the San Francisco Chronicle, just to name a few. In an article by Peter Svensson syndicated in the Washington Times, James Bessen sums up the problem, saying, “Patents have become legal weapons–they’re not representing ideas anymore.” Bessen is likewise quoted in a recent article at the Huffington Post, and his comments were picked up in a piece by Rhodri Marsden in the Independent.