Calendar

May
3
Wed
Anurag Agrawal @ Town Hall Seattle
May 3 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm

AgrawalMonarch butterflies are one of nature’s most recognizable creatures, known for their bright colors and epic annual migration from the United States and Canada to Mexico. Yet there is much more to the monarch than its distinctive presence and mythic journeying. In Monarchs and Milkweed, Anurag Agrawal presents a vivid investigation into how the monarch butterfly has evolved closely alongside the milkweed—a toxic plant named for the sticky white substance emitted when its leaves are damaged—and how this inextricable and intimate relationship has been like an arms race over the millennia, a battle of exploitation and defense between two fascinating species.

The monarch life cycle begins each spring when it deposits eggs on milkweed leaves. But this dependency of monarchs on milkweeds as food is not reciprocated, and milkweeds do all they can to poison or thwart the young monarchs. Agrawal delves into major scientific discoveries, including his own pioneering research, and traces how plant poisons have not only shaped monarch-milkweed interactions but have also been culturally important for centuries. Agrawal presents current ideas regarding the recent decline in monarch populations, including habitat destruction, increased winter storms, and lack of milkweed—the last one a theory that the author rejects. He evaluates the current sustainability of monarchs and reveals a novel explanation for their plummeting numbers.

Lavishly illustrated with more than eighty color photos and images, Monarchs and Milkweed takes readers on an unforgettable exploration of one of nature’s most important and sophisticated evolutionary relationships.

Anurag Agrawal is a professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and the Department of Entomology at Cornell University. He lives in Ithaca, New York.

May
6
Sat
Sophie Glovier @ D&R Greenway's Johnson Education Center
May 6 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Walk the trails with Sophie Glovier, author of Walk the Trails in and around Princeton: Revised to Include the Newest Trails.

GlovierThis is an attractive, pocket-friendly guide to walks on sixteen of the best trails through preserved open space in Princeton, New Jersey, and its neighboring towns. This revised edition includes eight new walks, several of which have been created on land that has been preserved since the popular guide was originally published in 2009. The walks range from two to four miles, but many include suggestions for trail connections that allow you to extend your hike if you choose. The guide includes detailed color maps of the trails, directions on how to get to them and where to park, and recommendations for the most scenic routes. Each walk has been designed with a “reason to walk” in mind: a special boulder or waterfall to find, a bit of local history or a beautiful vista to enjoy. The guide is illustrated with specially commissioned color photographs, sixteen of which are featured on detachable postcards.

 

  • A guide to 16 trails through preserved open space in Princeton and neighboring towns
  • Directions for how to get there and where to park
  • Detailed walking directions, trail distances, and color trail maps
  • Suggestions for connections to other trails
  • 8 new walks are featured in this revised edition, including the Scott and Hella McVay Poetry Trail, the Stony Brook Trail, and the trails at St. Michaels Farm Preserve
  • Specially commissioned color photographs
  • 16 detachable color postcards
  • Proceeds benefit D&R Greenway Land Trust, Friends of Princeton Open Space, and The Stony Brook Millstone Watershed Association to support trail maintenance and land stewardship

 

Sophie Glovier is an author and environmental advocate who is passionate about the preservation of open space and the importance of connecting people to nature. She is a member of the Princeton Environmental Commission and has served as a board member of D&R Greenway Land Trust, Friends of Princeton Open Space, and The Stony Brook Millstone Watershed Association.

May
13
Sat
William Hansen @ the Seminary Co-op Bookstore
May 13 @ 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm

HansenCaptured centaurs and satyrs, talking animals, people who suddenly change sex, men who give birth, the temporarily insane and the permanently thick-witted, delicate sensualists, incompetent seers, a woman who remembers too much, a man who cannot laugh—these are just some of the colorful characters who feature in the unforgettable stories that ancient Greeks and Romans told in their daily lives. Together they created an incredibly rich body of popular oral stories that include, but range well beyond, mythology—from heroic legends, fairy tales, and fables to ghost stories, urban legends, and jokes. This unique anthology presents the largest collection of these tales ever assembled. Featuring nearly four hundred stories in authoritative and highly readable translations, this is the first book to offer a representative selection of the entire range of traditional classical storytelling.

Set mostly in the world of humans, not gods, these stories focus on figures such as lovers, tricksters, philosophers, merchants, rulers, athletes, artists, and soldiers. The narratives range from the well-known—for example, Cupid and Psyche, Diogenes and his lantern, and the tortoise and the hare—to lesser-known tales that deserve wider attention. Entertaining and fascinating, they offer a unique window into the fantasies, anxieties, humor, and passions of the people who told them.

Complete with beautiful illustrations by Glynnis Fawkes, a comprehensive introduction, notes, and more, this one-of-a-kind anthology will delight general readers as well as students of classics, fairy tales, and folklore.

William Hansen, professor emeritus of classical studies and folklore at Indiana University, Bloomington, is one of the world’s leading authorities on classical folklore. His books include Classical Mythology: A Guide to the Mythical World of the Greeks and Romans, Ariadne’s Thread: A Guide to International Tales Found in Classical Literature, and Anthology of Ancient Greek Popular Literature. He lives in Bloomington.

Jun
7
Wed
Emrys Westacott @ Kant's Cave
Jun 7 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

WestacottFrom Socrates to Thoreau, most philosophers, moralists, and religious leaders have seen frugality as a virtue and have associated simple living with wisdom, integrity, and happiness. But why? And are they right? Is a taste for luxury fundamentally misguided? If one has the means to be a spendthrift, is it foolish or reprehensible to be extravagant?

In this book, Emrys Westacott examines why, for more than two millennia, so many philosophers and people with a reputation for wisdom have been advocating frugality and simple living as the key to the good life. He also looks at why most people have ignored them, but argues that, in a world facing environmental crisis, it may finally be time to listen to the advocates of a simpler way of life.

The Wisdom of Frugality explores what simplicity means, why it’s supposed to make us better and happier, and why, despite its benefits, it has always been such a hard sell. The book looks not only at the arguments in favor of living frugally and simply, but also at the case that can be made for luxury and extravagance, including the idea that modern economies require lots of getting and spending.

A philosophically informed reflection rather than a polemic, The Wisdom of Frugality ultimately argues that we will be better off—as individuals and as a society—if we move away from the materialistic individualism that currently rules.

Emrys Westacott is professor of philosophy at Alfred University in Alfred, New York, and the author of The Virtues of Our Vices . His work has been featured in the New York Times and has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Philosopher’s Magazine, Philosophy Now, and many other publications.