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weather report and jaco pastorius -- 1/15/21

Today's selection -- from Jaco: The Extraordinary and Tragic Life of Jaco Pastorius "The World's Greatest Bass Player" by Bill Milkowski. In the 1970s, a few jazz musicians were pioneering a new style of jazz combined...


how to be a better problem solver and more creative -- 1/14/21

Today's encore selection -- from "Switching on Creativity" by Allan W. Snyder, Sophie Ellwood, and Richard P. Chi. Most people are familiar with the phenomenon of savants...


the greatest discovery of all time -- 1/13/21

Today's selection -- from Universe: 50 Ideas You Really Need to Know by Joanne Baker. Is there life elsewhere in the universe?:

"The detection of life elsewhere in the universe would be the greatest discovery of...


war sex -- 1/12/21

Today's selection -- from Year Zero by Ian Buruma. In the demobilization in Europe after World War II, sex was rampant:

"In July [1945], the Entertainment Committee of the Netherlands was founded under the...


land booms and busts -- 1/11/21

Today's selection -- from American Bonds: How Credit Shaped a Nation by Sarah L. Quinn. American real estate booms leading to busts have been around as long as the United States itself, starting with the land boom and...


pompeii's restaurants, bars, and hotels -- 1/8/21

Today's selection -- from The Restaurant by William Sitwell. Pompeii had an incredibly vibrant hospitality scene before she met her end with the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79. The word "hospitality" comes from the...


emotional expressions are part of biology -- 1/6/21

Today's selection -- from Mama's Last Hug by Frans de Waal. Emotional expressions are innate and part of biology:

"[Researcher Paul] Ekman set up controlled tests with people from more than twenty different...


guinness beer goes public! -- 1/5/21

Today's selection -- from The Sixth Great Power: A History of One of the Greatest of All Banking Families, The House of Barings, 1762-1929 by Philip Ziegler. In 1886, the Baring Brothers took the Guinness family beer...


attacking george washington -- 1/4/21

Today's selection -- from The Golden Voyage: The Life and Times of William Bingham, 1752-1804 by Robert C. Alberts. In 1798, French wars were taking a toll on American commerce, and American merchant ships worth an...


the first woman ranger-naturalist at the grand canyon -- 12/31/20

DelanceyPlace.com End of Year: A few encores highlighting extraordinary women. 

Today's encore selection -- from Grand Canyon Women by Betty Leavengood. Pauline "Polly" Mead was a naturalist who...


nettie stevens and chromosomes -- 12/30/20

Delanceyplace.com End of Year: A few encores highlighting extraordinary women. 

Today's encore selection -- from Women in Science, written and illustrated by Rachel Ignotofsky. Nettie Stevens...


registering women to vote -- 12/29/20

DelanceyPlace.com End of Year: A few encores highlighting extraordinary women. 

Today's encore selection -- from Madame President: The Extraordinary Journey of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf by Helene...


toni morrison -- 12/28/20

DelanceyPlace.com End of Year: A few encores highlighting extraordinary women. 

Today's encore selection -- from The Novel by Michael Schmidt. The first African American woman to win the Nobel...


dickens and christmas -- 12/24/20

Today's encore selection -- from 'Father Christmas' by Kathryn Harrison. At the end of the 19th century, Charles Dickens's short novel A Christmas...


tyrannosaurus rex had feathers -- 12/23/20

Today's selection -- from The Story of the Dinosaurs in 25 Discoveries by Donald R. Prothero. Our understanding of the dinosaur Tyrannosaurus rex has developed significantly in recent decades:

"[From the...


the death of mussolini -- 12/22/20

Today's selection -- from Year Zero by Ian Buruma. In Italy as elsewhere, once the Allies had liberated the country in World War II, there were reprisals against the fascists and those who had collaborated with...


the legendary rendezvous of the mountain men -- 12/21/21

Today's selection -- from Wyoming: A History of the American West by Sam Lightner Jr. The fame and reputation of America’s mountain men was cemented with the creation of the “rendezvous” in 1825:

"In the...


wagner's death -- 12/18/20

Today's selection -- from Wagnerism: Art and Politics in the Shadow of Music by Alex Ross. Richard Wagner dominated European music as perhaps no others had. Upon his death in 1883, the world mourned:

"Fellow...


locust plagues -- 12/17/20

Today's selection -- from A History of Algeria by James McDougall. Locust swarms, or "plagues," have devastated farms and communities since the beginning of time. Plagues still occur, though contemporary methods of...


our future -- 12/16/20

Today's selection -- from Our Universe by Jo Dunkley. The future of our solar system, galaxy, and universe:

"All of our observations of the sky have told us that our moment in time, here for us humans on Earth, is...


business in the earliest days -- 12/15/20

Today's selection -- from The Sixth Great Power: A History of One of the Greatest of All Banking Families, The House of Barings, 1762-1929 by Philip Ziegler. The early 1800s were the dawn of office life as it came to be...


the horrifying matter-of-factness of slavery -- 12/14/20

Today's selection -- from Langdon Cheves of South Carolina by Archie Vernon Huff, Jr. Langdon Cheves was a prominent South Carolinian and rice plantation owner who served as a U. S. representative from 1810 to 1815,...


the real lois lane -- 12/11/20

Today's selection -- from Super Boys by Brad Ricca. The inspiration for Lois Lane:

"Most female comics characters at the time were wither femmes fatales (Roy Crane's Dragon Lady), ditzy,...


casino royale -- 12/10/20

Today's encore selection -- from The Man Who Saved Britain by Simon Winder. The remake of Ian Fleming's very first Bond novel, Casino Royale, was set in Montenegro and Venice, and quickly soared past the $100...


newton versus huygens -- 12/9/20

Today's selection -- from Cosmos: Possible Worlds by Ann Druyan. Young Isaac Newton and young Christiaan Huygens were contemporaries obsessed with discovering the properties of light:

"No one is more light-obsessed...


europe’s banker nathan rothschild -- 12/8/20

Today's selection -- from The House of Rothschild, Volume 1: Money's Prophets: 1798-1848 by Niall Ferguson. In the early 1800s, London’s Nathan Rothschild was the wealthiest and most powerful businessman in Europe and...


farmers versus merchants and bankers -- 12/7/20

Today's selection -- from American Bonds: How Credit Shaped a Nation by Sarah L. Quinn. Many farmers in the late 1800s were effectively reduced to debt peonage -- they could only borrow from a local bank that charged what...


richard wagner and war -- 12/4/20

Today's selection -- from Wagnerism: Art and Politics in the Shadow of Music by Alex Ross. Richard Wagner had long been one of Europe’s most revered composers, but much of his work evoked a military spirit. So when...


american brevity -- 12/3/20

Today's encore selection -- from Made in America: An Informal History of the English Language in the United States by Bill Bryson. A description of the Gettysburg Address and the development of a unique American...


a true alpha male -- 12/2/20

Today's selection -- from Mama's Last Hug by Frans de Waal. Alpha males are the ones with the greatest empathy:

"In animal research, the alpha male is simply the top-ranking male of a group. The term dates back to...


europe invests in latin america -- 12/1/20

Today's selection -- from The Sixth Great Power: A History of One of the Greatest of All Banking Families, The House of Barings, 1762-1929 by Philip Ziegler. The Baring Brothers, England’s most prestigious and prominent...


the life of a mountain man -- 11/30/20

Today's selection -- from Wyoming: A History of the American West by Sam Lightner Jr. The legendary mountain men of the western U.S. were most often those men employed by the fur companies to trap animals for furs to be...


native american tribes in northeastern america -- 11/27/20

Today's selection -- from Atlas of Indian Nations by Anton Treuer. The tribes of northeastern America were complex, vibrant, and -- before European settles arrived -- populous:

"The Northeast is one of the richest...


empty -- 11/25/20

Today's selection -- from Our Universe by Jo Dunkley. Our solar system:

"The Solar System as a whole [is a] loosely defined collection of objects that are centred on our own star, the Sun. We know the Sun extremely...


charles rules america -- 11/24/20

Today's selection -- from Emperor: A New Life of Charles V by Geoffrey Parker. For most of the years after Spain reached the New World, America was part of the dominion of Emperor Charles V (1500-1558), and it was in this...


money and taxes -- 11/23/20

Today's selection -- from Aspen: The History of a Silver-Mining Town, 1879-1893 by Malcolm J. Rohrbough. For the first century or more of its existence, the United States was a hotbed for experiments in the issuance of...


the greatness of “white christmas” -- 11/20/20

Today's selection -- from Irving Berlin by James Kaplan. The classic song “White Christmas”:

"The [Irving] Berlin song that would have the greatest impact on America and Americans as the United States entered...


the receding back room

Today's selection -- from Washington by Meg Greenfield. The late journalist Meg Greenfield comments on the misconception that in Washington, DC, important decisions -- especially crisis decisions -- are made with all of...


the emergence of cotton -- 11/17/20

Today's selection -- from The Industrial Revolution in World History by Peter N. Stearns. Wool had long been the dominant source of clothing in Western Europe until machines were invented to spin cotton. With that, cotton...


slavery and southern unity -- 11/16/20

Today's selection -- from Langdon Cheves of South Carolina by Archie Vernon Huff, Jr. The American Civil War did not start until 1861, but Southern states understood as early as the 1830s that the greatest threat they...


stanley kubrick at home -- 11/13/20

Today's selection -- from Stanley Kubrick by David Mikics. The director Stanley Kubrick’s home life:

"In 1980, a few months before The Shining opened in New York on May 23, Kubrick moved from Abbots...


the fragmentation and concentration of the world -- 11/12/20

Today's encore selection -- from Empire by Niall Ferguson. The world is now filled with tiny countries. In 1946, there were only seventy-four independent countries. Today, there are more than two hundred, many of which...


do not put foreign objects in your mouth -- 11/11/20

Today's selection -- from The Body by Bill Bryson. It bears repeating -- do not put foreign objects in your mouth:

"In the spring of 1843, the great British engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel took a rare break from...


frankfurt’s judengasse -- 11/10/20

Today's selection -- from The House of Rothschild, Volume 1: Money's Prophets, 1798-1848 by Niall Ferguson. The prejudices and hostilities toward Jews during and after the Middle Ages were severe. Even those cities that...


the quest for homeownership -- 11/9/20

Today's selection -- from American Bonds: How Credit Markets Shaped a Nation by Sarah L. Quinn. As America urbanized, the idea of the virtuousness of homeownership replaced the idea of the virtuousness of owning a small...



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