Here in the West, Zen Buddhism is often where you go when you've concluded the religion you grew up with is marred by venality, hypocrisy, misogyny, patriarchal structure, and an insufficient commitment to peace and love.
Buddhism seems to have less hierarchy and more commitment to pure enlightenment and oneness. So, what do Buddhists do when Buddhism falls down on the job?
Why should sex feel bad? It shouldn't, and Bill Gates is offering $100,000 to the inventor of a condom that puts the pleasure back in sex. And, it isn't just about pleasure. Scientists at the University of Manchester's National Graphene Institute say a "redesigned condom that overcomes inconvenience, fumbling, or perceived loss of pleasure would be a powerful weapon in the fight against poverty."
Today, on The Nose, well we can't entirely ignore the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination, but the subject is so vast we can only break off one little part. We're going to focus on an essay by Adam Gopnik and published in The New Yorker a couple of weeks ago. Gopnik probes the question of exactly what changed as a result of the crime and its murky aftermath.
Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 1:19 pm
Oxford Dictionaries has decided that 2013's word of the year is selfie — and if you don't know what the word means, you may not be a somewhat self-absorbed type who likes to share photos you take of yourself. (Just kidding, selfie fans!)
Why do we visit historical sites? Commentator Mike Pesca wants to talk about the value of seeing a place, especially one like Dallas' Dealey Plaza about which arguments have raged for decades. Mike says there's a difference between watching a NOVA special and walking through the place with your own eyes open.
Paul Bass, from the New Haven Independent, will bring us up to speed on three stories, including one from the weekend about a stretch limo that transported women to and from a drug and alcohol treatment center so they could vote on Election Day. You can link to it here.
And, we'll connect with Susan Polgar, the chess Grandmaster who broke the game's gender barrier. She's in Chennai, India, covering the match between Carlsen and Anand, the first chess championship in decades to cross-over and ignite the players.
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Here's the plan for The Nose today. We'll begin with a widely discussed column by Richard Cohen of The Washington Post who took an odd detour from a discussion of Chris Christie's national electoral profile and suggested that conventionally-minded people have to repress a gag reflex when confronted with the sight of an inter-racial couple, specifically the new first family of New York City.
B.F. Skinner thought pigeons were so smart they could be used to guide missiles during WWII. He proposed a system in which pigeons would essentially pilot the missile. Skinner said pigeons could be trained to peck at a screen to adjust the trajectory of a missile toward its target. Project pigeon was funded but never used. It's one of the many reasons I could talk about pigeons all day.
As my friend Alex Beam said today, 12 Years a Slave has a way of taking things that were abstractions and making them real. It's one thing to talk about abolition, another to see the essential need for it. Even a figure like John Brown, says Alex, looks different when you see the true carnage of slavery.
We're talking about this astonishing new Steve McQueen movie today on The Nose and we'll find it pretty easy I predict.
This is one of our new Monday shows where right up to show time, I'm not 100% sure what we're talking about. I know for sure we'll discuss the time change you experienced over the weekend and the ever-swelling choir of voices suggesting that its harms outweigh its advantages, assuming there are any real advantages.
I'm also dying to discuss the attempt by Saturday Night Live to address on this weekend's episode another ever-swelling choir, the voices of people who say the show is not diverse enough. It's not, and the show pretty successfully made a joke out of that this weekend without really committing to doing anything about it.
On today's Nose we're stuffed into the facade of the XL Center in Hartford on Trumbull Street. Come on over and join the live audience.
We got interested in funeral Selfies, the practice more common than you might think among young people taking smart phone pictures of themselves at a funeral or memorial service. You can well imagine our first reaction. Is there any basis on which this practice is defensible.
We're always interested in public relations disasters, and this week they happened to Senator Rand Paul, in an odd case of plagiarism, Jay-Z , caught in a collaboration with Barney's. The upscale clothing store. Another public relations disaster is brewing a few blocks from where we sit as civil rights attorney Gloria Allred sets up yet another UConn press conference today. All this and more.
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What do Lou Reed, President Taft, and this past weekend's violence in New Haven have in common? They're all part of our first episode of Mystery Surprise Monday Theater on today's Colin McEnroe Show, where we'll bring you up-to-the minute and interesting bits of cultural news, some from Connecticut, some much bigger. The news will be so new that we won't even know what we're going to air until we do it.