Weekend Reading

Posted on September 15, 2012 by

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This week: risk (not Risk); the (unpopular) Space Race; Ice Age art; campaign ads in U.S. history; and the problematic borders of Africa.

• Quiz o’ the week: match the famous person to the retroactive diagnosis proposed by scholars:

a. Ludwig van Beethoven

1. Agoraphobia

b. Charles Darwin

2. Autism

c. Abraham Lincoln

3. Bipolar disorder

d. Michelangelo

4. Depression

e. Edvard Munch

5. Panic attacks

f. Vaslav Nijinsky

6. Schizophrenia

Answers at the end of this post.

Cave Paintings at Lascaux• The challenges facing the famously well illustrated Ice Age caves at Lascaux, France.

• Water crises are nothing new: just ask an ancient historian.

• The history of risk in 19th century America.

• How African countries are still struggling with borders established over a century ago by European empires.

• The Museum of the Moving Image presents: “The Living Room Candidate: Presidential Campaign Commercials, 1954-1982.”

• This past Wednesday marked the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s famous speech at Rice University calling on Americans to put a man on the moon by the end of the 1960s. Not to ruin the moment, but it turns out that JFK wasn’t all that interested in space exploration. Nor was he alone: for much of the decade, a majority of Americans surveyed by Gallup thought too much money was being spent on the Space Race. Opposition was particularly strong from African-American leaders, many of who found NASA spending a wasteful diversion from more pressing social programs.

Quiz answers: a3, b1, c4, d2, e5, f6

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