Oh no, I thought, cracking open Brian Kimberling's debut novel, Snapper. It's a collection of linked stories. Starring an aimless birdwatcher. Who drives an ancient, glitter-encrusted pickup truck named Gypsy Moth and has a grand passion for an honest-to-God Manic Pixie Dream Girl with red hair, floaty dresses, a flute and a killer pancake recipe. And her name is Lola. Lola! I was braced for a thorough beat-down with the dreaded Whimsy Hammer.
Portland and Seattle may take coffee very seriously, but San Diego can boast a newspaper devoted entirely to coffee shops and all the news that's fit to print about them. John Rippo is the publisher of The Espresso, and he's convinced that coffee shops are the places to catch juicy moments of the human experience as they happen.
Inspired by European periodicals written for the cafe intelligentsia, Rippo curates local news in his monthly paper to inspire his fellow San Diego residents to social or political action.
Last spring, what NBC fondly refers to as "America's First Family" went through a very public divorce. Ann Curry, who spent more than a decade as a news anchor on the Today show and less than a year as a host, was unexpectedly axed. "For all of you who saw me as a groundbreaker," Curry said with emotion in her last morning broadcast, "I'm sorry I couldn't carry the ball over the finish line. But man, I did try."
Harvard psychologist Mahzarin Banaji was once approached by a reporter for an interview. When Banaji heard the name of the magazine the reporter was writing for, she declined the interview: She didn't think much of the magazine and believed it portrayed research in psychology inaccurately.
But then the reporter said something that made her reconsider, Banaji recalled: "She said, 'You know, I used to be a student at Yale when you were there, and even though I didn't take a course with you, I do remember hearing about your work.' "
Imagine a world with machines that wash, press and dress you on the way to work and vacations via hologram visits to exotic beaches. In his new book, The New Digital Age, Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt does just that — but it's no gee-whiz Jetsons fantasy.
Schmidt partners up with Jared Cohen, a foreign policy counterterrorist specialist poached from the State Department now working for Google Ideas. Together they forecast a raft of new innovations and corresponding threats that will arise for dictatorships, techno revolutionaries, terrorists and you.