Discovering one of the most well-known ancient civilizations was no easy task. We talk to author William Carlsen about the two men who ventured into the jungle and discovered the Mayans.
Communicating with School-Aged Boys: A psychologist’s advice
Most parents with adolescent boys at home can tell you all about the difficulties of communicating clearly with them. We talk to a clinical psychologist about how to best talk with young men and understand their perspective better.
Culture Crash: The End of New Girl
Fox’s hit sitcom New Girl ended this month after 7 seasons. We take a look back at the show’s run and what makes sitcoms so special to us.
While the world of Wall Street may seem far away to most, Sheelah Kolhatkar, former hedge fund analyst and author of Black Edge: Inside information, dirty money and the quest to bring down the most wanted man on Wall Street, says that it is closer to our lives than you may think. Her nonfiction book traces the story of the FBI and Department of Justice’s recent investigation of Steve Cohen and his company SAC Capital for insider trading.
Following the story from the beginning, Kolhatkar explains how one of Wall Street’s most influential men, who came from a middle-class background and rose to enormous self-made wealth, may have been involved with the insider trading in hedge funds that is rampant on Wall Street today. While many put a portion of their retirement money into stocks, they don’t realize that there is often an uneven playing field with the wealthy insiders having their own rules and market.
The FBI cracked down on this crime using wiretaps and informants and arrested two of Cohen’s employees at SAC Capital. Cohen himself escaped indictment, but his company agreed to plead guilty to insider trading charges and submit to various restrictions from the government. Kolhatkar encourages readers to be mindful of potential corruption on Wall Street and how it could be affecting your personal finances.
To learn more about financial corruption and the SAC Capital investigation, visit the link below or purchase a copy of Kolhatkar’s book.
Sheelah Kolhatkar, author of Black Edge: Inside information, dirty money and the quest to bring down the most wanted man on Wall Street
Bees are in trouble. As the population of bees decreases, experts are concerned that the fruits and vegetables that bees help pollinate will also decrease. Lynn Brunelle, award-winning writer for Bill Nye the Science Guy and author of Turn This Book Into a Beehive and 19 Other Experiments and Activities That Explore the Amazing World of Bees, talks about the importance of inviting both honeybees and wild bees into our backyards.
While honeybees have been domesticated for years, Brunelle also calls attention to wild bees, which are solitary and make up 98% of the bee population. Her book, on top of informing others about bees and the need to help them survive, doubles as an environmental tool. By using the dust cover and the pages in the book to create tube homes for wild Mason bees, readers can help save the bee population at the same time.
Brunelle also addresses the misconception that all bees sting. While honeybees have to protect both their queen and honey, solitary wild bees don’t sting, because they do not produce honey and don’t need to protect a queen. By providing wild bees with a home, flowers, and some mud, readers can participate in the movement to revive the population of bees and help make a difference to the vegetation of their communities.
To learn more about bees or purchase your own copy of Brunelle’s book, visit the link below.
Lynn Brunelle, writer for Bill Nye the Science Guy and author, Turn This Book Into a Beehive and 19 Other Experiments and Activities That Explore the Amazing World of Bees
Welcome to Culture Crash, where we examine American culture. What’s new and old in books, film, and entertainment.
When Barnes and Noble first rose to national prominence, it was feared to be an industry-killer. The chain currently operates over 600 stores across the country and that’s after considerable cuts in the recent decade.
Like all massive chains, criticisms came about how it was price-slashing the little guys. Independent bookstores, once a staple in most communities were made a rarity thanks to Barnes and Noble and its now-defunct competitor, Borders.
The disdain for these corporate behemoth booksellers was so widespread, it became a plot point in the 1998 Tom Hanks-Meg Ryan romcom, You’ve Got Mail: his family owned a chain of bookstores, she ran an independent shop. You get the picture.
Now, though, times have changed. Amazon has already ousted Borders and is working on Barnes & Noble. In a New York Times editorial earlier this month, it was argued that we, as consumers, need to “SAVE BARNES AND NOBLE!” The title even had an exclamation mark.
The argument is, of course, that Amazon is getting too big. They can make unfair demands on publishers, they can dictate prices and they can really control which books succeed and which don’t just by featuring certain titles on their homepage. On the flip side, Amazon has done a pretty good job of promoting reading and they still push book sales, even though their business has grown beyond it.
And now the debate comes down to readers: Should we support Barnes and Noble to maintain a rival for Amazon, or do we let capitalism run its course? Amazon’s prices are usually lower, so why should consumers take a hit just to keep another massive corporation in business?
Some will say that we shouldn’t support either Amazon or Barnes and Noble, but rather that we should support the few independent bookstores we have left istead..
And as for which side is right- well, who’s to say. But no matter which side you fall on, it feels funny to see an attempt to rally book readers around Barnes and Noble, the villain in this saga for so many years.
You’ve probably heard that bees are in trouble, and that we need bees for many of the foods and plants we have come to love. We learn what we can all be doing to do our part and help save the bees before it’s too late.
Financial Corruption and the Fed’s Corruption of SAC Capital
The financial world was shocked when the FBI began investigating Wall Street big shot Steve Cohen and his company SAC Capital. We discuss what they were looking for, what they found, and what it all means going forward.
Culture Crash: Should We Really ‘Save Barnes & Noble?’
For years, Barnes & Noble was the big enemy to independent bookstores. Now, Amazon is the big bad and some are calling for consumers to ‘save” Barnes & Noble…but should we?
The Vietnam War was an unpopular war and soldiers came home to a society that didn’t approve of or appreciate their service. Elizabeth Partridge, author of Boots on the Ground: America’s War in Vietnam, first got involved with the war as a protestor. Partridge didn’t have much to do with Vietnam for many years after until she visited the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial and found herself overcome with emotion while reading the soldier’s names.
The event had sparked her interest in the war and the men and women who served in Vietnam. Partridge, being a writer, decided to write her own book about the war that she had protested so many years ago. She wanted her book to be different than the thousands of Vietnam War books that already existed. So she set out to find veterans to interview who could tell her their personal experiences of the war. The stories of six men and one woman who Partridge interviewed were interspersed between chapters on politics and culture.
The switching between large-scope ideas to laser-focused personal experiences creates a uniquely informative non-fiction book that achieves an impressive feat; it brings humanity back to the tragic war in which nearly 60,000 American soldiers lost their lives. Partridge can’t raise the dead but she can bring their lost stories back to life. To purchase a copy of Boots on the Ground: America’s War in Vietnam and read more about Partridge and her other works visit the links below.
Elizabeth Partridge, Former Vietnam protestor and author of Boots on the Ground: America’s War in Vietnam
The #MeToo movement has been getting headlines for months now. The movement was started by women, but men still have a role to serve in the fight for equality and in the elimination of sexism and misogyny.