Category: Other Publications

Q: Is dark energy more interesting than dark matter?

Prof. Daniel Hudon, of CC105 and CC106, writes… This month, in their Readings department, Harper’s magazine published a list of questions* from the entrance examination to All Soul’s College at Oxford University. Applicants take four examinations of three hours each, and in the general subject tests must answer three questions from a list. The question […]

Montaigne On Modern Living and Fulfillment

American Interest Online offers a book review with commentary on How to Live: A Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at an Answer by Sarah Bakewell.  The review offers first insight into the peculiarities of Montaigne’s approach to his writings, and then on happiness itself, providing humanities scholars a cohesive argument on […]

The Examined Life is Rarely Worth Living?

The Economist summarizes a new book by James Miller,  Examined Lives: From Socrates to Nietzsche, wherein he explores the troubled lives of some of the world’s most famous philosophers.  He proposes that the pursuit of philosophical questions, wrought with uncertainty and self-questioning, has led to similarly unfortunately troubled lives: If one wanted to compile a […]

‘A Faustian bargain': on the value of the humanities

Perhaps my own background will interest you. I started out as a classics major. I’m now Professor of Biochemistry and Chemistry. Of all the courses I took in college and graduate school, the ones that have benefited me the most in my career as a scientist are the courses in classics, art history, sociology, and […]

Core student authors first Bhutanese cookbook

This summer, Core student Erik Nagamatsu (Core ’11, CAS ‘13) released Foods of the Kingdom of Bhutan. This book, which Erik co-authored with his father, is the first cookbook ever devoted to the cuisine the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan.  Core student employees John McCargar and Tom Farndon sat down with Erik to talk about the […]

The Growing Class of Perennially Unemployed

Andy Kroll, in doing an investigative report on the growing list of unemployed and underemployed Americans, takes the case study of Rick Rembold to give a face to the economic struggle of aging middle-class Americans (via TomDispatch): “Wouldn’t that be better than no job at all?” I ask. Rembold gnaws on the question. “I can’t […]

An essay on the color of the canon

A prominent feature of the discussion about great books is the predominance of male authors, and of European ones. The Core at BU has since its inception included texts from the Eastern as well as the Western tradition — the epic of Gilgamesh, the Analects of Lao-Tzu, the Bhagavad-Gita — in the scope of its […]

Physical constants seem to vary, in SpaceDaily

In a challenge to the meaning of the concept “physical constant” as it is taught in CC105, a team of astrophysicists, led by John Webb in the University of New South Wales, Australia are claiming they have discovered a kind of variability in a fundamental constant of nature (via SpaceDaily): New research suggests that the […]

The value of happiness

Alumni of CC204 will take special interest in this piece at Huffington Post, where Leah Finnegan looks at a new study suggesting a measurable price on day-to-day happiness: Not having enough money causes emotional pain and unhappiness, the researchers found. But the happiness tipping point is about $75,000 – more money than that doesn’t make […]

Cognitive research on study habits, in the NYTimes

In an article for the The New York Times, Benedict Carey examines the recent research that suggests that some of the received wisdom on study habits may be counter-productive: In recent years, cognitive scientists have shown that a few simple techniques can reliably improve what matters most: how much a student learns from studying. […] […]