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Forced to Choose

et al., Roald Hoffmann


American literary icon, whose Cat's Cradle made our list and whose latest book, Bagombo Snuff Box: Uncollected Short Fiction has just been released

About books that knocked my block off when I was young: I can think of only two, neither a work in the physical sciences: Candide, by Voltaire, and Theory of the Leisure Class, by Thorsten Veblen. One book, which I know only in its version as a movie starring Boris Karloff, possibly the most provocative and presently most influential novel of all time, written by a woman only nineteen years old: Frankenstein, or the New Prometheus.

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Happy Birthday to Alvin! August 2014 marks the 50th anniversary of Alvin, the submersible that has been so influential in ocean research, including the discovery of hydrothermal vents. In 2014, a retrofitted Alvin also took its first test cruise.

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