"The Snake in the Garden" - The New York Times. Pico Iyer's meditation on anxiety. Here's an excerpt: "Besides, many kinds of anxiety are natural, almost healthy, especially if they’re concerned with others; a parent who didn’t worry about her child might seem almost inhuman. Yet still it’s uncanny how often we let ourselves out of the Garden by worrying about something that, if it did happen, would quicken us into a response much more practical than worry. All the real challenges of my, or any, life — the forest fire that did indeed destroy my home and everything in it; the car crash that suddenly robbed dozens of us of a cherished friend; my 13-year-old daughter’s diagnosis of cancer in its third stage — came out of the blue; they’re just what I had never thought to worry about (even as I was anguishing over whether they’d serve spinach when my friend visited the retreat house). And every time some kind of calamity has come into my life, I and everyone around me have responded with activity, unexpected strength, even an all but unnatural calm."
"Neuroscience Under Attack" - The New York Times. Alissa Quart on the fallacies of over-popularizing scientific research. "A gaggle of energetic and amusing, mostly anonymous, neuroscience bloggers — including Neurocritic, Neuroskeptic, Neurobonkers and Mind Hacks — now regularly point out the lapses and folly contained in mainstream neuroscientific discourse."
Behind The Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo. National Book Award winner, Boo's landmark work of narrative nonfiction tells the dramatic and sometimes heartbreaking story of families striving toward a better life in one of the twenty-first century’s great, unequal cities, Mumbai.