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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Oil derricks in Texas (Reto Fetz/flickr)

Today we’ll take a look at the global race to gobble up the earth’s last natural resources. Novelist Jeanette Winterson talks about her memoir Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? The BBC’s A History of the World in 100 Objects looks fragments from an Iraqi wall painting. Plus, word maven Patricia T. O’Conner takes your calls on the our vexing English language.


The Scramble for the World’s Last Resources

Michael Klare discusses an unprecedented crisis of resource depletion facing the world. He argues that the problem that goes beyond “peak oil” to include shortages of coal and uranium, copper and lithium, water and arable land, and that the hunt for resources has led to exploration in areas once considered too remote or dangerous. In The Race for What’s Left: The Global Scramble for the World’s Last Resources Klare examines the consequences and argues that we must change our consumption patterns.

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Jeanette Winterson: Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?

Jeanette Winterson talks about her memoir about her life’s work to find happiness. Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? recounts her journey into madness and out again, in search of her biological mother.

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Patricia T. O’Conner: Word Maven, Word Schmaven

Our word maven Patricia T. O'Conner investigates looks at the Yiddish construction that brings us the phrases fancy schmancy and the like. And she answers questions about English language and grammar. An updated and expanded third edition of her book, Woe is I: The Grammarphobe's Guide to Better English in Plain English, is available in paperback, as is  Origins of the Specious, written with Stewart Kellerman.

If you have a question about language and grammar, leave a comment or call us at 212-433-9692!

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