Life and the Afterlife

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Friday, June 25, 2010

Our series on HIV/AIDS continues with a look at how the virus has changed life here in New York City. Then, we’ll explore the concept of heaven and why it has survived for millennia. And Jo Sullivan Loesser discusses the work of her late husband, the legendary composer Frank Loesser, who wrote over 700 songs, including the lyrics and music for “Guys and Dolls” and “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.” Plus, this week’s Please Explain is all about algorithms – those equations behind everything from Google to the trades made on Wall Street.


The latest installment of our five-part series AIDS: Then & Now, Dr. Monica Sweeney, Assistant Commissioner of the Bureau of HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control at the NYC Health Department, and Susan M. Chambré, Professor of Sociology, Baruch College, CUNY, and author of Fighting for Our Lives: New York’s AIDS Community and the Politics of Disease, discuss how the demographics of HIV have changed in New York City, and how the virus has changed the city’s cultural and political landscape.

How do you think HIV/AIDS has changed life in New York?

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Lisa Miller Talks about Heaven

Lisa Miller, Newsweek’s religion editor, discusses our enduring belief in heaven and the various notions of what “heaven” means. In her book Heaven: Our Enduring Fascination with the Afterlife , she offers portraits of famous and ordinary people as well as experts in religious studies about what they believe heaven is and where those notions come from.

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Frank Loesser

Jo Sullivan Loesser, Frank Loesser’s widow, discusses the legendary composer and lyricist on the 100 anniversary of his birth. Loesser wrote over 700 songs and five Broadway musicals, contributed to music and lyrics to dozens of Hollywood films, and was awarded an Oscar, a Grammy, two Tony awards, and a Pulitzer Prize along the way.

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Please Explain: Algorithms

Algorithms are used to solve problems. They’re used in math, computer programming, and on Wall Street, but we also use algorithms to tie our shoes or to bake a loaf of bread. On this week’s Please Explain, Daniel Bienstock, Professor of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research, at Columbia University, and Harry Lewis, Gordon McKay Professor of Computer Science at Harvard, tell us what algorithms are and how they work to solve problems both simple and complex. Harry Lewis is the author of Blown to Bits and Excellence without a Soul: Does Liberal Education Have a Future.

Blown to Bits: Your Life, Liberty, and Happiness After the Digital Explosion

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Michael Hastings

Michael Hastings, the reporter who wrote about General Stanley McChrystal in Rolling Stone magazine, was on the Leonard Lopate Show in April 2008, discussing his experience as a Newsweek reporter covering the war in Baghdad, Iraq, and his book, I Lost My Love in Baghdad: A Modern War Story.

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