Pet Etiquette; "Let the Fire Burn"; Tash Aw's New Novel; Illegal Ivory Trade; Cloud Seeding

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Thursday, October 03, 2013

New York Times Social Q’s columnist Philip Galanes takes your calls and questions about pet etiquette and how to gracefully handle sticky situations with Fido and his owner. The director of a documentary about the tragic 1985 standoff between the radical group MOVE and the Philadelphia Police Department. Tash Aw on his latest novel, Five Star Billionaire, set in Shanghai. We’ll find out why despite an international ban, the ivory trade continues, and is targeting young elephants for their valuable tusks. Plus, a look at the science of cloud seeding, and how being able to make it rain could help in the fight against drought and crop failure.

Philip Galanes on Social Etiquette and Pets

Love your friends but hate their dog? Should you warn guests with allergies that you have a cat? Philip Galanes offers advice for dealing with pets in social situations. He's the New York Times Social Q’s columnist and author of Social Q's: How to Survive the Quirks, Quandaries and Quagmires of Today.

Do you have questions about social etiquette and pets? Or do you have a story to share? Let us know—leave a comment!

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“Let the Fire Burn”

Filmmaker Jason Osder talks about his documentary “Let the Fire Burn,” about the catastrophic 1985 police bombing of the radical group MOVE in Philadelphia. The bomb set off a fire, and as men, women, and children fled the building, a spectacular firefight with the police ensued — broadcast on live TV. Eleven people died and 61 homes burned to the ground. “Let the Fire Burn” is playing at Film Forum through October 15.

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Five Star Billionaire, a Novel

Tash Aw discusses his novel, Five Star Billionaire, which captures the vibrancy of China today and paints a portrait of the booming world of Shanghai, a city of grand ambitions and outsize dreams.

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Elephant Poaching and the Illegal Ivory Trade

The elephant population in Africa has been decimated in recent decades due to poaching to supply the illegal ivory trade. In 1989, a worldwide ban on ivory trade brought a dramatic drop in poaching, and black market prices of ivory slumped. But there have been sustained attempts to weaken the ban, and today, elephant poaching is on the rise. John Heminway, Chairman of WildlifeDirect and director/producer/writer of the National Geographic special “Battle for the Elephants,” and Paula Kahumbu, a wildlife conservationist, CEO of WildlifeDirect, and executive director of the Kenya Land Conservation Trust, talk about the demand for ivory and efforts to protect elephants and close down international ivory markets.

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Cloud Seeding

Writer Ginger Strand explains cloud-seeding, the process of spraying silver iodide into clouds to make it rain. Her article “Silver-Lining Playbook” appears in the Fall 2013 edition of On Earth magazine. She's joined by Jeff Tilley, Desert Research Institute’s director of weather modification.

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