Neuroscience and Morality; Ann Patchett; "Sidewalk Stories"

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Thursday, November 07, 2013

Neuroscientist Joshua Green explains how our brains evolved after tribal life to deal with the conditions of our modern societies. Novelist Ann Patchett explores the commitments she’s made in her life in her new memoir, This is the Story of a Happy Marriage. Charles Lane on “Sidewalk Stories,” his black and white silent comedy that he filmed on the streets of Manhattan in the 1980s. And we’ll find out whether the American military knew about the trove of Nazi-stolen art that’s been in the headlines since the 1950s, decades before German authorities found it.

Emotion, Reason, and the Gap Between Us and Them

Neuroscientist Joshua Greene argues that our brains were designed for tribal life, for getting along with a select group of others (Us) and for fighting off everyone else (Them). But modern times have forced the world’s tribes into a shared space, resulting in epic clashes. Moral Tribes: Emotion, Reason, and the Gap Between Us and Them combines neuroscience, psychology, and philosophy to reveal the underlying causes of modern conflict. Dr. Greene is an award-winning teacher and scientist, and he directs Harvard University’s Moral Cognition Lab, which uses neuroscience and cognitive techniques to understand how people really make moral decisions.

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Ann Patchett's Story of a Happy Marriage

Ann Patchett examines her deepest commitments—to writing, family, friends, dogs, books, and her husband.


Charles Lane's "Sidewalk Stories"

A black & white silent comedy filmed on Manhattan streets in the late 1980s.

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Mysteries of the Coelacanth's DNA

Coelacanths have been around for 380 million years and are among the most enigmatic and rare fish in the ocean. Earlier this year scientists finished sequencing the coelacanth genome. The project has provided precious clues into our evolutionary tree, including the revelation that the coelacanth is more closely related to us than modern salmon. Samantha Weinberg an assistant editor at Intelligent Life magazine and the author of the article "A Fish Caught in Time"

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Art Stolen by the Nazis Discovered in Munich

More than one thousand works of art stolen by the Nazi’s were discovered in a Munich apartment this week. Valued at nearly $1.35 billion, the trove includes works by Matisse, Picasso, Dix and Chagall believed to have been seized from museums and Jewish collectors. It has also been revealed that the US military may have inspected part of collection after World War II and then returned it to Nazi art dealer Hildebrand Gurlitt. Dr. Christoph Zuschlag, a professor of art history at the University of Koblenz in Landau, Germany, and David Lewis, co-chair of the Commission for Looted Art in Europe, talk about the discovery.

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