Not everyone can win the gold medal, and historian Sarah Lewis says that's a good thing. It's the near-wins and bare losses that truly motivate us to master our destinies.
Also: a gay bookstore said to be the oldest in the U.S. will reopen; Hilton Als on art and memory.
Americans throw out a lot of food. And a lot of meat. That means our waste has a bigger impact on the global food supply than vegetarian discards. Why? Blame it on hidden calories.
William T. Vollmann's 2005 novel Europe Central was a masterpiece. His latest work, a collection of ghost stories entitled "Last Stories and Other Stories" is flabby and cliched.
The very silly I Origins is ultimately not successful in spinning puns about eyes into mind-blowing epiphanies.
The wildly creative director Michel Gondry takes a couple through the perfect love story and what comes after in his latest visually inventive film.
In a career that stretched back to the '40s, Stritch did it all: theater, TV, movies. Candid about just about everything, she said she didn't mind the word aging — after all "it applies to everyone."
Elaine Stritch, whose talent led to a substantial career on Broadway and in cabarets, died today at age 89. She had been living in her native Michigan, where she moved last year from New York.
Modeled after the groundbreaking feminist health manual Our Bodies, Ourselves, the book details the social, political and medical issues faced by transgender people.
There is some debate over who actually invented the toy, but it's clear that a mix of science and marketing helped Silly Putty make a lasting impression.
In the home stretch, we test Radiolab's Jad Abumrad on accidental scientific discoveries. Plus, They Might Be Giants give a quiz chock full of trick questions, aptly titled, "Wrong, Wrong, Wrong."
It's the definitive test of cultural references, from celebrities and commercial jingles, to comic strips and classic literature, in "Nick Names," "Jingle All the Way," and "Literary Comic Strips."
Can you remember two things at once? Combine the names of celebrities and countries in "International Doppelgangers," then nest words inside of other words in "Russian Dolls."
Also: Stephen Burt on trans literature; David Adams Richards on the difference between fiction and nonfiction.
Deborah Harkness' latest concludes the sprawling story begun in A Discovery of Witches. There's a bit too much plot to handle comfortably, but fans will be happy to see favorite characters again.
This fall, ABC will offer its most ethnically diverse slate of new shows in recent memory. But getting people to talk freely about why that's happened is still difficult.
Also: Marvel's Thor is now a woman; the origins of cool.
Pioneering underground comic artist (and R. Crumb collaborator) S. Clay Wilson's work is not for the faint of heart — or uneasy of stomach. Volume 1 of a new anthology of his work is out now.
A most unusual regatta recently celebrated vintage yachts, some more than 100 years old, and a time when sailing the oceans depended on well-trained crews with little more than compass and sextant.
Officials say the snails are "highly invasive, voracious pests" that eat paint and stucco off houses. But the snails are a prized delicacy in West Africa, where they're marinated or grilled on sticks.