by Edward J. Balleisen
Several weeks ago I had occasion to watch the new documentary, Betting on Zero
. This fascinating film presents several interlinked stories, all related to the founding and growth of Herbalife, a multi-level-marketing company that sells nutritional supplements, weight loss concoctions, and the “business opportunity” to distribute these products. Among the narrative threads:
the basic business model of this enterprise, which depends on the perpetual recruitment of new salespeople (this task is facilitated by revival-style meetings…
My family always visited art museums when I was a child. I’m not quite sure why, as we never talked about the art, and I wondered, in secret, what exactly we were supposed to be doing there. When I was about eight years old, I read a book that answered that question: From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
by E. L. Konigsburg. It is the story of two children—a brother and a sister—who run away from home to solve the mystery of a sculpture: was it a long-lost work by Michelangelo? They hide in the Metropolitan Museum…
by Matthew Booker
, associate professor of American environmental history, North Carolina State University
I like picnics. Picnics take us outside, to share food with people we like. Those are my three favorite things, and picnics offer all three with a minimum of fuss or cost.
Every picnic is a special occasion. But one stands out because it showed me how much we can learn from deeply observing the world around us. Such observation joins us to the experiences of those who have come before, and perhaps even see through their eyes. It is a humanities experience.
One summer day, to celebrate a birthday, my spouse and I packed up our little girls and…
According to the ancient Greeks, harmony is discord rendered concordant, a concept that applied not just to music but everything from the order of the cosmos to human relationships. I have always loved this idea for two reasons: it was predicated not on the absence or erasure of difference, but the reconciliation of it; and it was perfectly embodied in the activity that had occupied a significant part of my career as a college music professor and conductor—choral singing. Upon my retirement, alumni of my choral group from across the decades…
by Jaroslav Folda, N. Ferebee Taylor Professor emeritus, UNC
At the end of my sophomore year in high school, during the awards ceremony in June, I received my varsity letter for playing football. And then my history teacher, Mr. Harvey, got up and gave three academic awards. To my complete surprise, I received one of those prizes. It was a book of Plutarch’s Lives
, which was inscribed to me in part as follows: “This book ... represents his persistent toil toward clear, precise and meaningful expression in history at the Paris American High School.”
In addition, Mr. Harvey had also written…
In this video Marlene Daut describes how teaching literature to college students enables them to both understand their lives and history better, as well as be inspired regarding their possible futures.