Originally published on Wed March 18, 2015 3:17 pm
Cults and religions exist on a continuum, not in clearly delineated categories. It's even hard to claim that the distinction between the two comes down to "knowing it when you see it." For the most vulnerable people, the victims of groups that sit nebulously on the divide between cult and religion, that kind of clarity is what's often lacking.
Originally published on Wed March 18, 2015 5:29 pm
One of science fiction's toughest challenges is making nonhuman characters feel human. Robots are particularly hard: SF authors have spent decades putting every conceivable spin on the concept of manmade automatons, and the results have just as often been laughable as profound. Ian Tregillis tackles this prickly puzzle — and many more — with great skill in The Mechanical.
Originally published on Wed March 18, 2015 11:23 am
Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum houses a world-class art collection. But in the last two decades it's been better known for the art that isn't there — half a billion dollars' worth of masterpieces that disappeared from its walls 25 years ago.
Originally published on Tue March 17, 2015 7:31 pm
Spanish investigators announced Tuesday that they believe they've found the remains of author Miguel de Cervantes.
Considered a pillar of Spanish literature, and one of the world's most important writers, Cervantes published Don Quixote in two parts, in 1605 and 1615. The novel narrates the adventures of a delusional man who has read so many stories about chivalry, he decides to become a knight himself. Don Quixote's idealistic and impractical ventures gave birth to the adjective "quixotic."