Essayist, critic and novelist Albert Murray passed away Monday in his Harlem home at the age of 97. Influential as a critic of "black separatism," Murray was also an accomplished novelist (The Spyglass Tree and The Magic Keys) and memoirist (South to a Very Old Place). Click here to read his full New York Times obituary.
Influential and prolific poet John Hollander passed away in Branford, Connecticut over the weekend at the age of 83. The author of over 20 volumes of poetry and criticism, including his most recent collection A Draft of Light (2008), Hollander taught at Yale University, Connecticut College, and Hunter College. His full obituary can be read at the The New York Times.
The 2013 PEN Literary Award Winners have been announced and 3 Random House authors have won! Katherine Boo won the John Kenneth Galbraith Award for Nonfiction for Behind the Beautiful Forevers; Leonard Mlodinow won the E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award for Subliminal; Tom Reiss won the Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography for The Black Count. The award winners and runners-up will be honored at the 2013 PEN Literary Awards Ceremony on Monday, October 21, 2013, at CUNY Graduate Center's Proshansky Auditorium in New York City.
Historian Pauline Maier passed away this week at the age of 75. Maier taught for over thirty years at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and published a great variety of works including The Old Revolutionaries and the National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist American Scripture which explores how the Declaration of Independence became the defining statement of our national identity and the moral standard by which we live as a nation. Her full obituary can be read on The New York Times.
Adrian Bejan, who discovered the constructal law of design and evolution in nature, was featured recently on an episode of the Discovery Channel series Through the Wormhole. The following 8-minute clip from the episode "Did God Invent Evolution" features a segment with Bejan discussing the constructal law. For a more in depth dissection of constructal law check out Bejan's groundbreaking Design in Nature which takes the recurring patterns in nature—trees, tributaries, air passages, neural networks, and lightning bolts—and reveals how this single principle of physics accounts for the evolution of these and many other designs in our world.