leisure 02.13.12

Brain Food
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Four hours every weekend is a big commitment. We think, though, that the time watching MSNBC's Up with Chris Hayes early on Saturday and Sunday mornings is the most reliably illuminating part of the week—the best political talk on television, yes, but the most thoughtful, unpredictable, and engaging talk of any kind on television, period. The conversation, for instance, this past Saturday, among Hayes, the panel, and Father Bill Dailey, an Associate Professor of Law at Notre Dame, about the battle over birth control coverage, was complicated, fraught, respectful and, like most of the discussions on Up, about substance more than process.

At 92Y, Mark Potok, director of the Southern Poverty Law Center, looks at The State of Hate in America—on Sunday, February 26th, 7:30pm, $29. It is, sadly, a growth industry.

Damsels of Design? Could the moniker for the nine women employed by GM in the 1950s sound more patronizing? Hard to see how. This Thursday, 6:30pm, Wendi Parson will talk about Fashionability and Automobility: The Women of General Motors' Styling Section in the 1950s about how these artists and industrial designers were employed by the auto maker to help sell cars to the damsels of the household. New School, free, reservation required.

The State of Contemporary Art is considered by a panel of art world pros, on Wednesday, February 15th, 6:30pm, as part of Annual: 2012.

Thursdays starting April 26th at 3rd Ward, an Introduction to New York's Art World.

If we were crowned king around here, the teaching of civics would be one of our first decrees. Without imparting a sense of a greater good, you could end up with a country that looks, well, a lot like large swathes of our own—in which me and mine tramples us and ours. Hear The Case for Civic Education at 92Y on March 21st. $29

John M. Logsdon, author of the recent book John F. Kennedy and the Race to the Moon, talks about that period of history at a Hayden Planetarium lecture on March 5th, 7:30pm, $15. Will it touch on future Gingrichian lunar colonies? You'll have to go to find out.

Get a more comprehensive understanding—to the extent that mankind has such a thing—of the cosmos from NYU SCPS' The History of Astronomy Before and After Galileo, eight sessions starting March 28th.

The Age of Insight: The Quest to Understand the Unconscious in Art, Mind, and Brain, From Vienna 1900 to the Present, a talk by Nobel Prize-winning neuropsychiatrist Eric Kandel at the NYPL on March 28th, 7pm, $25.

Professor of psychology and leading cognitive neuroscience researcher Michael S. Gazzaniga takes up the debate of Who's in Charge? Free Will and the Science of the Brain, also the title of his recently published book. The talk is at the Cooper Union on April 11th, 6:30pm, free.

Some hands-on training: The Seeing Lab: Learn how to notice and read micro-expressions, a 3-hour class on March 6th, $60, by LifeLabs NY.

Released is a project sponsored by the Center for Employment Opportunities—photographs and interviews with former inmates as they return to family, work, and the larger community. It's installed now at the NYPL's Mid-Manhattan branch.

Black Gotham: A Family History of African Americans in Nineteenth Century New York City

The Scorched Melting Pot: Yiddish Culture and American Communism After World War II

Climate Change, Sea-Level Rise, and the Future of the Brooklyn Waterfront is a breakfast talk about the impact on Brooklyn waterfront neighborhoods as sea levels rise. February 24th, 8:30am, free.

On February 23rd, 6:30pm, the New York Academy of Sciences has a conversation about Creating the Next Conservation Movement—and why conservation doesn't rank high on the list of concerns by most Americans.

The Last Songs of the Glaciers—which, as titles go, doesn't get more forlorn. Still, Julia Calfee's photographs and sound recordings should be seen and heard—and you can do that on March 12th, 7pm, at The Explorers Club, $20.

Some images
courtesy of Shutterstock


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