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Authors@Google: Mental Floss

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Will Pearson and Mangesh Hattikudur of Mental Floss magazine visit Google's headquarters in Mountain View, CA. This event took place on October 18, 2007 as part of the Authors@Google series.
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Jeopardy! champ Ken Jennings visits Google's Mountain View, CA, headquarters to discuss his book "Brainiac," a guidebook through the world of competitive trivia. In conversation with Google employee and former Jeopardy! tournament of champions winner Ryan 'Fritz' Holznagel as part of Google's Authors@Google speaker series on September 20, 2006.
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Russell Shorto visits Google's Cambridge, MA office to discuss his book "Descartes' Bones: A Skeletal History of the Conflict Between Faith and Reason." This event took place on October 16, 2008, as part of the Authors@Google series. At the center of this philosophical tale by the acclaimed author of The Island at the Center of the World is a simple mystery: Where in the world is Descartes's skull, and how did it get separated from the rest of his remains? Following the journey of the great 17th-century French thinker's bones—over six countries, across three centuries, through three burials—after his death in Stockholm in 1650, Shorto also follows the philosophical journey into modernity launched by Descartes's articulation of the mind-body problem. Shorto relates the life of the self-centered, vainglorious, vindictive Descartes and the bizarre story of his remains with infectious relish and stylistic grace, and his exploration of philosophical issues is probing. But the bones are too slender to bear the metaphorical weight of modernity that he gives them. Their sporadic appearance in the tale also makes them a shaky narrative frame for the sprawling events Shorto presents as the result of Descartes's work: the Enlightenment, the French Revolution, the 19th century's scientific explosion, 21st-century battles between faith and reason. Given Shorto's splendid storytelling gifts, this is a pleasure to read, but ultimately unsatisfying.
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Bruce Feiler visited Google LA to talk about his book "The Secrets of Happy Families." This talk took place on March 19, 2013. To learn more about Bruce and the book, visit Bruce's website at brucefeiler.com.
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A stylish and hilarious novel about the lives and loves of well-to-do young Manhattanites in their first year on Wall Street, destined to become one of the year's most buzzed-about debuts. Mergers & Acquisitions is the story of Tommy Quinn, a recent Georgetown grad who has just landed the job of his dreams as an investment banker at J. S. Spenser, and the perfect girl, Frances Sloan, the daughter of one of New York's oldest moneyed families. As he travels from the most exclusive ball rooms of the Racquet and Tennis Club to the stuffiest boardrooms of J. S. Spenser, from the golf links of Piping Rock to the bedrooms of Park Avenue to the Ritalin-strewn prep-school dorm room of his younger brother, he finds that the job and the girl are not what they once seemed. Dana Vachon was born in Greenwich, Connecticut, and raised in Chappaqua, New York. He attended Duke University, graduating, as he claims, "cum nihilo" in 2002. Following graduation, Vachon landed a job at J. P. Morgan as an analyst and began work on this novel. His writing has appeared in the International Herald Tribune, Men's Vogue, The New York Times, and Salon. This event took place on April 16, 2008, as a part of the Authors@Google series.
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This unconventional and lighthearted introduction to the ideas of the major Western philosophers examines The Simpsons — TV's favorite animated family. The authors look beyond the jokes, the crudeness, the attacks on society — and see a clever display of irony, social criticism, and philosophical thought. The writers begin with an examination of the characters. Does Homer actually display Aristotle's virtues of character? In what way does Bart exemplify American pragmatism? The book also examines the ethics and themes of the show, and concludes with discussions of how the series reflects the work of Aristotle, Marx, Camus, Sartre, and other thinkers. William Irwin is professor of philosophy at King's College, Pennsylvania This event took place on May 7, 2008, as a part of the Authors@Google series.
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Bill Wasik visits Google to discuss his book "And Then There's This: How Stories Live and Die in Viral Culture". This event took place on June 18, 2009, as part of the Authors@Google series.