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Week In Politics: Fiscal Cliff And Susan Rice

Robert Siegel speaks with our regular political commentators, E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post and Brookings Institution and David Brooks of The New York Times. They discuss the fiscal cliff and U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice's possible bid for Secretary of State.

An Existential Guide For When You're Really 'Lost'

Astrophysicist Adam Frank doesn't usually read self-help books, but something about Walter Percy's existential optimism in Lost In The Cosmos actually changed his outlook on life. Do you have a favorite self-help book? Tell us in the comments below.

College Football: Pro and Con(servative) Views

College sports fans can be distinctively different from the pro variety, no matter where they are. And that might complicate the growth plans of athletic conferences such as as the Big Ten, says Frank Deford.

From A Calcutta Prison To The Classical Stage

Commentator Sandip Roy tells the story of classical dancer Alokananda Roy, who was inspired to teach dance to convicted murderers and rapists after a visit to a Calcutta prison.

Painful Memories Of Puckered Flowers

Writer Susan Straight recalls the challenging story of a little boy from her neighborhood.

What's Good For The Goose Is Good For The Gander

Rosie Napravnik is America's leading jockey — and a woman in a male-dominated sport. Commentator Frank Deford reflects on women's sports, competing with men, and fans.

Move Over Urkel, There Are New 'Blerds' Around

Commentator Eric Deggans argues that the black nerds are ascendant. It used to be that Steve Urkel was their sole standard-bearer, but now there are black nerd standup comics, rappers and even news anchors. Deggans is TV and media critic for the Tampa Bay Times, and author of Race-Baiter: How the Media Wields Dangerous Words to Divide a Nation.

If The Pretzel Chicken Isn't Awesome, Why Review It?

In a week in which the news has been filled with a fiscal cliff, rockets, sex and security, a restaurant review also raised a ruckus. New York Times critic Pete Wells took on Food Network star Guy Fieri's new restaurant, but his motives for doing so remain elusive.