If I were to suggest two books to read this year, they would be “Brief Answers to the Big Questions,” by the renowned cosmologist Stephen Hawking, who died in 2018, and “Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind,” by the historian Yuval Noah Harari. Both present lucid insights into what might happen after we die and the stories we tell ourselves to explain why we die.
What Do You Know for Sure?
Someone once asked Oprah Winfrey, the inspirational businesswoman, journalist and actor, this question during an interview: “What do you know for sure?” It caught her off guard, she has said, and she hesitated, not knowing how to respond.
This Isn’t Normal
“Look, Ramos,” the woman said to me. She’d recognized me as the guy from TV as we waited for an elevator, and she had something to get off her chest. “I don’t watch the news anymore because all they do is talk about Donald Trump. I’m sick and tired of it. Please change the subject.”
Animals Are People
I saw them die right before my eyes: four prawns, twisting over a hot iron griddle.
The Pope Was Mistaken
“I was abused when I was in school,” Juan Carlos Cruz, a Chilean journalist, told me in a recent interview.
Horror in Mexico
At what point did we become desensitized to the shocking news that the bodies of three murdered students had been dissolved in acid? When did we stop searching for the 43 missing college students from Ayotzinapa, Mexico, who disappeared after being kidnapped? When did it become normal for more than 100,000 people to lose their lives to violence in a six-year presidential term?
What We Don’t Talk About
It was supposed to be a day of love. It ended as a day of death.
Los Angeles, Past and Present
I recently went to Los Angeles for two days, and spent one looking back, the other looking forward.
Who’s Really ‘Bullying’ Mexico?
Let’s start with the dreadful part. Since Enrique Peña Nieto became president, there have been 91,284 homicides in Mexico.
Killing Is Easy
I am horrified by how easy it was for Stephen Paddock to kill so many people in Las Vegas earlier this month. After apparently carrying loads of weapons up to his hotel room, he smashed out two windows and then, as if he were at a firing range, aimed at a crowd of 22,000 people gathered below for an outdoor concert.