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Michael Ruscoe - page 3

Michael Ruscoe has 201 articles published.

Michael Ruscoe is a writer, teacher, and musician living in Southern Connecticut. He is the author of the novel, "From the Stray Cat Files: You’ll Do Anything," the anthology, "Baseball: A Treasury of Art and Literature," and numerous educational texts. An instructor at Southern Connecticut State University, Ruscoe is also lead singer and songwriter for the indie band Save the Androids! In his spare time he earns karma for his next life by ardently following the New York Mets. The proud father of two children, Ruscoe also cares for and supports a pair of goldfish, who, in all honesty, are not very good conversationalists.

Emily V. Gordon Wants You to Find Your Personal Bat Signal and Superpowers

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Look—up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s—the last person in the world you would have suspected of being a super hero. Just who is this amazing being? Who lies behind this hero’s mysterious secret identity? You can answer that question by looking in the mirror, says Emily V. Gordon, author of Super You: Release Your Inner Super Hero (Seal Press; September 29, 2015). In the book, Gordon, a writer, producer, and former couples and family therapist (but no relation to Commissioner James Gordon), shows readers how to reach their full heroic potential. And no, that doesn’t mean that we’ll be foiling bank robberies or fighting off hordes of invading aliens. It means that readers will learn…

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‘Life is Good’ Book Wants You to Enjoy the Ride

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It may be the quintessential American success story. But for entrepreneurs, clothing manufacturers and authors Bert and John Jacobs, their business plan, their brand and their very lifestyle boils down to three simple words: Life is Good. With those three words, the Jacobs brothers stumbled upon not just success and a $100 million clothing company—they found the principle that governs their lives. And, they say, if you let this kind of optimism govern yours, you can live a life of better health, resilience and fun. Life is Good, The Book: How to Live with Purpose and Enjoy the Ride (National Geographic Books, September 2015) is not simply the story of how the Jacobs brothers turned $78 and a used minivan…

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Exclusive: Paul Theroux Discusses Culture and History in the Deep South

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Among our most prolific writers, Paul Theroux has published more than 30 novels and 19 books of non-fiction, many of them travel books, which have brought readers from London to Tokyo, from Panama to China, from Croatia to Kenya, from Burma to India, and to many points in between. However, his latest book, Deep South: Four Seasons on the Back Road (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; September 29, 2015), kept the author closer to home. Theroux spent four seasons on rural roads throughout the southern Unites States. He visited gun shows and small-town churches and spoke to laborers and people who still call the farm up the road “the plantation.” He spoke to the working poor and farming families, social workers and…

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Exclusive! Kermit Roosevelt and George Takei Reveal the Cost of Allegiance

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We live in an era when a 14-year-old whiz-kid who brought a clock to school on his own was rewarded for his hunger for learning by being hauled away in handcuffs. Why? Because he’s a Muslim, and his teacher, who assumes the clock must be a bomb, calls the police. Aren’t we better than this? How can something like this happen in America? That incident should be of no surprise to those who know this country’s history—because victimizing people based on their ethnic heritage has happened here before. During World War II, between 110,000 and 120,000 Americans of Japanese heritage were place in internment camps, solely on the basis of their ethnicity. While the Greatest Generation was fighting for freedom and…

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Exclusive! Jeannie Morris on Clinton, Moseley Braun and the Barriers of Race and Gender

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As we approach 2016, the nation turns its attention to the long, arduous path to the White House, now occupied by an African-American and sought by female candidates. Not much more than a couple of decades ago, the thought of a Barack Obama or a Hillary Clinton as president seemed more fantasy than reality. In the past 25 years, however, political barriers have fallen. Many of those barriers were shattered by Carol Moseley Braun, the first (and to date, only) African-American woman to serve in the United States Senate. The historical importance of Moseley Braun’s election from the politically vital state of Illinois (the state has voted for the candidate who would win nearly every presidential election) still reverberates today.…

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Mountaineer Andrew Lock: Climbing Everest Was Worth the Risk

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Ah, movies. Is there no end to your ability to show me things that I’ll never, ever do? This fall, we’re getting The Walk, in which a guy walks on a tightrope 110 stories above the ground. The Martian will feature a guy stranded on Mars, a destination to which you can now sign up to go. (I’ll pass on both of these, thanks.) And on Friday, we have Everest, the story of an expedition climbing to the peak of Earth’s highest mountain. Sure, they get up to the top OK, but when a killer snowstorm strikes before they can get down, that’s when they run into trouble. Big trouble. What kind of person would subject himself to that? Meet…

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CEO Learned Life Lessons From Growing Up on the Farm

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The corporate world is often seen as a jungle, but seldom as a farm. But it was on a farm—a pig farm, to be exact—that Doug Tieman learned many of the lessons that helped him achieve his dream of becoming a CEO by age 40. And now, Tieman is sharing those lessons in his new book, Flying Over the Pigpen: Leadership Lessons from Growing Up on a Farm (HCI Books; September 8, 2015). Tieman is the CEO of Caron Treatment Centers, one of the largest and most respected not-for-profit behavior healthcare facilities in the country. Caron, which treats people for substance abuse problems, has nine locations and over $100 million in annual revenues. “Although we lived in a small, rural…

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What’s it Like to Quit Your Job, Pack 100 Books and Move to Paradise?

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It’s the classic American dream of everyone who’s burnt out, had enough, and ready to give up. “One of these days,” we think, “I’m going to chuck it all and live on a beach on a remote Pacific island.” So many of us have thought about it, yet it’s shocking how few people actually do it. In fact, chances are that you’ve never met a single person who’s left behind the life of deadlines, pressure and hullabaloo to sit in the sand with their feet in the water. Well, meet Alex Sheshunoff. With a Yale degree in hand, Sheshunoff started and ran the Internet company E-the People, a non-partisan precursor to MoveOn.org. The company was a tremendous success, but soon,…

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Christopher Moore Talks about Death, Demons and Secondhand Souls

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When it comes to the comically absurd, Christopher Moore wrote the book. Several of them, in fact. From his first novel, Practical Demonkeeping (1992), to his most recent, Secondhand Souls (William Morrow, August 25), Moore has spun tales featuring vampires, lust-lizards, a talking fruit bat, stupid angels, Shakespearean fools and Jesus Christ himself—all of which are not only played for plenty of laughs, but loads of social commentary, as well.               In Secondhand Souls, a sequel to Moore’s 2006 novel A Dirty Job, the stakes are nothing less than life and Death itself. In the new book, people are dying in San Francisco (hey, that’s life, right?), but their souls aren’t being collected as…

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Bryan Cranston to Bring Hollywood’s Great, Notorious Screenwriter Back to Life

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Now that summer blockbuster season is over, it’s time for some real-life heroes. Dalton Trumbo, one of America’s greatest screenwriters who chose jail rather than ratting out his friends, will be brought brilliantly back to life this November when Trumbo, starring Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston, opens in theaters.     The movie tells the story of Dalton Trumbo, a central figure in the “Hollywood Ten”—a group of screenwriters who were blacklisted from the motion picture industry from 1947 to 1960. Before the McCarthy era, the scribes were charged by the House Committee on Un-American Activities for their links to the Communist Party. Trumbo, who openly defied the committee, wound up serving 11 months in a federal penitentiary for contempt of…

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Anthony Horowitz’s Trigger Mortis Contains Ian Fleming 007 Material

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This fall, James Bond is reporting for duty—in two different stories in two different media, and in two different eras. The man known as 007 will first appear in Trigger Mortis (HarperCollins, September 8, 2015) by Anthony Horowitz, the latest novel bearing the stamp of approval from the estate of Bond creator Ian Fleming. Fleming passed away back in 1964, shortly after the publication of You Only Live Twice, the 12th novel featuring the character who would, thanks to his cinema incarnation, become fiction’s greatest spy. After Fleming’s death, two of his Bond works would be published posthumously: 1965’s The Man with the Golden Gun and a collection of short stories titled Octopussy and The Living Daylights (1966). Over the…

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The Delectable Cuisine You Never Tried: The Food of Taiwan

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Looking for something exotic and different to try out in your kitchen? Turn your eyes (and your taste buds) towards the tiny island nation of Taiwan. While Taiwan is only about the size of Massachusetts, its food reflects its richly layered past, with influences from China, Japan, the Netherlands and Portugal. Like most cuisines, traditional Taiwanese food traces its origins to humble peasant dishes, but is now enjoyed by people all over the country and around the world, including here in the U.S. Until now, though, there’s never been a book that reveals the rich background of the country and its singular culinary history. That all changed with the publication of The Food of Taiwan: Recipes From the Beautiful Island…

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7 Stupid Things to Say to Your College Professor

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I’ve been a college English instructor for just about 20 years, and I like to think that I’ve heard it all. But somehow, every year, my students manage to surprise me and come up with something new. So if you’re going to college, or if you know someone who’s going to college, here’s a list of stuff that should never, EVER be said to an instructor. Will you get in trouble if you do? No. But asking one of these questions is a great way to grind your teacher’s gears, and you know what they say about first impressions. As you’re sizing up your instructors, they’re doing the same to you, even if they don’t know it or won’t admit…

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How Can Libraries Survive in the Digital Age?

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For many of us, libraries are magic. We treasure the feeling when we walk through the door that we’ve entered someplace awesome, the thrill of the hunt through the catalog for exactly what we’re looking for, the wonder of discovering new titles, and the rush of joy we experience when we see the book that we want waiting for us on the shelf. What’s to become of libraries now that the sum total of human knowledge is literally in the palm of our hands? What will happen to libraries when virtually every book, every image, every piece of music ever produced is available instantly in our homes at the touch of a keyboard? Don’t despair. Not only is there still…

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How Refrigeration Changed the Present and the Future

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If you had to lose the use of just one appliance in your house, which one would affect your life the most? Sure, losing your computer or your television would be a bummer—you would have to resort to binge-watching your cat playing with a toy mouse for entertainment. No stove might lead to peanut butter sandwiches for dinner and if you didn’t have your washing machine, there’s always the laundromat. Heck, you could cook over an open fire in the backyard and beat your clothes on a rock in a river if you had to. But what would happen if you suddenly had no refrigerator? You would lose your place in the “cold chain,” a globally-encompassing transport corridor that connects…

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