The Stanford Shakespeare Company traditionally stages its spring show outdoors, in scenic and visually interesting parts of campus. This year is no exception: The group mounts “Romeo and Juliet” in a small, sunken amphitheatre on the Engineering Quad, with a large tree bathed in violet lights as the centerpiece of the stage. The setting is intimate — the first ring of stone benches is level with the actors — and the players enter and exit from behind the audience.
A decade ago, Vienna Teng was a Stanford computer science major. She was set to work at Cisco upon graduating and played her songs on dorm pianos for her friends, just for fun. Since then, she’s toured around the world, appeared on Letterman and had multiple albums hit the Amazon bestseller list. In what is undoubtedly an unconventional career move for a successful musician, Teng is currently attending graduate school at the Erb Institute of Sustainable Enterprise at the University of Michigan; meanwhile, she’s still writing music and playing the occasional concert, including a performance at TEDxStanford this Saturday. Intermission was fortunate enough to catch up with her and ask a few questions before the show.
The astrophysicist and prolific science writer Neil deGrasse Tyson, popularly hailed as the intellectual heir of the late Carl Sagan, has recently published a collection of essays and interviews, entitled “Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier” (W. W. Norton, Feb. 2012). In a style reminiscent of the bestselling “Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman,” “Space Chronicles” discusses such varied topics as the history and future of space exploration, the state of science education in the United States and the continued relevance of NASA in today’s political discourse.
Anne Rice, the original queen of vampire fiction, crosses to the other side with her latest book, “The Wolf Gift,” a werewolf novel set in the contemporary Bay Area.
It takes a bit of star power for any lecturer to fill Cemex Auditorium on a school night — but the New York Times bestselling author Ann Patchett spoke to a full house on Monday evening. She was introduced by Professor Tobias Wolff, who fondly recalled a 20-something Patchett just embarking on her literary career.
In her new release, “The Baker’s Daughter”, Sarah McCoy weaves together the stories of two very different women who, in attempting to outrun their pasts, end up in El Paso, Texas. Reba Adams is a lonely journalist whose latest assignment, a Christmas feature, leads her to Elsie’s German bakery. In researching her piece, she finds a kindred spirit in the proprietress, Elsie Schmidt, whose story began six decades previous in Germany as a teenaged girl under the oppressive rule of the Third Reich.
Our culture is fascinated by the idea of epiphany–the elusive moment that alters the course of one’s life. It is said that a chance encounter between Newton’s skull and a wayward apple redefined physics, that the serendipitous meeting of J. M. Barrie and the Llewelyn Davies children led the former to produce the novel “Peter Pan.”
The holidays are almost upon us; that means Christmas shopping. If finals are draining your brainpower and Amazon recommendations are letting you down, fear not–Book Critiqua has something for everyone on your list.