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[ Fri. Nov. 30. 2007 ]

Angels! Kennedys! Kay Scarpetta! Steve Martin! Put these irresistible reads under a friend's tree, by your own bedside, or both. By Cathleen Medwick

JOHN BROCKMAN, that most philosophical of editors and founder of the science-oriented Edge Foundation (, asked some 150 serious thinkers what gave them reasons to smile. In his persuasively upbeat collection, What are You Optimistic About? (Harper Perennial), evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins predicts a new scientific enlightenment, wiping out superstition; psychologist Steven Pinker sees a decline in violence worldwide; and physicist Frank Wilczek fully expects that the world will continue to surprise us in fascinating and fundamental ways." Ask a savvy question....

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