In conjunction with the story I wrote about The National September 11 Memorial Museum, the Times is running online forums to discuss some of the thorniest issues. The museum’s staff and advisers have painstakingly combed through the mammoth collection of artifacts, audio recordings, videos and photographs in choosing what to display. Many items capture all too clearly the gruesome horror of that day and museum officials have been constantly forced to decide what is appropriate material for a museum exhibition and what might be too upsetting for visitors to see. We asked a group of museum professionals and trauma experts to discuss, by e-mail, how to get the message and history across accurately without being gratuitously shocking. Kari F. Watkins, director of the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum, started off the discussion. She has dealt with the same issues in her own institution, which commemorates the bombing of a federal office building by Timothy McVeigh, a white supremacist, that killed 168 children and adults on April 19, 1995. She has also frequently consulted with the staff of the Sept. 11 museum.
Midlife has swung between serving as an emblem of power and influence, and a metaphor for decline, yet the invention and history of this vital period of life has never before been fully told. Acclaimed New York Times reporter Patricia Cohen finally fills the gap with a book that provokes surprise, outrage and delight. In Our Prime takes readers from turn-of-the-century factories that refused to hire middle-aged men to high-tech laboratories where researchers are unraveling the secrets of the middle-aged mind and body. She traces how midlife has been depicted in film, television, advertisements, and literature. Cohen exposes the myths of the midlife crisis and empty nest syndrome, and investigates anti-aging treatments like human growth hormones, estrogen, Viagra, Botox, and plastic surgery.