Photo: Liz Von Hoene

"When we explore the new," writes Todd Kashdan, PhD, author of Curious?, "we can become more...comfortable dealing with tension and anxiety, and more intelligent, wise and resilient." To get you started on a path of discovery, we asked people in the know to recommend ways to learn more about their fascinating fields.

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2. The Universe
"My Nova special, The Fabric of the Cosmos, explains space and time; it might sound like science-nerd city, but it's for novices." — Brian Greene, PhD, author of The Elegant Universe

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3. Cheesemaking
"Try a class at the Cheese School of San Francisco, or pick up instructor Mary Karlin's Artisan Cheese Making at Home. — Liz Thorpe, author of The Cheese Chronicles

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4. Silent Film
"The movie magazines at the Media History Digital Library online are full of reviews and photos of the stars." — Richard Abel, PhD, professor of film studies at the University of Michigan

latin alive

5. Latin
"Joseph Solodow's great book Latin Alive is both a history and a description of this complex dead tongue." — Jay Fisher, PhD, assistant professor of classics at Yale University


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6. Whales
"Photographer Bryant Austin takes life-size photos of whales from very close up. Check out his stunning book, Beautiful Whale." — Diane Glim, president, American Cetacean Society

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7. Shipwrecks
"The books USS Monitor (by John D. Broadwater), Raising the Hunley (by Brian Hicks) and Titanic (by Susan Wels) can't be beat." — Hans Konrad Van Tilburg, PhD, maritime heritage coordinator, NOAA

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8. Opera
"Head to YouTube for clips of Callas, Price, Pavarotti and Merrill, then to for translations of the arias you've just heard." — Jennifer Cho, founder, New York Opera Society

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9. The CIA
"The tradecraft and informants in All the President's Men make the film a good primer; Little America, a novel by Henry Bromell, is a great read." — Alex Gansa, cocreator of Homeland

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10. Indian Food
"Try chicken tikka makhani, often made with tomatoes, honey, butter, cream, ginger and fenugreek. It's very easy to like." — Floyd Cardoz, chef, New York's North End Grill

Next: 6 do-good jobs you've never considered


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