This Week’s Forecast: 4.1.10

Stuff worth knowing about this week. Inspected & selected by the editors at Boston Mag.

ICONS
4/5 OUR FAVORITE BIOLOGIST EVOLVES INTO A NOVELIST
It’s easy to think that by the time a guy turns 81 — as the eminent Harvard naturalist E. O. Wilson will this spring — he’s tried pretty much everything he wanted to.

Well, today, Wilson — a two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize for his nonfiction work — becomes a novelist for the first time, as his book The Anthill hits shelves. In it, Wilson tells the story of young Raff Cody, who follows his passion for the environment to Harvard and then to a fight to save a pristine patch of his boyhood home.

Like Wilson, who built his reputation studying the complex world of ants, Cody grows up smitten with the insects. When his mother wonders why, his retort is one that readers can imagine Wilson using himself. “Ants may be small,” he says, “people laugh at them and all, but you know, they’re a huge part of the environment. They’re the most social animals in the world. Anybody who knows anything knows we learn a lot about social behavior in people by studying things like that.”

To capture what Cody means, Wilson devotes a chunk of the novel to gripping accounts of the ant activity that Cody observes — including a fascinating tale of what happens when a colony’s queen dies at the age of 20. Altogether, the debut novel is as engaging as Wilson himself.

HONORS
4/5 WILL DJ FINALLY GET TO SPRINGFIELD?
The NBA Hall of Fame vote is today, and this should be the year that notoriously underrated playmaker Dennis Johnson finally gets his due. The five-time All-Star, who died three years ago, had his number put in the Garden rafters in 1991. Don’t expect the rumored induction of the 1992 Olympic Dream Team — complete with Larry Legend — to assuage sore Celts fans if DJ gets snubbed again.

FOOD TV
4/6
BOSTON CHEF CHRIS COOMBS of dbar stars on the Season 4 premiere of Chopped. This week’s challenge? Cooking with rattlesnake and making a dessert that “features” red jalapeños. 10 p.m. on the Food Network.

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