Wednesday, February 9 2011
Like Richard Feynman before him, Dr. Leonard Mlodinow has a gift that’s all too rare in physicists – he speaks Normal Person. The physicist and author of the New York Times best-seller The Drunkard’s Walk, Mlodinow has a knack for making the complicated issues that crop up in quantum physics understandable to everyday readers.
Tuesday, February 1 2011
How the history of the urinal is the history of America.
Wednesday, January 26 2011
Imagine all of the elements contributing to Travis Bickle’s disintegration placed in the context of contemporary culture, with venom spewed 24/7. Imagine Travis Bickle – and Jared Loughner -- watching Fox News daily.
Thursday, December 23 2010
The TV versions of Rudolph, Santa, and Frosty are chaotic, freewheeling, and anarchic -- closer in spirit to Heath Ledger's Joker than to Bing Crosby's Father O'Malley.
Sunday, November 28 2010
If you are a fame-seeker that is paying attention, you've seen that the best way to get noticed is to get on TV -- in whatever way possible -- and bypass the usual arbiters of entertainment. It is a recipe for fame without any marketable talent: simply create a situation that centers on you.
Wednesday, November 10 2010
TED Fellow Juliana Machado Ferreira's work focuses on bringing the latest advances in forensic science to bear against “crimes against nature. Her bete noir—and the driving factor behind her research—is the illegal wildlife trade that removes hundreds of thousands of animals, primarily birds, from Brazil’s ecosystem every year.
Thursday, August 26 2010
Aristotle's wisdom about these protagonists suffering irreparable loss at the hands of destiny is applicable to Jackson's journey: he suffered disproportionately more than he deserved; he was intelligent and gifted at evoking pathos in his audience; and he had influence but was in conflict with external forces and internal demons. In short: he was a flawed, tragic figure.
Thursday, August 19 2010
A horror writer, self-proclaimed atheist, and "mechanical materialist" who spent most of his life ridiculing religion, H.P. Lovecraft invented one of the most absurd and terrifying pseudomythologies in the history of modern literature. So, how is it that some of his audience came to take his cosmology seriously?
Sunday, June 6 2010
Tonight I will go belly-up in some kind of mental cloud, a meandering consideration of what tribute shows are really about, and why Guided by Voices deserves one, and what they were really about -- and that will lead to thoughts about prophecy and nihilism and Ralph Waldo Emerson and postmodernism.
Thursday, May 13 2010
What follows is a hearty recommendation for you 18-30-year-olds wondering “Great, I’ve got a degree in English. What now?” or “Lovely, a lay-off. Cheers for that. And?”
Sunday, April 25 2010
There is a difference between sharing files and sharing music. In the '70s, victory was hearing your favorite song on the radio. And now it was all here, right in front of me. Just a click away.
Tuesday, April 13 2010
Lady Gaga is the return of the repressed mainstream, a Frankenstein of Tumblr fantasies and Twitter dreams. Social media’s decentralization and relativism run amok have brought us to a breaking point.
Monday, April 12 2010
How has the digital age changed our "musical brains"? At the quantitative level, what factors in the digital age lead our brains toward different musical choices? On the qualitative level, how have our listening experiences changed?
Thursday, April 8 2010
Our present 'social grid' -- the stage Sons of Anarchy plays upon – is one that most on the planet have fallen through; life outside of that grid may offer some hope, some new regime.
Sunday, March 14 2010
Our Lady Peace's lead singer opens up about the near break-up of his band, the inspiration behind their latest full-length, and how bright the future looks for the Canadian quartet.
Thursday, March 4 2010
Autopsy entertainment makes painfully clear that no amount of Twitter and Prozac, Friending and Unfriending, Outplacement and Outsourcing, Bail Outs and Stimulus, Surges and Drones, Mii and Wii, Nunchuck and Netois can save us.
Thursday, February 18 2010
To live in a small town is to be connected, and not electronically or digitally. Rather, it means to be connected to people in the flesh, to actual places, to land and buildings, to a common past.
Wednesday, February 17 2010
Were lawmakers to seek a better understanding of the work of the caregiver, health care reform would reflect an economic model that placed altruistic motivation above financial consideration.
Monday, February 15 2010
Steampunk's turn toward the past is more than merely aesthetic. Technology is viewed with a turn-of-the-century sense of wonder that opposes our contemporary tendency to take it for granted. And it is now more pervasive in pop culture than some may realize.
Tuesday, February 9 2010
Take a quick look at fangirl history and you will realize that fangirls’ devotion has “made” some of the most significant players in pop culture history. Fangirls are one of the primary drivers in popular media and today they are more empowered than ever before.