June 13, 2014
What an Action Hero Does on His Day Off

He killed the bad guy. He recovered the priceless artifact. He saved the girl. Now what? In this short film, writer and director Dylan Allen skewers the generic “happy” ending of typical big-budget blockbusters with satirical humor and a dash of ennui.

What an Action Hero Does on His Day Off

He killed the bad guy. He recovered the priceless artifact. He saved the girl. Now what? In this short film, writer and director Dylan Allen skewers the generic “happy” ending of typical big-budget blockbusters with satirical humor and a dash of ennui.

12:53pm
  
Filed under: Film Short Film Satire 
June 12, 2014
How Funny-Looking Benedict Cumberbatch Conquered Hollywood

The French have an expression called jolie laide—directly translated, it means “beautiful ugly,” but as a concept it embodies the intersection between attractiveness and unconventionality that makes us relish imperfection. Jolie laide is Sarah Jessica Parker and Benicio del Toro and Jessica Paré. It’s why Solange is visually more intriguing than Beyoncé, and why Meat Loaf, however improbably, was a sex symbol for much of the 1980s.
Sofia Coppola is often cited as the female embodiment of jolie laide, but as it relates to men, there’s no more obvious example in contemporary culture than Benedict Cumberbatch. In bleached-blonde, Botox-browed Hollywood, he’s the antithesis of everything we’re supposed to find attractive.
Read more. [Image: AP]

How Funny-Looking Benedict Cumberbatch Conquered Hollywood

The French have an expression called jolie laide—directly translated, it means “beautiful ugly,” but as a concept it embodies the intersection between attractiveness and unconventionality that makes us relish imperfection. Jolie laide is Sarah Jessica Parker and Benicio del Toro and Jessica Paré. It’s why Solange is visually more intriguing than Beyoncé, and why Meat Loaf, however improbably, was a sex symbol for much of the 1980s.

Sofia Coppola is often cited as the female embodiment of jolie laide, but as it relates to men, there’s no more obvious example in contemporary culture than Benedict Cumberbatch. In bleached-blonde, Botox-browed Hollywood, he’s the antithesis of everything we’re supposed to find attractive.

Read more. [Image: AP]

May 22, 2014
"America was built on the preferential treatment of white people—395 years of it. Vaguely endorsing a cuddly, feel-good diversity does very little to redress this."

Ta-Nehisi Coates, on the case for reparations.

May 22, 2014
Our June issue is now online! 
Ta-Nehisi Coates makes the case for reparations, Brian Mockenhaupt investigates the deadliest wildfire in 80 years, Dahlia Lithwick considers Antonin Scalia, and much more.

Our June issue is now online! 

Ta-Nehisi Coates makes the case for reparations, Brian Mockenhaupt investigates the deadliest wildfire in 80 years, Dahlia Lithwick considers Antonin Scalia, and much more.

May 16, 2014

Coming soon: “The Case for Reparations” by Ta-Nehisi Coates

May 15, 2014
atlanticinfocus:

From Cats Dressed as People, 100 Years Ago, one of 15 photos. The Aviator. (Harry Whittier Frees/Library of Congress)

atlanticinfocus:

From Cats Dressed as People, 100 Years Ago, one of 15 photos. The Aviator. (Harry Whittier Frees/Library of Congress)

May 13, 2014

We Are Dead Stars

Every atom in our bodies was fused in the body of an ancient star. NASA astronomer Dr. Michelle Thaller explains how the iron in our blood connects us to one of the most violent acts in the universe—a supernova explosion—and what the universe might look like when all the stars die out.

This video is a collaboration between The Atlantic and SoundVision Productions’ The Really Big Questions.  Listen to TRBQ’s one-hour radio special What is a Good Death? distributed by Public Radio International.

Read more.

May 13, 2014
Study: Opportunities In Young Adulthood Linked to Later Narcissism

There has been much debate over which generation, exactly, is the “Me” generation. Is it Millennials? Is it Baby Boomers? People have been taking selfies for pretty much as long as there have been cameras, after all. And painting them before that. There have always been and will always be narcissists, and, seemingly, we will always be horrified by their entitlement. But if there are generational differences in narcissism, a new study published in Psychological Science suggests that they might be attributable to the economy.
Read more. [Image: Shutterstock]

Study: Opportunities In Young Adulthood Linked to Later Narcissism

There has been much debate over which generation, exactly, is the “Me” generation. Is it Millennials? Is it Baby Boomers? People have been taking selfies for pretty much as long as there have been cameras, after all. And painting them before that. There have always been and will always be narcissists, and, seemingly, we will always be horrified by their entitlement. But if there are generational differences in narcissism, a new study published in Psychological Science suggests that they might be attributable to the economy.

Read more. [Image: Shutterstock]

May 13, 2014

A Statistically Representative Climate Change Debate

John Oliver shows a fairer representation of both sides: 97 scientists versus three climate change deniers.

Read more.

May 13, 2014
Why Every Book About Africa Has the Same Cover

Last week, Africa Is a Country, a blog that documents and skewers Western misconceptions of Africa, ran a fascinating story about book design. It posted a collage of 36 covers of books that were either set in Africa or written by African writers. The texts of the books were as diverse as the geography they covered: Nigeria, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Mozambique. They were written in wildly divergent styles, by writers that included several Nobel Prize winners. Yet all of books’ covers featured an acacia tree, an orange sunset over the veld, or both.
"In short," the post said, "the covers of most novels ‘about Africa’ seem to have been designed by someone whose principal idea of the continent comes from The Lion King.”
Read more. [Image: Wikimedia Commons]

Why Every Book About Africa Has the Same Cover

Last week, Africa Is a Country, a blog that documents and skewers Western misconceptions of Africa, ran a fascinating story about book design. It posted a collage of 36 covers of books that were either set in Africa or written by African writers. The texts of the books were as diverse as the geography they covered: Nigeria, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Mozambique. They were written in wildly divergent styles, by writers that included several Nobel Prize winners. Yet all of books’ covers featured an acacia tree, an orange sunset over the veld, or both.

"In short," the post said, "the covers of most novels ‘about Africa’ seem to have been designed by someone whose principal idea of the continent comes from The Lion King.”

Read more. [Image: Wikimedia Commons]

12:55pm
  
Filed under: Books Novels Africa Acacia tree 
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