Popular Posts

Brooklyn Author Recreates Borges’ Library of Babel as Infinite Website

“When it was proclaimed that the Library contained all books, the first impression was one of extravagant happiness,” wrote Jorge Luis Borges in his classic of philosophical fiction, “The Library of Babel.” One of the most revered stories-as-thought-experiments ever committed to print, Borges’ fiction posits the Universe as a library (“composed of an indefinite and perhaps infinite number of hexagonal galleries”) that contains every possible text. This intellectual vision, at once playful and poised, has stirred authors (like Umberto Eco and Terry Pratchett) and philosophers (W.V.O. Quine and Daniel Dennett) alike for more than 75 years.

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20 One-Season Shows for Background Binge-Viewing on Netflix

While there’s nothing quite like getting so wrapped up in binge-watching a great television series that you can’t tear your eyes away from the screen or your body away from the couch, there’s also something to be said for the shows that only demand about half of your attention. Background television is almost, if not equally, important as the TV that we actually pay attention to. Tidying up your apartment, browsing the Internet, folding laundry, whatever — these tasks are all made infinitely better with some mediocre TV show playing in the background. Picking which show, however, is a task in itself. So to help you out, here are 20 one-season series (good and bad) on Netflix that you can kind of, sort of pay attention to. … Read More

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“Woman” Is Not a Genre: Why the New, Female-Led Rock Revolution Is for Everybody

Every few years, music fans are asked to mourn rock ‘n’ roll’s death. Apparently the genre is in worse condition than Keith Richards himself. The eulogies often bemoan the so-called lack of great rock bands these days — a scenario Forbes described two years ago as amounting to there being “no Led Zeppelin for the current generation of music fans.” But from where I stand, rock ‘n’ roll is alive and well. It just doesn’t look or act like it used to. From Courtney Barnett to Speedy Ortiz’s Sadie Dupuis to Waxahatchee’s Katie Crutchfield to Torres’ Mackenzie Scott to Alabama Shakes’ Brittany Howard, young singer-songwriters who lead their own rock bands have released, or will soon release, some of the year’s best albums. They all also happen to be… Read More

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‘American Reflexxx': Performance Art Video Uncovers Shocking, Violent Dehumanization

A disturbing video has begun to make the rounds on Facebook. Titled “American Reflexxx,” it’s the work of performance artists Signe Pierce and Alli Coates, and it involves the former walking through a city while the latter films her. The result is 14 minutes of deeply unsettling footage. … Read More

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50 Excellent International Pop Songs From the 1960s

The documentary Don’t Think I’ve Forgotten: Cambodia’s Lost Rock ‘n’ Roll debuted in theaters Wednesday, exploring the country’s rich music tradition that emerged concurrently with a period of strife. Influenced by Western and European rock and pop during the 1960s, Cambodian musicians combined traditional sounds with modern beats. “But as Cambodian society — young creative musicians in particular — embraced Western culture and flourished under its influence, the rest of the country was rapidly moving to war,” explain the documentarians. “The film is a celebration of the incredible music that came from Cambodia and explores how important it is to Cambodian society both past and present.” Inspired by the unique sounds of Cambodia, we took a trip through the international pop scene of the ‘60s in all its forms — from the American rock-inspired bands that imitated the Beatles to the yé-yé girls of… Read More

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‘Inside Amy Schumer’ Season 3 Premiere: The Sketch You Need to See

Every episode of Inside Amy Schumer deserves to be talked about, but there’s always one segment that rises above the rest and necessitates a little extra conversation. In lieu of recapping full episodes, we’re here to help you with water-cooler conversation by letting you know which sketch was an absolute must-watch. … Read More

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25 Novels That Will Turn You Into an Environmentalist

Earth Day is upon us, and you know what that means: time to pick up the trash in your neighborhood, or hug a tree, or at least think a little bit about your carbon footprint. Not exactly your cup of tea? Then how about reading one of these novels (er, and two short story collections and one children’s book), each guaranteed to turn you into some kind of environmentalist, whether by scare tactics (post-apocalyptic climate nightmare!) or straight wooing (look at all these pretty plants and things!). And, we promise, none of these is as boring as Walden. Celebrate Earth Day from the comfort of your couch this year, and next year… well, who knows? … Read More

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The 50 Best American Poetry Books of the Decade so Far

No poem in the preceding decade captured the spirit of the times more than Frederick Seidel’s “December.” The product of a Faustian pact, it fixed itself in a fiendish dialectic, a self-canceling logic that likewise trapped the reader like a dying fly — in the politics of the War on Terror, in the axiomatic hell of the Bush presidency. At the beginning of the new decade, we began to see the fuller, clearer expression of an anger stemming from the early 2000s, specifically from the fallout of Hurricane Katrina. Works like Nikky Finney’s Head Off & Split and Thomas Sayers Ellis’ Skin Inc.: Identity Repair Poems, in different ways, began to reshape the possibilities of American poetry. Now, halfway through the 2010s, we find ourself in a much more variegated American scene. And that change is both welcome and necessary. Below, you’ll find an admittedly idiosyncratic cross section of American poetry from 2010 to today, one that should open an aperture onto the prospects of a cautiously flourishing… Read More

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The 50 Most Heart-Wrenching Movies of All Time

It’s fall, and there’s something in my eye. Or it’s allergy season. Or I’m newly sensitive to hyper-emotional filmmaking. Or maybe it isn’t just me; every year, when prestige movie season begins, we find ourselves sniffling and dabbing through moving, heartstring-tugging pictures, though this year seems to already have a surplus of big-time weepies. In the spirit of those pictures, here’s a rundown of the 50 most cry-worthy flicks in movie history — not just the saddest, mind you, but those most likely to move us to tears, be it through tragedy, triumph, or the sheer goodness of their… Read More

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12 Famous Authors’ Very First Author Photos

We scoured the web to pull together a few surprising, intense, and charmingly youthful author photos from some of our very favorite authors’ first works, from Truman Capote to Stephen… Read More

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