In “The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows,” Artist John Koenig Names Feelings that Leave Us Speechless

≡ Category: Creativity, English Language, Life |2 Comments

It may be a misconception, it may be a cliché: I’m not a German speaker—but reading translator’s introductions to, say, Kant, Hegel or Goethe has convinced me that their language does a much better job than English at capturing those oddly specific twilight moods and compound feelings that so often escape definition.

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Revealed: The Visual Effects Behind The Great Gatsby

≡ Category: Film |Leave a Comment

Several days ago, Chris Godfrey, the VFX supervisor on the latest film adaptation of The Great Gatsby, posted a remarkable “before and after” film on Vimeo.  Running four minutes, the short compilation reveals the many sets and scenes created with computer generated images.

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A Short, Animated Look at What’s Inside Your Average Cup of Coffee

≡ Category: Animation, Food & Drink |2 Comments

What’s inside your average cupe of joe? Wired breaks it down for us. Let’s start with the obvious, water and caffeine.

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The Do’s and Don’ts of Improv Comedy with Liam Neeson, Ricky Gervais, Tina Fey, and Del Close

≡ Category: Comedy, Film, Television |2 Comments

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Attention, all struggling comedians! There’s big money in teaching corporate executives the rules of improvisation.

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Noam Chomsky Slams Žižek and Lacan: Empty ‘Posturing’

≡ Category: Philosophy |100 Comments

Noam Chomsky’s well-known political views have tended to overshadow his groundbreaking work as a linguist and analytic philosopher. As a result, people sometimes assume that because Chomsky is a leftist, he would find common intellectual ground with the postmodernist philosophers of the European Left.
Big mistake.

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Two Drawings by Jorge Luis Borges Illustrate the Author’s Obsessions

≡ Category: Literature |Leave a Comment

Jorge Luis Borges had many fascinations—detective novels, gauchos, libraries, and labyrinths. Two prominent figures that occupied his mind, the tango and mythical monsters, appear in drawings Borges made in his manuscripts. Of the tango, Borges did much to spread the idea that the sensual Argentine dance originated in brothels.

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Jean-Luc Godard’s Debut, Opération béton (1955) — a Construction Documentary

≡ Category: Film |Leave a Comment

“A 2500 m. d’altitude, dans le Val des Dix, un millier d’homme dresse un mur de béton aussi haut que la Tour Eiffel: le barrage de la ‘GRANDE-DIXENCE’.” So begins Jean-Luc Godard’s very first film, Opération béton.

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Gertrude Stein Gets a Snarky Rejection Letter from Publisher (1912)

≡ Category: Letters, Literature |12 Comments

Gertrude Stein considered herself an experimental writer and wrote what The Poetry Foundation calls “dense poems and fictions, often devoid of plot or dialogue,” with the result being that “commercial publishers slighted her experimental writings and critics dismissed them as incomprehensible.

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The Beatles Perform in a Spoof of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, 1964

≡ Category: Comedy, Television |1 Comment

In late April of 1964, England was celebrating the 400th birthday of William Shakespeare. At the same time, “Beatlemania” was in full swing. And for a brief moment, two of Britain’s cultural treasures intersected when the Beatles performed in a playful send-up of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

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Wes Anderson’s First Short Film: The Black-and-White, Jazz-Scored Bottle Rocket (1992)

≡ Category: Film |1 Comment

“The only Wes Anderson movie I like is Bottle Rocket,” declares the character Beatnik Vampire in Dorothy Gambrell’s comic strip Cat and Girl.

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