Arts

7:38am

Sun March 16, 2014
Book Reviews

The Lively Linguistical Exuberance Of 'Being Blue'

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 11:06 am

LANGUAGE ADVISORY: This review contains language some readers may find offensive.

First published in 1976 and now reissued by NYRB Classics, On Being Blue: A Philosophical Inquiry is an exploration of color and language, a celebration of the written and the spoken. In the hands of a novelist like William H. Gass, blue becomes everything there is to know about the world. "Blue pencils, blue noses, blue movies, laws, blue legs and stockings, the language of birds, bees, and flowers as sung by longshoremen." For starters, yes.

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5:14am

Sun March 16, 2014
You Must Read This

A Circle Of Spies Hit The Road, Filling A 'Dossier' Of Mystery

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 9:43 am

iStockphoto

A few years ago, I spent the winter in Germany, teaching at Leipzig University. I'd never taught before, and it was exciting, particularly because one of the classes I'd come up with was a survey course on spy novels. The class filled up quickly — those resourceful Leipzig students recognized an easy A when they saw it — and I was eager to share the best of an often-maligned genre with them. We looked at W. Somerset Maugham's Ashenden stories, Eric Ambler, Graham Greene, John le Carre, Len Deighton, and Alan Furst.

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7:45am

Sat March 15, 2014
Author Interviews

Why'd The Scientist Cross The Road? To Figure Out Why You're Laughing

Originally published on Sat March 15, 2014 6:03 pm

iStockphoto

Here's a joke: A man is sitting on the porch with his wife one night when, out of the blue he says, "I love you." His wife says, "Was that you? Or was that the beer talking?" The man says, "That was me — talking to the beer."

Maybe you laughed at that and maybe you didn't, but either way, cognitive neuroscientist Scott Weems wants to know whether you found it funny. In his new book HA! Weems explores the science "of when we laugh and why."

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7:03am

Sat March 15, 2014
Book Reviews

A Delicate Arson: 'The Blazing World' Consumes Its Readers

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 11:06 am

Every now and again I come across a book that makes me wish to do violence to my learning, to tear away words like tour de force and magnificent in order to excavate something more true, more raw, more appropriate to the experience of reading it. Siri Hustvedt's The Blazing World is such a book. Like fire, it feeds as it consumes: It gives off the warmth and light by which to read, understand, marvel at it — but in order to do so it absorbs the reader's gaze, knowledge and attention and combusts them, transforms them into the brightness by which it is read.

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5:00am

Sat March 15, 2014
Pop Culture

'Baby Jane' Holzer's Flight From High Society To Warhol Superstar

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 12:21 pm

Socialite and actress Baby Jane Holzer, seen here in 1966, was one of artist Andy Warhol's first superstars.
Harry Benson Getty Images

In the mid-1960s, society was changing; shaking off old ideas and trying on new ones for size. There were changes on the political front, like the civil rights movement and the looming war in Vietnam, as well as on the cultural front, with new celebrities popping up on TV every night.

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5:00am

Sat March 15, 2014
Author Interviews

A Tragic Disappearance (Mostly) Solved In 'Savage Harvest'

Originally published on Sat March 15, 2014 11:32 am

Courtesy of HarperCollins

The disappearance of Michael Rockefeller in November of 1961 was an international incident; Rockeller, just 23, was the scion of one of the world's richest families. He had gone to New Guinea to collect native art for his father's newly founded Museum of Primitive Art in New York — and then, he had vanished.

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5:35pm

Fri March 14, 2014
This Week's Must Read

Malaysia Flight 370 And The World's Attention

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 6:33 pm

A Vietnamese Air Force plane returns from a search operation over Vietnam's southern sea.
HOANG DINH NAM AFP/Getty Images

It's been a week since the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight 370, a week filled with misinformation, wild theorizing and the anxiety of the passengers' families. The story, and especially its lack of information, has the world watching and wondering.

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4:51pm

Fri March 14, 2014
Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!

Not My Job: Wing-Suit Explorer Joby Ogwyn Gets Quizzed On Wings (The Band)

Originally published on Sat March 15, 2014 12:55 pm

Joby Ogwyn jumps over the peaks of the Matterhorn in Switzerland in 2009.
Discovery Channel

In May, the Discovery Channel will be broadcasting live as Joby Ogwyn climbs to the summit of Mount Everest, and then jumps off it, descending 10,000 feet in a wing suit.

As this is clearly the last chance we have to talk to him while he's still alive, we've invited him to play a game called "Band on the Run." Three questions about Wings, Paul McCartney's lesser-known band.

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4:31pm

Fri March 14, 2014
The Salt

Companies Tap Celebrity Power For Extreme Vegetable Makeover

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 11:31 pm

Marketing to kids may have gotten a bad rap in the past. Especially since children have been the target of so much junk food advertising.

But it's a new day.

Increasingly, companies are seeing profits pushing ultra-healthy stuff. And they're not using a finger-wagging, guilt-ridden, eat-your-veggies-because-they're-good-for-you messaging.

Birds Eye is taking a page from the playbook of other companies that have had success leveraging the power of teen pop stars: The frozen food giant is turning to Disney.

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4:06pm

Fri March 14, 2014
Remembrances

A Fond Farewell For The Voice That Welcomed Viewers To Theaters

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 6:33 pm

Voiceover artist Hal Douglas died recently at age 89. Filmmaker Casimir Nozkowski discusses the life and work of the prolific speaker, who narrated thousands of movie trailers in a gravelly baritone.

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