Curiosities

May 6, 2012

DPRK Footage 0

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Skateboarder Patrik Wallner snuck some video footage of North Korea around the time of the 100th birthday celebrations for its deceased ruler Kim Il-Sung. His footage shines a vivid and personal light on what’s otherwise a very concealed and distant nation.

May 6, 2012

Armageddon: The World’s Dream? 0

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Over at Full Stop, Scott Cheshire mulls the concept of Armageddon, or, as he calls it, “The Other American Dream.” Meanwhile, a French photography team is traveling the world to take pictures of cities “without signs of life.” Perhaps the fascination isn’t so American after all.

May 6, 2012

Step Right Up and Meet The Millions! 0

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Tonight! Come out and meet The Millions! Listen to readings from Emily St. John Mandel, Sonya Chung, Michael Bourne, and Garth Risk Hallberg. Also, you can meet our editors C. Max Magee and Ujala Sehgal. Or, if you’re feeling testy, you can debate me in person about my recent eReader article!

May 6, 2012

Harvard and MIT Go MOOC 1

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Harvard and MIT are partnering for an MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) known as edX. Currently, similar offerings are available from Stanford, Princeton, UPenn, and the University of Michigan. Unfortunately edX and others like it will grade student papers by utilizing “crowd-sourcing” and “natural-language software.” Oh, geeze. Not that again.

May 6, 2012

And the NMA Winners Are… 0

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The good souls at Longform.org have organized all of this year’s National Magazine Award winners.

May 5, 2012

Old Jews Telling Jokes Are Back! 0

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The hysterical website Old Jews Telling Jokes has been revived from its year-long hibernation, and two of its newest gems are worth viewing: “A Stutter” and “Three German Shepherds.” Meanwhile, the show’s Off-Broadway adaptation is scheduled to open May 20th, and its producer has a great write-up about how the show’s evolved.

May 5, 2012

Plotting The Booker: An Infographic 1

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Are you writing a novel about an escaped tiger? (They’re quite popular these days.) Well, if you hope to win the Booker prize, you’d increase your odds by 1,300% if you switched your theme to “death.”

May 5, 2012

Weekend (Very) Short Reading 1

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With the help of the students in Oberlin’s Advanced Fiction Workshop, Dan Chaon whittled the 200-story longlist provided by Wigleaf’s editors into The Top 50 (Very) Short Fictions. Enjoy your reading, everybody.

May 5, 2012

$5,000 Is Less Than Most Freelancers 0

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Bret Easton Ellis and Paul Schrader are using Kickstarter to raise $100,000 for an indie movie entitled The Canyons. The film “documents five twenty-something’s quest for power, love, sex and success in 2012 Hollywood,” and, if you donate $5,000, Ellis will provide notes on your novel. According to New York, this Ellis-Schrader film is not […]

May 5, 2012

“Which I respect more than bourgeois liberalism” 0

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Much fuss was made about Barack Obama’s ex-girlfriends this week, as an excerpt from David Maraniss’ forthcoming Barack Obama: The Story was published in Vanity Fair. Of course, we sophisticated book readers care less about the man’s old flames than we do his literary pursuits, right? That’s why Mr. President’s analysis of T.S. Eliot’s poem […]