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Use Your Anger To Smash Creative Blocks

Hall of Fame basketball player Michael Jordan is famous for his world-class talent, but what set him apart from his peers was that MJ knew how to get …

Creativity

Toward a New Understanding of Modesty

For the past several months, a group of Christian writers have been debating the value and meaning of dressing modestly—a conversation that is relevant even to people who aren't part of religious communities.<p>Actress, designer, and former White Power Ranger Jessica Rey has a mission: to get as many …

You don’t hate me. You hate my brand.

The Promise—and the Danger—of Comparing Comic Books to Poetry

Comic artists and poets make similar aesthetic choices when putting their work to page. But writing off lowbrow superhero stories in favor of higher art may hurt the genre.<p>Steve Snodgrass/Flickr<p>"Bang! Pow! Comics aren't just for kids anymore!"<p>Mainstream headlines along those lines have become a …

Plastic Surgery May Not Actually Make You Prettier

The average increase in a person’s rated attractiveness after facial cosmetic surgery was 0.08 on a scale of 1 to 10.<p>If you were to be rated, for science, on a scientific scale of attractiveness from 1 to 10, what would you be? And then, how much would you be willing to pay to move up the scale? …

How to Cure a Bubble Boy

Thanks to gene therapy, a boy born without an immune system can now play in the yard.<p>I met two-year-old Jameson Golliday on a patch of lawn in Bloomington, Illinios. He had blue eyes, dark hair, and wore a striped shirt, shorts, and Crocs. He followed his mother, Jennifer, 31, as she pushed a …

The Graham Family's Sale of The Washington Post, in 1 Image

Another newspaper family has reluctantly sold its legacy.<p>For much of the tail end of the 20th century, America's major metro newspapers were owned by a group of families who often saw the stewardship not only as a means to power, but also as an exercise of civic obligation. Family ownership of the …

How Open-Access Scholarship Improves the Internet

Good for scholars, better for anyone who uses Wikipedia<p><i>Updated August 6, 2013.</i><p>After a college professor writes an academic journal article, it usually has a long but vivid transit to publication. The professor sends it to a journal, where it endures rounds of reviews and edits by other academics. …

Who Do You Trust? The Doctor, Humanism and the Need for Faith

After last week's episode of <i>Doctor Who</i> where technology was dangerous and the product of an unknowable great evil, this week's installment turned its …

A Journey to Make Video Games Into Art

The critic Roger Ebert once drew a crucial distinction between video games and art: he said that the ultimate objective of a video game—unlike that of a book, film, or poem—is to achieve a high score, vaporize falling blocks, or save the princess. Art, he argued, cannot be won.<p>But Journey, which …

My favourite first line – by writers on the 2013 Man Booker prize longlist

Atlantic magazine asked some of America's greatest writers last week for their favourite first lines from literature. We decided to ask the same of this year's Man Booker prize longlist … with some surprising results<p>First lines for novelists are a bit like penalty kicks for goalies, a …

The Google County Times: The Future of Local News?

Like a newspaper, but on your face<p>Google has hatched a plan to boost the visibility of its existing local news product, and in the process is testing a whole new way to get people to pay attention to the news that is geographically most relevant to them.<p>Google is testing a local news "card" in its …

The High Likelihood That Future NSA Abuses Will Occur

The latest defenses of the agency put an irrational amount of faith in its analysts and supervisors.<p>Reuters<p><i>The Guardian's</i> latest scoop concerns the ability of National Security Agency analysts to search vast databases of emails, online chats, and web browsing histories, among other online …

Edward Snowden's not the story. The fate of the internet is

Repeat after me: Edward Snowden is not the story. The story is what he has revealed about the hidden wiring of our networked world. This insight …

Really Listening to Atheists: Taking Nonbelief Seriously

When Larry Alex Taunton talked to young atheists about why they left Christianity, he interpreted their objections as matters of style, not substance. That's not accurate or fair.<p>As an atheist, I have frequently had religious acquaintances and even family members misunderstand the basis for my lack …

The iPad Is Your New Bicycle

Guess what? Not everyone wants an iPad.<p>Alexis C. Madrigal<p>Yesterday's Apple earnings report revealed a significant drop-off in iPad sales, from 17 million in the same quarter last year to 14.6 million this spring. Is the high price keeping consumers away?<p>Sure, cost can explain everything, in a …

Why Do People Like Superheroes? Don't Ask a Psychologist

Our Superheroes, Ourselves botches its analysis, but its brain-expert authors unintentionally shed light on the allure of seeing superior beings bring order to the world.<p>WB<p><i>Comics Journal</i> writer Tom Crippen titled an essay about Superman "The Big Dumb Dream." It's funny because it's true: Superman, …

The Thing to Understand About the Word 'Cyber'

Cyber is now less a term of art than a term of war.<p>Cyber has come a long way since Norbert Wiener named the emergent field of systems, loops, and feedback, "cybernetics," as Ben Zimmer charts in today's <i>Wall Street Journal</i>.<p>In a world in which computing is nearly ubiquitous, cyber now mostly …

What Do Chinese Students Think of American History?

When a Fulbright scholar arrived in China to teach U.S. history, she encountered students who interpreted the subject in surprising ways.<p>White male privilege, genocide against Native Americans, slavery and subsequent racial oppression, exploitation of immigrants and laborers, repression of women …

Who was right about education: Bill Gates or Steve Jobs?

<i>This originally appeared on LinkedIn. You can follow Vivek Wadhwa here</i><p>When students asked me what subjects they should major in to become a tech entrepreneur, I would say engineering, mathematics, and science. I used to believe that education in these fields was a prerequisite for innovation, and …

Bill Gates

Why the miniseries is the future of television

There are a lot of great television shows right now, and viewers are starting to be overwhelmed by all of their options, says Michael Lynton, CEO of Sony Corporation of America and Sony Entertainment.<p>“There is a point, in my opinion, where people—and it’s already happening—where people are saying …

TV

Stop Penalizing Boys for Not Being Able to Sit Still at School

Instead, help them channel their energy into productive tasks.<p>This year's end-of-year paper purge in my middle school office revealed a startling pattern in my teaching practices: I discipline boys far more often than I discipline girls. Flipping through the pink and yellow slips--my school's …

A Wondrously Simple, Tactile Comic Book For The Blind

Philipp Meyer re-envisions the comic book in a Braille-like format. His simple story uses basic shapes but packs an emotional punch.<p>Comics, by nature, depend on visual storytelling. Philipp Meyer, an interaction design student at Potsdam’s University of Applied Sciences, wanted to introduce an …

Comic Books

The Future of Design Is More Than Making Apple iOS Flat

Apple’s attack on skeuomorphism – the design ornamentation that has been likened to a “nasty intestinal disease you might get in the tropics” (and …

The Design Battle Behind Apple’s iOS 7

Author: Cliff Kuang. Cliff Kuang Design<p>Date of Publication: 06.10.13.<p>Time of Publication: 7:03 pm. 7:03 pm<p>The new iOS 7 is radically simplified, …

What Makes Fiction Good? It's Mostly the Voice

I don't care about Slaughterhouse-Five's characters, but I love how the narrator sounds.<p>Delacorte<p>I finished <i>Slaughterhouse-Five</i> last week. It is probably the the funniest book I've ever read. Here's a sample. Billy Pilgrim, Lazzaro, and Edgar Derby are prisoners in a German war camp. Lazzaro is …

Notes From the First Year: Some Thoughts on Teaching at MIT

Teaching science and engineering kids, and why toughness might be the most important quality in a writer<p>A commenter asks:<p>If this isn't too off topic, what do you find motivates most of your students at MIT? Do they really love the subject, or do they see it as a pathway to bigger things, or are …