Feb. 3, 2015 | Technicolor turns 100 this year. It was supposed to make films more lifelike. Instead, its over-the-top palette made movies more dreamlike... more »


Feb. 2, 2015 | If in 1150 a few extremists murdered some civilians, the reaction would have been ridicule. Today we are so secure yet feel so threatened... more »


Jan. 31, 2015 | Scholarly journals first appeared in 1665, and from the beginning they didn't pay authors, peer reviewers, or editors. Is the economic model coming undone?... more »


Jan. 30, 2015 | Big Science, Big Data, and now Big History. Is taking the broadest possible view really a panacea, or just another impractical way of relating the past?... more »


Jan. 29, 2015 | Why won't Mount Holyoke College stage a performance of The Vagina Monologues? Because the play excludes women without vaginas. Political correctness is back... more »


Jan. 28, 2015 | Primo Levi was first a scientist, then an artist. He resented the literary world's considering him only a witness... more »


Jan. 27, 2015 | From emasculated, irrelevant kitsch to YouTube sensation: The ukulele has its long-overdue moment. Chunk-a-chunk!... more »


Jan. 26, 2015 | How a Swiss sociologist gave rise to the café mortel, where the talk is of good deaths and bad deaths, near deaths and grief... more »


Jan. 24, 2015 | A poem can amuse, disconcert, enlighten, or reassure in moments of crisis. But can a poem be medicine?... more »


Jan. 23, 2015 | We know a lot about the brain, but the mystery of consciousness remains elusive. Is this the boundary of what science can explain?... more »


Jan. 22, 2015 | 120 Days, once hidden in a wall of the Bastille, is one of the most valuable manuscripts on earth. And its author, the Marquis de Sade, has become a hero in the country that once scorned him... more »


Jan. 21, 2015 | Michel Houellebecq is not a polemicist but a satirist. And his target is not Islam but spineless French intellectuals... more »


Jan. 20, 2015 | Do we any longer need a single, definitive authority on American English? The answer lies somewhere between Noah Webster and the Internet... more »


Jan. 19, 2015 | 'The most dangerous man in America.' Could it be an unstylish, self-deprecating, confrontation-averse law professor?... more »


Jan. 17, 2015 | The cliché hitman. Orin Hargraves stalks the inane, shopworn expressions that litter the English language... more »


Jan. 16, 2015 | Lionized in his own time, Beethoven was nonetheless in a perpetual rage. Thus his fondness for exclamation points... more »


Jan. 15, 2015 | Physics hinges on the idea that the human mind can encompass the universe. What if that's wishful thinking?... more »


Jan. 14, 2015 | Anxiety of influence. While most Impressionists disavowed the old masters, Cézanne studied their works with painful precision... more »


Jan. 13, 2015 | Like a Victorian social reformer, Alain de Botton wants to lead the masses away from shallow consumerism. And he wants to make a buck... more »


Jan. 12, 2015 | Terry Eagleton used to be "an earnest, high-minded, grim-lipped intellectual." Then feminism redirected his gaze to low-minded virtues... more »


Jan. 10, 2015 | Time to close the book on Ralph Waldo Emerson. Neither practical nor wise, and hardly original or consistent, he was, at best, an aphorist... more »


Jan. 9, 2015 | Love triangles, tales of incest?Nabokov's works call out for cinematic adaptation. There is, of course, an exception: Pale Fire... more »


Jan. 8, 2015 | The strange case of Rosemary Tonks. A successful poet and novelist, she smashed her possessions, burned her unfinished manuscript, and started anew... more »


Jan. 7, 2015 | Clichés in context. At best they help us understand our commonality; at worst they replace our thoughts entirely... more »


Jan. 6, 2015 | Greece without Greek? Japan with no Japanese? Of the world's 6,000 languages, by 2115 only 600 will survive. John McWhorter explains... more »


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