In Search Of The Real John Updike


“He forgot to kiss the bride at his first wedding. He rarely drank and avoided drugs. He was plagued by his deep love for an overbearing mother. He was a poor family man. Even the arc of his career was marked by a strange blandness.”

Goodbye “Toy Story.” “Frozen” Is Now The Highest-Grossing Animated Film In History


“The Disney film, which won the 2014 Oscar for best animated feature, has now earned $1.072-billion internationally, beating Toy Story 3‘s record-holding $1.063-billion and making it the highest-grossing animated feature in history. The film is also now the tenth highest grossing film in box-office history.”

Famed Nobel Scientist Freeman Dyson: We Have More Information, Not More Understanding


“I’ve now been active for something like 70 years, and still I use the same mathematics. I think the main thing that’s changed as a result of computers is the magnitude of databases. We now have these huge amounts of data and very little understanding. So what we have now — I forget who it was who said this — are small islands of understanding in a sea of information. The problem is to enlarge the islands of understanding.”

Stephen Colbert Sees Off #CancelColbert As Only He Can

Stephen Colbert sees off

“The #CancelColbert push didn’t pick up steam until last Thursday, after Stephen Colbert had taped his final show of the week. That means we had to wait for what seemed like forever for the comedian to respond. It was, of course, worth the wait.” (includes video)

How Stand-Up Comedy Was Born

Photo by Kevin Renes/Thinkstock Images, photo illustration by Na

“Charles Dickens thought Americans weren’t very funny. ‘They certainly are not a humorous people,’ he wrote in 1868, ‘and their temperament always impressed me as being of a dull and gloomy character.'” That was before burlesque and vaudeville …

San Diego Opera Staves Off Its Own Execution (At Least For A While)


“Rather than close shop and begin selling assets on April 14, the day after its fourth and final production of “Don Quixote” closes at the Civic Theatre, the opera is giving itself two additional weeks to re-evaluate its financial condition, consider additional options and possibly find a way to go forward for at least another season.”

NEA: New Numbers On How Many Artists In America


“The federal agency reports that, in 2013, 2.1 million workers had, as their primary occupation, a job that fell into the “artist” category (including musician, writer, and designer). Another 271,000 or so reported their second job—the one where they put in fewer hours than their main job—fit that description.”

Why Are the Soldiers in Returning-Soldier Stories Never Women?

women soldiers

“They’ve deployed alongside men as soldiers in three wars, and since the 1990s, a significant number of them are training, fighting and returning from combat. But stories about female veterans are nearly absent from our culture. It’s not that their stories are poorly told. It’s that their stories are simply not told in our literature, film and popular culture.”