Is Meditation Overrated?


A review of the published clinical trials indicates that, with a few limited (though important) exceptions, there’s very little scientific evidence so far for the health benefits that meditation is said to provide.

Assi Dayan, 68, Giant Of Israel’s Film Industry

Assi Dayan

“The son of the late defense minister and general, Moshe Dayan, Assi starred in dozens of movies, directed a handful of classic films, and was the lead, playing a psychologist, in one of the most successful Israeli television series of all time, BeTipul, which was adapted by HBO into the American show In Treatment.”

In This Whitney Biennial Piece, The Donation Box Is The Art

Darren Bader Whitney Biennial

“I don’t know how much I’ve amassed. There’s certainly a nice quantity of things other than legal tender — some I’ve been able to identify: bumper stickers, a credit card, museum literature, invite flyers. (There’s one $1 bill that has “Fuck You Daren Bader” written on it — awwwww.)”

Yet Another Trailblazing Gay Bookstore To Close


“The Internet, however, has been relentless in its gradual destruction of the store and cultural landmark. So, come mid-May, Giovanni’s Room – one of the nation’s few such bookstores – will close, ending its run as an oasis for gays in search of literature, and even shelter during more hostile years gone by.”

Why MOOCs Are A Major Advance In Learning


“First, because modern information technology allows for unprecedented interactivity and inter-personal connection, the formation of communities of learners on a global scale. Second, because the ability of computers to process information means that we can, for the first time, replicate and improve upon fundamental processes of learning.”

Why I Miss Arts Critics


“The dull-and-earnest J-skool instructors will tell you that reviews, like other news stories, are the first draft of history and our community’s public record. They’ll add that public money always requires public scrutiny. Sure. But that’s not why readers read. We do it to be amused, to think, and to understand the world.”

Now You Can Conduct Your Own Virtual Orchestra


“The Mendelssohn Effektorium, by design studio WhiteVOID, is an interactive installation that allows you to have complete control over a virtual symphony. In this world you’re Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, and your instruments come in the form of 13 upright speakers with digital displays on them.”

Analyzing Blockbuster Movies – Here Are The Data


“Chases showed up in 36 percent of the films in our data set and in half of the films released since 2005. Maybe a car explodes, as one does in 20 percent of the films in our set. Indeed, explosions in general are critical — since 2010, 77 percent of blockbusters featured at least one explosion.”

Why Haven’t Comic Books Evolved?


“Right now, most digital comics are just print comics scanned. You’re writing for an old medium. The screen is widescreen. Why are we not writing and doing art for those as the delivery system, rather than as just a secondary way to look at [comics]?”

Are Conductors Really Necessary?


“Is a conductor no more than a combination of timekeeper and showman, emoting like mad for the crowds? Or does he (or she) truly reveal something extra in the music, some extra ounce of expressive intensity or layer of meaning that the players might not discover for themselves?” Ivan Hewitt’s answer to these two questions is – yes.

Sonic Boom: The Difference Between Sound (Good) And Noise (Bad) And How Digital Tech Is Changing The Balance

noise and sound

Megan Garber looks at the nature of sound, how acousticians are changing the way cities regulate noise, how engineers can alter sound levels in everything from earbuds to buildings, and how appliance manufacturers calibrate the noises their products make so that the sounds become marketing tools. (includes audio deconstruction of a vacuum cleaner)

Twitter Is Not Dying – It’s About To Get Even Bigger

Twitter is getting bigger

“Wall Street – along with everyone else who’s down on Twitter because it has ‘a growth problem’ – is making a mistake by comparing it to Facebook. Twitter is not a social network. Not primarily, anyway. It’s better described as a social media platform, with the emphasis on ‘media platform’.”

The Best Art Deco Designer Whom Almost No One Remembers

Hildreth Meière 3

Hildreth Meière’s murals, medallions, mosaics, and stained glass windows earned her success and admiration during her lifetime, and many of them can still be seen today – from Radio City Music Hall and a Manhattan synagogue to the Cathedral in St. Louis and the Nebraska State Capitol.

Al Feldstein, 81, ‘The Soul Of Mad Magazine’

al feldstein

“He had been a writer and illustrator of comic books when he became editor of Mad four years into its life and just a year after it had graduated from comic-book form to a full-fledged magazine. … Feldstein gave Mad its identity as a smart-alecky, sniggering and indisputably clever spitball-shooter of a publication.”

The Furshlugginer Greatness Of Al Feldstein’s Mad Magazine


“In fact, the Jewishness of Mads humor cannot be overstated: It was, for many people outside New York, the first place they ever heard words like knish and shnook. … We would not have had Spy magazine without Mad, nor The Daily Show, nor Colbert, nor, nor Gawker.”

Copyrighting Marx: Challenging The Ownership Of Ideas


To some, it was “uncomradely” that fellow radicals would deploy the capitalist tool of intellectual property law to keep Marx’s and Engels’s writings off the Internet. And it wasn’t lost on the archive’s supporters that the deadline for complying with the order came on the eve of May 1, International Workers’ Day.

Paper – Still The Essential Reading Device?


“Maybe it’s time to start thinking of paper and screens another way: not as an old technology and its inevitable replacement, but as different and complementary interfaces, each stimulating particular modes of thinking.”