Ira Glass Explains How He Works

ira glass

Q: “What’s your best time-saving shortcut/life hack?” A: “I’ve got nothing. Reading other people’s answers to this question on your website today made me realize I live my life like an ape.” However, Ira does offer (after the product plugs this site seems to require) an excellent description of how he organizes a bunch of interview material into a structure.

Artists, Officials, Celebrities Unite To Ask Venice To Ban Cruise Mega-Ships

venice cruise ships

“More than 50 leading figures from the worlds of art, film, fashion and architecture have signed a petition calling for a ban on giant cruise ships sailing through Venice. Cate Blanchett, Julie Christie, Michael Caine and Rob Lowe are among the signatories urging the Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and the Italian Minister of Culture and Tourism, Dario Franceschini, to ‘halt the passage of the big ships across the Bacino San Marino and along the Giudecca canal’.”

Short Attention Spans? Why, That’s Just A Sign Of How Smart We’re Getting


“The world is faster, faster, faster these days. That’s the current reality, and it’s not going anywhere. Leaving a page that isn’t loading isn’t a character fault; it’s smart. You can get the information you were after elsewhere, and you can get it faster. If we really valued what we were made to wait for, well, we would wait.”

Why Do Our Brains Leap To Stereotypes?


“In essence, they write, our minds are hard-wired to categorize information and create mental shortcuts (attribute A is associated with behavior B). This helps us retain knowledge using minimal mental effort, and provides a needed sense of structure to an otherwise chaotic universe. In doing so, however, nuances and complications tend to be discarded.”

Six Arrested In $1M StubHub International Hacking Case

US banknotes A

“Six individuals in Russia and the United States have been charged with taking part in a broad international hacking scheme that attacked over 1,600 StubHub users’ accounts and fraudulently purchased more than $1 million in tickets.”

Does This Make Me Sound Insecure? The Linguistic Tics That Reveal Self-Doubt


“Like a scarlet sock in the load of white wash, insecurity has the irksome power to stain our speech and writing, interfering with the immaculate poise we’d like to project. Yet if you know what linguistic tics to look for, you can recognize self-doubt (and perhaps bleach the fuchsia from your pants before anyone notices).”

Self-Improvement, Original Sin, And The West’s Spiritual Crises

original sin

“Most people assume the western church shares the same creation story as Jews, Muslims, and Orthodox Christians.” Not so: the doctrine of original sin is unique to Western Christianity. “The search for salvation from an inherently broken self has defined modernity as much as it did Christendom. The need for redemption has shaped the language of the market, technological innovation, advertising, politics and, most obviously, self-help movements. But what is new is for there to be so little consensus on how to find salvation.”

John Hurt On Acting Beckett’s Krapp

john hurt krapp

“I’ve always felt that Krapp is an autobiographical piece. You do feel, all the time, that it’s Sam saying, ‘There but for the grace of …’ For me it’s a kind of essay in aloneness – and an essay on self-deception, too, which Krapp is well aware of. He is like any addict. One side of him says ‘I shouldn’t do this’ and the other side says ‘But I’m going to – and what’s more you know I’m going to’.”

Top Posts From AJBlogs 07.23.14

If “Creative Director” Title Fits A Museum, Why Not?
AJBlog: Real Clear Arts | Published 2014-07-24

Inventing an America
(How Kyle Gann would teach the history of the symphony in the U.S.)
AJBlog: PostClassic | Published 2014-07-23

Announcing Hothouse: Exploring new ideas in co-working with the Minneapolis Institute of Arts
AJBlog: Speaker | Published 2014-07-23

What nonprofits are for
AJBlog: The Artful Manager | Published 2014-07-23

How Do Writers Make Their Living?
AJBlog: CultureCrash | Published 2014-07-23

Civil Rights Museum
AJBlog: Engaging Matters | Published 2014-07-23


What We Lose Of Books In E-Readers

Kindle on a bookshelf

“Regardless of their printed contents, books tell their own alternative stories, whether this be from smudges on the pages, or edges crinkled from a spilt drink; corners curled or margins dotted with sneaky annotations. Before self-service check-out systems, you could always tell how popular a library book was by how many pages were glued to the inside page, stamped with a list of past loan due dates.”

This Year’s National Medal Of Arts Winners


It’s a “diverse roster of big names in the arts, literature and entertainment – including Linda Ronstadt, dancer-choreographer Bill T. Jones, author Maxine Hong Kingston, Broadway composer John Kander and L.A.-nurtured visual artist James Turrell — will receive the National Medal of Arts from President Obama.”

The Physicists Who Are Redefining The Art Of Animation


There is “an expanding cadre of high-level physicists, engineers and other scientists, including many former NASA employees, who have left careers in aerospace and academia to work in the movie business. Demand for their services has grown as animated movies, once created by hand, push the boundaries of what can be created on a computer screen.”