Afternoon Links

Idea: Don’t do a live-action version. It will be garbage, like all the others have been.

Today in things that shouldn’t have to be explained, but apparently do because Americans have lost their minds

It’s been sad to watch Tucker Carlson’s descent to idiot carnival barker troll. He’s smarter than this, but Trumpism corrupts.

Lol

Game of Thrones: A Game For Our Time

Great job, everyone!

More high school teachers are handing out A’s. But the bad news is that students aren’t necessarily learning more. Recent findings show that the proportion of high school seniors graduating with an A average — that includes an A-minus or A-plus — has grown sharply over the past generation, even as average SAT scores have fallen. In 1998, it was 38.9%. By last year, it had grown to 47%.

That’s right: Nearly half of America’s Class of 2016 are A students. Meanwhile, their average SAT score fell from 1,026 to 1,002 on a 1,600-point scale — suggesting that those A’s on report cards might be fool’s gold.

When did people lose the ability to sit still and silent and focus on one thing for a couple hours? How hard is that? Are we all infants now?

“But we don’t live on an alternate earth, one in which almost any other 2016 Republican candidate for president was elected. We live on this earth, and on Monday, the day that the health-care bill died, the new president was literally playing around in a firetruck on the White House lawn.”

Is film serious art?

Spanish police recover three stolen Francis Bacon paintings

How Pixar lost its way

The return of Italy’s pipe organs

The bizarre world of the Guardian newspaper

Why do we love Jane Austen? Because of her timeless morality.

A history of Mary’s visit to Elizabeth in art

How religion shaped London and its architecture

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Music Monday

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Weekend Art Break

“A seashore”
Paul Gauguin (1887)

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Afternoon Art Break

“Egyptian Water Carrier”
Jean-Leon Gerome (1882)

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Video of the Day

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Afternoon Art Break

“Painting”
Francis Bacon (1946)

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Sorry about the small size, but MoMA is a dick about letting you save images of their collection to show people. So you’ll have to go here if you want to see it bigger so you can see details.

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Your Morning Cup of Links

The president of the United States really just isn’t a very good person. There is no definition of good character that he can meet. You certainly can’t say he’s a man of good character when it comes to sexual behavior. His adulterous past is well-documented. You can’t say he models decency in the way he talks. He’s not honest (you can look it up). He brags about whining his way to winning. He boasts of double-crossing business partners. If you want to say he’s charitable, you should read up on how he used his “charities” as leverage or for publicity stunts. I think we can all agree he’s not humble or self-sacrificing. When asked what sacrifices he’s made, in the context of his spat with the Khan family, he couldn’t name anything save for the fact that he worked very hard to get rich and that he employs people (presumably because it profits him to do so). I don’t know how anyone could absolve him of the charge of vanity or greed. He’s certainly not pious by any conventional definition. Some argue that he’s loyal, and there’s some evidence of that. But the loyalty he shows is instrumental and self-serving.”

First gene therapy – ‘a true living drug’ – on the cusp of FDA approval

Hollywood has a bad movie problem

A pointless argument. They’re both great for different reasons.

“We have our political, economic, and religious disagreements with our friends and allies, but everywhere in the world where people fight against tyranny, we hear an echo of 1776. Everywhere in the world where people risk everything they have to tell the king, führer, caudillo, secretary general of the central committee, dear leader, ayatollah, or president for life to kiss their asses, we see something of ourselves. When things get bad enough, we join in, and have spent untold blood and treasure in the pursuit of other people’s liberty…It is in our nature…It emphatically is not the case, flatulent rhetoric notwithstanding, that the desire for freedom has been planted in every human heart. But where it has been planted, Americans know a kinship beyond blood. When Ronald Reagan demanded of Mikhail Gorbachev ‘Tear down this wall!’ no one asked, ‘What’s in it for us?’ We already knew. We still know.”

Why are whales so big? Scientists may finally have an answer.

Philip Roth on his love of American names

Trump caves to Putin

Queen Victoria’s food

What do dental records tell us about the advantages and disadvantages of living in cities?

Why rare books are thriving in the digital age

The beauty and power of Cape Cod

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