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Kurt Vonnegut was well-known worldwide for his novels, such as Slaughterhouse-Five, Hocus Pocus and others. But he also made a contribution to culture that wasn’t as well known. Maya Eilam made this graphic from Vonnegut’s rejected master’s thesis in anthropology on the shape of stories. “The basic idea of his thesis was that a story’s…

The Shapes of Stories

Kurt Vonnegut was well-known worldwide for his novels, such as Slaughterhouse-Five, Hocus Pocus and others. But he also made a contribution to culture that wasn’t as well known. Maya Eilam made this graphic from Vonnegut’s rejected master’s thesis in anthropology on the shape of stories. “The basic idea of his thesis was that a story’s main character has ups and downs that can be graphed to reveal the story’s shape,” she writes.

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Posted by Joel on March 26 2016 • Books

Elements

I really wish Ludovico Einaudi would tour the United States. I first began to enjoy his music just a few years ago, when I first heard his previous work, In a Time Lapse, which is wonderful. Now his current release, Elements, is getting constant play on my iPhone. Whether you are a fan of classical, or jazz, or just good music, and you haven’t heard him before, give it a try. In fact, I will bet you have heard his music without realizing it. Einaudi’s work is featured on many film soundtracks. Here is how Ludovico describes his latest work:

Posted by Joel on March 23 2016 • Multimedia

The Rest is Advertising

Journalists will relate to Jacob Silverman’s “confession” in The Baffler about being a writer of sponsored content: The Rest is Advertising.

“In case you haven’t heard, journalism is now in perpetual crisis, and conditions are increasingly surreal” he writes. “The fate of the controversialists at Gawker rests on a delayed jury trial over a Hulk Hogan sex tape. Newspapers publish directly to Facebook, and Snapchat hires journalists away from CNN. Last year, the Pulitzer Prizes doubled as the irony awards; one winner in the local reporting category, it emerged, had left his newspaper job months earlier for a better paying gig in PR. “Is there a future in journalism and writing and the Internet?” Choire Sicha, cofounder of The Awl, wrote last January. “Haha, FUCK no, not really.” Even those who have kept their jobs in journalism, he explained, can’t say what they might be doing, or where, in a few years’ time. Disruption clouds the future even as it holds it up for worship.

“But for every crisis in every industry, a potential savior emerges. And in journalism, the latest candidate is sponsored content.”

Silverman’s assessment of the state of journalism today is well worth the read.

Posted by Joel on March 22 2016 • Journalism

Once Upon a Crime

The beloved Minneapolis mystery bookstore Once Upon a Crime was recently featured on NPR. Gary Schultze and Pat Frovarp met at the store, fell in love, married there, and ran the store for 14 years. Now they are retiring.

Posted by Joel on March 20 2016 • Books

Like a Puppet Show

Courtesy of Open Culture. Hear John Malkovich read from Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave” to music mixed by Sean Lennon, Yoko Ono, Rick Ocasek, OMD and others.

Posted by Joel on March 20 2016 • Multimedia

Falling Water

Enjoy this great animated tour of one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s greatest creations: Falling Water. Courtesy of Open Culture.

Posted by Joel on March 04 2016 • Multimedia