X Minus 1 is the perfect companion to insomnia. It sounds like a psychotropic drug developed by the C.I.A., but if you’re like me, this series of radio plays might be just the kind of vintage sci-fi escapism needed to get you through a night plagued by financial anxiety. Produced in the 1950s for NBC, X Minus 1 features stories by Rad Bradbury, Philip K Dick, and Issac Asimov, along with plenty of theremin-related sleep-inducing sound effects. All the broadcasts are available to stream for free at the Internet Archive, and come complete with vintage commercial interruptions.
The online magazine Triple Canopy has a fantastic, extensively illustrated, essay about Star Wars and minimalism. From Imperial Star Destroyers and Carl Andre to Robert Smithson and the Death Star, writer John Powers carves out a place for science fiction in the canon of Modern art. This issue of Triple Canopy also explores some real life science fiction in this article about the Creation Museum in Kentucky.
Over at the New York Moon, writer Nick Calvero and artist John Lee’s proposal for “The Museum of Seminal Lunacy” suggests converting the New York Stock Exchange into a Pompeii-like wax museum as a cautionary memorial to financial collapse. Also at the Moon, Zach Sultan’s IKEA-inspired bio-engineering project.
Finally, in this video Ira Glass offers some encouraging words about the creative process and bridging the gap between one’s taste and one’s ability to make good art. To illustrate just how long it can take to really master a craft, Ira plays the tape from a horribly written report he filed for NPR. It wouldn’t be so bad, except the tape came from Ira’s eighth year as a reporter. It’s comforting to know that at twenty-seven Public Radio’s current superstar still kinda sucked at his job.