Posts by: Graham Todd

Aurora Shooting Roundup

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Our thoughts are with the victims of today’s tragedy: 12 people were killed and 59 wounded by gunman at a movie theater outside of Denver, Colorado early this morning during the release of The Dark Knight Rises. The suspected shooter, James Holmes, is an Aurora-local and former University of Colorado-Denver graduate student in the School […]

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Who’s the Fairest Skater of Them All?

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The New Yorker‘s James Guida comments on Transworld Skateboarding‘s 30th anniversary interviews with skating legends from across skateboarding’s long history. Guida sees the project as a kind of oral history, one that chronicles skaters of all walks and ages and illuminates skateboarding as an evolving culture and sport often at odds with mainstream culture. In […]

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Olympic Art

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England has some great artwork in the mix for the London Cultural Olympiad, which coincides with the start of the Games later this month: Nowhereisland: Alex Hartley, an artist known for his photography and sculptures, is asking a very interesting question:  If we were to create a new nation, how might we begin? In order […]

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Help Tomorrow Now!

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Early last month GOOD magazine fired its entire editorial staff and instead of receding into the dismal ether of unemployment, the ex-GOOD magaziners banned together to make a single issue of their own print magazine, Tomorrow. We like these people – they have spunk. They have bucket loads of spunk. Their aptly named Tomorrow is […]

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United Books of America

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The Library of Congress has put together a provocative list of 88 Books That Shaped America. (Happy belated 4th!) The LOC is also ready for nominations on what to add and why. The list is officially unfinished and meant to inspire conversation on what American literature has done to influence the lives of the country’s […]

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Flannery O’Connor, Cartoonist and Chicken Trainer Extraordinaire

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Apparently, as a college student, O’Connor developed a taste for making linoleum cuts, which appeared in the college’s newspaper along with awesomely quipy captions directed at the pompousness of student life and the faculty. Barry Moser, who is writing the introduction to the upcoming book on O’Connor’s early art, likens her linoleum technique and general […]

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Sport v. Human Rights

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Eurozine’s Mihir Bose lays out the development of modern athletics in connection with human rights, citing the political and ethical pressures involved in not-so-nice countries hosting major sports events. He writes that the International Olympic Committee, among other major governing bodies of sport, has paid little attention to its founding rhetoric in the last 100 […]

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Back to the Foto

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Irina Wernings’ photography collections, Back to the Future 1 & 2, are hilarious and heartwarming time-machinery:  Just look at this!  And that!

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Zapruder on San Francisco

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Living in San Francisco “can be like being in a relationship with someone who is moody in an exciting and ultimately harmless way”, according to Matthew Zapruder, an SF poet, essayist, and Rumpus contributor. In an interview for Words Without Borders Zapruder discusses his 20-some year history with the city, uncovering the city’s quirks and […]

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Brain Pickings

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Brain Pickings made a New Year’s resolution to read more books and write better.  They’ve been posting all kinds of interesting writerly and readerly advice. For half a year they’ve been doing a heck of a job summing up Vonnegut on penning a short story, writing rules from Kerouac, Steinbeck, and Ogilvy, Ray Bradbury and […]

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New Digs for the Classics

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Publishers, including big guns like Penguin and HarperCollins, have begun to target teen readers by reinventing the cover design of many classic pieces of literature. Like Penguin’s new edition of Romeo and Juliet which features a “Romeo in stubble and a tight white tank top”, the new covers intend to latch onto the popularity of […]

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Word Games

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Two things to spice up your probably already awesome Friday morning at work/playtime/scheming your next perfect crime: 1)  Shy Gypsy’s Funny Farm: This is a word association game to the max! It’ll knock your socks off and then tell you they rock and then, if the moment is right, insert something that rhymes with -ock into […]

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Tourney of Bookshit

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HTML Giant‘s Tournament of Bookshit, now six months deep into its hilarious ramble, has just announced its Final 4: Semi #1 – Alcoholism vs. “everybody has a story”, judged by Jennifer L. Knox. Semi #2 – Calling anything you write a manuscript vs. Sewage Treatment Technologies, judged by Jason Bredle.

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Why, Zombies, Why?

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After the recent resurgence in talk about zombification in the media last week, Kristin Rawls of AlterNet breaks down our country’s obsession with the undead and the possibility it’s our way of coping with times that are becoming more and more seemingly apocalyptic. The abundance of zombie movies, television shows, and even the popularity of […]

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Nuns on the Run

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The Catholic nuns who received a serious talking-to from the Vatican in April for being too outspoken on issues of social justice are planning a bus tour of 9-states this summer: “The sisters plan to use the tour also to protest cuts in programs for the poor and working families in the federal budget that […]

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Ty Segall & White Fences’ Hair

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One of the easiest and most annoying ways to sum anything up is to explain it as a dash of this and a pinch of that, but Ty Segall and White Fence’s collab album Hair is part Neil Young, part Sabbath, and part T. Rex in the best possible way. In a Gothamist interview – […]

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The Great Gig in the Sky

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“Our universe may exist inside a black hole,” says Inside Science Minds guest columnist, Nikodem Poplawski. According to Poplawski, the theoretical physics behind the assumption of our existing inside of a black hole would help to explain many unsolved questions and fill in important details about our universe. The “black hole theory” provides an explanation […]

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Cat Lady Covets Kafka

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Franz Kafka, who died in 1924, wanted his remaining and largely unpublished literary works to be burned after his death, but in a turn of Kafkaesque events the manuscripts trickled down through time and eventually ended up in Eva Hoffe’s dingy, cat-friendly Tel Aviv bungalow. Then, after 40 years, the ridiculous was cranked to 11 […]

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Walt Turns 193

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Walt Whitman’s birthday was yesterday. Happy belated! Melville House pieced together pictures of Whitman’s notebooks and some of his best “come-hither” glamour shots, all taken from Library of Congress’s massive collection and The Walt Whitman Archive. There’s even a wax recording of Whitman reading “America”, one of his later poems, with a choo-choo-train-like accompaniment.

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Economists Set Phasers on Stun

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Nobel prize winning economist and NYT‘s columnist, Paul Krugman expresses his love for sci-fi and fantasy in an interview for Wired magazine. Krugman cites Isaac Asimov’s novel Foundation as his inspiration for becoming an economist, a damned responsible one at that: “‘I read [Isaac Asimov’s] Foundation back when I was in high school, when I […]

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“I Am Greatly Troubled By What You Say”

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In a Letter of Note from earlier this week, Mark Twain replies to a librarian’s note concerning the Brooklyn Public Library ban on Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn in his characteristically wry and confounding way. After the library found copies of  Twain’s most famous works in the children’s room at the library, Asa Dickinson, the […]

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The Hemingway Papers

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The Toronto Star‘s well-designed archive of Ernest Hemingway’s newspaper articles for the Canadian paper provides access to evidence of the young author honing his spartan style and exploring his favorite themes. One such exceedingly-Hemingway gem is from an article about getting a free shave from amateur barbers: “For a visit to the barber college requires […]

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“I Was There”

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William Dereseiwicz’s luminous response to Kurt Vonnegut’s oeuvre recently printed by the Library of America, is a critique as much as it is hero-worship. Dereseiwicz confronts Vonnegut’s novels from his earliest to his last, focusing on Vonnegut’s zenith in moral seriousness and the long, personal road to Slaughterhouse-Five. Vonnegut played around with his essential question, the elegantly […]

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Thank That Fungi!

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Some undergrads from Yale recently found a fungi that eats plastic while on an expedition in the Amazon designed to introduce students to discovery-based research. This super fungi can survive on polyurethane alone and even in oxygen-free environments, making it a viable solution to our growing waste problem. No word yet on its worth as […]

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Ye Olde Fart Jokes

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Meanwhile in England, a troupe of 24 modern day pilgrims re-enacted Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, walking the 1637 pilgrimage route and raising money for the National Literacy Trust. The group stopped at the landmarks mentioned in the tale and each pilgrim told their assigned character’s story with full audience participation, anachronistic twists, and sock puppeteering; the […]

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