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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
9:56 pm
Sun June 16, 2013

Where Did We Go Wrong?

It's looking at you. But is it conscious? How do we know?
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 1:44 pm

This text is adapted from Alva's book Out of Our Heads.


Who, or what, is conscious? How can we decide? Where in nature do we find consciousness? This can seem like the hardest problem in this whole field: the question of the consciousness of others. I am aware. So are you. We think, we feel, the world shows up for us. But what about an ant, or a snail, or a paramecium? What about a well-engineered robot? Could it be conscious? Is there a way of telling, for sure?

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Movie Reviews
9:56 pm
Sun June 16, 2013

'Sound' Scares In An Homage To '70s Italian Horror

Toby Jones plays a solitary sound engineer working night shifts in Berberian Sound Studio, a cunningly structured, deftly executed love letter to the gory Italian scarefests called giallos.
IFC

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 2:25 pm

Horror films are filled with the things that nightmares are supposedly made of: monsters, madmen, murder, assorted blood and guts.

But those are really just the props of nightmares — representations of the psychological terrors that really plague us: our fears about mortality, isolation, abandonment and failure. Peter Strickland's Berberian Sound Studio is one horror film that opts to skip the usual frolic among those metaphorical monsters in favor of a deeply unsettling dive into the subconscious.

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Deceptive Cadence
9:55 pm
Sun June 16, 2013

An Inconvenient Tune

Pablo Helguera for NPR

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 11:50 am

Got an idea for a classical cartoon or a reaction to this one? Leave your thoughts in the comments section.

Pablo Helguera is a New York-based artist working with sculpture, drawing, photography and performance. His new book is Helguera's Artunes. You can see more of his work at Artworld Salon and on his own site.

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The Record
9:49 pm
Sun June 16, 2013

Heartbreak Takes John Vanderslice To 'Dagger Beach'

Dagger Beach, John Vanderslice's new album, is out this week.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 11:03 am

"In the deep dark woods / Alone with my fears / Under the jackpine / the sky was galvanized," avant-indie rock veteran John Vanderslice sings on "Raw Wood," off his new record, Dagger Beach. Vanderslice's dissection of his fears renders his latest outing mesmeric.

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Ask Me Another
9:48 pm
Sun June 16, 2013

Blinded Me With Science

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 9:42 am

Guest troubadours Paul & Storm have emerged from their lab to share their latest experiment. To pay tribute to Thomas Dolby's 1982 New Wave classic "She Blinded Me With Science," the duo has reworked the lyrics to describe different scientific principles and discoveries. So put on your safety goggles and play along!

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Ask Me Another
9:48 pm
Sun June 16, 2013

Submit It In Reduplicate

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 9:42 am

Did you know Ke$ha's song "Tik Tok" demonstrates a linguistic oddity? And we're not talking about her spelling. "Reduplicated" words contain repeated syllables, but with different vowel sounds. Puzzle guru Art Chung leads contestants in a game full of reduplicated word pairs, so quit your "chit-chat" and listen in!

Plus, guest music duo Paul & Storm play an extra-special cover of "Splish-Splash."

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Ask Me Another
9:48 pm
Sun June 16, 2013

Small Screen Adaptations

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 9:42 am

TV shows are sometimes based on popular films, and while some are successful (Buffy The Vampire Slayer) others...not so much (Spaceballs: The Animated Series). Host Ophira Eisenberg has a few of her own ideas in this game, where players must "adapt" movie titles into shorter series versions by removing a letter to form a new, more succinct title.

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Ask Me Another
9:46 pm
Sun June 16, 2013

Long Before They Were Famous

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 9:42 am

A long time ago, many people's surnames indicated their occupations. If your name was "Mason," you worked with stone, if your name was "Coleman," you worked with coal, and if your name was "Sanders," you ran a medieval chicken empire. Guest musicians Paul & Storm hint contestants to an occupational surname and a celebrity who bears it.

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Monkey See
9:46 pm
Sun June 16, 2013

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Tony Awards And Shared Songs

NPR

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 10:44 am

  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

We taped this week's podcast while still giddy from the effects of the very fine Tony Awards broadcast, so we begin by sharing some thoughts about that killer opening number, some of the other musical happenings, our feelings on Pippin, Phantom and other theater pieces, and whether we are suffering from, as Glen puts it, "Doogie Fatigue."

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Monkey See
9:45 pm
Sun June 16, 2013

At The Movies, The Women Are Gone

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 6:33 pm

I live in the D.C. metro area, which is a very good place to find films. If you don't live in New York or Los Angeles, it's about the best you can do. I'm within 10 miles of a multiplicity of multiplexes, not to mention four theaters I would consider "art house" theaters or at least mixes of wider-appeal fare and smaller stuff.

According to Fandango and some back-of-the-envelope math, excluding documentaries and animation, there are 617 movie showings today — that's just today, Friday — within 10 miles of my house.

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