Arts and Culture

General Electric dial

Kurt Vonnegut joined his brother, Bernard, at General Electric in the late 1940s. Ginger Strand explains how Kurt's time at G.E. influenced his fiction.More

Gazing into the future, forever

Canadian cultural critic Hal Niedzviecki makes the case that as a culture, we may for the first time in history be more focused on what is going to happen in the future than on what is happening right now.More

Cabin in the woods

Howard Axelrod was accidentally blinded in one eye in a freak accident when he was in college. Disoriented and depressed, he retreated to an off-the-grid cabin in the Vermont wilderness. More

A discarded pen of a poet.

Renunciation can be a creative force. American scholar Ross Posnock tells stories of writers, philosophers and artists who've committed "acts of abandonment," leaving careers and creative lives behind. They weren't failures, Posnock says — they were necessary departures that led to creative and intellectual breakthroughs.More

Ernest Hemingway and the many endings of "Farewell To Arms"

Hemingway rewrote the ending to his classic novel dozens of times. After he died, his grandson Sean Hemingway collected those other endings and published them in a new edition of the literary classic.More

Nesmith and the guys

If you’re old enough, you’ll remember the Monkees, the pop group with a hit TV show. Michael Nesmith wore the green stocking cap. Since then, he’s reinvented his career several times over. He (sort of) invented country rock. And the music video.More

Procrastinating while writing.

When it comes to writing, it's easy to procrastinate. But Canadian philosopher Mark Kingwell has managed to avoid that temptation.More

Felicia Day at Comic Con 2011

Web video superstar Felicia Day talks about how the Internet allowed her to use her weirdness to achieve her dreams of becoming an actress and to fulfill her creative ambitions.More

Addicted to avoiding stuff

Is procrastination just a bad habit? Or is it something worse, like a vice? Jennifer Baker waxes philosophical about the dark side of putting things off.More

Setting goals

Chrisoula Andreou offers some strategies that can help us stop putting things off.More

On her phone

Piers Steel gives us a procrastination primer. Steel's the author of "The Procrastination Equation: How to Stop Putting Things Off and Start Getting Stuff Done." He's a Distinguished Research Chair at the University of Calgary.More

Anxious

Patricia Pearson shares her thoughts about procrastination anxiety.More

Palestine

Carlos Fraenkel wanted to take philosophy out into the streets, so he met with students at Palestinian and Egyptian universities, and found that Plato, Maimonides and other great philosophers can open up a culture of conversation and debate.More

Students talking

Princeton historian Anthony Grafton explains how learning conversational Latin inspired his students.More

Marcel Marceau

For more than 60 years, the great French mime Marcel Marceau dominated stages around the world without ever saying a word. Shawn Wen documents Marceau's story in a book-length essay called “A Twenty Minute Silence Followed by Applause.”More

rock and roll

For author Jennifer Egan — whose novel "A Visit From The Goon Squad" documents the inner life of lifelong rock and roll stars—the pauses in rock ballads might say as much or more than the riffs.More

Reaching for 0 decibels

The world is getting noisier and it's hurting us. When George Mickelson Foy got worried about all of the toxic noise in his life, he set on a quest for absolute silence.More

Not playing

John Cage’s "4’33” was first performed on August 29th, 1952, by pianist David Tudor. He came out on stage, sat at the piano, and did not play. The audience was not impressed. Kyle Gann tells the story in “No Such Thing as Silence."More

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