Happy Palindrome Week!
Happy Palindrome Week!
Fresh Air’s TV critic David Bianculli reviews the new series Fargo, based on the 1996 Coen Brothers cult classic. Here’s what he says:
When the news arrives that FX has a new series called Fargo, the expectation is that it will be either a sequel to, or expansion of, that 18-year-old movie. And certainly, the previews have done nothing to discourage that.
But no. The TV version of Fargo tells a completely different story, with completely different characters. Only the snow remains the same. Yet based on the first four episodes, this new Fargo is a worthy companion piece to the film. The Coen brothers are on board as two of the executive producers, so they clearly approve – though that’s pretty much the extent of their involvement. Instead, FX’s Fargo is written and concocted by Noah Hawley, whose previous credits include working on Bones, and not much else. This is his step up to the major leagues – and in his first at-bat in the bigs, he swings hard, and hits a home run.
His Fargo – this first season, anyway – is envisioned as a stand-alone 10-part story. If it continues to a Season 2, it will be with a completely different plot, characters, and cast. That’s the way True Detective launched itself this season on HBO, and you know how brilliantly that turned out. By designing TV shows this way – longer and deeper than a feature film but not running for years – networks can get A-list movie talent to commit, and writers can craft stories with the end in sight from the start.
FX’s Fargo benefits from that, greatly.
image via FX
Maria Konnikova on why yawning may actually signal the opposite of what we think: http://nyr.kr/1kWX9VS
Photograph by Chris Steele-Perkins/Magnum.
Nasa has collected more than 200,000 votes from members of the public who are on a mission to help the space agency select the spacesuit of the future.
Voting ends at midnight ET on Tuesday for the newest iteration of Nasa’s spacesuit. The competition pits three suits – “Biomimicry”, “Technology” and “Trends in Society” – against each other before the winner can be tested in Nasa’s facilities. Full story
And here’s a handy GIF about tonight’s the lunar eclipse. For the west coasters (who have a better chance of seeing the eclipse through the clouds) just subtract 3 hours. It’s basically a moving version of this NASA graphic.
GIFs not your style? Check out my last minute astronomical announcement song:
BLOOD MOON!!!!!!! -Emily
Is Toms’s buy-one-give-one model enough to make the large-scale impact that founder Blake Mycoskie envisions? April Joyner writes: http://nyr.kr/1gHHj95
“Whatever its drawbacks, the buy-one-give-one model is simple to understand, and thus brilliant marketing. … Whether the model can support companies’ ambitions for growth is another matter, however. Mycoskie told me that he aims not just to offer more products under the Toms umbrella but to eventually expand into services such as hotels and banking—in other words, to become a Virgin Group with a social-responsibility bent.”
Above: Blake Mycoskie. Photograph by Glenn Chapman/AFP/Getty.
Prosthetic limbs that match your body … and your style: Industrial designer Scott Summit uses 3D printing technology to create individualized artificial limbs that users can choose and personalize to fit their unique style.
In a talk at TEDxCambridge, Summit explains how this process not only gives users autonomy over the aesthetics of their prosthetics, but also makes for artificial limbs that factor in the quirks, curves, and uniqueness of a user’s body, eliminating the need for prosthetic-wearers to hack their artificial limbs — with socks, bubble wrap, even duct tape — to feel comfortable. Watch the whole talk here»
Above, photos of some of the creations made by Summit’s design firm, Bespoke Innovations.
Fresh Air book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews the latest novel from Maggie Shipstead, Astonish Me. After reading her debut novel, Seating Arrangements, Corrigan likened the young author to “Edith Wharton with a millennial generation edge:”
At the center of Shipstead’s tightly choreographed story of frustrated passion and ambition stands Joan Joyce, a dancer whose gifts and discipline are good enough to earn her a place in the corps, but not to propel her into the spotlight as a prima ballerina.
When the novel opens in 1977, Joan has discovered she’s pregnant and she’s decided to keep the baby and leave the ballet. It’s an unforgiving world. Shipstead’s narrator relays Joan’s thoughts about how little she’ll be missed once the other dancers, who keep tight surveillance on one another’s bodies, notice her pregnancy: “When she stops dancing, class will continue on without her, every day except Sunday, part of the earth’s rotation. … Her empty spot at the barre will heal over at once.”
photo via airudite:
"The stock market is rigged," Michael Lewis tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. “It's rigged for the benefit for really a handful of insiders. It's rigged to … maximize the take of Wall Street, of banks, the exchanges and the high-frequency traders at the expense of ordinary investors.”
Lewis is the author of several books about the stock market, including Liar’s Poker and The Big Short. His new book Flash Boys is about the form of computerized transactions known as High Frequency Trading, in which the fastest computers with the most high speed connections get the information first, and make the trade before anyone else can. A nanosecond can make all the difference between how much money is made or lost on any transaction.
Brad Katsuyama (above) figured out how the system is rigged and set out to change it. Lewis explains:
"There is this perception that Wall Street insiders understand how Wall Street works — and it’s false. It’s especially false right now. Here you have this young man, this kid [Katsuyama] at the Royal Bank of Canada who’s engaged in this kind of science experiment in the market. He figures out at least one angle the predators are taking and he goes and talks to not just ordinary investors … the biggest investors, the smartest investors in the world and their jaws are on the floor. … Even these people have no idea what’s going on in the market and are being educated by this Canadian who has basically just arrived on the scene and has decided to make understanding [this] his business."
Photo of President and CEO of IEX Group Brad Katsuyama by Philip Montgomery for The Wall Street Journal