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The Best Articles of the Year
Lauren Bacall Dies at 89; in a Bygone Hollywood, She Purred Every Word
Lauren Bacall, the actress whose provocative glamour elevated her to stardom in Hollywood’s golden age and whose lasting mystique put her on a plateau in American culture that few stars reach, died on Tuesday in New York. She was 89. Her death was confirmed by her son Stephen Bogart.
The Most Powerful Piece of Film Criticism Ever Written
James Baldwin's The Devil Finds Work, a book-length essay on race and America and cinema, movingly demonstrates that analysis of art can be art itself.
The Movie Lover
When Quentin Tarantino goes to the movies, he sits in the front. Not in the first row, where he’d have to move his head from side to side to see what’s happening in the corners, but the third or fourth row, where he can take in the whole screen and is aware of nothing but the screen.
Christopher Nolan: the man who rebooted the blockbuster
In early spring of 2013, Christopher Nolan and his crew were scouting for locations in Iceland – looking for glaciers that could stand in for the icy wastes of a distant planet in Nolan’s new film, Interstellar. They were on foot, the terrain proving inaccessible by car through freezing rain.
An Oral History of Ghostbusters
UPDATE:Soon, you can see it in theaters again! Aykroyd. Murray. Ramis. Reitman. Believe it or not, it was 30 years ago that four brave men came together to battle ghosts, goblins, and, even scarier, New York City traffic.
Ernest Cline is the luckiest geek alive
Ernest Cline was planning to drive his tricked-out DeLorean to Austin for a talk about his upcoming novel Armada, but Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin called him up and asked for it. Cline said he could borrow the car for as long as he wanted to, but asked for a dragon egg in return.
The Land of 10,000 Takes
The mayor of Brainerd didn’t like Fargo. “It’s a movie that people who don’t live here seem to enjoy, but for us it’s a little bit of an embarrassment,” Bonnie Cumberland told the Star Tribune in the blizzard-shot winter of 1997.
Werner Herzog’s No-Bullshit Advice to Aspiring Filmmakers and Creative Entrepreneurs
Why all creative work is the product of “a furious inner excitement” and how to cultivate the best possible “climate of excitement of the mind.” Psychologists have long championed the idea that the ability to remember and integrate experiences is a central component of creative work.
Tilda Swinton Is In A World Of Her Own
Tilda Swinton picks me up at the airport. Yup. From the plane—thirteen hours out of New York, five of them spent delayed, trying to sleep on a bench and contemplating the grim reality of being late to meet Tilda Swinton—Scotland is all low, misty white clouds and moss-colored hills.
The Overprotected Kid
A trio of boys tramps along the length of a wooden fence, back and forth, shouting like carnival barkers. “The Land! It opens in half an hour.” Down a path and across a grassy square, 5-year-old Dylan can hear them through the window of his nana’s front room.
How to Get a Job at Google
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — LAST June, in an interview with Adam Bryant of The Times, Laszlo Bock, the senior vice president of people operations for Google — i.e., the guy in charge of hiring for one of the world’s most successful companies — noted that Google had determined that “G.P.A.
The Case for Reparations
And if thy brother, a Hebrew man, or a Hebrew woman, be sold unto thee, and serve thee six years; then in the seventh year thou shalt let him go free from thee.
How to Scale Yourself and Get More Done Than You Thought Possible
This counterintuitive advice is one of a dozen-plus productivity practices preached by Scott Hanselman, a program manager at Microsoft, author and avid blogger and speaker. Hanselman's not the person you'd to expect to hear encourage dropping the ball and discourage burning the midnight oil.
The astonishing rise of Angela Merkel, the most powerful woman in the world.
A summer afternoon at the Reichstag. Soft Berlin light filters down through the great glass dome, past tourists ascending the spiral ramp, and into the main hall of parliament. Half the members’ seats are empty.
The Fermi Paradox
Everyone feels something when they’re in a really good starry place on a really good starry night and they look up and see this: Some people stick with the traditional, feeling struck by the epic beauty or blown away by the insane scale of the universe.
10 Life Lessons to Excel in Your 30s
A couple weeks ago I turned 30. Leading up to my birthday I wrote a post on what I learned in my 20s. But I did something else. I sent an email out to my subscribers (subscribe here) and asked readers age 37 and older what advice they would give their 30-year-old selves.
Secrets of the Creative Brain
As a psychiatrist and neuroscientist who studies creativity, I’ve had the pleasure of working with many gifted and high-profile subjects over the years, but Kurt Vonnegut—dear, funny, eccentric, lovable, tormented Kurt Vonnegut—will always be one of my favorites.
How Netflix Reverse Engineered Hollywood
To understand how people look for movies, the video service created 76,897 micro-genres. We took the genre descriptions, broke them down to their key words, … and built our own new-genre generator. If you use Netflix, you've probably wondered about the specific genres that it suggests to you.
People Don't Buy Products, They Buy Better Versions of Themselves
There is the famous story about Steve Jobs when he invented the iPod and everyone in the news and the rest of the tech industry scratched their head a little. MP3 players had been around for quite a while, what was so different about the iPod?
The Death of Adulthood in American Culture
Sometime this spring, during the first half of the final season of “Mad Men,” the popular pastime of watching the show — recapping episodes, tripping over spoilers, trading notes on the flawless
When You're at the Crossroads of Should and Must
Elle Luna is an artist and designer who lives and works in San Francisco. She worked with teams to design and build Mailbox, redesign Uber’s iPhone app, and scale the storytelling platform Medium.
Why You Hate Work
THE way we’re working isn’t working.
The Disease of Being Busy
I saw a dear friend a few days ago. I stopped by to ask her how she was doing, how her family was. She looked up, voice lowered, and just whimpered: “I’m so busy… I am so busy… have so much going on.” Almost immediately after, I ran into another friend and asked him how he was.
How One Boy With Autism Became BFF With Apple’s Siri
Just how bad a mother am I? I wondered, as I watched my 13-year-old son deep in conversation with Siri. Gus has autism, and Siri, Apple’s “intelligent personal assistant” on the iPhone, is currently his BFF.
What if Age Is Nothing but a Mind-Set?
One day in the fall of 1981, eight men in their 70s stepped out of a van in front of a converted monastery in New Hampshire. They shuffled forward, a few of them arthritically stooped, a couple with canes. Then they passed through the door and entered a time warp.
Taming the Mammoth: Why You Should Stop Caring What Other People Think
The first day I was in second grade, I came to school and noticed that there was a new, very pretty girl in the class—someone who hadn’t been there the previous two years. Her name was Alana and within an hour, she was everything to me.
How to Tell a Great Story
We tell stories to our coworkers and peers all the time — to persuade someone to support our project, to explain to an employee how he might improve, or to inspire a team that is facing challenges.
The Most Fascinating Profile You’ll Ever Read About a Guy and His Boring Startup
Stewart is hungry. He’s munching on potatoes smothered in chicken fat drippings, sitting by a long metal table that once served as a gurney in the morgue at the Treasure Island Naval Base. It’s a prominent piece of furniture in what will be the kitchen area for Stewart’s new startup.
For the Love of Money
IN my last year on Wall Street my bonus was $3.6 million — and I was angry because it wasn’t big enough. I was 30 years old, had no children to raise, no debts to pay, no philanthropic goal in mind. I wanted more money for exactly the same reason an alcoholic needs another drink: I was addicted.
This Is Your Brain on Silence
One icy night in March 2010, 100 marketing experts piled into the Sea Horse Restaurant in Helsinki, with the modest goal of making a remote and medium-sized country a world-famous tourist destination.
How we end up marrying the wrong people
Anyone we could marry would, of course, be a little wrong for us. It is wise to be appropriately pessimistic here. Perfection is not on the cards. Unhappiness is a constant.
How I made sure all 12 of my kids could pay for college themselves – Quartz
My wife and I had 12 children over the course of 15 1/2 years. Today, our oldest is 37 and our youngest is 22. I have always had a very prosperous job and enough money to give my kids almost anything. But my wife and I decided not to.
We Are All Confident Idiots
The trouble with ignorance is that it feels so much like expertise. A leading researcher on the psychology of human wrongness sets us straight.
The Secret To Creativity, Intelligence, And Scientific Thinking
The image is from cartoonist Hugh MacLeod, who came up with such a brilliant way to express a concept that’s often not that easy to grasp. The image makes a clear point—that knowledge alone is not useful unless we can make connections between what we know.
Masters of Love
Science says lasting relationships come down to—you guessed it—kindness and generosity.
No Time to Think
ONE of the biggest complaints in modern society is being overscheduled, overcommitted and overextended. Ask people at a social gathering how they are and the stock answer is “super busy,” “crazy busy” or “insanely busy.” Nobody is just “fine” anymore.
Fixed vs. Growth: The Two Basic Mindsets That Shape Our Lives
How to fine-tune the internal monologue that scores every aspect of our lives, from leadership to love.
The Berlin Wall’s great human experiment
Twenty-five years ago this fall, a crowd of thousands gathered along the east side of the Berlin Wall and demanded, with the urgency of people who had spent decades under an authoritarian communist regime, that the border guards let them pass to the other side.
The 10 greatest changes of the past 1,000 years
Most people think of castles as representative of conflict. However, they should be seen as bastions of peace as much as war. In 1000 there were very few castles in Europe – and none in England.
The War to End All Wars? Hardly. But It Did Change Them Forever.
ZONNEBEKE, Belgium — To walk the orderly rows of headstones in the elegant graveyards that hold the dead of World War I is to feel both awe and distance. With the death of the last veterans, World War I, which began 100 years ago, has moved from memory to history.
A History Lesson That Needs Relearning
SUDDENLY the specter of the Cold War is back. Prompted by the political crisis in Ukraine, some conservatives have called for President Obama to stand up to Vladimir V.
Does It Help to Know History?
About a year ago, I wrote about some attempts to explain why anyone would, or ought to, study English in college.
Pixel perfect: the story of eBoy
It’s mid-October, and we’re strolling near the central borough of Mitte, along the yellow painted line that runs where the Berlin Wall once stood. There’s a distinct elegance to Sauerteig’s movements.
In Cold War, U.S. Spy Agencies Used 1,000 Nazis
WASHINGTON — In the decades after World War II, the C.I.A.
How the Fall of the Berlin Wall Really Happened
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — The opening of the Berlin Wall, 25 years ago this Sunday, marked a surprisingly joyous end to a conflict that could have erupted into thermonuclear combat.
Robert Capa’s Longest Day
Seventy years ago, the great war photographer joined the first slaughterhouse wave of D-day, recording W.W. II’s pivotal battle in 11 historic images of blur and grit. But that is only a fraction compared with what he shot—and lost.
If Franz Ferdinand Had Lived
FOR over 25 years, Archduke Franz Ferdinand paced up and down in his palaces and castles waiting impatiently for the death of the ever more ancient emperor, his hated uncle Franz Joseph I. As we all know, his wait was in vain.
What If Counterfactuals Never Existed? Studying history with hypotheticals
As everyone knows, the supreme court [:PHANDOC_SOURCE:] ruled six–three for Al Gore in the great dispute over the Florida recount in 2000. As everyone also knows, Gore emerged as the ultimate victor in that recount, and with his poetic and moving inauguration address he managed to unify a badly divided nation.
How Coffee Fueled the Civil War
It was the greatest coffee run in American history. The Ohio boys had been fighting since morning, trapped in the raging battle of Antietam, in September 1862. Suddenly, a 19-year-old William McKinley appeared, under heavy fire, hauling vats of hot coffee.
Our Own Private Germany
On a Saturday last March, my Berlin neighbors had a plant funeral. They set up three-meter-high wood crosses on our street corner and placed funeral candles all along the street, and the children drew posters of crying trees and flowers. There was live music, and everyone got quite drunk.