Big Dumb Objects: Science Fiction's Most Mysterious MacGuffins by Damien Walter [The Guardian] “When the unknown is also alien, the mystery only grows more magnetic. Think of that iconic opening to Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey: a family of apes wake one morning to find a black monolith looming over them; that had its origins in Arthur C Clarke’s short story The Sentinel. Did some super-advanced civilisation intercede in the early evolution of intelligent life on earth? Or was the monolith just filming a very special edition of Life on Earth? We don’t know, and never find out. But this shiny, looming thing is just one of many Big Dumb Objects [wiki] that have turned up in science fiction over the decades.”
Like These Books? Here Are 60+ Things You Might Also Like ... [NPR.org] Welcome to the second installment of Read, Watch, Binge! our summer recommendation series. As you may recall from last month's list [Like These Movies? Here Are 100+ Things You Might Also Like ...], we were tired of algorithms that only matched books to books or movies to movies. So this month, we've enlisted the help of real live humans to pair books with movies, musicals, TV, comics, podcasts and more.
The Luttrell Psalter is a mid-14th century English illuminated manuscript containing a large number of illustrations of everyday life in medieval England. In 2008 the Psalter was adapted into a 20 minute short film for The Collection Museum in Lincoln, drawing on 35 scenes from the manuscript. There is also a blog describing the making of the film. [more inside]
Every day, our world gets a little bit smaller and a lot more complex. So much so that even minor decisions can have major consequences. Not just for trees or frogs or polar bears, but for human lives, and livelihoods. At its core, sustainability is about people. The Living Principles for Design aim to guide purposeful action. It is a place to co-create, share and showcase best practices, tools, stories and ideas for enabling sustainable action across all design disciplines. [more inside]
"Do you like fiction and mathematics? Are you interested in what our society thinks about mathematicians?" [more inside]
Sam Mendes is currently directing an adaptation of Richard Yates's 1961 novel Revolutionary Road. Ignored for much of Yates's lifetime the 2000 edition, championed by Richard Ford, received renewed critical acclaim and the book went on to make Time's all-time 100 novels list. For those re-discovering it John Mullen offers a four part reading guide: imaginary dialogue, the epigraph, comic dialogue, the ending.
On The Road... coming to a theater near you (scroll down in link). Francis Ford Coppola is working on a film adaptation of Kerouac's classic (?), starring Brad Pitt. Genius? Heresy? I can see the Barnes & Noble tie-ins now...