Whatever & Ever Today: Steroids Are Still Bad, Presidents On Boats, and OK Go Has Another Crazy Video

MLB wants to fight PEDs, pictures of presidents, and OK Go charms in their Tiny Desk Concert.

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Whatever & Ever Today: A Crowdfunded Telescope, The Smith Family Saves The World, & James Murphy Is Still Awesome

Asteroid miners want to make a telescope by the people, for the people; Will Smith and Family are Earth’s true saviors; and James Murphy geeks out.

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Review in Haiku

Film reviews, in Haikus. Review in Haiku is written by Tony Russo, designed by Blake J. Graham, and updated regularly. Images are also available on imgur.

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How Can We Build Safe Urban Parks?

The “Radiant City” is back. Two high-profile buildings currently going up in Chicago draw on a park-centric model for development which has proven problematic in the past.

One, an office building in the West Loop, is built into a 1.5-acre park planned for the West bank of the Chicago River. The other, an apartment building in Hyde Park, rises out of a three story retail complex with a fully landscaped green roof. Renderings and rhetoric have presented these parks as beneficent gifts to the City. Yet, reflecting the “Radiant City” idealism, important questions about the safety and utility of these new green spaces have been left unanswered by the architects and developers.

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Whatever & Ever Today: Facebook Sort Of Apologizes, Elvis Costello & The Roots Collaborate, and Great Dance Albums

Facebook tries to save face with advertisers through human decency, Elvis Costello and The Roots team up, and dance hits get playlisted.

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Whatever & Ever Today: Google Takes WiFi to the Sky, Bob Dylan’s Songs Mapped Out, & Canadian Money Smells Canadian

Google wants blimps to connect Asia and Africa, every location in Bob Dylan’s music gets mapped, and Canada’s new $100 bill smells like Maple Syrup.

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Teen Talk: Teenagers Shape The Web To Change The World

Teenagers are the compulsive mojo that keeps tech companies relevant. They Snapchat, Facebook, Tweet, Tumbl, and Instagram like nothing else in the universe—If a social media company doesn’t have a cadre of teens using it constantly, it’s a bacterial infection not a viral hit. They are the first people to use new technology and if it pleases them, they have the power to pull networks, apps, and products from obscurity and throw them into mainstream parlance. Teens are the ultimate arbiters of success online. As judge and jury they are legion, and they are obsessive.

But they’re also teensy-weensy-funsy-folk who hate algebra, grumble at their parents, love their friends soooo much, and can’t wait for prom. They are completely aware of their influence. And their decision to damn a product to obscurity isn’t malicious; it’s more of a casual “whatever” before they move onto something else that doesn’t bore them. Millions of dollars of financial value for companies hinges on the capriciousness of teenagers, and this has some adults scared.

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Whatever & Ever Today: Millennials Regret College, If Earth Had Rings, Erroneous Quotes, & A Guide to Arrested Development

1/3 of millennials would take back college, what Earth would look like with rings, the top 50 misattributed quotes, and one more thing to get you excited for Arrested Development Sunday.

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Whatever & Ever Today: Weiner Runs For Mayor, Joseph Gordon-Levitt Made a Movie, and The Lonely Island’s “Semicolons”

Weiner announces a comeback, Joseph Gordon-Levitt premieres the trailer for Don Jon, and The Lonely Island try its hand at grammar-rap

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Baz-tardization: When Style Overwhelms Story

Love him or hate him, it’s hard to deny that Baz Luhrmann knows exactly what he wants when he makes a film. Luhrmann is, to some extent, the Michael Bay of melodrama, someone who takes well-worn archetypes and clichés and cranks them up past broadness and into comic overdrive, all while throwing it all out in an unprecedented quickness that borders on hyperactivity. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Luhrmann’s best work (Strictly Ballroom, Moulin Rouge!) has a giddy quality to it where the silliness stops being assaultive and veers towards transcendence.

Luhrmann has always been a polarizing director, but his most divisive works, by far, are his two adaptations, 1996’s Romeo + Juliet and 2013’s The Great Gatsby. All of Luhrmann’s films feel excessive and absurd, but with Strictly Ballroom and Moulin Rouge!, at least he’s being excessive and absurd with his own material—Strictly Ballroom is based on a play Luhrmann helped develop in the 80s, while Moulin Rouge! takes a famous location and one real character (Toulouse-Lautrec) but otherwise invents a new story. With his two major adaptations, he works with material by of two of the greatest writers who ever lived. Slavish devotees to the “the book is always better” argument pull out their sacrificial knives for Luhrmann, but his films do (at least superficially) follow the text rather closely. Besides, storytellers must change things up if they’re going to make the story their own.

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Commentary Ticker

  • Google Glass Lets You Take Photos With Your Brain
    July 12, 2014 | 4:02 pm

    If you haven’t heard, electroencephalograms (EEGs) have been getting better. Way better. Artificial limbs and even video game controllers are utilizing the non-invasive brain-wave monitoring method to guide computers by thought. Now English startup This Place has developed a way to bring the technology to Google Glass, allowing Google’s wearable to read your mind. Well, […]

  • Android Art: The Accidental Selfies of Google Art Project
    July 5, 2014 | 11:11 am

    Within the cultural centers of the world lurks a mechanical beast draped in silver spinning madly and capturing everything, sometimes even itself. In 2011 Google created the Art Project, an initiative to bring their Street View technology inside the cultural epicenters of the world. Google enlisted 17 world-class museums in short time. Institutions such as […]

  • Purple Mountunes Majesty: The Most Patriotic Playlist
    July 4, 2014 | 12:13 pm

    A while ago, Paul Lamere of The Echo Nest, a music-analysis company, took to finding each state’s most distinctive, yet popular, artist in a viral article. Spotify took note, purchasing Echo Nest for their analytical talent. Together, they’ve released a blog post documenting each state’s most distinctively American song creating a patriotic playlist for the […]

  • Emojinealogy: Where the Heck Emojis Come From
    July 2, 2014 | 3:10 pm

    On June 16th, the Unicode Consortium announced that 250 new emoji would be added to the list of symbols available to people’s cellphones and computer devices. The list of the new symbols can be found on Emojipedia. And no, the list doesn’t include the much needed minority representation, but it does include your favorite (?) […]

  • The Decline and Fall of the American Mall
    June 24, 2014 | 9:07 pm

    For ages, the shopping mall was as essential to the architecture of suburbia as Levittowns and freeways. But in an era of online shopping, these epicenters of brick and mortar yesteryear are quietly being abandoned across the country. While the U.S. currently has around 1,500, the number may soon shrink, and rapidly, leading to abandoned […]

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