The gyroscopic self-leveling pool table: Aboard the cruise ship Radiance of the Seas. Absolutely amazing!
World Press Photo Winners for 2011: A great slideshow from the BBC.
Philosophy as the Great NaÔvetť: Philosopher Jason Stanley, interviewed by Richard Marshall of 3AM Magazine about the purpose and value of philosophy: "Our fellow humanists write about novelists and artists and musicians. In contrast, the intellectual life of most philosophers is closer to that of novelists and artists and musicians than people who study novelists and artists. There is great naÔvetť in the ambition to write the great American novel, naÔvetť that is mirrored in the ambition to solve some of the long-standing philosophical questions once and for all." An absolutely phenomenal interview. (3AM)
The New French Hacker-Artist Underground: Great piece by John Lackman on the "radically conservative" Parisian hacker group UX: "Through meticulous infiltration, UX members have carried out shocking acts of cultural preservation and repair, with an ethos of 'restoring those invisible parts of our patrimony that the government has abandoned or doesnít have the means to maintain.' The group claims to have conducted 15 such covert restorations, often in centuries-old spaces, all over Paris... [and] routinely uses the tunnels to access restoration sites and stage film festivals, for example, in the disused basements of government buildings." (Wired)
David Cronenberg, on Freud and Film: "I find psychoanalysis interesting, even though Iíve never undergone analysis myself, but I think itís a really interesting, new, relationship that Freud invented; a relationship between an analyst and a patient. And Iím thinking thatís kinda intriguing, because we kinda accept that as a basic relationship that humans can have, between an analyst and a patient, but before Freud it didnít exist!" (The Los Angeles Review of Books)
L'Inconnue de la Seine and the perfect death mask: Beautiful Radiolab piece on the face used for CPR dummies around the world -- it belongs to a real, though anonymous, woman who drowned in the Seine in the 1880s.
Paper Mountains: Gorgeous slideshow of photographs by Laura Plageman, who takes nature photos, folds them into new shapes, and then rephotographs them. (The Morning News)
[Image: Cover of BLAST, the Vorticist manifesto, printed in 1914.]
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Leon Neyfakh is the staff writer for Ideas. Amanda Katz is the deputy Ideas editor. Stephen Heuser is the Ideas editor.
Guest blogger Simon Waxman is Managing Editor of Boston Review and has written for WBUR, Alternet, McSweeney's, Jacobin, and others.
Guest blogger Elizabeth Manus is a writer living in New York City. She has been a book review editor at the Boston Phoenix, and a columnist for The New York Observer and Metro.
Guest blogger Sarah Laskow is a freelance writer and editor in New York City. She edits Smithsonian's SmartNews blog and has contributed to Salon, Good, The American Prospect, Bloomberg News, and other publications.
Guest blogger Joshua Glenn is a Boston-based writer, publisher, and freelance semiotician. He was the original Brainiac blogger, and is currently editor of the blog HiLobrow, publisher of a series of Radium Age science fiction novels, and co-author/co-editor of several books, including the story collection "Significant Objects" and the kids' field guide to life "Unbored."
Guest blogger Ruth Graham is a freelance journalist in New Hampshire, and a frequent Ideas contributor. She is a former features editor for the New York Sun, and has written for publications including Slate and the Wall Street Journal.
Joshua Rothman is a graduate student and Teaching Fellow in the Harvard English department, and an Instructor in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He teaches novels and political writing.