|| Neil deGrasse Tyson in Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey

As the diplomatic Neil deGrasse Tyson knows well, scientific advancement isn’t driven by the search for knowledge but rather the pursuit of capital. Ken Kalfus’s Equilateral imagines this state of affairs as apocalyptic farce.

Behold the perfect New Year’s Checklist: Dancing (check); fireworks (check); a baggie of MDMA (check, check, and check).

|| Connecting the dots in A Beautiful Mind

Social physics is an emerging (and ominous-sounding) discipline that wants to “connect the dots” of our data—but, ideally, as a force for  good.

Two new novels—Kenneth Calhoun’s Black Moon and Karen Russell’s Sleep Donation—depict epidemics of insomnia as apocalyptic nightmares, while revealing the true value of sleep: the chance to clear our heads and define our desires.

|| Nelly Sachs' grave via Raphael Saulus

Anne Michaels’ Correspondences speaks to shared history and shared tragedy, but this fellowship is not always a welcome one.

|| Charlie Chaplin in 1918's A Dog's Life

What can Charlie Chaplin’s only novel—published in February for the first time ever—tell us about an icon whose legend has seemingly ossified?

On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide, a Hutu from Burundi shares his story of surviving President Paul Kagame’s alleged secret war of vengeance, one obscured by the fight to overthrow Congo dictator Mobutu Sese Seko.

|| PolyU Fashion Show via Flickr user See-ming Lee

In Simon Doonan’s latest book, The Asylum, the Barney’s Creative Ambassador shares New York fashion gossip, from urine-drinking editors to amateur taxidermist photographers, and what makes for good fashion journalism: knowing the references.

|| Frank Sinatra in The Man With the Golden Arm

Bailey’s new memoir explores the limits of fraternal bonds, and how far they can stretch before the strain becomes unbearable. In this excerpt, his addicted, self-destructive brother’s stepmother wants to buy him a new car, exposing a darker side of him.

Ghalib Islam, author of Fire in the Unnameable Country, discusses growing up in Toronto’s Jane and Finch area, the “breathlessness” of his writing, and the resistance he faced when he decided not to venture into a more secure career.

Even at an early age, the enigmatic pop star was a heartbreaker.

|| Scarlett Johansson in Jonathan Glazer's Under the Skin

The auteur behind Sexy Beast and Birth discusses his new alien tale, Under the Skin, in which he covertly filmed encounters between his star—Scarlett Johansson—and unwitting non-actors from the streets of Glasgow.

||Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

John Williams’ classic, Stoner, resonates especially now that the ideals its characters hold—the university as refuge for the sensitive, inquisitive types—have been so thoroughly crushed.

||Kurt Cobain and Chad Channing (right). From the e-book Experiencing Nirvana: Grunge in Europe, 1989. Photo by Bruce Pavitt.

I was 14. The Berlin Wall was a dam that had broken three years before, and was well on its way to becoming eBay merchandise. The Western world was steadily flooding the Eastern world with all kinds of garbage: McDonald’s,...

This Saturday will mark the 20th anniversary of Kurt Cobain’s death, which, if played correctly, is an excellent opportunity to write about what Kurt Cobain meant to you. Here are some tips to guide you on your path to Nirvana thinkpiece nirvana.

|| Lagos, Nigeria via Flickr user satanoid

The protagonist at the centre of Teju Cole’s new novel returns to Nigeria for the first time in fifteen years. In this excerpt, the protagonist must decide whether or not it’s worth sticking to his principles—something he wrestles with at almost every stage of his journey.

Confession culture encourages us to tell all, especially to our partners. Dinaw Mengestu’s All Our Names is a reminder that love can thrive in silence.

The Nigerian-born British author discusses her fifth novel, Boy, Snow, Bird, a reinterpretation of Snow White with an eye towards issues of race and beauty, and tells us what it’s like “to mess up all the good fairy tales.”

Public Service Announcement: When hunting for an apartment, be sure to ask the locals what they think of the neighbourhood.

The sixth extinction is most certainly on its way. Annalee Newitz’s Scatter, Adapt, and Remember asks an important, if terrifying question: If the human race survives, will it look anything like we do now?

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