November 4, 2011
Simon Jarvis’ work demands new thought all the time. This was the claim made in the invitation and introduction to the reading of his poetry on Nov. 2 in LC 311, and it proved true. Jarvis is a professor of English at the University of Cambridge and Fellow of Robinson College, literary scholar, poet and »

Samuel Johnson’s Grand Theft Auto

October 28, 2011
“Playing for the first time, it’s very challenging to try to figure out how to get out of the situation that you’re in. Which is great,” says Harrison Ford, mostly to himself and maybe to the camera, in the trailer for “Uncharted 3,” a video game that came out in Japan last week. He stutters, »

Too Giant To Fail

October 7, 2011
Over 11 days, $7,761 are pledged by 162 different backers. The pledges aren’t rushing a fraternity, the money isn’t for a natural disaster and the backers aren’t University trustees. No one’s even giving away any free food, yet. The solution to this riddle is the “Plume Giant Makes a Record!” Kickstarter page. Welcome to crowdfunding: »

Apple store dreamin’

September 30, 2011
Goodbye Connecticut Hall, hello Yale University Properties’ newest computer cluster: the Apple Store, which people keep insisting is completely waterproof. No umbrella? No problem. You can imagine how I felt like a little Cortes when, with rainy eyes, I stumbled into this symphonic cage of dry steel and silver. I’d go as far to say »

Post-empire Q&A: Life, liberty, and the parallelepiped of happiness

September 16, 2011
Around 5 p.m., when the Rubik’s Cube Competition hosted in Sudler Hall had already run out of free pizza and soda, Kevin Hernandez (16), Joseph Dzaluk (11) and Ric Donati (11) showed each other some moves and said some things in between, flipping a cube’s colored sides all the while. Ric Donati: I start like »

At Slifka Center magnifying glasses not included

September 9, 2011
At arm’s length, you might not notice that Danielle Durchslag’s saturated photographs and paintings are actually all tiny collages. Her show at the Slifka Center, “Relative Unknowns,” is as intricate as it is intimate: cut from hundreds of pieces of paper, Durchslag’s collages are based on vintage photographs of her unnamed ancestors culled from family »

Unofficial Verse Culture

April 22, 2011
Evaluating contemporary poetry as if it were already an object in the trash or treasure closet (no one owns chests anymore) of literary history is a difficult procedure. “All I know is that the quality of the work here is really extraordinary,” poet and writer-in-residence Louise Gluck said about student poetry, after attending some of »

Poetry now, here

April 15, 2011
There is not a “school” of poetry at Yale. There is not a dominant contemporary poetry scene with dominating characteristics. There is not — entirely — a story here about the birth/revolution/death/rebirth of poetry. That is not it at all. But this is “a good thing,” really. The lobby of the Beinecke Rare Book and »

Washington’s maps, cool again

March 25, 2011
The statement — “These parts are entirely unknown” — printed over the entire area of Canada, was once a completely unironic assertion from one of George Washington’s maps of Northern America. Now on view as part of the exhibit “America Transformed: From George Washington’s American Atlas to the 21st Century”, this map and the 21 »

WEEKEND | The bizarreness of Soft Cell’s ‘Tainted Love’ videos

March 23, 2011
Today, you should care about Soft Cell’s “Tainted Love” even if you don’t plan to watch VH1 Classic this afternoon. Originally a northern soul track by Gloria Jones, Soft Cell’s hit cover, the first of many, is clearly the best. But what has tied the song together throughout the years, despite the transformative failures along »

WEEKEND | Video Clip of the Week #1: “Rock Your Body” as manifesto of modern physics

March 11, 2011
Justin Timberlake’s suggestion to “Rock Your Body” is presented pretty persuasively, precisely what makes this video so good. It’s actually and honestly about dancing (in a cube thing…?) and making the camera dance while you’re at it. The hyperspace of flashing lights and boxes is more than just smoke and mirrors, although there’s that too »

HOT/NOT: what’s up in 2011

February 18, 2011
HOT The Strokes It’s now clear they were never really gone after all, just hiding “Under Cover of Harkness.” Last night circa 12:51, girl was going Lady Macbeth all over a guy on the phone at the Thain Family Bass Café saying something like, “I hate them all. I hate myself for hating them, so »