Does Hotness Diminish Humor?

[Chris Bodenner]

Yesterday in Aspen, Michael Eisner stirred up controversy during his conversation with Goldie Hawn. Spencer was there:

“From my position, the hardest artist to find is a beautiful, funny woman,” [Eisner] said. “By far. They usually—boy am I going to get in trouble, I know this goes online—but usually, unbelievably beautiful women, you [Goldie Hawn] being an exception, are not funny. […] In the history of the motion-picture business, the number of beautiful, really beautiful women—a Lucille Ball—that are funny, is impossible to find.

You can listen to the full context of those remarks above. Reader Duncan Tweedy doesn’t understand why people are getting so offended:

I don’t think Eisner should be excoriated for this comment. He wasn’t saying women aren’t funny, which is a stupid and indefensible argument. He was merely noticing that “unbelievable” physical beauty makes being a successful female comedian much more difficult. I think there’s plenty of evidence for this. Continue reading


Internet Thing: #DeadRaccoonTO

From a tweet-by-tweet timeline by Craig Silverman covering the big story out of Canada yesterday:

Continue reading

The Hippies Are Dead, Long Live Organic Food


[Chris Bodenner]

Jennie has up a great ’60s retrospective of the hippie culture in San Francisco through the eyes of her mother’s cousin, photographer Joe Samberg, who provides many incredible photos and memories from the time. A key takeaway:

“That was my problem with the whole [hippie movement],” says Joe. “There’s no growth for people if they’re continuously on drugs. It started out with all this higher thinking—expanding your mind to become more conscious of what’s really going on in the universe. But once the drugs took over, all of those big ideas disappeared.”

Commenter Guest isn’t having it:

I think this analysis is pretty superficial. I lived in San Francisco in 1969. I belonged to a hippie family that was not into hard drugs. We were a combination of college grads and working-class dropouts. We smoked grass. And were politically involved with consciousness raising around sex identity, race and class issues. I also had my own fabulous times going to the Fillmore West and other venues to catch the Dead, Santana, the Airplane and many more before they became so famous. Eventually some family members and I moved to Oregon.

I am really tired of crap about how hippies didn’t change anything. Just to mention a few things that hippies were involved in or leaders of: Continue reading

Happy Trails: “Back to the Future”

[David Sims]

Strip away the time-travel facade and Back to the Future is a fun, zany small-town comedy, with its nastiest villain a high school bully and its biggest triumph a kiss between his two victims. Director Robert Zemeckis seized upon the concept of Marty McFly’s DeLorean trip to 1955 while looking through his parents’ basement and stumbling upon relics from their graduating class. He pitched the idea to Steven Spielberg, who agreed to produce the project.

The strength of the movie is that its most fantastical element is rendered as something any audience member could imagine: the bizarre and frightening experience of meeting your parents as their teenaged selves. Compared to the current era of summer movies, so focused on omnipotent superheroes doing battle on a planetary scale, that simplicity feels revolutionary.

The movie got mostly positive reviews upon its release, but a few critics panned it: Continue reading

Internet Thing: The Resonant Frequency of Googly Eyes

[Rob Meyer]

Every object has a resonant frequency, a pitch that makes it jitter up and down and echo. Resonant frequencies aren’t limited to acoustics, either: Objects can have mechanical or electromagnetic resonance, too. Where there are waves, there is resonance. Which is one reason I like this video so much:

Googly eyes, it turns out, can have resonance too. In the video, someone locates that resonance at around 433 Hz. The eyes go crazy. A frequency of 433 Hz is a flat A-natural in the middle of the piano. It’s also very near the “A” used by older composers like Mozart and Verdi, who turned their A to 432 Hz.

One thing that interests me, though, is that the resonant googly eyes don’t google. They just dance.

Besides, if they wanted to google, they’d need a keyboard, a computer, and a web connection. And fingers to type. Nyuk nyuk.

Behind the Covers: Should the Jews Leave Europe?

Leon, Jeff, and James sit down to discuss Jeff’s new cover story on the threats that European Jews face from right-wing fascists and radicalized Islamists:

[The Atlantic videos aren’t embedding for some reason, so for prototype purposes I made a screenshot]

Screen Shot 2015-07-01 at 2.57.15 PM

Commenter David says he’s “honestly stunned by the ignorance, complacency and lack of awareness of what I’m hearing in this video”: Continue reading

[Bourree Lam]

Eurogroup president Jeroen Dijsselbloem has tweeted the time for tomorrow’s meeting:

Meanwhile, Greece’s deputy prime minister Yannis Dragasakis is also calling for a resolution despite reports that a third bailout might impose tougher conditions.

(Follow all our live-blog coverage here)