Everything Everywhere All at Once and the Euphoria in Empathy

At the core of this mind-bending multiverse film starring Michelle Yeoh lies a story about true connection and being present in a world full of distractions.   By Noelle Webster Early on in Everything Everywhere All at Once, the new feature film from the filmmaking duo collectively known as Daniels, a Chinese-American woman named Evelyn (Michelle Yeoh) sits at a cubicle across from a stickler IRS agent named Deirdre (Jamie Lee Curtis). Deirdre tells Evelyn, who is visibly distracted, “I cannot imagine a conversation more important than this one.” The conversation in question? Evelyn is being audited for incorrectly filing her taxes.  However, … Continue reading Everything Everywhere All at Once and the Euphoria in Empathy

Nil by page

When a writer stares down a blank page, the whole of literature stares back. Why, then, leave the empty page as it is? Andrew Gallix is an Anglo-French writer and occasional translator, who teaches at the Sorbonne in Paris and edits 3:AM Magazine. His work has appeared in The Guardian, The Times Literary Supplement and Dazed & Confused, among others. He is the author of We’ll Never Have Paris (2019), and the co-editor of Love Bites: Fiction Inspired by Pete Shelley (2019) and Punk Is Dead: Modernity Killed Every Night (2017). His debut novel Loren Ipsum will be published by Dodo Ink in 2024. He lives in Paris. In 1927, Virginia Woolf, perusing … Continue reading Nil by page

This could be a simple solution to loneliness, according to scientists

If you’re feeling lonely in your free time, do something that uses your skills and concentration. Leisure activities like painting, skiing or chopping wood can engross us and put us in a state of ‘flow’. A meaningful activity that we enjoy works best, say researchers at Penn State University. Loneliness has been linked to increased mental health problems during the pandemic. by Victoria Masterson Senior Writer, Formative Content Doing something meaningful during your free time can help you feel less lonely, according to a new study. Researchers led by Penn State University in Pennsylvania in the United States studied loneliness and … Continue reading This could be a simple solution to loneliness, according to scientists

We Are Made of Music, We Are Made of Time: Violinist Natalie Hodges on the Poetic Science of Sound and Feeling

“Time renders most individual moments meaningless… but it is only through the passage of time that life acquires its meaning. And that meaning itself is constantly in flux.” BY MARIA POPOVA In her 1942 book Philosophy in a New Key, the trailblazing philosopher Susanne Langer defined music as “a laboratory for feeling and time.” But perhaps it is the opposite, too — music may be the most beautiful experiment conducted in the laboratory of time. In “the wordless beginning,” spacetime itself was crumpled and compacted into that spitball of everythingness we call the singularity. Even if sound could exist then — it did not, of course, … Continue reading We Are Made of Music, We Are Made of Time: Violinist Natalie Hodges on the Poetic Science of Sound and Feeling

The Art of Choosing Love Over Not-Love: Rumi’s Antidote to Our Human Tragedy

“You’ll long for me when I’m gone… You’ll kiss the headstone of my grave… Kiss my face instead!” BY MARIA POPOVA “What exists, exists so that it can be lost and become precious,” Lisel Mueller wrote in her short, stunning poem about what gives meaning to our mortal lives. To become precious — that is the work of love, the task of love, the great reward of love. The recompense of death. The human miracle that makes the transience of life not only bearable but beautiful. It is heartbreaking enough that we do lose everything that exists, everything and everyone we love, … Continue reading The Art of Choosing Love Over Not-Love: Rumi’s Antidote to Our Human Tragedy

We Can Be Different: David Byrne’s Illustrated History of the Future

“The way things were, the way we made things, it turns out, none of it was inevitable — none of it is the way things have to be.” BY MARIA POPOVA “Beauty is truth, truth beauty, — that is all ye know on earth, and all ye need to know,” Keats wrote in the closing lines of his “Ode to a Grecian Urn” in the spring of 1819, in the spring of modern science. Humanity was coming abloom with new knowledge of reality as astronomy was supplanting the superstitions of astrology and chemistry was rising form the primordial waters of … Continue reading We Can Be Different: David Byrne’s Illustrated History of the Future

Nina Simone’s Gum and the Shimmering Strangeness of How Art Casts Its Transcendent Spell on Us

The metaphysical made physical in a symphonic celebration of imagination, collaboration, and the human heart. BY MARIA POPOVA “Time is a dictator, as we know it,” Nina Simone (February 21, 1933–April 21, 2003) observed in her soulful 1969 meditation on time. “Where does it go? What does it do? Most of all, is it alive?” If time is the substance we are made of, as Borges so memorably wrote the year the teenage Eunice Waymon began studying to become “the world’s first great black classical pianist” before she made herself into Nina Simone, then there is something singularly haunting and mysterious about the fragments … Continue reading Nina Simone’s Gum and the Shimmering Strangeness of How Art Casts Its Transcendent Spell on Us

In ‘Architecture in Music,’ Striking Photos Reveal the Hidden Structures of Instruments

1780 Lockey Hill Cello. All images © Charles Brooks, shared with permission by GRACE EBERT A cellist since childhood, Auckland-based photographer Charles Brooks spent twenty years performing with orchestras around the world, an experience that incited curiosity about the inner workings of the instruments surrounding him. “I never really knew what was going on inside. That was a realm reserved for the luthier. Occasionally, when an instrument was being repaired, you’d get a rare glimpse inside, which was always a thrilling experience,” he shares with Colossal. This interest culminates in Brooks’s ongoing Architecture in Music series, which peers inside pianos, winds, brass, and strings … Continue reading In ‘Architecture in Music,’ Striking Photos Reveal the Hidden Structures of Instruments

‘The Matrix Resurrections’ Review

Unlike the sequels that came before it, the latest movie in the Matrix franchise is self-aware enough to keep up with the times. By Matthew Abrahams At the impressionable age of twelve, my older sister and her high school friends brought me to see The Matrix. I hadn’t heard of Plato’s cave or Descartes’s demon or the Heart Sutra’s declaration that there is, in emptiness, “no eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, mind / No color, sound, smell, taste, touch, thing / No realm of sight, no realm of consciousness”—or the countless other contemplations throughout history on the limitations of human perception and consciousness that make … Continue reading ‘The Matrix Resurrections’ Review

Shifting the Silence to Find the Meaning: 95-Year-Old Artist, Poet, and Philosopher Etel Adnan on How to Live and How to Die

“The universe makes a sound — is a sound. In the core of this sound there’s a silence, a silence that creates that sound, which is not its opposite, but its inseparable soul… Silence is a flower, it opens up, dilates, extends its texture, can grow, mutate… It can watch other flowers grow and become what they are.” BY MARIA POPOVA “When you realize you are mortal you also realize the tremendousness of the future. You fall in love with a Time you will never perceive,” the polymathic poet, painter, novelist, and philosopher Etel Adnan (February 24, 1925–November 14, 2021) wrote at … Continue reading Shifting the Silence to Find the Meaning: 95-Year-Old Artist, Poet, and Philosopher Etel Adnan on How to Live and How to Die