Something wonderful for the week: May 27
Each week, Partisans editors recommend something worth reading, listening to, visiting, watching, or otherwise experiencing this week.
Prajwal Ciryam: I was in London on Sunday for one of BBC Radio 4’s recordings of famed American humorist David Sedaris. Sedaris is everything you would hope — funny, unassuming, quirky — and a few things you wouldn’t. The inflected pathos of his radio voice suggests anxious agony, but in person, it’s clear he enjoys his job. He smiles at a good turn of phrase, takes pleasure in the audience’s delight, and is completely charming. Readers of his memoir “Me Talk Pretty One Day” will remember his directionless isolation as a child and young man; it’s clear that the middle-aged Sedaris has overcome these challenges, or that he puts on one hell of a show.
Alexander Hudson: At the recommendation of almost every single one of my friends, I finally started listening to Radiolab, the radio show and podcast produced by New York City’s WYNC. My first episode was last week’s “Colors.” It’s a fascinating hour-long episode all about colors: where they come from physically, how our eyes detect and distinguish them, how we perceive them in our minds, and even some interesting historical tidbits. (Did you know that the poet Homer never mentioned the color blue in his poems?) The most interesting part comes near the end, when Guy Deutscher, a linguist interviewed for the show, asks his infant daughter what color the sky is. I highly recommend you give it a listen.
Nick Naroditski: Watch “The Dictator.” It is a gloriously ridiculous, offensive, absurdly silly movie. A famous North African dictator falling in love with a short, crunchy, feminist hippie in New York while trying to rescue his nation‘s oppressive nature. Although if you are pursuing political correctness, I wouldn’t even be seen in the theater. My favorite single moment was his entourage arriving in New York — him on a camel, surrounded by hot bodyguards, with literally a fleet of blue lamborghinis in formation driving behind him.
Michael Trice: I’m thrilled to get a bit of time to toy around with the new GameSalad for Windows Beta. This company understands literacy. Everywhere you look online gamification is being thrown at you with Likes, RTs, and achievements. However, too few companies ever really expose the consumer to the world of actual game design, instead of just throwing the trappings of game design at us. The people at GameSalad do it differently by taking away the need to program, but still requiring you to understand the principles of design in order to use their software to make HTML5 and mobile app games. It’s akin to allowing you to drive for the first time without forcing you to build the car yourself.