Happy Birthday Melville Dewey - American librarian, educator, and inventor of the Dewy Decimal system of library classification!
We’re releasing a special issue on Nelson Mandela commemorating his life in words and pictures, including tributes by Rick Stengel, Bono and Morgan Freeman. The cover features a 1990 photo of Mandela taken by Hans Gedda in Sweden during Mandela’s first trip abroad after his release from Robben Island one month before. This is the sixth time that Mandela has appeared on the cover of TIME. http://ti.me/IT3VdW
Photograph by Hans Gedda—Sygma/Corbis
After 72 years as a leader among superheroes in the DC Comics universe, Wonder Woman is finally going to be in a movie. Someone else’s movie. This week, Warner Brothers announced that Gal Gadot will don the heroine’s bulletproof bracelets in Batman vs. Superman.
While it’s nice that Wonder Woman’s screen debut has arrived, it’s disappointing that it’s only as a sidekick: As Noah Berlatsky wrote here at The Atlantic on Thursday, Wonder Woman was originally meant to replace Superman, not back him up. Why not give her, or any other female superhero for that matter, her own film? Conventional wisdom dictates that Hollywood just doesn’t think it would make money. The twin flops of Halle Berry’s shoddy Catwoman film in 2004 and the ill-advised 2005 Daredevil spinoff, Elektra, are often invoked as a warning that films where the tights-wearing, crime-fighting protagonist is a woman are doomed to failure.
But times have changed and the conventional wisdom no longer applies, if it ever did. In the wake of the $580 million box-office haul for Catching Fire, the Hunger Games sequel starring Jennifer Lawrence, the economic case for the viability of a woman superhero in a starring role makes it look like a slam dunk. Here’s why.
Read more. [Image: Lionsgate / Murray Close]
In 2012, Publishers Weekly chose E. L. James as its Person of the Year. James’s Fifty Shades soft-porn trilogy was a sensation that boosted global print and e-book revenues, with at least 100 million copies sold (and counting). According to Forbes, James topped its annual list of bestselling authors with earnings of $95 million, including movie rights.
This year’s selection for PW's Person of the Year represents a wholly different approach to the honor. It is Oren Teicher, CEO of the American Booksellers Association, and the ABA's board of directors, the organization that represents the country's independent book stores. The fact that these traditional brick-and-mortar, mainly locally owned bookstores are being recognized as outstanding contributors to publishing is not merely a sympathetic gesture to old-fashioned commerce in a generally downward trajectory. The accolade is justified by results defying the odds that so heavily favor the Amazon juggernaut and the chain stores, still led by (the struggling) Barnes & Noble.
Read more. [Image: Reuters]
When The Hunger Games was released in 2012, as design critics we found its Francophile fashion, its Frank Gehry-inspired architecture, and its streamlined technology difficult to ignore—or admire. If this was the future, why did the Capitol look like the 1980s? Do we overlook evil if it’s not dressed up like Fascism? Where did Katniss get that perfectly faded housedress? Naturally, when Catching Fire came out last month, we had to go back for more.
Warning: spoilers from both books and both films ahead.
Read more. [Image: Lionsgate/Murray Close]
"The problem in society is not kids not knowing science. The problem is adults not knowing science. They outnumber kids 5 to 1, they wield power, they write legislation. When you have scientifically illiterate adults, you have undermined the very fabric of what makes a nation wealthy and strong."
- Neil deGrasse Tyson
Dear Santa, Please give the gift of knowledge this Christmas. Thank you.