Love “Game of Thrones?” Thank “unfashionable” Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, who went against the grain and conquered pop culture – Salon.com

The Inklings were different. They clung by their fingernails to the past, to old languages and old books and old-school habits and values. They could be cranky geezers — beer drinkers who wore tweed, refused to admit women to their ranks and recited Anglo-Saxon poetry for fun. They expected to be ever-more marginalized and sneered at, although they did fight like hell to keep Oxford from updating its syllabus to included such new-fangled entertainments as Victorian novels. Still, they assumed that they’d lose eventually. They were so unfashionable! So how did they end up taking over popular culture?

via Love “Game of Thrones?” Thank “unfashionable” Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, who went against the grain and conquered pop culture – Salon.com.

English: Picture of the corner of the Eagle an...

English: Picture of the corner of the Eagle and Child pub, en Oxford (England), where the Inklings met (1930-1950). Español: Fotografía de la esquina del pub Eagle and Child en Oxford (Inglaterra), donde los Inklings se reunían (1930-1950). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Untold Story of ILM, a Titan That Forever Changed Film | WIRED

No one wanted Star Wars when George Lucas started shopping it to studios in the mid-1970s. It was the era of Taxi Driver and Network and Serpico; Hollywood was hot for authenticity and edgy drama, not popcorn space epics. But that was only part of the problem.

via The Untold Story of ILM, a Titan That Forever Changed Film | WIRED.

Why can’t we read anymore? — Medium

Last year, I read four books.

The reasons for that low number are, I guess, the same as your reasons for reading fewer books than you think you should have read last year: I’ve been finding it harder and harder to concentrate on words, sentences, paragraphs. Let alone chapters. Chapters often have page after page of paragraphs. It just seems such an awful lot of words to concentrate on, on their own, without something else happening. And once you’ve finished one chapter, you have to get through another one. And usually a whole bunch more, before you can say finished, and get to the next. The next book. The next thing. The next possibility. Next next next.

via Why can’t we read anymore? — Medium.

40 maps that explain outer space – Vox

Space is uniquely difficult for us to wrap our heads around. It’s bigger, by many orders of magnitude, than anything we ever experience firsthand, and involves processes that unfold over the course of billions of years. One thing that can help you visualize space is maps and graphics like these — images that capture the diversity, the strangeness, and, above all, the vastness of the universe around us.

via 40 maps that explain outer space – Vox.

Review: David Letterman Says Goodbye, With Self-Mockery and a Little Mush – NYTimes.com

“You know what I’m going to devote the rest of my life to?” David Letterman said on his last night as the host of the “Late Show” on CBS. “Social media.”

Mr. Letterman ended his 33-year career in late night on Wednesday as he had started it — with the irreverence, self-mockery and mischief that made him such an iconoclastic talk-show host.

via Review: David Letterman Says Goodbye, With Self-Mockery and a Little Mush – NYTimes.com.

Matthew Weiner, the Creator of ‘Mad Men,’ Prepares for Another Fade to Black – NYTimes.com

It took almost 55 years, but the 1960s are finally over. They ended without our even realizing it, somewhere in the middle of this bifurcated final season of “Mad Men,” after Don Draper and his fellow employees at Sterling Cooper & Partners watched the moon landing and mourned the death of the agency’s gentle co-founder Bert Cooper. When the AMC drama returned a year later, in April, for its final seven episodes, suddenly it was the spring of 1970, and the decade that had defined this show was gone.

Now there are no more reprieves for “Mad Men.” On Sunday, after 92 episodes, the series and the story of Don Draper come to an end.

via Matthew Weiner, the Creator of ‘Mad Men,’ Prepares for Another Fade to Black – NYTimes.com.

David Letterman’s Final Guest Is Bill Murray

TIME

Watch the full interview below

David Letterman’s final guest will be the same as his first. The CBS Late Night host has picked Bill Murray to be his last announced interview guest.

Murray has been on Letterman’s show 43 times over the last 33 years. During his first visit to Letterman (then on NBC) in 1982, the Lost in Translation actor memorably declared to Dave: “You got out of Indianapolis and didn’t look back. I’m just waiting for the other shoe to fall on you, man, and I want to be there when it hits the floor! I had a chance to strangle Richard Nixon and I didn’t—and I regret it!”

Other guests during Letterman’s final week include actor Tom Hanks and singer Eddie Vedder.

Murray will appear on Letterman’s second-to-last episode. Letterman’s final show is May 20, which CBS says “which will be an hour filled with surprises [and]…

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Mad Men Best Thing – What We’ll Miss About Mad Men

But more than the characters, dialogue, or auteurist details, what I’ll miss most about Mad Men is the way I, and perhaps many of you, absorbed it. This was not a show that we merely watched. We studied it. We hit pause to verify the names of the books that popped up in certain scenes. (Did everyone else notice the appearance of both Michael Crichton’s The Andromeda Strain and James Michener’s Hawaii—the jumping-off point?—during Don’s hotel stay in last week’s episode? Of course you did. Because you hit pause on the DVR.) We scrutinized the costumes, not only for their period accuracy and textural gorgeousness, but for their deeper meanings. We connected the dots from things that happened all the way back in seasons one or two to the moments unfolding in seasons six or seven. We read up on the 1960s history that served as both backdrop and subtext for whatever was happening in Don’s, Joan’s, Peggy’s, or Pete’s world.

via Mad Men Best Thing – What We’ll Miss About Mad Men.

Mad Men

Mad Men (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Touring New York, With ‘Mad Men’ in Mind – NYTimes.com

”Mad Men” ends its run on Sunday night, and a toast is definitely in order. Martinis and Manhattans are among the cocktails made for the occasion, New York City the optimal locale.

A “Mad Men” tour of New York might start with a martini at Sardi’s (featured in Season 2), either the Little Bar on the main floor or the larger bar on the second called Club Sardi, but open to all. Upstairs, you get a view outside of the marquees for “Matilda” and “Mamma Mia” on West 44th Street, and inside of a gallery of caricatures — Bob Hope! George Hamilton! Marlo Thomas! The bartenders, in burgundy Sardi’s jackets, are pleasant, and a martini with Stolichnaya is $14.15 (tax included).

via Touring New York, With ‘Mad Men’ in Mind – NYTimes.com.