Arts and Culture

chess fight

Chess has a reputation as a highly-intelligent, elegant game. But sportswriter Brin-Jonathan Butler says it’s also addictive — and sadistic.More

Mahjong tiles

Board games are a tradition for a lot of us. But have you ever thought about where those traditions come from? Producer Angelo Bautista investigates the history of mahjong.More

Still from "Talking about Adultery" with a woman's exposed garter.

Filmmaker Bara Jichova Tyson had every reason to be cynical about romance after what she saw growing up under Communist rule. But it turns out love can come along when you least expect it — including while you're filming a movie about cheating and failed relationships.More

Dasha Kelly Hamilton

Performer Dasha Kelly Hamilton explains why all women need to be intimately familiar with the challenge and thrill of catching a fly.More

A man and woman share a plate of bacon.

There’s a popular joke on the internet whenever a gender reveal party goes awry or a wife complains about babysitting her husband: Are straight people okay? Author Jane Ward investigates.More

A wall with the asexual flag colors

One of the first assumptions we make about a relationship is that it begins with sexual attraction. But what about desire without sex? Angela Chen explores the contradictions — and the possibilities — of asexuality in her new book.More

the new coffee date, on zoom

Living in this COVID-19 quarantine makes it especially tough for those looking for love, or at least a good date. But according to dating coach Logan Ury, there may be a silver lining to this enforced isolation — maybe even the jolt they need to break out of bad dating habits.More

AI robots and dragons

Victor LaValle is the editor of a collection of short stories where — even in dire situations and terrifying futures — everyone has a place, and a chance at being the hero.More

Common

Rapper Common is eager to talk about hope – specifically, how we can make hope in our lives.More

Megan Stielstra

Author Megan Stielstra tells the story of how she first crossed paths with "The Chronology of Water," Lidia Yuknavitch's award-winning memoir — the anti-memoir that broke new ground for speaking with candor about the joy and the pain of living.More

Alice Walker

Hope is a complicated, even slippery, word. One that demands a poet’s voice. Here’s Alice Walker, reading her poem “Hope is a Woman Who Has Lost Her Fear.”More

"Junebug"

Nathaniel Mary Quinn was abandoned as a child. Today, he’s a celebrated painter, exhibiting around the world. He tells Charles his remarkable story about talent and perseverance in the face of enormous odds.More

The creative mind

Novelist Siri Hustvedt knows how the creative process feels. Neuroscientist Heather Berlin knows what it looks like in the brain. Together with Steve, they explore the emerging science of creativity.More

Mark on own personal "Walden Pond" in Animal Crossing

Game developer Tracy Fullerton tells us why Henry David Thoreau would play her new game. It’s called “Walden.”More

Girls in pink, boys in blue

Historian Jo Paoletti speaks with Shannon about gender's ever-changing relationship with fashion.More

Carolyn Smith

Could you trade the convenience of instant-purchase online clothing stores for a wardrobe you made yourself? Carolyn Smith went for an even bigger challenge: only wearing clothing she made by hand for a full year.More

Screenshot from "Desert Bus" playthrough by Phrasz013.

A simulated eight-hour bus drive earns you one point. Why would anyone want to play a game like that?More

Mark and Anne in front of Mark's home in "Animal Crossing"

Mark just built a new house. In fact, he built a whole town. And it's the one place we can actually visit, because it’s inside a game. He’s been taking refuge from the grim reality of a global pandemic...in Animal Crossing.More

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