'The Greatest Showman' and the Problem of ‘Exploitainment’

Adam Gravano

The Greatest Showman takes the second perspective. These aren't just “freaks.” Yes, the draw is their perceived defects and differences, but what would they be without them? Why shouldn't they take pride in these and showcase them to the world? Is this even right? Is it being done in such a way as to appeal to the coarse and base in us? The question should remain unanswered, as there's plenty of exploitative media to go around for the able-bodied and sound of mind as well: every cable news confrontation, the entire reality television niche, and the revelations of #MeToo lay bare an industry to which Barnum would hardly be a stranger — perhaps even unreconstructed. 

Evan Narcisse on Writing ‘Rise of the Black Panther’

Jason Johnson

Writing genius Evan Narcisse, who writes about comics and comic reviews at io9, is now writing the Rise of the Black Panther limited series for Marvel comics. The comic covers the early years of T’Challa as Black Panther, as well as his family history and nation. Consider it like a Fodor’s for Wakanda. The book is exciting, well-written and a great jumping-on point for anybody of any age who wants to know more about the character. 

The Dawn of the Passenger Economy

Brandpoint

Right now, the most-talked-about piece of technological innovation that is poised to transform our lives is the autonomous or self-driving car. As self-driving cars gain widespread adoption, analysts are predicting the rise of what is known as the passenger economy — a term coined by Intel — that is expected to be worth $7 trillion by 2050 as validated in a new report by analyst firm Strategy Analytics.

A Girl Vanishes, Seasons Pass, in Jon McGregor’s ‘Reservoir 13’

Lee Polevoi

A frenzied, exhaustive search gets underway. But despite the best efforts of residents and authorities, no trace of the girl is found. McGregor, employing a kind of narrative wide-angle lens, travels fitfully among the villagers—Jones, the school janitor; Jane, the vicar; the butcher Martin Fowler and his wife, Ruth; teens Sophie, James, Liam and Deepak—pausing long enough to remark on their circumstances and then moving on. 

Go Nuts: The Health Benefits of Pistachios

Brandpoint

The fiber in pistachios also can help with digestion. Research shows that the fiber in pistachios works as a probiotic and feeds the good bacteria in our digestive tract to improve the health of our digestive system. A single serving of pistachios contains as much as 3 grams of dietary fiber. Developing adult onset diabetes, or Type 2 diabetes, is a common fear for boomers. The American Diabetes Association praises the health benefits of nuts, including pistachios.

Farewell Rock ‘n’ Roll: Hip Hop, R&B Are Biggest U.S. Music Genres

Jill Serjeant

Powered by a 72 percent increase in on-demand audio streaming, eight of the top 10 albums came from the world of rap or R&B, including Kendrick Lamar’s “DAMN,” Drake’s “More Life” and “24K Magic” by Bruno Mars, according to Nielsen Music’s 2017 year-end report, released on Wednesday. Rap and R&B also dominate the Grammy awards later in January, with rapper Jay-Z and Lamar leading nominations.

Carrying on Musical Family Traditions at the Grammys

Geraldine Wyckoff

As the title suggests, Gumbo stirs up a mixture of genres all of which remain solidly in Morton’s comfort zone and mastery. He gets funky on another original, the dance-ready, “Sticking to My Guns” that gets down with a full band – horns and all – plus background singers. He sends his message with a groove on “Religion,” and offers some old-school style soul on “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright” that features The Chicago Kid and background vocals by the Hamiltones. Morton 

The Art of Modigliani – The Man Behind the Mask

Sandra Bertrand

One of the most telling exhibit quotes by the artist is as follows: “Always speak out and keep forging ahead.  The man who cannot find a new person within himself is not a man.”  For Modigliani, the decisive move toward metaphorical abstraction was absolute.  One senses in the later paintings and sculpture a no-turning-back sensibility; he was ready to toss his hat in with the gods of the ancients. French colonialism was making West African sculptures and other ritualistic objects available for study back home and Picasso and Matisse took note. 

The Rise of Java Journeys in El Salvador

Brandpoint

The coffee harvest period begins in October in the low altitude and extends until March in the higher-altitude areas. If traveling during this period, consider checking out the El Carmen Estate, a coffee plantation founded in 1930 in the Apaneca-Ilamatepec mountain range next to the quaint town of Concepción de Ataco. Consider taking the integral tour, a three-hour immersive adventure into all things coffee. 

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