Behind the Scenes: Those Enduring Cartoon Clichés (The New Yorker)


Looking for meaning in cartoon tropes.


Readers of The New Yorker are especially familiar with some common conventions in cartoon humor — the tiny desert island, the grim reaper, the guru atop the mountain.

Bob Mankoff, The New Yorker‘s cartoon editor, takes us behind the scenes for a look at “The Secrets Behind Cartoon Tropes.Watch the 60 Minutes interview with Mankoff.


Workplace Personality Tests: What They Reveal About Us (Wall Street Journal)

Measuring a men


With the rising use of personality tests as part of job applications, The Wall Street Journal asked an industrial and organizational psychologist to interpret some of the questions found on job tests for retail and restaurant chains.

For instance, is it better to be unique or orderly? Unfortunately, you won’t find any “right” answers since different jobs desire different personality traits.

But it turns out your answers to the personality test questions correspond to varying measures of the Five Factor Model’s personality dimensions: openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. Read the article here.

Don’t Judge: Inside the Work of a Master Book Cover Artist (Wired)

Open Book

Sometimes it’s not the story that draws you to a book but the cover. For 15 years Peter Menedelsund, associate art director at Knopf, has been designing book covers. Having worked with titles like The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and The Flame Alphabet, the question aries: what is it that makes this designer so original and successful?

Part of Menedelsund’s technique is to not simply go with a pre-described image, but to look deeper within the text to form a cover that pertains to the stories perspective and themes. Read more about Menedelsund’s book covers. 

Slideshow: A Night Mingling With Art


In what has become a fall tradition, Student Activities last Friday threw its annual evening soiree at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art and invited the entire student body.

About 450 students came out for the semi-formal party to see friends, check out the museum’s exhibitions and listen to a cappella performances. Check out the slideshow.