The multi-talented Alvin Hall ’74 has just wrapped up filming a new English comedy series called Puppy Love. In the show, Hall plays Jepherson Denomer, an American philanthropist with a vintage maroon Jag and an old trusty dog named Tuggy. The show is written by and stars Jo Scanlan and Vicki Pepperdine, and according to IMDB is “a story of love, dogs and the love of dogs.” The series follows two women “as they navigate their headstrong dogs, impossible teenage kids and disappointing husbands.”
Hall, who is also a financial advisor, author, television and radio broadcaster, and trustee emeritus, is known for his many BBC series and programs, including Jay-Z: From Brooklyn to the Boardroom, Alvin’s Guide to Good Business — in which he visited social entrepreneurs around the world — and Your Money or Your Life, in which he helped people gain control over their finances. He is the author of several books on financial planning, including Getting Started in Stocks.
Earlier in June, Americans commemorated the 70th anniversary of D-Day, the massive deployment of Allied troops during World War II to gain a foothold on the coast of France at Normandy. The speeches and ceremonies of June 6th focused on the events and sacrifices of that first day; less attention has been given to the subsequent landings in June and early July of 1944 that provided combat reinforcements and logistical support for the difficult 77-day Normandy campaign.
Barry Rosenthal used to be a wildlife photographer — until he noticed the not-so-wild things hiding amid his natural subjects. After photographing the debris from a storm at a New Jersey wildlife refuge, he found he couldn’t ignore the trash anymore. Plastic and other waste went from being an aside to being at the forefront of his work. Rosenthal highlights arrays of discarded glass bottles or quilts of interwoven plastic silverware against a black background — as long as he has collected all of the trash himself. “My orthodoxy is that I’ve got to be the one to collect it and haul it in,” he says. “I’ve got to do the whole process.” Read more from The Smithsonian.
“Street art often comes with a bad reputation,” Phillipe Vergne, director of the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, recognizes, “where people don’t know how to discriminate art from vandalism.” But this is not the main reason for the stir over Google’s new Street Art Project, which documents the art painted on buildings around the world. In Europe especially, people find Google’s street view surveillance “invasive,” and see the Street Art Project as an extension of that perceived violation of privacy. There is also the artists’s worry that groups who provide photos to Google are looking to sell images of their artwork. Nonetheless, many artists seem happy to be expanding their visibility online – not to mention the fact that graffiti works are often whitewashed or demolished, giving the Street Art Project an important archival role.
Ever thought of your self as someone who “just wasn’t creative”? The Muse says that’s just plain silly. Simple tricks like being curious about your surroundings, thinking backwards from a solution, and being open to criticism can help anyone think outside the box.
A “delightfully macabre” neo-gothic psychological thriller, Gustavo Faverón Patriau’s debut novel, The Antiquarian, “has hundreds of intricate pieces” and is “intelligently conceived and well executed,” according to a New York Times book review. “Once you finish reading, you may feel compelled to take it apart, figure out how it works and begin again.”
A Peruvian writer and scholar, Faverón Patriau is Associate Professor of Romance Languages and director of Bowdoin’s Latin American Studies Program. His novel, first published in Spanish in 2011 and released in English just last week, has been praised by none other than the Nobel Prize-winning novelist Mario Vargas Llosa.
When Apple’s iTunes was launched in 2001, it was a tool to organize and search music by artist, genre, and other similarly straightforward categories. Today, iTunes organizes your music, TV shows and movies, podcasts, and iPhone and iPad apps, not to mention syncing all of your Apple devices and iCloud storage and offering “iTunes Radio,” a nod to taste-based music shuffling programs like Pandora. This is just one example of how Apple — the brand still famous for being streamlined and straightforward — has grown increasingly complex over the past decade.
On the other hand, Apple and its competitors are all facing the increasing complexity of the technological world, and Apple’s line of products is as straightforward as ever — they still do not include instruction manuals.
Apple has created an empire of sleek products lauded for their innovative, elegant designs. But the secret behind Apple’s design genius is not locked away in some legendary idea vault, nor does it require a team of thousands of specialized designers (and just for the record, it wasn’t as scary to work for Steve Jobs as rumor would have it).
Former Apple designer Mark Kawano debunks and clarifies myths about Apple’s design team, discussing its small, collaborative nature and propensity for informal experimentation and innovation.
Remember when Netflix raised its prices 60% for streaming-plus-DVD customers? How about that first scene in House of Cards — the one with the dog? These are among the events that have served as important lessons for Netflix CEO Reed Hastings ’83 on his way to becoming one of the Internet industry’s leaders.
Fortune magazine writes of humility and the importance of customers in “Stay Humble. Shun Foolish.”
Ever wanted a tour of the world’s weirdest house? Here’s your chance. With a photographic spread featuring such surreal attractions as the “Infinity Room” (pictured), the “Carousel Room” (which contains the world’s largest merry-go-round), and more, Slate attempts to explain the frankly unexplainable phenomenon that is Alex Jordan’s “House on the Rock” in rural Wisconsin.
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