Acting Up

For once the Oscars is acting “sanely” in awarding Best Picture to a low budget indie film “Hurt Locker” over “Avatar.” Why, then, is The New Republic still frustrated by it?

For once the Oscars is acting "sanely" in awarding Best Picture to a low budget indie film "Hurt Locker" over "Avatar." Why, then, is The New Republic still frustrated by it? Christopher Orr asks: "How did this act of cinematic sanity come about? I'd like to say the Academy stiffed Avatar because, apart from its next-step visuals, it stunk. But when you have an outcome that is so at variance with historic precedent, you generally have to look for circumstances that are themselves at variance with historic precedent. And here, I think, it’s safe to say that the Academy’s newfangled ten-nominee, weighted-voting rules for Best Picture cut heavily, perhaps decisively, in favor of The Hurt Locker. I’d mentioned this factor as a persuasive rationale for a Hurt Locker victory, but unlike folks such as Rick Hertzberg and Ross Douthat, I was not myself persuaded. (We live. We learn.) And though I am still not a fan of overstuffing the category with nearly a dozen nominees—a decision the Academy made, more or less explicitly, to protect itself from its own dubious judgment—I can’t be unhappy about a process that (this time at least) rewarded quality over profitability."

​There are two kinds of failure – but only one is honorable

Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.

Big Think Edge
  • Learn to recognize failure and know the big difference between panicking and choking.
  • At Big Think Edge, Malcolm Gladwell teaches how to check your inner critic and get clear on what failure is.
  • Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
Keep reading Show less

Why is 18 the age of adulthood if the brain can take 30 years to mature?

Neuroscience research suggests it might be time to rethink our ideas about when exactly a child becomes an adult.

Mind & Brain
  • Research suggests that most human brains take about 25 years to develop, though these rates can vary among men and women, and among individuals.
  • Although the human brain matures in size during adolescence, important developments within the prefrontal cortex and other regions still take pace well into one's 20s.
  • The findings raise complex ethical questions about the way our criminal justice systems punishes criminals in their late teens and early 20s.
Keep reading Show less

Believe in soulmates? You're more likely to 'ghost' romantic partners.

Does believing in true love make people act like jerks?

Thought Catalog via Unsplash
Sex & Relationships
  • Ghosting, or cutting off all contact suddenly with a romantic partner, is not nice.
  • Growth-oriented people (who think relationships are made, not born) do not appreciate it.
  • Destiny-oriented people (who believe in soulmates) are more likely to be okay with ghosting.
Keep reading Show less

Mini-brains attach to spinal cord and twitch muscles

A new method of growing mini-brains produces some startling results.

(Lancaster, et al)
Surprising Science
  • Researchers find a new and inexpensive way to keep organoids growing for a year.
  • Axons from the study's organoids attached themselves to embryonic mouse spinal cord cells.
  • The mini-brains took control of muscles connected to the spinal cords.
Keep reading Show less