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."

Related Articles

How swimming in cold water could treat depression

The surprisingly simple treatment could prove promising for doctors and patients seeking to treat depression without medication.

Photo by Luis Marina/Flickr
Mind & Brain
  • A new report shows how cold-water swimming was an effective treatment for a 24-year-old mother.
  • The treatment is based on cross-adaptation, a phenomenon where individuals become less sensitive to a stimulus after being exposed to another.
  • Getting used to the shock of cold-water swimming could blunt your body's sensitivity to other stressors.
Keep reading Show less

Eating your kids may improve your sex life? Sounds fishy.

Maybe try counseling first before you try this, married folks.

Photo by David Clode on Unsplash
Surprising Science
  • The study looks at cannibalism in fish.
  • If it doesn't look like the brood is going to be 'productive,' it might get eaten.
  • Don't try this at home. Seriously, don't. Human beings deserve love and respect.
Keep reading Show less

Are people with more self-discipline happier?

Why self-control makes your life better, and how to get more of it.

Buddhist monks of all nations mediate in Thailand. Monks are well known for their self-discipline and restrictive lifestyle. Is it possible that this leads them to happiness?
(Photo by Geem Drake/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Personal Growth
  • Research demonstrates that people with higher levels of self-control are happier over both the short and long run.
  • Higher levels of self-control are correlated with educational, occupational, and social success.
  • It was found that the people with the greatest levels of self-control avoid temptation rather than resist it at every turn.
Keep reading Show less