Underland

Tim Burton’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’ uses all his best tricks: visual splendor, darkness and Jonny Depp. But The Salon asks if the famed director has fallen down a rabbit hole.

Tim Burton’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’ uses all his best tricks: visual splendor, darkness and Jonny Depp. But The Salon asks if the famed director has fallen down a rabbit hole. "It's disappointing enough that a movie whose title contains the word ‘wonder’ should hold so little of it. It's even more disheartening that that movie should come from Tim Burton, a filmmaker whose imaginativeness -- working in tandem with his dark heart - - has given moviegoers so much pleasure over the years that even at the relatively tender age of 51, he's earned his own Museum of Modern Art retrospective. ‘Alice in Wonderland’ is hardly a total disappointment: Burton has put the expected level of care into its production and character design, and the picture is a far more low-key affair than either of his last two live-action films, ‘Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street’ and ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.’ Unlike the former, ‘Alice’ doesn't groan under the weight of thunderous pretentiousness, and unlike the latter, its garishness is, at least, of the muted sort."

NASA astronomer Michelle Thaller on ​the multiple dimensions of space and human sexuality

Science and the squishiness of the human mind. The joys of wearing whatever the hell you want, and so much more.

Think Again Podcasts
  • Why can't we have a human-sized cat tree?
  • What would happen if you got a spoonful of a neutron star?
  • Why do we insist on dividing our wonderfully complex selves into boring little boxes
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How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

Image: Dicken Schrader
Strange Maps
  • America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
  • Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
  • Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
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Ideology drives us apart. Neuroscience can bring us back together.

A guide to making difficult conversations possible—and peaceful—in an increasingly polarized nation.

Sponsored
  • How can we reach out to people on the other side of the divide? Get to know the other person as a human being before you get to know them as a set of tribal political beliefs, says Sarah Ruger. Don't launch straight into the difficult topics—connect on a more basic level first.
  • To bond, use icebreakers backed by neuroscience and psychology: Share a meal, watch some comedy, see awe-inspiring art, go on a tough hike together—sharing tribulation helps break down some of the mental barriers we have between us. Then, get down to talking, putting your humanity before your ideology.
  • The Charles Koch Foundation is committed to understanding what drives intolerance and the best ways to cure it. The foundation supports interdisciplinary research to overcome intolerance, new models for peaceful interactions, and experiments that can heal fractured communities. For more information, visit charleskochfoundation.org/courageous-collaborations.