A map of America’s most famous – and infamous – people

The 'People Map of the United States' zooms in on America's obsession with celebrity

Image: The Pudding
  • Replace city names with those of their most famous residents and you get a peculiar map of America's obsession with celebrity.
  • The multitalented Dwayne Johnson, boxing legend Muhammad Ali and Apple co-founder Steve Jobs dominate the West Coast.
  • If you seek fame, become an actor, musician or athlete rather than a politician, entrepreneur or scientist.
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Strange Maps

Louis C.K., #MeToo, and accountability: Why binary thinking doesn't help

We may not learn and grow beyond the #MeToo era if we keep thinking in black and white, says comedian Pete Holmes.

  • The collective suffering society is going through with the #MeToo movement is the earmark that real change is happening, says comedian Pete Holmes. Abusers need to acknowledge their wrongdoing and, where possible, be open about their evolution and growth.
  • Comedian Louis C.K.'s abuses and return to the stage have divided the comedy community and society on a broader scale. The debate predominately has two narratives: Either C.K. is a monster, or he is a symbol of artistic freedom.
  • The truth, says Holmes, is likely in the middle, and our need to take a binary stance won't help us confront and grow from these complicated issues.
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Videos

Why the south of Westeros is the north of Ireland

As Game of Thrones ends, a revealing resolution to its perplexing geography.

Image: YouTube / Doosh
  • The fantasy world of Game of Thrones was inspired by real places and events.
  • But the map of Westeros is a good example of the perplexing relation between fantasy and reality.
  • Like Britain, it has a Wall in the North, but the map only really clicks into place if you add Ireland.
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Strange Maps

Take a pause to let your mind work

Why the culture that destroyed attention spans is now turning to podcasts.

  • Taking a pause after consuming a piece of art or media is essential to our memory, emotions, and intellectual digestion, says writer, director and podcaster John Cameron Mitchell.
  • We live in an age full of influencers and YouTube personalities, but fewer narrative powerhouses. Storytelling takes time, skill, and requires us to make space to gather our thoughts.
  • Podcasts are a storytelling rebellion against so-called ADHD culture. If the internet ruined our attention spans, can the single-sense format of podcasts bring it back?
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Videos

Is acting hazardous? On the risks of immersing oneself in a role.

It's easy to imagine why people link Heath Ledger's death to his treacherous penultimate role.

Paul Kane/Getty Images
  • In 2008, actor Heath Ledger accidentally overdosed on sleeping pills and died, aged 28.
  • One myth that attached itself to Ledger's death was that it was somehow a result of immersing himself in the character of the Joker.
  • New research suggest that fully immersed actors "forget themselves" in the sense that they actively ignore facts about who they are, temporarily subordinating their own thoughts and feelings to those of their character.
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Mind & Brain