Millions of people know James Lipton as the host of the popular Bravo series "Inside the Actors Studio." Millions have also enjoyed his recurring guest role on the late, great Fox sitcom "Arrested Development." But how many fans know just what a varied and colorful artistic career he's had? From acting in soap operas to performing ballet, from composing epic poetry as a youngster (it was "terrible," he now admits) to compiling the definitive study of English-language collective nouns ("An Exaltation of Larks"), Lipton has established himself as a modern Renaissance man.
In his Big Think interview, Lipton recalls his struggles as a fledgling actor and writer, a path he chose instead of a career as a "stolid, bourgeois lawyer." A former student of Stella Adler, he shares an illuminating capsule history of Method acting as well as advice on the thespian's craft from the likes of Paul Newman and Alan Alda. He also discusses the thrill of the art he's best known for: that of the interview.
Finally, Lipton offers a glimpse into his non-artistic interests, including piloting planes and show-jumping horses—each of which, like acting, requires a bone-deep love of risk.
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The history of the Geneva Conventions tells us how the international community draws the line on brutality.
- Henry Dunant's work led to the Red Cross and conventions on treating prisoners humanely.
- Four Geneva Conventions defined the rules for prisoners of war, torture, naval and medical personnel and more.
- Amendments to the agreements reflect the modern world but have not been ratified by all countries.
Meanwhile, Spaniards are the least likely to say their culture is superior to others.
- Survey by Pew Research Center shows great variation in chauvinism across Europe.
- Eight most chauvinist countries are in the east, and include Russia.
- British much more likely than French (and slightly more likely than Germans) to say their culture is "superior" to others.
Air pollution is up to five times over the EU limit in these Central London hotspots.
- Dirty air is an invisible killer, but an effective one.
- More than 9,000 people die prematurely in London each year due to air pollution, a recent study estimates.
- This map visualizes the worst places to breathe in Central London.
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