The Importance of Being a Cartoonist

This afternoon, Michael Kupperman, the man Conan O'Brien calls "one of the best comedy brains on the planet," came in for his close-up with Big Think. Despite freezing weather in New York, the Brooklyn-based cartoon artist and author of two books—"Snake'N'Bacon's Cartoon Cabaret" and his just published "Tales Designed to Thrizzle"—crossed the East River to speak with us about where he finds comic inspiration: namely, the absurd.

Along with explaining the importance of cartooning—"It's the sister art to film"—Kupperman also told a few hilarious stories from his own life. One involved a past employer that had inspired a cartoon character of his own. When his muse (Bossman on paper) discovered his work, young Kupperman was quickly confronted and axed. Stay tuned for more.

Countries with more butter have happier citizens

Butter supply and life satisfaction are linked – but by causation or correlation?

Image: Carey Tilden/Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 2.0
Strange Maps
  • Haiti and other countries with low butter supply report low life satisfaction.
  • The reverse is true for countries like Germany, which score high in both categories.
  • As the graph below shows, a curious pattern emerges across the globe. But is it causation or correlation?
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Jordan Peterson on why you need to clean your room

Sometimes the basics really matter.

Dr. Jordan Peterson. (Carlos Osorio/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
Personal Growth
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  • The idea stems from millennials who want to change capitalist economic structures though can be applied broadly.
  • In a distracted age, our inability to pay attention to our environment is leading to increased rates of anxiety and depression.
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Will Hunt (explorer) – into the Earth: the mysteries and meanings of underground spaces

The catacombs of Paris. Secret graffiti beneath NYC. The hidden cities of Cappadocia. Writer and explorer Will Hunt is your philosophical tour guide to what lies beneath.

Think Again Podcasts
  • "The surface of the earth is where we're rational . . . Part of us dreads the chaos, and part of us is always attracted to it."
  • "There were these things hanging from the ceiling…long strands of bacteria called "snotsicles"… But at our feet was a natural stream that had been running through Brooklyn forever."
  • "It's…about death. Undergoing a death. We're going into the other world and then retreating to the surface… changed in some way."
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