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.

NYTimes exposé reveals how Facebook handled scandals

Delay, deny and deflect were the strategies Facebook has used to navigate scandals it's faced in recent years, according to the New York Times.

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • The exhaustive report is based on interviews with more than 50 people with ties to the company.
  • It outlines how senior executives misled the public and lawmakers in regards to what it had discovered about privacy breaches and Russian interference in U.S. politics.
  • On Thursday, Facebook cut ties with one of the companies, Definers Public Relations, listed in the report.
Keep reading Show less

Russian reporters discover 101 'tortured' whales jammed in offshore pens

Protected animals are feared to be headed for the black market.

(VL.ru)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Russian news network discovers 101 black-market whales.
  • Orcas and belugas are seen crammed into tiny pens.
  • Marine parks continue to create a high-price demand for illegal captures.
Keep reading Show less

Unraveling the mystery behind dogs' floppy ears

Dogs' floppy ears may be part of why they and other domesticated animals love humans so much.

Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash
Surprising Science
  • Nearly all domestic animals share several key traits in addition to friendliness to humans, traits such as floppy ears, a spotted coat, a shorter snout, and so on.
  • Researchers have been puzzled as to why these traits keep showing up in disparate species, even when they aren't being bred for those qualities. This is known as "domestication syndrome."
  • Now, researchers are pointing to a group of a cells called neural crest cells as the key to understanding domestication syndrome.
Keep reading Show less