You Don't Need a Fancy Pen to Be a Great Cartoonist

All you need, if you're Jules Feiffer, is a sharp stick and an even sharper satirical eye. Before he became a Putlizer Prize winner, an Academy Award winner, and one of America's most beloved children's book illustrators, Feiffer was a very young, very angry political cartoonist who found his style by drawing with pointed wooden dowels from the local meat market.In his Big Think interview, Feiffer remembers his renegade days at The Village Voice as a time of political indignation"liberals didn't understand that they had First Amendment rights," he saysbut also of enormous editorial freedom, of a kind that virtually no publication would permit today. Certainly Feiffer himself refused to be constrained by anyone: while "trying to overthrow the government" as a cartoonist, he developed side gigs as a controversial playwright ("Carnal Knowledge") and a beloved children's book illustrator ("The Phantom Tollbooth").

Casting his eye over the American scene today, the illustrator and native New Yorker sees a "scary" but "wonderful" country whose greatest city still has "that crazy, anarchic spirit." He believes American humor, too, remains as vibrant as everexcept that the political cartoonist's traditional role may have been usurped by the likes of Stewart and Colbert.

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Can the keto diet help treat depression? Here’s what the science says so far

A growing body of research shows promising signs that the keto diet might be able to improve mental health.

Public Domain
Mind & Brain
  • The keto diet is known to be an effective tool for weight loss, however its effects on mental health remain largely unclear.
  • Recent studies suggests that the keto diet might be an effective tool for treating depression, and clearing up so-called "brain fog," though scientists caution more research is necessary before it can be recommended as a treatment.
  • Any experiments with the keto diet are best done in conjunction with a doctor, considering some people face problems when transitioning to the low-carb diet.
Keep reading Show less

If you want to spot a narcissist, look at the eyebrows

Bushier eyebrows are associated with higher levels of narcissism, according to new research.

Big Think illustration / Actor Peter Gallagher attends the 24th and final 'A Night at Sardi's' to benefit the Alzheimer's Association at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on March 9, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
  • Science has provided an excellent clue for identifying the narcissists among us.
  • Eyebrows are crucial to recognizing identities.
  • The study provides insight into how we process faces and our latent ability to detect toxic people.
Keep reading Show less

Want to age gracefully? A new study says live meaningfully

Thinking your life is worthwhile is correlated with a variety of positive outcomes.

Surprising Science
  • A new study finds that adults who feel their lives are meaningful have better health and life outcomes.
  • Adults who felt their lives were worthwhile tended to be more social and had healthier habits.
  • The findings could be used to help improve the health of older adults.
Keep reading Show less