Tom Otterness on how 9/11 Changed New York Art

Tom Otterness: Oh, I think it affected us all here. I mean, we were downtown when that was going on. I was across in Brooklyn. I could see the towers burning from where I was in Dumbo, and I couldn’t watch for long. I mean, you could quickly figure out what was happening and it felt immoral somehow to watch it like that. I don’t know what effect that has. It was a kind of science fiction moment, I think, for us in the city to see 42nd Street completely abandoned. It was like those ‘50s science fiction movies where all of New York has no cars and, you know, there was no food and you walked all the way up and, yeah, it was a strange thing. America has never had war on its soil and so I think it is the first example that, you know, to have what that feels like to have that brought home. I don’t know. It’s, again, one of these things that sort of impossible to make sense of or to resolve or say, oh, how or what effect does it have except, you know, it’s a big effect on us all. It is the solution to come out of it with some sense of humor in it and it’s fortunate for me that my humor is black so that it can incorporate this thing. I always, I think my parents, my mom came out of farm, farmer. It’s sort of a farmer’s black humor. I think I got it from my uncle’s, you know. If the weather is really bad or terrible things happens that’s what’s funny, I mean, so there is a kind of melding of those things and it gets you through.

9/11, says Tom Otterness, was like science fiction.

Car culture and suburban sprawl create rifts in society, claims study

New research links urban planning and political polarization.

Pixabay
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Canadian researchers find that excessive reliance on cars changes political views.
  • Decades of car-centric urban planning normalized unsustainable lifestyles.
  • People who prefer personal comfort elect politicians who represent such views.
Keep reading Show less

Scientists reverse hair loss by making scalp "smell" sandalwood

It turns out the human scalp has an olfactory receptor that seems to play a crucial role in regulating hair follicle growth and death.

Photo: malehmann via Flickr
Surprising Science
  • Scientists treated scalp tissue with a chemical that mimics the odor of sandalwood.
  • This chemical bound to an olfactory receptor in the scalp and stimulated hair growth.
  • The treatment could soon be available to the public.
Keep reading Show less

NASA astronomer Michelle Thaller on ​the multiple dimensions of space and human sexuality

Science and the squishiness of the human mind. The joys of wearing whatever the hell you want, and so much more.

Flickr / 13winds
Think Again Podcasts
  • Why can't we have a human-sized cat tree?
  • What would happen if you got a spoonful of a neutron star?
  • Why do we insist on dividing our wonderfully complex selves into boring little boxes
Keep reading Show less