Alexandra Petri: Liked the wedding ring story? Here are further feel-good tales. (Slate)
One of the more depressing angles of being alive in this wonderful corner of time is our relentless tendency to try to put a positive spin on horrifying situations: This isn't a horrifying story about someone without access to the medication they need to live; it's a heartwarming tale of how 50 strangers got together and bought insulin! This isn't a harrowing account of how teachers supply classrooms from their own pocket; it's a feel-good story about the Mom Who Bought 90 Glue Sticks and a Truck! (My friend Jessica M. Goldstein has written about this " Feel-Good Feel-Bad Story" phenomenon repeatedly.)
Jonathan Chait: If Only Obama Had Done the Things Obama Actually Did (NY Mag)
It might seem bizarre that Obama's record in these areas could be so thoroughly forgotten that somebody like [Lawrence] Glickman - a history professor, no less! - could casually describe a list of things accomplished as though they were goals no recent Democrats even bothered to attempt. That he can do so is a testament to the left's persistent negativity throughout Obama's presidency. They've repeated their complaints about Obama's achievements so many times they've forgotten everything he did.
Paul Krugman: Brewing Up Confusion (NY Times; from Dec 2012)
Howard Schultz, the C.E.O. of Starbucks, has a reputation as a good guy, a man who supports worthy causes. And he presumably thought he would add to that reputation when he posted an open letter urging his employees to promote fiscal bipartisanship by writing "Come together" on coffee cups. In reality, however, all he did was make himself part of the problem. And his letter was actually a very good illustration of the forces that created the current mess.
Lucy Mangan: "Januhairy: why women are readily embracing their body hair this month" (Stylist)
… it's all part of the idea we grow up with that our bodies are not our own. They are not secondary to ourselves as they are for men; not mere vehicles for the unique, interesting, complicated person who dwells within. They are ornaments to society, packaging that is worth more than the gift inside and need to be kept working and healthy primarily so that they don't become displeasing for others to look at.
Lucy Mangan: American History's Biggest Fibs review - Trump would put Lucy Worsley up against the wall (The Guardian)
The historian unravels all the lies about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Top marks!
Tess Nichol: Why Is All of New Zealand Obsessed With This Drunken, Littering, Rowdy Tourist Family? (Slate)
"I'll knock your brains out!"
Shamubeel Eaqub: The downside of too many tourists loving New Zealand (Stuff)
OPINION: In a world of easy and affordable travel, it is easy to become strangers in your own city, while tourists stay in Airbnb of Ikea-catalogue charm, and sit in "authentic" local establishments watching other tourists. In the world of tourism, overtourism is the buzzword and we need a plan.
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• Sergei Shchukin collected the paintings of Henri Matisse and other then-controversial artists such as Paul Cézanne, Paul Gauguin, Claude Monet, and Vincent van Gogh when they were not popular. Even Sergei had to take some time to get used to their new styles of painting. Mr. Shchukin visited Matisse's studio and liked a still life, but he told Matisse that he would have to take it and live with it for a number of days, "and if I can bear it and remain interested in it, I'll keep it." Other people could not bear the then-new styles of art. A visitor to Mr. Shchukin's house wrote - directly on a canvas by Monet! - some indignant words. Mr. Shchukin commissioned Matisse to create Dance II and Music for his house. After they had been created, Mr. Shchukin wrote Matisse, "I am beginning to enjoy looking at your panel the Dance, and as for Music, that will come in time." Mr. Shchukin was a champion of the controversial new art, and he - a stutterer - once showed a Gauguin he had bought to a visitor and said, "A ma-ma-madman painted it, and a ma-ma-madman bought it." However, Mr. Shchukin truly did appreciate this art. About Matisse's Moroccan Café, he wrote Matisse that he contemplated this painting - his favorite - not less than one hour each day.
• Enrico Caruso did many good deeds. An old friend of his once told him, "I have the most wonderful painting of Naples to show you. I assure you that it was done by a great artist, and I came by it through a stroke of luck. It hangs in my restaurant. You must come see it immediately. You, who are a connoisseur in these matters, will appreciate it." Enrico, accompanied by his wife, Dorothy, and by his friend, did see the painting, which Dorothy recognized as very bad - she even expected her husband to reproach his friend for recommending that he see such a bad painting. Enrico, however, looked at the painting seriously, and then he asked how much it would cost to buy the painting. Hearing the answer - $500, a very large sum of money at the time - he said he would buy it. Later, Dorothy asked why he wanted such a painting. Enrico explained that his friend needed money and would never ask him for it, and that this was his way of giving his friend money. Besides, he would send the painting to another friend as a joke. (When Enrico learned that the friend to whom he had sent the painting had actually hung it on a wall out of respect for him, he was horrified and told him to take it down because he had been "making a funny" - Enrico's term for a joke.
• Claude Monet created a series of paintings with the haystacks of Giverny as their topic. Why did he paint the haystacks over and over? So that he could capture the various kinds of light on them. When he first decided to paint the haystacks, he sent Suzanne Hoschedé, his stepdaughter, to get him two canvases: one for painting the haystacks in direct sunshine, and one for painting the haystacks when a cloud covered the sun. However, he quickly discovered that there were other variations of light that he wanted to paint, and so he kept sending Suzanne to get more canvases. When Suzanne returned with the first two canvases, Monet remembered, "I noticed that the light had changed. I said to [her], 'Would you go back to the house, please, and bring me another canvas?' She brought it to me, but very soon the light had changed again. 'One more!' and, 'One more still!'" Eventually, he was painting on five canvases, moving from one to the other as the light changed.
• Not everyone wanted drawings by Pop artist Andy Warhol. He once gave a drawing of a butterfly to Greta Garbo, who was famous for wanting to be alone. She crumpled up the drawing and threw it away. He retrieved it and gave it a new name: Crumpled Butterfly by Greta Garbo. Another person who crumpled up a drawing that Mr. Warhol gave him was Frank O'Hara, poet and curator at the Museum of Modern Art. The drawing, which was imaginary, was of Mr. O'Hara's penis. Of course, Mr. Wahol's art became popular. In a notebook, he once wrote that he wanted a "GALLERY LIVE PEOPLE"-an exhibit that consisted of people as the works of art. Something like that occurred in 1965 when an exhibition of his art in Philadelphia became so crowded that the staff took the artworks off the walls so that the artworks would not be damaged. All that was left was the people.
• Polyclitus, an ancient Greek sculptor, once created two statues. One statue he kept private; the other he displayed to visitors. Often, a visitor would criticize the statue in some way, saying that the eyes were too far apart or that a thigh was too long. Whenever someone criticized the statue, Polyclitus would "fix" whatever the visitor had criticized. When both statues were completed, he exhibited both statues. The statue he had worked on in private was pronounced a masterpiece; the one that had been "fixed" by taking account the criticisms of visitors was laughed at. Polyclitus was asked, "How can one statue be so good and the other statue be so bad?" He replied, "Because I did this one, and you did that one."
• In her old age, Mrs. Georges Kars, the widow of a Jewish painter who committed suicide while the Nazis were occupying Paris, owned a valuable - both artistically and financially - art collection. Some people wondered what would happen to her art collection when or before she died, and an art dealer upset her one day by insensitively asking, "Well, Mrs. Kars, now that you will soon have to prepare yourself for the long, long journey, what are the plans for your collection?"
• Artists frequently work with nude models. Artists John "Jack" Baldwin and his wife, Bunny, once took a vacation in Mexico, where they went to a clothing-optional beach. Bunny pointed out a particularly beautiful naked woman to Jack, who told her, "I am not here to work."
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In The Chaos Household
Santa Ana's are blowing.
Las Vegas Show
Lady Gaga blew up Vice President Mike Pence (R-Bottom) and his wife with a searing tirade and blew out the power at the Park Theater on Saturday night.
Gaga delivered a scorching criticism of Pence and his wife, Karen, as she sat at the piano while performing "Million Reasons" Saturday night at Park MGM on the Strip.
Gaga passionately took issue with Karen Pence's return to teaching art at Immanuel Christian School, a private K-8 school in Springfield, Virginia, that seeks to ban LGBTQ and LGBTQ-supportive teachers and students.
"And to Mike Pence who thinks that it's OK that his wife works at a school that bans LGBTQ. You're wrong. you're the worst representation of what it means to be a Christian," Gaga said as the crowd cheered."I am a Christian woman, and what I do know about Christianity is that we bear no prejudice and everybody is welcome. So you can take all that disgrace, Mr. Pence, and look yourself in the mirror and you'll find it right there."
Gaga also referred to the government shutdown, which she blames on President Trump: "There are people that live paycheck to paycheck that need their money."
Jimmy Buffett capped off his rendition of the National Anthem before Sunday's NFC Championship game in New Orleans with an emphatic mic drop.
Buffett, a lifelong Saints fan, delivered a straightforward, near-recited rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner," but it was the "Margaritaville" singer's actions after "And the home of the brave" that made him go viral: With microphone still in hand, Buffett lifted his right arm and dropped the mic near the 50-yard line.
Buffett's mic drop comes a week after Faith No More's Mike Patton canceled his National Anthem performance ahead of last week's Los Angeles Rams game.
winner of today's game between the Rams and the Saints will proceed to Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta, where they will witness Gladys Knight sing the National Anthem, as well as a halftime show headlined by Maroon 5 and featuring Travis Scott and Outkast's Big Boi.
Set To Play Maggie Thatcher
Gillian Anderson is set to play former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in the fourth season of Netflix drama The Crown.
The X-Files actress, who is currently playing a sex therapist in another Netflix show, Sex Education, will play the Iron Lady when the series moves into the 1970s, according to The Times.
However, she won't be appearing for quite some time, as the third season of the royal drama has yet to air on Netflix.
The new season sees a cast shake-up, with Olivia Colman replacing Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth II and Tobias Menzies taking over the role of her husband Prince Philip from Matt Smith.
Helena Bonham Carter will star as the Queen's sister Princess Margaret, while Ben Daniels plays her husband, Antony Armstrong-Jones.
Not A Fan
Earlier this week, Sony announced that they were making a sequel to Ghostbusters. Not Paul Feig's 2016 remake, however, but a sequel to the original two movies from the '80s, coming from director Jason Reitman, son of original director Ivan Reitman.
While millions of fans expressed their excitement at returning to the original universe, others were disappointed that Feig's story would not be further explored, particularly one of the remake's stars, Leslie Jones.
On Saturday, the Saturday Night Live writer and comedian tweeted: "So insulting. Like fuck us. We dint count. It's like something trump would do. (Trump voice) "Gonna redo ghostbusteeeeers, better with men, will be huge. Those women ain't ghostbusteeeeers" ugh so annoying. Such a dick move. And I don't give fuck I'm saying something!!"
To her credit, the 2016 remake was a success for Sony, grossing around $229 million worldwide, despite not receiving a proper release in China due to its supernatural elements. It currently sits at 60 on Metacritic, only 10 below the original.
However, it should be noted that Reitman doesn't plan to cast all men - or even all women, for that matter - but is reportedly looking for four teens, specifically, two boys and two girls. The four will likely be paired with the original cast.
Confused With Climate Change Again
Donald Trump (R-Inadequate) has again confused weather with climate change, suggesting the US would benefit from "a little of that good old fashioned Global Warming right now" amid forecasts of snow and cold conditions.
Little more than two months since a similarly misleading conflation, the president tweeted: "Be careful and try staying in your house. Large parts of the Country are suffering from tremendous amounts of snow and near record setting cold.
In November, Mr Trump conflated seasonal weather with climate change, suggesting chilly conditions meant global warming wasn't real.
The 72-year-old has long history of denying the scientific consensus on climate change. He once claimed the phenomenon was a Chinese hoax intended to hurt American exports.
In October, Mr Trump told CBS's 60 Minutes he thought that although the climate might be changing, the climate "could very well go back".
Fire Damages Studios
An electrical fire broke out Sunday morning at a building that houses MSNBC, Fox "News" and C-SPAN studios in D.C.
DC Fire and EMS said the fire took place around 7:15 a.m. in MSNBC's studio on the eighth floor of the building at 400 North Capitol Street, NW, and that no one was injured. The Fox News and C-SPAN studios are in the same building, though on different floors.
Vice President Mike Pence (R-OfDonald) was scheduled to be present at the building to appear on "Fox News Sunday" with host Chris Wallace but was not there at the time of the evacuation, a Pence spokesperson told ABC7.
As a result of the fire, "Fox News Sunday" moved to FOX 5's studio at 5151 Wisconsin Avenue, NW, and Pence still appeared on the show. A FOX 5 assignment editor told ABC7 that former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Serial Philanderer) also was at the FOX 5 studios.
Steve Scully, the political editor for C-SPAN, wrote on Twitter that the Fox News and C-SPAN studios sustained "extensive damage," and MSNBC's studio took on "extensive smoke and water damage."
New Billionaire Every 2 Days
Income inequality is creating what charity Oxfam International calls a "deeply shocking" trend: Billionaires are not only growing wealthier and adding to their ranks, but the poorest half of the world is losing wealth at a time when the world's economy is expanding.
The economic climate is accruing outsized gains to billionaires, whose fortunes rose by 12 percent last year, while the poorest half of humanity - 3.8 billion people - saw their wealth decline by 11 percent, Oxfam found. Its report will be released at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, which begins Tuesday and draws billionaires like Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, policymakers and corporate leaders.
With the benefits of the economic expansion shifting to the world's richest people, billionaires are adding $2.5 billion in wealth each day. And every two days, a millionaire jumps into the ranks of the billionaire class, Oxfam said.
Oxfam, which has been studying the dynamics of wealth inequality since 2011, said the latest findings suggest that a new economic approach is needed to help recenter the wealth distribution. Many policy makers and economists have believed that economic growth will lift all boats, but that isn't playing out for billions of people across the globe. One reason: Tax rates have dropped to recent historic lows, allowing the rich and corporations to hold on to more wealth, said Paul O'Brien, vice president for policy and advocacy at Oxfam America.
The top-heavy distribution of wealth has coincided with a drastic reduction in tax rates for the world's richest, Oxfam said. It found that the top rate for the rich in developed countries plunged from 62 percent in 1970 to 38 percent in 2013. In 2017, President Trump reduced tax rates for individuals and corporations, a decrease that favors the rich and businesses.
Doctors Save Man
15 Cans Of Beer
A man at risk of dying from alcohol poisoning had 15 cans of beer pumped into his stomach by doctors in order to save his life.
Nguyen Van Nhat, 48, was unconscious in a hospital in Quang Tri, Vietnam, the Mirror reports. Every hour he was out, doctors pumped a can of beer into his stomach - for a total of 15.
Dr. Le Van Lam told local media that the level of methanol in the man's blood was 1,119 times higher than the limit, according to the Mirror. Doctors used three cans of beer initially to slow the processing of methanol.
Dr. Lam explained that alcohol comes in two forms, ethanol and methanol, and that the body breaks down ethanol as a priority. Ethanol is contained in most alcoholic beverages, while methanol is found in cleaning products, anti-freeze and bootlegged liquor. Methanol poisoning can cause permanent blindness and death.
By pumping beer, which contains ethanol, doctors were able to perform a proper dialysis before the man's liver processed all the methanol in his system.
15 Cans Of Beer
Weekend Box Office
M. Night Shyamalan scored his fifth No. 1 movie as the director's "Glass," while not quite the blockbuster some expected, nevertheless dominated Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend at the box office with $40.6 million in ticket sales according to studio estimates Sunday.
Universal Pictures predicted that "Glass" will make about $47 million over the four-day holiday weekend. Some industry forecasts had gone as high as $75 million over four days. But poor reviews took some of the momentum away from "Glass," Shyamalan's final entry in a trilogy begun with 2000's "Unbreakable" and followed up with 2017's "Split."
Last week's top film, Kevin Hart's "The Upside," held especially well in its second weekend, sliding only 23 percent with $15.7 million. STX Entertainment estimated it will take $19.5 million over the four-day period, offering further proof that Hart's fallout as Oscar host over past homophobic tweets hasn't hurt his box office appeal.
But the weekend's biggest surprise was the Japanese anime film "Dragon Ball Super: Broly," which earned an estimated $8.7 million on the weekend from just 1,250 North American theaters, according to Comscore, and $19.5 million since opening Wednesday. (It grossed more than $7 million just on opening day.) The Funimation Films release, an animated martial arts fantasy, is the 20th film in the "Dragon Ball" franchise.
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Comscore. Where available, the latest international numbers for Friday through Sunday are also included. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.
1. "Glass," $40.6 million ($48.5 million international).
2. "The Upside," $15.7 million.
3. "Aquaman," $10.3 million ($14.3 million international).
4. "Dragon Ball Super: Broly," $8.7 million ($5.3 million international).
5. "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse," $7.3 million.
6. "A Dog's Way Home," $7.1 million ($2.8 million international).
7. "Escape Room," $5.3 million ($9.5 million international).
8. "Mary Poppins," $5.2 million ($6 million international).
9. "Bumblebee," $4.7 million ($20.9 million international).
10. "On the Basis of Sex," $4 million.