That's Interesting

  • ‘Fresh Air’ Celebrates The 90th Birthday Of Jazz Improviser Sonny Rollins

    Rollins recorded his first sessions in 1949, and played his last live shows in 2012. Kevin Whitehead offers an appreciation, then we listen back to a 1994 interview with the tenor saxophonist.

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  • Taxicab Geometry as a Vehicle for the Journey Toward Enlightenment

    In casual conversation, many (perhaps most) individuals are impatient with what they regard as slight distinctions of meaning. This impatience with fine-grained semantic sensitivity is reflected in the popularity of such pejorative expressions as “splitting hairs” and “just semantics.” The reigning attitude is that individuals who pay attention to apparently small differences in the definitions of words are pedantic and tedious. But slight differences in meaning can be surprisingly meaningful.

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  • Economic Activity, Prices, and Monetary Policy in Japan

    Speech at a Meeting with Business Leaders in Okinawa (via webcast)

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  • A Short Introduction to Caravaggio, the Master Of Light

    Like many a great artist, the fortunes of Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio rose and fell dramatically. After his death, his influence spread across the continent as followers called Caravaggisti took his extreme use of chiaroscuro abroad. He influenced Rubens, Rembrandt, and Velázquez—indeed, the entire Baroque period in European art history probably would never have happened without him. “With the exception of Michelangelo,” art historian Bernard Berenson wrote, “no other Italian painter exercised so great an influence.”

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  • The Illusion of Wage Growth

    Despite a sharp spike in unemployment since March 2020, aggregate wage growth has accelerated. This acceleration has been almost entirely attributable to job losses among low-wage workers. Wage growth for those who remain employed has been flat. This means that, in the wake of the virus, evaluations of the labor market must rely on a dashboard of indicators, rather than any single measure, to paint a complete picture of the losses and the recovery.

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  • 5 (More) Ways Life Has Changed

    From smoking more cigarettes to stocking up on meatless meats, the pandemic has changed consumer behaviour in some unexpected ways.

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  • Can Western universities survive without China?

    Some universities fear they have become too financially dependent on fee-paying Chinese students – and thanks to Covid-19, many of them are staying away this year. Salvatore Babones, an associate professor at the University of Sydney, says Australia is particularly vulnerable to this, while Vivienne Stern of Universities UK says it’s just one of a number of serious concerns for UK and US universities.

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  • What Did the Roman Emperors Look Like?

    “Using the neural-net tool Artbreeder, Photoshop and historical references, I have created photoreal portraits of Roman Emperors,” writes designer Daniel Voshart. “For this project, I have transformed, or restored (cracks, noses, ears etc.) 800 images of busts to make the 54 emperors of The Principate (27 BC to 285 AD).”

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  • How Risky is Australian Household Debt?

    Household debt levels have increased considerably over the past 30 years, both in Australia and elsewhere. In Australia, and other countries with relatively high household indebtedness, this is consistently cited as a key risk to financial and macroeconomic stability.

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  • Uredd Rest Area (Ureddplassen)

    Norway has built what may be the world’s most beautiful public toilet.

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