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Random Gems From A Culture Lust Week: Valentino, Joanna Newsom, And Robert Irwin

Can the story about the Carlsbad driver of the runaway Prius get any weirder? Actually, yes. Time will tell. While you're waiting for news, check out some of the lustable bits that crossed my desk this week.

What articles did I enjoy this week?

This story on why there are so few female magicians is FASCINATING!

On a related note, does gender bias show up in film criticism?

Allon Schoener writes about a sleepover at the iconic home of Charles and Ray Eames back in 1952.

Here's an article singing the praises of Dave Eggers' talent and humanitarian efforts. It's a little fawning, but you get a sense of the man. Reveal: he doesn't work at a desk, but instead on an old sofa in the McSweeney's office.

I've really enjoyed Slate deputy editor Julia Turner's series on signs. Such a simple idea, but so layered when you begin to explore it. Why do our exit signs come in blazing red, the color of stop?

This is great. Children imagine what children's books will look like in the future.

Favorite music discovery of the week:

Joanna Newsom's new album "Have One on Me." Sublime.

Favorite audio gems of the week?

One of my favorite public radio shows, American Routes, did a movie special last week. Host Nick Spitzer played music from a variety of films and talked with director John Sayles about the role of music in movies. Hands down my favorite audio gem this week.

There have been many interviews with Patti Smith since the publication of her book "Just Kids," about her formative relationship with artist Robert Mapplethorpe. The most exhaustive (and perhaps the most annoying) is Michael Silverblatt's two part interview for KCRW's "Bookworm." Silverblatt takes getting used to but Smith is fascinating.

KPBS education reporter Ana Tintocalis did a great story this morning on how parents from two different communities deal with the safety of their children.

Favorite viewing experiences from the week?

I gushed about "Don't Let Me Drown" to director Cruz Angeles when we had him on These Days. His coming-of-age story set in post-9/11 New York is a fresh take on the genre. It screened last night at the San Diego Latino Film Festival, but look for its release in theaters later this year.

"Valentino: The Last Emperor" is a doc about haute couture designer Valentino Garavani and his business partner Giancarlo Giammetti. Director gets amazing access. It's currently On Demand.

Most excited about for next week?

D.G. Wills' Thirty-First Annual St. Patrick's Day Open Reading of Irish Poetry and Prose. This is a really fun night - and the later you stay, the more x-rated the readings!

Artist Robert Irwin is going to be on These Days! Here's a talk by Irwin at University of Virginia below.

Artist Robert Irwin Talks About His Work

Artist Robert Irwin talks about his career and art at the University of Virginia.

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