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The Rundown – August 2013
Celebrate the Year of the Rabbit with musical performances, arts and crafts, and two days of dragon-boat racing. A centuries-old tradition, dragon-boat racing traces its roots to the legend of Qu Yuan, an exiled court minister who drowned himself when he heard that his home had been invaded. To prevent fish from devouring his body, fishermen threw rice dumplings in the water as a spirit offering. Today, rice dumplings are eaten during this festival of dance, martial arts, street theater and boat racing. See it all go down August 10 and 11 at Flushing Meadows Park in Queens with more than 170 teams and 2000 participants taking part in the festivities.
Getting bored of SparkNotes and their book summaries? Perhaps Thug Notes is exactly what you’ve been looking for. The YouTube channel features just-under-four-minute book reviews, with plot details and important themes conveyed in an easy-to-understand manner. And your host, “Sparky Sweets, PhD,” is hilarious as he explains the classics like To Kill a Mockingbird, The Great Gatsby, and Crime and Punishment. Join him each week as he brings “yo main hookup for classical literature summary and analysis.”
Commander Chris Hadfield (@Cmdr_Hadfield on Twitter) has talked Star Wars with William Shatner, dropped the puck for the Maple Leafs, performed with the Barenaked Ladies and chatted up the Queen of England—all from space, the Canadian astronaut’s second home. He also dressed up for St. Patrick’s Day, showed how hard it is to do things like add salt and pepper to food, while sharing fantastic photos he takes daily from space. His first book is set for release in October and should be just as awesome as he is.
Wasting countless hours engaging in profound conversation with a robot has long been the dream of many an office worker. Well, that dream has finally come true—look no further than Cleverbot, an internet AI (artificial intelligence) who loves nothing more than to go back and forth with humans, endlessly debating and winning arguments against eternally bored first-worlders. To give you an idea of how it works, we asked Cleverbot what it thought of humans, and this was its response: “I think humans need to learn to be nicer to one another.” Sage advice right there. Head over to www.cleverbot.com to chat with it, or download the Cleverbot app, which is available for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone, to chat on the go.
This app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch and Android devices presents talks from some of the world’s most fascinating people: education radicals, tech geniuses, medical mavericks, business gurus and music legends. Find more than 1,400 TEDTalk videos at your fingertips from around the world.
After several Twinkie-free months, the snack cakes have finally returned and with an extended shelf life: They’ll now last for 45 days instead of the original 26, though Hostess is not revealing what made this possible. It also shouldn’t be too hard to get your hands on a box, as the new Hostess plans to more than double their distribution efforts, reaching an additional 60,000 convenience stores.
It once featured the likes of Willem de Kooning and Jackson Pollock and now attracts celebrities like Alec Baldwin, Christie Brinkley, Mark Feuerstein and Giada de Laurentiis. The annual Artists & Writers Softball Game at Herrick Park in East Hampton kicks off Aug. 17.
This 352-page volume by Moleskine is a collection of more than 250 Moleskine notebooks that have been decorated, sketched in and filled with notes, clippings and drawings by internationally renowned authors like Ron Arad, Marti Guixe, Ross Lovegrove, Karim Rashid, Zhang Yuan and many others. Be inspired.
9. CHECK OUT “FIRST LISTEN” AT NPR.ORG:
Pre-hear all kinds of music, from the soundtracks to upcoming movies to independent artists. NPR features the newest and the best a week before everyone else—for free.
Flaunt your white duds while you can and head to LongIslandPress.com/Calendar for daily events that will help you finish out summer like a boss.