1. Bob Dylan’s Nobel Prize in Literature
Bob Dylan “has the status of an icon,” noted the Swedish Academy upon honoring the singer/songwriter with the announcement that he will be this year’s Nobel Prize recipient in literature. This statement is undeniable. From Dylan’s decade upon decade of musical—though arguably poetic—contributions and the movements that they spawned or spurned, his impact has been global. “For 54 years now he has been at it and reinventing himself, constantly creating a new identity,” the Academy’s secretary Sara Danius explained. The 75 year old has already won an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, a Grammy and a U.S. Medal of Freedom, but of equal importance, he changed the sound of music and the industry as we know it. He is the first American to receive a Nobel Prize in this category since author Toni Morrison in 1993.
2. BMW’s Crash-Proof Motorcycle of the Future
It’s hard to determine what’s more engaging about the new BMW Motorrad Vision Next 100 concept motorcycle: the sci-fi Flexframe design or the potentially life-saving (theoretical) anti-tipping safety feature. This self-balancing (but not self-driving) bike sports a slew of imaginings from future tech: aero-tested surfaces, a zero-emissions drive unit that reconfigures itself based on road conditions, and intelligent, adaptive steering. According to The Drive, not all of this proposed vision is that far afield; some of its functionality could hit the market in the next ten years.
3. The World’s Oldest Observatory
An arrangement of rocks in a secret location in Victoria, Australia is believed to be the world’s oldest observatory—mapping the movement of the sun throughout the year. Not only is it believed to pre-date Stonehenge and the Great Pyramids of Giza, this stone arrangement also disproves the belief that Indigenous Australians were purely hunters and gatherers; to track this movement, they would have had to have stayed in the same location for at least a year. The scientists studying the Wurdi Yuang stone arrangement (as it’s called) believe it could be over 11,000 years old, and have been working with Aboriginal elders at the site in order to learn more about their ancestors’ studies and knowledge of the stars. Read more on Australia’s ABC.
4. Vale, Songwriter Rod Temperton
If you’ve never heard the name Rod Temperton before, you’re probably not alone. The talented English songwriter, record producer and musician sadly passed away earlier this month, and it’s brought his name—and his songs—back into the spotlight. Temperton (also known as The Invisible Man) was a full-time musician soon after finishing school and went on to write several funk, soul and pop tunes that were incredibly successful—from George Benson’s “Give Me The Night” to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” “Off The Wall,” and “Rock With You,” and tracks for Donna Summer and Anita Baker. While we might not all be familiar with Temperton the man, his music has left behind a powerful legacy that we can delve into. Visit the Guardian to learn more and listen to a playlist of some of his best songs.
5. NYC Reimagined: City of Women
Even though the biggest (and arguably most recognizable) statue in NYC is Lady Liberty, most of the streets, monuments, bridges and buildings in the city are named for men. For their upcoming book “Nonstop Metropolis,” Rebecca Solnit and Joshua Jelly-Schapiro have made a “creative atlas of New York City” that, through maps and essays, explores a different NYC. Just one of the pages is a “City of Women” map, which pinpoints and traces significant artists, musicians, activists, actors, writers, directors and more—recreating a kind of feminist version of the iconic city. Take a closer look at the New Yorker.
6. CoverGirl’s First-Ever Male Face
CoverGirl has just announced its first male face of the brand: James Charles. Not only is the aspiring make-up artist super-gifted, he’s also just 17 years old. Charles—who has over 530k followers on Instagram—will feature in TV, print and digital commercials for the brand, and hopefully we will get to see his make-up skills continue to impress and amaze. Charles told Refinery29, “I see more and more beautiful boys in make-up every single day on social media… We love make-up just as much as the rest.” Read more at R29.
7. Taylor Mac’s “A 24-Decade History of Popular Music” Performance
The New York Times’ Wesley Morris had the uncommon, extraordinary experience of, as he explains, sitting in on “246 songs spanning 240 years for 24 straight hours,” performed by artist Taylor Mac during his “A 24-Decade History of Popular Music” extravaganza. Morris’ takeaway was one of wonder and appreciation, especially regarding Mac’s moral grasp and the way he addressed “racism, chauvinism, homophobia, misogyny and white supremacy.” All of this was done through song and costuming. Morris also notes that the audience was essential here, being tasked with everything from participating in war reenaction to moving chairs. A napping loft provided a reprieve for anyone wishing to capture quick sleep, but not many did. Mac managed to engage for its entirety, a whopping feat requiring untold amounts of energy and charisma.
8. Cup Noodles Museum, Yokohama
While many think of Cup Noodles as a cheap snack or hangover meal, the flavorful little pack stands for much more. Way back in 1958, Momofuku Ando invented the world’s first instant ramen (chicken-flavored) and went on to create the iconic Cup Noodle (1971) and Space Noodle (2005), making the tasty Japanese meal quicker, easier and more accessible than ever. Located in Yokohama, Japan, the CUPNOODLES Museum is an interactive journey designed to entertain, educate and encourage creativity in visitors.