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This Week in Culture: March 14, 2015

A bestseller about the sinking of the Lusitania, the Robin Thicke court decision, Zoolander in Paris, making ramen at home and Sam Simon, co-creator of The Simpsons passed away.


RIP Sam Simon Last Sunday, Sam Simon, who helped create The Simpsons and wrote for Taxi and Cheers, died of colorectal cancer at his home in Los Angeles. He was 59.
Blurred Lines Lawsuit Even if Robin Thicke has done nothing but annoy you, you should care that his song “Blurred Lines” was found to be a willful infringement on the copyright of Marvin Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up”, to the tune of $7.7 million. This precedent means artists and their bank accounts are more vulnerable and exposed if they pay homage or are heavily influenced by past artists. Even Stevie Wonder has spoken out on behalf of Thicke.
It’s Pi Day Today, at 53 seconds after 9:26am, the date and time made up the first ten digits of pi (3.141592653). Here’s The New Yorker on why Pi Day matters.
Chimps and Trees The New York Times Magazine published a profile on Jane Goodall, who, after 50 years, is still on a mission to save chimpanzees. Rolling Stone shows how climate change could affect forests worldwide.
In the kitchen First We Feast published a guide to making ramen at home while The New York Times Magazine took a quick look at table manners and Lucky Peach argued that camp cooking is the ultimate American cuisine. Also, the forgotten history of Taco Bell.
New Releases Last Tuesday, Erik Larson, author of The Devil in the White City, released Dead Wake, which chronicles the sinking of the Lusitania. That same day, Madonna released Rebel Heart. All but six songs are new; six were released at the end of last year by Madonna herself in response to a leak.
Extreme Sports Smithsonian Magazine chronicled the decline of India’s Well of Death, Grantland went dogsledding in the Yukon and The New York Times Magazine profiled Alex Honnold, one of the best rock climbers in the world.
On Entertainment The cast of “Zoolander” was at Paris Fashion Week to promote the film’s sequel. Rolling Stone profiled Will Forte, and he talked about his new show, “Last Man on Earth”. The Guardian reported on why Vince Vaughn’s recent fratty movies like “Unfinished Business” have been falling apart when films like “Wedding Crashers” and “Old School” used to dominate the category.

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