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Mitsurugi-sha in Fushimi Inari Shrine by Takashi Hososhima

Lisa Lucas Named Executive Director of National Book Foundation

The National Book Foundation on Wednesday announced that Lisa Lucas would become the third executive director in the history of the literary organization, which presents the annual National Book Awards and has made recent efforts to expand its reach and visibility.

Ms. Lucas, 36, was previously the publisher of Guernica, an arts magazine with an international and often political focus. Before that, she had worked at other nonprofit cultural institutions, including the Tribeca Film Festival and the Steppenwolf Theater in Chicago.

Ms. Lucas, who is African-American, will lead the foundation at a time of increased scrutiny of artistic diversity, from the recent discussion about nominees for the Oscars to the literary world, in which organizations like VIDA keep a close eye on the number of bylines given to women and minority writers. Ms. Lucas said the foundation had already made progress in that regard, and would proceed with “a continued sense of inclusivity” and “thinking about audiences at large…” [+]

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Rain in April by Yoshi Shimamura

deathandtaxesmag.com
Beyoncé's capitalism, masquerading as radical change
Stay woke.

By Dianca London

Sunday’s performance, although viewed as radical through the eyes of fans, has subverted the very intentions behind the political party to which Bey’s troop of Panthers aimed to pay homage. Between retweeted images of her back-up dancers with their fists held high towards the heavens and trending hashtag movements like‪ #‎BeingABlackGirlIsLit‬, it is clear that black Americans are indulging in a monumental cultural moment, basking in what many fans describe as the joy of seeing themselves represented in a realistic way by one of their own.

Despite this, I am caught in a perpetual moment of pause.

I am reminded of the continuous lack of attention given to unpacking the commercialized materiality of pop culture and its would-be gods. Above all else, Beyoncé’s music is created to generate profit much like Super Bowl 50 and its countless ads so many of us consumed on Sunday. Sure, pop music can be influential on an individual and communal level, but it is dangerous when we fail to consider the ways in which songs such as “Formation” or last year’s “Flawless” are essentially an advertisement for Beyoncé’s brand — making her forever evolving activism (and the public’s eager consumption of it) a self-sustaining cache cow with limitless potential.

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Japan 2015 card 4_1133_edited-1 by Tim Clarke

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Moss stairway by Filipe Madureira

digmandarin.com
Greetings in Chinese other than 你好 (nǐ hǎo)
One of the first things that any Chinese lesson, book, or teacher will teach you is “你好 (nǐ hǎo).” 你好 translates into “Hello.” Funny enough, native Chinese speakers rarely use this when speaking to each other. Why you ask? It can come off as overly formal, nonchalant, or even strange. “你好” is most frequently used when you are meeting someone for the first time, such as being introduced to a business contact. This greeting is often used when shaking hands. However, once you see that business contact again, you should switch to a different greeting. Since you have already met them, saying “你好” can come off as being unfriendly. Here’s what they actually should say: 吃饭了吗?(chī fàn le mā) Have you eaten? Unlike the English equivalent, this is not an invitation to lunch. This greeting is basically the same as “hello.” The origin of the greeting dates back to ancient times when the majority of China had very limited food provisions. At that time, whether someone had eaten or not was severely linked to their overall health and wellbeing. A couple acceptable responses to this greeting would be: “吃了,你呢? (chī le, nǐ nē)” “Yes I....

“你好” is most frequently used when you are meeting someone for the first time. This greeting is often used when shaking hands. However, once you see that business contact again, you should switch to a different greeting. Since you have already met them, saying “你好” can come off as being unfriendly.

Here’s what they actually should say:   http://bit.ly/1PgRjZa

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Untitled by Elena Mei