“Every so often, you hear stories on the news about a toddler who somehow manages to start the family car and drive the vehicle across town, where the law finally apprehends him—and it’s almost always a him—before too much damage has taken place,” Barry Blitt, the artist behind this week’s cover, says. “As to why this would come to mind on the week of our new President’s Inauguration … I have no idea!” – The New Yorker


The cover of Joanna Newsom’s latest album, “Divers,” is a photograph by the New York-based artist Kim Keever. Keever is known for crafting elaborate dioramas in an aquarium, then releasing pigments into the tank and taking pictures of the resulting underwater scenes.

See more of the artist’s “Abstract” series.

Courtesy Kim Keever / Waterhouse & Dodd

Last summer, a group of Canadian roboticists set an outlandish invention loose on the streets of the United States. They called it hitchbot, not because it was a heavy-smoking contrarian with a taste for Johnnie Walker Black—the universe is not that generous—but because it was programmed to hitchhike. Clad in rain boots, with a goofy, pixellated smile on its “face” screen, hitchbot was meant to travel from Salem, Massachusetts, to San Francisco, by means of an outstretched thumb and a supposedly endearing voice-prompt personality. Previous journeys, across Canada and around Europe, had been encouraging: the robot always reached its destination. For two weeks, hitchbot toured the Northeast, saying inviting things such as “Would you like to have a conversation? … I have an interest in the humanities.” Then it disappeared. On August 1st, it was found next to a brick wall in Philadelphia, beat up and decapitated. Its arms had been torn off.
—  The New Yorker