The New Yorker is always excellent, but the recent issue and its associated online components are especially terrific.
Thing 1: Slide show about Buckminster Fuller
Elizabeth Kolbert writes about the life of Buckminster Fuller and about an exhibition about Fuller at the Whitney Museum of American Art. "By staging the retrospective, the Whitney raises–or, really, one should say, re-raises–the question of Fuller's relevance," Kolbert writes. "Was he an important cultural figure because he produced inventions of practical value or because he didn't?" Here is a portfolio of images from the magazine and the Whitney exhibition.
(Shown here: 4D Tower: Time Interval 1 Meter. Gouache and graphite over positive Photostat on paper.)
Thing 2: Audio file about Auto-Tune
Sasha Frere-Jones writes about Auto-Tune, a pitch-correction software program used in pop music. Here Frere-Jones talks about how Auto-Tune has become a pop-music phenomenon, and demonstrates how it can transform the human voice, with the help of the music producer Tom Beaujour.
The New Yorker's Fiction podcast is a treasure. Once a month, a contemporary fiction writer chooses a story from the New Yorker's fiction archives, reads the story, and then talks to the host about why they chose the story and what it means to them.
Mary Gaitskill reads "Symbols and Signs," Vladimir Nabokov's first story published in The New Yorker, and discusses it with fiction editor Deborah Treisman.