John Williams – Musical Punster?

Okay, “pun” probably isn’t the right word, but listen to the first six seconds of “Can You Read My Mind” (the love song from Superman), and compare it to this phrase from “This Is It,” the theme from The Bugs Bunny Show. Is it me, or does the melody of the Superman love theme sound like a slowed down version of the Bugs Bunny tune? On the off chance that John Williams is referencing the Bugs Bunny tune on purpose, beginning a scene in which Superman and Lois Lane are taking off into the wild blue yonder* for the first time with a melody that, until then, had been associated with the phrase “Oh, what heights we’ll hit!” is ingenious.

*Okay, it was night. So maybe the “midnight blue yonder” would be more accurate.

PS: I believe Superman came out in 1978, and “This Is It” had been used as the Bugs Bunny theme since 1960. But I could be wrong.

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Thomas Piketty’s “Capital in the Twenty-first Century” explained

A Piketty guide for lifelong learners.

When Thomas Piketty’s “Capital in the Twenty-first Century” was published earlier this year, it was something of a sensation. That’s no small feat for a chart-heavy doorstop on “the dismal science” of economics.

A fair portion of the book’s notoriety was due to its subject matter: wealth distribution, an intensely political topic if ever there was one. (Watch Piketty’s TED Talk: New thoughts on capital in the twenty-first century.)

What makes this French economist’s conclusions worth global notice? The short answer is that Piketty and his research team amassed a mountain of data, much of it going back centuries, suggesting that the concentration of wealth in ever-fewer hands is not an anomaly or a recent development. Check out the infographic below for a longer explanation:


As the data visualization above suggests, this is simply how capitalism works. Without a significant force to counterbalance rising…

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