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Katie Hires has 96 articles published.

Katie Hires is a book lover, pop culture nerd, and graphic designer. When she's not researching Game of Thrones fan theories, she's either reading or at home making pasta.

Visual Thinking: Temple Grandin’s TED Talk and a Book List to Give You Perspective

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April is National Autism Awareness Month, and it’s worth it to take a minute to celebrate the innumerable ways people are unique. Animal behavior pioneer Temple Grandin has been an Autism advocate and activist for years, and in her talk from TED2010, she shares her distinctive outlook on the world. She breaks down the main ways people on the “continuum” of Autism can develop as thinkers, and expands on her own experience as a visual thinker. For Grandin, her visual thinking allowed her insights into detail-oriented problem solving that the people around her missed – and in this talk, she makes it clear that young people today on the Autism spectrum have just as much potential as she did. In…

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Celebrating William Shakespeare’s 400th Anniversary with His Sassiest One-Liners

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William Shakespeare is known for many things: his beautiful language, his iambic pentameter, his poetry about people he definitely wasn’t married to, but one thing people have only recently begun to celebrate about him is his straight-up feistiness. While some of his contemporaries were secret spies, erotica pioneers and jealous haters, Shakespeare is the most widely recognizable writer on the planet arguably for his sly language and wit. Shakespeare could write some pretty sick burns when he wanted to, and was at least 8,000 times sassier than pretty much everyone else in the entire world. If he were alive today, he’d probably be really good at impromptu rap battles, in addition to being perplexed by emojis and female actors. April 23, 2016…

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Spring Clean Your Face: An IMATS-Inspired Book List!

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One of the best ways to refresh your point of view is to refresh your look, and makeup can be an amazingly fun way to creatively change your appearance. While there are plenty of people who don’t like to wear makeup (which, totally cool), there are those of us who see it as a way to wear an empowered game-face to show the world. One of the biggest makeup events of the year, The International Makeup Artists Trade Show, comes to New York City the weekend of April 8, 2016. IMATS started in Los Angeles in 1997, but has expanded to be an international series of exclusive events where thousands of makeup artists, including Oscar-winners and red carpet makeup experts, gather to…

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Curb Procrastination: Tim Urban’s TED Talk Inspires a Motivational Book List

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Procrastination plagues the best of us. In this TED talk from TED 2016 in February, Wait But Why blogger and sorta-kinda professional procrastinator Tim Urban takes us inside the minds of serial procrastinators. He breaks down three distinct voices in our brains related to procrastination: the “rational decision-maker,” the “instant gratification monkey,” and the all-powerful “panic monster” that leaps into action as soon as a catastrophic deadline creeps up on us. However, what starts out as a comical breakdown of what’s perceived as a goofy, bad habit becomes an examination of what happens when we procrastinate the big-picture life stuff that doesn’t have deadlines, like reconnecting with family, working on relationships or getting fit. Urban pushes viewers to tackle those challenges without…

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World Poetry Day: 7 Collections We Can’t Wait to Get Our Hands on This Spring

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When people think “poetry,” different images spring to mind, either of the stuffy old poets you read in high school, or of cigarette-smoking mustaches in black turtlenecks speaking dramatically about politics in front of a brick wall with a spotlight. However, since it is World Poetry Day, which was instituted in 1999 by the United Nations to promote reading and creativity around the world, we think it’s a good idea to take a look at some contemporary masters who are changing the game with creative subject matter, language and ideas that are modern and inspiring. So get ready to do some spring cleaning for your brain with our new poetry reading list! play dead, francine j. harris (Alice James Books, April 12, 2016)…

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Video: 4 Important Predictions from the Game of Thrones Season 6 Trailer

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OK, it’s time to stop hyperventilating. At long last, HBO has dropped the Game of Thrones Season 6 trailer. With the show being essentially caught up to George R.R. Martin’s books, and no press receiving episodes to review ahead of the rest of us, all fans are equally in the dark about what twists and turns this new season holds. Well, most fans are in the dark, except for those of us with foil helmets on our heads, life-size replicas of the Iron Throne in our mom’s basement, and fan theories stronger than valyrian steel to keep us company. Some fans are refusing to watch the latest season to avoid spoiling The Winds of Winter, the long-awaited continuation of the A Song…

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TED Talks: How Does Theaster Gates Revitalize Crumbling Neighborhoods?

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How to you rebuild a crumbling neighborhood? For Theaster Gates, the answer can be found in art and community building. Gates, who is a potter by trade and a social activist artist by vocation, discusses his inspiring method for reviving his Chicago neighborhood in this talk from TED2015. By teaming up with community members and rebuilding old and abandoned buildings into artistic hubs, like museums and movie theaters, Gates discovered his neighborhood changing for the better. This passionate talk shows that using what you’ve got to create culture and beauty can be an amazing catalyst for social change. Recommended reading: Theaster Gates (Contemporary Artists), Carol Becker, Achim Borchardt-Hume and Lisa Yun Lee (Phaidon Press, October 2015) This is the first…

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Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey Bring Stephen King’s Magnum Opus to Life

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After years in film development purgatory, Stephen King’s epic 8-book series, The Dark Tower, will make its way to the silver screen. The book series, which revolves around a mysterious Clint Eastwood-like gunslinger from a medieval fantasy dimension, has been linked to Ron Howard and Javier Bardem in the past. More recent rumors have revolved around Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey. Those casting rumors were confirmed yesterday by King on Twitter:   It’s official: The man in black fled across the desert and the gunslinger followed. #DarkTowerMovie @McConaughey @IdrisElba — Stephen King (@StephenKing) March 1, 2016   Elba and McConaughey have both been officially cast as two of the biggest characters in the fantasy-scifi-western series: the gun-slinging hero Roland Deschain, and…

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TED Talks: Oscar Schwartz’s Computer Can Write Poetry

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It seems like a silly question: Can a computer write poetry? But then, after writing a poem, will that computer then take over the world? Oscar Schwartz is less concerned with the speculative danger surrounding artificial intelligence – instead, he’s using algorithms to help us figure out what it means to be human. In this intriguing talk from [email protected] from May 2015, Schwartz (who by the way is hilarious on Twitter) discusses his Bot or Not project. The project was started as a website he and his colleague Benjamin Laird created that tests users by having them guess whether or not a poem was written by a human or a computer algorithm. Running these tests, he’s encountered some unique results, and some…

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Fantasy Fans: They’re Making a ‘Lord of the Rings’ Coloring Book!

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Get in line, Lord of the Rings fans, HarperCollins is producing a new LOTR coloring book full of illustrations by Nicolette Caven, the artist behind the lovely map designs of Joe Abercrombie’s Shattered Sea series, and our little hearts are all a flutter! In the wake of the ongoing adult coloring book craze, it’s nice that fantasy nerds will get their own chance to let loose their creative juices. The art, which is said to be inspired by “the breathtaking vistas” from Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings film trilogy, will allow fans to return to some of their favorite parts of the books and movies, like Gandalf’s dramatic battle with the Balrog of The Mines of Moria, or the…

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TED Talks: Bryan Stevenson on Identity and Injustice

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Black History Month ends in just a few days, so this week’s installment of TED Talks Tuesday is one of the most elegant examinations of race in America ever given on the TED stage. Human Rights lawyer Bryan Stevenson’s moving talk from TED 2012 paints a hard picture of America’s criminal justice framework – but he does more than illustrate the obvious problems with our current system. Stevenson urges people to become more aware of what he calls “the dark and difficult things” in today’s society, and argues that history judges societies by how they treat their most disenfranchised populations. It goes beyond the political, and moves into the realms of morality and cultural self-awareness with a grace, courage and…

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8 Books that Inspired Oscar Nominations and 2 Notable Snubs

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The Oscars are just days away! Despite the completely justifiable controversy surrounding the lack of diversity within the nominees that spawned an outcry of disappointment on Twitter, we couldn’t help but notice an unusually high percentage of books represented by this year’s nominees. We’re always thrilled to see great reads on the big screen so here you go, fellow book lovers, our guide to Oscar’s favorite books: Best Picture Nominees: The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine, Michael Lewis (Norton, 2011) This star-studded comedy drama about the lead-up to the financial crisis of 2008 is based on a book by Michael Lewis. He also happens to be the author of Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game and The Blind…

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TED Talks: Chip Kidd on Literally Judging Books by Their Covers

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What do stories look like? That’s the question book designer Chip Kidd answers on a daily basis. In his hilarious and passionate talk from TED 2012, Kidd discusses the magic that goes into the book covers we judge regularly. Kidd has designed some of the most famous book covers ever, and his delightful talk focuses on the ways first impressions impact the way you perceive a story. Along with a plea against impersonal e-readers, which lose the “comfort of thingyness – a little bit of humanity,” Kidd tells the story of some of his most recognizable book covers to illustrate a greater point about the importance of imagery. If you want to see some of your favorite books in a…

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From Bruce Springsteen to Megyn Kelly: A Big Week for Celebrity Book Deals

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In the ever-escalating celebrity book deal game, it’s hard to keep track of what great books we have to look forward to these days. Today, high-profile book deals seem to be the next step in further developing a celebrities brand. So in the spirit of helping all of you celeb memoir gobblers stay organized, here’s a quick roundup of book deals that were nailed down in the past week! On February 11, New Jersey rock god Bruce Springsteen nabbed a $10 million deal with Simon & Schuster to pen his autobiography. The book, perfectly titled Born to Run, will feature Springsteen’s recollections on growing up and the rise of the E Street Band. “Writing about yourself is a funny business,” wrote Springsteen…

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