Arkansas Times Recommends is a weekly series in which Times staff members (or whoever happens to be around at the time) highlight things we’ve been enjoying this week.
I recommend all of Fayetteville photographer (and occasional Times contributor) Kat Wilson’s series “Layers,” but especially this one, “Tree that looks like Banana Tree, 180º” (above). — Lindsey Millar
I have just discovered, thanks to my 23-year-old daughter, the podcast Radiolab, where two guys offer up a stew of various topics — color, dinosaurs, language, medicine — with music as a principle ingredient. So a program on how we perceive color featured info about Newton sticking knife in his eye and other amazing scientific facts and was accompanied by a choir that sang the spectrum to illustrate perception. Poor dogs: they perceive only blues, grays and dirty yellows, a palette the choir represented in minor notes. But when it came to the mantis shrimp, which packs 12 color receptors into its stalked eyes, the singers broke into the Hallelujah Chorus. Radiolab’s stage program on dinosaurs (“Dinopocalypse) on the latest theory on how the dinosaurs died, featured beatboxer vocalist Reggie Watts and dinosaur-dying sounds by soundscape guitarist Sarah Lipstate. The programs, hosted by Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich, are funny and completely engrossing. You can’t hear the podcast over the radio in Arkansas but you can listen to (or watch) them at www.radiolab.org. — Leslie Newell Peacock
I recommend watching the wild and fascinating documentary about children’s book artist and editorial illustrator Tomi Ungerer called “Far Out Isn’t Far Enough” on Netflix tonight. — Bryan Moats
Today has been terrible for all sorts of reasons, one of the biggest being the news that the great Philadelphia rapper Beanie Sigel was shot this morning in New Jersey, an “unintended victim” who had just come home from dropping his kids off at school. Depending on which news outlet you check, he’s either in critical condition or rapidly recovering. Either way, this week’s recommendation is his 2005 album “The B. Coming,” a sad-rap classic which I’ll be listening to all weekend. — Will Stephenson
If you need something to help cope psychologically with the tragedy of race in America today — and frankly, if you don’t need something at least a little bit, you’re probably a racist (just kidding! Mostly) — I recommend you read both the Vulture interview with Chris Rock and the Vulture roundup of quotes from everybody else‘s interview with Chris Rock. It’s not all about race and politics; for example, in response to a question about Robin Williams, he says this: “Comedians kill themselves. Talk to 100 comedians this week, everybody knows somebody who killed themselves. I mean, we always say ignorance is bliss. Well, if so, what’s the opposite? Some form of misery. Being a comedian, 80 percent of the job is just you notice shit, which is a trait of schizophrenics too. You notice things people don’t notice.” — Benji Hardy