Hooboy, That’s a Sexy Robot

Plus, Neil deGrasse Tyson and public shaming.

By The Editors
April 6, 2015 9:00 am

Because you don’t have time to find your horizons (let alone broaden them), we give you Meanwhile Elsewhere: InsideHook’s essential guide to cultural happenings, including our April Spotify playlist of new music. Enjoy.

READ: So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed

Author Jon Ronson examines the lives of people who have been shamed through social media. You may (vaguely) remember the examples here: the woman who flipped the bird in front of Arlington National Cemetery, the former Wired writer who plagiarized content, an ill-timed semi-racist tweet from a director of corporate communications. What stands out are not their transgressions, but the ridiculous repercussions. (Out now)

LISTEN: The Mountain Goats

On Beat the Champ, Mountain Goats songwriter John Darnielle tackles his childhood love of ’70s pro wrestling in an offbeat concept album. Here, semi-remembered heroes of the ring like Apache Bull Ramos, Chavo Guerrero and King Kong Brody are dissected in a series of shuffling acoustic numbers, lo-fi indie rock anthems and smart wordplay (wrestlers rarely get compared to a Hertzsprung-Russell diagram). It’s like the lost soundtrack for The Wrestler. (April 7)

WATCH: Ex Machina

A brilliant programmer performs a “Turing test” on a cyborg named Ava to discover her potential humanity. An assured directorial debut by frequent Danny Boyle collaborator Alex Garland (28 Days Later, The Beach), Ex Machina ultimately plays like a darker take on Her. Of particular note: Oscar Isaac as the ultimate jerk bro-grammer, and Alicia Vikander as the quietly sensual AI. (April 10)

DVR: StarTalk with Neil deGrasse Tyson

The world’s best-known astrophysicist goes Letterman, landing his own late-night talk show on the National Geographic Channel. The series, filmed live at the Hayden Planetarium in NYC, is a take on Tyson’s award-winning radio show/podcast. Consider it both educational and entertaining: after all, this is a man equally at home talking to Eugene Mirman as Elon Musk. And he’s a great interview. (April 20)

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