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.
We’ve been reading a kergillion books lately at our house. Scrambling to make it to 1,000 books before kindergarten. Don’t tell them I said this, but I did the math and I don’t think we’ll make it. Regardless, we’ve read some wonderful books, but one that has moved me the most in the last few weeks is “Tiny Creatures: The World of Microbes.” It is amazing at putting the little things into the context of enormous planet earth. It is beautifully illustrated and handily written. My kids are 5 years old and very engaged by the book. No problem understanding it. Me, that is. I understood it. I can’t speak for the kids. Take a look. Highly recommended. — Bryan Moats
There was an article in the New York Times Magazine last week about the most popular radio station in Indianapolis. It’s at vanguard of a new trend of hip-hop “oldies” radio stations that play so-called golden era rap songs from the ’80s, ’90s and aughts: “California Love,” “My Minds Playing Tricks On Me,” “Juicy.” This seems like something that will spread here before long and I’ll welcome it.
But this is what I’m more interested in. From a section about the radio station’s past:
The station became syndicated talk radio in 2006 … . Along the way, there were dalliances with stunt formats and place holders: Christmas music and TV-show themes for days on end; nothing but construction noises at one point; at another, ‘‘The Lonesome Road,’’ by Dean Elliot & His Big Band, and ‘‘Swans Splashdown,’’ by Jean-Jacques Perrey, played on a loop.
Nothing but construction noises? Or one song by French electronic music pioneer Jean-Jacques Perrey? Are stunt formats a common thing? I need to know more. Central Arkansas needs this. — Lindsey Millar
Remember when that toddler fell into the jaguar pit at the Little Rock Zoo? It was a very big story for maybe three days last October? If not — or really either way — I recommend you watch the above video, which is an animated blow-by-blow reenactment produced by TomoNews, which is some kind awful web-3.0 postmodern news service aimed at millennials who don’t have time to read. Everything about it is utterly mysterious: the strange, halting, metallic animation style; the breathless, monotone narration; the low-key nature documentary soundtrack. It’s an amazing work of found internet art, and it’s been viewed over 350,000 times. Why do we even bother with a newspaper? — Will Stephenson
I’ve been frantically and obsessively looking for a house remix of “Get Up On It” by Keith Sweat ft. Kut Klose for about 2 months now. My friend played it for me one night and he said he got it from a Soundcloud playlist that no longer exists and doesn’t remember the name. The song goes something like, “get busy, hop-up-on-it, yeah, hop-up-on-it, hop-up-on-it, yeah, hop up, that’s my jam…” and then there’s a great club style breakdown of the beat that sounds like a mashup between “Get Up On It” and Ginuwine’s “Pony.” I haven’t been able to find it anywhere and I am quite upset, but I did find this gem by Trippy Turtle in my rather fruitless searching. Trippy Turtle’s remix is quite infectious, contagious even, so be careful. *insert fire emojis* They’ve got a slew of remixes that will have you bouncing in your chair and acting like a fool if you’re not. Check them out. — Kaya Herron
I haven’t seen the new Adam Sandler-vs.-vintage-video-games vehicle “Pixels.” Thanks to this primal scream of a review, I never have to. It’s the verbal equivalent of an epic, flaming taint punch, and it’s lovely to behold. NOTE:The language probably makes this not safe for work, unless your job is okay with hearing an enraged man say: “It feels like [Sandler] broke into my fucking house, took a bloody, backed up, post-Taco Bell, Miralax shit in the middle of my living room and now wants me to pay him for the fucking privilege.” Then again, it’s Friday afternoon and the boss is probably already gone for the day. Go nuts. — David Koon