The independent news organization of Duke University



What 2018 has given us, and what 2019 should deliver

The year 2018 was a year that rocked both our greater culture and our individual self-conceptions as consumers of and contributors to that very culture. Accountability is the mainstay, and self-reflection has become a daily requisite for even the most privileged. I think it is time to ask whether we want the media we consume to be held accountable, too, and inquire as to what we might want that accountability to look like. 

The Durham Art Guild's Art-A-Thon event took place at the Durham Arts Council Nov. 17 and 18.

Durham Art Guild Art-A-Thon event draws diversity of artists

The weekend before Thanksgiving, the first floor gallery of the Durham Art Council’s building was filled with people gathered to see artists in their temporary studios and purchase their works. All of the artists who participated in the Art-A-Thon event Nov. 17 and 18 were members of the Durham Art Guild, an organization founded in 1948 by a group of artists.


The stories of 'Pet Sounds'

Some children have parents that tell them stories: stories about beautiful princesses and violent dragons, stories about Greek myths and triumphant gods, stories about familial pasts and collective struggles. But I had something different. I had one of my favorite stories from my dad come to life in front of me. 

Stan Lee, creator of numerous popular Marvel comic book characters, died Nov. 12.

Remembering Stan Lee, Marvel titan

When I was young, I was obsessed with my dad’s action figures. He had worked at a comic book store during graduate school, and the memorabilia he collected during his employment now covered nearly every flat surface in our spare room, where I would sit on the floor playing with the Spidermans and Silver Surfers.

Marielle Heller's "Can You Ever Forgive Me?" follows unemployed biographer Lee Israel as she attempts to regain her former success.

‘Can You Ever Forgive Me?’ evokes sympathy for estranged author Lee Israel

In Marielle Heller’s film “Can You Ever Forgive Me?,” 90s era Manhattan possesses a melancholy that seemed to seep out of its very being. In an ever-damp and ever-cloudy setting, we are introduced to the now-unemployed Lee Israel (Melissa McCarthy), a foul-mouthed and cynical writer known for her biographies of Dorothy Kilgallen and Estee Lauder. The film is an adaptation of the real Lee Israel’s terminal publication by the same name, one that she published late in her career before succumbing to cancer.  


Sitting at the kids' table

During most major holidays, my family either hosts or attends a dinner party. The host family spends the afternoon creating a wide and varied dinner spread. Guests arrive around 5 p.m., each also bringing a dish or two with them. Once everyone arrives, we load up our plates and head to the tables. One table is reserved for the adults and one for the kids.

Good Coffee plays in The Ruby Lounge as part of Small Town Records' student showcase.

Small Town Records signs three new artists

As a high-school sophomore, now first-year Jay Albright sold his video games and consoles to pay for music production equipment. The Atlanta native had indulged his love of beat-mixing for years, but it wasn’t until his late teens that he began to take himself seriously as an artist. In the end, his financial gamble paid off: Small Town Records, Duke’s student-run label, signed Albright, who raps under the pseudonym MAUI. 

"Dancing at Lughnasa," Duke's fall Theater Studies show, is set during the summer of 1936 in a fictional Irish town.

Dance unites a jaded family in 'Dancing at Lughnasa'

As the darkness lifts, seven frozen figures are revealed on a dimly lit stage. Their stagnant poses and stoic demeanors create a hazy atmosphere, pulling the audience into what seems to be a memory, or perhaps a dream. The spell-like ambiance is disrupted by a figure moving toward the audience, speaking in a deep Irish accent. 

Mumford & Sons, pictured performing in 2012, released their fourth studio album "Delta" Nov. 16.

Mumford & Sons show little change on the sprawling 'Delta'

I sat in the back row of the BB&T Pavilion in Camden, N.J., steady rain showering the fans on the lawn behind me. Marcus Mumford had been pouring his soul into the brooding climax of “White Blank Page” when dark clouds rolled overhead and thunder and lightning sent the band running offstage. For 45 minutes the storm repeatedly teased its retreat until, finally, the sky parted. As quickly as they had left, the band returned to the stage and, as the last sunlight of the day peeked through the grey, Mumford & Sons launched into their soaring anthem “Lover of the Light.”

Robert Venditti has been writing comics full time since 2012, and traveled from Atlanta to attend NC Comicon.

Costumes at the Carolina: Scenes from NC Comicon 2018

Outside of Halloween, people do not often dress up in elaborate costumes in otherwise ordinary public spaces. Comicon, however, presents ample opportunity to see some of the most popular comic and television characters come to life. Attendees of all ages cosplay for the event, dressing up as their favorite characters and often adding their own personal twist to their costumes.