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August 16 -- yesterday -- is kind of an oddly busy day in the history of popular culture. In 1954, the first issue of Sports Illustrated was published. In 1962, Pete Best was fired from The Beatles. In 1948, Babe Ruth died. In 1958, Madonna was born (and so she turned 60 yesterday). In 1977, Elvis Presley died. And yesterday, a new August 16th-shaped dot was added to the timeline of pop culture: the death of Aretha Franklin. The Queen of Soul was 76 years old.

And: The new Spike Lee joint, BlacKkKlansman, is set in 1970s Colorado Springs, Colo., and it tells a story that's about race relations in all of America right now, today. It's "a slapstick comedy, a blaxsploitation throwback, and an incendiary Molotov cocktail thrown into the foray of the modern multiplex," and it's being called Lee's "hardest-hitting work in decades."

Chion Wolf / WNPR

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences this week announced changes to the annual Oscar awards, including a new category recognizing "outstanding achievement in popular film." Eligibility requirements and other details haven't been announced, but that hasn't stopped the film world from having strong opinions.

And: Bo Burnham is a comedian, musician, and actor who was a teen YouTube star. He’s directed a few comedy specials -- including Chris Rock's Tamborine -- and as of this week, his feature film directorial debut, Eighth Grade, is in wide release. Its "queasy verisimilitude" has earned it a 98% score on Rotten Tomatoes.

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Ariana Grande already had a top 10 hit from her forthcoming album, Sweetener. As of this week, she's got songs at numbers six and eleven on the Billboard Hot 100 with the debut of her single "God Is a Woman." The song and its video have become somewhat controversial in certain corners of the internet.

And: Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl was a literary phenomenon in 2012. In its wake, film/television rights for her previous novels were snapped up. And now, six years later, HBO is airing an eight-episode (and only eight episodes, by the way) miniseries adapted in part by Flynn and starring Amy Adams.

Netflix

Hannah Gadsby is an Australian comedian and writer. Her new Netflix special is Nanette. There are certain ways it's a different sort of comedy special than you're used to. It's, for instance, more of an art history lecture than you'd probably expect. Its audience laughs much less than you're used to. And it'll probably make you cry more than other specials have. Those idiosyncrasies are just some of the reasons Nanette is "the most discussed comedy special in ages."

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During his remarkable career with the Boston Red Sox, Ted Williams earned many nicknames: The Kid, The Splendid Splinter, Teddy Ballgame... but the only nickname that he ever wanted was "the greatest hitter who ever lived."

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Logan Roy is the head of a major media conglomerate, much like Rupert Murdoch. Also like Murdoch, he's not sure if he wants any of his kids to take over when he decides to retire.

Rogello A. Galaviz C. / Creative Commons

When The Simpsons started thirty years ago, no one thought it would last more than six weeks.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

They made a documentary about Mr. Rogers. Does The Nose really have a choice but to go see it? No. It does not. But then, it's "a vital doc," "a tearjerker with a purpose," and "the film we need right now" with "the hero 2018 needs." So we probably should've gone to see it regardless of whether the guy was a public broadcasting icon or not, no?

thierry ehrmann / flickr creative commons

From his rapid-fire stand-up comedy riffs to his breakout role in Mork & Mindy and his Academy Award-winning performance in Good Will Hunting, Robin Williams was a singularly innovative and beloved entertainer. Dave Itzkoff's new biography is Robin.

And: For the tenth anniversary of his death, a look back at the work of George Carlin.

Patrick Wymore / Food Network

Adam Young, the co-owner of Mystic’s Sift Bake Shop, won Food Network’s reality baking competition Best Baker in America.

Carlos Mejia / CT Public Radio

You probably know Larry Wilmore as the host of the Black on the Air podcast or of Comedy Central's The Nightly Show. Or maybe you know him as The Daily Show with Jon Stewart's Senior Black Correspondent. Or you could know Wilmore as the co-creator of Insecure and The Bernie Mac Show or as a writer on The Office and The Fresh Prince of Bel Air and In Living Color.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Solo is the tenth feature-length, live-action Star Wars film. It is the fifth Star Wars prequel. It is the second Star Wars anthology film (following 2016's Rogue One), and it's the second Star Wars movie to come out in just the last six months (along with The Last Jedi).

It is, though, a number of Star Wars firsts too: It's the first Star Wars picture to have its director(s) fired midway through production. It's the first to star Woody Harrelson. It's the first Star Wars movie that may well lose money.

YouTube Red Originals

You remember the dress, right? In case you don't: Three years ago, a poorly-lit photograph of a dress pretty much tore the internet to pieces. Some people saw a black-and-blue dress; some people saw a white-and-gold dress. The black-and-blue-dress people couldn't understand how the white-and-gold-dress people were living their lives; the white-and-gold-dress people called the black-and-blue-dress people "fake news" (no they didn't).

Well, this week there's a new the dress. Except it's a the dress for your ears, not your eyes. It's an audio file. Some people hear the word "laurel." Some people hear the non-word "yanny." And the dispute over which word is right and which word is wrong is very important (no it isn't).

Carlos Mejia / Connecticut Public Radio

Donald Glover can do anything. He's an actor and a comedian, he's a singer and a songwriter, he's a rapper and a DJ. Mainstream audiences know him from Community and maybe the FX series he created, Atlanta. Nerdy audiences know him as the voice of Spider-Man, and they're about to know him as a young Lando Calrissian.

But Glover's music -- he sings and raps as Childish Gambino and DJs as mcDJ -- has never quite punched through into the wider popular consciousness, despite some chart success. Until this week, maybe. The new Childish Gambino video, "This Is America," which dropped last Saturday in concert with Glover's hosting Saturday Night Live, has just about 75 million views on YouTube. It is "a milestone" and "a media phenomenon," and it has finally made Glover "a superstar."

Adam Tiner / flickr creative commons

Lauren Bacall probably does have the most famous line about smoking in all of cinema. But there are other good ones too. "What are you gonna do? Charge me with smoking?" "Smoke if ya got 'em." And many more.

Cigarettes have been such an integral part of movies for so long that one big concern in the lead up to Disney and Fox's planned merger is -- seriously -- all the smoking in Fox movies.

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