ISIS Destroys Ancient Statues At Mosul Museum – Or So They Think

isis

Just days after the extremists burned the rare books in Mosul’s library, they went rampaging through the city museum’s collection of Akkadian and Assyrian statues, smashing the works with sledgehammers and drills. It seems, though, that many of the destroyed pieces weren’t originals. (includes video)

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Stolen Picasso Found In FedEx Shipment At EWR

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“A Picasso painting missing from Paris for more than a decade resurfaced in the United States, where it had been shipped under false pretenses as a $37 holiday-themed ‘art craft.'”

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FCC Approves Strict Net Neutrality Rules, Declares Broadband A Public Utility

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“Following one of the most intense – and bizarre – lobbying battles in the history of modern Washington politics, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) passed strict new rules that give the body its greatest power over the cable industry since the Internet went mainstream.” Said the FCC chairman, “This is no more a plan to regulate the Internet than the First Amendment is a plan to regulate free speech.”

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The New Net-Neutrality Policy, In Three Simple Phrases

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“There are three major principles that Internet-service providers – like Comcast, AT&T, Time Warner Cable, and Verizon – have to follow when sending data from their networks to your computer:”

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Tonya Pinkins Remembers “Jelly’s Last Jam,” The Show That Won Her Her First Tony

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Jelly’s Last Jam was the first musical written and directed by an African American that was not simply a toe-tapping entertainment with happy, singing people of color. … [It] was akin to a Brancusi sculpture of 50 years in the life of an arrogant, racist, braggadocio genius.”

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Memphis Symphony To Lose Music Director Mei-Ann Chen After Next Season

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“Roland Valliere, MSO’s president and CEO, said it was no surprise. … Her decision comes at a time when the orchestra has been struggling financially. The MSO announced in January of last year that it was deep fiscal trouble, and it cut staff and expenses to survive the 2013-14 season. It drastically reduced offerings for this season, and musicians took a 38 percent pay cut.”

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How A Book Club Is Helping To Keep Ex-Offenders From Going Back To Jail

prison book club

“They were all teenagers then, charged as adults for their violent crimes. At the D.C. jail, they found solace in a book club, reading memoirs and reciting poems they had written. Over the past year, they finally came home. They see themselves as reformed men who did dumb things as kids but who know that others may have trouble forgiving.”

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“The Little Prince” Goes Out Of Copyright, And Turkish Publishers Go Nuts

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“In the first two weeks of January, more than thirty Turkish publishers released translations of the 1943 novella. … In a newspaper books supplement the other week, almost half the adverts were for The Little Prince. One publisher put out a mandarine-flavoured edition. Another released three different versions, to show the differences in translation trends. There is a 3D pop-up edition.”

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“Obscene” Poet Wins £40,000 David Cohen Prize For Literature

tony harrison

“[Tony] Harrison, 77, wrote his first poems 70 years ago, and has since written a number of films and plays. V., which describes the offensive language graffitied on Harrison’s parents’ grave, contains 25 uses of the word ‘f***’ and 17 uses of the word ‘c***’.”

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Here Are The Nominees For “Oddest Book Title Of The Year”

natures nether regions

The shortlist for the Diagram prize includes, among others, Divorcing a Real Witch, Nature’s Nether Regions, Strangers Have the Best Candy, The Madwoman in the Volvo: My Year of Raging Hormones, and The Ugly Wife Is a Treasure at Home.

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“The Brother From Another Planet”: J. Hoberman on Godard

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“Taken with cinema, but not taken in by it, … [Godard] is also the brother from another planet, at once straightforward and cryptic, an epistemologist of cinema, wondering why the film frame became a square and why lenses are round. … What to make of the Godardian mind? You might say that, as prolific as he is, Godard suffers from the attention-deficit disorder of genius.”

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Can God Lie? The Scientific Revolution Changed The Answer To That Question

can god lie

“‘Can God lie?’ proved an important question for more than 1,000 years because it compelled theologians to consider in the starkest terms the nature of God’s relationship to the world. … These are important questions, but they also proved difficult to answer because the evidence seemed to contradict itself. … Far from being a mere curiosity of the past, concerns about God’s deceptions proved central to the Scientific Revolution and therefore to the modern world.”

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Getty Museum’s Top Curator To Retire After 35 Years

kren

Thomas Kren, the associate director for collections (not to be confused with Thomas Krens, the controversial longtime director of the Guggenheim), will depart in October. He’ll be replaced by Richard Rand, senior curator of paintings and sculpture at the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Mass.”

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Opera House Boss Resigns After 53 Days On The Job

korean national opera head

Ye-jin (Regina) Han, a 44-year-old soprano, faced opposition from the day she was appointed general director of the Korean National Opera: local organizations argued that she lacked the experience and qualifications to lead the country’s flagship company. Han’s departure comes two months after the CEO of the Seoul Philharmonic was forced to resign following the open rebellion of her staff.

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Alexei Ratmansky Goes Forward To The Past For ABT’s New “Sleeping Beauty”

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“This production is not an occasion for him to express his bold originality as is the case with his Nutcracker … Rather, his approach to Sleeping Beauty is to re-create as closely as possible the 1890 choreography by Marius Petipa,” notation for which has survived.

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Carlos Acosta Says Dance Education Should Be Free

acosta

“[Dance education] should not have a cost or price. … When you put a price on [access], then you divide into two camps those who can and those who cannot. In the camp of those who cannot I bet there is a lot of talent there, a lot of Nureyev … I think we should demand at the highest level that these things should happen. It is a fight to take to the government.”

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Westminster Abbey To Add First New Tower In 270 Years

westminster abbey

The addition “will create public access to a museum of treasures and curiosities housed in the triforium, the church’s attic gallery. At present, the public can get only a distant glimpse of the spectacular and shadowy space through the stone arches 70ft up at the top of the walls above the high altar.”

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BBC Will Have To Give Up Licence Fee, Say Lawmakers

bbc licence fee reuters

“The BBC should reduce its output and the television licence fee should eventually be scrapped, a parliamentary committee has said after considering the role of the publicly funded broadcaster in the wake of a string of scandals and industry changes.”

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Stop The Licence Fee? Shut Down The BBC Trust? Drop A TV Channel? What-All Is In This Committee’s Report, Anyway?

bbc licence fee guardian

The Guardian read the 164-page House of Commons culture, media and sport select committee report on the future of the BBC so you don’t have to.”

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Toronto’s Massey Hall Begins $135M Renovation

massey-hall

“For all its past glories, the hall has a shopworn feel, with those odd reclining seats and scuffed brass railings. The goal of the expensive facelift, paid for largely by corporate and government cash, is to do some sprucing up without sanding away the antique beauty of the place.”

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The Designer Who Became Apple’s Biggest Asset

apple

Jonathan Ive “establish[ed] the build and the finish of the iMac, the MacBook, the iPod, the iPhone, and the iPad. He is now one of the two most powerful people in the world’s most valuable company” – on whom 100,000 employees and a not-insignificant chunk of the stock market depend. Says Steve jobs’s widow, “Jony’s an artist with an artist’s temperament, and he’d be the first to tell you artists aren’t supposed to be responsible for this kind of thing.”

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Artifical Intelligence Conquers The Video Game Arcade (This Is Actually A Big Deal)

artificial intelligence video games

“Whipping humanity’s ass at Fishing Derby may not seem like a particularly noteworthy achievement for artificial intelligence” – think of Deep Blue beating Garry Kasparov at chess and Watson walloping Ken Jennings on Jeopardy! – “but according to Zachary Mason, a novelist and computer scientist, it actually is.”

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Why British Political Satire On TV Stops Being Satirical When It’s Adapted By Americans

british tv satire

“Failure is a wellspring of British comedy, but its American counterpart rewards ‘optimism [and] a refusal to see oneself in a bad light’.” Christopher Orr looks at how Game of Thrones changed from savage political parody to dramatic thriller as it crossed the Atlantic, and how The Thick of It morphed into the farce of Veep.

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Is This The Banksy Of Iran? Or The Shepard Fairey?

mehdi

“[Mehdi] Ghadyanloo has more in common with the metaphysical painter Giorgio de Chirico than he does with Banksy. Yet in terms of success as a street artist, he is undoubtedly the Banksy of Tehran. Astonishingly, there are over 100 walls in Iran’s capital decorated by Ghadyanloo. … His paintings are not illegal. On the contrary, he was commissioned by the city government to paint them.” (So he’s definitely not like Banksy.)

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