Supermarket Chain Yanks Roald Dahl Book Over The Word “Slut”

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“The supermarket chain Aldi has withdrawn Roald Dahl’s classic children’s book Revolting Rhymes from its Australian stores following a complaint on its Facebook page … that the book had ‘an unacceptable word in it for kids!!! Not ok!’.”

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Bloodbath At Pennsylvania Ballet

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“With a single swing of the ax, the new leadership of Pennsylvania Ballet has cleared out the longtime artistic pillars of the company” – the ballet master and mistress, both of whom were there for nearly 40 years; the director of the company’s school; and the assistant to the artistic director. Angel Corella was named the new artistic director last month.

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Rescue Plan For Philadelphia Theatre Co.

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“Civic leaders have stepped in with a provisional plan to bring Philadelphia Theatre Company back from the brink of financial collapse, and, possibly, secure its long-term viability. … Certain key changes in leadership are required. … Funds will be doled out as certain conditions are met.”

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Philly’s Barrymore Awards Are Back – But Some Theaters Won’t Take Part

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“Having been administered by the Theatre Alliance of Greater Philadelphia since their 1995 founding, the Barrymores threatened to disappear when the alliance dissolved in 2012. … But this year [there are] nominations in 26 categories.” Yet a few local companies, including the Walnut St. Theatre, are declining to participate.

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Pennsylvania School Cancels “Spamalot” Because It Has “Homosexual Themes”

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“‘Just think, says Sir Lancelot, of his nuptials to a young man named Herbert in Monty Python’s Spamalot, In a thousand years time, this will still be controversial. The administration of the South Williamsport, Pennsylvania, Junior/Senior High School seems determined to prove the gallant knight prescient.”

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Even Famous Politics Blogs Are Joining In The “Death Of Klinghoffer” Wars

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Wonkette’s first sally into battle carries the memorable headline, “Wingnuts Will Save You Poor Jews From Getting Pogromed By Metropolitan Opera”.

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Longtime Conductor Of Vermont Philharmonic Found Dead

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“The body of a missing Montpelier man, Brian Webb, who had been the longtime conductor of the Vermont Philharmonic, was discovered Wednesday morning in Lake Champlain … Webb was 65.”

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Minnesota Orchestra Receives $13.2M In Gifts

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“The Minnesota Orchestra, emerging from a financial crisis and a historic labor lockout, had good news on Wednesday when the board said it has received $13.2 million in four separate donations,” all anonymous.

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Pittsburgh Symphony Expects Another, Larger Deficit

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“The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra is projecting a deficit of roughly $1.4 million at the end of its 2014 fiscal year, which concludes Sunday. … If the PSO balances its roughly $30 million budget by the end of next fiscal year, it will be eligible for $5 million from the Heinz Endowments; if it does so for three consecutive years, it will receive $12 million from the Simmons Family Foundation.”

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People Are Demonstrating Over Serrano’s “Piss Christ” Again

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“Around 50 protesters gathered [Tuesday] outside the Musée Fesch in Ajaccio, Corsica, to demand the immediate removal of the photograph from an exhibition of 120 works by the artist.” Said one spokesman, “[Corsica] is soiled by the presence of this picture. It’s an insult to every Corsican.”

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Archaeologists Race To Excavate 2,600-Year-Old City Before It Becomes Copper Mine

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“At the end of the year, state-owned Chinese mining company China Metallurgical Group will take control of an ancient Buddhist city in Afghanistan, Mes Aynak. Southeast of Kabul, the ancient, abandoned city is home to sculptures, art, and jewelry dating back to the time of Alexander the Great – as well as 5.5 million tonnes of copper ore, one of the world’s largest deposits.”

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How The Onion’s Art Department Works

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“Nearly every image is original: either a graphic created in-house, a photograph taken in-house, or an image so manipulated by Photoshop as to not represent any real event that has ever happened. The tiny graphics team at The Onion pumps out about 50 original pieces of art per week.”

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France’s Culture Minister Helped Cause Cabinet’s Collapse

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Aurelie Filipetti was one of three ministers who left the government in protest over the ongoing austerity policy and repeated budget cuts. Their departure led prime minister Manuel Valls to dissolve the cabinet on Sunday.

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Meet France’s New Culture Minister

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Fleur Pellerin, who is just turning 41, is the country’s first top minister of Asian descent. “Local commentators suggest that [her previous] experiences handling the innovation and digital economy portfolio will stand the minister in good stead in her new role.”

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Did David Chase Just Tell Us That Tony Soprano Isn’t Dead?

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That’s certainly what Martha P. Nochimson and her editors at Vox think. And so an essay of nearly 5,000 words – many of them, from both Nochimson and Chase himself, erudite and insightful – get boiled down (not least by Vox itself) into a seemingly unambiguous answer to what is actually quite an ambiguous question. (What does it really mean to say, “Tony Soprano lives!”?)

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David Chase Responds: By No Means Did I Say That Tony Soprano Is Alive

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A publicist for the Sopranos showrunner said in a statement: “To simply quote David as saying, ‘Tony Soprano is not dead,’ is inaccurate. There is a much larger context for that statement and as such, it is not true.” The statement goes on to remind us what Chase has said about the subject many times, and Vox culture editor Todd VanDerWerff offers a defense of the article.

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“It’s The Wrong Thing To Ask About ‘The Sopranos’”: Matt Zoller Seitz On The Did-Or-Didn’t-Tony-Die Question

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“I won’t take anyone’s interpretation away from anybody – not because I feel that certain interpretations are more provable than others, but because if you’re trying to ‘prove’ a particular theory about the ending of a consciously ambiguous and at times tactically frustrating work of popular art, you’re watching it wrong.”

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Judge Throws Out “Deep Throat” Owner’s Copyright Suit Against “Lovelace”

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The owners of the rights to the 1972 porn film sued the Weinstein Co., producers of the 2013 biopic of Linda Lovelace, for recreating three scenes from the older film. A U.S. federal judge dismissed the complaint based on the fair use doctrine.

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This Year’s Opera Olympics

1426990d Opera singer Placido Domingo

“From over 1,000 applications, 40 singers from 17 nations, including the United States, Russia and China, made it through to the main competition, which began on August 25. Following two days of preliminary rounds, 20 singers enter the semi-finals. Ten singers will reach the final round on August 30, which is presented as a Gala Finals Concert with an orchestra conducted by Domingo.”

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Science’s Problem With Big Data

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“As the rest of the society, from business and economics to journalism and art, wakes up to the power of big data, the world of research is, ironically, not doing nearly enough to embrace the power of information. A big-data mindset involves more than having a lot of petabytes on your hard drive, and science is falling short in three main areas.”

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Theatre Calgary is southern Alberta’s foremost professional non-profit theatre, presenting an eclectic mix of productions that stimulate, provoke, and delight.Under Dennis Garnhum’s artistic … [Read More...]

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Former Jasper Johns Assistant Pleads Guilty To Stealing Art

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“The assistant, James Meyer, was indicted in 2013 on charges connected to a scheme that prosecutors said involved the theft of at least 22 artworks over about six years. Mr. Meyer removed the works from Mr. Johns’s studio in Sharon, Conn., prosecutors said, and delivered them to an art gallery in Lower Manhattan, where they were sold for about $6.5 million.”

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Final Acts: Doris Lessing Left 3000 Books To Public Library In Zimbabwe

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“The bequest includes biographies, histories, reference books, poetry and fiction. It has been welcomed by public services strained by years of neglect and underfunding; many libraries in Zimbabwe have no budget to buy new books.”

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Julian Lloyd Webber: Here’s How To Make It As A Young Musician

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“To succeed in today’s music business the aspiring musician needs to give almost as much time and thought to business-related matters as they give to practising their art. They need to find their unique space in the market place. They need to find out what they have to offer that is different to everybody else.”

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Video Games – The New Spectator Sport

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“Fans watch for the same reasons ancient Romans flocked to the Colosseum: to witness extraordinary displays of agility and skill.”

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Is Banksy Over?

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Is “Banksy, arguably the most well-known and successful graffiti artist in the world, now over? In other words, was his production permanently slowing down? Could he now be considered part of art history? Or would he start to mean less to the general public and the street art community?”

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Knowledge Versus Information

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“The Internet does make it easier to gather – aggregate, as the jargon goes – information, but not necessarily to make sense of it. An overabundance of raw information devoid of context and interpretation can actually be detrimental to knowledge. Knowledge springs from the act – the art – of interpreting, digesting, and integrating new information with our existing understanding of the world.”

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New Trend: The Office That Sings Together Works Better Together

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“London, long a choral capital, is setting the tone with law firms, banks, accountancy firms, tech firms, even cosmetics giant L’Oréal now featuring company-supported choirs. A number have set up Google-style music rooms, and some even offer music lessons during the workday.”

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Generous Cincinnati Funder Shuts Its Doors After An Amazing Run

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The Corbett Foundation – which gave more than $70 million to arts and education in the region over the last 60 years – is shutting its doors, effective immediately.

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ABT’s Not Just Wringing Its Hands About Lack Of Diversity In Ballet, It’s Going Out To Develop More Dancers

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“Classical ballet in the United States has an image problem, as dancers at the top companies are almost entirely white. … In an attempt to make ballet more diverse, the American Ballet Theatre has launched a new programme to search for talents from the excluded communities. Al Jazeera’s Daniel Lak reports from New York.” (video)

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