Everything Around Us Is About To Be Electronically Tagged (And That Will Change The World)

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“The most obvious application for iBeacon is tying digital information to physical places. When Apple first presented iBeacon to developers at their WWDC conference this summer, they used the example of an art museum. Instead of punching a three-digit number into a handheld tour guide, you could walk up to a painting, pull out your iPhone, and find additional information on the artwork right there waiting for you.”

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Disney Is Buying Up All Our Pop Culture

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“Disney remains intent on discovering, rescuing, and rehabilitating precious pop culture artifacts so they can be found or rediscovered by audiences around the world—a modern-day Indiana Jones, indeed.”

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The Problem With The “Great Man” Approach To Great Music

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“Until we rid ourselves of the notion that the best music of all time was created by a handful of men who lived an ocean away from us and who all died more than a century before any of us were born, we will never have programming that truly reflects the vast array of musical creativity all around us.”

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Reconsidering Norman Rockwell (Again)

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“Like the work of other artists once dismissed as producers of nostalgic Americana—“big paydays for small-town mush,” in the caustic phrase of Benjamin DeMott, who also mentioned Frank Capra and Thornton Wilder—Rockwell’s paintings have become more interesting over time.”

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Why Time Magazine’s “Gods Of Food” Doesn’t Include Any Women

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In the conversation below, he explains how Alice Waters almost made the cut, how Time simply reflected the “harsh reality” of the culinary world, and why he thinks the media has no obligation to “advocate for anything” when it comes to the gender gap among famous chefs.

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The New Kimbell Museum – First, Do No Harm

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“Architecturally, the new Kimbell addition will soon fade into the middle rank of Piano’s oeuvre, neither at the top (the Nasher and Menil) nor the bottom (the Broad Contemporary Art Museum of 2003–2008 in Los Angeles and the Morgan Library & Museum of 2000–2006 in New York.) His Fort Worth pavilion is the twenty-first museum building Piano has completed, with another four in the works, and he cannot be expected to produce a hit every time.”

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Jazz Guitarist Jim Hall, 83

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“His career began in the ’50s as part of the West Coast jazz scene with Jimmy Giuffre and Chico Hamilton, recorded with wealth of jazz royalty over his career, including Ben Webster, Ella Fitzgerald, Bill Evans and Sonny Rollins.” Despite his relatively quiet profile, he was considered one of his instrument’s most influential players in all of jazz.

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Will Learning a “Logical” Language Make You Think More Logically?

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If the vocabulary and grammar of our languages shape the way we think (e.g., the presence or absence of verb tenses affecting the way we perceive time), then would inventing a completely logical language require its speakers to become more logical thinkers? James Cooke Brown decided to try it.

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Another Tenor Freaks Out Over Boos At La Scala

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Back in 2006, Roberto Alagna actually stormed off the stage and out of the theater mid-performance after some of La Scala’s notorious loggionisti let him have it. This year – again in the house’s season-opening production – they did it again.

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Looking For Justice In The Book Of Job

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Joan Acocella: “God boasts to Satan, Have you seen my servant Job, so pious, so devoted to me? Satan answers, Why shouldn’t he be devoted? You have given him everything he could ever want: ‘But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.’ Well, God says, let’s see, and he gives Satan permission to ruin Job’s life.”

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Amy Tan On Writing “Microscopically”

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“I’ve found that the way to capture the truth of a character – and beyond that, to reflect the truth of how I feel – is to write microscopically. To focus on all the tiny details that, together, make sense of character. Each person’s perspective is absolutely unique; my job is to unearth all the specific events and associations that form an individual consciousness.”

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What’s The Point Of Doing Opera In Pubs? (Asks A Big-Newspaper Critic)

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Rupert Christiansen: “[These] efforts draw small but loyal audiences, usually very appreciative, and you might say at the very worst, that no harm is done. But for the critic these pop-up performances pose a quandary: how can one balance one’s desire to pat honest endeavour on the back with the sacred imperative of rigorously honest and unsentimental judgment?”

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Of Course There’s A Point To Small-Room Opera! (Says A Pub-Opera Company Director)

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Robin Norton-Hale of OperaUpClose: “Theatre critics don’t tie themselves in knots trying to find a way to compare a production at the (rightly) well-funded RSC or National Theatre to one at … the Edinburgh Fringe. Each performance is judged on its own merits. … Far from being a poorer experience, I would argue that seeing a smaller-scale opera is simply a different one.”

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I Will Not Be Ashamed of Loving “Love, Actually”

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Emma Green counterattacks in the Love, Actually wars at The Atlantic: “I admire the bravery that’s needed to declare oneself the enemy of Christmas, Colin Firth, and crushes nurtured by 11-year-old kids, and it would be cowardly to hide behind the movie’s cute-factor in mounting my defense.”

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