What You Need To Know About The Comcast/Time-Warner Deal

ethernetcables

“So the cable industry, if it can consolidate, gets access to the most important pipe coming into people’s homes (after power and water) and the fewer cable companies there are, the more unified the rate structure might appear.”

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Why Do We Still Need Galleries In The Age Of Mega-Art Fairs And The Internet?

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“The real reason galleries need to exist isn’t to help their owners’ bottom lines or to coax work out of artists; it’s not about those artists’ profile and pride; it’s not even about collectors and clients. It’s about the general public—or at least a dedicated public of art lovers—who in the long run, maybe the very long run, will be the most powerful players in the art game.”

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A New Call To Re-fund California’s State Arts Support (For $25 Million)

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“If adopted, the measure would end a streak of 11 consecutive years in which California governors and legislators have allocated just $1 million to the arts council from the state’s tax-fed general fund — a level that consistently has left the Golden State last in the nation in per capita funding of its state arts grant making agency.”

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The Creativity Question (Are We Asking The Right Things?)

AWB-James-Kaufman

We believe that creativity researchers have been asking the wrong question. We ask, “Is creativity important?” The answer is clearly yes. The real question is, “Is creativity MORE important than all of the other attributes that demand our time, attention, and resources?”

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Binge TV Watching As “Restorative Experience”

Kevin Spacey in House of Cards, season two.

“The term ‘restorative experiences’ was coined by University of Michigan psychologist Stephen Kaplan. He wanted to understand why walks in the park, or even looking at a picture of a landscape, can recharge your mental batteries.”

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How Fast Can You Read? Here’s A Test

Speed reading of Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol

“If you maintained this reading speed, you could read War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy in 11 hours and 1 minute,” I am told. Well, I think if I maintained that speed, my brain would combust, and I was cheating a bit…

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Why The Literary “Hatchet Job” Prize Doesn’t Work In Today’s Culture

Foam hatchets

“The Hatchet Job – as all self-styled rebellions and expressions of naughtiness do – relies on the idea of a flourishing literary culture, peopled with literary colossi wielding influence with every metaphor they scrutinise, pontificating weekly in seemingly endless literary sections, dominating the stage on television arts shows, venerated across the land. Oh. Right.”

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The Metropolitan Opera’s Big Problem

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The Met “filled just 79% of the seats in that huge, red-velvet covered house, and made only 69% of their projected box-office revenue. For all the millions who watched the cinema broadcasts, those are astonishingly low figures for the world’s most expensive opera house.”

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Blogger Decodes Hidden Music In Hieronymus Bosch Triptych

AA343514: Paintings

Posting on her Tumblr, a self-described “huge nerd” called Amelia explained that she and a friend had been examining a copy of Bosch’s famous triptych, which was painted around the year 1500. “[We] discovered, much to our amusement,” she wrote. “[a] 600-years-old butt song from Hell.”

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How Goodreads Became A Successful Social Networking Site

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“We launched the site thinking it would be a good way to find books through your friends. We didn’t fully anticipate the strength of the communities that cropped up, where people were friending not just people they knew in real life but people they had been meeting on the site.”

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Why Writers Are Epic Procrastinators

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“Most writers manage to get by because, as the deadline creeps closer, their fear of turning in nothing eventually surpasses their fear of turning in something terrible. But I’ve watched a surprising number of young journalists wreck, or nearly wreck, their careers by simply failing to hand in articles.”

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Iran Executes Poet for ‘Waging War on God’

Hashem Shaabani

Hashem Shaabani, a writer who composed verse (mostly apolitical) in both Persian and Arabic, was convicted by a tribunal last July of “waging war on God” and “spreading corruption on Earth.” He is a member of Iran’s Arab minority and founder of an institute promoting Arab culture; two years ago he confessed on state television to “separatist terrorism.”

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Dance Critic to Grand Dames: Quit Yer Kvetchin’ (Today’s Dancers Are Better Than You Were)

Judith Mackrell

Judith Mackrell: “There’s no doubting the heroic stamina and toughness of generations like theirs but it is important to point out that ballet has itself got tougher. In the 21st century, dancers – like athletes and sportspeople – are pushed to higher levels of achievement, speed and strength. They also dance a much more varied repertory than Lynne and Grey ever did.”

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‘There’s a Sort of Roundhead Bullshit Around Culture’, Says New Almeida Director Rupert Goold

Rupert Goold

“I’m a populist, basically. I think a lot of culture is boring, and I like people to have a good time at my shows. There’s a sort of Roundhead bullshit around culture: the more serious and difficult it is, the more it hurts you and your audience, the more worthwhile it is. It’s a form of bullying.” (Note to Americans: “Roundhead” = “Puritan”)

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The Science of Winning and Losing

CBC what makes a champion

“What makes a champion? Why do some wilt in high-pressure competition, while others rise to the occasion? Drawing on science, psychology, sports and economics, authors Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman explore the anatomy of building champions.” (podcast)

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Ground Zero Arts Center Hires Artistic Director

Ground zero arts center

“Executives developing a performing arts center at ground zero have hired a temporary artistic director from the Young Vic theater in London, one of a series of steps to be announced Thursday to advance a project that has long faced political and logistical hurdles.”

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