Conductor Dies After Heart Attack Onstage

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“The 59-year-old was conducting at a concert given by a Swiss youth orchestra in Lucerne, when he fell dramatically to the ground. An audience member rushed to his aid, but the musician died in an ambulance on the way to hospital.”

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Report: Watching TV With Subtitles Is A Bad Experience

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User feedback said live subtitles made viewing “frustrating, and, on occasion, unwatchable.” The report highlighted “serious recognition errors” in subtitling software, which led to mistakes such as the phrase “be given to our toddlers” translated as “be given to ayatollahs”.

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Why Debates About Today’s Big Issues Have So Little Historical Context

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“In contrast to earlier centuries, when the historian’s craft had been the preserve of amateurs such as Gibbon and Macaulay, the 20th century was the era when history professionals emerged – men and women who earned their living from teaching and writing history as employees of universities. Like other professionals, they sought advancement by becoming unquestioned masters of a small terrain, fenced off by their command of specialist archives. The explosion since the 1970s of new subdisciplines – including social history, women’s history and cultural history – encouraged further balkanisation of the subject. Academic historians seemed to be saying more and more about less and less. In consequence, the big debates of our day lack the benefit of historical perspective.”

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Constable Painting Bought For $5,300 Sells For $5.2 Million

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“The award for the most compelling market tale undoubtedly goes to the third highest-selling painting, a rediscovered John Constable landscape, Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows (1831), that sold for $5.2 million, far exceeding its $3 million high estimate. The consignor had acquired the work at Christie’s London in July 2013, and paid a mere $5,300 for it.”

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The Psychology Of Wearing Glasses

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When constant-use glasses were first introduced at the start of the 18th century—before, eye assistance was relegated to occasional-use monocles and, presumably, power-squinting—spectacle wearers were mysterious folk. “What were these secret weapons they had on their face? What is this person doing with this device on? Are they trying to capture my soul or something?”

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Pop Music As Serious Art (So Tell Me Something Else I Don’t Know?)

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“Pop has long been resident in the hallowed halls of academe. Pop music studies have a place in university music faculties on almost equal terms with classical and world music. It has its own journals, distinguished elder statesmen and iconoclastic upstarts. Pop’s arrival at the top table is part of the revolution that swept through universities in the Seventies with the arrival of cultural studies.”

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Where Critics Have Failed The Art Of Movies

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“Independent filmmaking is wilder and freer than ever, owing in part to the readier availability of equipment and in part to the mere march of time and proliferation of ideas. But, at the same time, Hollywood filmmaking is even more brazenly commercial. The gap between the independents and the profit centers is increasing along with the quality of independent films.”

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How Japan Became A Pop Culture Superpower

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“Almost every childhood craze of the past 30 years has come from Japan: Transformers, Power Rangers, Tamagotchi, Pokémon and on and on and on. And together these have blasted through boundaries between different media.”

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PhilOrch Keeps Yannick For Five More Years

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“[Music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin’s] current contract runs through 2017, which means the new five-year deal extends his tenure to 2022.” With the president/CEO and board chairman having extended their terms as well, the Philadelphia Orchestra has the stability it will need to do the major fundraising it also needs.

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“American Sniper”, War, Fiction, And Real-World Politics

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“These films strip away almost all of the moral and political ambiguities of international conflict, in its place giving us a singular tale of physical and mental heroics dripping in red, white, and blue. It’s hard as an American to not be affected at some level. Although an unintended consequence of such powerful patriotic storytelling could be its political ramifications.”

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What Moviegoers In Baghdad Think Of “American Sniper”

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“Mohammed says one of the film’s opening scenes, when Kyle spots a woman and child who appear to be preparing to attack US troops during the initial invasion of Iraq, had the entire audience on the edge of their seats. ‘When the sniper was hesitating to shoot [the child holding the RPG] everyone was yelling ‘Just shoot him!” he said.”

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Rod McKuen, 81, Poet And Songwriter

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“[He was] the husky-voiced ‘King of Kitsch’ whose avalanche of music, verse and spoken-word recordings in the 1960s and ’70s overwhelmed critical mockery and made him an Oscar-nominated songwriter and one of the best-selling poets in history.”

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At Long Last, Peru Is Getting A National Museum

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“Strangely enough, despite its rich cultural and artistic history, the country hasn’t had a large-scale national museum until now. … The new museum will make its home at the storied Pachacamac, an archaeological site southeast of Lima that’s passed through many hands since the Early Intermediate period.”

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Humans’ Age-Old Fantasy Of Animals That Can Talk

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We’ve had the fantasy for thousands of years – from Aesop and Plato, through the Roman de Fauvel and Montaigne and Lewis Carroll and Orwell and Disney, right through to Mr. Ed and Dogbert and LOLcats and Doge. “We polish an animal mirror to look for ourselves. But perhaps that mirror is more suited for a funhouse.”

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These Filmmakers Staged A Canine Rebellion With 200 Real Dogs

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“In the upcoming movie White God, … the canine actor Bodie plays Hagen, a mutt that – after he is separated from his owner – leads an uprising of hundreds of dogs against the men who mistreat and abuse them.” The director, the animal trainer, and Bodie tell us how they pulled it off. (video)

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It’s Okay To Be An Overbearing Pet Parent (Thank God)

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“Neurotic people probably make pretty great pet owners, concludes the author of a new study … In an online survey of about 1,000 pet owners, people who scored higher in neuroticism and conscientiousness also reported higher levels of affection for their dog or cat, which most likely means a better life for the animals.”

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How To Think About Dance And Movement? Start With An Idea

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“I am convinced that choreography is not only the best [art] form to buy a ticket for, it is also an orchestration of encounters, the setting up of encounters between different minds,” she said. “I hope we give audiences the possibility to enter the choreography themselves, but also to intellectually stimulate the publics we encounter, more than just satisfy them and try to do it very gently, not aggressively.”

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France Considers Taxing Netflix, Amazon To Support Culture

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“France has a vibrant film and television sector thanks to a system that requires television networks to hand over a proportion of their turnover to back domestic production, on top of a series of public grants and funds. The result is a diverse field of many small- to mid-size production companies, unlike in the United States, where studios and listed entertainment conglomerates dominate.”

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“Thorn Birds” Author Colleen McCullough Dies at 77

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“The Thorn Birds, which has never been out of print, has sold more than 30 million copies worldwide and been translated into more than 20 languages. In hardcover, it spent more than a year on the New York Times best-seller list; the paperback rights were sold at auction for $1.9 million, a record at the time.”

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