The Physicists Who Are Redefining The Art Of Animation

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There is “an expanding cadre of high-level physicists, engineers and other scientists, including many former NASA employees, who have left careers in aerospace and academia to work in the movie business. Demand for their services has grown as animated movies, once created by hand, push the boundaries of what can be created on a computer screen.”

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Boycott An Israeli Theatre Company Over Politics? Where’s The Logic?

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“The demands for censorship speak to the illiberal tendencies of much of the art world and their self-important overestimation of the impact of cultural boycotts. They are the kind of artists who call for artistic freedom for themselves, and for those whose opinions they approve of, but deny it to those who they disapprove of, or, in this case, those whose countries they disapprove of.”

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Rome’s Cinecittà Opens A Theme Park

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“In its nearly 80-year history, the Cinecittà film studio lured the world’s greatest directors and biggest movie stars to this Italian capital, earning it the title of Hollywood on the Tiber. Now the studio, its fortunes in decline and its edges fraying, is hoping to attract some less famous visitors when Cinecittà World, a new theme park dedicated to its golden era, opens on Thursday.”

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In Defense Of The Jukebox Musical

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“Done well, jukebox musicals, which are by nature about popular music, can have great music and dramatic insight, too. I propose that we stop being embarrassed by them, and I hope that producers and librettists continue to make the genre better. Great pop music can be celebrated well and enjoyably.” Sarah Lawson explains how, with examples.

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Keeping Kabuki Populist – And Funny

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“Compared with some other forms of Japanese theatre – Noh, for example – Kabuki had humble beginnings. It was made by common people for common people. … Other forms of Japanese theatre, such as Noh and Bunraku, subsist on government funding. Kabuki lives on ticket sales.”

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Japanese “Vagina Artist” Released From Jail Following Arrest On Obscenity Charges

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Megumi Igarishi, a 42-year-old sculptor and illustrator who uses the professional name Rokudenashiko (roughly “little good-for-nothing”), spent a week in custody after being arrested for distributing obscene materials. She had sent contributors to a crowdfunding campaign a file for 3D printer that would produce a replica of her vagina.

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Stop Trying To Get Our Kids Into The Ivy League: The Stress Is Wrecking Them, And The Schools Are Overrated

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“Our system of elite education manufactures young people who are smart and talented and driven, yes, but also anxious, timid, and lost, with little intellectual curiosity and a stunted sense of purpose: trapped in a bubble of privilege, heading meekly in the same direction, great at what they’re doing but with no idea why they’re doing it.”

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At A Woody Allen Press Conference, Avoiding The Only Questions People Really Want To Ask

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“The problem is, the only thing newsworthy about Magic in the Moonlight – an unexceptional, oddly slack late-period Allen picture – is that it’s his first release after decades-old allegations of sexual abuse resurfaced last winter … And now we were all being told to pretend like this ubiquitous scandal never happened.” Jason Bailey eased up to the issue, sort of, and Allen answered like a practiced politician.

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My Buddy Picasso

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“Lucien Clergue befriended Pablo Picasso in 1953. Over the next 20 years, he took intimate portraits of the artist in his studio, at bullfights and on the beach.”

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The Strangest Temple In Thailand

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“Wat Rong Khun, or the White Temple, is one of over 33,000 Buddhist temples in Thailand. But it’s the only one that features a mural depicting a plane hitting the Twin Towers as Spiderman and an Angry Bird look on.”

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The Stradivarius Investment Company

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“The way we look at this violin, from an investment point of view, is that this is a store of value,” Allain said. “We are big investors in gold. That’s a store of value, to the extent that someone is saying it’s worth something, just as we think bitcoin is worth something. This Stradivarius—it’s a finite supply. It’s musical gold.”

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The Great English Novel Is Being Reinvented

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“Fiction isn’t dying – but it is changing. The delivery mechanisms might change but we cannot get on without stories, especially not in an age and time when all the old certainties of God and State and Family and Capital are collapsing around us.”

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The Man Who Created Bugs Bunny

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“Charles M. Jones (1912-2002) was, in fact, easily one of the greatest comedy directors in the history of motion pictures, indisputably on a par with Preston Sturges, Billy Wilder, Mel Brooks or Woody Allen.”

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Queen Elizabeth Appoints First Woman Master Of The Queen’s Music (It Only Took 388 Years)

Judith Weir

Judith Weir says there is still a sneaking suspicion that the world of classical music is carved up by a few big institutions and a handful of powerful cultural leaders. That really is an establishment; but Weir does not need the role of the master for access to classical music’s top table. The opportunity of the role, she says, “is to avoid all that – and go and meet the other people”.

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Why Crowdfunding Doesn’t Necessarily Create A Successful Movie

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“If everyone who wants to see your movie is part of the pool of people who gave you money online and you were able to raise $1 million or $2 million, that’s a fantastic story. But if those are the only people who are interested in your movie, that’s a big disaster.”

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Netflix Profits Double

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“The company said revenue from its streaming content service rose nearly 50% to $1.2bn, compared to $837m a year earlier. Netflix said it added 1.69 million users during the period from March to June. The streaming video firm now has 50 million users in over 40 countries.”

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Happiness is… (How Can We Be It If We Can’t Define It?)

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“What is unhappiness? Your intuition might be that it is simply the opposite of happiness, just as darkness is the absence of light. That is not correct. Happiness and unhappiness are certainly related, but they are not actually opposites. Images of the brain show that parts of the left cerebral cortex are more active than the right when we are experiencing happiness, while the right side becomes more active when we are unhappy.”

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Why Do Writers Have To Sound So Constipated When They Read Their Poetry?

Gregory Orr

“Poet Voice,” is the pejorative, informal name given to this soft, airy reading style that many poets use for reasons that are unclear to me. The voice flattens the musicality and tonal drama inherent within the language of the poem, and it also sounds overly stuffy and learned. In this way, Poet Voice does a disservice to the poem, the poet and poetry. It must be stopped.”

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The Decline Of Harper Lee

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Boris Kachka offers a notably sympathetic account of how the 88-year-old author of To Kill a Mockingbird, so feisty – and so beloved by her friends and neighbors – for so many years, came to her enfeebled, embattled, litigious current state.

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