Issues

Marvel And Disney Get Grief For Ignoring Black Widow In Merchandise Blitz For New Avengers Movie

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“Of the 60 items released on the Marvel and Disney websites on Monday, only three featured the female superhero. Unlike her male counterparts, Thor, The Hulk, Captain America and Iron Man, there are no Black Widow costumes, dolls or clothing. She only appears with the other Avengers on a tote bag, in one of the six lego sets and on a men’s T-shirt.”

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Leading Science Lab Enlists Arts To Explain Its Work

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“The Arts@CERN program as well as other recent projects, like the 2014 Particle Fever documentary, are essential in making the intimidating scale of the scientific experiments at CERN approachable, along with fostering the long collaboration between art and science.”

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We’ve Set Up Exam Factories. That Doesn’t Work. What We Need Are Real Places Of Learning

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“We are currently operating a Fordist model of mass education that is failing to prepare young people for the dramatic socioeconomic demands of the digital age. What is more worrying is that politicians, rather than supporting a schools system with the flexibility and innovation obviously needed, have fallen for a theology of standardised testing and assessment that is exacerbating the crisis.”

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Ta-Nehisi Coates Unpacks the Way Comics Have Conquered the World

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“Seventy-seven years after Superman first leapt into the American imagination, superhero stories have never been more popular (or lucrative). Comics have become a breeding ground for multibillion-dollar movie and TV franchises … But why are superheroes resonating so strongly? And are they worthy of the attention? These questions are important enough to compel Ta-Nehisi Coates to take a timeout from kicking off national conversations about race and politics, don his fanboy cape, and go in search of the answers.”

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Big New Major Awards For Humanities Scholars

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“The Carnegie Corporation of New York, which announces its first class of 32 fellows on Wednesday, will provide grants of up to $200,000 to each recipient. The award, to be given annually, supports a year or two of full-time research and writing leading to the publication of a book or study.”

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Just What Do Those Millennials Want?

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A greater demand for transparency and responsiveness has supplanted millennials’ trust in government (see Snowden, Edward) and it’s as close to a unifying political philosophy as millennials have offered.

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When Hip Hop Went Corporate

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“Back then, part of the excitement within the hip-hop subculture, as it still was at that time, was the dawning realization of the potential for hip-hop marketization,” says Eithne Quinn, a senior lecturer in American Studies at the University of Manchester, in the United Kingdom. “Many artists, from poor backgrounds as they often were, didn’t see this as selling out.”

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Worldwide, Universities Are Dying

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“From Cape Town to Reykjavik, Sydney to São Paulo, an event as momentous in its own way as the Cuban revolution or the invasion of Iraq is steadily under way: the slow death of the university as a center of humane critique. Universities, which in Britain have an 800-year history, have traditionally been derided as ivory towers, and there was always some truth in the accusation. Yet the distance they established between themselves and society at large could prove enabling as well as disabling.

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The Machines Are Coming To Replace Us All

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“Machines aren’t used because they perform some tasks that much better than humans, but because, in many cases, they do a “good enough” job while also being cheaper, more predictable and easier to control than quirky, pesky humans. Technology in the workplace is as much about power and control as it is about productivity and efficiency.”

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Mexico Repeatedly Slashes Arts Funding As Economy Falters

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“As the US economy has picked up steam in the last few years, falling oil prices and a stronger dollar have left the peso floundering. Last month, the Mexican currency hit its lowest value since 1993 … The tumble has the federal government here drawing blood from public funds, especially the arts and culture sector.”

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Three Major Cultural Leaders Have Stepped Down In London. They Leave A Legacy Of Achievements

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Neil MacGregor at the British Museum, Nicholas Hytner at the National Theatre and Kevin Spacey at the Old Vic Theatre. “As the three men all took up their posts between 2002-4, their incumbencies have overlapped for a decade and all faced a very similar challenge: how to attract larger and broader audiences at a time when, in the case of Hytner and MacGregor, their public funding was diminishing in real terms and, for Spacey, was non-existent.”

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Wallace Foundation Makes Major Investment In Building New Audiences For Arts

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“The grants announced Wednesday total $10.2 million. They cover a 12- to 22-month “cycle” in which each recipient will conduct research needed to solidify a plan that might involve different kinds of performances, taking shows to different kinds of venues, using different marketing approaches and providing educational add-ons to help audiences connect more deeply with what they’re seeing.”

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Man Buys Building In Town Of Lecce. Man Digs To Fix Toilet. Man Discovers 2000-Year-Old City

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“His search for a sewage pipe, which began in 2000, became one family’s tale of obsession and discovery. He found a subterranean world tracing back before the birth of Jesus: a Messapian tomb, a Roman granary, a Franciscan chapel and even etchings from the Knights Templar. His trattoria instead became a museum, where relics still turn up today.”

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Michael Kaiser: What’s Dragging Down American Arts

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“When you say I can watch something online for free or for a modest amount, or pay $100 to go to a live performance, that’s become a very difficult choice for a lot of people,” Kaiser says. For most in the post-great recession era of income stagnation and a shrinking middle class, it’s no choice at all.”

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Berlin Cracks Down On Vacation Rentals As City Is Overrun With Tourists

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“The ban was imposed to prevent the city from becoming victim to property owners who would rather rent their apartments for €700 per week to tourists rather than offer them to normal residents for much less. The law is also meant to show that city officials in Berlin are taking the fight against gentrification seriously.”

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Get Real: Philosophy Looks To The Real World

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“Where for decades or even centuries, philosophy has focused on our representations and descriptions of the world, on human consciousness and cultural systems, many are now turning to the external features of the world that constitute the content of our experiences and the context of our social practices.”

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Making Rape Jokes That Are Actually Funny (Well, Maybe)

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“The punch lines of [Adrienne Truscott’s] jokes are never the victims themselves. Instead she is aiming at the targets like the onstage antics of Mr. Tosh and the sexual assault accusations leveled against Bill Cosby, as well as politicians like Todd Akin, who made an infamous comment about ‘legitimate rape.'”

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Garry Trudeau Explains Why Satire – And Charlie Hebdo – Shouldn’t ‘Punch Downward’

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“Satire punches up, against authority of all kinds, the little guy against the powerful. Great French satirists like Molière and Daumier always punched up. … Ridiculing the non-privileged is almost never funny — it’s just mean. By punching downward, by attacking a powerless, disenfranchised minority with crude, vulgar drawings closer to graffiti than cartoons, Charlie wandered into the realm of hate speech.”

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Yale Art Dean Robert Storr Rips Critics For What They’ve Become

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“Critics have gotten confused about the issue of what their role is…. this is about instant response. It’s about the number of likes you get on your Facebook page. It’s all about the ego popularity presence of the critic. And frankly, none of these people, are interesting enough to really merit being a presence overall… I can’t imagine most of this stuff will people read 10 years from now.”

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