People

Study: Are Musicians Better Multi-taskers?

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“The study, published in the journal Cognitive Science, explored whether two groups of people would perform better than average at task-switching: musicians, and bilingual individuals. Since members of the latter group can, and sometimes do, switch back and forth between languages, it seemed logical that they would also do well on other tasks involving quick mental transitions.”

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What Ellen Burstyn Survived

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“When [she] was 18, she got on a Greyhound bus going from Detroit to Dallas. She had 50 cents in her pocket … She’d already gotten pregnant and had an illegal abortion. By her mid-20s, determined not to just get by on her looks, she left Hollywood to study acting with Lee Strasberg. In her mid-40s, after leaving an abusive marriage, she starred as a newly single mom in Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore. The role was based in part on her own life, and it won her an Oscar.” (audio podcast; includes transcript)

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Creator Of PBS’ Art21 Dies

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“Susan Sollins, the co-founder of Independent Curators International (ICI) and founder and executive director of Art21 — the non-profit organization that produces an artist documentary series with PBS — passed away on October 13 of unknown causes.”

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Architect Michael Graves Has Forgiven His Mother For Telling Him He’d Be A Starving Artist

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“The books I look at again and again are: my collection on Camille Corot. He can make a sketch that just makes you gasp. What he would do is go out to the site with a piece of cardboard—something stiff, not canvas—and paint a little oil sketch on it, and then take it back to the studio and create a larger painting based off that. He would, as I always say, correct the landscape.”

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Publisher Judith Regan Is Back, For Real This Time

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“If you’ve read a literary novel, listened to conservative radio, or jacked off to your mom’s favorite erotica in the past 30 years, you’ve probably consumed media that’s passed through the hands of publishing legend Judith Regan.:

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Soprano Anita Cerquetti, 83

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“[The] gifted Italian soprano … rose to instant fame in 1958 when she was called on to substitute for the mythic and sometimes mystifying Maria Callas in one of opera’s most dramatic episodes, and three years later surprised people again by ending her own career.”

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“Equal Parts Genius, Charlatan, And Kinkster”: The Man Who Invented Both The Lie Detector And Wonder Woman

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“Devising the lie detector was the high point of [his] rather erratic pre-comics career. He seems to have lost every job he held. His venture into business ended in an indictment for fraud; his brief stint as a lawyer saw the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals reject lie-detector tests as evidence.” Yet he ended up as creator of the first great comics superheroine – even as he kept his wife and mistress (and their children) all in the same house and his passion for women’s rights “somehow got all mixed up with bondage and spanking.”

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Meet “The Bob Dylan of Russia”

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Boris Grebenshikov earned that sobriquet not only because of Dylan’s influence on his text-heavy, socially conscious songs, but also because “his audience includes, in the words of one professor, ‘pretty much any educated Russian between the ages of 30 and 50′.”

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John Cleese Is (Deeply) Not Amused

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“You don’t expect anything great – you turn on, you watch it for a few minutes and you think, ‘It’s fine, I’ve seen something like this before and it doesn’t excite me.”

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Read the story at BBC

Yeah, It’s Not Just On ‘Mad Men’ The Show That Someone Mixed Up The Two African-American Actors

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“The moment Dawn and Shirley have in the kitchenette where they call each other by the other’s name, commenting on the fact that no one in the office can tell them apart, actually happened to myself and the actress who plays Shirley, Sola Bamis. I won’t say who the offenders were, but it’s happened … on more than one occasion.”

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The 86-Year-Old Gallery Owner Who’s One Of The Most Powerful People In The Art World

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“When she walks into the building site that will become her new gallery space just off Golden Square, in London’s Soho, she is dwarfed by scaffolding. She is tiny – barely 5ft tall – dressed all in black, and when she speaks, her voice is so soft that the architects in hard hats have to crane down to hear what she is saying.”

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Tennessee Williams: His Work, His Body, His Body Of Work

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Hilton Als: “His writing was the bridge he tried to build between his besmirched, original-sin self – the self that loved the temporary pleasures of sex, but no doubt considered it ‘dirty’ – and the self that sought purification in a world other than this one.”

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Denver Arts Impresario Henry Lowenstein, 89

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“One of the most prominent figures on the Colorado performing arts scene throughout the second half of the 20th century, Lowenstein ran the Bonfils Theater in downtown Denver… Lowenstein produced around 400 plays, operas and ballets at the venue during his time there before retiring as general manager in 1986.”

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Maya Lin Wins $300,000 Gish Prize

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Said the selection committee chair, playwright David Henry Hwang, “With her design for the Vietnam Memorial, Maya Lin created arguably the most important piece of public art of our time. Since then, she has continued to achieve greatness, through a singular vision which has come to embrace her passionate concern for the environment – in America, China and throughout the planet.”

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Remembering Saul Steinberg At 100

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Ian Frazier: “He said that he always tried to draw like a child. The portrait photo he engineered of his adult self holding hands with a life-size cutout photo of himself at age six shows how seriously he took this idea. The goal was to draw like a child who never stopped drawing that way even as he aged and his subject matter became not childish.”

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David Cronenberg Says Writing A Novel Is “Like Being Out Of A Straitjacket” (And That All His Movies Are Comedies)

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“It’s very liberating to write in this medium because it’s not only more intimate, but it’s more freedom to just move around a lot. … A screenplay is a very limited and rigorous kind of form, … [and] if you’re making a movie that’s costing millions of dollars, you have a lot of restrictions that, even if you’re not conscious of them, you are mindful of them.”

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Marina Abramovic Begs Lars Von Trier To Work On Her Film

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“Dear Mr Lars von Trier, I think you are the most disturbing director in this planet and this is why I’d really, really love to work with you … You really bring the actors on the edge of complete nervous breakdowns. Because I am a performance artist, I understand very well what you are doing.” (includes video)

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