The Strange Life Of El Greco

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Domenikos Theotokopoulos was a master icon painter by age 22, an ambitious art student in Italy by 26, a fortune-seeking Greek émigré by age 29. By the time he was 40, he had fought with the King Of Spain, had an illegitimate son, and moved into a Toledo palace. (Is it surprising that he died massively in debt?)

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Beverly Blossom, 88, Dancer And Choreographer

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“In her 20s and 30s, she moved among the beatniks and bohemians of Greenwich Village and studied under influential choreographer Alwin Nikolais and toured the world with his dance company. Later, she influenced many area dancers whom she taught at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. A frequent recipient of grants and fellowships, including a Fulbright, Ms. Blossom choreographed and performed more than 100 works.”

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Peter Sellars Named Musical America Artist Of The Year

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“Sellars is best known for his work in opera, first coming into focus in the early 1990s with his then-revolutionary updates of the Mozart/Da Ponte trilogy, continuing through his collaborations with John Adams on Nixon in China and Dr. Atomic, among others, and on through his singular interpretation of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, recently staged with the Berlin Philharmonic and soloists at the Park Avenue Armory.”

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Tom Magliozzi, Clack Of “Car Talk”, Dead At 77

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Producer Doug Berman: “He and his brother changed public broadcasting forever. Before Car Talk, NPR was formal, polite, cautious … even stiff. By being entirely themselves, without pretense, Tom and Ray single-handedly changed that, and showed that real people are far more interesting than canned radio announcers. And every interesting show that has come after them owes them a debt of gratitude.”

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Ten Years On, Theo Van Gogh’s Murder Still Haunts The Netherlands

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A decade ago Sunday, the filmmaker, media figure and right-wing provocateur was shot and had his throat slit by a young Moroccan Dutchman who claimed he was defending the name of Allah. “In this tidy country of 17 million, which prides itself on tolerance, the murder opened a raw and polarizing debate … which is still raging.”

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The Johnny Rotten Of Soviet Dissidents

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That’s how Edward Limonov described himself. He was “at once a rebel and a totalitarian, a salacious writer of semifictionalized memoirs who, after years in the West” – as a drugged-out thug in New York and a celebrated author in France – “stood with the Serbs in the Bosnian war and then returned to Russia to become an ultranationalist political agitator.”

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How Weird Is The Jian Ghomeshi Sex-And-Violence Affair? This Weird

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“In the morning, CBC announced it had fired him under unexplained circumstances. Then Ghomeshi announced he was planning to sue. Then he unleashed a bizarre and rambling confession on Facebook, in which he laid bare what he characterized as ‘strange’ sexual habits that included ‘rough sex’ and ‘forms’ of bondage and role-playing. And then, late [that] night, the bomb dropped in a Toronto Star investigation that said three unnamed women had accused him of ‘attacking’ them without consent.” And that was just Sunday …

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Three Women Accuse Fired CBC Star Jian Ghomeshi Of Sexual Violence

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“The three women interviewed by the Star allege that Ghomeshi physically attacked them on dates without consent. They allege he struck them with a closed fist or open hand; bit them; choked them until they almost passed out; covered their nose and mouth so that they had difficulty breathing; and that they were verbally abused during and after sex.”

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The Strange Life And Dramatic Death Of An Avant-Garde Hero

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“Even today, no one is sure if Fred Herko intended to kill himself when he jumped out of the window” – naked, with Mozart blasting away – “of his friend Johnny Dodd’s Greenwich Village apartment in 1964. The 28-year-old dancer and performer – one of the central figures of New York’s 60s avant-garde and a star of Andy Warhol’s first movies – was high on speed, and possibly LSD.”

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Meet The People Who Keep Porn Pics And Beheadings Out Of Your Social Media Feeds

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Companies like Facebook and Twitter have to deal with “the Grandma Problem” – making their services safe for wholesome regular folks who “won’t continue to log on if they find their family photos sandwiched between a gruesome Russian highway accident and a hardcore porn video.” So there’s now a small army of content moderators – many of them low-paid workers in the Philippines – zapping the nasty stuff out.

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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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