“Almost Scientific”: What Lena Dunham Learned About Creativity From Her Artist Parents

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Creativity is “an ineffable bug that takes you over but also something that you can learn. … My parents taught me that you can have a creative approach to thinking that is almost scientific. You don’t have to be at the mercy of the muse. You need your own internalized thinking process that you can perform again and again.”

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Brian Macdonald, 86, Choreographer, Director, Leader Of Ballet Companies On Three Continents

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“He served as artistic director of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, the Royal Swedish Ballet, and the Batsheva Dance Company in Tel Aviv, and he “won acclaim for creating or staging ballets, operas and Broadway musicals” through Europe and North America, including 19 productions at Ontario’s Stratford Festival.

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Canada Denies Travel Visa To Afghan Artist

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“Hanifa Alizada, a photo-artist and art teacher at Kabul University, has been refused a visa to enter Canada to deliver a speech about life for Afghan women and to exhibit her work at a symposium [in Ottawa] Jan. 22-25.” No reason has been given.

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Hans Ulrich Obrist – Portrait Of The Uber-Curator

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“Though Obrist is often assumed to be the kind of megalomaniac who is more prominent than the artists he shows—and who is willing to crush the heterogeneity of artists’ work in order to extract coherent themes—that assumption doesn’t properly capture him.”

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Christian Bale Explains Why He Sometimes Loses It With Journalists

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“They can just poke you and poke you and poke you as though it’s just fun and games and means nothing. I don’t wish to cultivate that thing so many public figures have, where you basically become numb, become a roadblock, because so many people are saying nasty things or attacking. And I just go no, no. They win if I do that. I have to stay human, so sometimes that means you react.”

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The Man Who Helped Turn Miami Into A Global Destination

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“After aiding the transformation of the moribund South Beach area into a glamorous district of pristinely restored Art Deco hotels in the ’80s and ’90s, Craig Robins helped engineer the launch of Art Basel–Miami Beach and co-created the satellite fair Design Miami. Now he’s about to see the fruits of more than a decade of planning and construction as another area revitalized under his care.”

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When Mark Twain Schooled Winston Churchill Onstage

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“Winston expected to be lionized by Twain but instead had his tail tweaked. … The night’s verbal swordplay between the old American and the young Englishman reflected so many differences between the Crown and its former colony.”

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Frank Yablans dies at 79; Ex-Paramount and MGM/UA Chief

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“He reportedly signed an eight-year contract that paid him $225,000 per year, plus 1.5% of gross profits, and presided over the studio during a time in which it released the first two installments of “The Godfather,” “Serpico,” “Paper Moon,” “Chinatown” and “Day of the Locust,” among others.”

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Writer P.D. James, 94

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“Ms. James was one of those rare authors whose work stood up to the inevitable and usually invidious comparisons with classic authors of the detective genre, like Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers and Margery Allingham.”

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Jian Ghomeshi Arrested And Charged With Sexual Assault

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“Former CBC radio host Jian Ghomeshi will plead not guilty to charges of sexual assault and choking, his lawyer says. Ghomeshi was released on $100,000 bail after he was arrested and appeared in a downtown courtroom Wednesday. The 47-year-old has been charged with four counts of sexual assault and one count of overcome resistance – choking.”

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So Why Did Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s Archives Go To Texas?

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“The Ransom Center already has extensive archives on writers Jorge Luis Borges, William Faulkner and James Joyce. Other Nobel laureates included in its collection are Samuel Beckett, T.S. Eliot, Ernest Hemingway and John Steinbeck. Monday’s announcement had raised eyebrows in Colombia.”

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Janice Price Named CEO Of The Banff Center

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“Luminato has an annual budget of $11 million. The Banff Centre, one of Canada’s largest arts organizations, has an annual budget of over $50 million. That includes major funding from the Alberta government. And Banff is hungry for expansion to enhance its profile way beyond the Rocky Mountains.”

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Sabah, Iconic Arab Singer, Dead At 87

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The Lebanese diva, whose career as musician and actress spanned six decades (and at least nine marriages), “was famous across the Arab world for her powerful voice, musical talent and joyful brazenness … Ultimately, she participated in at least 25 plays, four radio musicals, 85 films and sang 3,000 songs.”

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Jian Ghomeshi Drops Wrongful Termination Lawsuit Against CBC

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After a month of allegation after allegation of the popular radio host’s aggressive or violent behavior toward women – not to mention leaks from within the CBC about its decision to fire Ghomeshi and the difficult working environment for his staff – he has given up his $55 million suit and agreed to pay the CBC’s legal bills.

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William H. Scheide, 100, Prolific Philanthropist

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“[He] was 28 when his father died and he inherited the family fortune. Over the next seven decades, he also passed down his passions, but to far more beneficiaries. Before his death on Nov. 14 at 100, Mr. Scheide devoted his life to philanthropic and artistic pursuits striking in their range and depth.”

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Secrets And Suicide At The 92nd Street Y

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“Sol Adler devoted his life to the 92nd Street Y, courting its billionaires and burnishing its cultural power. But when he brought scandal to its doorstep, the institution kicked him to the curb. And that, his family says, is what killed him.”

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Mike Nichols, 83

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Over a six-decade career as a performer, director and producer, he racked up a Grammy, at least two Emmys, nine Tonys (!), only one Oscar (surprisingly), a National Medal of Arts and the Kennedy Center Honors – and had a profound effect on American theater and film.

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John Cleese Says Comedy Ain’t What It Used To Be Because Audiences Today Don’t Know Anything

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“In my day, anyone who is vaguely educated – in other words, they know where Pakistan was … or that they had a vague idea which century Henry VIII [lived in] – would give you the opportunity for all sorts of humor. … The general feeling is that anything that doesn’t affect you personally is not worth knowing about. … It’s kind of like, ‘Geography? Well, I don’t need to know about that.'”

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Here’s Why Chopin’s Heart Has Just Been Exhumed

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“Chopin’s heart inspires a deep fascination in Poland normally reserved for the relics of saints. For Poles, Chopin’s nostalgic compositions capture the national spirit — and the heart’s fate is seen as intertwined with Poland’s greatest agonies and triumphs over nearly two centuries of foreign occupation, warfare and liberation.”

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Dylan Thomas, The Last Rock-Star Poet

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“Marshall McLuhan hadn’t yet given us the formula, but if Dylan Thomas was the medium, poetry was the message. Already a radio favorite in Britain, he blazed his reputation across 1950s America with a sequence of Led Zeppelin–esque reading tours, multicity road shows in which the dying throb of Romanticism met the incoming crackle of mass communication.”

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The Life Of A Modern-Day Dungeon Master

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That’s as in Dungeons and Dragons, not … anything else. Yes, there are still D&D Dungeonmasters, and they’re by no means all geeky white boys anymore. (This one’s an Asian-American woman.)

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