Is Theatre Over? (And Other Questions For 2014)


“What does it say that the biggest ‘theater’ stories at the end of 2013 were about a TV show and a movie? Has the definition of theater changed? Can you call it theater if you’re not breathing the same air as the actors?”

A Statue Of Satan for the Oklahoma Capitol?


In response to a Ten Commandments monument placed on the capitol grounds in Oklahoma City in 2012, a Satanic Temple has proposed a design for its own religious statue to go alongside it. (The Pastafarians, always ready with their holiday crèches, seem to be behind the curve here.)

Can You Pop A Pill To Get Perfect Pitch?


“From bilingualism to sporting prowess, many abilities rely on neural circuits that are laid down by our early experiences. Until the age of 7 or so, the brain goes through several ‘critical periods’ during which it can be radically changed by the environment. During these times, the brain is said to have increased plasticity.”

Reading Alters The Brain. Okay. And Then…?

Books HD

“The important result, according to the study authors – Gregory Berns and his colleagues – is that the participants’ averaged brain connectivity patterns at rest were altered by the experience of reading Pompeii.”

More And More We’re Depending On Data (This Could Be A Problem)


“The more a field is run by a system, the more that system creates incentives for everyone (employees, customers, competitors) to change their behavior in perverse ways—providing more of whatever the system is designed to measure and produce, whether that actually creates any value or not.”

How MTV Changed The Way Movies Look

Ben Stiller in Walter Mitty

All kinds of “social ills” have been blamed on MTV – elongating the period we consider “youth” for example, as well as homogenising it – but a charge much less contestable is simply its influence on the way film and TV looks.

New Egyptian Pharaoh’s Tomb Found


“The tomb of the Egyptian pharaoh King Sobekhotep I, believed to be first king of the 13th Dynasty (1781BC-1650BC), has been discovered by a team from the University of Pennsylvania at Abydos in Middle Egypt, 500km south of Cairo.”

Madrid’s Street Performers Must Now Audition


“A new noise reduction law that took effect New Year’s Day prohibits amplifiers and requires buskers to move along every two hours and stay 75 yards away from the next crooner. Musicians also must now pass an audition to be granted a free, one-year renewable permit to perform outdoors. Those who don’t pass muster could face fines for disturbing the peace.”

French Interior Minister OKs Banning Comic for Antisemitism


“Interior Minister Manuel Valls said he had advised local prefects of police that Dieudonné’s shows could be banned if they are deemed to present a threat to public order” – and one mayor has already done so. “But a ban is complicated legally in light of France’s powerful constitutional provisions on the freedom of speech.”

By The Numbers: 2013 In Classical Music


“The next news to report is rather discouraging, and confirms something widely reported in the press last autumn: female conductors were a rarity last year, and just one of our 100 busiest conductors was a woman.”

Today’s Top AJBlog posts 01.05.14

West Wing Dramas: Cleveland Museum’s Insubstantial Information and Creative Accounting
Source: CultureGrrl | Published on 2014-01-06

Should news organizations foster greater transparency about their arts coverage?
Source: Lies Like Truth | Published on 2014-01-05

First spat of 2014: Maestro opens opens fire on Canadian Opera
Source: Slipped Disc | Published on 2014-01-05

Recommended 2013 jazz-beyond-jazz recordings
Source: Jazz Beyond Jazz | Published on 2014-01-03