Dick Cavett Remembers Sid Caesar

Sid Caesar

“Sid Caesar is a mysterious and com­plex man who seems to have been sin­gled out by the gods to set two all-time records, one of dubious and unenviable distinction: to have set the high-water-mark for sustained comic brilliance over a long period of years, and to have in­gested enough booze and pills to kill the Lippizaner stallions.”

Amazon’s Secrecy Problem (And It Really Is a Problem)

Amazon secrecy

George Packer: “Perhaps a sector that monetizes information is more likely to become obsessed with protecting it than if the product were oil or cars. But even in this atmosphere, Amazon is reflexively, absurdly secretive … From Amazon’s point of view, there might be nothing to be gained from greater openness … But I would argue that a culture of secrecy is bound to end up harming the institution itself.”

Binge TV Watching As “Restorative Experience”

Kevin Spacey in House of Cards, season two.

“The term ‘restorative experiences’ was coined by University of Michigan psychologist Stephen Kaplan. He wanted to understand why walks in the park, or even looking at a picture of a landscape, can recharge your mental batteries.”

How Fast Can You Read? Here’s A Test

Speed reading of Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol

“If you maintained this reading speed, you could read War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy in 11 hours and 1 minute,” I am told. Well, I think if I maintained that speed, my brain would combust, and I was cheating a bit…

Why The Literary “Hatchet Job” Prize Doesn’t Work In Today’s Culture

Foam hatchets

“The Hatchet Job – as all self-styled rebellions and expressions of naughtiness do – relies on the idea of a flourishing literary culture, peopled with literary colossi wielding influence with every metaphor they scrutinise, pontificating weekly in seemingly endless literary sections, dominating the stage on television arts shows, venerated across the land. Oh. Right.”

How Goodreads Became A Successful Social Networking Site


“We launched the site thinking it would be a good way to find books through your friends. We didn’t fully anticipate the strength of the communities that cropped up, where people were friending not just people they knew in real life but people they had been meeting on the site.”

Why Writers Are Epic Procrastinators


“Most writers manage to get by because, as the deadline creeps closer, their fear of turning in nothing eventually surpasses their fear of turning in something terrible. But I’ve watched a surprising number of young journalists wreck, or nearly wreck, their careers by simply failing to hand in articles.”

Dance Critic to Grand Dames: Quit Yer Kvetchin’ (Today’s Dancers Are Better Than You Were)

Judith Mackrell

Judith Mackrell: “There’s no doubting the heroic stamina and toughness of generations like theirs but it is important to point out that ballet has itself got tougher. In the 21st century, dancers – like athletes and sportspeople – are pushed to higher levels of achievement, speed and strength. They also dance a much more varied repertory than Lynne and Grey ever did.”

‘There’s a Sort of Roundhead Bullshit Around Culture’, Says New Almeida Director Rupert Goold

Rupert Goold

“I’m a populist, basically. I think a lot of culture is boring, and I like people to have a good time at my shows. There’s a sort of Roundhead bullshit around culture: the more serious and difficult it is, the more it hurts you and your audience, the more worthwhile it is. It’s a form of bullying.” (Note to Americans: “Roundhead” = “Puritan”)

The Science of Winning and Losing

CBC what makes a champion

“What makes a champion? Why do some wilt in high-pressure competition, while others rise to the occasion? Drawing on science, psychology, sports and economics, authors Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman explore the anatomy of building champions.” (podcast)

Top Posts From AJBlogs 02.12.14

“The Creative Economy,” and Malcolm Cowley
Source: CultureCrash | Published on 2014-02-12

Will Venice Get An Islamic Art Museum? Free?
Source: Real Clear Arts | Published on 2014-02-13

Flying with Broken Wings
Source: Dancebeat | Published on 2014-02-13

Under the Influence: Pawel Althamer’s States of Consciousness at New Museum (with video)
Source: CultureGrrl | Published on 2014-02-12

Source: Engaging Matters | Published on 2014-02-12





Obama Nominates Jane Chu For NEA Chairman


“Chu has led the Kansas City’s Kauffman Center since 2006. She was an executive at the Kauffman Fund for Kansas City from 2004 to 2006, and VP of external relations for Union Station Kansas City from 2002 to 2004. She also has degrees in visual arts, piano performance and music education.”