What Tech Companies Desperately Need: English Majors


“As important as the technology is that powers our lives, businesses also depend on humanities-oriented communicators to articulate why the technology matters. Indeed, every technology company, and certainly every startup trying to make its imprint on the world, needs English majors. Perhaps many.”

Is Pussy Riot’s Music Actually Any Good?

Is Pussy Riots music any good

“Victims of state persecution, ambassadors for day-glo knitwear and wank fodder for beardy liberals the world over, the members of Pussy Riot have been filling both prison cells and column inches since 2012. In the process, they’ve also become one of the most famous bands on the planet. But let me ask you this – have you ever actually heard any of their music?”

Can These Guys Crowdfund a West End Musical?

Alexis Owen-Hobbs in The Pajama Game, which is seeking funders online for a West End transfer

“[John] Bant and his co-producer Gavin Kalin are seeking to raise £200,000 for The Pajama Game‘s West End transfer – about 14% of its total capitalisation costs – through the online crowdfunding platform Seedrs, which allows people to invest as little as £10. They hit £40,000 within 24 hours.”

Why Movie Theatre Food Is So Bad


“Snacks are a cash cow for theaters, providing some 85 percent in net profits. But no one really goes after the food Americans eat in movie theaters, which is mostly bits of corn syrup, food starch, malic acid, and artificial colors, encapsulated in a sugary ether.”

Information-As-Junk-Food: Are You Obese?


“A new kind of obesity is now looming with our information, data, and media diet. We have only scratched the surface, but there is already way too much of information available, and it is way too tasty, too cheap, and too rich.”

Ancient Buddhist Cave Paintings in China Could ‘Turn to Sand’


“The network of 236 sandstone caves extend over an area of two to three kilometres in the vast, sparsely-populated autonomous Xinjiang region of China, along the ancient Silk Road. The caves were inhabited by Buddhist monks and used as temples between the third and the eighth centuries, and are lined with murals providing a rich picture of early Buddhist culture.”

Turkey Proposes Reconstructing Madrasa Next to Hagia Sophia


“The Turkish government plans to reconstruct a demolished madrasa (religious school) next to Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia Museum, a Unesco World Heritage Site since 1985. But the local branch of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (Icomos) strongly protests these plans, calling the proposed construction a ‘new fake historic monument’ that would undermine the area’s significance.”

Wait – Is This Actually Atheism?


Louise Antony: “I say ‘there is no God’ with the same confidence I say ‘there are no ghosts’ or ‘there is no magic.’ The main issue is supernaturalism – I deny that there are beings or phenomena outside the scope of natural law. That’s not to say that I think everything is within the scope of human knowledge.”

Colburn School Hires Former NYCity Ballet Dancer To Head New School


“Jenifer Ringer, who retired this month from New York City Ballet, has been appointed head of the Colburn Dance Academy. The Colburn School, where music, dance and drama are currently taught, is starting the new, more specialized program in the fall, in partnership with the L.A. Dance Project and its director, Benjamin Millepied.”

Report From A Protest: Guggenheim Pays Its Security Guards $10/Hour


“In the course of the Saturday protest, we were outraged to learn about the inadequate pay of the museum’s security guards. As part of their efforts to keep us and the priceless art on display safe, they are paid a mere ten dollars an hour by one of the wealthiest institutions in New York and indeed globally.”

The Economics Of Poverty (Or How Writing My Book Made Me Poor)


In 2008 I sold a book-in-progress for $200,000 ($170,000 after commission, to be paid in four installments), which still seems to me like a lot of money. At the time, though, it seemed infinite. The resulting book—a “paperback original,” as they’re called—has sold around 8,000 copies, which is about a fifth of what it needed to sell not to be considered a flop. This essentially guarantees that no one will ever pay me that kind of money to write a book again.