“Campus speaker invitations and disinvitations reflect a curious paradox. On one hand, there’s clearly a market for speakers for bestselling authors like Murray and Milo Yiannopoulos, the former Breitbart writer and prolific campus provocateur. On the other hand, Murray was met with disinvitation attempts in 2014 and 2016 before he was shouted down last week at Middlebury, reflecting student awareness that the work for which Murray is best known—1994’s The Bell Curve, which was excerpted in the New Republic alongside criticism of it—has been largely discredited among social scientists.”
Of the Oxford English Dictionary’s 231,000 entries, at least a fifth are obsolete. They range from “aa”, a stream or waterway (try that in Scrabble), to “zymome”, “that constituent of gluten which is insoluble in alcohol”. That is surely an undercounting.
“Dance to Health is capable of generating better outcomes and being associated with lower overall costs of managing falls compared to the primary prevention programme or no intervention,” the report finds. It describes the classes as faithful to their healthcare objectives and an “enjoyable challenge” for the dancers.
I’ve previously argued that the word “algorithm” has become a cultural fetish, the secular, technical equivalent of invoking God. To use the term indiscriminately exalts ordinary—and flawed—software services as false idols. AI is no different. As the bot author Allison Parrish puts it, “whenever someone says ‘AI’ what they’re really talking about is ‘a computer program someone wrote.’”
“My research has found that there is in fact no relationship between how well students do academically and what their attitude toward schooling actually is. A student doesn’t need to be passionate about school to be academically successful.”
Blue Bunny, a children’s bookstore about a mile up the road from Amazon’s big new Boston-area bookstore, isn’t worried. The owner: “At first my heart sort of sunk a bit, but I realized quickly the response from our friends was what you have in your independent bookstore is very, very different than what Amazon is providing, and I think that we’re going to be OK.”
Brooke Lockett was 15 when the Australian Ballet in Melbourne called her up. “It was really intense. And some of my teachers back home were skeptical. Thing is, you only get one shot at being a great ballet dancer and it needs a young body. … That window is incredibly small.”
“I’ve known for a long time that as a black person, some white people expect a performance from me, something that might confirm what they think they know about my identity. … What surprised me was that these questions took up so much imaginative space, and did it so quickly, and were in fact so large and puzzling that they stopped me from writing anything.”
Will this bring in new audiences? “Opera hasn’t been a profitable business for a long time, but Pierre Dufour is betting $3.2-million that he can make money from an opera version of the most ambitious and successful of narrative rock albums: Pink Floyd’s The Wall.”
It wasn’t exactly simple, says “Get Out” writer/director Jordan Peele. Known as a comedian, he saw his dream of being a director slipping away – but then he realized comedy and horror were close: “The reason they work, why they get primal, audible reactions from us is because they allow us to purge our own fears and discomforts in a safe environment.”
The Academy is notoriously secretive, but its decisions have major ramifications. “The Academy’s members are not part of a private club; they’re part of a global electorate, their elections scrutinized on an international stage. And because of that, those elections should be ruled by the principles we apply to all such plebiscites.”
She hasn’t changed, but she’s getting nonstop invitations to what she calls “feminist things,” and she’s published a new book to help a friend raise a daughter. “Adichie recently came across her own kindergarten reports. ‘My father keeps them all. You know what the teacher wrote? ‘She is brilliant, but she refuses to do any work when she’s annoyed.’ I was five years old.'”
She had a “prodigious” list of roles in movies, usually character acting and bit parts, but one of her biggest contributions was founding the Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre.
Saunders, whose novel Lincoln in the Bardo just came out and is on many bestseller lists: “We often discuss art this way: the artist had something he ‘wanted to express’, and then he just, you know … expressed it. We buy into some version of the intentional fallacy: the notion that art is about having a clear-cut intention and then confidently executing same. The actual process, in my experience, is much more mysterious and more of a pain in the ass to discuss truthfully.”
Much of the artwork, and sometimes entire rooms or domiciles too, is lost. As in, no one knows where it is, who owns it, and how the U.K. might get it back. The U.S. was desperate for a British or European shine, and “the trade was frenzied. When the Titanic sank in 1912, 30 tons of crated English architectural objects were on board.”
In addition to changing how nonprofits deal with donations, “the flood of works that may be coming to institutions around the country in the next decade could broaden the definition of postmodern art.”
It’s going to be amazing. But, says its director ominously, “this conservatoire, the first to be newly built in Britain since 1987, may well be the last because of the reduction in funding for music.”