What We’ve Learned From The Minnesota Orchestra Debacle


Conductor (and Minnesotan) William Eddins has a little list. A few samples: “There is such a thing as bad publicity.” “Independent audits of a non-profit are essential. It’s much harder to agree on a direction for an organization if you can’t agree on the basic facts.” “Most people don’t know the difference between a lock-out and a strike.” “The easiest way to fulfill the prophecy that ‘the orchestra is going down the toilet’ is to flush it yourself.”

Amsterdam’s Glorious Rijksmuseum Defaced By Banal Post-Its


Alain De Botton “thinks we’ve got art all wrong. He doesn’t like the way museums are organised and finds the usual little wall labels, with their dates and movements and snippets of art history, unhelpful. Ideally, he envisages museums reorganised according to therapeutic functions – with a basement of suffering, leading upwards to a gallery of self-knowledge on the top floor. It’s like Dante’s circles of hell.”

Censoring Books in Libraries? C’Mon…


“So…are the barbarians pounding down the doors of America’s libraries? Not hardly. A grand total of 307 challenges to the books on the Top 10 list and others like them were reported to the ALA last year. That’s chump change in a country of 318 million people.”

Ben Heppner Talks About His Career


“I see myself now the same way I have since I walked into the Metropolitan Opera competition in New York in 1988. There were Renée Fleming and Susan Graham, both looking gorgeous. Everyone expected them to win. And all of a sudden, this lumpy guy from Toronto walks in.”

Video Games As Sport In Stadiums (China’s Building One)


“Live gaming competitions such as those to be be staged at the new arena on Hengqin periodically fill arenas and draw huge online audiences. A League of Legends competition last November attracted 32 million viewers, and a Call of Duty tournament last month included a $1 million prize purse.”

The Decline Of Rome (It’s Serious)


The Italian capital that is increasingly squalid and close to bankruptcy. Residents say the city barely functions anymore, crime is up and one of the world’s great cities has gone into serious decline.

Managing After The Disaster – Rethinking Cities After The Storms


“In the aftermath of disaster, TV cameras zoom in on survivors picking through the ruins of their shattered houses. Those who are shellshocked yet determined to rebuild make a redemptive story. Yet as neighborhoods look at flood maps that take into account data on sea level rise and more violent storms, that desire to rebuild in the face of horrifying loss begins to look like folly, not heroism.”