Why I Teach Plato To Plumbers (Yes, The Humanities Are Important)

Plato for plumbers

Scott Samuelson: “I also teach Plato to nurses’ aides, soldiers, ex-cons, preschool music teachers, janitors, Sudanese refugees, prospective wind-turbine technicians, and any number of other students who feel like they need a diploma as an entry ticket to our economic carnival. As a result of my work, I’m in a unique position to reflect on the current discussion about the value of the humanities, one that seems to me to have lost its way.”

Why You Shouldn’t Trust Wikipedia


“To the casual reader, much of Wikipedia appears adequate, but be warned, nothing can be trusted. If your life depends on it, go elsewhere. Sources can be biased, but at least with other sources you know who has written what you are reading. With Wikipedia, you do not. Everyone has an agenda, but with Wikipedia you never know who is setting it.”

Sex Lives Of The Post-Holocaust Philosophers, Dramatized By The Man Who Invented The Birth-Control Pill

Carl Djerassi

In his 11th play, Carl Djerassi – now 90 and irked that most people have no idea that he’s done anything since he developed the oral contraceptive at age 28 – depicts Theodor Adorno and Hannah Arendt investigating what was in the famous briefcase Walter Benjamin carried across the Pyrenees. The answer: porn.

No, Neuroscientists Can’t Read Your Mind… (Yet)


“What they’ve done–so far, anyway–really doesn’t live up to what most people have in mind when they think about mind reading. Then again, the stuff they actually can do is pretty amazing. And they’re getting better at it, little by little.”

Tony Nominations Show Broadway’s Woman Problem

Broadway woman problem

“The 2014 Pulitzer Prize for theater went this month to Annie Baker for her play The Flick. The runners-up were Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori for Fun Home, and Madeleine George for The Curious Case of the Watson Intelligence. All those works have two things in common: They were written by women, and they didn’t play on Broadway.”

Why It’s Odd That ‘The Little Prince’ Is So Popular


Adam Gopnik: “Of all the books written in French over the past century, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s Le Petit Prince is surely the best loved in the most tongues. This is very strange, because the book’s meanings – its purpose and intent and moral – still seem far from transparent, even seventy-five-plus years after its first appearance.”

Newest Producer Of West End Musicals: English National Opera

ENO Coliseum

“The subsidised company has announced a long-term partnership with commercial producers Michael Grade and Michael Linnit, which it said would see it present ‘world-class musical theatre’ in its London Coliseum home. It is understood that ENO hopes these productions may transfer to the West End.”

London’s Five Biggest Arts Institutions Get More Lottery Money Than 33 Local Governments Combined

UK pounds

The National Theatre, the Royal Opera House, Sadler’s Wells, English National Opera and the Southbank Centre have, over the past 18 years, have been given £315 million of Lottery arts funding. In that same period, the 10% of England’s local authorities with the lowest levels of community arts engagement received £288 million.

Berlin’s Hottest, Strangest Piano Recital Venue

piano salon cristophori

“Forget the Berliner Philharmonie. The hip place to hear classical music here in the capital of Germany isn’t the late Hans Scharoun’s acclaimed concert hall but a former tram-repair shop with free booze and a collection tin for donations” – not to mention a bunch of restored historic instruments and the guts of other old pianos strewn about the place.

Top Posts From AJBlogs 04.29.14

Measuring success
AJBlog: Sandow | Published 2014-04-29

174 LACMA Donors = $4.1 Million + 10 Varied Acquisitions
AJBlog: Real Clear Arts | Published 2014-04-30

From Wagner to Sedaka: Heppner’s “Breaking Up Is Hard to Do,” His (and Beal’s?) Swansong (with video)
AJBlog: CultureGrrl | Published 2014-04-29

Diva breaks a leg. Literally.
AJBlog: Slipped Disc | Published 2014-04-29


Mile-High Orchestra Concerts: The Weed-Powered Orchestra


“The concerts, organized by pro-pot promoter Edible Events, will start May 23 with three bring-your-own marijuana events at the Space Gallery in Denver’s Santa Fe arts district and culminate with a large, outdoor performance at Red Rocks Amphitheatre on Sept. 13. They are being billed as fundraisers for the CSO, which will curate a themed program of classical music for each show.”

It’s Don’t-Cancel-My-Favorite-TV-Show Season


This is when the “Save My Show” campaigns get going. Online petitions and snail-mail letters sent to execs who pay other people to ignore these things. Ever see a TV show set in an office or a police precinct where there’s paper on people’s desk? A lot of that is letters from people pleading that some long-cancelled show featuring a teenage dreamboat is kept on the air.

Rome’s Colosseum To Get A Big Scrubbing


“The $35 million project—the first full cleaning in the Colosseum’s history—aims to return it to its former splendor, while also strengthening the overall structure. Earthquakes, the pillaging of pieces of its outer frame, heavy car traffic and Rome’s nearby subway have damaged key parts.”