Dogs Have Grasp Of Deceit And Morality, Say Researchers (Dog Owners Already Knew)


“Watch a couple of dogs play, and you’ll probably see seemingly random gestures, lots of frenetic activity and a whole lot of energy being expended. But decades of research suggest that beneath this apparently frivolous fun lies a hidden language of honesty and deceit, empathy and perhaps even a humanlike morality.” (includes video and slide show)

Can Conservatives Actually Do Comedy? (And What Do They Find Funny, Anyway?)

conservative comedians

Frank Rich: “It’s an article of faith on the right that conservative comedians, like conservative entertainment-industry workers in general, are either blacklisted by Hollywood’s liberal mafia or are in daily danger of being so, thus giving the left a near monopoly on comedy as practiced in the vast cultural swing district of American television. … Still, the hysteria of the anti-Colbert claque made me look at the right’s case again.”

No, Students Have Not Become Too Critical


Noah Berlatsky criticizes the very suggestion. “Critical thinking is inseparable from just plain thinking. You don’t turn off your brain when you watch a film. How can my enjoyment of Roth’s essay be separated from my evaluation of what Roth is saying?”

Not Your Grandfather’s Children’s Theatre

Theatre-Rites's Rubbish, at the Southbank Centre, London.

“Theatre for children and young people has changed a great deal in recent years. It tackles many subjects traditionally considered too weighty for a young audience. These range from death … to the environment … We even tackled the banking crisis in 2013’s Bank On It, a show about economics for five to 10-year-olds.”

Dances With Drones

dances with drones

“Surrounded by an all-white stage, sprinkled with black computer monitors facing the audience, the three dancers and their accompanying drones put on a mesmerizing and eerie display. … Upon first viewing, I had so many questions. What does it mean to make beauty with drones? Why is this tension between human dancer and robot so palpably moving? Is this a gimmick?” (includes video)

What Cameron Mackintosh Means To London Musicals


“Without his hands-on approach, acumen and flair, which first started reaping immense rewards with Cats in 1981, the British-led musical would be far less of a global force to be reckoned with. But the West End can’t thrive on hits spawned 30 years or so ago indefinitely, can it?”

Will Kickstarter Save Culture Funding?


Five years after it began, “Kickstarter has funded more than 60,000 projects all over the world, from organic food companies and public parks, to photography exhibitions, museums and fashion lines. It has given life to new novels, operas and musicals, a skatepark in Philadelphia, an underwater robot, several mini satellites, and…”

Netflix: Here’s What Television Will Look Like in 2025


Netflix is now working to perfect its personalization technology to the point where users will no longer have to choose what they want to watch from a grid of shows and movies. Instead, the recommendation engine will be so finely tuned that it will show users “one or two suggestions that perfectly fit what they want to watch now.”

The Met Museum’s Renovation Plan Is Full Of Red Flags (That Are Really One Big Red Flag)

Met renovation red flags

Justin Davidson: “Raising the several hundred million dollars will be the easy part, compared with the battles to be waged with the Landmarks Preservation Commission, the Parks Department, neighbors, preservationists, and all those around the world who feel they have a stake in the Met, [Central Park], or New York.”

Conspiracy Theories – You Can’t Believe A Thing You Read About ‘Em

conspiracy theories

“For decades, psychologists and social scientists have been studying conspiracy theories and the people who believe them. They have unearthed a lot of interesting data, and they have sometimes theorized thoughtfully about the results. But they have repeatedly run into a problem: The world they’re studying is not the same size and shape as the world of conspiracy belief.”

This Actor Plays Any And Every Ethnicity Hollywood Throws At Him

actor ethnicity Cliff Curtis

“Over the course of his career, [Cliff] Curtis, a Maori from New Zealand, has played just about every non-white ethnicity: African-American, Arab, Latino, Indian, even a lord of the Fire Nation in The Last Airbender.” He talks to June Thomas about how he does it (and about the role he really wants to play in Lord of the Rings).

Top Posts From AJBlogs 05.20.14

If Culture Isn’t Quantified, Does it Exist? And, Tech News
AJBlog: CultureCrash | Published 2014-05-20

Arts Entrepreneurship: A Story, Part I
AJBlog: State of the Art | Published 2014-05-20

What to do about no-shows
AJBlog: For What it’s Worth | Published 2014-05-20

Kara Walker Tangents: Sexual Sphinx
AJBlog: Aesthetic Grounds | Published 2014-05-20

Griswold’s Toughest Task As Cleveland’s New Director
AJBlog: Real Clear Arts | Published 2014-05-21


Why Did The Hollywood Romantic Comedy Die?


“I suspect the real reason big studios no longer make rom-coms is hidden in their nicknames — they went from being “date movies” to “chick flicks” and shortly thereafter I dubbed them dick flicks. The genre devolved from a centuries-old comic form about charming fools fumbling their way through life and became ugly, women-hating screeds.”

What Makes A Video Go Viral? Scientists Are On The Case


“Social sharing is powerful enough to topple dictatorships and profitable enough to merit multibillion-dollar investments. But scientists are only beginning to explore the psychological motivations that turn a link into “click bait” and propel a piece of content to Internet fame.”

Case Study: How Arts Education Transformed A School


“Math, reading and social studies teachers began incorporating music, visual arts and theater into their lesson plans. All Savoy students started participating in school-wide performances, for audiences packed with families and community members. And now, two years in, the school feels transformed, with students, teachers and parents happier, math and reading scores rising significantly, attendance up by a wide margin and student suspensions decreasing by almost 70 percent.”