Menus, Language, And Price

menu words

“‘Every increase of one letter in the average length of words describing a dish is associated with an increase of 69 cents in the price of that dish.’ Compared with inexpensive restaurants, the expensive ones are ‘three times less likely to talk about the diner’s choice’ (your way, etc.) and ‘seven times more likely to talk about the chef’s choice’.”

Could An Arts Council Work In San Diego County?

san diego county arts B

“[Advocates say] it’s time for the county to look for a new, more transparent, professional and equitable option for funding the arts.” And there’s no reason an arts council (like the one in, say, the city of San Diego) couldn’t work. But it probably won’t.

Radio Disney Gives Up On Over-The-Air Transmission

radio-disney logo

After finding out that only 18% of its listeners tune in via AM or FM radio, the network’s execs have decided to sell all but one of its 24 U.S. stations. (Radio Disney will keep its L.A.-based flagship station, which will produce and distribute the national digital and satellite feed.)

Metaphors Really Are Powerful (But You Won’t Believe Us If You Happen To Be Smelling Something Fishy)


Research psychologists call them metaphorical effects: “instances in which a metaphor commonly used to describe a psychological state or social reality can, in turn, induce that state or reality. So, for example, holding a warm cup of coffee makes people feel warmly toward each other … and cleaning one’s hands makes a person feel morally clean.”

A Kickstarter For Producing Broadway Shows


“Putting a new spin on crowdsourcing and the very risky business of producing Broadway shows, investors Howard and Janet Kagan have launched a new online investment platform, offering equity in Broadway productions.” Their first venture, , begins previews about five weeks from now.

Why Watching Classical Music Through A Performer’s Google Glass Is A Waste Of Time


“Seeing a musical or operatic performance from only one performer’s point of view actually destroys the experience. It confuses ordinary reality with the artificial reality that art creates. … If you see [an opera] though the eyes of one participant, the performance is revealed for what it actually is; a bunch of people in fancy dress shouting in a foreign language.”

Why It’s So Hard to Catch Your Own Typos


“If we are our own harshest critics, why do we miss those annoying little details? The reason typos get through isn’t because we’re stupid or careless, it’s because what we’re doing is actually very smart.”

Terry Gilliam Sued By Street Artists Over Forthcoming Film


“Actors can chew scenery, but sometimes, the scenery chews back.” Two Argentines and a Canadian have filed a complaint in Federal court alleging that The Zero Theorem, starring Matt Damon and Christoph Waltz, “violates the copyright they hold on a large-scale mural titled Castillo on public display in Buenos Aires.”

To Avoid “Blasphemy”, Sony Is Altering Seth Rogen’s Kim Jong Un Assassination Comedy


“Sources say the studio is digitally altering thousands of buttons worn by characters in the film … because they depict the actual hardware worn by the North Korean military to honor the country’s leader, Kim Jong Un, 31, and his late father, Kim Jong Il (showcasing military decorations would be considered blasphemous to the nuclear-armed nation).” North Korea has already described the movie as “an act of war.”

China’s Young Rival Kings-Of-All-Media

han guo

“China’s culture-watchers have pitted Han Han and Guo Jingming against each other since they were teenagers. The two men, both now in their early thirties, make for a tempting juxtaposition, a sort of Mailer-Vidal rivalry” – except that Mailer and Vidal didn’t write million-selling Young Adult novels, record pop albums, and direct hit movies.

Frans Brüggen, Pioneer Of Period-Instrument Movement, Dead At 79

frans bruggen

The Baroque flute and recorder soloist of choice for many of the pathbreaking recordings by the likes of Nikolaus Harnoncourt and Gustav Leonhardt, Brüggen went on to a busy career conducting both period and mainstream orchestras. In 1981, he founded the Netherlands-based Orchestra of the 18th Century, with which he did hundreds of concerts and dozens of recordings over the next three decades.

Why Should Some Books Be “Guilty Pleasures” And Others Considered Like Spinach?

reading guilty pleasure

Rebecca Mead: “The distinction partakes of a debased cultural Puritanism, which insists that the only fun to be had with a book is the frivolous kind, or that it’s necessarily a pleasure to read something accessible and easy … [or] that literary works, especially those not written last year, are placed at the opposite pole to fun.”

The Recording Industry’s “Antilabel” – And The Niche Musician’s Lifesaver

cd baby

“For more than 325,000 recording artists, in genres ranging from folk and rap to polka and bhangra” – and yes, classical, too – “CD Baby has become a vital lifeline. For a fee, the company not only sells copies of their CDs and digital versions of their songs, it can also track, collect and distribute royalties for musicians who don’t have – or don’t want – a big record label or song publisher behind them.”

Lauren Bacall, 89


“[She] was one of the last surviving major stars of the studio system, which flourished from the silent-movie era to the dawn of the television age. … [Her] husky voice and smoldering onscreen chemistry with her husband Humphrey Bogart made her a defining movie star of the 1940s … Decades later [she] won Tony Awards in the Broadway musicals Applause and Woman of the Year.”

These Are The Guys Who Put The White Flags Atop The Brooklyn Bridge

flag brooklyn bridge

“When the flags appeared, rumors flapped: It was a prank or a grave security breach. But the artists, Mischa Leinkauf and Matthias Wermke, … explained that they only wanted to celebrate ‘the beauty of public space’ and the great American bridge whose German-born engineer, John Roebling, died in 1869 on July 22, the day the white flags appeared.” (They even say the flags were white-on-white stars and stripes.)