“It could almost be a writing workshop prompt: tell a story, do it in six words, go for the wow effect – and that’s exactly what the Ritz-Carlton wants. Recently, the hotel company launched a campaign inviting social media friends and followers to provide six-word stories about their Ritz-Carlton experiences with the hashtag #RCMemories.”
“There’s something unsettling about watching 1,000 robots execute a perfectly choreographed routine. … And yet, these machines – tiny $20 robots that take five minutes each to assemble, for a total of 83 hours – are actually completely banal. In fact, according to the researchers, their capabilities are pretty abysmal.” (video)
“Culture officials in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions in eastern Ukraine have ordered museums to put their most valuable pieces into storage, and some institutions have closed to the public … Ukraine’s culture ministry has also asked that the media refrain from ’emphasising objects of cultural heritage’ to avoid their being targeted [in the ongoing fighting].”
“Last Week Tonight has found a way to take a seemingly complicated issue, break it into understandable parts – and then rebuild it. … And Oliver is not just influencing viewers; he’s actually having an effect on the people he’s criticizing.” His viewers crashed the FCC’s website, and he’s been denounced by the Government of Thailand.
Charles McNulty: “Liam Neeson doesn’t have the Shakespearean chops but he has that combination of paternal fury and tenderness that is just what the role requires. … Al Pacino would either be the greatest Lear in recent memory or the most embarrassing. Actually, he could very well be both at the same time. … Nathan Lane is hardly just a comic actor.” (We haven’t even told you the real curveball.)
This orchestra had lost the high profile and wide admiration it had during its glory days under the late Maurice Abravanel. Now music director Thierry Fischer is determined to get them back, both nationally and within the state – so he and his players are touring beyond Salt Lake City to five of Utah’s most scenic locales.
“After much contention and delay, the Hohenzollern Palace, seat of Prussia’s monarchy and the jewel in the city’s crown until the East Berlin regime leveled the building in 1950, has begun rising again. … Off-site sculptors are crafting an exact replica of the palace’s baroque facade as it was before World War II.”
“In most respects, there was no significant difference between the Kindle readers and the paper readers [in the study] But, the Kindle readers scored significantly lower on questions about when events in the story occurred. They also performed almost twice as poorly when asked to arrange 14 plot points in the correct sequence.” Says one of the researchers, “It’s interesting to us that the differences were both related to time and temporality – why is that?”
“I have come to believe that advertising is the original sin of the web. The fallen state of our Internet is a direct, if unintentional, consequence of choosing advertising as the default model to support online content and services.” Ethan Zuckerman, who wrote the code for the very first pop-up ad, points out some downsides of the ad-based business model and argues that there’s still time to
come to Jesus work out a better system.
“For almost a decade beginning in the 1960s,” he used 16mm film “to record hundreds of reels, many of which are still little known even among scholars because of the fragility of the film and the scarcity of projectors to show them on.” Now MoMA and the Andy Warhol Museum are joining forces to fix that.
George Packer: “Amazon has its own corporate lexicon, its own uses of language. Warehouses are ‘fulfillment centers,’ algorithmic recommendations are ‘personalization.’ I won’t call it Orwellian, because that poor, much-abused term should be reserved for special occasions, like North Korea. But it’s a style conducive to cheerful deception, and Orwell would have seen straight through it.”
The “Commando Squad” was Virgil Thomson’s American version of Russia’s “Mighty Five”, and it included himself (of course), Roger Sessions, Walter Piston, Roy Harris and (commander) Aaron Copland. The New York Times chief music critic dreams up a musical festival focusing on their lesser-known works.