Hemingway for Hotels: The Ritz-Carlton’s Flash Fiction Ads

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“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.”

One Thousand Choreographed Robots (Or, Flo Ziegfeld Meets The Roombas)

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“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)

The Two Things Students Really Want From Teachers


William Deresiewicz: Not, as people commonly believe, to entertain them in class and hand out easy A’s. That’s what they retreat to, once they see that nothing better is on offer. … They don’t want fun and games; they want the real thing.”

Take A Look At How These Artists Live

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“I wanted to see how people spend the majority of their time, how they work, to motivate myself—and take away more positive ways that people work with their space, or work with whatever situation they’re in, to stay motivated.”

Eastern Ukraine Museums Warned To Hide Their Collections


“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].”

John Oliver Isn’t Just Making Fun Of Current Events, He’s Making People Care About Them

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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.

The Latest Group To Use Drones: Archaeologists

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“Archaeologists around the world, who have long relied on the classic tools of their profession, like the trowel and the plumb bob, are now turning to the modern technology of drones to defend and explore endangered sites. And perhaps nowhere is the shift happening as swiftly as in Peru.”

Fantasy King Lear (Like Fantasy Football): Casting The Title Role

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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.)

Utah Symphony Barnstorms The State’s National Parks

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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.

Re-Creating The Palace Of The Kaisers

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“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.”

E-Reading Is Convenient, But It’s Less Memorable (Literally)

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“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?”

Do Broccoli Eaters Get More Out Of Life?


Of course we do! “People [in a recent study] who ate more fruits and vegetables over the 13-day period reported higher average levels of curiosity, creativity, and positive emotions, as well as engagement, meaning, and purpose.”

Misty Copeland May Get Her Own Biopic


New Line Cinema has purchased the option to adapt Copeland’s memoir, Life In Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina, into a feature film; producers and scriptwriters have already been selected. The Hollywood pitch: “The Blind Side set in the dance world.”

Email Is Still The Best Thing On The Internet


Some pundits, and Silicon valley types with cloud software to sell, keep arguing that email is an antiquated, dying technology. But no: “You can’t kill email! It’s the cockroach of the Internet, and I mean that as a compliment. This resilience is a good thing.” Alexis Madrigal explains why.

The Web’s Original Sin: The Serpent Fesses Up (And Says It’s Not Too Late To Repent)

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“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.

Digitizing Warhol’s Films To Save Them


“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.

Amazon Vs. Hachette: What Would Orwell Really Think?

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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.”