Ellen Burstyn, Aged 80, To Direct Her First Feature Film

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The Oscar- and Emmy-winner “will star in and direct Bathing Flo, … a New York-set story that centers on a man in need of a place to live, who’s given the chance to house-sit in exchange for free rent. He discovers the house is occupied by the man’s elderly mother Flo, who is part of the deal.”

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Dancers Are Taking Over Beijing

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There are “thousands of so-called square dancing troupes of Chinese seniors that have sprung up in the last few years, descending on public plazas, parks and other urban open spaces across the country daily for nostalgia-infused light cardio workouts. The phenomenon has grown so widespread that it’s causing social friction, with multiple groups battling for pavement space and sonic supremacy in many parks, much to the annoyance of often younger nearby residents.”

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How Hollywood Manipulates You To See What It Wants You To Imagine

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“We’re constantly calculating where we think the audience’s eye is going to be, and how to attract it to that area and prioritize within a shot what you can fake,” Favreau said. “The best visual effects tool is the brains of the audience,” he said. “They will stitch things together so they make sense.”

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Devastating Destruction Of Islamic Culture

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“While the destruction in Gaza, the Ukraine, and other conflict zones may be as harrowing, the recent rise of the Islamic State (IS), formerly ISIS or ISIL, is particularly worrying to the art world since it is taking place in an area rich with important archeological sites.”

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Atlanta Symphony Contract Talks Down To The Wire

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“After a fractious 2012 labor dispute that saw musicians locked out of symphony facilities without pay, the ASO Players’ Association has less than two weeks to reach consensus with management on the 2014 contract. Amid the ongoing uncertainty — negotiations have been going on for more than eight months now — several musicians have retired, and some have taken positions with other orchestras.”

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Girls From Brazil’s Favelas Find Escape In Ballet

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“Growing up amid drug dealers and addicts, … girls from a rough neighborhood known as a ‘cracolandia,’ or crackland, are learning the graceful art courtesy of a local church group that also offers them food, counseling and Bible studies.”

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Delayed Gratification Is The Best Kind

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“All things being equal, a bunch of research has shown, the purchase of experiences appears to bring more happiness than the purchase of things.” A new paper suggests that “we also derive more pleasure from anticipating experiences than material objects … and offers a useful hint about how to ‘hack’ your purchases of experiences to maximize your enjoyment of them.”

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Nerding Out With David Mitchell

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“One of the pleasures of hanging out with Mitchell is that he is, by self-identification, many kinds of nerd – a Star Trek nerd, a Doctor Who nerd, a map nerd, a taxonomy nerd, a tea nerd, a word nerd, and, for good measure, what you might call a nerd nerd: an enthusiast of nerdery of all kinds. At one point in our conversation, he speaks admiringly of sheep nerds.”

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