“The Procrastination Doom Loop” – Can Science Help Us Break It?


“When scientists have studied procrastination, they’ve typically focused on how people are miserable at weighing costs and benefits across time. … In the last few years, however, scientists have begun to think that procrastination might have less to do with time than emotion.” As one researcher says, “To tell the chronic procrastinator to just do it would be like saying to a clinically depressed person, cheer up.”

Can A Cartoon Muslim Princess Soothe China’s Ethnic Tensions?


That seems to be what the government hopes, since it has commissioned a 104-episode series about a ten-year-old Uighur princess who works with her Han and Kazakh friends to free her captive father. Problem is, the folk character on which she’s based is seen very differently by Uighurs (who call her Iparhan) and Han Chinese (who know her as “the Fragrant Concubine”).

Rescue Plan For Philadelphia Theatre Co.

phila theatre co

“Civic leaders have stepped in with a provisional plan to bring Philadelphia Theatre Company back from the brink of financial collapse, and, possibly, secure its long-term viability. … Certain key changes in leadership are required. … Funds will be doled out as certain conditions are met.”

Archaeologists Race To Excavate 2,600-Year-Old City Before It Becomes Copper Mine


“At the end of the year, state-owned Chinese mining company China Metallurgical Group will take control of an ancient Buddhist city in Afghanistan, Mes Aynak. Southeast of Kabul, the ancient, abandoned city is home to sculptures, art, and jewelry dating back to the time of Alexander the Great – as well as 5.5 million tonnes of copper ore, one of the world’s largest deposits.”

Is Banksy Over?


Is “Banksy, arguably the most well-known and successful graffiti artist in the world, now over? In other words, was his production permanently slowing down? Could he now be considered part of art history? Or would he start to mean less to the general public and the street art community?”

Knowledge Versus Information


“The Internet does make it easier to gather – aggregate, as the jargon goes – information, but not necessarily to make sense of it. An overabundance of raw information devoid of context and interpretation can actually be detrimental to knowledge. Knowledge springs from the act – the art – of interpreting, digesting, and integrating new information with our existing understanding of the world.”

New Trend: The Office That Sings Together Works Better Together


“London, long a choral capital, is setting the tone with law firms, banks, accountancy firms, tech firms, even cosmetics giant L’Oréal now featuring company-supported choirs. A number have set up Google-style music rooms, and some even offer music lessons during the workday.”

Paavo Järvi Won’t Renew Contract With Orchestre De Paris


The conductor announced on his Facebook page that, “with a heavy heart”, he has decided to step down from the orchestra’s music directorship after the 2015-16 season. He gave no reason other than his desire to devote time to his new post at Tokyo’s NHK Symphony (beginning in fall 2015) as well as his ongoing work with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen. (in French)

Robert Hass Wins $100,000 Poetry Prize

robert hass

The UC-Berkeley professor and former MacArthur Fellow, “who served as poet laureate of the United States in the mid-1990s, and won a National Book Award in 2007 and a Pulitzer Prize in 2008, has now also won the Wallace Stevens Award, a $100,000 cash stipend given by the Academy of American Poets, an organization founded in 1934 to foster an appreciation for American poetry.”

Sam Hunter, 91, Curator, Art Critic, Founder of Rose Museum

sam hunter

“Over six decades, Sam Hunter could usually be found at the center of some of the most exciting times for art in New York and beyond. He was an art historian (an authority on 20th-century art), a museum director, a curator, an art critic and an art adviser to museums, corporations and private collectors” – not to mention author or co-author of some 50 books.

So Zaha Hadid Is Suing The Venerable New York Review of Books. Who Wins Here?


Hadid may not withdraw her suit since, Reuters says, she sought damages and the closing of the venerable NYRB. Why did she ever file it? The retraction should not have been hard to get; a suit simply extends the damage to her reputation, which, in spite of Filler’s serious error, was principally done by her own flippancy, abetted by the Internet’s facility in sating our lust for “how the mighty have fallen” stories.

Edinburgh Fringe Posts Another Attendance Record


“The festival, which is drawing to a close on Monday night, said it issued an estimated 2.18 million tickets across 299 venues over 25 days. That is a 12% increase on the same point last year, which was itself a record.”

Boom In Chinese Art Causing A Run On Chinese Art Catalogs


“Book collectors and dealers in Hong Kong and Europe have been quietly doing a thriving business in catalogues for exhibitions and auctions of Chinese arts and antiques. While China has always had a black market for imported art publications that cost a few dollars each, in-demand catalogues command prices in the thousands of dollars.”