Your Fondest Childhood Memories May Not Be Real


“You might think you remember your 3rd birthday party when what you really remember are the pictures, or you might believe you have a very vivid memory from elementary school that in reality happened to your brother. Or, you might even be lifting your memories from the books and movies you loved as a child.”

The Rubber Duckie Must Be Stopped

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“How so many cities became ensorcelled by a gimmicky bath toy is really beside the point. Rubber Duck sends an infantilizing message about the role of public art in cities.”

Changing The Architecture Of Berlin’s Nightlife

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“The plans foresee a technology center for start-ups, a student dormitory, a shopping village, a market, a trail along the river bank, warehouse space for music studios and workshops, a restaurant, a nightclub, a hotel, a fish farm, a gardening area and, given that everyone is getting a little older, a daycare center.”

How To Become America’s Favorite Dancer

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“Produced by TV geniuses who are also perhaps sadists, the rigorous celebration of dance might be the most demanding talent competition out there, requiring its contestants to leap, pirouette, cha-cha-cha, and toss their dance partners in the air with unrelenting frequency over the course of its summer run each year.”

What Motivates Street Performers When Everything Seems Set Against Them


“Though he has a license from the city, he’s received tickets for using public property for storage after putting down his spare clarinet on a sidewalk while he played, and for ‘super noise’ while playing his clarinet without an amp on Michigan Avenue. On multiple occasions he has been to court, where judges throw out the case every time.”

Chicago Symphony’s New President Has Big Shoes To Fill

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“Once [Jeff] Alexander takes command, he will have his work cut out for him.” Deborah Rutter really is a tough act to follow. But, writes John von Rhein, though Alexander hasn’t (yet) been as high-profile as, say, Rutter or Deborah Borda or Alison Vulgamore, he has plenty of experience that will stand him in good stead.

Joan Rivers, 81 (Kids, She Was So Much More Than The Fashion Police)

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You young’uns who only know her for getting facelifts and yanking the chains of celebrities on the red carpet before awards shows: by the time she was your age, she was already a thriving stand-up and one of the best comedy writers in the business – and for a time in the 1970s and ’80s, she was one of the three or four most successful comedians in the entire English-speaking world.

Sleep-Deprived People Have Shrinking Brains (Uh-Oh)

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“If you have ever felt markedly stupider after a long period of sleep deprivation, a new study may hint at a reason. Years of sleep difficulties seem to be associated with a brain that shrinks in size over time, according to a new paper published online today in Neurology.”

Planned Ground Zero Arts Center Drops Frank Gehry Design

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But nobody told Gehry – who, when notified by a reporter, said of the center’s CEO, “She says I build models. She doesn’t have a clue as to what I do or how I do it. It’s fine. It’s a new group. They should do what they want. I don’t want to go where I’m not wanted.”

“I Don’t Think I’m Zorro,” Says Director Hired To Rescue Paris’s Picasso Museum


“When the state appointed him president in June and dispatched him on this emergency mission, French headlines hailed [Laurent] Le Bon in the name of that fictional masked outlaw who battled tyrannical officials. And riffing on an English translation of his last name and his reputation for diplomacy, curators in the international art world called him Larry the Good.”

Rome’s Pathological Theater (It’s A Real Place) To Become A University


“Changing people’s perceptions of mental illness has been a longtime mission for Dario D’Ambrosi, an Italian avant-garde actor and author. For the past five years, he has led Teatro Patologico, or the Pathological Theater, an innovative drama school here that offers classes to people with mental disabilities. Now Mr. D’Ambrosi is trying to turn his school into a full-fledged university.”