How Netflix Will Change Our Very Idea Of Entertainment


“Eventually—or so goes the strategy—people won’t be able to imagine having their options defined by a programming grid. Not coincidentally, Netflix has been vying with Amazon to become the premiere source of streaming series for young children, for whom having to wait for new episodes of their favorite shows to air is unfathomable.”

Hannah Arendt’s Failure Of Imagination

Portrait Of Hannah Arendt

Richard Brody: “Her mechanistic view of Eichmann’s personality, as well as her abstract and unsympathetic consideration of the situation of Jews under Nazi rule, reflect her inability to consider the experiences of others from within.”

Explaining What Happened At The Bolshoi Ballet


Ismene Brown, a London dance journalist who has been following and often translating the Russian media’s extensive coverage and knows some of the players, gives inside info and analysis of the Filin attack, the trial, and the whole affair’s effects on the company.

Probing The Unknowable Mysteries Of The Brain


“Is the brain a sort of quantum computer? What is consciousness? Marcelo Gleiser’s brain is buzzing with big questions after participating in a conference that asked if quantum physics plays a role in how we think.”

Egypt’s “People’s Poet”, Ahmad Fouad Negm, Dead At 84


“[He] was one of Egypt’s best colloquial Arabic poets of the second half of the twentieth century, and was known [as] … one of the main voices of opposition since 1967, when he wrote his famous poems on the Six Day War. His fiery words expressed Egyptians’ and Arabs’ anger towards milestone events such as the 1967 defeat against Israel and the 1979 peace treaty with Israel.”

Baltimore Museum: Judge – That Renoir Is Ours!


“In effect, the motion asks federal Judge Leonie M. Brinkema to determine that the 1879 oil painting “Paysage Bords de Seine” belongs to the Baltimore museum and not to the 51-year-old Virginia woman who says she bought it at a flea market in 2009 for $7 as part of a box of odds and ends.”

$80M MPAA Piracy Settlement Shuts Down File-Sharing Service


“Hotfile’s file-sharing service went offline just hours after the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida ordered the website to shut down unless it implemented copyright-filtering technologies to prevent piracy. The court also awarded MPAA $80 million in damages.”

Is Your Native Language Your Financial Destiny?


“Differences in the way various languages talk about the present and future [i.e., verb tense] could help explain why Germans urge free-spending Greeks to adopt their fiscal discipline, and why Americans are baffled by China’s low consumption and high savings rates, according to research published [last spring].”

Alvin Ailey Co. And Wayne McGregor Stretch Each Other


Artistic director Robert Battle, looking to expand the repertoire and stylistic range of a troupe that had become a bit predictable, engaged McGregor to stage his stark and hyperkinetic Chroma on the Ailey dancers. They’re the first non-classical group to perform the work – and (to McGregor’s happiness) the first that’s dark-skinned.

When A Choreographer Joins The Circus (Yes, Ringling Bros.)


“He’s choreographed such musical hits as Rock of Ages, Dreamgirls, … and Blades of Glory. Now Kevin Wilson is taking on a new venture: choreographing what has been called ‘The Greatest Show on Earth.’ Wondering how this creative director pulls together a cast and crew that includes everything from clowns to a horse named ‘Comanche?’ We wondered, too.”

Bad Sex Award Goes To Manil Suri And His Shoals Of Atomic Nuclei

Manil Suri, Oxford, 16/3/13

“Among the pools of sweat, ripe brie, knotted vines, hot stones, damp glades and chocolatey tobacco in this year’s entries, it was the exploding supernovas of Manil Suri’s third novel, The City of Devi, that clinched him the most dreaded award in the world of books: the Literary Review bad sex prize.”

Price For Norman Rockwell Smashes Record


“By far, the star of the bunch was the 1951 masterpiece Saying Grace, which sold for $46 million — a record for Rockwell’s art… The AP says the artist’s previous record of $15 million had been set by “Breaking Home Ties” at a 2006 Sotheby’s auction.”

Toronto Symphony Posts A Big Deficit

“Slumping ticket sales contributed to a $1.2 million deficit for the TSO’s 2012/13 season, up from the prior year’s $837,736 deficit, it was announced Tuesday at the annual general meeting.”

How Do We Make Sure Detroit’s Art Sale Doesn’t Happen Again


“The real goal, in a larger perspective, is how to de-monetize art. It’s too late for Detroit to think about such things—any attempt to keep its art out of the market would be vigorously protested by the city’s creditors—but the Detroit crisis has people thinking about how to avert such things in the future.”

Value Set For Detroit’s DIA Art Inflames Debate


“A figure less than $2 billion is likely to inflame the passions of bondholders, unions and other creditors who see DIA masterpieces as a prime source for recovering the billions they are owed by the city. It also increases the chances that a court battle over the fate of the DIA will become even more contentious as Kevyn Orr prepares his plan of adjustment to restructure city finances.”

Federal Judge Gives First Hint Of Detroit Art Collection’s Status In City’s Bankruptcy


“‘A one-time infusion of cash by selling an asset,’ he [wrote], would have only delayed the city’s ‘inevitable financial failure’ unless it could have also come up with a sustainable way to enhance income and reduce expenses. Judge Rhodes added that in considering selling assets, a city ‘must take extreme care that the asset is truly unnecessary in carrying out its mission’.”

Arabic Music Has A Big New Star – And She’s Blonde


Jennifer Grout, a 23-year-old from Boston who speaks almost no Arabic, sings it so well that she’s now a finalist on this year’s Arabs Got Talent – the only one performing the classical repertoire in which Umm Kulthum and Fairouz became famous but which most younger Arabs neglect.