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Ron DeSantis Is Now Backing Away From All The Book Bans He Helped Start In Florida

"Governor Ron DeSantis on Thursday came out in support of a proposal to limit book bans in schools. ... In a press conference, DeSantis tried to claim that accusations that he has enabled book bans in the state of Florida are 'a fraud' and 'a big hoax.'" - The New Republic

Maine’s Portland Museum Of Art Lays Off More Than 10% Of Its Staff

"The 13 layoffs include salaried and hourly employees on (the) roughly 100-person staff. Front-line support staff … will not be impacted by staff reductions." In addition, museum director Mark Bessire is taking a voluntary 20% reduction in his annual salary. - Portland Press Herald

Inside The Rural Alabama Radio Station Whose Entire Transmission Tower Was Stolen

"Many in Jasper, a city of about 14,000 (located) 40 miles northwest of Birmingham, fear the culprits have taken more than a heap of steel. Listeners describe WJLX as a trusted source …, breaking through the noise of a cluttered (media) landscape ... with something that felt distinctly theirs." - The New York Times

Verbier Festival Hires A Second CEO

Hervé Boissière, a former senior executive at Naïve Records who went on to found Medici.TV, where he is CEO, and who's also executive director of the European classical cable TV channel Mezzo, will join Verbier Festival founder Martin Engstroem as the helm of the summer event in the Swiss Alps. - Gramophone

The Web As We Know It Is About To Change

Seeking information using a search engine could be almost completely replaced by this new generation of large language model-powered systems. - The Wall Street Journal

Book Bans Are Bad Enough. Stripping Libraries Of Funding Is A Whole Other Bad

While the nation has been focusing on book bans, school libraries all around us have gone without enough (noncontroversial) books. Or inviting furniture. Or amenities that would help create a sense of community. - Washington Post

Will A Show Of Chuck Close’s Final Work Help Restore His Place In Art?

Arne Glimcher said the controversy surrounding Close is not his concern. “There has been too much about Chuck that isn’t about the art,” he said. “I only want to talk about the art.” - The New York Times

100 Years Later “Rhapsody In Blue” Is Still Riling Up Debate

Rhapsody in Blue opened up a wider set of debates about the relationship between “high art” and popular art, about racism and cultural differences, about black music and black identity, debates that continue to shape contemporary culture. - The Guardian

America’s Prisons See Opera As A Security Threat

Prison authorities see a threat to security in a staggering array of literature, art and music. Connecticut has banned 334 individual books, magazines and pieces of music as security risks. Besides “La bohème,” Puccini’s opera “Manon Lescaut” is also banned. - Operawire

The New York Times Unique Argument In Its Copyright Case Against AI Companies

It argues that as a reputable and trusted source, its articles have additional weight and reliability in training generative AI and are part of a data subset that is given additional weighting in that training. - The Conversation

Comcast And Paramount Talk About Combining Peacock And Paramount+ Into A Package

Along with making access to the two platforms comparatively cheaper than buying separate subscriptions, the partnership would help Comcast and Paramount “produce significant cost savings — from spending on programming to marketing.” - The Verge

So Who’s Winning In The Artists-Versus-AI-Companies Copyright Lawsuit?

U.S. copyright law is extremely complicated, and the technology bears features that don’t resemble anything seen in earlier technology transitions. Put them together, and the complexities are magnified exponentially. - Los Angeles Times

The Sound Duo Behind The Ely Cathedral Scene In Maestro Had Quite A Job

"Normally they would pre-record the music and run playback while musicians and conductor Leonard Bernstein (as played by Bradley Cooper), mime along. But that’s not how Cooper, also the co-writer and director of the film, wanted it." - AOL (Los Angeles Times)

Lunchtime Theatre, With A Pint? How Very British

Actually - how very Scottish. A Play, A Pie, and A Pint premiered in Glasgow in 2004 and hasn’t stopped (aside from the early days of COVID-19) producing 48 new plays a year ever since. - BBC

Two Gaming Champions Say The Gaming Company Is A Monopoly

Before 2019, other companies held Call of Duty tournaments. Then things changed. "The lawsuit claims that at one point, Activision Blizzard required teams to each pay $27.5 million and swear not to participate in or promote any other professional Call of Duty operations." - MSN (Los Angeles Times)

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