Leading telenovela star Pablo Azar, who led the campaign to join SAG-AFTRA: “Sometimes you shoot 40 scenes in one single day. So it’s very demanding. … Usually you have better conditions in the US than in countries like Mexico, Colombia. But funny enough, for actors it’s backwards. Actors have better working conditions in Mexico than they have here in Miami. At least, I’m talking about Hispanic actors.”
Over the years there were some exhibitions and acquisitions, notably a 140-work retrospective in 1997 of both his commercial and fine art in Basel, Switzerland, where Mr. Bertschmann was born and raised. But these accomplishments never amounted to a self-sustaining fine art career. As he reached his 80s, humility and obscurity started getting old, and costly. Now the Bertschmanns find themselves in a tenuous financial position.
Dr. Brent Seales has spent 14 years developing a technique for reading ancient scrolls that are too fragile to unwrap. Fine-detail CT scanners can visualize the ink of letters inside such scrolls, but the alphabet soup is unreadable unless each letter can be assigned to its correct position on a surface. Dr. Seales has developed software that can model the surface of a contorted piece of papyrus or parchment from X-ray data and then derive a legible text by assigning letters to their proper surface.
“Reviving the hallmarks of our musical theater heritage is such a widespread practice on the American stage that the mores of bygone ages are going to be dredged up and played out, for some spectators who remember, maybe even cherish the originals – and others who are going to wonder: What the heck were these authors thinking?” Peter Marks considers some examples.
“French publishing house Gallimard has insisted it will go ahead with the publication of the 1,000-page collection of 1930s pamphlets by Céline, who called for the extermination of Jews. The publication date is not set but Gallimard has insisted its intention is to frame the texts ‘and put them back in their context as writings of a great violence, marked by the antisemitic hatred of the author’. … A furious row has raged in literary circles between those for and against publication.”
A bookstore on Long Island will choose books for your dinner party guests based on what the hosts tell them. “It’s a conversation starter if you are sitting next to someone you don’t know. You can talk about books, talk about why you think that book was chosen for you or books you love instead of having an awkward moment.”
And the kind of “society” we’re talking about here is the kind you can see in Degas paintings: Wealthy older gentlemen wanted to buy attention and “love.” The Paris Opera Ballet was the prime example. “Throughout the 19th century, it raised the bar for dance — but on the backs of many exploited young women.”
The actor, who played John Laurens and Philip Hamilton with the original cast, is now one of the stars of Spike Lee’s revamped She’s Gotta Have It, now a series on Netflix. Ramos – who’s doing pretty well at the moment – says, “It can take people years to get another great job. This entertainment game is a gamble.”
What’s up is that only 1/4th of the art that the government buys is by women. What? Even in this day and age? Definitely. “The figures are somewhat skewed by several bulk acquisitions of dozens of paintings from individual male artists. But even if these are omitted, the collections still show more than 70% of works acquired during the period were by male artists.”
They wanted to ban Fahrenheit 451 – and replace it with his book. “The parent organizing the banning effort suggested that Bradbury’s work should be replaced with something more acceptable to her. Among her suggestions for more ‘suitable’ material: my own dystopian novel, When the English Fall. I cannot imagine receiving a more troubling and heartbreaking endorsement.”
Could this really have been Walt Disney’s intention? Brian Boneau, a 28-year-old, has gone to Disney World several dozen times. He has “mastered the art of meticulously planning his days down to the ride to ensure he and his family make the most of their time actually doing stuff and not waiting in line. That oftentimes means booking Fastpasses online 30 days in advance (or 60 if he’s staying in a Disney Resort hotel) or getting to the parks as soon as they open.”
Is there evidence that the U.S. president does or ever has read books? The evidence says no. So what’s the next step? “While most problems faced by presidential administrations are incredibly complex, the solution to problems caused by a president who does not read is fairly simple: He ought to start reading. Simple and easy are very different matters, though, and expecting a man who has always preferred chatting and watching television to the printed word to become a reader at 71 would be foolish.”
In 2014, calls started to spike for more diverse books. And publishing houses and writers responded – with white writers writing more books about people of color. Dhonielle Clayton, who co-founded We Need Diverse Books and the Cake Literary Agency and who has a book of her own coming out in February, says the freak-out about sensitivity readers should really be focused there: “The fact is that sensitivity reading is a band-aid over a hemorrhaging problem in our industry. That’s what we should really be talking about — that’s what real censorship looks like. The systematic erasure and blockage of people of color from the publishing industry.”
Arthur Mitchell “was inspired to form Dance Theater after the 1968 assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. But before that, Mr. Mitchell broke the color wall in ballet by becoming the first African-American principal dancer at New York City Ballet.” He has always “been driven by the belief that dance can effect social change.”
This is complex, but stick with the story of one lawyer suing another lawyer, and Weinstein, in order to kick a D.A.’s investigation back into full gear: “Filler told Variety that he brought the suit in part to determine why the Manhattan D.A.’s probe of de la Huerta’s rape allegations appears to have stalled. ‘Our purpose is to investigate what caused the N.Y. D.A. criminal investigation and criminal prosecution to stall, and to call TWC/HW to account if they used extra-legal means as we believe they did,’ Filler said.”
The codex was written between 400 and 600 AD, in southern Egypt. “The charred codex was purchased by the Morgan Library in 1962. But no one has opened it for fear of destroying it: The brittle pages have been fused together by a cinder that sank through much of the book, congealing the parchment fibers. Unlike famous codices that have their own names, like the Codex Sinaiticus, this one is known humbly as M.910.”
OK, sure, why not? “The parallels between the whaling industry and deep human spaceflight are striking. Voyages to the South Seas usually lasted between two and four years, mirroring almost exactly the timeframes associated with a roundtrip journey to Mars. Whalers worked in confined conditions aboard their floating factories, often going months at a time without setting foot on land, prefiguring the cramped space capsules being considered for Mars missions.”
So this went over well (read the link for the lengthy backlash): “‘What would Emily Brontë think if she found that the role of chief ‘artist’ and organizer in her celebratory year was a supermodel?’ the biographer, Nick Holland, asked. Mr. Holland said Ms. Cole’s appointment smacked of a desire to be ‘trendy.’ He was quitting the society, he added sarcastically, before it had the chance to announce the comedian James Corden and the singer Rita Ora as future partners.”
To a biologist or physician, the physiological differences between, say, 39-year-old Fred and 44-old Fred aren’t vast—probably not much different than those between Fred at 38 and Fred at 39. Nor do our circumstances diverge wildly in years that end in nine compared with those that end in zero. Our life narratives often progress from segment to segment, akin to the chapters of a book. But the actual story doesn’t abide by round numbers any more than novels do. After all, you wouldn’t assess a book by its page numbers: “The 160s were super exciting, but the 170s were a little dull.” Yet, when people near the end of the arbitrary marker of a decade, something awakens in their minds that alters their behavior.
“Great television is taking over the space occupied by many novels, and taking with them many excellent writers. And by and large, it’s delivering the same rewards to its audience. But what about novels that exploit the opportunities that are available only to the form of the novel, such as novels that explore interiority, or rely on the novel’s versatile treatment of time and causation? Who will speak for such novels?”
“As classical music searches for a wider audience, classical crossover poses an increasing conundrum — not least because it’s attracting exactly the audience that “straight” classical claims to be seeking. The mass audience is generally put off by classical music, which seems, to many outsiders, to present a facade of unwelcoming elitism. The crossover genre, however, offers the same kinds of mellow tonal sounds and rich buttery voices — music to relax to, if you will — without classical music’s perceived strictures or judgments.”