“Well, there are no microphones. … Once I’m out there, I have to depend on the acoustics of the room. I’m not going to give myself a bigger voice overnight; I’m not going to give myself more resonant power overnight. My head’s the size it is. … There’s something about a mic that does show everything – all the inconsistencies, all the vulnerabilities of the voice are heard with a microphone. Without it, you’re not. You can clear your throat; you can do things that aren’t actually heard out in the house.”
Geoffrey C. Bunn argues that the history of the lie detector doubles as the history of an attempt to contend with the rise of mass culture: the machine, as a manifestation of a widespread desire for order in an age of tumult. The device, Bunn suggests, is in many ways a work of science fiction that lurks, awkwardly, in the present reality—a machine that has been, from the beginning, in dialogue with pop culture and its myths.
“Homes across Belgium have been raided by police investigating allegations that counterfeit Russian avant garde works were exhibited at the Museum of Fine Arts in Ghent. The display of 26 pieces, loaned by the Russian businessman Igor Toporovski, was terminated by the gallery in January after experts claimed it was full of fakes. The museum’s director, Catherine de Zegher, was suspended from her post earlier this month.”
Taste buds are actually a collection of roughly 50 to 100 cells that come in three varieties, (each responsible for detecting different tastes—salty, sweet, bitter, umami, and sour) and have a lifespan of only about 10 days. “Taste buds turnover very quickly, you will get a whole new set of taste buds in probably four weeks, all the way through your life,” Dando says. Fueling that turnover are stem cells, which sit at the base of taste buds and continuously churn out new cells. “You can imagine it’s a balance of new cells being born and old cells being broken down and dying,” he says. “What we saw is both sides of that balance being tipped.” In the obese mice, apoptosis increased in the taste buds, and the number of cells responsible for producing taste bud cells declined.
Stranger Things has proven to be the most popular streaming show in the world, leading all online offerings in average demand across nine out of 10 international markets. As Netflix’s flagship series, especially in the wake of Kevin Spacey’s ouster from House of Cards, and in comparison to TV’s other big stars, you could make the case that the Stranger Things cast is actually underpaid.
Of course reviews matter. That’s easy and predictable enough for someone writing a review to say, but it can be proven. Reviews matter in two ways: as filters, and as shapers of opinion. In his 1991 book, U & I, Nicholson Baker describes “book reviews, not books” as “the principal engines of change in the history of thought”; because no one has time to read all the books they want to, reviews must sometimes stand in for the thing itself. The more contentious point, about influence, can be divided into two questions: do they influence and if so is that influence beneficial or malign?
The first thing to say is that Lloyd Webber is a total theatre animal. He has a nose for what will work on a stage, whether it be an odd collection of TS Eliot poems (Cats), a mad 19th-century melodrama (The Phantom of the Opera) or the inspirational anarchy of a scruffy teacher (School of Rock). Sometimes, as with the superfluous Stephen Ward (about the man at the centre of the Profumo scandal), the nose seems badly blocked. But reading Lloyd Webber’s recently published mammoth memoir, Unmasked, you realise where this instinct comes from.
“It is difficult to envisage a world in which every recording was practically unique: popular recordings are defined by their reproducibility.” Yet, in the early days of Edison’s phonograph and Eldridge Johnson’s gramophone, had become good enough to be sold for home entertainment, “no reliable and commercially viable method for duplicating recordings was developed. For about ten years, most recordings released commercially were one-off items.” Music historian Eva Moreda Rodríguez recounts some of the ingenious (and not) ways that record companies handled that limitation.
“A potent, short-lasting compound that has been found throughout the plant kingdom” – notably, in ayahuasca – “DMT can induce the sensation of leaving the body, producing profound changes in sensory perception, mood and thought, when it is administered externally – for instance, when it’s smoked or injected. Those under the influence sometimes compare the episode to the near-death experience, complete with perceived sentient beings who transmit information, often in the form of visual language.” Anthropologist Graham St. John looks at the history of DMT research and the debate over whether or not humans’ pineal glands can produce it themselves (and what it would mean if they did).
“‘To see what is in front of one’s nose,’ George Orwell said, ‘needs a constant struggle.’ … What about the hidden truths, the buried drives and desires? The things that lie beyond distant doorways, behind the curtains of dreams, deep in the sea-bottoms of memory? Who’s going to see all that while you’re busy looking just past the Orwellian tip of your nose? Over the past half century, no one has taken a harder, clearer look behind those doors, beyond those curtains, and into those deep oceans than David Lynch.”
“Guards in New York City’s museums spend most of their shifts on their feet – usually four to eight hours at a time. They should also be able to carry as much as 25 pounds, trudge up and down flights of stairs several times during their shifts, and jump, bend, and run into action if a situation occurs. … These days, many guards must also learn to use complex digital technologies to observe hallways and crevices and communicate with other guards quickly.” And their pay is less than half of New York state’s median wage.
Hope Not Hate, Britain’s largest anti-racism organization, undertook an investigation and campaign calling attention to racist and anti-Semitic tracts, Holocaust denial books, bomb-making manuals and the like that are for sale on the websites of Waterstones, Foyles, and WH Smith (as well as Amazon). So the booksellers have begun removing those items from their sites.
Pinker is an evangelist for Enlightenment values, arguing that the philosophers of that era laid the groundwork for the scientific and social breakthroughs that have lifted millions out of poverty and created a healthier, wealthier world. At a time when it often feels like we’re backsliding, his argument has found a receptive audience.
“We’re experiencing a Native arts revival right now,” said Alaska Native playwright Vera Starbard, whose autobiographical advocacy play Our Voices Will be Heard was performed in Juneau, Anchorage, Hoonah, and Fairbanks. “There was one in the ’70s, and we’re right in the middle of a pretty exciting one now.”
The results were striking: individuals who completed these tasks while their phones were in another room performed the best, followed by those who left their phones in their pockets. In last place were those whose phones were on their desks. We saw similar results when participants’ phones were turned off: people performed worst when their phones were nearby, and best when they were away in a separate room. Thus, merely having their smartphones out on the desk led to a small but statistically significant impairment of individuals’ cognitive capacity—on par with effects of lacking sleep.
“Launching March 20, just in time to catch the spring wave of big Broadway openings that began last week with Escape to Margaritaville and continues this week with Frozen and Angels in America, New York Stage Review comes online with some 20 pieces of criticism about recent spring openings. … For most productions, New York Stage Review will have more than one critic weigh in. That’s taken from the playbook of The New York Times” – way back when, in the days of Walter Kerr.
What They Want
There is an unfortunate tendency on the part of some in the nonprofit arts industry to believe that it is their responsibility to provide to the public art that they think the public needs. This is usually based on little to no understanding of what those needs might actually be. … read more
AJBlog: Engaging MattersPublished 2018-03-20
Is there an ethical case against deaccessioning by museums?
In response to a post by artsjournal.com blog neighbor Lee Rosenbaum on proposed sales of works by the Berkshire Museum and the Lasalle University Art Museum, I asked via Twitter whether there was a coherent case to be made that … read more
AJBlog: For What It’s Worth Published 2018-03-20
Berkshire Museum in Court: Pointed Questions, No Resolution (plus, a push for a deaccession law)
While the Berkshire Eagle’s Larry Parnass rushes off to file his story on the just concluded court hearing on the Berkshire Museum’s art-sale plans, let’s interpret what we’ve learned from Larry’s live tweets on how the proceedings went. … read more
AJBlog: CultureGrrl Published 2018-03-20
I go back a long way with Laura Demanski, my best friend, who blogged with me as “Our Girl in Chicago” for many years. We met some three decades ago. Back then she was the … read more
AJBlog: About Last Night Published 2018-03-20
“The fact that more than 100 journalists were murdered is, in [large] part, to be blamed on the freedom of the press today,” the Nobel-winning Peruvian author told a radio interviewer, “which allows journalists to say things that were not permitted previously. Narcotics trafficking plays an absolutely central part in all of this.” Mexicans, as one might expect, are not happy about this.