“It could almost be a writing workshop prompt: tell a story, do it in six words, go for the wow effect – and that’s exactly what the Ritz-Carlton wants. Recently, the hotel company launched a campaign inviting social media friends and followers to provide six-word stories about their Ritz-Carlton experiences with the hashtag #RCMemories.”
“Before the word processor, before Whiteout, before Post-It Notes, there were straight pins. Or, at least that’s what Jane Austen used to make edits in one of her rare manuscripts.” Have a look.
“There’s something unsettling about watching 1,000 robots execute a perfectly choreographed routine. … And yet, these machines – tiny $20 robots that take five minutes each to assemble, for a total of 83 hours – are actually completely banal. In fact, according to the researchers, their capabilities are pretty abysmal.” (video)
William Deresiewicz: Not, as people commonly believe, to entertain them in class and hand out easy A’s. That’s what they retreat to, once they see that nothing better is on offer. … They don’t want fun and games; they want the real thing.”
“You could read on the actors’ faces real gratitude that people had come and stayed for that long, despite plenty of chances to flee. In this instance, mere presence was quite a statement of support.”
“I wanted to see how people spend the majority of their time, how they work, to motivate myself—and take away more positive ways that people work with their space, or work with whatever situation they’re in, to stay motivated.”
“The piece is a stunning reflection of a society that is grappling with the notion of African American men as threats; that there might be places where they should and shouldn’t be.”
“She has been watching Tom Hedley promote his musical in the Canadian press. More than once she has heard him say that the women on whom Flashdance was based were never able to cash in on their dreams. ‘Are you kidding me?’ she says. ‘You took my dreams.'”
“Culture officials in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions in eastern Ukraine have ordered museums to put their most valuable pieces into storage, and some institutions have closed to the public … Ukraine’s culture ministry has also asked that the media refrain from ’emphasising objects of cultural heritage’ to avoid their being targeted [in the ongoing fighting].”
“Last Week Tonight has found a way to take a seemingly complicated issue, break it into understandable parts – and then rebuild it. … And Oliver is not just influencing viewers; he’s actually having an effect on the people he’s criticizing.” His viewers crashed the FCC’s website, and he’s been denounced by the Government of Thailand.
“The historic Amargosa Opera House suffered serious flood damage after heavy rain struck the tiny town of Death Valley Junction, Calif., last week.” More than a foot of water “ripped through the theater, warping the original wood floors of the 91-year-old [venue].”
“Archaeologists around the world, who have long relied on the classic tools of their profession, like the trowel and the plumb bob, are now turning to the modern technology of drones to defend and explore endangered sites. And perhaps nowhere is the shift happening as swiftly as in Peru.”
“University students focusing on the humanities may end up, at least in their parents’ nightmares, as dog-walkers for those majoring in computer science. But, for me, the humanities are not only relevant but also give us a toolbox to think seriously about ourselves and the world.”
“Shares in the amusement park SeaWorld fell 33% after a 6-7% decline in the company’s revenues was forecast – with falling attendances driven in part by the negative publicity surrounding the documentary film Blackfish.”
Charles McNulty: “Liam Neeson doesn’t have the Shakespearean chops but he has that combination of paternal fury and tenderness that is just what the role requires. … Al Pacino would either be the greatest Lear in recent memory or the most embarrassing. Actually, he could very well be both at the same time. … Nathan Lane is hardly just a comic actor.” (We haven’t even told you the real curveball.)
“A legal battle has reignited between the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation and three of the late artist’s friends and business associates. The foundation yesterday appealled a Florida judge’s decision to award the trustees of the Robert Rauschenberg Revocable Trust a fee of $24.6m.”
This orchestra had lost the high profile and wide admiration it had during its glory days under the late Maurice Abravanel. Now music director Thierry Fischer is determined to get them back, both nationally and within the state – so he and his players are touring beyond Salt Lake City to five of Utah’s most scenic locales.
“It’s a miserable state to be in permanently. Can you imagine how dreary that would be?”
“After much contention and delay, the Hohenzollern Palace, seat of Prussia’s monarchy and the jewel in the city’s crown until the East Berlin regime leveled the building in 1950, has begun rising again. … Off-site sculptors are crafting an exact replica of the palace’s baroque facade as it was before World War II.”
“More than 90% of American public libraries have amassed e-book collections you can read on your iPad, and often even on a Kindle. You don’t have to walk into a branch or risk an overdue fine. And they’re totally free.”
“In most respects, there was no significant difference between the Kindle readers and the paper readers [in the study] But, the Kindle readers scored significantly lower on questions about when events in the story occurred. They also performed almost twice as poorly when asked to arrange 14 plot points in the correct sequence.” Says one of the researchers, “It’s interesting to us that the differences were both related to time and temporality – why is that?”
Of course we do! “People [in a recent study] who ate more fruits and vegetables over the 13-day period reported higher average levels of curiosity, creativity, and positive emotions, as well as engagement, meaning, and purpose.”
New Line Cinema has purchased the option to adapt Copeland’s memoir, Life In Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina, into a feature film; producers and scriptwriters have already been selected. The Hollywood pitch: “The Blind Side set in the dance world.”
Some pundits, and Silicon valley types with cloud software to sell, keep arguing that email is an antiquated, dying technology. But no: “You can’t kill email! It’s the cockroach of the Internet, and I mean that as a compliment. This resilience is a good thing.” Alexis Madrigal explains why.
“I have come to believe that advertising is the original sin of the web. The fallen state of our Internet is a direct, if unintentional, consequence of choosing advertising as the default model to support online content and services.” Ethan Zuckerman, who wrote the code for the very first pop-up ad, points out some downsides of the ad-based business model and argues that there’s still time to
come to Jesus work out a better system.
“For almost a decade beginning in the 1960s,” he used 16mm film “to record hundreds of reels, many of which are still little known even among scholars because of the fragility of the film and the scarcity of projectors to show them on.” Now MoMA and the Andy Warhol Museum are joining forces to fix that.
George Packer: “Amazon has its own corporate lexicon, its own uses of language. Warehouses are ‘fulfillment centers,’ algorithmic recommendations are ‘personalization.’ I won’t call it Orwellian, because that poor, much-abused term should be reserved for special occasions, like North Korea. But it’s a style conducive to cheerful deception, and Orwell would have seen straight through it.”
“Why do companies such as UBS bother with collecting expensive modern and contemporary art at all? What’s in it for them?” Alastair Sooke looks at the Swiss mega-banks’ art collection, among the biggest held by any business.
The “Commando Squad” was Virgil Thomson’s American version of Russia’s “Mighty Five”, and it included himself (of course), Roger Sessions, Walter Piston, Roy Harris and (commander) Aaron Copland. The New York Times chief music critic dreams up a musical festival focusing on their lesser-known works.