“As bad as they were, the 2011 earthquake and tsunami were just the latest chapter in a long, tragic narrative. The Japanese archipelago sits at the nexus of four tectonic plates, subjecting the region to more than 1,500 seismic events each year, including at least two 5.0 magnitude or higher earthquakes. As a result, Tokyo has been destroyed and rebuilt on average, from 1608 to 1945, once every five years. … The effects of centuries of natural disaster may be most obvious, though, in Japanese culture.”
“Different parts of our gray matter respond to different timing tasks, and brain imaging has helped us parse which areas do what. From drumming along with a musical phrase to figuring out how long a lecture has lasted, these specialized areas work together to shape our temporal perception.”
“The single most important element seems to be the ability to inspire awe. In 2010, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania examined the New York Times’s list of most shared articles and deduced that readers sought an ’emotion of self-transcendence, a feeling of admiration and elevation even in the face of something greater than the self’. Physics, and astrophysics in particular, seem well suited to this, but only a rare group of individuals has the ability, or the inclination, to bring about transcendence.”
“As with permanent cities, the construction and maintenance of this municipal infrastructure requires an elaborate regulatory apparatus—and for the greater good, the regs must be enforced. When you imagine Burning Man, you might picture naked people riding bikes and making out and setting things on fire—and, indeed, that’s exactly what you’ll see if you attend. But, for a psychedelic, safety-third debauch, Burning Man has an awful lot of rules.”
“For people who occupy positions of power in society, there may not be a single word they would ever consider violence. But that doesn’t mean other people can’t legitimately experience some speech as violence. And when people say they do experience language as violence, it’s not because they’ve confused speech with physical assault; it’s because the language-game in which the speech-act takes place is different.”
Swift is a perfect, golden avatar of our moment, a child of the new century who understands celebrity as a form of constant curation of one’s brand the way that Madonna, a child of the old century, understood it as an act of persona creation. Whether or not she is a Trump supporter, she is an embodiment of Trump culture. And with this single, which broke a YouTube record in its first 24 hours, she has slouched in at the last minute to grab the title of Song of the Summer, or at least Song of the Summer We Deserve.
Frankenstein was not her only groundbreaking novel; in 1829, she published The Last Man, depicting England circa 2100 as a post-plague dystopia. “As with Frankenstein, Shelley was playing on some very real anxieties in Industrial Revolution-era society – anxieties that live on to the present day. And, just like with Frankenstein, she got flack for it.”
“The grants are intended to fund the preservation of humanities collections impacted by the storm, as well as helping institutions – from universities and libraries to museums and historical societies – to get back up and running.”
Among the nominees for Britain’s worst new building of the year are a couple that look sort of like actual carbuncles, if carbuncles had right angles.
Remember “slow TV“? The Norwegians pioneered it, with programs like a real-time seven-hour train run from Bergen to Oslo. Well, BBC Radio 3 (the classical music station) is going to try the audio equivalent.
“If someone doesn’t recognise the joke we’re making, then that’s a whole lot of labour lost. We aim never to trick people but rather to train them to see the world as we see it. In a world infested by ‘fake news’, the intention [and subsequent execution] is everything.”
Of course dig deeper behind the headline and the York initiative is not quite the latest nail in the coffin for expertise that it might first appear. Rather it’s a smart move to broaden audiences and repertoire and involve the local community from a theatre that has already pioneered involving young people in every aspect of theatre production from programming through to producing and marketing with the annual excellent Takeover Festival.
The tipping point came in 2012: Arts advocates, the city, the state, and the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire (UWEC) joined forces on the $85 million Confluence Arts Center. Previous big projects proposed for downtown had failed to gain approval, but Confluence’s critical mass of partners overcame some mild opposition. When it’s completed next year, across from Phoenix Park, it’ll have two theaters, apartments, retail space, and a pedestrian plaza, along with artist and technical training facilities.
“[He] splashed through crocodile-infested rivers, piloted hot-air balloons over stampeding wildebeests and lost a ‘Coke bottle’-size chunk of his calf to an angry hippopotamus, all while producing nearly two dozen acclaimed nature documentaries.”
“The information value of a message depends in part on the range of alternatives that were killed off in its choosing. Symbols chosen from a larger vocabulary of options carry more information than symbols chosen from a smaller vocabulary, because the choice eliminates a greater number of alternatives. This means that the amount of information transmitted is essentially a function of three things: the size of the set of possible symbols, the number of symbols sent per second, and the length of the message. The search for order, for structure and form in the wending catacombs of global communications had begun in earnest.”
“Samuel French, Inc., which licenses it, reports that Godot will be professionally produced at least ten times around the world in the next three months, nearly 65 years after it first premiered.” Shannon Reed considers the reasons why – including this one: “we return to Godot at least partly to be able to walk out of Godot.”
“The descendant of a celebrated musical dynasty” – two of his grandparents were Leonid Kogan and Elizabeth Gilels, Emil’s sister – “he was known for curating and supporting innovative music projects in his native country and abroad.”
The country’s national English-language daily “will be consolidating its ‘Life and Arts’ and ‘News’ sections, beginning in December. The reshuffling means that arts reviews will be relegated to the generic ‘News’ section, and that dedicated space for other arts coverage would be found exclusively in the paper’s weekend edition.”
While the basement and parking garage of the Wortham Theater Center (home venue of Houston Ballet) are flooded, “so far, it seems that the small and mid-size companies came through the storm with minor damage.”
“Jaime Colsa owns a transport company that delivers ordinary consumer goods – computers, food, drinks. The contents of his trucks aren’t eye-catching, but his vehicles certainly are, adorned with paintings showing cartoonlike faces, dogs, brightly colored geometric patterns, spirals and landscapes.”
“‘Night mayors,’ as they are commonly known, are popular in Europe, where these figures are chiefly concerned with how people can have a good time after dark in their cities. London, Berlin, Paris and Zurich all have them – and now the initiative is making its way to New York, where night life is in great need of attention.”
Web 1.0 was the internet before “talkback.” It was static one-directional communication. Whether intentional or not, it was inherently self-centered, presenting the view of the owner of the website. Web 2.0 is the interactive internet … read more
AJBlog: Engaging Matters Published 2017-08-29
Can an awards system recognize theatrical excellence and simultaneously accomplish something more? Friends responded to my post with suggestions including awards for community engagement and partnerships, physical or devised work, theater for young audiences, interdisciplinary collaboration, museum work, a rotating “surprise” category that changes every year, and even a category called “Anything that isn’t about or by dead white men.”
“Women in audio deal with unique challenges that come from working within a cross-section of two traditionally male-dominated fields. Because of the technical nature of their jobs, they experience issues similar to those many women in STEM—science, technology, engineering, and math—face, such as struggling for respect and being second-guessed by their peers. On top of that are the added pressures of the competitive and fickle music industry.”
“Few of us doubt that stealing is wrong, especially from the poor. But the accusation of “cultural appropriation” is overwhelmingly being used as an objection to syncretism — the mixing of different thoughts, religions, cultures and ethnicities that often ends up creating entirely new ones. In other words: the most natural process in a melting-pot country like ours.”
“Pamela Z is a collector of “found” sounds, memories, objects, and sensations. She can imagine a sound in nearly anything, a cabinet for example. It’s not unlike Philip Glass’s notion that music is innate in all things. Her studio is filled with found things, including old typewriters, rotary telephones, bits of technologica; plastic water jugs — a staple for sound artists; three gas masks from World War I, picked up for one of her gigs with a trio called The Cube Chicks; a floor-to-ceiling collection of LPs that could fill a record store. In the 1980s, she worked for five years at Tower Records in North Beach.”
“Pratchett’s hard drive was crushed by a vintage John Fowler & Co steamroller named Lord Jericho at the Great Dorset Steam Fair, ahead of the opening of a new exhibition about the author’s life and work.” Don’t worry: this is exactly what the bestselling author specified for after his death.