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Weekend, September 10-11




Ideas

Is The Human Brain Still Evolving? Yes, says a team of scientists who have found a mutation in genes found in the brain. "This distinctive mutation is now in the brains of about 70% of humans, and half of this group carry completely identical versions of the gene. The data suggests the mutation arose recently and spread quickly through the human species due to a selection pressure, rather than accumulating random changes through neutral genetic drift." New Scientist 09/09/05
Posted: 09/11/2005 11:19 am

Finding Memory Enhancement In a Cigarette Smoking cigarettes helps you concentrate (or so believe many smokers). But "scientists have found that nicotine really does boost certain transmitters in the brain that can help people think better. Now, the pharmaceutical industry hopes to improve on the effect, minus the lung cancer." Wired 09/09/05
Posted: 09/11/2005 11:14 am

Fighting Terrorism With Movies (Does This Make Any Sense?) Why is it that we let movie plots dictate how we try to protect ourselves from terrorists? "Sometimes it seems like the people in charge of homeland security spend too much time watching action movies. They defend against specific movie plots instead of against the broad threats of terrorism." Wired 09/08/05
Posted: 09/11/2005 11:11 am

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Visual Arts

800 Years Of Russia In The House How do you describe the art of a sprawling country like Russia in a single exhibition. The Guggenheim attempts to negotiate the premise... The New York Times 09/11/05
Posted: 09/11/2005 8:17 am

New Orleans - History To Build On "Deep racial and class divisions aside, New Orleans is one of the few places in America that, in the best sense, looks its age. Though it is unusually vulnerable to natural disaster, nearly all of its neighborhoods have managed to avoid the urban renewal and crass commercial projects that have taken their toll elsewhere. This is partly due to the intractable poverty here, which has made great sections of New Orleans unattractive to national developers, and partly to a long-standing preservation movement. Katrina, in other words, has managed to do to this city what a wrecking ball never could." Los Angeles Times 09/08/05
Posted: 09/11/2005 7:54 am

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Music

Cleveland's European Reception The Cleveland Orchestra finishes up a tour of Europe. For one of the world's most-acclaimed orchestra, the reviews were a mixed bag, with much attention focused on the skill of conductor Franz Welser-MÍst. Herewith a collection of critical excerpts... The Plain Dealer (Cleveland) 09/11/05
Posted: 09/11/2005 11:54 am

Atomic: Sellars In Los Alamos Director Peter Sellars travels to Los Alamos to check out a little history before his opera with John Adams about the nuclear bomb (Dr. Atomic) opens in San Francisco. "With his spiky hair, enthusiastic laugh, endless curiosity, boyish friendliness and theatrical graciousness, Sellars attracts attention." Los Angeles Times 09/11/05
Posted: 09/11/2005 8:48 am

"Day In the Life" Tops Greatest Song Poll The Beatles song "A Day in the Life has been named in a poll as the best British song ever. "The song, which featured on the classic Beatles album Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, topped a survey of music experts by Q magazine. The magazine called the track 'the ultimate sonic rendition of what it means to be British'." BBC 09/11/05
Posted: 09/11/2005 7:46 am

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Arts Issues

Cultureshock - New Orleans Culture On The Run "Last year, the city hosted more than 10 million visitors, many to sample that cuisine and music scene, and was on track this year to eclipse those figures. The city also was having success with tax incentives to film companies, making it possible for the filming of "All the King's Men," "The Skeleton Key" and parts of "The Dukes of Hazzard" and other films. Now, the bedrock and lifeblood of the city and the culture that it spawned have been threatened by flood waters and disease and a forced exodus." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 09/11/05
Posted: 09/11/2005 11:58 am

Reflecting On 9/11 Art What's the art coming after 9/11 look like? "Artists are apt to weigh in early and often on great national traumas, of course, but at times the most memorable works -- the ones that last past the generation that actually experienced the catastrophe -- come along some years after the event. It's as if painters and poets and filmmakers need time to let it all sink in, to let the meaning of a great national tragedy slowly push its way past the sentimental cliches and the creaking platitudes, like a patient commuter at a rusty turnstile." Chicago Tribune 09/11/05
Posted: 09/11/2005 8:01 am

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Theatre

Wynn: Vegas Is The New Broadway Steve Wynn is out to make Las Vegas a theatre capital. He says he can envision a not-too-distant future in which Broadway-type musicals are nurtured in Vegas. "I see money and creativity gravitating here because of our importance and the possibility of a payoff. For a show to open here and then go to Broadway will someday seem like the most natural thing in the world." Los Angeles Times 09/11/05
Posted: 09/11/2005 8:41 am

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Publishing

Why Hollywood Reads Hollywood loves books. Always has. "Hollywood is essentially a story maw; it gobbles up narrative from any source -- comic books have been big of late, '70s TV shows have become a staple, before that magazine articles, plays, myths, legends, songs even, all had their run as big source material. But the book, the novel particularly, has been a font of movies for seemingly ever." Washington Post 09/11/05
Posted: 09/11/2005 11:22 am

Is This Thompson's Suicide Note? Rolling Stone magazine has published what it says is Hunter S. Thompson's suicide note. "The scrawled words -- perhaps the last he ever committed to paper -- were written on February 16, four days before the self-described "gonzo" journalist shot himself to death at his secluded home near Aspen, Colorado, the magazine said. Yahoo! (Reuters) 09/10/05
Posted: 09/11/2005 8:27 am

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Media

A "Sound of Music" Museum? The city of Salzburg is considering building a museum for "The Sound of Music." "Discussions are under way to create a centre about the Von Trapp family, whose story was told in the 1965 Hollywood classic about a family singing troupe that flees the Nazis. Around 300,000 people visit Salzburg each year simply because of the movie." The Globe & Mail (AP) 09/11/05
Posted: 09/11/2005 12:19 pm

CBC Lockout Podcasts - Not Ready For Prime Time While the CBC labour dispute is on, some employees of CBC radio are podcasting. Is this a decent substitute for those missing Canada's public broadcaster? Murray Whyte samples the shows and reports that so far podcasting is a poor substitute... Toronto Star 09/11/05
Posted: 09/11/2005 11:41 am

ABC Goes Spanish In Prime Time Reflecting the growing Hispanic influence in America, "starting Sept. 19, ABC will offer its entire primetime entertainment lineup in Spanish -- saying that it's the first English-language broadcast network to do so on such a large scale -- through a combination of closed-captioning and dubbing." Backstage 09/11/05
Posted: 09/11/2005 8:04 am

Disaster Relief - The Fall TV Season A river of anxiety runs through this fall's American TV lineup. "A dominant theme of the fall season is that of invasion - and survival. In many, though by no means all, of the new shows, the nation is under attack, but is fighting back, led by its best and brightest." Baltimore Sun 09/11/05
Posted: 09/11/2005 7:55 am

Ang Lee Wins Venice Ang Lee's gay cowboy film Brokeback Mountain wins the top prize at the Venice Film Festival. "George Clooney's film Good Night, and Good Luck had been the hot favourite among film critics to take the Golden Lion on the last night of the annual 11-day festival." BBC 09/11/05
Posted: 09/11/2005 7:39 am

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