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Tuesday, September 13


Media - Killing The Ideas In Science "Why is science in the media so often pointless, simplistic, boring, or just plain wrong? Like a proper little Darwin, I've been collecting specimens, making careful observations, and now I'm ready to present my theory. It is my hypothesis that in their choice of stories, and the way they cover them, the media create a parody of science, for their own means. They then attack this parody as if they were critiquing science." The Guardian (UK) 09/11/05
Posted: 09/12/2005 6:43 pm

Art Out Of Disasters? Forget About It "Down in New Orleans they do not need a symphony; they need bottled water, food, clothing, money, diapers, dry goods. Put down your pen and take up your wallet—there are thousands of musicians who, like me four years ago (but worse), find themselves suddenly without a home. Send them trumpets, not trumpet sonatas, as these are gigging musicians who have no means by which to make a living. Buy their records. Give to help organizations. You cannot help them heal with your music—not yet, maybe not ever—but you still can do something. They need your help, not your attempt at catharsis." NewMusicBox 09/09/05
Posted: 09/12/2005 6:00 pm

The Bionic Eye A Scottish scientist has been "using digital camera technology to create the 'bionic eye'. He has developed a microchip that can replicate the role played by the retina, the sensitive lining at the back of the eye that converts light into a signal that is sent to the brain. The implant would allow doctors to restore the sight of more than 800,000 people in the UK." The Scotsman 09/12/05
Posted: 09/12/2005 5:49 pm

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Visual Arts

Cleveland Museum Goes Ahead With Expansion The Cleveland Museum board has voted to accept bids on a $258 million expansion of the museum. "This is the culmination of 10 years of work, and now it's a reality. It's going to happen." In other news, the museum also says it hopes to name a new director soon. The Plain Dealer (Cleveland) 09/13/05
Posted: 09/13/2005 8:47 am

High-Tech Looters Pillage Mediterranean Shipwrecks Ancient shipwrecks in the Mediterranean are being looted of their treasures. "Traffickers have caught on to the fact that there are more than 12,000 shipwrecks in Greek waters. Many of the submerged gems date back to the Golden Age of the fifth century BC. Armed with archeological service maps acquired on the black market, burgeoning numbers of international smugglers have made it their mission to locate the wrecks, authorities say." Boston Globe 09/13/05
Posted: 09/13/2005 7:19 am

How A Hurricane Will Change Art? New Orleans artists talk about what they lost and how Katrina will change their work. "The imagery has to change; it's inevitable. I was always interested in the street life, the poor and what is at the root of that lifestyle. Now my concern is that New Orleans will become a middle-class city. The whole landscape of American art is in the process of upheaval. Between 9/11 and Katrina, I am seeing artists dealing with history. When I was at school we were concerned primarily with form. Now that's all changed." The New York Times 09/13/05
Posted: 09/12/2005 8:20 pm

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Pop Goes The Pittsburgh... The Pittsburgh Symphony's gala concert last Saturday was repeatedly interrupted by the popping of balloons suspended from the ceiling of Heinz Hall. "Due to the resonance of the concert hall, the would-be tiny pops thundered with resounding force, startling the audience and the musicians many times over." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 09/13/05
Posted: 09/13/2005 8:42 am

China's Internet Pop Stars Young internet pop stars are blooming in China, where they record their music with just a laptop, headphones and a lip-mike. Xiang Xiang is the 21-year-old at the top of the charts. Her Song of Pig has notched up a billion downloads from admirers in China, Singapore and Malaysia, but the downloads are all free. Why free? "It's purely a kind of communication. I get feedback and suggestions or comments on my work and then I can make changes." BBC 09/13/05
Posted: 09/13/2005 7:15 am

Jazz Greats Honored By NEA "Singer Tony Bennett, keyboardist Chick Corea and trumpeter Freddie Hubbard are among those named Jazz Masters by the National Endowment for the Arts and awarded $25,000 fellowships. The other recipients are percussionist Ray Barretto, composer Bob Brookmeyer, clarinetist Buddy DeFranco and New Orleans-born manager John Levy, honored as a jazz advocate." Chicago Tribune 09/13/05
Posted: 09/13/2005 7:11 am

Phoenix Symphony Looks To Better Times The Phoenix Symphony has shown a deficit in 15 of its 22 years in existence. Not this year though; they're in the black. "The announcement comes in the wake of the completed $18 million renovation of Symphony Hall in downtown Phoenix, the hiring of young phenom conductor Michael Christie and a landmark six-year labor agreement between management and musicians. The tide finally might be turning for the much-beleaguered symphony." Phoenix Business Journal 09/11/05
Posted: 09/12/2005 10:00 pm

Understanding The Complete Webern This thurday the UK's Radio 3 is broadcasting the complete works of Anton Weber in order. "The timing is right. Even as recently as 20 years ago, Webern's music was, to most folk, an arid curiosity - a period-piece belonging to a faction of early-20th-century modernism that was experimental, clandestine, even frustrated. In reality, Webern, Schoenberg and Berg were passionate individuals, seeking new paths for music as it struggled to come to terms with the suicidal excesses of 19th-century Romanticism. In this postmodern age, Webern's insistent, challenging and single-minded voice has a renewed vigour and relevance." The Scotsman 09/12/05
Posted: 09/12/2005 8:25 pm

Montreal Symphony Cancels Concerts The Montreal Symphony has canceled the first four concerts of its season due to a continuing musicians' strike. "Management announced late last week that its September concerts, including two with Belgian baritone José Van Dam, would not take place. A press release blamed the musicians, who have been on the picket line since May 9." The Globe & Mail (Canada) 09/12/05
Posted: 09/12/2005 6:34 pm

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Arts Issues

Gioia: Arts Essential To Rebuilding Gulf Coast NEA chief Dana Gioia says that rebuilding the arts of the Gulf Coast is essential to rebuilding the region. "People have to recognize that the arts are a major industry and need to be at the table for the recovery plan. There is no way for these local economies to recover unless we invest in the cultural life. Culture was Louisiana's second-biggest economy, right after oil. These organizations have suffered enormous losses." Washington Post 09/13/05
Posted: 09/13/2005 8:54 am

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A Day In The Life: Daniel Libeskind "Top-dog architects have to be showmen, but it can be an awkward marriage: his angular, challenging architecture, such as Berlin’s Jewish Museum, sits uneasily with appearing on Oprah. Their bond? Emoting: he wants his buildings to stir your heart." The Times (UK) 09/13/05
Posted: 09/13/2005 8:33 am

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What Happened To Women In British Theatre? "At present, women artistic directors are less well represented in British theatres than at any point in the past 20 years. Moreover, last year there were 218 new plays staged in Britain - only 38 by women. In the light of these statistics, did women's companies make a difference?" The Guardian (UK) 09/10/05
Posted: 09/12/2005 8:11 pm

Shakespeare How We Originally Heard It London's Globe Theatre is staging Shakespeare in its original pronunciation. "All this has a certain fascination, and, as “Troilus and Cressida” unfolds, the rolled “r”s, the elided pronouns, and the longer, tenser vowels give the audience a frisson of extra drama. The earthy regional sounds ruffle the familiar strut of Shakespeare’s eloquence and root the language more in the belly than in the larynx. As the antique idiom washes over the mostly roofless auditorium, the audience struggles to suss out the odd bouquet of sound, savoring the hints of Irish, Yorkshire, and Welsh, each with its own verbal spice.
Still, sound must also serve sense."
The New Yorker 09/12/05
Posted: 09/12/2005 5:32 pm

Bee-ing Profitable "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" becomes the first show of the 2004-05 season on Broadway to become profitable. The show's producer said on Friday that he had returned his show's $3.5 million capitalization 18 weeks after opening on Broadway, a remarkably quick return for a new musical. For David Stone, who is also a producer of the hit musical "Wicked," the success of "Spelling Bee" is a testament to the power of word of mouth." The New York Times 09/12/05
Posted: 09/12/2005 6:42 am

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The Disappearing Used-Bookstores "Nearly all of the secondhand bookstores in the vicinity of Harvard University are gone. Some have relocated or become online booksellers. Others are simply out of business. Either way, the decline of secondhand bookstores represents a sad diminishment of the academic community in Cambridge, Mass., and many other university towns." Chronicle of Higher Education 09/12/05
Posted: 09/12/2005 5:27 pm

Leading Poet On Trial In India For Insulting Goddess A leading Bengali poet has been ordered to stand trial for insulting a Hindi goddess. "In an article in Bengal's biggest newspaper this year, Sunil Gangopadhyay was quoted as saying he was "sexually aroused" by an idol of Saraswati. Retired policeman Bhibhuti Bhusan Nandy filed a lawsuit saying the comments had hurt his religious sentiments." BBC 09/12/05
Posted: 09/12/2005 6:26 am

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The Poll Say: Enough With "Reality" TV! "The poll taken by The Associated Press and TV Guide shows viewers actually believe reality TV is primarily bogus. A whopping 82% of the respondents said the shows, ranging from "American Idol" to "The Apprentice" and "Survivor," are either "totally made up" or "mostly distorted." New York Daily News 09/13/05
Posted: 09/13/2005 8:39 am

Food Fight At The Movies Two movie studios are each claiming ownership of a film. "Two competing studios were each claiming to have bought the independent film "Thank You for Smoking," a political satire by the first-time director Jason Reitman, financed by the first-time producer David Sacks." The New York Times 09/13/05
Posted: 09/13/2005 7:49 am

Louisiana - Trying To Hang On To The Movies Keeping or attracting film production in Louisiana is a difficult but important task. "Film production has become a crucial source of income for Louisiana, which in 2002 adopted among the most aggressive tax incentives in the country. An estimated 20 movies will be shot in the state this year, with a direct economic benefit estimated at $125 million." The New York Times 09/13/05
Posted: 09/13/2005 7:29 am

Louisiana Woos Producers Louisiana's movie industry appeals to producers to shoot their films in the state. "Yes, we are wounded; but we are healing and we need your help to continue doing that." Yahoo! (AP) 09/12/05
Posted: 09/12/2005 5:39 pm

Sontag's Take On The Movies Susan Sontag's last writing about movies was in 1995; "in retrospect, it was her farewell to film criticism. Renunciation, along with such reverberant partners as epiphany, retraction, and reaffirmation, was one of her familiar dramatic modes. She brought a certain histrionic (i.e., Parisian) quality into American intellectual life—position-taking as existential drama—and, if you regard her seriously, the portentous turning points of her journey have to be endured. What she renounced, of course, was nothing like regular movie criticism. Sontag wrote only a dozen or so articles about film. Yet all of them were substantial, both as intellectual performance and as a challenge to conventional assumptions about movie form and routine reviewing." The New Yorker 09/12/05
Posted: 09/12/2005 5:22 pm

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Choreographer Builds A Kenyan Retreat Choreographer Wayne McGregor has built a dance studio home on the Kenyan coast. "The prolific British choreographer, skinny and shaven-headed at 35, has founded a private domain. His slice of personal bliss is in a place called Lamu. Here McGregor has built the studio and accommodations for himself and the members of his Random Dance Company. His intention, however, is to make this splendid property available to artists of all kinds from around the globe." The Times (UK) 09/13/05
Posted: 09/13/2005 8:28 am

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