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Tuesday, March 21


Will Today's Games Change The World? "An entire generation has grown up with a different set of games than any before it. Just watch a kid with a new videogame. The last thing they do is read the manual. Instead, they pick up the controller and start mashing buttons to see what happens. This isn't a random process; it's the essence of the scientific method. Through trial and error, players build a model of the underlying game based on empirical evidence collected through play. As the players refine this model, they begin to master the game world. It's a rapid cycle of hypothesis, experiment, and analysis. And it's a fundamentally different take on problem-solving than the linear, read-the-manual-first approach of their parents." Wired 03/21/06
Posted: 03/21/2006 8:05 am

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Visual Arts

Kenneth Baker Reports From Maastricht The European Fine Art Fair is still the gold standard for art fairs. "With seven- and eight-figure prices quoted wherever I inquired, I tried to make a mantra of John Russell's deathless line 'No amount of money is worth a great work of art.' But the big artistic thrills often came in modest -- though not modestly priced -- form, such as the Fragonard drawings shown by Agnew's of London and New York, two rare Charles Rennie Mackintosh watercolors offered by London's Fine Art Society..." San Francisco Chronicle 03/21/06
Posted: 03/21/2006 9:07 am

Toledo, Detroit Museums Go To Court Over Gauguin And Van Gogh Paintings The Detroit Institute of Arts and the Toledo Museum are in court to settle ownership issues surrounding a van Gogh and a Gauguin. "At stake is whether the pictures will remain in the museums' collections or whether the museums must return the works to the heirs or pay restitution. The paintings are worth an estimated $10 million to $15 million apiece in today's art market, based on auction records." Detroit Free Press 03/19/06
Posted: 03/21/2006 9:00 am

Security Camera Images Of Tunick's Nudes Show Up For Sale Pictures of naked people participating in one of Spencer Tunick's photos of mass nudes have shown up for sale. The pictures are from security surveillance cameras. "We've spoken to a number of officers and police staff and as a result two members of police staff are in the process of being suspended." The Independent (UK) 03/21/06
Posted: 03/21/2006 8:27 am

What Are Museums For, Anyway? "To those of us reared on the fogeyish assumption that a museum's collection is sacrosanct - that the British Museum will always have its Elgin Marbles and the Pitt Rivers its shrunken tribal heads - the idea of ancient vases being mauled and chipped by mobs of primary schoolchildren or Roman coin hoards being flogged off to fund the acquisition of a more socially relevant collection of graffiti art is indeed a pretty shocking one. But for the new breed of museum professional, this line of thinking is very much the fashionable orthodoxy." The Times (UK) 03/19/06
Posted: 03/20/2006 11:20 pm

A Peruvian Monument That Might Not Be What It Seems "No one disputes that the structure, called the Inca Uyo, is hundreds of years old. Everyone further agrees that the site, in the middle of a grassy enclosure where soccer matches and bullfights were once held, has been a moneymaker for this small town on the Andean high plains, near Lake Titicaca. But what seems all but certain is that the ruin, with 86 of the carved stones inside it, is not the ancient fertility temple that many here like to say it is." The New York Times 03/21/06
Posted: 03/20/2006 11:15 pm

Hispanic Society Moves Downtown New York's Hispanic Society is moving from its obscure upper Manhattan location to downtown. The Society is "probably the most unknown major museum in the US. Its holdings of Spanish art, decorative arts, photographs, rare books and manuscripts are the most extensive outside of Spain, and worth billions of dollars." The Art Newspaper 03/19/06
Posted: 03/20/2006 7:46 pm

London Bombs Scared Off Museum-Goers Last summer's bombs in London caused a big drop in museum attendance. "Total UK museum visitor numbers were down by almost two million in 2005. Visits to the capital's museums in August 2005 were down 24% on the same month the previous year, according to government figures. But attendance numbers are now rising again, the Department for Media, Culture and Sport has said." BBC 03/20/06
Posted: 03/20/2006 6:48 pm

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America's Largest Free Jazz Fest May Have To Charge San Jose's summer jazz festival calls itself the "largest free jazz festival in the United States." But that designation may be about to change. The festival may have to start charging: $5 a person for an all-day pass. "The reason for the charge: rising operational fees coupled with a loss of corporate sponsors Ford, Chevron and Applied Materials. The festival costs almost $1 million and, much to their disappointment, organizers said, only $60,000 comes from a city that has just designated $4 million for a car race." San Jose Mercuty-News 03/21/06
Posted: 03/21/2006 9:22 am

UK's Tenor Phenoms (Oh Really?) So there are currently three tenors on the UK Top Ten charts. Or are there? "Just because somebody sings something in Italian doesn't mean it's opera. I suppose you could call them tenors, but don't call them operatic tenors. Their voices are not good enough and most of the repertoire is desperate." The Guardian (UK) 03/21/06
Posted: 03/21/2006 8:02 am

  • Previously: A New Generation Of Three Tenors Scores Top Ten For the first time, three places in the UK Top Ten music charts are taken up by tenors. "Newcomer Vittorio Grigolo and BBC One's Just the Two of Us winner Russell Watson are set for new entries in the top 10, according to mid-week figures. Andrea Bocelli's album Amore, out last week, could stay in the chart." BBC 03/14/06

Why Isn't Stravinsky More Popular? Stravinsky was one of the greatest composers of the 20th Century. And yet, he is not revered by audiences. Why, asks Anthony Tommasini: "One simple reason that Stravinsky, who died at 88 in 1971, is still waiting for his due is that audiences seldom get to hear the full range of his work." The New York Times 03/21/06
Posted: 03/20/2006 11:11 pm

Louisville Orchestra Strikes Contract Agreement With Musicians The troubled Louisville Orchestra has reached an agreement on a new five year contract with musicians that averts the Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing that was threatened for early next month. Louisville Courier-Journal 03/20/06
Posted: 03/20/2006 10:59 pm

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Arts Issues

A Florida Community Goes For Something Different In A Cultural Plan The city of Delray Beach Florida commissioned a new cultural plan, and the authors of it tout it as something new: "What's interesting about it is that it is focused on taking the city's inherent cultural assets and using them as building blocks in a way that addresses the always-on, experience-oriented, don't-make-me-sit-in-a-seat-and-watch-you-perform nature of culture today. There are no cookie-cutter solutions in this report. No build a new performing arts center just like the one down the street to compete." The Sun-Sentinel (Florida) 03/21/06
Posted: 03/21/2006 8:07 am

Missouri Has Sunk To The Bottom In Arts Funding "Its current budget of $485,000 places it in the bottom six of 56 states, territories and protectorates. The others are Montana ($406,356), the Virgin Islands ($309,568), Guam ($266,577), Northern Marianas ($260,000) and American Samoa ($44,000)." Kansas City Star 03/19/06
Posted: 03/20/2006 11:34 pm

Schwarzenegger Proposes Big Arts Ed Increase Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's 2006-2007 budget for California proposes $100 million to enhance and expand arts education throughout California's K-8 schools. The plan is to apportion these funds to local school districts using a formula based on their enrollment levels... San Jose Mercury-News 03/19/06
Posted: 03/20/2006 10:30 pm

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Rough ride for a rough stone Scotsman 3/20/06
Arts Center Has a Plan to Help Newark Revive New York Times 3/16/06
One Minute You're Up.... Dallas Morning News 3/12/06
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Lapham Leaving Harper's After 28 years, age 71, Lewis Lapham is about to step down as the editor of Harper's magazine... Washington Post 03/21/06
Posted: 03/20/2006 11:44 pm

Peter Shaffer At 80 Playwright Peter Shaffer is 80. "Shaffer hasn't had a play open at the National for 21 years. But during the 1960s and 1970s he was responsible for four of the theatre's biggest successes: The Royal Hunt of the Sun, Black Comedy, Equus and Amadeus. Hits were his department. It is said that during the dark days of the early '80s, revenue from his plays kept the National in business." The Telegraph (UK) 03/20/06
Posted: 03/20/2006 11:02 pm

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Dylan Show Closes In San Diego After Another Draft "Director-choreographer Twyla Tharp's surreal spectacle set to Bob Dylan songs is now somewhere between Draft 2 and the final Draft 3 that will open on Broadway this fall. Those terms come from Tharp herself, who calls a private workshop performance of the fledgling show last year in New York "Draft 1" and the Globe show of two months ago "Draft 2." In residence here since early December, the workaholic Tharp has attended most of the 65 performances since previews began." San Diego Union-Tribune 03/19/06
Posted: 03/21/2006 8:57 am

"Movin' Out" Dancer Sues Show For $100 Million She "says in the lawsuit that she was repeatedly humiliated and intimidated in front of other cast members by the show's stage manager about an increase in the size of her breasts, which necessitated alterations to her costumes." Houston Chronicle (AP) 03/21/06
Posted: 03/21/2006 8:43 am

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PEN To Tap Chernow As New Leader The PEN American Center is expected to name Ron Chernow, the best-selling biographer of J. P. Morgan, John D. Rockefeller and Alexander Hamilton, as its next president. "Chernow will succeed the novelist Salman Rushdie, who has served as the group's leader for two years. Mr. Rushdie, who is credited with having helped to reshape the PEN American Center's role in defending freedom of expression and open cultural exchange after Sept. 11, proposed Mr. Chernow as his successor." The New York Times 03/21/06
Posted: 03/20/2006 11:08 pm

Just What, Is The Virginia Quarterly Review? "To the astonishment of glossy magazine types everywhere, a small journal in Virginia garnered not one nomination, as is sometimes politely handed down to such journals, but six. This made the Virginia Quarterly Review the second-most-nominated magazine, behind the Atlantic, which received eight, and ahead of The New Yorker, Harper's, New York, and National Geographic, all of which received five. It was as if a scrappy farm team had demolished the Yankees in an exhibition game." Slate 03/20/06
Posted: 03/20/2006 8:03 pm

Da Vinci Plagiarism Case In Final Arguments Summing up the plaintiffs' case of plagiarism against Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown, Jonathan Rayner James QC sounds more like a man complaining about a verdict he knows is coming than someone marshalling evidence. He said Brown had been "unco-operative" in court. "He had almost no recollection of matters that related to issues of timing." BBC 03/19/06
Posted: 03/20/2006 8:34 am

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Internet - Not Just Mostly Men Anymore "Once a medium dominated by men, the internet now draws approximately equal proportions of male and female users in the United States. Top search engines and portal sites draw about the same numbers of men and women. A recent Pew Research Center study found that men and women are about equally likely to go online to buy things, make travel arrangements or do their banking. Even so, it's the differences between the sexes' behavior online that intrigues marketers." Wired 03/21/06
Posted: 03/21/2006 8:24 am

Verizon Makes Deal For Programs From CBS CBS has struck a deal with Verizon to carry the network's programming. "The wide-ranging agreement gives Verizon's FiOS TV the right to carry CBS' analog and digital signals as well as video-on-demand content from CBS and its company-owned stations. Terms of the deal weren't announced, but sources said it was likely to average upward of 50 cents per subscriber." Yahoo! (Hollywood Reporter) 03/21/06
Posted: 03/21/2006 7:57 am

The Phenomenal Rise Of YouTube "In a few short months, the website YouTube has emerged from the obscure ranks of dozens of online viral-video outposts to dominate even giant portals in the category, including Yahoo! and Google. But its astonishing growth -- streaming 30 million videos a day -- also has put old-guard media empires on the defensive." Yahoo! (AP) 03/21/06
Posted: 03/21/2006 7:14 am

Wanna Be Successful On Radio? What's Your Power Ratio? What makes a radio format successful? It's not just the size of audience. It's got something to do with power ratios... New York Daily News 03/21/06
Posted: 03/21/2006 7:07 am

Chicago Producer: I Was Cheated The producer of the hit movie "Chicago" is suing Miramax, claiming the company is misrepresenting profits on the film. "The suit contends that while precise figures are not available, Richards believes the film has generated over $300 million in gross receipts for Miramax. He claims the financial statements he receives from Miramax are "omissive, false and misleading" because they understate revenue from video and DVD sales and foreign release, while overstating overhead. New York Daily News 03/22/06
Posted: 03/21/2006 7:04 am

Does Daytime TV Rot Your Brain? Researchers report that "older women who say talk shows and soap operas are their favorite TV programs tend to score more poorly on tests of memory, attention and other cognitive skills." Backstage 03/20/06
Posted: 03/20/2006 7:52 pm

FCC: High Fines For Indecency Are Warranted The FCC defends its decision to fine US broadcasters almost $4 million for indecency. "Whenever the commission is trying to determine what is appropriate and inappropriate, there's inherently lines that end up being drawn. And all of that ends up involving the context of the way particular words are used or not used. This debate is not new." Backstage 03/20/06
Posted: 03/20/2006 7:50 pm

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UK's Dance Think Tank The British government is convening a think tank on dance. "Among the subjects up for discussion are education and health, employment and the relationship between the commercial and subsidised dance sector." BBC 03/21/06
Posted: 03/21/2006 9:27 am

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