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Tuesday, November 7


Speaking In Tongues: And The Brain Scan Says ... "The passionate, sometimes rhythmic, language-like patter that pours forth from religious people who 'speak in tongues' reflects a state of mental possession, many of them say. Now they have some neuroscience to back them up. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania took brain images of five women while they spoke in tongues and found that their frontal lobes — the thinking, willful part of the brain through which people control what they do — were relatively quiet, as were the language centers. ... The women were not in blind trances, and it was unclear which region was driving the behavior." The New York Times 11/07/06
Posted: 11/07/2006 5:00 am

So Orchestras Are Going About Survival All Wrong? "If a new report is indeed correct, much of the accepted wisdom about saving America's orchestras--which rests on the idea that if people can just be lured into the concert hall, they'll buy tickets and come back--is wrong. And that explains why, decades after the alarums were first rung, the knell still sounds and the debate within the classical-music set remains much the same." OpinionJournal.com 11/05/06
Posted: 11/06/2006 9:22 pm

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Visual Arts

Wait! The Architect Isn't Done Yet! "The rush to architectural judgment is like a vice. It's something you shouldn't do -- and an indulgence that's hard to resist." John King is reserving judgment on the Thom Mayne tower taking shape before the eyes of the public in San Francisco. But many of his readers have already formed strong opinions about it, demonstrating "that in an ever-more splintered world of self-defined tribes, the buildings around us are a shared experience -- no matter how vividly at odds our reactions might be."
San Francisco Chronicle 11/07/06 Posted: 11/07/2006 7:21 am

World Trade Center Museum Delayed Until 2010 "The World Trade Center Memorial Museum's opening has been pushed back beyond the original target date of 2009, the Daily News has learned. Though the WTC Memorial, with two sunken pools marking where the twin towers stood, is still due to welcome its first visitors in 2009, the adjoining museum containing WTC artifacts won't open until mid-2010. The delayed museum debut must await completion of a visitors center, which will provide access to the museum's underground exhibition space."
New York Daily News 11/07/06 Posted: 11/07/2006 7:01 am

Chlorine May Be Darkening Pompeiian Frescoes Pompeiian wall paintings colored with cinnabar have darkened since their excavation. "Art preservationists have been uncertain why the degradation occurs, but have suspected that sunlight causes the mercury sulfide to change crystalline phases, to a form called metacinnabar. But an analysis using the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility in Grenoble, France, shows that there is no metacinnabar to be found. Instead, Marine Cotte of the synchrotron facility and colleagues found two other degradation processes at work, probably caused at least in part by chlorine."
The New York Times 11/07/06 Posted: 11/07/2006 4:51 am

Chicago's Architecture Endangered By Condos? "Fiercely proud of both its architecture and its distinct neighborhoods, Chicago is losing entire tracts of older buildings. Many areas bordering downtown where immigrant communities flourished a century ago have experienced a rush of residential development, leading local preservationists ... to worry that before long, the only architecture left in this inner ring of neighborhoods will be condominiums."
The New York Times 11/07/06 Posted: 11/07/2006 4:41 am

A Jackson Pollock For $5? A former truck driver buys what she later comes to decide is a Jackson Pollock painting from a California thrift store. It cost $5. Is it really worth millions? An auction this week will tell the tale.
The Telegraph (UK) 11/06/06 Posted: 11/06/2006 10:06 pm

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Donors + Contact With Musicians = Real Money A new trustee of the Seattle Symphony has already implemented a program designed to raise significant cash: It's "a $500,000 multiyear challenge grant that will bring donors in direct contact with visiting artists. The program, called the Guest Artists Circle, enables participants to have a one-on-one dinner with a guest artist, appearing during the symphony season, in concert or recital; an opportunity to sit in the middle of the orchestra during a rehearsal with the guest artist, and premium seats for the performance." Dinner with Yo-Yo Ma, by the way, is still available for a mere $70,000.... Seattle Post-Intelligencer 11/07/06
Posted: 11/07/2006 8:21 am

What Rosie Did For Broadway, Maybe Dave Can Do ... Peter Gelb has been sending every possible signal that the Metropolitan Opera is a new place under his leadership -- the kind of place where great art intersects with mainstream American life. And now this: "Opera buffs can get a sneak peak at the Met's upcoming production of Rossini's 'Il Barbiere di Siviglia' (that's 'The Barber of Seville' for all of you barbarians) tomorrow on, of all places, 'Late Show With David Letterman.' It will be the first time Letterman, an opera fan, has had an opera production as his musical guest." New York Daily News 11/07/06
Posted: 11/07/2006 6:54 am

Prediction: CD Sales Down 50 Percent A UK recording exec says CD sales will be half what they are now in three years. "We figure the value of CD sales will be 50% less in three years than it is now. We predict digital growth of 25% per year, but it is not enough to replace the loss from falling CD sales. By 2010 we will be 30% behind in terms of revenues. We have to reinvent." The Guardian (UK) 11/06/06
Posted: 11/06/2006 9:53 pm

Radio 3: More Classical, Not Less Britain's Radio 3 denies it will be cutting classical music programming. "We're doing full concerts. We are not going to do excerpts, we're going to do concerts. The rumours come from a complete misunderstanding of what we do, leave alone what we are going to do." The Guardian (UK) 11/06/06
Posted: 11/06/2006 9:51 pm

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Arts Issues

Heritage This The whole "world heritage site" designation has become meaningless, writes Germaine Greer. "If 'world heritage' means anything, it should mean that the recovery of human history is not a matter for nation states, but for the international community. Rather than leaving it to the individual governments to struggle to produce the right kind of application couched in the current UN twaddle, together with the detailed maps and inventories demanded by Unesco, and then find funding to keep the sites intact, the survival of human heritage should be a global project." The Guardian (UK) 11/06/06
Posted: 11/06/2006 9:40 pm

The New Improved Hybrid Artist A new study suggests that artists are increasingly creating hybrid careers. "Her findings indicate artists are increasingly dividing their time between their art--painting, sculpture, writing--and contributing their artistic talents to for-profit projects, such as advertising and graphic design." Minnesota Public Radio 11/05/06
Posted: 11/06/2006 9:25 pm

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Northern Ireland - In Search Of A New Drama Strategy "The five-year plan, due to be completed by February 2007, will be expected to 'establish a clear vision of the development of drama within Northern Ireland with priorities and key actions for the arts council to implement'." The Stage 11/06/06
Posted: 11/06/2006 10:32 pm

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Literary Idealism, Thriving In An Online Magazine "Noted editor Tom Jenks solicited submissions from a few of his writer friends, then published six in the inaugural issue of Narrative Magazine.... There was no test marketing, no promotion, no advertising, no nothing other than a new Web site that had a two-page editors' note and six pieces with some formidable bylines, including Joyce Carol Oates, Tobias Wolff, Jane Smiley and Rick Bass." Three years later, Narrative is a success with readers. It's also a nonprofit -- and Jenks wants access to remain free. So now comes the fundraising. Seattle Post-Intelligencer 11/07/06
Posted: 11/07/2006 8:32 am

Novels, The Hidden Budget-Buster In a Shouts and Murmurs piece, Ian Frazier riffs on a New York Daily News item that suggested cutting costs by borrowing novels from the library instead of buying them in hardcover. The New Yorker 11/06/06
Posted: 11/07/2006 5:35 am

Littell Wins Goncourt, Stays Away Jonathan Littell, the first American winner of France’s Prix Goncourt, did not attend Monday's announcement of the prize in Paris. "'He hopes his absence will not be misunderstood or, even less, be interpreted as disdain for the jury,' his French publisher, Antoine Gallimard, told reporters here. 'He has no need for publicity, both out of modesty and because he believes that literature is not part of show business, that what’s important is the book.'" Littell's novel, "Les Bienveillantes," is a huge best seller in France. The New York Times 11/07/06
Posted: 11/07/2006 3:57 am

Researcher: Wikipedia Is Rife With Plagiarism A longtime critic of Wikipedia says he has "found 142 instances of Wikipedia copy lifted from other sources after studying the site with a software program that picks up matches with other material anywhere on the Google search engine." CBC 11/06/06
Posted: 11/06/2006 5:49 pm

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Hollywood's Must-Read Right-Wing Site L.A.'s conservative Liberty Film Festival, now in its third year, "still seems a few years away from being a real cinematic force," Patrick Goldstein writes. The festival's website, on the other hand, "has emerged as a must read for anyone who cares about film and enjoys seeing Hollywood blowhards and hypocrites take a few jabs to the head. I couldn't agree less with most of its politics, but in an era in which most movie sites are dominated by gossips and geeks, Libertas is one of the few websites that actually takes movies — and their cultural influence — seriously." Los Angeles Times 11/07/06
Posted: 11/07/2006 5:24 am

A Truffaut Here, A Kurosawa There, And 50 Years Later ... Janus Films' 50th-anniversary collection of 50 movies on DVD represents a significant chunk of cinematic history -- "films like Michelangelo Antonioni’s 'Avventura,' François Truffaut’s '400 Blows,' Fritz Lang’s 'M,' Akira Kurosawa’s 'Seven Samurai' and Luis Buñuel’s 'Viridiana,' along with dozens of others that constitute the backbone of the art house tradition." So how did the little indie distributor compile such a catalogue? "At a time when rights to a foreign film in the United States could be had for less than $50,000, (the company) set about systematically acquiring the most prestigious films available, including some Hollywood classics." The New York Times 11/07/06
Posted: 11/07/2006 4:20 am

Hollywood Pillages The Brits "The Brits know how to get fresh, saucy material on screen, and American producers, buoyed by NBC's Emmy-winning remake of "The Office," have started a buying spree hoping just a few tweaks will help them reach mass audiences in the U.S. Desperate for innovative fare, networks are tripping over one another to acquire formats that worked in Britain." Los Angeles Times 11/07/06
Posted: 11/06/2006 10:36 pm

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Millions Clamor For "Dancing" What do most people want to see on TV? Turns out it's dancing. As in "Dancing with the Star." "Now regularly drawing some 20 million fans to each of its twice-weekly broadcasts, 'Dancing With the Stars' has turned into the second-most-popular reality show, ranking behind only American Idol." The New York Times 11/07/06
Posted: 11/06/2006 10:28 pm

Hair Of The Dancer "During the mid-to-late 1970s, women on the cutting edge of choreography tended to hold equivalently radical views with regard to body hair, and a quite remarkable number of reviews from that period featured outraged references to unshaven armpits, coupled with wistful asides about the immaculate grooming standards upheld in ballet. Times and fashions change, along with political correctness. But hair does still mark a profound divide between ballet and modern dance - even if the focus has shifted from the women to the men, and from the body to the scalp." The Guardian (UK) 11/06/06
Posted: 11/06/2006 9:57 pm

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