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An Interview About “The Interview”, With Seth Rogen And James Franco

December 17, 2014 - 3:15am

Rogen: “No one has officially told me our movie, 100 percent, has proven to be the cause of any of this stuff. We’re not the first people to shed light on how crazy North Korea is, the myths that exist there and the oddities of the regime.”

Janis Martin, Mezzo-Turned-Wagnerian-Soprano, Dead At 75

December 17, 2014 - 2:53am

“To most opera lovers worldwide, Ms. Martin is best remembered for her potent mastery of the challenging soprano parts in the works of Wagner and Richard Strauss. She was a regular at the Bayreuth Festival in Germany, dedicated to Wagner’s music, and she appeared at the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala, Covent Garden, the Deutsche Oper Berlin, and other leading opera houses.”

Norman Bridwell, Author Of “Clifford The Big Red Dog” Books, Dead At 86

December 17, 2014 - 2:50am

“To hear Norman Bridwell tell the story – and hundreds of millions of children around the world have read his tales for more than 50 years – Clifford the Big Red Dog almost never came to be.”

Andrew Litton Named Music Director Of New York City Ballet

December 17, 2014 - 2:45am

“It is unusual for a symphony conductor of Mr. Litton’s stature to decide to lead a ballet company ensemble: He is the music director of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra and the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra in Norway, and was formerly music director of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.”

Arts Council England’s New CEO: Boss Of UK’s Classic FM

December 17, 2014 - 2:35am

“Arts Council England has appointed the managing director of Classic FM, the music radio station, to be its next chief executive. Darren Henley will take over at the country’s main arts funding body in 2015, replacing Alan Davey, who leaves after seven years in the role” to become controller of the BBC’s classical network, Radio 3.

Thanks To The Nobel, Americans Are Finally Paying Attention To Patrick Modiano

December 17, 2014 - 2:16am

“One of his most famous works, Missing Person,” … had sold just 2,031 copies before the prize was announced in October, and has since sold more than 13,600 copies. … Now, a big commercial publishing house has acquired Mr. Modiano’s latest novel, with the hope of drawing more American readers to his work.”

Walking The Paris Of Patrick Modiano’s Novels

December 17, 2014 - 2:11am

“There is probably no other writer like Modiano who invites his readers on a tour. Give me your hand, he says, and I’ll take you to the streets of Paris. He returns to places he knew many years ago, and demonstrates that very little has changed. He gives us a clear, concise, amazingly accurate map with which we can walk around the city.”

Is “Gone With the Wind” America’s Strangest Film?

December 17, 2014 - 2:01am

“Far from being simple, wholesome family entertainment, the film is an admiring portrait of a conniving, lying, mercenary seductress. It’s a valentine to the slave-owning South, and a poison-pen letter to the anti-slavery North. … It’s a romance that puts the hero and heroine at each other’s throats. And it’s an episodic coming-of-age story that keeps going for nearly four hours before reaching its abrupt, unresolved ending. In short, Gone with the Wind is a preposterous, almost unclassifiable mix of highly questionable elements. The wonder is not just that it’s America’s most beloved film, but that it isn’t America’s most hated.”

Alexei Ratmansky Recreates One Of Petipa’s Classic Ballets

December 17, 2014 - 1:49am

Marius Petipa more or less created what we now think of as classical ballet, but very few of his works have survived intact. “Together with Doug Fullington, an expert in Stepanov notation, he[Ratmansky] has painstakingly pieced together this 1881 Petipa ballet [Paquita], created for the Mariinsky Ballet of St. Petersburg.”

Why Materialism Doesn’t Really Make People Happy

December 17, 2014 - 1:40am

In a new press release from the American Psychological Association, “psychology professor Tim Kasser gives an interesting perspective from his research on just why placing a high value on stuff is no good. In a recent meta-analysis he published with colleagues from the University of Sussex, he found that materialism seems to undermine some of our deepest human needs.”

Remember That Old Lady’s Botched Fresco Restoration in Spain? Best Thing That Ever Happened To That Town

December 17, 2014 - 1:31am

“Grief [at the damaged painting] has turned to gratitude for divine intervention – the blessing of free publicity – that has made Borja, a town of just 5,000, a magnet for thousands of curious tourists eager to see her[the hapless restorer’s] handiwork, resurrecting the local economy.”

Have We Been Trying To Understand Race In The Wrong Way?

December 16, 2014 - 10:54am

The authors argue that “quantitative researchers should acknowledge that any one person’s racial identity is more like a collection of many different factors — from skin color, to neighborhood, to language, to socioeconomic status. With this insight, it becomes possible to study race not as a single, unchanging variable, but rather as a “a bundle of sticks” that can be pulled apart and carefully examined one by one.”

This Museum Sold Off Art Works For Years And Replaced It With Fakes

December 16, 2014 - 10:44am

“Between 1999 and 2014, museum workers replaced several original works by Russian and Soviet avant-garde artists, including Alexander Nikolayev, Richard-Karl Sommer and Victor Ufimtsev, who had lived and worked in Uzbekistan last century.”

If You Don’t Buy This Art Today, We’ll Burn It

December 16, 2014 - 10:24am

“We’ll get a nice old-timey metal trash can . . . (the art) will be up until midnight, then we’ll take down all the works that are going to be destroyed.”

What If We Made College Free? (It Actually Wouldn’t Cost That Much)

December 16, 2014 - 10:23am

“According to the most-recent calculations of Strike Debt, the debt-resistance group I work with, the cost would be relatively modest. The federal loan program is propped up by a motley assortment of subsidies and tax exemptions that amount to tens of billions of dollars.”

University Of Iowa Removes An Anti-Hate-Speech Art Work For Being “Offensive”

December 16, 2014 - 10:19am

“Created by Serhat Tanyolacar, a UI visiting professor and printmaking fellow, the klansman sculpture was decoupaged in newspaper coverage of racial tension and violence throughout the past 100 years. The piece was meant to highlight how America’s history of race-based violence isn’t really history and “facilitate a dialgoue,” as Tanyolacar told university paper The Gazette.”

Opera Birmingham Gets A New General Director

December 16, 2014 - 9:49am

“Wolfe, 43, is leaving his post as executive director of Fort Worth Opera to succeed John D. Jones, who has directed Opera Birmingham for 16 years.”

How Architecture Became Disconnected From The People Who Use It

December 16, 2014 - 9:41am

“The question is, at what point does architecture’s potential to improve human life become lost because of its inability to connect with actual humans?”

The Dancer Who Conquered Autism Through Ballet

December 16, 2014 - 9:28am

“I was diagnosed with autism when I was three, and I was always obsessed with dance. Anything movement-related I loved. My mother tried to put me in sports when I was younger even though I said I wanted to dance; she wanted to see if I could do anything else besides dance, maybe so I wouldn’t get bullied. But when I was six, she finally let me do my first ballet class. I stuck with it ever since.”