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Updated: 8 hours 33 min ago

Beyond The Turing Test: Artificial Intelligence Will Never Be Human Intelligence

February 25, 2015 - 3:15am

“Some insist that ‘hard A.I.’ (with human-level intelligence) can never exist, while others conclude that it is inevitable. But in many cases these debates may be missing the real point of what it means to live and think with forms of synthetic intelligence very different from our own. … A mature A.I. is not necessarily a humanlike intelligence, or one that is at our disposal.”

What Philly Cheesesteak Does To The Brain (The Science Of Appetite)

February 25, 2015 - 3:01am

And then there’s scrapple. The researcher’s name for the appeal of these two Philadelphia delicacies is dynamic contrast. (podcast)

Heart Of A Ballet Superstar: Wendy Whelan At 47

February 25, 2015 - 2:49am

“She was, and is, longer than most. More angular. Like calligraphy, critics said. And that’s just the start. They go crazy for her work ethic. Her astounding strength. Her rapturous, incandescent spirituality. So have choreographers. … Last fall, at 47, Whelan left the New York City Ballet. But she’s still dancing.” (audio; includes video clips)

Robert De Niro To Direct Stage Musical

February 25, 2015 - 2:44am

Along with theater veteran Jerry Zaks, the Oscar-winning actor will direct a musical adaptation of Chazz Palmintieri’s play A Bronx Tale, a film version of which De Niro directed in 1993.

Mexico City Museum Cancels Exhibition Because Artist’s Work Is Too Bloody

February 25, 2015 - 2:38am

“Anticipating that [Hermann] Nitsch’s disturbing oeuvre might upset Mexicans already alarmed by the bloodshed ravaging their country, the Museo Jumex … abruptly canceled an exhibition that was scheduled to open this week. The pre-emptive decision by the Jumex Foundation, which runs the museum, has been denounced by collectors, curators and art critics as an embarrassing act of censorship by a group striving to establish itself in the international art circuit.”

Bruce Sinofsky, 58, Documentary Filmmaker

February 25, 2015 - 2:29am

He is best known for the series of three Paradise Lost films he made with co-director Joe Berlinger about the West Memphis Three, defendants in a controversial Arkansas murder case.

U.S. Officials Return Tiepolo Painting and Etruscan Bronze to Italy

February 25, 2015 - 2:18am

“Federal law enforcement authorities in New York announced Tuesday that they had returned to Italy two pieces of that country’s cultural heritage stolen decades ago before being brought to the United States: a painting attributed to the 18th-century artist Giambattista Tiepolo and an ancient Etruscan bronze statuette of Herakles.”

Writing As A Lonely Tortured Struggle? Not So Much

February 24, 2015 - 11:18am

“Take those demons, for example. For some of us, writing is not a matter of being driven by them, but casting them out. Difficult family relationships? Sort them out on the page. Horrible love life? Write it again with a better ending. Feeling your age? Slip into the skin of a 20 year old and go off and have some fictional adventures. It’s not a horrible, exhausting struggle; it’s therapeutic.”

Oscars Mop Up: Viewership Down, Petty Controversies, Relevancy Questions, And Then The Boringness Factor

February 24, 2015 - 11:16am

“It’s sad, but most people have to finally accept that the Oscars have become, well, elitist and not in step with anything that is actually popular. No one really believes anymore that the films they chose are the ones that are going to last over time.”

Family Sues Germany Over Treasure Looted By The Nazis

February 24, 2015 - 11:13am

“Two claimants to a collection of medieval Christian treasure filed a suit in the U.S. District Court in Washington on Monday against the German government and the government-controlled museum that owns the artifacts.”

Are Humans Smarter Than They Were 100 Years Ago? Here’s The Evidence

February 24, 2015 - 11:10am

“Our improved ability to reason abstractly may also be the result of the spread of scientific thinking-reason, rationality, empiricism, skepticism. Thinking like a scientist means employing all our faculties to overcome our emotional, subjective, and instinctual brains to better understand the true nature of not only the physical and biological worlds, but the social world (politics and economics) and the moral world (abstracting how other people should be treated) as well.”

Here’s Why American Musical Theatre Has Slipped From The Mainstream

February 24, 2015 - 11:05am

“Now that Broadway-minded songwriters no longer have a universal musical language on which to draw, it isn’t possible to write a show with genuine broad-gauge audience appeal. It says everything about the desperate state of the American musical that the last theatrical song to become an enduringly popular hit, Stephen Sondheim’s “Send in the Clowns,” was written in 1973.”

Why Satire Is Important (Especially When It’s Offensive)

February 24, 2015 - 11:03am

“If I try, in the aim of cool-headed analysis, to contain that dismay, I find that my American colleagues’ quasi-rationalization of the assassination of caricaturists is rooted in a failure to distinguish between certain basic varieties of the exercise of the freedom of expression. In particular, there seems to be a broad misunderstanding of the social function, and therefore also the necessity, of satire.”

St. Paul’s New Ordway Hall – Key To A Revitalized City

February 24, 2015 - 10:54am

“St. Paul is as strong now as we’ve been in decades, with light rail in and a new regional ballpark coming,” said St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman, an early champion of the project. “But the arts and culture stuff is what continues to drive development. The Ordway, which is so beautiful on Rice Park, is key to all of that.”

John Luther Adams: Making Music In A Time Of Crisis

February 24, 2015 - 10:51am

“Today a growing number of geologists believe we have left the Holocene and entered a new period—the Anthropocene—in which the dominant geologic force is humanity itself. What does this mean for music? What does it mean for my work as a composer, or for any artist working in any medium today?”

Death Of A Dancer – How To Prepare?

February 24, 2015 - 10:47am

“So how does one plan for a tragedy? You really can’t. You plan for your organization’s response to one. That is to say, put in place the information, guidelines, training, and materials needed to help company leadership and staff deal with a most difficult and often chaotic time.”

So London Needs A New Concert Hall For Simon Rattle? Is This The Real Priority?

February 24, 2015 - 10:42am

“Is this more than a vanity project? Is Simon Rattle’s musicianship really worth it? Would such a “world-class hall” be sustainable after his departure? At 63 he would be, even by the gerontocratic standards of classical music, not a young man when his Berlin contract runs out in 2018.”

Big Improvements Ahead For Sydney Opera House?

February 24, 2015 - 10:37am

“The proposed upgrades include a permanent function centre at the Opera House overlooking the harbour and a new waterfront public square at Walsh Bay. About $202 million would be spent on the opera house, which was completed in 1973 and attracts 8 million tourists a year.”

Early Music Leader Philip Pickett Gets 11 Years’ Prison For Rape

February 24, 2015 - 4:26am

The founder and director of the New London Consort and Musicians of the Globe (the resident ensemble at Shakespeare’s Globe), with a discography of 48 titles, Pickett was convicted of assaulting several of his students at the Guildhall School.