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1. The Strange History Of The Ouija Board


It started with a pair of spiritualists in post-Civil-War New York; became a ubiquitous family pastime that was considered good, clean fun (and great for a date); and had its reputation ruined by The Exorcist. (It also told its first manufacturers what it wanted to be called.) (includes podcast)

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2. Ten Years On, Theo Van Gogh’s Murder Still Haunts The Netherlands


A decade ago Sunday, the filmmaker, media figure and right-wing provocateur was shot and had his throat slit by a young Moroccan Dutchman who claimed he was defending the name of Allah. “In this tidy country of 17 million, which prides itself on tolerance, the murder opened a raw and polarizing debate … which is still raging.”

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3. A Kashmiri “Hamlet” Becomes Bollywood’s Most Praised, And Most Attacked, Movie Of The Year

kashmiri hamlet

Haider, an adaptation of the Shakespeare play set amid the bloody 1990s conflict in Kashmir, has won rapturous praise from Indian cinephiles and film critics – and has enraged Hindu nationalists, who accuse the movie of glorifying terrorists and justifying ethnic cleansing. (Hmm, where have we heard that sort of thing before?)

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4. What Ancient Greek And Roman Statues Look(ed) Like In Color

ancient statues in color

Most people assume that classical statuary was mostly of pure white marble, a sort of pure source of Western civilization. But scholars have known for at least a century that most Greek and Roman statues were brightly painted – and now an exhibition in Copenhagen is trying to reconstruct their original appearance.

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5. Peter Sellars To Stage His First Dance Work


“[He] has directed operas and theater, collaborated with Toni Morrison and staged St. Matthew’s [sic] Passion with the Berlin Philharmonic. Now, he will turn his attention to Flex, a Brooklyn-born form of street dance, in a commission from the Park Avenue Armory [in New York].”

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6. The History of Gay Publishing in One Career

history of gay pub

An interview with Michael Denneny, who co-founded the pathbreaking literary magazine Christopher Street and was the first man to make a career out of editing and publishing serious gay novels.

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7. Bradley Cooper Plays A Man Who’s Haunted Him For Decades

bradley cooper

Starring in The Elephant Man on Broadway “is serious business for the actor: a scoop of earth following his gradual but precipitous soar into the showbiz stratosphere, with its thinner, giddy-making air.” It’s also a role he’s been fixated on since age 12.

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8. The Town That’s Discovering It’s Built Out Of Jewish Tombstones

brest jewish graves

“Back in May, construction work for a new supermarket began in the center of Brest, a city in Belarus on the border with Poland. In a turn of events that wouldn’t seem out of place in a horror film, more than 450 Jewish gravestones have since been discovered in the foundations of the houses that have been demolished to make way for the store.”

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9. Carnegie Hall To Offer Free Livestream Of Recitals

carnegie hall aud

“Starting next week, Carnegie Hall will go global, partnering with the six-year-old classical-music portal medici.tv to stream [four] concerts … All will be streamed live and remain available for 90 days. And all of them will be free.”

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10. Crisis Management, PR Firm, Speakers Bureaus Drop Jian Ghomeshi


With a second woman coming forward by name to accuse him of assault and a former Q producer giving details of sexual harassment, both Ghomeshi’s longtime PR reps and top crisis-management firm Navigator have dropped him as a client, as have two firms who booked him for speaking engagements.

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11. One Woman Defends Jian Ghomeshi, Saying Everything He Did With Her Was Consensual

jian again

“I do want people to know how thorough our consent talks were.” So (naturally) she contacted Dan Savage. Dan offers a transcript of his interview with her and offers his attempt to square her account with those of his accusers.

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12. Top Posts From AJBlogs 10.30.14

Early Word On “Mr. Turner” – Movie, Good; Art, Bad
AJBlog: Real Clear Arts Published 2014-10-30

David Byrne: Big Money is Killing Art
AJBlog: CultureCrash Published 2014-10-30

Angry bird
AJBlog: Performance Monkey Published 2014-10-30

Remembering Tony Staniland
AJBlog: Plain English Published 2014-10-30

Chica Chica Boom Steps?
AJBlog: RiffTides Published 2014-10-29

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13. Assistant Professor: Performance Arts

Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies at Western Washington University seek applications for an assistant professor, tenure-track position in Performance Arts beginning September 2015. We seek candidates doing interdisciplinary work or who can demonstrate the ability to teach performance within an interdisciplinary framework.

We invite candidates who practice and teach in the performative arts, linking them to a commitment to social justice through creative activism. The successful candidate will have extensive knowledge of history of the arts and theory as it relates to the applicant’s particular field. Applicant’s experience should include using art within community situations combined with an astute sensitivity to the numerous issues surrounding working with diverse communities.

Successful applicants will possess a keen understanding of how the arts are relevant to society beyond being a means of self-expression, and will have a record of collaborative community engagement, with an interest in involving students through youth outreach or creative activism. A demonstrated history of exhibition or performance is required. We encourage applications from candidates with experience in areas such as: educational theatre, teatro, dance, street theatre or video performance.

Teaching responsibilities will include intro- and upper-level undergraduate courses in the foundations and applications of performance. The faculty member in Performance Arts will teach in Fairhaven College’s core curriculum, integrating aspects of performance into thematic core courses. Other courses in art activism, scriptwriting and the technical aspects of performance will complete the teaching load. The candidate will mentor varied independent student projects.

Other duties include advising students who are encouraged to take an unusual degree of responsibility for the structure and content of their own education. Administrative service to Fairhaven College and the University is also an important component of the position. The professor of Performance Arts must continue creative activity or scholarship to achieve tenure at Western Washington University.

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14. A School Behaves Like An Orchestra, And An Orchestra Behaves Like A School


“Both initiatives underscored the extent to which the difficulties facing classical music in the 21st century are forcing venerable institutions to adapt, if not reinvent themselves.”

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15. How Do We Revive A Language When There Are No Native Speakers Left?


“It’s hard to find information on Tongva. There are no audio recordings of people speaking the language, just a few scratchy wax cylinder recordings of Tongva songs. There are additional word lists from scholars, explorers, and others dating from 1838 to 1903.”

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16. Bookstore MFA


“At some point, it’s just you and the poems. You haven’t been told to read a poem, you haven’t been assigned a poem to critique, you haven’t been told a book’s really great, so you’re just picking up books that either speak to you or don’t. You’re just looking through book after book after book trying to find something engaging.”

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17. D.C. Isn’t That Exciting A Town, But The Hirshhorn Museum’s New Director Has Big Plans


“I hope this means we are able to come up with another kind of new bold vision that has the potential to be a real game-changer in terms of contemporary art and the way technology impacts contemporary art.”

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18. Does Going On A World Tour Make A Symphony World Class?


“In Chicago Symphony lore, it was the orchestra’s first-ever overseas tour — a massive six-week, nine-country, 15-venue, 25-concert trip led by music director Georg Solti in 1971 — that vaulted it to world-class status while changing cultural perceptions of Chicago, with the orchestra greeted by a ticker-tape parade upon its return home.”

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19. How’s Modern Dance Doing In Vietnam?


“We have a history of war, but we are not trying to promote that, but rather bring the feeling of what we have through contemporary dance, through the eyes of a young generation.”

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20. Galway Kinnell, Poet Of Nature, Religion And Human Rights, Dead At 87

galway kinnell

“He also wrote frequently about death. ‘The Book of Nightmares’ was inspired by the horrors of the Vietnam War. But as angry as he could be, he sometimes considered mortality more gently and wistfully.”

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21. Movie Theatres Ban Google Glass


“If it can record, the new guidelines say, shut it off and put it away.”

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22. Fandango, The Movie Ticket Seller, Joins The Content Producer Race


“The deal is part of Fandango’s ongoing effort to expand its offerings as a one-stop-shop for moviegoers. The site now offers reviews, commentary, celebrity interviews, trailers, guidance for families, and of course, their well-known ticket purchasing service.”

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23. Theaters Are (Finally?) Recovering From The Recession, Says Report


“Earned income was up an impressive 40.8 percent (adjusted for inflation), although total attendance was up only 0.4 percent.”

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24. New York’s Latest Graffiti Crackdown May Be Backfiring


“Busting graffiti artists distracts the local cops from fighting serious crime, like robberies or homicides, which have increased in Long Island City’s 114th Precinct, where 5Pointz is located, over the past year.”

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25. U.S. Fails In Roman Polanski Extradition Attempt


“He has been wanted by US police since 1977 after fleeing the country before he could be sentenced for having sex with a 13-year-old girl.”

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