Monday, December 22, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Don’t cry—it wasn’t an heirloom, and it’s easily replaceable. And don’t get mad at Martin Klimas, the German photographer responsible for this soon-to- be mess: His images, which he creates by firing a small projectile into his unsuspecting, blossom-bearing subjects and then capturing the results with a high-speed camera, are as wickedly delightful as they are distressing.
— Miranda Siegel\via NY Mag
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New York, Dec. 8, 2008 – The Pulitzer Prizes in journalism, which honor the work of American newspapers appearing in print, have been expanded to include many text-based newspapers and news organizations that publish only on the Internet, the Pulitzer Prize Board announced today.
The Board also has decided to allow entries made up entirely of online content to be submitted in all 14 Pulitzer journalism categories.
While broadening the competition, the Board stressed that all entered material -- whether online or in print -- should come from United States newspapers or news organizations that publish at least weekly, that are "primarily dedicated to original news reporting and coverage of ongoing stories," and that "adhere to the highest journalistic principles.”
Consistent with its historic focus on daily and weekly newspapers, the Board will continue to exclude entries from printed magazines and broadcast media and their respective Web sites.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
by Leon Neyfakh\The New York Observer
... literary agent David Kuhn is selling a memoir by Margaret Robison, the mother of Augusten Burroughs.
Ms. Robison, a poet and a writer in her own right, was portrayed brutally in her son's 2002 book Running With Scissors as a self-obsessed, negligent mother. That book created more than a few bad feelings within Mr. Burroughs' family—both biological and adoptive—not to mention a lawsuit...
Ms. Robison has spoken calmly about her son's book it in interviews since, insisting that she does not hold her son's book against him but making clear that she has issues with certain facets of his account.
"I've had to forgive myself for many things," Ms. Robison told NPR in 2006. "To forgive my son. I have worked a long time with forgiveness." She also said that Running with Scissors "offered [her] the opportunity to grow spiritually in a way that nothing had" before.
By Rich Schapiro\Daily News
A state commission is considering adding tolls to the Brooklyn, Manhattan, Williamsburg and 59th Street bridges to ease the MTA's billion-dollar budget hole, sources said.
With nearly half a million cars and trucks crossing the four East River bridges every day, the proposed tolls could raise up to $1 billion for the cash-strapped MTA, sources said.
The proposal wouldn't go into effect overnight - or without a vicious fight.
Both City Hall and Albany would have to approve the wallet-busting plan because the city owns the four bridges and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is a state agency.
By Graham T. Beck\Gotham Gazette
Although Mayor Michael Bloomberg appeared at the press conference announcing the report, he has not issued a full-fledge endorsement, saying instead that it is up to the legislature "to come up with solutions."
Monday, December 15, 2008
By Julia Boorstin\Seeking Alpha
The Great White Way is facing a long, cold, and very challenging winter. Broadway tickets are pricey and sure to be hit by the economic downturn. Ticket sales and attendance at Broadway shows started slipping in mid-October, no surprise.
A number of big, award-winning shows, including "Hairspray," "Spamalot" and "Young Frankenstein" are set to close in January. Though projections for the holiday season have remained relatively strong, the period between January and March, which is always a weak time, is only going to be bleaker this coming year.
The solution? Deep discounts. Today Disney is launching a "kids go free" promotion. If you buy a ticket to one of 200 performances in January, February and March, you get a free ticket for a kid age 18 and below. Disney's expecting this to give the shows a real boost during what's traditionally their weakest period. The Broadway League is launching its annual "Season of Savings" program on Broadway and Off Broadway shows in early 2009.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
The Monopoly Electronic Banking Edition game combines the best of classic Monopoly with updated electronic transactions. As with the original version, players still operate with money, learn real-world economics, competition and strategy, try to stay out of jail, and try their best to get filthy rich. But this version has been updated to reflect changes in how the real world uses money: All transactions are conducted with Monopoly's new banking card system. Anyone from age 8 and up will enjoy this updated version of one of the world's most famous games.
-- Source: Amazon
From Science Daily
Are happy or unhappy people more attracted to television? This question is addressed by a new 30-year analysis1 of US national data of nearly 30,000 adults by John Robinson and Steven Martin from the University of Maryland in the US. Examining the activity patterns of happy and less happy people in the General Social Survey (GSS) between 1975 and 2006, the authors found that happy people were more socially active, attended more religious services, voted more and read more newspapers.
In contrast, unhappy people watched significantly more television in their spare time.
By RONI CARYN RABIN\New York Times
Banning fast food advertisements from children’s television programs would reduce the number of overweight children in the U.S. by 18 percent and decrease the number of overweight teens by 14 percent, economists have estimated in a new study.
The researchers used several statistical models to link obesity rates to the amount of time spent viewing fast food advertising, finding that viewing more fast food commercials on television raises the risk of obesity in children. The study appears in this month’s issue of The Journal of Law and Economics.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
50 Cent is not too happy about an offer from Taco Bell, who wants him to adopt a new name.
To promote its new “Why Pay More” value menu, Taco Bell sent 50 Cent an offer letter, asking him to change his name to 79 Cent, 89 Cent or 99 Cent for one day this summer.
Taco Bell President Greg Creed, who made the proposal to 50 Cent's agent, also wrote that his company would make a ten thousand dollars donation to a charity of the rapper’s choice, if he accepts the request. As part of the deal, 50 Cent would also have to make an appearance at any Taco Bell location around the country he chooses and rap his order in the drive thru with his new name.
However, 50 Cent didn’t find any humor in the offer.
He said when his legal team is finished, Taco Bell is going to have a new corporate slogan: 'We messed with the bull and got the horns.'
From Publishers Weekly
Since 1962, big-box stores of 20,000 to 28,000 square feet have dotted the American landscape, their bare-boned appearance, according to artist Christensen, promising bare-boned bargains. But after the box is vacated, sometimes after only a few years, a community is left with a decision about what to do with the structure.
Christensen focuses on empty Wal-Mart and Kmart stores to discuss 10 imaginative and successful projects converting boxes into a library, a Head Start center and a senior resource center, among others. Charter schools have moved into empty big boxes, as have churches, for whom, Christensen says, the big box may be the revival tent of the twenty-first century.
Christensen's stories can become repetitive, but the themes she draws from her investigations carry conviction and a sense of urgency. She argues that eventual reuse should be a part of a big box's original design, and that information on reuse should be disseminated so municipalities can make informed decisions. But she also questions whether we should want a future landscape of renovated big box stores: We are what we build, she says. 77 color photos. (Nov.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Posted by Roy Edroso\Village Voice
[C]ouncilmember Eric Gioia has asked Mayor Bloomberg to "erect large, jumbotron-style video screens in City Hall Park, Central Park, or wherever feasible" so that New Yorkers can ... watch Obama get sworn in on January 20. He says the big TVs would be financed by private donations...
Gioia's office says this would be "in the tradition of New Yorkers celebrating historic achievements together like the end of World War II, the moon landings, and countless sports titles..."
From Barnes & Noble
Synopsis of The enthralling international bestseller.
We are in the center of Paris, in an elegant apartment building inhabited by bourgeois families. Renée, the concierge, is witness to the lavish but vacuous lives of her numerous employers. Outwardly she conforms to every stereotype of the concierge: fat, cantankerous, addicted to television. Yet, unbeknownst to her employers, Renée is a cultured autodidact who adores art, philosophy, music, and Japanese culture. With humor and intelligence she scrutinizes the lives of the building’s tenants, who for their part are barely aware of her existence.
Then there’s Paloma, a twelve-year-old genius. She is the daughter of a tedious parliamentarian, a talented and startlingly lucid child who has decided to end her life on the sixteenth of June, her thirteenth birthday. Until then she will continue behaving as everyone expects her to behave: a mediocre pre-teen high on adolescent subculture, a good but not an outstanding student, an obedient if obstinate daughter.
Paloma and Renée hide both their true talents and their finest qualities from a world they suspect cannot or will not appreciate them. They discover their kindred souls when a wealthy Japanese man named Ozu arrives in the building. Only he is able to gain Paloma’s trust and to see through Renée’s timeworn disguise to the secret that haunts her. This is a moving, funny, triumphant novel that exalts the quiet victories of the inconspicuous among us.
From the New York Times
DARK STREETS Murder and music in 1930s New York, where a nightclub entrepreneur (Gabriel Mann) begins to suspect that his father, a powerful industrialist said to have committed suicide, might really have been killed. Meanwhile, he tries to juggle his affection for his star singer (Bijou Phillips) with his attraction to an up-and-coming chanteuse (Izabella Miko). With 12 original songs by James Compton, Tim Brown and Tony DeMeur, performed by Dr. John, Etta James, Natalie Cole, Aaron Neville, Solomon Burke, Chaka Khan and others. Rachel Samuels directed.
Monday, December 1, 2008
From Daddy Types
[The $1500 Marc Jacobs for Bugabooa stroller is] special all-black Cameleon with a canopy and bassinet cover out of Little Marc signature fabric.
There are 15 of them. Starting Nov. 26th, four will be at Colette in Paris; Selfridge's and London and the Marc Jacobs boutique in Dubai get two apiece; One will be for sale in Amsterdam. And six will be for sale at Marc Jacobs NY.
By Jared Paul Stern\Luxist
... we now present Eric Clapton's ultra-luxurious, custom-made crocodile guitar case from Hermès (above).
Clapton's case was specially made to hold his Martin 00028 EC acoustic guitar, the rock star's signature model ("EC" are his initials) which he helped to design. The shell of the case, which is covered in the world's finest matte-finish crocodile skin, is handmade of poplar wood from Nazareth, Pennsylvania and the whole is lined in blue silk velvet. While we don't know what Clapton paid for the one-of-a-kind case, it is likely to have cost at least $100,000.
By Leon Neyfakh\The New York Observor
Publishers Weekly reports that editors at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt have been instructed to stop acquiring books until further notice ... the freeze is not permanent, though no date has been set for when it might lift.
"In this case it’s a symbol of doing things smarter; it’s not an indicator of the end of literature," he is quoted as saying in the PW item.
Whether or not the policy extends to books written by authors who already publish with HMH— or whether they're all going to have to find new publishers once they finish the books they've already been paid for—is unclear.
Reached for comment, Mr. Blumenfeld said he wants to stress that HMH will continue acquiring "some" manuscripts, but that projects will be subject to more scrutiny than before. "We still have an acquisitions committee," he said. "They're still considering manuscripts." Mr. Blumenfeld nevertheless referred to the new policy as a "freeze."
He said that "anything that's already in the pipeline that's already been contracted for or paid for will be published," he said.