Can Art Spark a Discovery in the Lab?

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Andre Fenton didn’t want his new neurobiology lab at New York University to look like the traditional research space: a mishmash of drab office furniture and cluttered lab benches harshly lit by rows of fluorescent lights. That’s why its core holds a 15-foot-long, one-inch-thick slab of glass. The ...

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Artists and Scientists Riff on Water

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Drink local. The artist Colin Hart has created a public art piece that lets the bravest New Yorkers sample water from the Hudson River (transformed from mucky brown to crystal clear). It's part of an exhibit called Surface Tension that focuses on water: its movement, its growing scarcity ...

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Remembering the Father of Encyclopedia Brown

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

LeRoy “Encyclopedia” Brown would have turned 50 next year, but he’ll always stay just ten years old.  All that time, he’s been solving odd mysteries for the kids of Idaville in a long-running series of childrens’ books. Encyclopedia Brown’s creator, Donald J. Sobol died last weekend ...

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Made in L.A.

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Scene: Los Angeles
From KCRW's Art Talk, hosted by Edward Goldman and Hunter Drohojowska-Philp

Museum director recently wrote Ann Philbin, "In recent years Los Angeles has given New York (and Paris and London and Berlin) a concerted and determined run for its money as the liveliest, and most flourishing, art capital in the world." I completely agree with this statement, but ...

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Dylan, Hendrix, Lennon: The True Believers Soundtrack

Thursday, July 05, 2012

I have a new novel coming out next week, True Believers, that isn't easy to pigeonhole. So I'll defer to the novelist Scott Turow, who describes it as "one part bildungsroman, one part political thriller and one part contemplation on age." The part that's a bildungsroman is the story of my ...

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The Truth: Redefining Radio Drama

Monday, June 25, 2012

A couple of years ago, Kurt wrote a short story for a collection edited by Neil Gaiman — his first work of science fiction. "Human Intelligence" is featured this week on The Truth, a fiction podcast that uses improvisation, recording on location, and top-notch sound design to redefine ...

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Hacking Into the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Monday, June 11, 2012

For centuries, artists have come to art museums, set up camp in the corner of a gallery, and sketched the artwork on the walls. Earlier this month, 23 artists used cutting-edge technologies (including 3-D printers and modeling software) to put their own spin on some of the masterworks at the ...

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Ben Sollee: Live at Grocery on Home

Monday, June 04, 2012

The Scene: Atlanta
From WABE's City Café, hosted by John Lemley

Kentucky musician Ben Sollee has been releasing solo records since 2008. Sollee combines his classical education with R&B and bluegrass to create highly literate and heartfelt songs on his chosen instrument: the cello. His new album Live at Grocery on Home was recorded in Atlanta ...

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Preview: 2012 Tony Awards

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The 66th annual Tony Awards are Sunday, June 10. Here's a round-up of Kurt Andersen's conversations with some of the nominees: James Corden (One Man, Two Guvnors), Suzan-Lori Parks (The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess), Bruce Norris (Clybourne Park), Jon Robin Baitz (Other Desert Cities), and Nina Arianda (Venus in Fur).

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New Home Brings Barnes Collection to Full Radiance

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Scene: Philadelphia
From NewsWorks, the online home of WHYY News — part of The New Barnes, a series chronicling the years-long struggle surrounding the Barnes Foundation's move (along with its collection) from Lower Merion, Pennsylvania, to downtown Philadelphia.

The Barnes Foundation restored its world-famous collection of Impressionist paintings to public view last weekend. The new galleries are exact re-creations of the original ...

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Canada: Your Slogan Here

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Face it, Americans don’t get Canada. After hockey and Celine Dion we know shockingly little about our strongest ally, our largest trading partner, the nation with which we share 5,500 miles of border.  Studio 360 thinks it’s time to change that. Canada’s image in the United States needs a fresh start ...

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Los Angeles Noir & Mapping the Brain

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Scene: Los Angeles
From Los Angeles Review of Books on KCRW, hosted by Tom Lutz

Tom Lutz, founding editor of the new Los Angeles Review of Books, highlights two new titles: neuroscientist Antonio Damasio's Self Comes to Mind: Constructing the Conscious Brain and a collection of work by the pulp fiction author Paul Cain called The Complete Slayers.

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Taryn Simon: Chapters of Invisible Lives

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Taryn Simon's photographs are crisp to the point of being stark, stripped of all but the most essential elements. She documents places and things that are normally kept far from view: items detained at customs, radioactive capsules at a nuclear waste storage facility, the art collection of the CIA. ...

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Tommy Womack's Surprise Second Act

Monday, April 30, 2012

The Scene: Nashville
From the WPLN Newsroom at Nashville Public Radio

Imagine you’re a musician who has struggled for success for years and you’re facing middle-age, burned-out, with a family to support and little hope. So you record one last album, a farewell note to your career, and it becomes the biggest success you’ve ever had — now what? ...

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Passing Stranger: Poetry in NYC's East Village

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

New York City's East Village was once a vigorous and diverse community of poets, including Allen Ginsberg, Frank O'Hara, Ted Berrigan, and Anne Waldman. A new audio tour of the neighborhood captures the characters, sounds, and memories ...

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Kehinde Wiley on the World Stage

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Kehinde Wiley paints contemporary kings. His portraits are opulent collages that take young men and turns them into heroes and surrounding them with intricate, kool-aid-bright backgrounds. The World Stage: Israel, a new exhibition of Wiley's paintings, is now on view at The Jewish Museum ...

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Storytelling and Science Collide

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Humans love a well-told story and scientists are beginning to understand why. According to a 2010 study by three Princeton researchers, the act of listening to, and comprehending, a narrative creates an unconscious physical alignment between the storyteller and the audience: their brains link ...

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Las Vegas Takes a Gamble on High Art

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Smith Center for the Performing Arts just opened in downtown Las Vegas. Supporters hope the new $470 million cathedral to the arts shows the rest of the country that Vegas is a serious cultural destination that can host pop goddess Celine Dion and ...

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Roger Shimomura: An American Knockoff

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Scene: Kansas City
From the KCUR's Arts & Culture desk, a service of Kansas City Public Media

Seventy years ago, President Franklin Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066. This action, just a few months after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, forced an estimated 120,000 Japanese Americans into internment camps. Kansas-based artist Roger Shimomura was one of them. ...

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Remembering Barney Rosset, Malcolm X's Publisher

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The boundary-pushing publisher Barney Rosset died on Tuesday. He was 89. Rosset was the founder of Grove Press, where he made a name for himself publishing titles no one else would touch. In the 1960s, he won consecutive court cases that allowed him to print ...

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