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iPhone orchestra
nytimes.com

The iPhone as Musical Instrument

It was a sonorous synthesis of computer science, musical innovation and some of the best kind of product placement imaginable when Stanford University professor Ge Wang convened the Stanford Mobile Phone Orchestra on Thursday. Here we have a group of people who have figured out how to play compositions including Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” (performed near the end of this YouTube clip) on their smartphones.

Posted on Dec 4, 2009 READ MORE


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the raven
Flickr / kevindooley

Poe’s Poems Fetch Big Bucks at Auction

Edgar Allan Poe may have died penniless, but his poems are now worth a heap of money—$662,500, to be exact. On Friday, an unidentified bidder at a Christie’s auction in New York paid just that much for a first-edition collection of poems by the master of the macabre, titled “Tamerlane and Other Poems” and printed under the vague pseudonym of “A Bostonian.” 

Posted on Dec 4, 2009 READ MORE


bookcover

Troy Jollimore on Karen Armstrong’s ‘The Case for God’

Have nonbelievers misunderstood, even as they have mocked, the very concept of God—a concept that has more to do with practice than belief?

Posted on Dec 4, 2009 READ MORE


Lambert
adamofficial.com

‘Heat’ From Christian Law Firm, FCC Behind ABC’s Lambert Shut-Out

Janet Jackson escaped unscathed this time, but it seems that the FCC may have gotten on ABC’s case for airing “American Idol” alum Adam Lambert’s public displays of homoeroticism during his American Music Awards performance last month. A law firm associated with the late Rev. Jerry Falwell ... (continued)

Posted on Dec 3, 2009 READ MORE



Finding Farce in Terrorism

A British comedy that follows a group of bumbling terrorists trying to pull off an atrocity has won approval from the taste-makers at the Sundance Film Festival. The movie was reportedly inspired by real-life tales of farce in terrorist cells, which, in the words of the filmmaker’s office, “have the same group dynamics as stag parties.”

Posted on Dec 3, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / Edgar Zuniga

Comcast to Buy NBC

Cable giant Comcast, feeling the pressure from an expanded field of video and Internet access competitors, has decided to go ahead and buy NBC-Universal. The deal, which is all but done, makes Comcast one of the biggest media conglomerates (on par with Disney), and the proud owner of this.

Posted on Dec 2, 2009 READ MORE


Britain's Missing Top Model contestants
bbcamerica.com

Reality TV Hits a New Low With Disabled Model Show?

There’s a lot to unpack when it comes to BBC America’s new reality show, “Britain’s Missing Top Model,” which focuses on a group of disabled women competing to win a high-profile modeling gig. First, what, exactly, is “missing” here, aside from the fact that some contestants are missing limbs? Could it be a sense of humanity, then?

Posted on Dec 1, 2009 READ MORE


Brad Pitt house
Still image from the Make It Right project's Web site.

Do the ‘Brad Pitt Houses’ Help New Orleans?

Does Brad Pitt’s housing development project in New Orleans’ Katrina-ravished Ninth Ward represent a much-needed boost to the neighborhood, no matter from whence it came? Or do his efforts amount to yet another example of a Hollywood do-gooder’s personal crusade ... (continued)

Posted on Nov 30, 2009 READ MORE


Modern Warfare 2
gamenode.com

‘Call of Duty’ Game Franchise Busts Sales Records

Perhaps it’s possible to draw larger sociological conclusions about why it is that, over the politically and economically tumultuous 2003-09 period, gaming giant Activision’s first-person shooter series “Call of Duty” raked in a staggering $3 billion in global sales. (continued)

Posted on Nov 27, 2009 READ MORE


book cover

Fred Branfman on ‘The Making of an Elder Culture’

In Theodore Roszak’s spirited new manifesto, he calls on aging baby boomers to rekindle their youthful idealism and remake America.

Posted on Nov 27, 2009 READ MORE


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