Hollywood finds itself at the mercy of cellphone-toting teenagers

“In the old days, there used to be a term, ‘buying your gross’,” said Rick Sands, chief operating officer at Miramax. “You could buy your gross for the weekend and overcome bad word of mouth because it took time to filter out into the general audience.” But those days are over, because the technology of hand-held text-message devices has drastically cut down the time it takes for moviegoers to tell…

starTREK: NASA thinks we can find another Earth in another nearby star…

If we find what we’re looking for, we will suddenly know life on another planet is highly probable and that we may not be alone. The discovery would arguably be the most profound one in human history. But what then? –William Speed Weed –starTREK: NASA thinks we can find another Earth in another nearby star… (Discover) Two comments. Another Earth in a nearby star? Wouldn’t it be better to find a…

Learning to Love PowerPoint

This is Dan Rather’s profile. Expanded to the nth degree. Taken to infinity. Overlayed on the back of Patrick Stewart’s head. It’s recombinant phrenology. The elements of phrenology recombined in ways that follow the rules of irrational logic, a rigorous methodology that follows nonrational rules. It is a structure for following your intuition and your obsessions. It is the hyperfocused scribblings of the mad and the gifted. — David Byrne…

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Creative Computing: Where poetry and programming make a new art

“Art and technology mean essentially the same thing,? says Montfort,” explaining that, contrary to his interviewer’s suggestion, poetry and computer science do go together. “Go back to the Latin ars and the Greek tekhne — both refer to ways of doing things that aren’t in nature already. In new media, the computer is being employed as a means for creating arts. So art and technology are not opposing threads. When…

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Touchable and Teachable, Toybooks are Big Business

Baby books have gotten way weird. Today’s bookstore shelves spill over with tot-oriented “toybooks” shaped like cats, dogs, hens, horses, lions, elephants, insects and other things… –Linton Weeks –Touchable and Teachable, Toybooks are Big Business (Washington Post (registration; will expire)) Can’t be a toy… can’t be a book. Must be… a toybook! (Thanks for the suggestion, Rosemary.)

Contrarian's Contrarian: Galileo's Science Polemics

He was that rarity among physicists, one who could write in a clear, persuasive and entertaining way. His “Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems,” in which three noblemen, Salviati, Sagredo and Simplicio, meet in Venice to argue over the relative merits of Ptolemy’s ancient Earth-centered cosmos and the newer Sun-centered Copernicanism, may be the first great piece of popular science writing. | The book was also his downfall. It…