WORKING FOR THE CAPITAL OF CULTURE

Okay, so maybe Liverpool isn’t the first place you think about when you think about culture. But the city has been named the European Capital of Culture for 2008 and the city is fixing up. “Museums and galleries are expanding, public buildings are being spruced up after years of neglect, a theatre has come back into the limelight after three dark years, and the city’s symphony orchestra is looking forward to a stable financial future under a new conductor.”- The Guardian 12/29/00

TA’s OF THE WORLD UNITE

Last month teaching assistant graduate students at New York University voted to unionize. “The vote was immediately translated into an attack on the very framework of academic collegiality, and the board’s decision to allow the vote was denounced by other universities facing similar union threats. Loudest in their condemnation were Yale University officials, who have succeeded for almost a decade in thwarting a graduate organizing effort on their own campus.” – Village Voice 12/28/00

THE COMPUTERS UNITED

All those millions of home computers out there laying idle much of the time could be put to good use while their owners aren’t working on them, say researchers. “With about 300 million PCs connected to the Internet but idle 90 percent of the time, there’s huge potential for scientific projects utilizing distributed computing power, researchers argue in a report.” – The Star Tribune (Minneapolis) (Scripps Howard) 12/28/00

FIRST NIGHT ALMOST LAST

Boston’s First Night New Year’s Eve celebrations are the biggest in the country, with hundreds of performances and artists participating. But last year, “to match large-scale celebrations planned in other major U.S. cities, First Night doubled its budget last year from $1.3 million to $2.7 million and spiffed up programming to include extras such as three days of cultural events, citywide laser shows and five fireworks displays.” Out-of-control costs nearly sank the popular event. – Boston Herald 12/26/00