TV Blogs – Hear Them Roar!

“TV writers have been dealing with critics since the dawn of the medium. But these days everybody’s a critic – the explosion of Internet blogs and fan websites has amplified viewers’ reactions to everything from a boring plotline to the death of a favorite character. In this glut of feedback, the creative minds behind a season’s lineup are finding they must learn which voices to heed and which to shut out.”

Big New Architecture Award

The Rockefeller Foundation has announced “the creation of a $200,000 award, called the Jane Jacobs Medal, to recognize individuals who have made a significant contribution to thinking about urban design, specifically in New York City. The medal will be given annually to two people: one who has made a lifetime contribution and another who is at the start of a promising career.”

Grandma’s Painting – Worth $600,000?

A California woman decided to sell the painting over her piano. “All the seller had hoped for was a couple thousand dollars to help pay for her daughter’s tuition at UC Berkeley.” But “on Super Bowl Sunday, someone gambled more than half a million dollars at an Oakland auction that the painting is the lost work of a 17th-century Italian master.”

Will EMI Take The No-Lock Plunge?

The recording giant is considering removing digital copy protection from its recordings. “If it does, it would be the first of the four major music companies to distribute its catalog without software designed to limit copying. Because various online retailers use different forms of security software, known as digital-rights management, their services are not always compatible with all music-playing devices on the market.”

On The Trail Of Leonardo’s “Greatest” Painting

“What happened to ‘The Battle of Anghiari,’ a grimacing crunch of men and horses considered by some experts to be Leonardo’s greatest painting? Maurizio Seracini thinks he knows, and he was recently given permission to restart his search, which involves using the most modern detecting equipment to peer through a 500-year-old wall in the Palazzo Vecchio.”

The Mariss Jansons Effect

“For all his brilliance at the helm, Mariss Jansons can’t take the credit for turning the Concertgebouw into a world-class band: since its formation in 1888, the orchestra has been recognised as one of the world’s best. Jansons is, however, only the sixth man in charge of the ensemble, taking over from Italian Riccardo Chailly in 2004.”

Live Music Booms As Downloads Soar

“In the age of the download people are reconnecting with gigs as something they can feel. The web is also contributing to the boom: social networking sites such as MySpace and music websites such as provide instant promotional networks for gigging bands, and they also champion independent music, an often homespun, quicksilver scene that thrives on the buzz and audience generated by live events. It’s no small irony, then, that London is experiencing a serious erosion of its rock music venues.”

NY African Art Museum Gets A New Home

New York’s Museum for Africa Art is 22 years old, but it’s lived a nomadic existence. “With 90,000 square feet, including 16,000 square feet of exhibition space, the building will give the Museum for African Art a long-coveted base. Officials hope to break ground in the spring of 2008 and complete construction by the end of 2009. The estimated cost is $80 million, of which $49 million has been raised, including $12 million from the city.”