Get Smarter With Your Computer

Nintendo’s Brain Age software promises to make you smarter. “Developed in partnership with Japanese neuroscientist Ryuta Kawashima, the game promises to help you keep your brain in tip-top shape through daily exercise. As you complete the exercises, the game charts your daily progress and calculates how “old” your brain is according to the results.”

Mama Mia Heads To Silver Screen

“Mama Mia,” the ABBA jukebox musical is going to be made into a movie. The musical has been produced live worldwide and made more than $1.6 billion US. “Producers of the film project, including the musical’s producer Judy Craymer and ABBA members Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson, are hoping to release the film in 2007.”

UK TV Exports Up

Does British TV travel? Of course. The UK’s top TV export last year was the Bafta Awards broadcast. “It tied with a wildlife documentary about chimps and Wild Sex, according to figures collated for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. Sales of TV exports increased in the US by 10%, while there was an 85% growth in western Europe.”

Ode To Lingua Franca

“You recall Lingua Franca, don’t you? Fewer and fewer do, although if you ask some of the best and brightest editors and writers at the dwindling number of serious magazines and periodicals around these days, you’ll probably find Lingua Franca in his or her past. It was a monthly magazine about the clash of ideas in literature, politics, history and philosophy, controversies that would otherwise be obscured within ivory towers, written for the educated, but not necessarily academic, reader. It soon became a much-talked-about phenomenon inside and outside academia.”

Overnight Sensation

“Gustavo Dudamel, a 25 year-old Venezuelan with a film-star look in his eyes and the physical stature of Paul Newman without heels, has been storming concert halls on scant rehearsal this past year as a last-minute substitute. He helped the Philharmonia out of a hole at the Beethoven Festival in Bonn, deputised for Esa-Pekka Salonen and Zubin Mehta in Switzerland and Israel and went on air worldwide by stepping in for Neeme Järvi at the BBC Proms. He’s smart, he’s cute and, in case you’re getting interested, he has just married a ballet dancer, Eloisa Maturen. All the right moves, in just the right order, and backstory to break hardened hearts.”