Staring May Be Rude, But It’s Hard-Wired

“[W]hen you encounter a person whose nose, mouth or eyes are distorted in a way you have never encountered before, you instinctively lock on. Your gaze remains riveted, and your brain stays tuned for further information. … ‘All primates show this [staring] at something very different, something they have not evolved to see. They need to investigate further.'”

Rousseau Was A Buddhist

From his third autobiography: “If there is a state where the soul can find a resting-place secure enough to establish itself and concentrate its entire being there, with no need to remember the past or reach into the future, where time is nothing to it, … [with] no other feeling of deprivation or enjoyment, pleasure or pain, desire or fear than the simple feeling of existence, … as long as this state lasts, we can call ourselves happy.” (Sounds like mindfulness to us …)

Rat Droppings In Makeup (And Other West End War Stories)

“Impresarios behind some of the West End’s best-known musicals have been criticised for putting on plays in filthy conditions that include claims of rat infestations and floods of raw sewage. While theatregoers have become accustomed to enjoying shows in comfort, actors at the capital’s leading venues claim they are forced to endure ‘awful’ backstage conditions.”

Will Broadway Lure The Tourists This Summer?

“Broadway doesn’t have summer sales in the bag just yet. … [I]t’s out-of-towners who fuel summer sales — and with recessionary worries and the recent outbreak of swine flu prompting predictions of a decline in tourism, it’s not yet certain that the usual B.O. boom will ring in as robustly as it has in the past.” Then again, a healthy spring defied gloomy expectations.

In Grip Of Alzheimer’s, A Painter Goes Deeper Into His Art

“Seven years ago, Ken Rabb was a legal aid lawyer and a weekend painter. But at the age of 53, he was diagnosed with young onset Alzheimer’s. … Years ago, he considered himself a hobbyist painter and agonized over his technique. Now, his art is no longer an intellectual process; it is color, form and shape. Every inch of wall space is taken up with abstract oil paintings, painted plates and collages of found objects.”